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

Hold the Presses...Paradise Found

02 July 2009 | Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Every sail, except the storm jib, was pulled out and used on our 500 mile passage from Bora Bora to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. First, we drove the boat south with the hopes of making the passage more comfortable. It was a ruckus ride with 25 knots of wind and 15 foot confused seas, plus a southeast swell. Fortunately, the moon was out to light our way and there were barely any squalls. Next, we took a right heading due west, put up the code-zero, a large roller furled head sail, and started flying towards our destination. Finally, the wind came from directly behind us and we needed to douse the code-zero and hoist the spinnaker. At this point, the waves were down to 8-footers and were almost totally behind us. Billabong has nothin' on us, we were surfing from 13 to 17 knots with ease. Kids were chanting and we were doing the "Margie Polynesian Cowgirl" sign (swing your arm around over your head like you are going to lasso one of these curlers)! Wow, it still amazes us what an ocean catamaran can do. The arrival time was critical and at the end of our 2.5 day passage, we had to rush to get into the little pass of this atoll before the daylight closed us down.

Drew and Margie from Dosia, a couple that keeps us laughing hysterically while dishing out their comedy in their southern drawls, were already here and in their dinghy ready to help us navigate the shallow pass in the low light of the setting sun. The pass at Aitutaki is not like any pass we have navigated before. It's a quarter mile long by 40-feet wide by 6 feet deep. It's marked with old rusty rods. The only way to discern the entrance was the breaking waves as the tide rushed out through the only break in the reef. One monohull was stuck in the pass due to a miscalculation of depth. Would we be able to negotiate Zen past her or would it be too tight? We are light, but fat, if that makes sense. It all worked out, the sun stayed up just long enough to see the 6-foot depths. Drew grabbed our stern anchor, putting it in his dinghy and setting it off our back side, while we sidled Zen into her stable between Dosia and a French/German aluminum boat. It was parallel parking in paradise. The coral heads you see in the picture were all around us. You have to pick a patch of sand and commit to it or your paint job is going to be tattooed quick. With the anchors down and the current ripping past, we all sat down for Zen's Burn Down the Barn Chili and Dosia's Drop Dead Brownies.

The next day brought new light on the anchoring situation. Our sterns were sitting too far in the channel. Local tour boats were going to be ticked off and could clip it. We knew we had to move. After some reconnaissance in the dinghy and a trip up the mast to see the depths of the waters, Zen pulled out of the barn and moved to her own little lake. Drawing only 3.5 feet, we went into a small bay off the main channel. It could fit 2 boats at the most. Due to many coral heads, we had to use a stern anchor again to ensure the boat didn't swing around. When we went into Customs and Immigration they said, "Oh, you're Zen! Nobody has anchored in your spot." Tommy asked, "Are we the first of the season to anchor there?" "No, you are the first EVER to anchor there. Good spot!" The rest of our exploration of Aitutaki followed the same perfect path. We stumbled upon a picture perfect beach wedding, with grass skirt clad flower girl. As the white dressed bride floated up in the traditional flower covered South Pacific canoe, a small crowd of onlookers gathered to bear witness to their romantic vows as the sun set. We cheered when they kissed and the newlyweds held high their champagne glasses in a toast to the impromptu guests. It got Tommy thinking about how we can renew our vows, now 15 years old, in similar fashion. Our rented scooters quickly tooled us around the island on the left-side of the road, and dinner was to die for delish at only $75 for appetizers, drinks, dinner and desserts! Sold. We love it here. I won't even go into the hellos, smiles and constant waves from the natives...all in English. Our plan for tomorrow is to visit an organic garden and purchase some fresh stuff, walk off some of our huge dinner, catch a dance and fire show and convince a local farmer to cook a pig roast for us and half the village! Wish us luck. Oink!
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