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08/04/2014

Firefly - Fakarava

Well Sunday lunch did not materialise but instead we had a delicious supper of Steak et Frites followed by home made cheese cake in a small cafe on the shore close by to our anchorage. The girls running the place could not have been more helpful - even charging our cameras. Before arriving in French Polynesia we were warned that prices here could be high but this is not always the case; there are very few places in the world where you could get a 'quality' steak and chips for the equivalent of $10!So we needed some exercise to work off this supper and this morning hired bikes to tour the atoll. We cycled 16 km South until the road ran out then back to the North, again till the road ran out at the airport. When we got back to the boat we had cycled just under 40km. The only flaw in this. read more...


07/04/2014

Merlyn of Poole - Monday, 7th April - 11° 48'S; 145° 22'W

Sea legs, naps and bananas!Yesterday was mixed in terms of wind and speed. The wind dropped in the morning, and we had speeds as low as ten or eleven knots. After whisking along with twenty to twenty-five knots, that felt dead slow. It also pushed our arrival in Tahiti to Thursday, rather than Wednesday, as originally expected. We debated what to do, as this is a situation in which we would normally consider putting up coloured sails: the cruising chute, or the rather daunting parasailor. The skipper is not convinced that we can manage these more high-maintenance numbers between the two of us – watch this space!The grib files have been bafflingly off-beam on this trip. Yesterday, though, the wind seemed pretty much what was on the chart. There was also a suggestion that it would become. read more...


07/04/2014

Celebrate - To Tahiti from the Marquesas

Thanks to American Spirit's Brian & Joel we were able to fuel.It took at least four people to anchor for med-mooring, throw lines to the dock and re-tie the lines on the dock as needed.It was quite a project.Also, we were able to purchase two new batteries and fix our genoa problems.All-in-all the Marquesas were a great stop for us in many ways.Now, on to Tahiti with beautiful sailing and Flomaida and Tulasi sailing nearby.Next, landfall at Tahiti!Cathy. read more...


07/04/2014

Flomaida II - Das unbeschreiblich schöne Marquesas Archipel- 20.3.-3.4.

Mave mai- herzlich willkommen im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes!Es gibt sie wirklich noch: kleine, teilweise unberührte Inselchen auf der anderen Seite unserer Welt. Die Schönheit dieser Inseln und die Freundlichkeit, Friedlichkeit und Gelassenheit ihrer Bewohner kann ich kaum in die richtigen Worte fassen. Die Inseln vom Wasser aus zeigen ein Panorama, das uns den Atem stocken lässt. Bilder können das so gar nicht wieder geben. Es sind die grünen Berge mit Tälern und Schatten, die durch die tiefen Einschnitte entstehen, die bei uns einzigartige Eindrücke hinterlassen. Durch die üppige Vegetation gibt es gefühlte tausend verschiedene Grüntöne, die fast unsere Aufnahmefähigkeit überfordern. Die Farb- und Lichtspiele sind grandios! Wir sind ganz still und genießen! Vaièi nui- vielen Dank!Viel. read more...


Flomaida II - Das unbeschreiblich schöne Marquesas Archipel- 20.3.-3.4.
Flomaida II - Das unbeschreiblich schöne Marquesas Archipel- 20.3.-3.4.
07/04/2014

Free & BrEasy - Mont Tekao is in our dreams

A short 24 hour sail north westwards found us in the Bay of Taiohae, the administrative capital of the Marquesas Archipelago. The bay is ringed by steep green towering cliffs, a volcanic crater with a sea entrance blasted through the rock. The bay is large enough for a cruise liner to anchor which it promptly did, making us all giddy with watching the frantic disembark- and then rembarkation before it set off again in the evening. Such a different form of cruising than ours!We managed to refuell without serious damage. We had to anchor "Mediteranean Style" off a large concrete jetty, with stern lines. They decided to close early for lunch and with two and a half hours to wait, our anchor chain dragged in a strong cross wind and we were perilously near to smashing into the jetty. Cast off. read more...


06/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 92; Nuku Hiva Mistake, Sleeping Clothes, Fans, Low Side Pole (Again), and On the Way to Ahe; Saturday, April 5, 2014

Upon leaving Nuku Hiva I realized that due to the snack bar with free and good Wifi, we were distracted and missed an opportunity to explore Nuku Hiva. We spent too much time at the snack bar. Specifically, Daniel's Bay, which is 2 to 3 miles to the west of our anchorage, has a waterfall that you can get to by hiking thru the mountains. We could have gone there for a day in our boat, and then motored back to the anchorage we were in. Live and learn. No way will any of us ever be here to explore that waterfall and mountain hike again. I was awakened at 2:20 AM by the howling and whistling wind and rocking boat. The wind and seas were increasing. When sleeping, you tend to notice changes in boat motion and noise levels. I got up and after talking with Joel, who was on the 12:00 AM - 3:00. read more...


06/04/2014

Firefly - Arrived safely in the Tuaomotos, anchored off Rotoara, Fakarava

Just as the sun rose around 0530 this morning the North East coast of Fakarava came into view. Unlike the Marquesas where you see the islands and mountains over 30 miles off, Its so low lying that we were only 8 miles away. All you see is a line of palm trees floating on the water.As planned we approached from the North to avoid too much swell and entered Passe Garue just after 0700 with the tide flooding. Despite all the conflicting and cautionary advice we had read our crossing into the lagoon was not that dramatic at all - its possible we were lucky and got the timing just right. Fellow World ARC yacht Kathea went through about 30 minutes before us, so we were able to to call them up on VHF and compare notes. We had around 1 knot of current with us. Understandably it got a little. read more...


06/04/2014

Celebrate - A Fragrant Flower Lei , Beautiful Bountiful Fruit Buffet, Dramatic Dancers, Drumming & Dinner!

Fantastic festivities!Each one of our Rally group was welcomed with a lovely flower lei.The bountiful fruit buffet tables were beautifully decorated and had star fruit, freshly cut coconut nuggets, tasty desert breads, papaya, pineapple and melon.It was delicious!Next, rum punches were served in a semi-outdoor tiki style banquet room and as we sat at the attractive tables set with flowers and pretty tropical cloths we were welcomed by the Mayor of Nuka Hiva.Then came the exotic Polynesian dancers and drumming.What a show! Thank you to our own, Alex, of Rally Control for helping with a very special afternoon and evening.Next, to Tahiti from the Marquesas...Cathy. read more...


06/04/2014

Malisi - Malisi in the BVI

Malisi’s first participation in the BVI Spring Regatta saw a successful and good mix of racing days out on the water. A first place in the multihull division, a squall filled day racing against a Formula 40 catamaran, and a rudder failure preventing us to finish one of the races but quickly fixed. All this in a yachtsman sailing paradise with “Warm Water and Hot Racing” as advertised.dap2706. read more...


Malisi - Malisi in the BVI
Malisi  - Malisi in the BVI
05/04/2014

Merlyn of Poole - Friday, 4th April - 09° 18'S; 140° 29'W

We’re now on our way to Tahiti, after two busy days of preparation. Thursday began with a visit to the fuel dock. These places are never easy, and there is always a risk of being blown onto a – usually – concrete quay. We knew that this one would be exceptionally challenging, because of the swell in the bay. The procedure involved anchoring in about eighteen metres, and then reversing up to the fuel dock, so that the stern lines could be attached. We needed people on the dock to take the lines, and Ivan was duly dropped onshore by dinghy. Lorenzo stayed below in the dinghy, to help with passing lines, etc. We also had Jonathan, from ‘Chez Nous’ available in his dinghy, just in case anything went wrong. I was in charge of the anchor and, from time to time, the helm. The trickiest part of. read more...


05/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 91; Mike's B-Day; Leaving Nuku Hiva, One More Shark, Mainsail and Racing to Ahe; Friday, April 4, 2014

Mike Mogavero, who flew home on Thursday, had a B-Day today. If we'd have known that Wednesday night, we would have announced his birthday during the native dance like other Rally crews did. The rain shower came later this morning, at 5:25 AM. As the 2 previous days, had to get up to and close the boat hatches. Got up at 8:00 AM. From 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM we were at the snack shop using their internet. I picked up a few final provisioning items: a bunch of green bananas, that we'll hang on the transom; mango's, and a papyra. I also hiked to a hardware store at least 2 miles away to buy some caulking for our head window gasket. Once back on the boat, we deflated the dingy and stored it below and weighed anchor at 4:20 PM. We were heading to Ahe in the Tuomotos Archipelago. On our way out of. read more...


05/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 90; Mike Flies Home After 5 1/2 Weeks, and Cats and Chickens Chow Down Together; Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rain squall 2:25 AM. Closed hatches. Up at 6:45 AM. At 7:23 AM Joel and I left to have breakfast with Mike at his hotel. We told the waitress, who spoke no English, that we wanted to order breakfast. Breakfast came, and it consisted of grapefruit slices, French bread with butter and jelly, and coffee. A European breakfast, says Mike. Mike departed in a taxi with another person at 9:40 AM. Mike joined our trip because he wanted to cross an ocean, wanted to make a long voyage. Well, Mike, you did: 2,890 miles from the Galapagos Islands to Hiva Oa, and then a bunch more miles (174?) from Hiva Oa to Fatu Hiva, to Hiva Oa again, and finally to Nuku Hiva. Thank you Mike! You will be missed.We spent from 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM at the Wifi center/snack bar. While there we had lunch, really non-lean. read more...


05/04/2014

Firefly - The Dangerous Archipelago

Firefly is 'trucking' along at about 8 knots towards the Tuamotos, the 20 knot wind is just abaft of the beam and there is a swell so its quite bumpy. These low lying atolls we are heading for are also known as the Dangerous Archipelago due to the large number of shipwrecks, which even in the GPS era continue to occur. We are therefore spending a great deal of time reading all of the information we have gathered and we keep re checking and honing our plans. However, the pilot books and charting information is not that consistent so its more difficult to plan than we had anticipated. Fortunately the wind is forecast to stay favorable for the next few days which will help. Fakarava will be our first stop and we are intending to be off the pass on the NW side of the atoll on Sunday morning. read more...


04/04/2014

Andromeda of Plymouth - Andromeda of Plymouth is on her way

Andromeda of Plymouth and her crew Andrew and Susan, are currently in St. Maarten/Sint Martin and are about to leave for the Virgin Islands. Our trip this year started in Trinidad where we were laying over for the hurricane season for the 3rd year running. We leftChaguaramas inmid February after some unexpected repairs (a new fuel tank was needed) but since then have covered 500 miles so far. Our ports of call were, Prickly Bay -Grenada, Tyrell Bay- Carriacou, Admiralty Bay- Bequia. Rodney Bay-St. Lucia, Grande Anse, Fort de France and St. Pierre- Martinique, Prince Rupert Bay-Dominica, TerreD'Haut, Les Saintes and Deshaies- Guadaloupe, Jolly Harbour - Antigua and Simpson Bay- St. Maarten/St. Martin. More details at http://blog.mailasail.com/andromeda903799.We are looking forward to. read more...


Flomaida II - 6Uhr30 in Nuku Hiva- da brauchen wir nicht zu angeln
Flomaida II - 6Uhr30 in Nuku Hiva- da brauchen wir nicht zu angeln
Flomaida II - Wer ist schneller????
Flomaida II - Wer ist schneller????
Flomaida II - Good Bye Galapagos - Danke Gaby für die schöne Fotomontage!
Flomaida II - Good Bye Galapagos  - Danke Gaby für die schöne Fotomontage!
Flomaida II - Einfach zu schön, um wahr zu sein!
Flomaida II - Einfach zu schön, um wahr zu sein!
Flomaida II - Ist er nicht schön?????
Flomaida II - Ist er nicht schön?????
Flomaida II - Wer begleitet uns denn da?
Flomaida II - Wer begleitet uns denn da?
Flomaida II - Unglaublich schön.........
Flomaida II - Unglaublich schön.........
Flomaida II - Unglaubliche Farbspiele auf den Marquesas
Flomaida II - Unglaubliche Farbspiele auf den Marquesas
Flomaida II - Eines der letzten Paradiese......
Flomaida II - Eines der letzten Paradiese......
Flomaida II - Die Bilder können die Schönheit der Marquesas leider nur bedingt wiedergeben
Flomaida II - Die Bilder können die Schönheit der Marquesas leider nur bedingt wiedergeben
Flomaida II - Licht und Schatten auf Nuku Hiva
Flomaida II - Licht und Schatten auf Nuku Hiva
Flomaida II - So schön.........
Flomaida II - So schön.........
Flomaida II - Ein Hai auf Suche ...........
Flomaida II - Ein Hai auf Suche ...........
04/04/2014

Firefly - On passage to the Tuamotus

Our final day on Nuku Hiva was spent doing jobs, provisioning and attending a feast and celebration put on by the locals for the World ARC rally. We were adorned in flower garlands and head gear from palm fronds. A number of dances were performed, some very elegant and graceful others more dramatic and warrior like, in fact very moving. We again tasted the local delicacies; this is definitely not a low calorie rally.We have now said goodbye to mountains and waterfalls for a while and are heading South West to the flatter coral atolls and palm tree lined islands of the Archipelago des Tuamotos. These are still part of French Polynesia and probably even more remote than the Marquesas. Our passage is just under 500 miles and with a good Easterly breeze behind us of 20 knots should get there. read more...


Flomaida II - Der erste Abend wieder auf See
Flomaida II - Der erste Abend wieder auf See
Flomaida II - Der Fliegefisch am Morgen vor meinen Füßen im Cockpit!
Flomaida II - Der Fliegefisch am Morgen vor meinen Füßen im Cockpit!
Flomaida II - Ein kleiner Leguan, der Tschüüüß sagen will
Flomaida II - Ein kleiner Leguan, der Tschüüüß sagen will
Flomaida II - Ein Teil des langen Weges zu den Marquesas gemeinsam mit Festina Lente
Flomaida II - Ein Teil des langen Weges zu den Marquesas gemeinsam mit Festina Lente
Flomaida II - Da war es noch nicht zerrissen, das Besan Stag Segel!
Flomaida II - Da  war es noch nicht zerrissen, das Besan Stag Segel!
Flomaida II - Wer ist uns denn da über den Weg gelaufen? Bin ich nicht schööön?(Galapagos)
Flomaida II - Wer ist uns denn da über den Weg gelaufen? Bin ich nicht schööön?(Galapagos)
Flomaida II - Christoph beim leider erfolglosen Versuch der Reparatur des Unterliekstreckers- in den Korb fallen die Schrauben
Flomaida II - Christoph beim leider erfolglosen Versuch der Reparatur des Unterliekstreckers- in den Korb fallen die Schrauben
04/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 89; Rain Squall, Mike' Hotel, Rendezvous Party & Stephen Kirk Joins Crew; Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Awakened at 2:39 AM by first of three rain showers. Mike got up and closed all the boat hatches. Thank you Mike.Crawled out of bed at 7:30 AM. Overcast. Light rain. Today is Mike's last day on the boat. At 8:20 AM a Frigate bird swooped down and grabbed a 3 inch fish from the water's surface 100 feet behind our boat. As it flew upwards, 3 other exotic looking birds (who remain unidentified for now) flew after the Frigate bird trying to take the fish out of the bird's beak. What is ironic is that the Frigate bird is noted for doing the same thing to other birds, and that is the reason its also called the Man o' War bird. Because it steals fish from other birds. Around 10:30 AM things got really wild in the anchorage. The light rain turned into a violent squall, with winds easily in excess. read more...


03/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 88; Fueling Celebrate, Trilium Dingy Transfer, Snack Shop BBQ and Tsumani Alert; Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Up at 6:00 AM. Throat still sore, nose still running. Started generator at 7:00 AM to recharge batteries. This is something we do usually every morning and every evening for about 2 hours at at time. We only burn about 36 gallons of diesel an hour when we do this, which is not a great amount of fuel. While under sail, we charge our batteries with the hydro generator and wind turbine; and use the generator only if we're going less than 5 knots of boat speed. We finished breakfast by 9:00 AM, when Charlie from the US yacht Celebrate picked Joel and me up in his dingy. Really a motor boat. Charlie's boat is 58 feet, or about 5 times larger than our 40 footer. We traveled in Charlie's yacht to the fuel dock, where Joel remained on the boat and I climbed the ladder at the fuel dock to tend. read more...


03/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 87; Breakfast Ashore, Herman Melville, Main Sheet Traveler Car Here, Fueled Boat, Got Butane and Pizza for Dinner; Monday, March 31, 2014

Up at 6:30 AM. Have a cold, 3rd day. Sore throat. No one else infected yet. Hopefully, no one else will get ill from me. I saw two more Rally boats entering the bay after sunrise. The reference to Herman Melville in the Subject line is that in 1842 he 'jumped ship' while in Nuku Hiva on a whaling vessel. For those that don't know, Melville wrote the classic Moby Dick. A movie by that name had the Captain played by Gregory Peck. Outside even at 7:30 AM the heat and humidity is oppressive. Sweat, sweat, sweat. Keeping fully hydrated is a constant battle. And there is so little wind that our wind turbine doesn't even turn. We need 15 knots of wind for the wind turbine to generate electricity and keep our boat batteries charged. At 7:36 AM I observed someone swimming 15 feet behind their. read more...


02/04/2014

Celebrate - Following the Wake of Solo Woman World Circumnavigator, Pat Henry!

I met Pat Henry at a neighbor's home in the Puerto Vallarta area of Mexico where she now lives.Pat is a delight and was awarded e Joshua Slocum Golden Circle for her solo circumnavigation.Also, my husband and I had read her book, "By the GRACE of the SEA" about her Around-the-World sailing trip.We were enthralled and found it quite helpful for ideas about our own planned circumnavigation. Pat made her first land fall in French Polynesia at Nuka Hiva, where we are now anchored having followed in her wake, and we have heard the nighttime drumbeats as if from the pages of Herman Melville's "Typee".As our World ARC Rally boat friends came into the bay we felt as Pat had, "reassured by the sight of familiar boats in foreign harbors". Our hat is off to you, Pat, and we can't wait to compare. read more...


02/04/2014

Firefly - On Nuka Hiva

Our trip to the Vaipo waterfall was memorable; the two hour walk up took us through gardens, fruit orchards and a beautiful green valley lined by mountains. We walked with the crew of NDS Darwin, Seaduced and a local guide and caught sight of the waterfall on the way. Claims in the tourist literature that it is the highest in Polynesia and the third tallest in the world may be exaggerated but its impressive either way. Due to the topography, once there, we were too close to the base to see the top and full extent of the cascade - we took a refreshing swim in the pools and gorge at the base.Our anchorage in the Bai de Taioa or Daniel's Bay was impressive too; we were almost completely enclosed and sheltered from all wind directions making it one of the most calm spots yet. It was a pity. read more...


01/04/2014

Free & BrEasy - New Superlatives Needed

Waking up on the first morning in anchorage at Tuamoto Bay, Hiva Oa, we were greeted with a cockerel crowing. Had the boat beached in a farm yard? Later in the morning the cockerel was still going. In fact he had been joined by a few mates! On our safari ride into the 'interior' a few days later, we realised that the island is populated by literally free range wild hens guarded by their mistrusting cockerels. We went on Safari in a bumpy open sided truck to see the big three: wild chicken, wild goats and wild horses. We missed out on the very shy wild boar which are still hunted from horse back. Every so often the stony track would be replaced by a concrete road and John, our guide, would shout Mitter and Road or Narkozy Highway' named after the French President who gave them the money!. read more...


01/04/2014

American Spirit II - Day 86; Arrived in Nuku Hiva, First Sunrise Green Flash and Wifi Day at the Snack Shop; Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mike woke me at 5:30 AM as we were 10 miles from Nuku Hiva. The sun rose at 5:52 AM and for the first time in my life I saw a Green Flash at sunrise. I wasn't looking for the flash, it just happened. Green Flash number 6 on our trip. With sunset at 5:50 PM the night before and sunrise at 5:52 AM the days and nights are equal in time. That's what being near the equator is like. At 6:56 AM about a dozen dolphin approached the boat from in front of us. What was unusual about them was that as they approached they all seemed to jump out of the water in unison as they approached the boat. Like soldiers in perfect lockstep. We entered Baie de Taiohae in Nuku Hiva at 7:00 AM. As we entered the bay, there were two large rock formations on each side of the bay's entrance: Sentinelle de l'ouest on. read more...


31/03/2014

Starblazer - 31/03/2014 – In search of water

On Thursday we went on a tour of the island, nearly as planned.The taxi taking us, 4 wheel drive, double cab pick-up with bench seats in the back, broke down.It didn’t so much break down as refuse to go uphill at anything more than walking pace, diagnosis blocked fuel filter.Jean took us back to the harbour and we managed to get another taxi, without the seats in the back, much newer (3 months old) and very comfortable.Freda was an excellent guide, very informative about the history of the Marquesan people and knowledgeable about the trees.Lunch was a mix of rice with plaintains, poisson cru (raw fish soaked in lemon juice and coconut milk), goat stew and pork stew with lots of vegetables followed by a local speciality of fruit cooked with manioc flour which becomes a jelly. read more...


31/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 85; Off to Hiva Oa to Pick Up Alex, 5th Green Flash, Two Fish Got Away and Lightning; Saturday, March 29, 2014

8:00 AM breakfast, followed by letting the air out of the dingy and stowing it below in the v-berth. To let the air out of the dingy we use the electric air pump and suck air out of the dingy. This process is faster than just opening the valves and we actually get more air out by sucking it out with the pump. We weighed anchor at 8:55 AM and headed back for Hiva Oa to pick up World Cruising Club representative Alex. Normally the WCC rep would fly to the next island, but since all the flights between the islands are booked, Alex needed to hitch a ride to get to Nuku Hiva. And we needed him to get there as he was organizing our rendezvous party April 2nd. The first order of business while under way was to empty the holding tank; then turn on the boat inverter to charge the dingy lithium. read more...


30/03/2014

Firefly - Waterfalls and 2 days on Ua Pou

We have just set sail for Nuka Hiva after a couple of great days on Ua Pou. On Friday Firefly entered the small harbour of Hakahau in the late afternoon in time to row to shore and take a look around. For a population of around 1000 the small town is well provided with facilities; a number of shops including several well stocked supermarkets, sports facilities that would put many an English town to shame, a large school and infirmary. The church is quite grand and open with a pulpit carved in the shape of a boat's bow. The town is surrounded by high mountains and stone outcrops know as the spires that dominate the settlement and provide a great backdrop, particularly at sunset. The following day in keeping with our exercise regime while ashore, we set off on a hike to the village of. read more...


30/03/2014

Celebrate - Picture Perfect Polynesian Island Anchorage!

Hanamoenoa Bay has a beautiful beach with a lush tropical island view!It's paradise found!What a great place to relax and have fun after our long passage from the Galapagos.A few Rally boats were here NDS Darwin, Kathea and Hebe but have since left for Nuka Hiva.Chez Nous has arrived and we will "car pool" to the beach.With terrific French bread and some added raspberry jam from our friends, Don & Charlotte Lamp, who saw us off in St. Lucia and joined in Charlie's 60th birthday celebration, "life is very good"!  Cathy. read more...


29/03/2014

American Spirit II - Day 84; Hike to 2,000 Foot Waterfall, Another Green Flash and Dinner at II Audeaucious; Friday, March 28. 2014

Up at 6:00 AM. Breakfast at 7:00 AM. In the dingy at 7:50 AM to start our three three hour round trip hike to the 2,000 foot waterfall on Fatu Hiva. The 'landing spot' for our dingy was around a jetty that had a concrete pier and a ramp for motor boats to be put into and pulled out of the water. We elected to pull up to the concrete ramp, then lift our dingy with its motor out of the water and onto dry land, high enough to be in no danger of a rising tide. A few minutes later the crew of Follie a Deux arrived, and after disembarking 3 of the 4, Brian dropped a stern anchor, tied up at the pier and climbed up onto terra firma. Before heading to Fatu Hiva I had emailed Martin on Caduceus of Burnham, asking for anchorage information and directions to the waterfall, since I knew he had. read more...


Happy Destiny - On the hard in Portsmouth
Happy Destiny - On the hard in Portsmouth

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