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,

Bang...bang...it's deja vu all over again!

21 November 2013 | enoute to NZ
C&S
We are presently 3/4 of the way to Opua NZ. As you might surmise from the title of this blog entry, we have had yet another , how shall we say, "interesting" trip. But we'll get to all that in a moment. Let's finish up on our Fiji experience first. When we last wrote, we told you about George & Millie, a couple of locals that we met on Ngamea. We got to know them a lot better in the ensuing week. George had an old sit on kayak, stored under his house, which we spotted and asked him about. He said he'd like to use it to get to work, either when he was short on fuel or because it saved him quite a bit of money. However, it was presently unusable because of numerous holes and leaks, which he had neither the tools nor the materials to repair. After letting him know that we might be able to help, he & Millie brought the kayak to our boat on his way to work that day. Millie spent that evening on the boat with us, and the next morning both of them showed up for kayak repair course 101. Thank goodness for glass cloth and west system! By the time we'd finished, we'd repaired 7 major holes, installed 2 hatch covers, added a drain plug, and fastened a D-ring and padlock so it can be secured when left unattended. George was so pleased with his now dry ride that he's going to get some blue paint to complete the restoration. One evening as we were finishing up work on the kayak, they showed up with a traditional Fijian meal which Millie had spent the day preparing for the four of us. A lovely time was had by all, during which Millie inquired whether we would be interested in visiting her native village? Of course we said "yes" and the following morning saw the four of us depart on TabbyCat while towing George's 15' powerboat. Millie planned to stay in her village for a few days and George had got the night off work so that he could return on his own the following day while we made our way back to Savusavu. Millie's village is definitely not on the cruiser route, and given the chart information available, we would never have gone there on our own, but George did an excellent job of guiding us around the reefs. Both he & Millie delighted in driving the boat... indeed except for picking up & dropping the anchor, we barely touched the helm ourselves. It was a real treat to be brought into a village that few outsiders have seen, to be introduced to her parents and spend the evening with family and friends. Millie's father is one of the clan leaders, and it was to him that we presented our SevuSevu. Paul recently asked us what Colin was pounding in the photos section of our previous blog entry. That is Kava, the dried root of the pepper plant, which having been pounded into dust, is mixed with water to produce a mildly intoxicating, lip-tingling ceremonial concoction which the locals affectionately call "grog". When visiting tribally owned lands, as we cruisers are, it is good etiquette to make a presentation of Kava to the local chief , both as a recognition of their property rights, and to be included under their protection during one's stay. Having made our formal presentation to Mille's father, through George, our Kava was taken away, pounded, blended with water, and copiously drunk by the family elders. We had a few "low tide" bowls ourselves, but must say we prefer a good Malbec any day. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to be included in local customs and was a very special moment for us. Once again, Millie provided a fine dinner, but all too soon, after an early morning breakfast on the boat with her, George, and her son Coco, it was time for us to head out. Seemingly the while village turned out to stand in the shallows and wave us goodbye ("mothe" in Fijian).

A slow but uneventful trip took us back to Cousteau point, where we anchored in the dark at 10pm. The following morning, while preparing to go snorkeling, we belatedly heard from Bob McDavitt, our NZ weather guru, that a departure on the following day (Saturday)for NZ now looked good... if we could get checked out in time. Immigration offices close at 4pm, and we were still 3 miles from the town of SavuSavu, so we frenetically pulled up anchor and beat feet into town. Amazingly we got our paperwork sorted, did some last minute grocery shopping, topped up the diesel fuel, and were enjoying an evening cocktail on "Champagne" , Clark Hamm's boat, by 7 pm. He'd been hoping to buddy boat with us, but wasn't yet ready to leave. The following morning we slipped away early for the 1,250 nm trip to NZ, hoping for an easier passage than last year's ordeal.(yeah right). Just as last year, we made sparkling progress for the first 3 days, including another 200 mile day. Thus we get to the title of this blog: The first bang was the parting of the wire outhaul line that holds the mainsail to the rear of the boom. That was quickly jury rigged with a rope run in place of the wire. The second bang was while flying along with screacher and a full main. The shackle which holds the screacher furling drum to the bowsprit went to meet its maker. That of course meant nothing was holding the sail to the front of the boat, and the drum came flying backwards, luckily outside the lifelines and therefore missing our new windows. Just as last year, we had to drop the screacher on the deck, and hurriedly stow it below through a forward hatch. ThankfullY this year we weren't surfing down monster waves during the process.

Of course the weather goddess was not done with us yet! Somewhat belatedly we heard from Bob that a low which had formed to the north of us, was intensifying instead of petering out as previously expected, as was now forming into a gale (wind speeds 38-40 knots). The worst of it was supposed to cross our projected route the following morning, so we decided to heave to, and let the storm pass by in front of us. Heaving to is a way of slowing the boat down in which you put the main sail on one side of the boat, and the jib on the other. Of course nothing on our trips to NZ is ever that easy. We spend the next 18 hours essentially stationary, with 35-40 knot winds howling all around us, while riding up and over increasingly higher mountains of water. Still, it was nowhere near as intimidating as last year. By midday the following morning, the winds had reduced to the mid 20's, and we spent an exhilarating afternoon/evening surfing down waves, sailing in the mid teens. Unlike last year, this time we were headed in the right direction, and Bob assured us that the winds would lessen, rather than form into a cyclone. Since then we've had a wildly varied mix of weather, lightning storms, gusty unpredictable winds, no winds and, right now, beautiful downwind reaches with the spinnaker set in 10 knots.

Other than the weather though, the highlight of the trip occurred yesterday afternoon while motoring due to a total lack of wind. We landed a really nice tuna that should see us eating fish for quite some time in NZ(which we don't buy there because it's so expensive). As of right now we are 130nm north of Opua, with an expected arrival time of either late tomorrow or early Wednesday morning. That's 2 days later than originally planned, but not bad considering the windless days and time spent hove to and drifting north.

click here for recent photo's
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TabbyCat's Photos - Main
Chateau Barbeligniere & surrounds
25 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
25 Photos
12 May 2018
84 Photos