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

The Terrible Truth on Eating Turtles

09 June 2012 | 24 miles from Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. The Caroline Islands.
Just a warning - Some people might find this passage very disturbing

In the 3 weeks we were Fareller Atoll the islanders caught and ate at least 6 large Green Turtles. I have no problem with the consumption of turtle meat providing the particular species is in sustainable supply for the quantities being fished in a given habitat. I believe that this opinion is controversial and not shared by many of my fellow Australians for reasons being that a)'The Turtle' is sort of cute and a symbol of conservation, b) it lives a very long life, and c) has a beacon that allows it to navigate across oceans - and in the case of the female, find the island where it hatched from. I don't see these reasons not to eat a turtle. For example I can think of many species of plant and animal which may deserve attention and conservation status and yet do not because they don't fit into an attractive category. Off the top of my head a species of Grevillea (the species name escapes me now but I think it starts with c), living along Mona Vale Road near the Bahai Temple in Sydney is now threatened since the road was widened many years ago. The local Society for Growing Australian Plants, which I was a member of was unsuccessful in lobbying the government to prevent the road being widened at the time. It is just a spindly plant so who cares? The deep sea orange Roughy (kinmeidai in Japanese) can live to up to 200 years. That does not save them from the fish mongers knife. Salmon, Pigeon and many other species of bird are able to find their own breeding grounds and nests also across oceans or continents but they remain on the menu too. I use these examples as things to invalidate the 3 reasons above for not eating a turtle. I don't understand why they are given such a special status. Of course if you don't fancy eating turtle well that is fine. I have no literature on board Yarramundi, nor access to the WWW presently to look up what the conservation status would be for the local Green Turtle species our island friends were catching. Indeed i n Ogasawara the local Wildlife Agency has decided the population is stable enough to allow for some controlled hunting. Ok, I am getting carried away - and perhaps using Japanese fishing quotas as an example will get me in real trouble. Simply trying to make the point that if the Green Turtle was of status requiring protection then I would argue some conservation methods need to be employed in Micronesia. But other than that I do not have a problem with the hunting and eating of that species of turtle - Or rather did not UNTIL Thursday morning. We knew that there was a graduation ceremony planned for Friday and therefore turtle had to be found. Tuesday night two were captured and they were left on the beach upside down all Wednesday so they would not escape ready to be cooked on Thursday for Friday's ceremony. I can understand the need to keep captured animals alive prior to eating them in a tropical environment with no refrigeration, but two things were most disturbing when it came to these turtles.

One of the turtles was caught as it came up on the beach to lay its eggs. When I asked if they waited till it laid its eggs the response was that the person catching it likes the yolk. It just seems short sigted to not let the thing lay its 200 fertilized eggs before catching it. Especially when the space available on the 3 remaining beaches is disappearing due to rising seas. As we bid farewell on Thursday morning it was a very peaceful scene in the Man's House. The children had given us our marmars. The men who had been so kind to us were all sitting around quietly enjoying their typical comfortable silence. I noticed to the side the turtles covered in various big smoking leaves were being cooked so walked over to have a look and with permission take a photo. In contrast to the peace in the Man's House, the scene was cruel and medieval. After sitting all day and night upside down on the beach wounded, their flippers had been hacked off and they were being baked alive. What was left of their bloody mutilated flippers was moving back and forth. No nerve response. These poor turtles were still very much alive. Their hacked off flippers were being cooked separately as they were left to stew in their own juices as it were. At previous cooking sessions we noticed that the turtles were slaughtered, cut up and then cooked. We can only assume they were being cooked alive to prolong the time until the meat would go off so it would still be ok for Friday's ceremony. I asked one of the men if it was possible to kill them so they would not have to suffer any longer and the expected response was, This is always how we have done it. After what kindness they had extended to us I decided it was not time to stand up for turtle rights. If that is to be the fate of any turtles caught on Faraulep then Jeremiah will be getting no spearheads from me.

I took my photo but it is too terrible to publish it here.

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
6 Photos
Created 24 February 2012
5 Photos
Created 24 February 2012
1 Photo
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.
10 Photos
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.
24 Photos
Created 2 December 2011