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,

Vanua Levu Circumnavigation - Fiji 2015

07 November 2015
After leaving Wallis Island, we had grand plans of sailing around the northern Fijian island of Vanua Levu, over to the Yasawa Islands , doing some kiteboarding at Musket Cove, and then making our way to New Caledonia before heading back to New Zealand to wait out the southern cyclone season. As always, we've met so many lovely people, and lingered in places for so much longer than originally intended, that rather than going to New Cal this year, we will instead head directly to New Zealand in a few weeks.
This year's visit to Fiji started, as it has both the previous two years, in SavuSavu, which does an excellent job of welcoming and catering to cruising yachts arriving from overseas. SavuSavu Harbor
We took advantage of the calm waters at the Copra Shed Marina to install our new cork flooring, which we had been carrying about on our guest bed ( much to Susan's chagrin ) since MaineCat delivered it to us whilst still in the Marshalls Islands. We are very much enjoying the classy look it has given our helm station ( not to mention the cushioning to our feet), and have had many positive comments from visitors. During our stay in town we met an expat American, Phil Snowden, who invited us up to his farm overlooking SavuSavu Bay, and got us thinking about perhaps buying property in Fiji. At the Cousteau anchorage just outside of SavuSavu, we again met up with Olga & Russ of Captain's Mistress for some diving and many pleasurable evening meals.
Then we headed out to one of our favorite stops in Fiji, Viani Bay, where we reunited with Frank & Luigi. Frank put on a wonderful Lovo for us. Frank prepares the lovo
This is the Fijian way of preparing meat and vegies underground, using banana leaves for moisture, palm fronds for structure, and lots of heated stones to do the actual cooking. The food is steamed and delicious.....as the local canines will also attest to!
Hungry Canines
From Viani Bay we headed to the north end of Taveniuni, since Colin had set himself a goal of kiteboarding on his 60th birthday. With a wide shallow area of over a mile leading us directly back to TC, the area at the north end of the island is absolutely perfect for those like us who are just mastering the basics of water starting, turning and long runs. His "coming of age" activity day was a great success, not least because it was followed by a vanilla/chocolate birthday cake masterpiece produced by Susan!
Kiting at 60! After a few days of splendid kiting, we were forced to move from the somewhat exposed anchorage due to the impending arrival of an out of season tropical storm to the north. So, reluctantly, we headed for Rabi Island about 10nm to the west. Before the storm arrived we had a delightful paddle board trip up the river, and through the mangroves, at the head of the bay. We managed to get about a mile upstream and there met a wonderful gent named Kautoa Biri. He and his family lived by the river, and he insisted on loading us down with a full bunch of bananas ( about 150 in total ) and numerous pawpaws ( papaya ). We reciprocated by having him out to the boat the next day and setting him up with fishing lures and line plus pens and paper for his kids. He then one upped us by presenting us with the largest and most beautiful triton shell either of us have ever seen!
Catherine Bay, at the south end of the island, proved to be an ideal anchorage in which to wait out the 3 day storm, and shelter from the 40+ knot winds. The downpour enabled us to fill our water tanks and give TC a good scrub. Once the winds subsided, we were off to visit Albert Cove on the NW side of the island, which our friends on Snufkin had reported as a delightful place. They were so right! As is often the case, it's the people that make a place special, and at Albert cove we met Joseph & Maria and their two young daughters Theresa and Johanna - whom we met & collected with their parents after a five mile trip together in TC. We enjoyed a lovely week of paddle boarding, snorkeling, island hikes, lazy dinners with sing-a-longs, culminated with an evening birthday party on the beach for 9 year old Norita from the cruising yacht Ganesh. People from seven different counties sang happy birthday in Spanish. English and Gilbertese ( the language spoken by the islanders on Rabi, who are actually not Fijian but Micronesians transplanted from Ocean Island, north of the equator in what is now Kiribati, after their homeland was devastated by phosphate mining ) Birthday Cake Joseph is an accomplished self-taught musician, and can pick out tunes by ear, so he figured out how to play Feliz Cumpleanos on Susan's Psaltery. We also enjoyed a couple of musical evenings led by Brian & Hilary from the sailing vessel Taranui. (Brian plays a fantastic guitar and harmonica, whilst classically trained Hilary plays the clarinet.) Before leaving the island, we also repaired Joseph's fishing canoe, as it had sprung numerous leaks. Canoe repairs Our reward was seeing the smile on his face when he took daughter Theresa out for a mornings fishing..... and that Colin got to take it out for a spin!

After a delightful week in the company of our new friends, and having taken the children back to school with TC ( during which they enjoyed watching " The Sound of Music " with their mother ), we reluctantly sailed back to the main island of Vanua Levu to continue our journey west. We visited Palmlea Farms, but the owners seem to be retiring and the place was up for sale, so it was very quiet. No fresh farm veggies for sale, so we walked to the bus stop and went shopping in Lambasa, (the major town on Vanua Levu), with lots of shopping and a very large and well stocked market. Lambasa Market . Susan also managed to score herself a wonderful traditional Indian Diwali dress, greatly discounted on account of the upcoming festival ( the most important in the Hindu calendar ) on November 11th. The alterations to make it fit properly were done as we waited ...... and cost $5 Fijian, about $2 and 1/2 US!
From Palmlea we headed west across the top of Vanu Levu to Kia Island. Kia doesn't get many visits from cruisers because it's so out of the way, and doesn't have good internet access. But, as usual, the least visited places are often the most fun. There we met another island family with whom we shared meals. Johanas took our Sevusevu, and his son Ben took a real shine to Colin and would be at his side whenever possible. Javier of s/v Ganesh, ( Norita's father) took his turn at boat repair, and did a very professional fiberglass job on the bottom of Big Ben's fishing panga. Susan did some electrical repairs to Sevi's battery charger, and young Ben and his friends took us for a grueling hike up the mountain to see a canon that had been placed there a couple hundred years ago. The view, as one might expect, was spectacular. Early one morning, while Colin watched the rugby world cup with the locals, Susan caught a ride with Phillipe across the Bay and up the river to Lambasa. We had been running low on some essential groceries (wine and beer)¬, and she also wanted to get a few hours of high speed internet.

The next anchorage was a village near the Dreketi River, the longest in Fiji. Since we were buddy boating with Ganesh, we decided to go up the river in TabbyCat's larger dinghy. That turned out to be a good decision, since the river is quite large, even though our outboard could not reach full speed with 6 people on board. We have nominated the village at Dreketi as the "Best Kept Village" in Fiji. It's marvelously clean, they have running water in all of the houses, rolling grassy lawns, & flowers planted everywhere. We did SevuSevu here, which is the ritualized presenting of the kava root to the chief, and the sharing of the murky brown drink that results from the pulverizing of the same root. We were given a tour of the village by a very athletic 49 year old lady, who thought nothing of jumping up into a lime tree to get us some of its fruit. The people in the village were so willing to share the bounty of their farming, and asked nothing in return. They seemed to enjoy our company as much as we did theirs. River trip

Continuing to buddy boat with Ganesh, we sailed to Nibaulalai Bay where the resident Indian family hosted us for a lovely lunch of curried lamb, chicken and vegetables complete with home-made roti's which Susan has been learning to make like the locals . Next up was Mbua bay, beating into winds of up to 31 knots, but also an internet connection with which Susan was able to assist Javier in the purchase of a new engine for Ganesh on TradeMe, the NZ equivalent of E-Bay. The next day we sailed across Bligh water, named after Capt Bligh of mutiny on the Bounty infamy. He sailed through these waters having been set adrift by Fletcher Christian and his mutinous comrades, but didn't stop on account of the fearsome reputation of Fijian cannibals! This is a notoriously nasty piece of water, on account of the funneling of trade winds between the two main Fijian islands, and is often the subject of local weather warnings. Our trip to Safari Lodge on Vitu Levu, was accompanied by 15 knot winds on the beam and just tiny ripples for waves! As we caught up with Ganesh at the pass entrance we hooked a large Barracuda whilst doing 8 knots. While Susan dragged dinner aboard, hooting and hollering the whole time, Colin steered TC through the pass. After anchoring, Javier came over to display his filleting and cooking skills, and all of us agreed that it was one of the best days sailing we'd ever had!

We're now awaiting the arrival of a new autopilot ( our old one having failed, terminally, about a month ago necessitating hand steering about the islands ), working on minor repairs, and hoping to leave for NZ in a couple of weeks.
click here to see more photos of Fiji
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
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12 May 2018
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