Zen - family cruising catamaran

Family of 4 sailing from New England to Auckland, New Zealand '08-'10

26 August 2010 | Portsmouth, Rhode Island
27 April 2010 | Rhode Island
05 April 2010 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
24 March 2010 | Portsmouth, RI
19 February 2010 | middle of Pacific Ocean
12 February 2010 | Waiheke Island, NZ
08 February 2010 | Auckland, New Zealand
30 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
26 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
22 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
20 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
17 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
14 January 2010 | Whangarei, New Zealand
08 January 2010 | Los Angeles, CA
07 January 2010 | Newark International Airport
27 December 2009 | Rhode Island, USA
10 December 2009 | New Delhi, India
02 December 2009 | South Island, NZ
13 November 2009 | Whangarei, New Zealand
10 November 2009 | Opua and Kerikeri, New Zealand

Goodbye Tonga

04 October 2009 | Underway to Minerva Reef
Zen has cleared customs, filled the diesel tanks and said her goodbyes to the wonderful Kingdom of Tonga. After staying over 6 weeks, our 2nd longest visit behind 3 months in French Polynesia, a fair weather window opened, giving the green-light to make our long ocean passage to New Zealand via Minerva Reef. There was a wonderful dinner shared by s/v Dosia and Qayak in the harbor of Neiafu, lots of hugs and "see you soons" on the dinghy dock. Both boats will be reuniting with us in NZ later in the season. Zen left town and dropped the hook in a nearby anchorage where I could precook some sea-going meals and Tom could check and recheck all systems before our departure. Krista and Richard on m/v Karma would not let us leave without throwing a proper bon voyage party. They gave us the precious opportunity to spend the evening not only with them, but also with s/v Lovesong: Allen, Kathy and their two sons, Morgan and Wyatt. That was a more emotional goodbye. Lovesong will be staying near the equator, probably the Marshall islands, for cyclone season, never making it to NZ. Karma, fortunately, will see us in early November in Auckland.

It is customary for anchored boats to send off passage-making departing vessels with air horns and any noise-making devices. Sure enough, at 7:30a Lovesong and Karma were honking and snapping pictures while we anxiously waved goodbye and turned Zen away from safe haven and toward the big blue ocean. Mother Nature has been ridiculously kind to us thus far. This notorious journey has spawned many hair-raising novels and launched innumerable search and rescue missions. Our family is beyond grateful to the powers-that-be and to the many high-tech weather sites that help us make such safe family passages. Tommy gets big kudos. He's been studying Australian and NZ weather in detail for a month, watching for patterns. He contracts with a professionals, Commanders Weather Routers, to give us their opinion, before we lift anchor. And finally, other skippers traveling on the same weather window start daily communications and share info over the VHF and SSB radios. All that, and it still manages to change and shift our best laid plans.

Zen has been making 200+ mile days straight for North Minerva Reef, a sailors version of a highway pit stop. Minerva is a circular reef system in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, lying about 400 miles south of Vava'u Tonga and 880 miles north of NZ. It offers great protection from winds/waves, has a nice sandy bottom for anchoring, and boasts terrific diving and spearfishing. So far, the winds are steady from 15-25 knots out of the east, waves are choppy in the 6-9 foot range, and the skies are mostly clear. We even have a beautiful moon to light our path. Originally, Zen was going to stay two nights anchored in Minerva Reef, but it appears weather will allow for only one. The 2nd leg, Minerva to NZ, should be calm with winds clocking to the north, giving us a sleigh ride to our big destination.

On these passages, my body gives in to seasickness brought on by the constant washing-machine effect. Loads of suggested medications and remedies are whispered among first-mates everywhere. But in the end, it simply takes time to become accustomed to this crazy motion where your horizon line continuously bounces in and out of sight. Motion-sickness does not afford me the luxury of reading or even watching videos while underway. What the heck to I do for days on end? Pray. And daydream. I find myself saying the Hail Mary at any moment, for no reason, and without end. It calms me. The daydreams have me shopping in NZ for 'real shoes' (my family cannot walk around in the colder clime of NZ in our current flip-flop gear), redecorating many areas of my land home, and reuniting with family, girlfriends, and our family pet, Harley, many times over in my mind. Cole said yesterday, "I can't believe it is really over." When I asked him, "What is over?" He said, "Our big Pacific journey. New Zealand has always been our goal, and now it's around the corner. It's kind of sad." He's right, for over 10 years, Tom and I have dreamed of sailing our own boat to NZ. But fortunately for Cole and Cammi, we can continue with this family bonding session in the Bahamas and up the East Coast of the US over the next 6-8 months. For now, another chapter is almost coming to its close with NZ under 1,000 miles away.
Vessel Name: Zen
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 48' catamaran
Hailing Port: Newport, RI
Crew: Tom, Monique and Kids
Tom, Monique, Cammi, and Cole. Tom is the CEO/Founder for a high-tech advertising firm, which he just sold to a large US media company, giving us the ability to set sail. [...]
Eight years ago, we sold our advertising company, and left terra firma on our monohull, "Uliad", for a family cruise. As soon as we returned to land, immediately we started planning our 2nd cruise. Here's the continuation of our journey, except this time the kids are active crew members, [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/zen/
Zen's Photos - s/v Zen - family cruising catamaran (Main)
New Zealand, Dockwise, and Florida
82 Photos
Created 14 January 2010
Bangkok, New Delhi, Rhode Island holidays and New Zealand
118 Photos
Created 27 December 2009
Australia & New Zealand
117 Photos
Created 3 November 2009
Tonga and New Zealand
102 Photos
Created 3 September 2009
Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga
86 Photos
Created 9 August 2009
French Polynesia and Cook Islands
113 Photos
Created 28 July 2009
French Polynesia
49 Photos
Created 31 May 2009
Pacific Ocean Passage and French Polynesia
120 Photos
Created 19 May 2009
Panama City to Galapagos
81 Photos
Created 28 February 2009
Panama Canal, Costa Rica and Las Perlas
118 Photos
Created 28 January 2009
Cartagena, Panama, Puerto Rico/US, and Costa Rica
111 Photos
Created 30 December 2008
Autumn sailing
124 Photos
Created 13 September 2008
Where we are sailing in 2008/2009
1 Photo
Created 13 July 2008
Summertime '08
108 Photos
Created 1 July 2008
8 Photos
Created 31 May 2008
Delivery from Maine to Newport summer 2007
15 Photos
Created 27 April 2008
November 2007 - Tom, John and Scott
11 Photos
Created 27 April 2008
American Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands in 2007
358 Photos
Created 27 April 2008