Adventures at Sea

Vessel Name: TabbyCat
Vessel Make/Model: Maine Cat 41 catamaran
About: Come sail with us: click here for TabbyCat Charters
Extra: We'd love to hear from you at any time. Please be mindful that whilst we are AT SEA our data is limited, so messages should be kept short and we can not receive any attachments.
28 May 2018
12 May 2018 | Oahu Hawaii
07 April 2018 | Bushy Park
05 March 2018
25 November 2017
10 October 2017 | Nuku 'Aloofa, Tonga
23 June 2017 | Whangaeri Town Basin
13 April 2017 | Work done mostly in New Zealnd, with a little done in the Marshall Islands
02 October 2016
12 September 2016
23 May 2016
07 May 2016
22 December 2015
10 November 2015
02 September 2015
24 June 2015 | Fiji
30 May 2015 | Leaving the Marshall Islands
08 February 2015 | Majuro, Marshall Islands
25 November 2014 | en route to the Marshall Islands
Recent Blog Posts
28 May 2018

Scotland

We had a delightful visit to Scotland's Isle of Harris with friends Mike & Jill. The weather swung back and forth between "atmospheric" to "lovely" and we managed to get in quite a a bit of bog trotting and beach walks, not to mention a visit to the Harris tweed shop and the local distillery. The scenery was so dramatic - we were taking 100 photographs a day - making it difficult to decide which photo to use as the header for this blog. If you'd like to see more amazing Scotland photos, click here....

12 May 2018 | Oahu Hawaii

Hawaii 5-0 !

Yes, we really did stop for a day in Hawaii enroute to Scotland! One of the best Ukelele stores in the world is at the north end of Oahu, so we rented a car for the day and enjoyed a scenic drive to the north end of the island. We met Cory of "Hawaii Music Supply" aka "the Ukelele Site" who guided [...]

07 April 2018 | Bushy Park

Whanganui

We spent traveled to Whanganui for Easter. Much chocolate was consumed in the evenings, and good times were had on the black sand beaches with Hadley and family. Rick, thanks for getting the hot tub heated up, that was a real treat! Boz - thanks for being such a great host , cooking and arranging for [...]

05 March 2018

Whangarei Gardens

We were pleased to have Marty & Gabby join us for a week aboard TabbyCat. Since we're currently based in Whangarei, we decided to show them the lovely gardens in the old rock quarry. There are some truly amazing and exotic plants to be seen! We spent the better part of the afternoon there, and didn't [...]

25 November 2017

On the road again....

Since we last wrote, we've had some high adventures, but tonight's missive comes from the not so exotic location of LAX airport. We're halfway through our journey from Whangarei New Zealand to Bocas Panama. Two flights down, two to go.

10 October 2017 | Nuku 'Aloofa, Tonga

Tonga!

After many months of hard work on boat projects, we finally left New Zealand. Stopping on the way to Tonga at South Minerva Reef, we were able to enjoy the Atoll all to ourselves,

Bula!

10 November 2013 | Fiji, Viani Bay
C&S
Monday afternoon finds us finally motoring away from Viania Bay after a delightful 3 1/2 week's stay. Presently heading north up the Somosomo strait which runs between Vanu Levu and Taveuni Islands. We timed our departure to coincide with mid day, low tide and slack water, but even so, the constriction of coral in the straits caused some very strrange eddy lines and whirlpools. One would definitley not want to do this against the tide, with a strong wind against you, or at night. We are heading for the north end of Taveuni Island where our freinds Sylvie & David (PuddyTat) reported a good anchorage. But back to Viani Bay - 3/12 weeks in one spot is a long time for us. We must have had good reasons. We did. Namely Frank, and his
lady friend Lugi, their good friend Claudius, and Frank's young borther Andrew. They made us feel most welcome in the bay, invited us into their home, took us snorkeling & diving, brought us fresh fruit & sugarcane, and generally included us in their very laid back lifestyle. We reciprocated by introducing them to stand up paddleboarding, giving them use of our dive tanks so they could spear fish and hunt for sea cucumbers (which can bring $180 FJ a kilo for the rare varieties- it would seem the Chinese will eat almost anything!) and last night having them and their cousin Charlene and her 2 year old son, aboard for movie night. We don't think "The Italian Job" has ever been enjoyed so much. It was a delightful evening and a wonderful way to end our stay in the bay. However, undoubtedly our highlight was Frank's invitation to join in the celebration / wake/ send off for his recently departed uncle.The 3 days festivities were held on their little Island (Fisher Island), which at times held upwards of 150 people. Frank informed us that the final meat bill was 4 cows and 6 pigs (it was supposed to be 8, but two escaped and ran free on the island. See attached photos for this morning's recapture ). We were made to feel very welcome during the festivities. Colin even got to try his hand at pounding Kava, the mildly intoxicating beverage that the locals make from the roots of the pepper plant. We politely abastainsed from the field dressing of the cow & pig carcasses however! The men seemed to be contantly preparing meat and tending the lovo, while the women turned out huge numbers of dishes of many variesities, including Bele (spinach), soups, casava root, & taro. On the day beffore his before his burial, the recently departed uncle was brought ashore to much fanfare to spend one last night resting on the ground of his ancestral home. The following day after an early morning service, he was ferried the short distance to the mainland and buried halfway up the hillside in the family plot, with a beautiful view of Viani Bay and the Fisher homesite. The deceased's elder brother Vincent took us under his wing and at various stages during the proceedings explained to us the significance of what was occurring. All in all, it was a fascinating insight in what is a significant event in any culture. We certainly came to respect how death & bereavement is handled in traditional Fijian style. The lunch following the burial concluded the 3 day mourning period, after which most of the guests quietly departed. Even so, it was still 2 more days before all the stragglers had finally departed, and Frank & Lugi finally had their island home to themselves again. It was with some reluctance that we said our final goodbyes and departed just as the local police showed up to ask about our travel permit. Colin summoned up his usual charming patter, avoiding a full scale boarding and checkout. Without further ado, we were on our way.

We enjoyed 3 days at anchor within the coral reef at the northern end of Taveuni; beautiful crystal clear turquoise waters, and some very pleasant snorkeling, kayaking & paddleboarding. However it must be recorded that the highlight for us was the presence of a small but very well stocked Indian grocery store, where we provisioned for the first time in over a month. That re-provisioning included such staples as wine, chocolate, butter, eggs, and oh yes, ice cream. Julia Child eat your heart out! Despite the very pleasant surroundings, after a few days, the rolling chop in the exposed anchorage became too much for us, and we motor sailed around the east side of Taveuni to anchor in a hurricane hole on the west side of the island of NgGamea.

During the season, and during any kind of heavy weather, this anchorage would be quite busy. Right now, however, we have it to ourselves. On one of our paddleboard excursions we ended up at the $1,000 per night Quamea resort, and stopped in thinking we might get ice cream or refreshments. Despite our sweaty paddleboard outfits and lack of shoes, we were made to feel very welcome, and spent a very enjoyable evening drinking beers & Pina Coladas while being serenaded by traditional Fijian musicians and the local dance group. Typical show put on for the tourists, and not something we'd usually engage in, but certainly fun for an evening. Far more engaging for us has been the time spend with George (one of the resort's musicians) and his lovely wife Millie, whom we'd met earlier that afternoon, and with whom we've spent much of the past two days. They have a lovely home tucked up on the hillside which is only accessible via a circuitous route through the mangroves ..... a paddle boarder's dream. After two false starts, firstly because we thought we had to walk up the hill and secondly because Colin took us on a magical mystery tour outside the main channel and deep into the heart of the swamp, we finally managed to paddle right up to their front door. We then spent most of the rest of the day learning how to open drinking coconuts, had a lesson in preparing cassava chips, and how to make a traditional Fijian meal. Today, Millie invited us to join them at their local church service, in the village high on the hillside overlooking our anchorage. There where met Moses the local headman, and listened to sweet voices of the Fijian children raised in song. We didn't understand much of what was sung, since it was all in Fijiiian, although they did sing one song for us in English "Telephone Jesus", a modern exhortation to communicate with your higher power. We did think Susan made quite the missionary figure- see the photos. The remainder of the day was spent onboard TabbyCat, entertaining our two new friends, including curried chicken for lunch, teaching Millie to bake her very first cake (banana bread), & listening to music. Millie has quite the soft spot for Bob Marley! Tomorrow we are hoping to go around the island by boat to visit Millie's village, and do a spot of fishing for supper. However, despite our wonderful experiences here, we're cognizant of the calendar, and are watching the weather for a suitable window to make the 8+ day passage back to Opua NZ. Before too long it will be back to SavuSavau for our checkout and our long trip south of the southern cyclone zone. Until our next update, "Mothe" from Fiji. click here for the latest photos
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TabbyCat's Photos - Main
Chateau Barbeligniere & surrounds
17 Photos
Created 26 May 2018
84 Photos
Created 12 May 2018
a quick stop to pick up a Ukelele!
3 Photos
Created 12 May 2018
Land trip to visit the rellies!
58 Photos
Created 7 April 2018
with Guests Marty & Gabby
29 Photos
Created 5 March 2018
2017
11 Photos
Created 25 November 2017
a small atoll 279 NM southwest of Tonga
20 Photos
Created 10 October 2017
5 Photos
Created 23 June 2017
We call this our Maine Cat 41 "Cruiser Edition"
64 Photos
Created 13 April 2017
Life in the Jungle! Building our dream....
20 Photos
Created 2 October 2016
March - April 2016
50 Photos
Created 4 June 2016
2016 projects in NZ: Windows, Escape Hatches, Cabinets, Floor refinishing, Cabinet re-varnishing, etc etc.
17 Photos
Created 7 May 2016
32 of our favorite photos from 2015
31 Photos
Created 22 December 2015
Our new cork floors & triton shell given to us by locals
10 Photos
Created 10 November 2015
Circumnavigation of Vanua Levu, including a visit to Rambi Island
49 Photos
Created 7 November 2015
July & August 2015
6 Photos
Created 19 August 2015
Marshall Islands from Dec 1, 2014 to May 27, 2015
14 Photos
Created 17 June 2015
138 Photos
Created 12 April 2015
56 Photos
Created 8 April 2015
39 Photos
Created 8 April 2015
7 degrees north of the Equator for the hurricane season!
23 Photos
Created 8 February 2015
34 Photos
Created 15 November 2014
57 Photos
Created 1 November 2014
Whale watching in Niue
19 Photos
Created 9 September 2014
40 Photos
Created 11 August 2014
20 Photos
Created 28 July 2014
from NZ to Austral Islands (Raivavae & Tubai), then on to Tahiti
35 Photos
Created 28 June 2014
Northern NZ
21 Photos
Created 2 May 2014
Wandering about the north island
22 Photos
Created 4 April 2014
Bay of Islands, Great Barrier Island
42 Photos
Created 29 January 2014
Near Auckland, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand
23 Photos
Created 19 January 2014
favorites from USA, NZ & Fiji
50 Photos
Created 25 December 2013
14 Photos
Created 4 December 2013
FIJI
29 Photos
Created 10 November 2013
20 Photos
Created 20 October 2013
Flotilla leaving Whangarei, NZ to celebrate the opening of the new Bridge
17 Photos
Created 31 July 2013
Windows, propeller, facucet, etc
14 Photos
Created 27 June 2013
12 Photos
Created 7 May 2013
Repairs ashore in Whangarei, NZ
19 Photos
Created 16 April 2013
60 Photos
Created 23 January 2013
120 Photos
Created 11 January 2013
Tahiti Moorea Rarotonga Niue
12 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
Sharks & other marine life
13 Photos
Created 26 September 2012
Yet more photos from Rangiroa, where we stayed for 3 weeks...
11 Photos
Created 17 September 2012
More photos from our second week in Rangiroa
12 Photos
Created 6 September 2012
in the Marquesas, French Polynesia July 2012
1 Photo
Created 27 August 2012
August 2012 Rangiroa is the 2nd largest Atoll in the world
15 Photos
Created 26 August 2012
In the Tuamotos, a nation of Atolls- rings of coral islets atop extinct volcanos
17 Photos
Created 23 August 2012
Tahuata & Ua Pou Islands
15 Photos
Created 9 August 2012
Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas, French Polynesia
20 Photos
Created 30 July 2012
Gambier Islands, Tuamotos, French Polynesia, July 2012
23 Photos
Created 12 July 2012
June 2012
26 Photos
Created 26 June 2012

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26 May 2018
17 Photos
12 May 2018
84 Photos