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

Zen arrives in Tuamotus

25 April 2009 | Makemo Atoll, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
Monique and Tom
Tuamotus (too-ah-moh-toos), nicknamed centuries ago, the Dangerous Archipelago, for their navigational challenges to sailors, are also dangerously beautiful. We arrived on Wednesday, after a smooth ride from the Marquesas, 470 miles in 58 hours, averaging 8.1 knots. This island chain consists of 77 atolls, strewn like confetti across the Pacific, covering 1500 km, with pearl cultivation and copra as their main economy. An atoll is a coral ring, only a few feet above sea level, that once had a large mountain in the center, which has since sank deep into the ocean eons ago, leaving behind a lagoon. These big circles have a natural cut, where boats can enter the central lagoon. Some of the "O" is underwater and some is above water. On the outside, it's 3000 feet deep, on the inside it's flat calm, with constant wind and about 30-100 foot depths, making for picture-perfect anchorages. Normally, you cannot see the other side of the "O" because they are so wide. Makemo, the atoll we are anchored in, is 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. Zen arrived at the opening of the pass at 3:00pm. The tide charts said high tide was at 2:50pm so we hoped there wouldn't be too much current in our face. It looked intimidating and dangerous as we entered. There were raging four foot waves on the outside, so we took it slow at first to see which way it was running...it was not obvious just by looking at it. The pass looked like a white water river and we almost bailed out but once in the thick of it we found a pretty mellow 3kt counter current. The white water only lasted about 300 yards and then mellowed to a 2 foot chop. So, we blasted the engines and ran straight into the onslaught. The bows swerved around a bit, but we were able to stay in the middle of the 150 yard pass with some careful steering (Monique was at the helm, Tom was watching the chart plotter, kids were eyeballing the reefs). The underwater reefs were very obvious and the route to the anchorage was marked well with buoys. Two other cruising boats were here, both sitting flat in the water next to the village. After a warm chat on the VHF, we hitched a ride into town w/Alene and Bruce from s/v Migration (www.brucebalan.com/migrations). The islanders could not be nicer. They were celebrating the annual arrival of the Bishop from Tahiti, coming to deliver First Communion to the village children. The spectacle of song, flowers and tradition was gorgeous. After a tour around town, consisting of a few neat and tidy blocks, I invited the cruisers for a pot luck on Zen. We feel fortunate to have found so many kindred spirits during our journey. Our closest cruising friends are laid-back, easy going, self-assured individuals, all ecstatic to be out here enjoying culture, the sea and the sailing life. Bruce and Alene are right up there on our list, and after the multiple evenings of pot lucks and laughter, our sides were hurting from huge belly-laughs. As it turns out, Bruce is one of our favorite children's book authors. He wrote a book titled, "Buoy", which was Cammi and Cole's all-time cherished bedtime story. Needless to say, they bonded w/our kids at a very special level and when saying goodbye this morning, we all blew our pit-tubas in song, promising to overlap again. A pit-tuba, by the way, is a gift Migration gave to Zen, it's a tube that runs from your mouth to your arm-pit, where blowing through it, gives a nice, deep, tonal fart sound. Hysterical!! Sometimes fate plays a role in the people we cross paths with. This morning, Migration sailed out the pass we sailed through only a few short days ago. Migration is heading north to the Marquesas. Zen is sailing west to the Societies. But both boats will traverse the Cooks, Fiji and Tonga before arriving in New Zealand this autumn. We hope our tracks crisscross again, because finding friendship is the jewel of this family adventure. (P.S. And speaking of friendship, the lei I am wearing was given to me in the grocery store as an improptu gift from a local mom. It's fragrant gardenias are filling the boat w/tropical aroma, reminding us of the natives' never-ending generosity.)
Comments
Vessel Name: Zen
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 48' catamaran
Hailing Port: Newport, RI
Crew: Tom, Monique and Kids
About:
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. [...]
Extra:
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/
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