World Cruising 2014

07 July 2014 | Port Denarau, Viti Levu
07 July 2014 | Island hopping the South Pacific
24 April 2014 | Tahiti
17 February 2014 | Shelter Bay Marina, Panama
12 February 2014 | Another 750 miles down
04 February 2014 | Villa Vera, Isla Mujeres
01 February 2014 | Villa Vera, Isla MujeresT
21 January 2014 | Isla Mujeres
14 January 2014 | Seabrook Marina
03 January 2014 | Kemah, Texas

Fiji

07 July 2014 | Port Denarau, Viti Levu
Tigs
From Tonga, the leg to Fiji. Landfall in Savusavu after a few days of confused seas. A seven hour chicken bus coastal bus ride to Labasa where we stayed overnight in their best hotel, which had a pool and a degree of comfort. The next day the bus journey was through the mountainous interior of the island and back to the harbour. After a few days we buddy boated with Laurie and Russ aboard Nexus to the South Eastern part of Vanua Levu where we had a sociable time with those in the anchorage at Jack Taylor's home. The following day we dived with Dolphin Bay Diving School from Viani Bay to the white wall. The dive was interesting with a series of underwater tunnels. We joined Nexus to the garden island of Taveuni the next day for an island tour to the waterfalls and had a breakdown enroute in the minibus which added to the experience. The island of Kioa next which has an interesting history. Onto Suva to explore the capital of the mainland Viti Levu for a few days. The usual first world fast food chains are to be found here alongside a blend of Indian and Polynesian cuisine. A day sail from Suva to Yasuni island where we walked on the beach and snorkelled. The deadline to be in Port Denarau for a haulout. Once completed, we took off for a five day motorcycle trip around the island of Viti Levu with a homestay on the North Eastern village of Nokunoku where the children had never seen white faces, a night in an Eco lodge and a night of sleeping in a forest. The interior area is very mountainous and wooded. From the South coast we followed the river through the area known as the Salad Bowl where the fruit and vegetables are grown.

Safely back in Port Denaroa we sailed to Musket Cove on the island of Malolo for the send off parties. The fleet started to fill the marina and anchorage and a couple of parties celebrated good times with good friends. On the morning of 4 July, Thanksgiving Day, I took the Malolo Cat back to Port Denaroa at 9am as the fleet was departing for Tanna, Vanuatu. For myself I'm renting a house until the tall ship Alvei arrives from which I'm doing voluntary work in the Yasawa Islands.

Since Papeete

07 July 2014 | Island hopping the South Pacific
Tigs
I was fortunate enough to be invited to crew aboard Andromeda from Taina Marina in Papeete. The Grand Soleil is owned by Jorge from Spain and is part of the 2014 World ARC rally - a 15 month circumnavigation by a fleet of about 40 boats. My Spanish is restricted to pleasantries and Jorge's English equally limited so it wasn't ideal. We sailed to Raiatea and Tahaa and enjoyed a couple of superb social events. Onto Bora Bora where I joined a German boat called Polaris, also on the ARC Rally to Tonga. The owner Michael has a good command of English and he had aboard two German girls whose English was fluent but sailing skills non-existent. Between us we safely sailed to Tonga with much hand steering aboard his lightweight 47' Hanse which was lost in 20 knots of wind to an autopilot which veered off at right angles from the track! In Tonga Michael was heading South to Tongatapu to collect family and friends which would have made me crew number 7 which I felt would be cramped so at the invitation of the owners of Alpheratz, I joined the boys from Maine (Thomas, Bradley and James) aboard their Swan - also rally participants. We sailed to the remote and deserted island of Suwarrow for a few days, onto Nuie, followed by the Vavau Islands in Tonga. In each of these places we explored the islands on paddleboard, with scuba tanks, by motorbike and on foot. A truly fantastic time meeting some fascinating characters everywhere we went.

Safe arrival in Papeete

24 April 2014 | Tahiti
Tigs
5000 miles under the keel in 4 weeks has taken us from Panama to Papeete which is the capital of Tahiti via Hiva Oa .... called in for a few hours to clear customs and failed! Left Panama in a huge hurry after a problem off the island of Taboga near the Canal Zone on the Pacific side.

It has been a long passage and quite tiring. A lot of repairs needed onboard - the generator being the priority. I will leave Dances with Dragons here for my onward journey through the South Pacific islands.

Panama Canal Transit

17 February 2014 | Shelter Bay Marina, Panama
Tigs
Erick, the local canal agent has given us the date to transit the canal as this Friday. A few days to continue to fix the issues encountered so far - too many to name here!!! An electronics expert is coming at lunchtime and hope he can work his magic with the radar and wind instruments - neither of which are currently operational and which are needed for the passage.

Bocas Del Toro arrival

12 February 2014 | Another 750 miles down
Tigs
Five hours short of five days from Isla Mujeres to Bocas passage. The forecast had been for light winds but before long 15-20 knot winds and averaged 6 knots overall with only 39 engine hours. A brief stop to do laundry and clear customs before heading for the Chagres river to experience the sheer natural beauty of that area and onto Shelter Bay Marina to await the measurement inspector who will size us up for the canal transit. Watch this space!

Splashed!

04 February 2014 | Villa Vera, Isla Mujeres
Tigs
Dances with Dragons was back in the water mid morning yesterday after a toxic but worthwhile 12 day boatyard experience.  The sanding took the hull back to the gel coat, then on with two coats of barrier (primer) followed by two coats of antifouling.  A huge task by all accounts.  A major clean up on arriving back at Marina Paraiso only to find the water pressure so low that it was little more than a sprinkle - inefficient at best.  Continuing with that today - blue paint particles are ingrained in any surface capable of becoming ingrained below and above deck.  Anywhere else in the world a curtain of plastic sheeting from the deck to the ground would have been hung to contain this but in Mexico neither the environment nor lung functions of the workforce are considered, I suspect.  What a bad situation ... the proximity of a marine nature reserve means nothing in terms of the environment impact of an industrial venture with toxic runoff.

Provisioning today plus the tidy up and clearing out of Mexico.  Clearing customs in Panama at Bocas del Toro as Colon is to be avoided at all costs .... it has an ugly reputation for a high incidence of crime and in 2008 I knew of shootings and muggings near the marina.  The one day sail to Shelter Bay Marina allows our agent to get the ball rolling on the paperwork for our transit of the canal, which can take up to two weeks of awaiting a suitable slot.  Running two weeks late so far which will put us under pressure to keep moving through the Pacific - as always, time is ticking.
Vessel Name: Dances with Dragons
Vessel Make/Model: Camper & Nicholson
Hailing Port: Kemah, Texas
Crew: Tigs
About: Tigs will be circumnavigating for the second time from January 2014. Her last 'go round' was 2008-2013 and she is looking forward to revisiting favourite places along the way as well as discovering new ones.
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Dances with Dragons's Photos -

World Cruising 2014

Who: Tigs
Port: Kemah, Texas