05 July 2014 | Port Vila and surrounds
20 June 2014 | Nguna and Port Havannah, Efate, Vanuatu
12 June 2014 | Port Vila, Efate
11 June 2014 | Port Havannah, Efate, Vanuatu
03 June 2014 | Port Vila, Efate
29 May 2014 | Erromango, Vanuatu
23 May 2014 | Tanna - Vanuatu
22 May 2014 | Aneityum, Vanuatu
17 May 2014 | Anatom, Vanuatu
16 May 2014 | On Passage 8
15 May 2014 | On passage 7
14 May 2014 | On passage 6
14 May 2014 | On passage 5
12 May 2014 | On passage 4
12 May 2014 | On Passage 3
12 May 2014 | On Passage 2
Home based adventures
03 February 2022
Barbara Graves | Wet!!
So...we came home and had a great reunion with Angus. He was in fine fettle and full of tales of his training and travels. He's certainly learning lots. We all got involved with helping convert an old sail into a shade sail for his campervan, which looks like it will be a great addition. We also caught up with a few folk and did some of our favourite local walks, including the Kaituna and Farewell Spit, gathered mussels from the shore and enjoyed being at home.
We took the heat exchanger off the engine again and sent it away to get some more TLC, with a bit of a longer timeframe than the last, rushed job. Hopefully this will be a permanent fix. I had an infection that has now cleared up and we took the opportunity to get our Covid booster shots and a much needed haircut for me (mullet no more).
We are now in the midst of a weather event. Tropical rain has arrived and we have had 200mm of rain so far. No flooding here, as the ground was so dry, it has sucked it all up. We are hopeful that some of our recently planted trees will recover as they were struggling in the heat when we got home. We did a bit of a clean up and plant in the garden ahead of the rain. We have also done more adventuring from home - up the trap line beyond the Kaituna (amazing scenery - see gallery), several swims in several rivers, walks on the beach and even lunch out.
We are keen to get back to the boat and continue our adventures, but a very unsettled weather pattern may see us having land-based adventures for a little while longer.
23 January 2022 | Goose winged between Separation Point and Tarakohe
Barbara Graves | Hot, hot and sunny!
We left Waikawa Bay and motored out beyond the Beef Barrels. Simon had identified a likely fishing spot from the chart and we quickly caught two large blue cod and a sea perch. We kept the two cod and put the perch back. It almost felt like going to the fish shop. 'Fish for two for dinner please'. Certainly! Within 5 mins we had the fish in the fridge and were heading on into Tasman Bay.
We motor sailed for a bit, then had a cracking sail with full sail and as the wind increased, we reefed all sails. Tuarangi's Redningskoite (Norwegian Sailing Rescue Craft) heritage came to the fore and drove us through 30+ knts of wind and a lumpy sea into the lee of Tonga Island and our chosen anchorage of Onetahuti. Slightly damp, we anchored, cleaned up and enjoyed a yummy dinner of blue cod, our own potatoes and beans.
We left fairly early today to catch a forecast Easterly wind that never really materialised and motored to Separation Point. From there we were able to goose-wing the Main and Mizzen and head onto Tarakohe at 5 knts. We were more than delighted to be joined for half an hour or so, by four endangered Hector's Dolphins -a mum and calf and two others. They kept up with us, swapping sides of the boat. It was such a treat.
Alongside in Tarakohe for a clean up and unload and then back out to our mooring. We left the boat with mixed feelings. Excited to catch up with Angus tomorrow, happy to have the trappings of home (carpet, a bed you can get out of both sides of and hot running water), but sad to leave our boat life which we have settled well into. Not done adventuring for sure!
22 January 2022 | Heading towards French Pass
Barbara Graves | Hot and sunny
As we are still fairly local, we've decided to head home for a few days to catch up with Angus, who is home on leave for a couple of weeks having been in the UK since April. We are loving being out on the water and will head back out again after a catch up, some laundry and hopefully a haircut for me (sporting a rather unattractive mullet at the moment).
We had another night in Snug Cove. As we were having our cup of tea first thing, we heard a cough very close to the boat. There are lots of people using StandUp Paddle Boards and we thought someone had come over to say hello. However, it was a seal, who spent the next half hour rolling and scratching himself around the boat. A very entertaining breakfast companion! We had a good sail around to Admiralty Bay and then a drift down toward French Pass, awaiting the scheduled time to transit. Once again we were there exactly on time and once again we were against the tide...ho hum.
We anchored in a really nice little spot in Waikawa Bay on the Tasman Bay side of the pass. It was very sheltered and we fell asleep to the sounds of sky larks and the occasional baa of a sheep. A bit of a change from the bush sounds of cicadas, tuis, bellbirds and night time ruru that we have become used to.
Thanks to Karen and Brian for help with our home coming!
Hopefully it will only be a few days before we are back to watery adventuring.
19 January 2022
Barbara Graves | Very hot and breezy!
Having sailed in the Nelson Tasman region for over 12 years, this is the first time that we have explored Pelorus Sound. It’s incredible! We’ve had some of the best sailing we have ever had, stayed in some beautiful anchorages and done some lovely walks ashore. Our new headsail allows us not only to point closer to the wind, but to actually sail when we are there. Today we tacked out of World’s End (yes, it is actually called that - we have been to the ends of the earth…) and were easily making 5 knts and more in about 7 knts of wind. It’s bliss. It is also great for downwind sailing and we were goose-winged coming across Tawhitinui Reach, again at 5-6 knots. The Sounds reminded us of the varied winds as we headed down Popoure Reach with gusts well in excess of 30 knts from several different directions in quick succession. We had decided to check out Te Mara resort in Wilson’s Bay and almost gave up on it, due to the constant wind shifts. However, we got a favourable shift and headed in and onto a mooring. The moorings at the resort were being checked and the one we came onto had been re-laid only a couple of hours earlier. We were picked up and taken ashore where we had a nice dinner and a look around the accommodation and facilities.
Since our last blog, our chart plotter log has clicked through the 10000nm mark. We re-set this before our big trip in 2014 and it had already got 3500nm on it then. With the sailing we did prior to installing the chart plotter, we have probably sailed around 15000nm in Tuarangi. We realised the other day that most of these miles have had deadlines attached to them. Having to be places for occasions, or back by Sunday or even to work back from the Wooden Boat Festival, dictating times for departing the places we visited along the way. This trip we have none of that pressure. We can sail where and when we want, looking at the tides and forecast. If we want to stay we can and we are loving it. It took us a little while to get back into the rhythm of being at sea, but we are all in our happy place.
Our thoughts go out to the people in Tonga. Listening to the marine weather forecasts relating to this and to Cyclone Cody we are very content to be where we are.
Cyclones, Tsunamis and Southerlies
15 January 2022
A quick post to say all well on board. Amazingly we heard/felt the sonic boom of the Tongan earthquake while at anchor in the Marlborough Sounds yesterday… 1200 nm away. With all of the events in this blog title impacting the coastal waters of NZ, we won’t be heading anywhere fast. Currently tucked up in Snug Cove in hot sunshine and calm seas.
12 January 2022
Barbara Graves | Overcast and cooler
A few days since I wrote up the blog. We had a lovely couple of days in Mistletoe Bay. We did a very hot walk to Lookout Point on the Queen Charlotte track. There were a few people walking and a few more cycling, but only 1 person carrying a pack. Maybe the others were day walkers like us, or taking advantage of the luggage transfer service from point to point. Some stunning views (see gallery). On Monday we headed into Waikawa Marina. It is a huge place (and getting huger - as another 250 berths are being constructed). We found our place and checked on. Facilities not nearly as nice as Picton, but we were grateful for a space. Having been told that the local marine services would be able to do the work, this turned out not to be the case. Simon took the heat exchanger off the engine and Rose kindly loaned us a car so we could take it to Radiator Services in Blenheim. Long story short, Tony managed to find the leak and fix it over a couple of days. Rose kindly left us the car and we also caught up on lots of other maintenance jobs. I did lots of internal painting, while Salty Simon did some serving of the rigging, replaced the leather on the bobstay, changed the oil in the engine and then reassembled it once we had picked up the heat exchanger. Hooray for Simon who has it running really well. The days were very hot and we were glad of a shower at the end of each day. Shopping and laundry completed the chores and we were ready to head out again.
Woke today to a strong South Easterly. Simon skilfully reversed the boat out of our spot and we were soon heading out into Queen Charlotte Sound. We had chosen to go to Casey Bay, which had a hand written note in or guide book that said that it was good holding in most winds. We arrived to find two yachts anchored on a lee shore and a screaming wind. We motored across to the other side of the bay and hoisted our double reefed mainsail and our staysail and headed back out. It was so gusty, a couple of gusts over 40knts, ripping the tops off the waves. Simon got a good soaking from the spray. A fast sail down Grove Arm and we are now happily at anchor with another few boats in Governor’s Bay. It was a busy morning with breakfast in stages! Winds in the South for the next few days and the remains of a cyclone currently up north to keep an eye on.
Remembering what living on board is about. A mix of chores and explores. We are loving the Sounds and glad to be back out of the marina.