Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh what a difference a day makes!

This passage as most certainly been the toughest one with three gales and winds as strong as 45 knots and seas as big as 7 meters. For the most part, Malachi has done very well as has the crew, the only problems we've experienced have been, once again, the generator and the auto pilot. We've spent the past 30 hours hand steering with two of us on watch at a time for a four hour shift, switching off as each hand steers for one hour. We have never had so much sea water on deck before, with all of those huge waves sometimes breaking on the bow and other times breaking on our side. Many of those waves splashed right into and over our canvas enclosure soaking everything in its path including the inside of the enclosure. We were even wearing our rain gear when we were steering and had to keep the companionway closed to keep the sea water from going down below. This past storm lasted 72 hours and was punctuated by a spectacular lightening show last night that lasted almost 12 hours!

Some big 7 meter seas.
Malachi just slices through those huge waves.

BUT, today, we awoke to sunshine, light winds and calming seas YAY! and if that weren't enough to lift the gloomy moods of the crew, it was calm enough to shower! It's amazing how much you come to appreciate the small and simple things in life so much more when you're on an ocean passage.

Orca III, the pot of gold!

We've got about 280 miles left on this trip to Tubuai in the Australs and we can't wait to be there. We're dreaming of steak and french fries, ice cream, swimming and snorkeling, not to mention a still anchorage.

This little chickadee hitched a ride with us for a few days.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Calm Waters

Thank you so much to Glady Martin for this beautiful and encouraging poem. And to all of our family and friends who are praying for us during our passage, we appreciate you all so much!

Calm Waters

On this Easter morn you sail

on waters calm and blue

God stretched His mighty hand toward

your homeward trip that's due..

On days the wind is wild at sea

He'll hold you safe to Him

And when the stillness teases sail

He'll blow gently with a hymn.

Fear not of waves or dangers near

for He has guards for you.

His warrior angels stand swords drawn

as you sail the mighty blue..

Soon you will be again at home,

your hearts have changed so clear,

Our God has shown you many things

while on your sojourn years.

So, on this day that He arose

and opened up a way,

that we can live in paradise

and begin a brand new day.

Face the east and smile your love

and know that He's with you.

Close your eyes and listen close...

He is saying..."I love you."

dedicated to

"The Crandell Family"


Glady Martin

April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The 9th day out...

Malachi sailing in the 'Roaring 40's'
We're so glad we had such a nice start to this passage, it allowed the crew to get used to the motion again after sitting still for several months. Unfortunately, those first few days were not repeated on the next four. We have encountered winds as strong as 42 knots and seas as large as five meters, but the good ship Malachi and her crew are still going strong!

We have found ourselves sailing SSE and even due south at times to avoid a nasty low pressure system that was passing by to the north of us. The night before last, we even hove to for 18 hours to 'supposedly' get some rest, but that proved to be almost as uncomfortable as pounding into the waves. Around midnight last night, the winds and seas started to ease up giving us a nice reprieve and the outlook for the next several days looks very favorable.

Here's a pic of Orca III in the swell, you may have to enlarge the picture to see them, this will give you a good idea of how big the seas are.

One of the nicest things about this passage has been being in VHF range with Orca III, it's amazing what that little lifeline of contact will do for your spirits. While we were hove to, we drifted farther apart and could only make contact at the pre-arranged times via the SSB radio - still good but not quite the same as being able to pick up the VHF and chatting whenever you feel like it. We are now back in VHF range with Orca III just over a mile away. We are still sailing in relatively close proximity to both Orca III and Candine and we talk at least once a day on the SSB to exchange position reports and discuss weather and routing. It's very nice to have the support of cruising buddies when something goes wrong. Candine is experiencing an overheating problem and was able to discuss a solution with Orca III over the radio.

We're really looking forward to making some great progress over the next several days while the winds are favorable to travel east, that way when the winds shift, we'll be far enough over to alter course to the north and still make it to the Australs.

*NOTE* You can see our track and current position by clicking on 'current position' near the bottom of the right hand column. We update our position daily.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The first few days out...

Our departure from NZ was easy as...

Will will miss all of our cruising buddies who are continuing their sailing adventures. Thanks everyone for making this the trip of a lifetime for us!

After leaving the town basin marina and an emotional farewell to our fellow cruising buddies we motored to Marsden Cove at the mouth of the river. It was very nice to spend the night in a very quiet atmosphere prior to our departure. NZ customs arrived at 8:30 am on Saturday and as soon as Malachi and Orca III were cleared, we set sail for the east. We are traveling in very close proximity to Orca III and Candine (from Victoria) is not too far away.

Beautiful Whangarei heads at the mouth of the river.

Our first day was pleasant, partly cloudy, with very light winds so we motored for about 7 hours before there were sufficient winds to sail through the night. Day two, we spent motoring on calm seas but sailed through the night. we've had a mix of wavy and calm seas, sailing and motoring, but so far, this trip has favored sailing. The high pressure systems are still quite far south, so, while our destination is north east, we are sailing south east into the highs with the more favorable south west winds. Everyone is feeling well, aside from a cold that seems to be making its rounds.

We've had some excellent wildlife encounters, starting with penguins just as we left the river....yes, that's right, penguins! We've had dolphins join us on a couple of occasions too - bringing all of their friends over to play in our bow wave. One of the more excellent surprises was the escort Malachi was given by a flock of Albatross! These birds are huge! We had a little sparrow land on us a couple of times to rest, but 'Hitch' didn't stay long.

Our last view of New Zealand, a memorable sunset.

We've been fishing, but with no success. Poor Albert (Ross) didn't realize the squid that was following us was a fishing lure and when he tried to get it for lunch, it tangled in his beak. This upsetting episode, both for Albert and the crew of Malachi, was resolved after reeling the bird in and Jay hanging over the edge with a pair of pliers to free the hook from his mouth. I'm sure his beak and wings were very sore, but he'll be just fine. We haven't tried fishing since.

Poor Albert! but he was so cooperative as Jay removed the hook from his beak. The wingspan is between six and eight feet! a huge bird!

On Monday morning, Orca III and Malachi's courses converged just around sunrise. Orca III caught four albacore tuna and since we were so close to one another, they maneuvered along side us to give us some fish. This is a very unusual thing to do but the seas were calm and they had done it once before. They tied a line with a weight at one end and tied two tuna fish to the other end. As they came beside us, they tossed the weighted end of the line then once I had caught it, they placed the other end, with the fish on, into the water and I pulled the fish aboard Malachi. Then with the omission of the fish on the line, we reversed the process to return their line so that we're good to go for the next time!

At 5:40pm yesterday, we crossed the dateline and are now back in the western hemisphere so we celebrated with a cheer and a call on the radio to Orca III to brag. Steve said it's the first time ever that he's been ahead of someone and behind someone at the same time!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


And we're off!

Malachi has spent the past three months in Whangarei where we've enjoyed being with lots of friends and where we've done lots of fun things. But, alas, the time has come to bid farewell, to the land of the long white cloud. We will miss all of our cruising buddies who will be continuing on to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and beyond. We hope you'll look us up next time you're in Vancouver, we would love to see you all again.

We've had the great pleasure of having Meridian rafted to us for the past couple of days. Meridian is Malachi's twin and we've been trying to catch up since Mazatlan! Here we are side by side in the town basin marina. We've totally enjoyed meeting up with John and Nancy and family and are sorry not to have had more time together sooner. Don't the boats look awesome together!

Eitan from Mintaka flew home with his mom on Tuesday. His dad is sailing the boat back to the US with crew. The girls really enjoyed meeting Eitan and will miss him and all of the other great kids here in Whangarei.

Eitan, Kyle Maya, Jenny, Jocelyn, Jaryd

We will be sailing north east to French Polynesia where we'll visit Tubai, in the Australs and Tahiti in the Societies. We should be there in time to celebrate Jocelyn's 17th birthday on the 26th.

So as we throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbour, we'll leave you with a few slang kiwi words and phrases - g'day mates!

Cheers - a friendly way to say good-bye or can also mean thank-you
Boot – car trunk
Chilly Bin – a cooler, also called an esky as in “Eskimo” brand coolers
Chips – french fries
Cinema - movie theatre
Crisps – potato chips
Dairy - any convenience store, like 7-11
Dear - expensive
Dearer - more expensive
Diddle yourself - cheat yourself
Dun and dusted - all done, complete
Flash - very fancy and posh
Fringe – those are bangs, like hair over your forehead
Good as gold - means 'perfect!'
Handle - a mug. Otherwise it’s a glass which is smaller with no handle.
Hire - In NZ one doesn’t “rent” a car or canoe. You “hire” them.
How ya’ going?- is used instead of “How are you doing?”
Jandals - flip-flops
Judder Bars – speed bumps
Mixer - a faucet with both hot and cold water, highly uncommon here. Almost always a sink has the dreaded individual spout at each end of the sink. When washing your hands you freeze your left hand while scalding your right. The spouts barely hang over the lip of the sink making it almost impossible to wash dishes.
Nappies - diapers
Owl-Lou-Mini-Um - this how they pronounce aluminum
Scroggin - Trail mix
Serviette - table napkins. A “napkin” in NZ is a feminine product.
Sweet As… - means emphatically I agree or very cool, also used as a fragment not a sentence
Tea – Dinner
Tramping – hiking
Whitewear – these are appliances like washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.