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,

Wind & Waves

15 June 2014 | Tahiti
C&S
Finally, after what seemed like a trip that would never end, we dropped anchor off Rairua, Raivavae in the Austral Islands. Definitely a trip we'll remember - but not for the right reasons - and certainly not one we want to repeat any time soon. Unfortunately the week that we spent in Raivavae was nowhere near as relaxing or enjoyable as we hoped it might be. Reputedly, along with Bora Bora in the leeward Societies to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world, we didn't see it in it's best light. The weather continued to be fairly miserable during our stay, and we had the anchor drag alarm on most nights. However it wasn't so much the gloomy weather that disappointed us, but rather the almost depressed nature of the locals. At one time the island reputedly boasted a population & culture that rivalled that of Tahiti, and they were widely admired as adventurous seafarers. However, having been almost wiped out by the arrival of the Europeans and diseases to which they had little or no immunity, the population now seems to have little affinity for the sea, and certainly none of the "Joie de Vie" that is evident in other French Polynesian Islands. It's almost as if they've given up, contenting themselves with merely cashing their French welfare checks. We did enjoy a cycle around the island's perimeter and a paddle board out to one of the numerous motus, but after giving ourselves a week's rest to recover from the long crossing decided it was more than time to head over to the neighboring island of Tubai. This was 100 miles WNW, involved an overnight passage and, we hoped hoped, would have a better feel to it. That indeed proved to be the case, but not without a very rude introduction. The weather during our passage had been stormy but, with suitably reduced sail, nothing to worry about. We arrived in the lagoon at Tubai a little after mid-day, and found a reasonable anchorage of thin sand over coral off the main town of Matura. The skies were still dark and threatening, and anticipating a bit of a blow, we let out some extra anchor chain and settled back to enjoy a cup of tea. Things went awry very quickly - first of all the island less than 200 yards away and it's two mountains rapidly began to disappear from view; then the navigation buoy lights came on, as if it was nighttime, yet it was only 2:30pm; then the navigation markers disappeared from view, followed shortly after by the lights themselves! By this time of course, the wind & driving rain had ramped up substantially, from 15 knots when we first arrived to 30, then 40, then 50 knots. By the time visibility was down to 50 yards, we were seeing wind speeds in the 70's and 80's and had both engines in gear to keep us in position and the anchor set. We spent the next 2 1/2 hours with only the instruments to guide us and using both engines to keep the boat from being blown out onto the reef..... regularly seeing wind speeds in the 90's and low 100's, and a top speed of 112 nautical miles per hour (that's nearly 130 statue miles or 207 Kilometers per hour, for anyone who doesn't want to do the math ). High Winds By the time it was all over, despite our best efforts, we had drug over 150 yards, and come perilously close to the quay. Talking to locals the next day, none of them had ever seen anything like it before. Two local fisherman had been caught in the storm, their boat had gone over the reef and was destroyed. One of them was rescued that evening, but the second spent 18 hours in the open water and was only rescued because of the arrival of a search & rescue helicopter from Tahiti. One very tough... and lucky ... young man. We were feeling very fortunate to have survived unscathed and, as with our recent crossing from NZ, certainly an experience neither of us want to repeat.....ever! Who knew getting back to "Paradise in the South Pacific" would be such an effort? However, after that unwelcome experience, all was sunshine and smiles. Barry the barometer rose dramatically from his low of 1000hp, the sun came out, and local people were welcoming and friendly in stark contrast to their sister island. We were invited to attend their singing and dance practices for the upcoming Bastille Day celebrations, given directions for sites to see on the island, and generally made to feel most welcome. We enjoyed two delightful cycle rides and an arduous but highly rewarding hike over the center of the island to its highest peak, from which we got commanding 360 degree views of it's entirety and the surrounding reef. After an enjoyable week's stay, we decided not to push our luck in the exposed anchorage and headed north on the 350nm trip to Tahiti. We made that in excellent time, just a little over 2 days, and managed to fetch an anchorage on the SW corner of Tahiti 1/2 an hour before sunset this past Sunday. While originally intending to head to the capital of Papeete, we decided that we might as well start our exploration of the island at the south end by heading east to Port Phaeton. The 13 NM trip took most of Monday, due to tacking into headwinds the whole way, resulting in a trip of 30 NM. Since picking our way through the reef we have been safely tucked into a delightful little anchorage with good holding in mud. Along with a dozen other cruisers we have been marvelling at the verdant mountain scenery complete with numerous waterfalls. In addition we have been thoroughly enjoying the sight of numerous children taking sailing lessons in their pram dinghies ( for their instructor it seems to be an exercise similar to herding cats ) while their elders ply up and down the lagoon in their outrigger canoes. The weather has mellowed out, the sun has made an appearance, and we have just returned from a successful foraging trip to the spectacular Carrefour supermarket, where one can find pate de Canard, gorgeous cheeses, excellent meats, truffles, fresh baguettes (subsidized to less than 50c each - thanks so much Marie Antoinette), and a host of other delicacies. Presently enjoying a glass of fine French wine, soft brie cheese and aged salami! Life could hardly be more pleasant. The plan right now is to continue our anti-clockwise trip around Tahiti, spend a week in Papeete re-provisioning and taking care of the "must do's" on our never completed list, and then head NW to the Leeward Society islands. Wish some of you could join us, but if you can't....we'll soldier on. Click here to see more photos
Comments
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