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16/06/2019

Rubicon IV - blog

June 5, 2019The French word for jellyfish is méduse. It is probably from the Greek monster Medusa who was cursed by the gods to have anyone who looks at her turned into stone. In the myth, a son of Zeus named Percyus kills the monster by looking in a polished shield. In complete honesty. I hate jellyfish. It isn’t because they look weird, or that they don’t have brains, or that they poop out the same hole they eat from.The answer is their sting.I was first stung when I was about five and in the British Virgin Islands on a vacation with my family. I was swimming near a wooden pole when I got stung. The thing is that my mother told me later that there are few jelly fish in the BVI and that I was unlucky (or lucky—maybe—). It hurt like fire and I cried and cried. I remember my mother calmed. read more...


16/06/2019

Rubicon IV - blog

June 2, 2019Unlike all the other places I’ve been so far, Nuie is chilly.Still, nothing like in Canada. This is the cold season and the nights are as warm as Nova Scotian summer afternoons. In November-December we would think zero to three degrees Celsius was warm and took off our coats to play. But me being in the sweltering range for most for so long has gotten me accustomed to it. Nuie is a beautiful island. It’s mainly limestone and as limestone slowly dissolves with contact with water, there are multiple caves and underwater tunnels. Yesterday we went swimming at the Limu Pools. Pools might be misleading. When someone says pools you might think of small freshwater lakes next to each other. God forbid you are thinking of a man-made pool filled with Clorine. The Limu Pools were. read more...


Charm - Tonga 11
Charm - Tonga 11
Charm - Tonga 11
Charm - Tonga 11
Charm - Tonga 11
Charm - Tonga 11
14/06/2019

Charm - Tonga 11

.We had a beautiful afternoon today after a couple of days of off-again, on-again, rainy weather.Joe figured out a way to attach a hose to the little hoses that drain water off our bimini so now we can route the rainwater right into our tanks instead of me collecting it in pots and pans. The photos are of Cobin on coral-spotting duty, some mermaids we spotted in the water, and a sailor’s worst nightmare.Zero knots of wind, on the nose.Thankfully we were at anchor when I took the photo. Cobin was spotting for coral because this area is uncharted and there are often large coral heads (called bommies) which, depending on their size, can change the depth from a reasonable 12 feet to less than one foot.We got high-centered on one of these bommies on our dinghy at night when we did the Tahiti. read more...


Tintin - In Vava'u
Tintin - In Vava'u
Tintin - In Vava'u
Tintin - In Vava'u
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
Charm - Tonga 11 - cave day
12/06/2019

Tintin - In Vava'u

We're currently on a mooring buoy in a small anchorage off a dessertedislet in the Vava'u group of islands.The weather is grey, damp andrelatively cool and we're having a very quiet morning hoping that theweather will clear so that we get good visibility for snorkelling anddiving this afternoon.After our arrival in Tonga, we had a happy evening meeting up with mostof the WARC fleet.Some of them we hadn't seen since Tahiti, so it wasgood to chat and share a beer or 2.On Tuesday, we left the town ofNaifu and went to an anchorage called Port Maurelle - no visiblesigns of habitation ashore, but quite a few non-WARC boats.Generalising hugely, I think that Pacific islands east of here aregenerally visited by yachts heading west across the Pacific whereasTonga and islands eastwards are often. read more...


Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
11/06/2019

Charm - Tonga 10

The big story in Tonga at the moment is the weather.Since about 2 pm today, it has been raining more or less steadily, with gaps for heavy downpours or brief periods of dryness, lasting about 15 minutes each.We are rafted (tied up with) Nikitoo, a fabulous Oyster (brand of boat) whose owners are Hugh, Scottish and Mariana, Bulgarian, with crew from the UK, Spain, and Brazil.When the bay ran out of mooring buoys due to a large number of boats, they kindly invited us to raft with them.This means that they are tied to the mooring buoy and we are tied to them.Mooring buoys are some heavy item that is sunk to the bottom, with a rope tied to it and a buoy with a loop to attach to tied to the top.Some places have heavier things at the bottom than others.We rafted with them yesterday and this. read more...


Tintin - Tintin’s arrival in Tonga
Tintin - Tintin’s arrival in Tonga
Tintin - Tintin’s arrival in Tonga
Tintin - Tintin’s arrival in Tonga
09/06/2019

Tintin - Tintin’s arrival in Tonga

Nicki here from Neiafu, the port of entry into Tonga’s Vava’u group of islands. We are currently sitting at anchor opposite the wharf waiting for our turn to go alongside and receive the Tongan immigration officials for clearance into the Kingdom of Tonga - unfortunately there is a long queue as many of the World ARC boats have recently arrived; sometimes travelling with so many boats on the rally has disadvantages.We had a good sail from Nuie ~ 250 nautical miles pretty much along the rhumbline with a decent sailing breeze most of the way, largely forward of the beam so we used plain sails rather than our downwind sails. After a glorious starry night departing Nuie we had mainly cloudy skies thereafter - with occasional torrential downpours (notably usually when I was on watch!)On. read more...


Tintin - Over the date line
Tintin - Over the date line
Sweet Dream - Day 144 June 7, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 144 June 7, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019
08/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 144 June 7, 2019

Today we let go the mooring at “Bora Bora yacht club”, and braved the twisty, shallow, scary channel around the top of the island down to the absolutely gorgeous south east corner mooring field. Here we picked up aball, finished some chores, packed a lunch, and enjoyed a lovely paddle in our kayaks to a beach that was not marked tabu! We had a nice picnic lunch of very rare to find in French Polynesia ripe red tomatoes on a common baguette . We had fun watching the ants scurry for crumbs....simple things for simple minds, stalked a small ray in the shallows, and gave up our adventure when the hungry looking dogs arrived. It was unnerving the way one of them swam right out to the kayak! Happily we escaped with all skin intact and had a nice downwind paddle back to the boat. In the late. read more...


08/06/2019

Tintin - Over the date line

En route to Tonga we will cross the date line, even though wehaven't reached 180 degrees west yet. Tonga has chosen to liewest of the date line so there is a bit of a kink in the line toaccommodate this!So at midnight tonight we will be fast forwarding from Friday June 7thto Sunday June 9th, with no mention of Saturday 8th of June in our logbook.Tintin is romping along through the seas, well behaved in the gustywinds with a reef in the main and the wind just forward of the beam. It has been a great day. This afternoon Rob spotted a whale ahead, andwe saw a humpback whale breaching the sea three times, about half amile off. The whale came up vertically out of the water to its fulllength, then crashed back with a huge splash. Sorry no photo!We have been treated to a spectacular sunset so. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 142 June 5, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 142 June 5, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 143 June 6, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 143 June 6, 2019
07/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 143 June 6, 2019

This morning after the ubiquitous morning squall had cleared, we paddled our kayaks out to just inside the reef. Surf was booming, the water was heaving and rolling, but Lars had fun snorkelling. We had a tough paddle back to the boat against yet another squall,quite a work out, but fun. After lunch we took the big boat to the town dock , visited the grocery market for some fresh provisions, met a wonderful group of local guys that invited us to sit in on a jam with them. Terrific good times! We finally made it over to the Gendarmerie to begin the lengthy check out of a French Polynesia process. With any luck, we can retrieve our papers on Saturday morning and be ready to take off any time after that when the weather cooperates. After visiting town we moved to a mooring ball at the Bora. read more...


07/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019

After a very peaceful night on the mooring in Faaroa bay, Raitea, we let go the ball and motored through the lagoon shared by Raitea and Ta’ah. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the two hour journey with gorgeous scenery was very pleasant. The channel is deep and wide, with no hazards. We picked up a mooring ball in the south west corner of Ta’ah, off a place called “marina “ iti. No marina in sight, just a few bungalows on shore and a nice beach out front. It was a sweet spot just west of point Toamora. In the middle of the bay is a very pretty motu, Toapui, we kayaked all around it, and Lars snorkelled some. We wanted to land on the white sand beach, but unfortunately, it had signs saying,”tabu motu, prive.” This was the first place in French Polynesia we encountered an “ unwelcome”.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 138 June 1, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 138 June 1, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 139 June 2, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 139 June 2, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 140 June 3, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 140 June 3, 2019
06/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 142 June 5, 2019

The wind came up in the night, but the mooring held fine. We loosed our lines at 08:00 and motored out through pass Paipai. It was quite a dramatic spot to traverse! With only 18 knots of wind it was really lumpy....we could imagine this pass being intractable after a few days of high winds. We enjoyed a wonderful sail to Bora Bora. After coming into the tame pass Teavanui in front of Bora Bora’s main town of Viatape, we motored to the west side of Motu Toopua. Our initial plan was to come round into Baie Tehou and drop our anchor where we stayed four years ago. Alas! That is off limits now. Too bad. We picked up a mooring ball in the scarily shallow (11 feet at some parts!) mooring field and paid our five dollars for a three day stay. It is a good deal...you can pick up a mooring for. read more...


06/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 141 June 4, 2019

After a very peaceful night on the mooring in Faaroa bay, Raitea, we let go the ball and motored through the lagoon shared by Raitea and Ta’ah. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the two hour journey with gorgeous scenery was very pleasant. The channel is deep and wide, with no hazards. We picked up a mooring ball in the south west corner of Ta’ah, off a place called “marina “ iti. No marina in sight, just a few bungalows on shore and a nice beach out front. It was a sweet spot just west of point Toamora. In the middle of the bay is a very pretty motu, Toapui, we kayaked all around it, and Lars snorkelled some. We wanted to land on the white sand beach, but unfortunately, it had signs saying,”tabu motu, prive.” This was the first place in French Polynesia we encountered an “ unwelcome”.. read more...


04/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 138 June 1, 2019

Today we attempted to enjoy the incredible home made ice cream at the Lycee Agricultural School. No ice cream! We were so sad! When we were here four years ago we had the excellent ice cream several times as we hiked back and forth from the Belvedere. Sigh....it was still a lovely walk and we bought some coffee beans to support the school. We stopped at the little Super U grocery market and bought Magnum ice cream bars to make up for the lack of Ag school ice cream. We met a nice on Dash anchored near us and they gave us a few tips on Raitea and Bora Bora . They also have a 30 ton boat, so to hear where good mooring balls are was really good news! This is our last day in Moorea this trip, ahhhhh Moorea, how we love thee! Grand Pacific island of beauty!image1.. read more...


Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
Charm - Tonga 10
04/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 140 June 3, 2019

Our passage from Moorea to Raitea was frustrating. No wind coming from the west to start. Then... ..a 30 minute squall with lovely wind and intense pouring rain....we sailed with just the main sail up! Alas! as the squall passed the wind came to the other side and died. The rest of the night we had about 5-6 knots on the tail from the east. Finally the morning light filled in beautifully and we raisedRaitea. Faaroa bay is great! We picked up a mooring ball, dropped the kayaks in and spent the better part of the day exploring the river and all its tributaries that feed into the bay. There was only one other boat on another ball when we came in, but they left as we took off in our kayaks. There is a lovely plantation at the top of the left side of the river, but we hadn’t take any dollars. read more...


04/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 139 June 2, 2019

We kayaked around Cook’s bay one last time, Captain waxed the cabin top and I put the insides to right for a wild passage to Raitea. It’s time to move on, despite the utter lack of wind in the forecast. We left Moorea at 12:30 in the afternoon headed to Raitea.image1.. read more...


04/06/2019

Charm - Tonga 10

We left Niue last night but I didn’t write because Joe took my watch and everyone else’s. I don’t know why he did but sometimes it’s just easier to let him do what he wants.Niue was Ana amazing experience.We met the kind folks from the yacht club with no yachts, had fantastic snorkeling, ate great food, met interesting people, and learned many things.Marin’a interest in herbal medicines was the reason we signed up to go on a nature tour with Misa, a gentleman that grew up in the forests of Niue.He showed us all kinds of things about the plants and animals of Niue, from how to split and tie vines to which roots to cut and boil to harvesting wild yams and catching coconut crabs.All of us got to hold one of his fruit bats and we later used our new-found knowledge of coconut cuisine to crack. read more...


Tintin - Life on the ocean wave
Tintin - Life on the ocean wave
Tintin - Life on the ocean wave
Tintin - Life on the ocean wave
Tintin - Spot the flying birthday cake
Tintin - Spot the flying birthday cake
03/06/2019

Tintin - Life on the ocean wave

After so much fishing success yesterday, today we have seen Richard andPim very busy in the galley cooking up wahoo and sailfish delicacies.Their strategy is to tempt the crew to eat enough fish to free up fridgespace so that the skipper permits them to put the lines out again.Rob, who has been known to be pretty ambivalent about eating fish,hasn't managed to resist fallng in with this plan. The lime wahoogoujons, and teriyaki and sesame marinated sailfish fillets tasteamazingly good.Meanwhile Nicki has been refreshing her sextant sunsight skills, whichis not an easy task when bouncing over the sea in a boat heeled atwhat feels like an angle of 45 degrees. The wind has veered and we arenow almost close hauled to keep our course for Niue. But it is sunnyand the wind is a perfect 15 knots,. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 136 May 30,2019
Sweet Dream - Day 136 May 30,2019
01/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 137 May 31, 2019

Farewell Tahiti and hello Moorea again. The water between was as smooth as glass. Surreal as a Sci if movie scene. We have never seen the approach to Moorea so calm. As we motored into Cook’s bay we met the MSY Wind Spirt at anchor. The most majestic cruise ship imaginable. We tucked in farther toward the head of the bay and are now enjoying WiFi at Aimeio Lodge and anticipating pizza at the local spot before heading back to our boat for the night.image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Day 137 May 31, 2019
Sweet Dream - Day 137 May 31, 2019
01/06/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 136 May 30,2019

Last full day in Tahiti. Michel finished putting leather on our dinghy chaps. Now our little LISM (less is more) boat has taken to wearing chaps like a cowgirl! Hahaha. Carrefour received a large chunk of change from us as we provisioned for the journey to The land of OZ.We went for one last paddle around the lagoon in our kayaks, Lars cooked delicious NZ steaks on the grill, and we watched our last Tahitian sunset over Moorea for thistime around. Altogether a lovely day. image2.. read more...


30/05/2019

Sweet Dream - Day 135 May 29, 2019

Today was errands day. Captain hitched into Papeete, found some water hose for Danica 1, and some Velcro for Tumi. Then we made two provision runs! Whew....everything is stowed away and we are looking forward to sailing!image1.. read more...



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