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15/08/2018

Mad Monkey - Mad Monkey Sailing Down-Under

Sailing around the Australian coastline has definitely been good fun and it's now clear to us why sailors gather from around the world to enjoy this eastern coast. Our trip from Vanuatu to Mackay was full of perfect sailing conditions, alternating between spinnaker and white sails to comfortably maintain boat speeds in the 10-knot range; we even broke our boat speed record and achieved 16.7knots with just white sails!Working our way north, through the Whitsunday Islands, has shown to us how diverse Australia is and where we would like to bring Mad Monkey back to. Stopping off in Airlie Beach was a highlight, not only was it one of the nicest marinas we have stayed in for a while but the weekend we were visiting was also the annual Reef Festival weekend, so the town was buzzing with. read more...


Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
Smoke and Roses - Swimming With Manta Rays
15/08/2018

Smoke and Roses - Half Way Around the World

Logged 1150 Nautical Miles7 Days 8 Hours149.75 Hours Sailing 26.25 Hours MotoringJuly 19 – 30 Vanuatu to AustraliaAs we head west from Vanuatu, we will be leaving the South Pacific and entering the Coral Sea. Arriving in Mackay, Australia, we have now crossed the entire South Pacific Ocean, 9000 nautical miles in 6 months. We are half way around the world. The 1150 nautical mile leg took 7 days and 8 hours. Within the last 12 hours we entered the Great Barrier Reef through Hydrographers Passage and started seeing whales. This was the first time we have seen whales while cruising, there were several. The closest came within 50 feet of us. Very cool.      I was very ill at the start of the voyage from a coral infection and did not get out of bed for two days. It. read more...


14/08/2018

Smoke and Roses - Active Volcano, Cave of Skulls and Blue Lagoon

7-7 Malolo Lailai, Fiji to Tanna, Vanuatu Log 490 Nautical Miles 59.75 Hours Sailing 11.5 Hours Motoring7-13 Tanna to Erromango Log 61 Nautical Miles 5 Hours Sailing 5 Hours Motoring7-14 Erromango to Efate Log 84 Nautical Miles 14  Hours Sailing 2.5 Hours MotoringJuly 7 – 19           Musket Cove, Fiji to Tanna, Erramango and Efate, VanuatuVanuatu is a spectacular environment with tropical islands, active volcanoes, coral reefs and jungle wilderness. During our nine day cruise in Vanuatu we visited three very different islands, Tanna, Erromango and Efate. The three day passage from Fiji to Vanuatu started with lots of wind the first half and light wind by the end. The air was cool and skies were mostly sunny with no storms. We. read more...


14/08/2018

Smoke and Roses - Living on the Hard is Hard

June 26 – July 6                                 Vuda Marina to Musket Cove, FijiI was surprised when Vuda Marina said they could haul our boat out the very next morning at 6:30 am, during high tide. Unfortunately the tide was misjudged and they could not get the trailer under our boat. The next morning the haul out was successful.  Although the boat was on the ground for seven days it felt much longer. Things fell into place at the end but took way more time and effort than it should have. The people at Vuda Marina were great but they did not work on boats, so we got prices from several contractors including Yacht Help, Yuve. read more...


14/08/2018

Smoke and Roses - Swimming with Manta Rays

June 16 -25 Taveuni to Viti LevuEngine repairs have been planned at Vuda Marina since May 4, on the main island of Fiji called Viti Levu, we are anxious to get things fixed. Leaving Taveuni we had two nice sailing days and two days motoring thru reefs with lots of current along the north coast. The first day we stopped at Makogai Island which is state owned and currently used as a department of fisheries clam hatchery and turtle head start program. The island was previously a large leprosarium serving the region. Significand and ancient in Fiji, the “Sevusevu” is a ritual where visitors seek acceptance into a village by presenting the chief with Kava and other gifts. Along with Jojo’s Circus crew we attended an informal “Sevusevu” on Makogai. Then the headsman gave us a short tour. The. read more...


12/08/2018

Influencer - Sydney to Cairns to join the Rally!

Rotten luck with the wind from Sydney - an area known for rough conditions we had the opposite - doldrums style for the first 5 days and way too much motoring for our liking. Topping this off, when we finally got wind and were cruising happily at 8 knots, at 2am we came to a sudden near stop. Snagged on a lobster pot!! It took all four hands on deck and some interesting manoeuvering over an hour to get us freed from the blessed things! With dire images of new propellers or rudders being required, as we still had ropes and buoys trapped around the propeller or keel (we couldn't tell which) we limped into Coffs Harbour at 8am the following morning. You can imagine our relief when we dived under to find no damage whatsoever and a one minute job to release the ropes and four buoys.Other than. read more...


14/08/2018

Blue Pearl - Whitsundays

When we last spoke, I told you we were anchored in the Nara Inlet of Hook Island in the Whitsundays. The anchorages just continue to reinforce our early observation of the Whitsundays: this is a beautiful, pristine, teeming with wildlife, cruising area, but, boy, is the water cold...! So far only our crew, Mike and Karen have ventured in for a snorkel, both wearing wet suits. Even Laurie, an avid Caribbean swimmer, has stayed dry on the boat.After the Nara Inlet came Airlie Beach, one of two centers of activity in the Whitsundays, the other is Hamilton Island. We had a great time at the marina there. A brand new facility with wonderful staff and great amenities. A place to return to, but it takes an 11,000nm sail to get there from home. We explored the town, socialized with other. read more...


13/08/2018

Mischief - Yet more Mischief : Log 71 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Friday, 10th August 2018 - Day sail to Orpheus IslandA beautiful day again, just not enough wind as we motored across flat seas to the island of Fantome. Smoke and Roses, who where trailing us spotted some whales leaping which started a frantic search of the horizon, but we failed to see any on this occasion. Neen was sat on the foredeck armed with her enormous telephoto lens for an hour or so but returned forlorn. Juno Bay when we arrived mid-afternoon was not terribly inviting with a fringing reef all the way around the bay, so it would have been all but impossible to go ashore there at low water, so we went around the island and on a further 5 miles to Orpheus Island, which would also not give us a lee shore if the wind came up. We dropped anchor in Pioneer Bay but had trouble setting. read more...


10/08/2018

Mischief - Yet more Mischief : Log 70 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Monday, 6th August 2018 - Airlie to BowenAnother early run with Neen, this time down to the ferry terminal at the other end of the town, then we slipped lines at 9.30 am after an emotional farewell to the guys and girls on Emily Morgan who were waving us off. We may see them in Cairns but more likely in Darwin in a couple of weeks. The banter will be much reduced; I suppose there is the radio!We are headed towards Bowen about 36 miles to the north but there is no wind at all, no swell and perfect sunshine, perfect whale spotting weather but not much good for sailing. Then at 1215 there they were, whales! They weren't leaping at all, in fact they were just lazing about on the surface. Then a little later we saw what appeared initially to be dolphins but these had big bulbus heads and very. read more...


Misto - Hardy Reef - Great Barrier Reef
Misto - Hardy Reef - Great Barrier Reef
07/08/2018

Misto - Aug 3-6: Great Barrier Reef and Hamilton Island

We had not expected to take a Misto to the Great Barrier Reef but a weather window presented itself to go to Bait, Hook and Hardy Reefs, the nearest point on the Great Barrier reef to the Whitsunday Islands. Along with Smoke and Roses we spent the night on the north of Hook Island - we were on a mooring ball in Maureen’s Cove. We started at first light and arrived at Bait Reef around 9.30 am. We snorkelled on the Stepping Stones, huge straight sided pinnacles that rise from 25 m to about 1 m of the surface. The fish life was wonderful with huge reef fishes but the coral is still recovering from the cyclone in 2016 and is also somewhat bleached. We then motor-sailed over to Hook and Hardy Reef and went down the passage between them. It’s like being on a river with wonderful coral and. read more...


06/08/2018

Blue Pearl - Australia

We have been in Australia for 12 days now and , shame on me, this is the first time I am writing about our arrival there and our our first taste of the "modern" world after many months of passaging to and from areas wherepoverty seems to be prevalent. I realize this sounds critical of so many of the beautiful Pacific Islands with wonderful people we have visited but it is hard to deny that the economic circumstances there differ significantly from what most of us are used to.We arrived in MacKay very early, in the dark, two Thursday mornings ago and waited patiently on the quarantine dock for daylight and the arrival of the officials to check out Blue Pearl, her contents and her crew. The officials, including the drug sniffing dog ,who came aboard first, were allpleasant and helpful and. read more...


06/08/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief : Log 69 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Saturday, 4th August 2018 - Nara Inlet, Hook islandI awoke at 6.15 am to perfect calm and silence you could cut with a knife and went on deck where there was a strong scent of pine trees. It was a very special place.We rowed over to the small beach where there were steps up to where the aboriginal ancestors had a dwelling that had been discovered and preserved by the National Park. It was a bit touristy, but it was interesting admittedly. The cave had original wall sketches of insects and sea-life, and one looked to me to be a drawing of a hot air balloon more so than a turtle, proving that these people were well ahead of their time or were not so good at drawing with a stick and ochre paint. When we returned to the dinghy we picked it up and launched it which was when I noticed my foot. read more...


04/08/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief : Log 68 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Thursday, 2nd August 2018 - Hamilton to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday IslandAgain up early for another run and went with Neen nearly the whole way around the island up the off-road buggy track which went up and up seemingly for miles and took us onto the walking trails again leading to the base of the Passage Peak where we went yesterday and back to the resort, the long way. Then Wendy took us off the marina berth and onto the fuel berth to top up as it was convenient, right next door. Faultless, well done Wendy. Thereafter we headed off towards Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island about 8 miles north, a must-go-to venue with its spectacular silicon white sands. We had the most glorious sail, mostly up-wind which makes a change. We even had to tack out of the narrow channel from. read more...


02/08/2018

Misto - July 31-August 2: Iconic Whitehaven Beach and wonderful wildlife

Iconic Whitehaven Beach is the 3rd most photographed place is Australia, after Sydney Opera house and Uluru.But first, how did we get here?We departed Mackay on July 31 and made for Brampton Island.This gave us the first taste of the Whitsundays and we anchored in a pretty bay off an abandoned resort and were able to take the dinghy ashore and walk a fairly steep 4 km walk to the lookout and back.Sadly, there seem to be many resorts in this area abandoned as a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent cyclone damage.Some, such as the one on Lindeman Island, has supposedly been purchased by a Chinese group and is being renovated but we did not see a lot of evidence of that.The resort on Brampton clearly has some care-taking staff there, but sadly it would take a lot of money. read more...


02/08/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief : Log 67 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Monday, 30th July 2018 - Mackay marina.Monday was a very slow news day for me as the others, Dave, Wendy and Neen had gone off to do a one day road trip similar but shorter to the one I and the 745 club did over the weekend,s after we had a skipper's briefing regarding the cruising of this coast and arrival in Darwin. Apparently, Thursday island at the very north of Cape York where we turn west towards Darwin is no longer recommended as a place to stop as it would very likely be that we would have to re-do our check in to Australia. At least I managed to do my rugby club accounts and get them sent off to the Treasurer, my brother, in the UK. Plus I had peace and quiet for a while and tried out Wendy's new Ukulele - it is so small and constantly goes out of tune but I did manage to get a. read more...


01/08/2018

Allegrini - A Coruña and onwards

Well after a really enjoyable meander down the French coast, Gijon and the Northern Rias and after two weeks in A Coruña, we’ve finally left the hustle and bustle of a large city to the peace and tranquility of the Southern Rias and onwards.. read more...


30/07/2018

Misto - July 17-30: Misto comes second on Vanuatu to Mackay leg

The start of this leg in Vanuatu was in a brisk breeze and we had a good start with all our white sails up. The journey across to Mackay was pretty fast. For much of the time we had winds of 15-18 knots, gusting 20. Based on the wind direction we flew our parasailor and the gennaker, only making one mistake when we reefed unnecessarily one night which lost us some time against Spirit of Katherine. We crossed the finish line on the night of July 25 and arrived in Mackay on July 26, around 12 noon. The entrance to Mackay harbour was interesting as our port engine failed to start and we came in with one engine. The Australian immigration and bio security officials were very efficient and only took a few vegetables off us - which we expected. Docking with one engine was an interesting. read more...


30/07/2018

Mischief - Mischief news bulletin: Log 66 continued

Sunday 29th July 2018 - Road trip bulletinI'm a Grandad for the first time!! News came this morning just as we were off to road trip breakfast: Emilia Mae, 8lb 4oz only about ten days overdue in fac tso long I'm surprised she wasn't born wearing school uniform. So happy snaps passed around and whatsapped to all and sundry. All well. Deserves a separate blog rather than be lost in the ether!Congratulations Jenny and Mark! Looking forwards to meeting her when i am back home at the end of next month.. read more...


30/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 66 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Friday, 27th July 2018 - Mackay MarinaBoat cleaning day! Washed down the decks with boat shampoo to get rid of the Boobey poo all over the decks - they are quite prolific, and a right pain. Why they should target boats out at sea I really can't understand but everybody had it seemingly. Jill off Air Power was doing target practice using surplus fruit as missiles to ward them off - I wish I'd thought of that given the hundred or so limes we had to dump at customs. We had a drinks reception in the Clarion hotel jump up the ramp ashore and there was a wedding party going on at the same time so it took too long to get a drink so I couldn't really be bothered but we had dinner in the restaurant there - posh fish and chips I would call it: battered fish pieces, a full crayfish, oysters, prawns. read more...


29/07/2018

Mischief - Mischief Skipper Log

Hi all.Just a quick note.So we have arrived in Mackay having crossed the Pacific Ocean. The trip from Panama has been fantastic with some very special places visited. I think Charlie has covered our progress well with his blogs for which I am most grateful.Wendy and I would just like to thank all the people who have made this possible so far. Big thanks to all the crew whether they have done short legs or helped us with the long passages. We would also like to thank our families back home who have been busy helping us with various things in our absence. Without all of these people it would not have been possible and we hope they can continue to help us as we continue on the second half of our adventure.We will spend the next month cruising around the north of Australia to Darwin which. read more...


27/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 65 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Thursday, 26th July 2018 - Hydrographers Passage and arrival Port MackayIn fact, from 0200 the sea came totally calm with no wind at all, the moon was out so the visibility was excellent making it a perfect time to enter unfamiliar waters. And the sunrise at 0715 was simply amazing: behind the boat (we were headed SW) the dark cloudless horizon initially took on a hint of orange which deepened and widened by the minute before there was any light to see by. Then eventually the sun literally burst into view and reflected off the mirror like water - quite spectacular! Then I looked forward to see a slight mist in the air which the sun had tinted orange too which contrasted with the dark water and the deep blue sky-line - again the colours were very special. With the light came "Land Ahoy!".. read more...


26/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 64 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Tuesday, 24th July 2018 - Passage Vanuatu to Mackay, AustraliaI spoke too soon yesterday when I mentioned getting off lightly with the boobies - this morning at first lightnoticed that we had been dive bombed heavily and there were black splodges all over the cockpit combings and decks - they must have done it on purpose and were very good at it by the looks. Again, another glorious morning for sailing with a 15 knot breeze from the port quarter and beam, occasionally more, a little too much for the spinnakers but we were doing 7.5 knots+ without so they would not add much, only to angst perhaps. We did however risk putting the asymmetric kite up this afternoon and attached it to the furling system for the Code 0 but it was not successful when we tried to roll it away in the evening so. read more...


24/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 63 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Sunday, 22nd July 2018 - Passage to Mackay, AustraliaThat was quite a night, fast sailing on relatively flat waters with around 15 knots of breeze from ESE. The glorious sunset last night has been followed up by an equally spectacular sunrise this morning after what was a cold night all told. It remains chilly this morning in the wind so wearing long sleeves and a gillet still even though the sun is now up.The 8am SSB net gave further news on the casualty yacht, Lunatix. They had managed to tie a system of ropes around the rudder blade and had effected a rudimentary steerage system sufficient to allow them to motor at around 4.5 knots towards Australia with the yacht Emily Morgan standing by. All well otherwise on board thank goodness. In the meantime, they were working on a more solid. read more...


24/07/2018

Blue Pearl - Sailing

Blue Pearl is underway from Port Vila, Vanuatu to MacKay, Queensland, Australia. The total distance is about 1200 nm but the "race" part , yes, sometimes we race, is 1050nm. Right now we are about 160nm from the finish line which is at the Hydrographers pass, which is a pass through the Great Barrier Reef, allowing access to the Queensland shore line. You have probably heard of the Whitsundays a famous sailing area north of MacKay. Well, the Whitsundays are right there. We are in a fleet of 22 boats and right now , 3 boats are in front of us and 17 behind us. So, we are doing pretty well although, this includes a bit of cheating (which we declare) by running the engine for about 4 hours this morning. The penalty for this is extra time added to the total time to get from start to. read more...


22/07/2018

Misto - July 17-22: Goodbye Vanuatu and halfway to Australia.

The last couple of days in Port Vila were filled with the usual pre-departure activities and by trying to put faces and names to our new WARC friends.The dinner and prize giving certainly helped with this and we revelled in being part of the camaraderie of a rally again.The start was in a lively 16+ knots of wind and we had a good beginning to our journey.The winds have been great so far on this leg, blowing consistently 12-20 knots from the ESE and SE, which is making for a fast passage.We have had our full suite of sails out, utilizing the parasailor, gennaker and the white sails to try and take best advantage of the beautiful sailing conditions.If the choppy swells would abate it would be a sailor's dream and absolutely perfect. For most of the night we have some moon which makes the. read more...


22/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 62 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Friday, 20th July 2018 - passage to Mackay, AustraliaWe have been sailing fast all night, I even hit 12.3 knots at one point down a wave! Now at 0630 this morning we have our own shadow, Christine a mile or so off our port beam and Amara 400 meters ahead. It is a little cloudy this morning but with a warm wind although I am still wearing a wind jacket as it feels chilly from the night.0630 Postion: 17 deg 45' S 165 deg 43'.2 EC: 270W: ESE 22 kn SOG: 8 knLast night we managed to get a riding turn on the winch which took some shifting, including taking the strain on a loaded up guy for the genoa. My back is complaining like hell this morning so have spread liberal amounts of ibroprofen gel over it. Let's hope that works.1215 Position: 17 deg 43.9' S 164 deg 58.3' ESOG: 8knW: ESE 20knThe. read more...


20/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 61 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Tuesday, 17th July 2018 - Port VilaWe have had a boat preparation day to day, or at least a morning of it. So, I was up quite early to wash down the decks and scrub with boat shampoo then turned the dinghy over on the foredeck to wash that out inside as it was filthy and needed to be dried and rolled away in the sail locker. I then turned to my proper job on the boat - cleaning the heads. Whilst at Grammar school I had a weekly evening job in an office block cleaning the loos so I have formal training in the subject, I was even responsible for cleaning the Executive toilets so you can't get posher than that! Jobs done, we went into town as Sandra from Emily Morgan had stated a wish to buy a Ukulele - so Wendy decided that was a very fine idea and wanted one too. Dave protested that she. read more...


19/07/2018

Mischief - Up to Mischief again: Log 60 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Anyone interested enough to read these blogs and is wondering why there is no number 59 it is because there are two 58's - forgot to change the last one sorry!Friday, 13th July 2018 - To Dillons Bay, Erromondo, VanuatuWe left Port Resolution at 0600 at sunrise. The volcano was belching forth smoke and fumes as we left. We were one of the later boats to leave and so we joined a long procession of boats motoring headed for Erromondo, some 50 miles to the north west. The wind was very light so no sailing practical for a while. After a couple of hours there was sufficient wind to start sailing, even to set the spinnaker, the sun came out and we ended up having a glorious days sailing. I noticed there was a bit of daylight coming through the spinnaker once it was set which is a bit of a. read more...


Misto - Misto and WARC boats at Yachting World
Misto - Misto and WARC boats at Yachting World

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