Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Mt Etna and Messina Strait

18 July 2011 | Sardinia
Even more windy
Just as we up anchored from Taormina in the half light of 5am, Mt Etna decided to give us a wee taste of what she had in store for about a week later. Just below the crater we spotted red hot lava spurting out into the morning light. It was just dark enough to watch several bursts of lava before we left the bay. Unfortunately for us Mt Etna saved the bigger show for several days after we left.

The Messina strait can be a bit tricky if you don’t get the tide right or there is wind against tide. The Messina Strait separates Sicily from the toe of Italy, at its narrowest it is only about 11/2 miles across. Near Messina whirlpools can develop enough to cause problems for small yachts. As we approached Messina and the narrow part of the journey the wind started to get up and our motor started to hiccup. Now we have had a couple of these incidents since our trip across from Greece to Malta. This was the 3rd time in three weeks Alan had to change the fuel filter. This time was a little more tricky, ferries and ships in our way or were we in their way, not something I wanted to dwell on at the time.. Not a lot of sea room. With the head wind we were motoring without a sail up, so first thing was to put up the main, we turned off the engine and I tacked out into the narrow strait, keeping an eye on the ferries. Changing the filter didn’t take long, thank goodness, and we were soon motoring smoothly past ferries, spada fishing boats and a couple of whirlpools.
The wind died as we turned out of the strait and headed for Volcano Island in the Aeolian Islands. The motor performed well but we knew it was time to deal with the problem properly and clean out the fuel tanks. How and where was the question? We were meeting up with NZers, Selwyn and Joanne from Morning Cloud, it had been over a year since we had seen them. It was good to see them and also get a second opinion from Selwyn, the mechanical whizz, about our fuel problem.

The short story is that we had thought we would go to a marina on the mainland and clean out the tanks. With encouragement from Selwyn we decided to do the main tank while at anchor at Volcano Is. Free anchorage, no huge marina fees and clean water to swim in when the job got too hot. We got the job done in 2 days, still another tank to do but we can shut that off and do it another time. 2 days of the boat and ourselves smelling of diesel was enough for now. We managed to clean ourselves up for shared sundowners and dinner the night before Joanne and Selwyn left for Sardinia. Next meeting we thought would more than likely be in Canary Islands in a few months …..well that’s what we thought!
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ