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...
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...
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...
Blue Pearl - Vanuatu
Vanuatu became an independent nation in 1980. Before that it was called the New Hebrides, maybe a better known name to older folks like me. Like most nations in the South Pacific it is an archipelago of numerous islands all separated by substantial distances. We arrived here after a 3 day passage from Musket Cove our last stopping point in the nation of Fiji. Once again the crossing was what seems to be the norm in the South Pacific, the wind almost directly from behind and rolling seas. Not a nice combination. Many in the fleet, including Laurie who had just returned from 4 weeks at home, didn't cope well with the incessant rolling of the boat. And so we all were happy and relieved to make landfall in Vanuatu, in Tanna, one of the southerly islands.Tanna is remarkable in that it is the. read more...
Blue Pearl - Mission Impossible
Big day here at Denarau Marina. Laurie is flying back in to Fiji arriving at 5.50am from LA. Very much looking forward to it.It has been a busy week on the boat. Very different from cruising around the islands. Instead it has been boat work all week except for Friday which, yes, you guessed it was a public holiday. This one was "Sports Day" organized by the government to give people a much needed day off with som physical activity to boot.The Government also announced their annual budget. The current US government would call it socialism, others would say it is government spending with a focus on the well being of the community at large rather than just on the successful individual. Whatever...!The boat work was a nice break for me. Actually my part of the work was supervising the guys. read more...