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

20th July Time to leave.

20 July 2007 | Darwin
20th July 2007
Darwin Sailing, Club, Fannie Bay, Darwin.
100 plus boats anchored in the bay, dinghies laden with gas bottles , diesel, water and last minute groceries speed back and forth, last minute internet , washing all done before..............(just been to check my washing) we set off tomorrow for Kupang, Indonesia.
Last Monday 200 cruisers bused or walked into the Crown Plaza Hotel for a briefing afternoon. I am not sure if we are more or less confused about Indonesian protocols now but too late for doubts, customs have cleared us to go, the cruising permit is safely tucked away, the washing has now finished, time for a few cold beers. As with most other boats we are lighter in the pocket and heavier in the boat.
We rented a car for three days, should have been 2 but the rental man talked us into 3 days. We have used it to get groceries, outboard parts, fuel filters, all the last minute things that take time if relying on buses. Yesterday, was a day off, we drove to Kakadu Heritage park. Ticked off some of the must dos here in the "Top end". Stopped and admired termite mounds, good photo opportunity. A croc in the wild was one of the things I wanted to see, not one from a tour boat but a real live wild one. As we drove over the West Alligator river (yes, Alligator in this country of crocodiles) there she was sunning herself in a shallow muddy pool. So we turned around and parked in a conveniently placed park so Alan could have a good look too. The croc stayed long enough for us to have a look then slid down the mud into deeper water until we could just see the tip of her tail and her watchful eyes. The shady trees we parked under were full of squawking cockatoos upset at us for disturbing their morning rest. Several other cars stopped after seeing the croc , the cockatoos set up a real ruckus, the croc slid further into the water, I suspect as a refuge from the noise.
Driving along the straight black highway at 130 kms(the legal speed), not much traffic but acres and acres of trees with the odd termite mound, was quite interesting, for a while. By the time our stomachs indicated it was lunch time we were beginning to wonder if there was anything other than eucalypt trees and patchy burnt grass to see. The visitor centre at Bowali pointed us in the right direction to aboriginal rock paintings and great views from towering rock of the Arnhem rock wall. One of the things we find unusual and perhaps a little sad is the lack of apparent involvement of the indigenous people in the Park, and in fact in anything tourist/ aboriginal related. Art shops stacked to the brim with indigenous art but sold by very white Australians. The ranger taking the guided tours at Nourlangie, talking about the aboriginal rock art was definitely not aboriginal. Not sure where the problem is but it is a great pity that the average tourist only sees the "street" aboriginals, not a good look.
Many people ask us what we do all day, we always manage to fill our day somehow. Fuelling up last Tuesday is a good example of a day spent in this cruising lifestyle. We were booked in at Cullen Bay marina for fuel at 12 midday. Alan filled in the morning in servicing the outboard, the one that stopped going leaving us a mile to row against the tide, I wrote the last blog entry. 11.30 came around very quickly, by the time we took off the spring, bought up the anchor dolly then the anchor we were starting to run a little late. Alan decided to take a bit of a short cut( not wise on a falling tide) until the depth sounder started to drop alarmingly, quick decision to head further out, deep water again. Motoring towards the fuelling wharf we noticed another yacht tying up, there had been a double booking, so we tie up and wait. Only one fuel pump. Russell takes quite a time to fill up, we decide to fill up with water. Only one hose and it's a rubber fire hose squirting forth rubber tasting water. Three weeks of drinking rubber water was not an option so we found another tap at the top of the ramp. No hose and too far for our hose, many trips up and down the ramp with water jugs slowly filling our tanks. Full water tanks but very sore calf muscles for the next two days. Eventually we get to fill up with diesel and petrol, by this time it is virtually low tide only 2 metres left at the entrance to the wharf area. We draw 1.9m so we decide to wait, an hour after low we try to leave, the sand still bars our way, tie up back at the wharf to wait the tide. Another half hour the depth sounder has risen enough we think to get out and back to Fannie Bay. Holding our breath we skim over the sand 0.2m to spare into 3m then 10m. 4.30 back at Fannie Bay, finding a gap closer in this time. The last 7 metre tide this month was in the morning so we can move in closer to the beach, not as close as some catamarans, taking advantage of the flat beach they dry out for a few tides. We are anchored, cold drink in hand at 5pm saying, "Is that the time? "Where has the day gone?"
Talk to you from Kupang.
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