Tenaya Travels

04 April 2014 | Ao Po Marina, Phuket, Thailand
11 November 2013 | Koror, Palau
05 September 2013 | Kavieng, Papua New Guinea
05 September 2013 | The Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
12 August 2013 | Panapompom, Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
02 August 2013 | Panasia, Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
01 August 2013 | Panasia, Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
31 July 2013 | Panasia, Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
17 July 2013 | Cairns, Australia
30 June 2013 | Whitehaven Beach
17 June 2013
24 May 2013 | Gladstone Marina, Australia
15 March 2013 | Sydney Harbour
16 February 2013 | Pittwater, Australia
29 January 2013 | Coffs Harbour Marina, Australia
11 January 2013 | Brisbane, Australia
04 January 2013 | California
24 November 2012 | Fraser Island
03 November 2012 | Chesterfield Reefs

Phuket to Istanbul to the Black Sea to Greece

25 June 2015 | Kos, Greece
Katie
We ended up shipping Tenaya to Istanbul, not Antwerp, last year. For anyone considering shipping their boat through the Red Sea, we recommend using Sevenstar. They came to our rescue after Peters and May left us high and dry.

Traveling by land and air, we explored Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Hong Kong before meeting Tenaya in Istanbul in June 2014.

We sailed up the Bosphorus, the dividing line between Europe and Asia, and into the Black Sea. Not many people sail there - we saw one other cruising sailboat, an intrepid English couple who came down the Danube and were going to winter in Georgia on the 26' sailing yacht.

Friendly locals invited us for meals and tea, and we left Tenaya in the harbor at Samsun for a scenic, sometimes scary, road trip to see the Sumela Monastery, Uzengol and Ayder high in the mountains.

This year, 2015, we have sailed from Istanbul to Bodrum, stopping to see many ancient sites. We have just crossed to Greece where we will continue sailing and exploring through the Corinth Canal and up to Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. We'll end the season in Venice, Italy.

You can follow us at: www.tenayatravels.com

Palau to Phuket

04 April 2014 | Ao Po Marina, Phuket, Thailand
Katie
Floating on a mooring in Palau for three months surrounded by lush green islands with great diving and snorkeling was a nice respite from all the passages and traveling we've done in the last few years. Aside from a few six-week stints in anchorages or in California, we've been on the move.

But January 31 it was time to move again. We dropped the mooring line at Sam's Tours and sailed non-stop to Port Bonbonon, on Negros Island in the Philippines, where we refuelled and relaxed for two days before continuing on to Kota Kinabalu on Borneo. We sailed but mostly motored 701 miles and then 586.

Borneo! What an amazing place. Charlie at Sticky Rice Travel made sure we packed as much wildlife viewing into our two week stay as possible. 5 days in the Danum Valley at the research field center looking for creatures was definitely the highlight. This Western Tarsier is pretty much the cutest critter in the entire jungle.

We sailed straight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore in 6 days and motored most of the 841 miles. All the AIS targets in Singapore crashed our chartplotter so we had to turn that valuable function off in order to have our electronic chart and radar work.

Our daughter, Corinne, flew to Singapore and sailed with us to Phuket, Thailand. We left Singapore planning to do an overnighter to Admiral Marina to check back into Malaysia and see Melaka but the conditions were ideal so we just kept going all the way to Penang. That was three days further north and another 549 miles. Two days of exploring Georgetown and we were off to the quiet Fjord anchorage in southern Langkawi before tying up in Telaga Harbour Marina for 3 days. Another 84 miles.

We celebrated reaching Thailand with dives at Ko Lipe just north of Langkawi, and snorkelling and kayaking at nearby Ko Adang for a few days. An overnighter with 10 hours of lightning and rounds of torrential rains ended shortly before we turned into the newly remodeled Ao Po Grand Marina. Another 141 miles.

So here we sit, sweltering. What was all the rush for? 3000 miles in two months! We are shipping Tenaya to Antwerp and had to be here the beginning of April. We are tired of being hot, of sweating all the time. Without adventures on land like those we had in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, the tropics no longer entice us. We definitely want to visit Africa but flying makes more sense to us than sailing round that enormous continent.
To see more stories and photos of the places we've visited, or where we'll be going next, go to: www.tenayatravels.com or 'Like' Tenayatravels on Facebook.

Typhoon Haiyan

11 November 2013 | Koror, Palau
Katie
Jim and I were just getting our bearings and settling into seeing other white people and other yachts when an interesting thing shows up on the grib files.

"Oh that blip," Laura on Zen says when we tell her we are headed out to a safe anchorage because of the upcoming weather. She has been here two years and weathered Typhoon Bopha that went through last December. For a split second we question our decision.

Our friends Duncan on Matsu and Brynn at Commander's Weather both send head's up messages to find a safe spot. But Tom on Toucan has already warned us. "That second storm forming looks a lot like Bopha did," he said.

9 miles and almost 2 hours of slow motoring brings us to a stunning, secluded, safe spot in the Rock Islands. We know it only as Anchorage 202. Nobody else is here and there are no houses, roads or tracks ashore.

We drop the anchor and I tie three lines to shore. The anchor is well set because Jim has to put Tenaya into hard reverse several times to give me enough slack to get a line around the windward tree. Our bow is pointing into the SW where the strongest of the forecast winds will come from. We are near the tip of the crooked finger, but far enough out to catch a little breeze.

With all the steep islands around, it is difficult to hold onto a satellite long enough to download new grib files. These are the maps that show wind speed and direction. The windbits (my made-up word) are shaped like arrows with the front pointing the direction the wind is blowing and the feathers showing the speed. One full line is 10 knots. One half line is 5 knots. Add them together to get the wind speed.

Our boat is the green thing near the middle of the circle. The flag on the purple windbit nearest to Tenaya means 50 knots. So that particular windbit shows that 75 knots will be coming over Tenaya shortly. On a scale of one to a shitload, our fear level is about to make our britches bulge.

About 5:00 PM the wind starts to blow from the N. About 7 PM it whistles and starts to rain. By 9 PM it is raining hard and howling, heeling us to port. We're scared. We huddle together on our bed and I make deals with God.

At some point we realize the anchors will hold and we will not crash into the rock wall near the stern. We doze. The wind moves around to the E, SE, S and SW. The boat stops heeling. We are more sheltered now. We sleep.

We wake up because the sun is shining through the hatch. It is plastered with leaves. We unfold ourselves and breathe huge sighs of relief. Haiyan passed in 12 hours instead of 24. It picked up speed and turned N just as it reached Palau so those of us in Koror missed the direct hit. Reports say the eye was over Kayangel about 45 miles north. The typhoon was still forming and would grow to monstrous proportions before it smashed into the Philippines.

Our hearts go out to the throngs of people who lost loved ones, their homes, everything. The devastation is unimaginable, as are the feelings of those who suffered through this horrific event when the wind and water rose to such heights. I know how scared we were in 40+ knots not knowing where it would top out. I can't begin to imagine how they must have felt.

Meeting the Locals

05 September 2013 | Kavieng, Papua New Guinea
Katie Thomsen
The plan was to stop in Kavieng for just a few days. Buy fuel, LPG and more trading goods for the remote islands. Hanging around the biggest town for hundreds of kilometers did not interest us.

Dorothy works in the kitchen of the Nusa Island Retreat near where Tenaya floats, across the channel from town. When I mention I love the carved masks decorating the dining room, she says her father made them. She invites Jim and me to see them in her village. Yippee! We love visiting villages.

Her father is Mundo. He carves masks, dolphins and fish and we buy a sampling of each. When he offers to carve a mask with a long tongue especially for us, I am thrilled and give him a big hug.

On the way back from Panakondo we walk along the shore and meet people whose houses we can see from Tenaya. We ask their permission to anchor in front of their village, explaining it is our home and we appreciate parking our home in their bay. We invite them out to visit and are surprised when say they have never been asked aboard before.

We carry a small 2x3" portable Polaroid printer and offer to print pictures. It is a great way for us to give them something for their hospitality. Everyone is happy!

We have been here two weeks. The people have assured us Tenaya is safe in the small anchorage. Even in town, people are nice. Many say hello before we do. When we ask about arranging to buy 300 liters of diesel, Malcolm says he will find a boat and bring out a 200 liter drum with a pump and cans holding the remaining 100 liters - no need to leave the anchorage. He does so the next day. Again we are surprised he has never been aboard a yacht and invite the three of them to have a look and a cold Coke.

The diving around Kavieng is spectacular! We've taken our PADI Advanced Open Water dive course with Scuba Ventures Kavieng and plan to do more dives with them. We have slow but reliable internet using a dongle. The anchorage is calm and the water is warm. It will be hard to leave Kaveing.

Panapompom Island

05 September 2013 | The Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
Yachties can thank Milia for the warm and gracious welcome we receive at Panapompom. He instilled the culture that locals respect the visitors and their boats. His rules: Do not steal things from boats, offer to trade if you want something. Do not ask for too much. Do not let your canoe touch the yachts. Be polite.

Milia has four children: Noino, Toby, Ishmael and Julie. Noino and Julie are both pastors. Toby is an administrator at the school. Ishmael is the ward councilor. All visited us on Tenaya and told stories of their struggles and accomplishments. They are smart, positive, kind, loving, hard-working people of whom we grew very fond.

We got to know many other bright, friendly people on Panapompom and learned their stories. Neal and Martin worked in the mine at Misima before it closed. Abel and Abel were both teachers and have come back to enjoy their retirement here. Julie is the head teacher at the elementary school and is doing a fantastic job. Wendy is involved with the women's fellowship along with Alice, Elsie, Gwen, Lidia and Keloy. The kids are all adorable. Well, except one that glares with intense eyes and never smiles.

We spent two weeks anchored in the lagoon between uninhabited Nivani Island and Panapompom. We could have stayed months. When the locals found out Jim could fix sewing machines, they carried them from all over the island. We are happy to do what we can to help. People here lack many things we take for granted. Like glue. Often they know how to fix things but don't have the resources. It's amazing how many people a tube of silicone or some epoxy can help!

The people of the Louisiades look forward to visits from yachts. It's the only way they get much needed clothing and supplies. There are no stores and they have no money. But they have delicious fruit to trade and appreciate the opportunity to sell wonderful wood carvings and beautiful baskets.

See our website at www.tenayatravels.com for stories and pictures of our time in Papua New Guinea.

Diseases?

12 August 2013 | Panapompom, Louisiades, Papua New Guinea
Jim Thomsen
Last night I got stung by a mosquito. Today, while fixing a sewing machine, the man asked if we had pain medication. He thinks he has malaria. The name of this island is Panapompom, which means "Island of the Elephantitus disease." On Wednesday we plan to walk across the island to visit the school. Directions: Follow the trail and be careful crossing the river because crocodiles live there. Maybe this explains why we have seen no other cruising boats in these islands?
Vessel Name: Tenaya
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 40
Hailing Port: San Diego, California
Crew: Jim & Katie Thomsen
About:
We bought Tenaya in Holland in 2006 and sailed her to the Med, across to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to New Zealand. In 2012 we circumnavigated New Zealand and went back to Vanuatu, then to Australia. [...]
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Who: Jim & Katie Thomsen
Port: San Diego, California
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