Adventures on Yarramundi

27 October 2012
22 August 2012 | Trinity Inlet, Cairns
17 August 2012 | Cairns Harbour
16 August 2012 | 14 56.8653'S:148 11.3993'E, The Coral Sea
15 August 2012 | 14 14.19156'S:149 5465'E, The Coral Sea
14 August 2012 | 13 12.0330'S:150 26.6810'E, Still in PNG Waters, Coral Sea
14 August 2012 | 70 miles north east of Australian Waters, Coral Sea
13 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, The Coral Sea
13 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, Solomon Sea
12 August 2012 | N 'N:E 'E, Solomon Sea
11 August 2012 | 'N: 'E, Solomon Sea
10 August 2012 | N N'N:E E'E, Solomon Sea - South of Deep Planet
09 August 2012 | 'N: 'E, Solomon Sea
09 August 2012 | Blanche Bay 4 miles from Rabaul
08 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
07 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
06 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club
05 August 2012 | Rabaul Yacht Club

Crew inducted into Pagan society after successful initiation hunt

11 April 2012 | Pagan Island, Northern Marianas
Induction into Pagan society following successful initiation hunt

We arrived and anchored at Pagan at around 6pm local time Tuesday night. We put out the spare anchor and also the small dinghy anchor at the stern. Andrew cooked most of what was left of our remaining vegetable and meat into a pasta sauce and we enjoyed one of Richardfs wines. We were both in our bunks by 8. We woke to find ourselves actually in the shadow of the plumes from Mt Ragan, an active volcano. I slept a full 12 hours with occasional breaks to check we had not moved in the night. It was our first good sleep following 4 nights of 3 hours shifts and it was a little hard to get the body going again. 2 espressos and dive off the back of the boat soon helped solve that problem. We had anchored over jet black sand and the blue water created a surreal marine environment ? clear but yet dark and not a fish in site. The water here is 31 degrees C.

The inflatable dinghy which I reclaimed from the garbage at Shimoda Boat Service was inflated and I prepared to row to shore to tie a line from the boat around a coconut tree to secure us while we spent the day exploring the island. I was not going to have us marooned in case something happened to the anchor. As the wind was blowing from the shore I decided to row out first, tie the line on, and then row back letting it out as I went. We grossly underestimated the distance and also the tangled state of our longest line which had never been used. I got ashore, tied up to a tree and then spent 30 minutes running up and down the beach trying to untangle the 60 metre rope. Andrew filled in his time filling up the tanks from our jerry cans. I then rowed back pulling both the 60 metre rope, and another 20 metres of strong floating nylon chord. Being way short Andrew searched for every spare rope we had and we finally made the distance with some snorkelling being required to get eve rything joined up after what probably took an hour.

Watching all this probably comical activity from the south end of the beach was a man in black shorts. I decided to pack a 6 pack of beer as a potential gift. As we approached the shore he started to walk toward us and I jumped from the dinghy to swim ahead to greet him while Andrew took care of tying things up securely.

Frank, gmy second nameh gave us a big smile and handshake and said welcome. He was in his late 20fs, wore a pig tusk necklace a warrior like tattoo, one home made sandal (which reminded me of the joke about Jimmy) and a big smile. I reached back for the beer and handed it to him to which he said, gGreat, thanks....err, do you like crabh? Not knowing what that could entail I smiled and said, ewe need to be leaving this afternoonf. Frank than walked us past a large lake to the village where his two brothers and sister in-law live. Almost the only vegetation on this part of the island were casuarina trees and a carpet of blechem ferns with the occasional coconut tree. Frank said that here acid rain kills most else. Acid rain?!

They are now the only inhabitants of Pagan. Itfs 100 residents were evacuated, gincluding the mayorh in 1981 when the active volcano erupted. Frankfs eldest brother Sandy was the first to return 8 years ago. Frank returned 5 years later and Chris who just finished a tour of duty as a marine in Okinawa, Iraq and most recently Afghanistan arrived on island 3 months ago. He admitted to be in a constant state of culture shock these last few years.

As we walked the 20 minutes to the village, Frank retrieved his machete from a tree and pointed out various features of the island include many WW2 remnants and where some of his relatives had lived. He told us that we were the first boat to visit this year and only 3 visited last year. As we walked we noticed large animal bones every so often on the path. He explained that his wife is currently living on Saipan with their son and is studying criminology. He then went on to explain that he was born in California as his mother is a good family woman and she moved from Pagan to be closer to her brother on the mainland when he was admitted into federal prison. I did not yet know what to make of these Paganfs. Andrew was quick to point out that his backpack contained some apples for them and also a satellite phone (so we can call for help if need be)!

We arrived at the village to find a menagerie of mangy dogs, about 10 white spotted black ducks, several wild pigs in a pen, goats tied to trees, a chicken who was not scared of fighting off the dogs to protect her chicks, a one legged pigeon and a very thin cow. We met the other brothers and were presented with a rather large live crab, thanked for the beer which they proceeded to drink with great joy. I was proud that from the time I worked on Saipan with Shimizu I could remember some Chamorro words? including some swear words to their amusement. They showed us around the evillagef ? how they collected water, where they generated power, their communal kitchen. The place was both littered with and decorated with animal bones, skulls, tusks and crab shells. I noticed that crab claws were used as utensil hooks in the kitchen.

Andrew and I then explored the immediate area looking at two Japanese shrines and translating what we could of the inscriptions, going for a swim and chilling out Pagan style. The dogs were in a terrible state and we discussed applying some of our medicine to their wounds. One had a terrible gash where it had been tusked by a large boar. The bothers insisted they would be ok with the local medicine of dirt.

We asked where the airstrip was and were invited to join a pig hunt which would go by the strip, a zero one fighter, a B22 bomber and some bunkers. We eagerly agreed and so did the dogs once they realized what was going on.

After a tour of the WW2 relics we reached some small caves in the side of a hill and the hunt began with no weapons. The dogs in no time had flushed out a fully grown aggressive sow and seemed ready to take her down. The brothers however were after her piglets. One by one the week old things panicked and came out of the cave. The dogs still focused on the ferocious mother pig did not see the little ones and several times ran over them as they played dead. They did not escape Sandyfs eye who yelled commands in Chamorro to his 2 brothers to get them. Andrew and I thought this was suicide given the mother was right there. Before long 3 were captured and a 4th ran straight toward Andrew who did not hesitate for a moment to leap on it exclaiming, ejust like rugbyf. With our initiation complete we were now part of the clan as they started to joke about our ecrikeyf, accents ? goh crikey, there is a snake in the grass over there mateh. As we walked back with the catch, we wer e told that the most dangerous animals on the island were the cows and that we should climb a tree if confronted. They did not agree with Andrew that a Crocodile Dundee stare would work. (The hunt and Andrewfs brilliant tackle all captured on video to be upload to utube first opportunity).

The brothers raise their animals and about twice a year have them delivered by ship to Saipan for sale. They are very proud of their island and love their lifestyle which is not as remote as it initially seemed. When we asked why some of the dogs were called Hector, Troy and Avatar Frank gave a big smile and said, eSandy has a laptop and we have some moviesf! eBut we can only watch them when it is sunny, the solar panels donft work when it is raining.

It was getting on so we explained we would go back, cook up the crab and return by boat in front of the village to give them some more fruit.

I can have an allergic reaction to crustaceans so nervously tackled the huge thing. It was so big actually it would not fit in our pot so we had to cook it in halves. After dinner we hauled up the anchors and made for a mooring in front of the village. As we did so it started to rain. gAndrew, are your eyes stingingh? gYeaph gFrankfs acid rain! From the volcanoh!

The brothers wasted no time kayaking out to us as we attached Yarramundi to their mooring. We presented them with another 6 pack ? this time a cold one - and a couple of dozen oranges, mandarin and apples in gratitude for their tour of the island. We should hands very warmly and they paddled back quickly as it was getting dark. We were told next time to tell the mayors office on Saipan that we are coming and they would arrange esomething greatf for us. We rested for a couple of hours, washed off the acid rain and departed around 10pm. What a great place and such friendly inhabitants ? all 4 of them. Would have loved to have stayed a few days and explored the island and live Pagan style for a while.

We are now on our way to Saipan and expect to pulling in around 8am local time Friday. I was lucky to have the sunrise watch this morning and it was a magnificent cloudy red one. This is now Andrewfs last leg so it is a bit sad. It has been great starting and sharing this first part of the journey to Australia with him. We are an excellent team. He has hinted about getting more leave to join other parts of the journey.

Vessel Name: Yarramundi
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Espace 990 33 feet
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: David Devlin
Extra: Yarramundi now lies in Mooloolaba and is occasionally sailed with my son. I do plan to evenutally get her to Sydney.
Yarramundi's Photos - Main
Andrew and I don’t think he is human – probably some Viking god who has came back to earth for a visit. He setup a vodka distribution business in 22 countries and sold it to Diageo retiring at the age of 32. He spent the following 2 years designing and building his 56 foot $6 million boat and has been sailing it for the last 6 years. He sails alone and has been everywhere – including Antarctica. Neither of us have seen anything like the boat – The interior is like an upmarket modern Scandinavian apartment, it has every convenience imaginable (both domestic and maritime), and the outside with it’s teak and stainless steel looks like it just came out of a show room. We certainly did not see Bart cleaning it so are convinced it has been blessed. Or he has some little helpers stowed away somewhere and they come out at night and clean it. In fact we did not see Bart do anything else accept hang around and be cool until he left. He does not use a motor. Despite being in the corner of the harbour he untied his huge floating bachelor pad himself and used only the wind to turn the corner and sail out. We motored out to wave him off and even at full throttle could not keep up. He is off to Kyushu and then Hokkaido where he plans to stay for about a year skiing and photographing the wildlife. He had a coffee table book on board. It was of his boat and it’s Antarctic adventures. Of course he would. Very cool guy - we were privileged to meet him in Chichijima, have dinner with him a couple of times and tour his boat. David
7 Photos
Created 6 April 2012
42 Photos
Created 5 April 2012
37 Photos
Created 3 April 2012
Yarramundi is now provisioned with 400 litres of water, 350 litres of diesel, 60kgs of rice and pasta, hundreds of cans of soup, spam, sauces etc to make up more than 800 meals. She is leaning a bit to port side so we will have to do some rearrangement of the contents before taking off on Sunday March 25.
1 Photo
Created 21 March 2012
Weather permitting Yarramundi will depart Shimoda, Japan on March 25 for Saipan on her first leg to Sydney. Following that we will sail to Chuuk (Truk) via Guam, then Honiara, Cairns and onto Sydney visiting many of the remote atolls of the Caroline and Solomon Islands.
1 Photo
Created 5 March 2012
10 Photos
Created 5 March 2012
I've been lucky to have my sister Maria and cousins Holly, Adam, Liam and his wife Zoe visit Japan and sail on Yarramundi
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Created 24 February 2012
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Created 24 February 2012
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Created 22 February 2012
Why is it that every winter I've seem have had to dive below the boat to fix or retrieve something?
4 Photos
Created 22 February 2012
Yarramundi has been taken to Seabornia Marina on the west side of the Muira Penninsula for some major work. We made it in record time within one day thanks to the 30knot wind from the north but little thanks to George who fell asleep at the helm.
5 Photos
Created 22 February 2012
A few friends visited Yarramundi on Seijin no Hi (coming of age day) while she was in Tokyo Bay. A brief sail was followed by a turkey lunch.
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Created 20 January 2012
People who have helped fit-out and maintain Yarramundi
7 Photos
Created 26 December 2011
From Shimoda to Wakayama and Mie Prefectures - a 12 day trip with 3 other yachts from TSPS.
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Created 2 December 2011