Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back in the Northern Hemisphere

Pretty flowers from Tikihau

Malachi crossed the equator this morning at a little past one in the morning, with Orca III just .7 miles off our starboard beam. We watched the latitude count down, as if we were watching the clock at new years, and as we crossed we all gave a hoot and a holler! We made it! Crossing back into the northern hemisphere marks the completion of the southern loop of our adventure. We've got approximately 1400 nm left to go to Hilo, Hawaii and we're really hoping for nice winds and calmer seas. They're a little lumpy at the moment.

More pretty flowers from Tikihau

The previous two days have been very squally and the boat was very stuffy inside as we could not have any ports or hatches open. The captain and genoa have never had such a workout, furling and unfurling with each passing squall. Today, however, the weather is nice and the forecast even better. We should be able to enjoy a few days of clear skies and 10-15kn of east wind before we find ourselves in the ITCZ where things will, no doubt, diminish in quality. But, following that we'll be able to turn and head straight at Hawaii on a nice beam reach. We can't wait to get there.

Today, we'll be celebrating with an Equator party! Starting with crepes for breakfast, roasted brie and champagne for lunch and chocolate/coconut ice cream for dinner. Why not go all out, it's quite an accomplishment!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The first few days out

Leaving Tahiti

This passage couldn't possibly be any different from the last one! Light breeze, flat clam seas, intense sunshine and clear night skies, what a pleasant change!

We did an overnight trip between Tahiti and Tikehau, the Northwestern most of the Tuamotus where we spent two nights resting and tending to some final passage preparations and repairs.

It's May 24th and we've been out for 24 hours, motor sailing in very light east winds. The gribs show that we can expect the winds to fill in nicely, providing east to east south east winds all the way to the equator, only 137 hours, 15 minutes and 53 seconds until we're in the northern hemisphere again. We'll be sure to feed and toast Neptune as we pass by.

Remember you can watch our progress clicking the link 'track our position' in the right hand column.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Au revoir Tahiti!

Rambutan - kind of like a lychee

Soursop - I like Chris's (Candine) description best 'tastes like lolly pops!'

It's been so nice to be back in French Polynesia, it really is beautiful here. The only thing we'll
miss are the high prices!

Beautiful sunset over Moorea

Sunset over Moorea

Malachi sailing wing on wing

We've had success with repairs and everything is working and will hopefully be doing so all the way home. We've had fun playing in the water and swimming with the rays. We've had our fill of fresh French baguettes, pineapples and fresh salad and we've eaten at the Roulotte. We even celebrated both Dionne and Emma's birthdays! What more could we want?

Biking in Tubuai

Emma's 9th birthday in Tahiti.

Happy Birthday Dionne! (not her 9th - in Moorea). I made those delicious cinnamon buns for her! mmmmmm! (Thanks Cynthia for the awesome recipe, we're famous for those now)

Every evening the the Tahitians practice in their outriggers, it's major competition here.

Austin (Candine) and emma playing on the beach in Tubuai.

But, alas, the time has come for us to cast off once again and set sail for Hawaii. We will miss the smells of the islands and the 'wahh, wahh' of the sirens as they pass by. We're planning to stop in the Tuamotus for a night or two before the passage to Hawaii, which will be much better than the passage between NZ and Tubuai. It'll be a much shorter passage too, maybe around 16 days if we're lucky.

Here's a pic of Whangarei, out of place, but a cool pic from Graeme. You can see Malachi to the right of the red roofs on the far shore and you can see the yellow sign of pak-n-save, our grocery store, in the background. The store was nice and close, really great, we just borrowed the trolley to transport our groceries back to the boat!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tubuai to Tahiti

We decided, after much deliberation, to depart Tubuai ahead of a storm that was expected to arrive on Friday. So a little after one in the afternoon, Malachi and Orca III weighed anchor and set sail once again, this time, bound for Tahiti.

One of the nice things about being at sea is that there are no pesky flies to interrupt your sleep.

This trip was VERY different from the passage between NZ and Tubuai, in fact, we enjoyed a beautiful reach for the first 12 hours and we were making 8 knots over calm seas, lovely! It was sunny most of the time and Jocelyn even decided to take a dip one afternoon.

Malachi caught, seemingly, the only fish between Tubuai and Tahiti, a nice Mahi Mahi. We had hoped to catch another bigger one so we could have a feast in Tahiti, but it didn't happen.

The girls have been working hard on their school work during the passages, as conditions permit and have been making fair progress.

Here's a picture of us girls in our standard passage attire - pj's! This pic was taken as we left NZ.

One thing I forgot to write about as we were underway between NZ and Tubuai, was Jocelyn's BD. On the 26th of April, we celebrated Jocelyn's 17th birthday with fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast and Tex Mex for dinner, we had hoped to have made landfall by this time, but we made the best of it. Orca III sang Jocelyn a song over the VHF - very nice.

Jenny, presenting Jocelyn with her BD gifts

Cheery Jocelyn loved here gifts especially the Twilight shirt from Jenny.

The passage to Tahiti took just shy of three days and we were all tied up at the Quay in Papeete by seven am Sunday morning, just in time to pick up some freshies at the market!

We feasted Sunday night on steak and fries at the Roulotte as we celebrated our arrival and mothers day. It's good to be in Tahiti, but it's oh so hot and humid!

Friday, May 08, 2009


The kids are happy to be on land!

Kyle, Jenny, Jocelyn, Maya, Graeme and Emma on our first walk in three weeks!
Jay and Steve on our journey into the Gendamarie
Our beautiful girls on a beautiful beach

A pretty church in town, where we listened to the beautiful singing

In Frech Polynesia, as in France, people purchase their baguettes fresh every morning. It would appear that some the islanders on Tubua have their bread delivered with their mail!

Tubuai has been a wonderful place to stop and rest. The island is very beautiful and the islanders are very friendly. While here, we enjoyed a variety of activities from walking and swimming to biking and playing on our own private motu. We even followed the sound of drums one night to watch the musicians and dancers practice for the big dance festival which happens in July in Tahiti.

Jay hanging out with the local men watching the practice of the drummers and dancers.
Alain from the Tubuai Centre loaned us each a bike so we could explore the island. There is pretty well one main road that runs along the shore. I though it was funny that there was a crosswalk!

Ready to roll! Maya, Marg, Dionne, Kyle, Chris and Emma

Traffic control on Tubuai.

Roadside fruit and vegetable stand. The ladies who ran this little shop loaned us some wrenches to repair one of the bicycles.
One afternoon after chores, school and repairs were done, we hopped in our dinghys to play on the little sandy motu between the anchorage and the reef. We had this entire little motu to ourselves and we enjoyed swimming, collecting shells and even a game of bocce!
Sandy motu

Jocelyn & Graeme reconstructed this lobster

Jenny, Maya and Kristie collecting shells

The time has come for us to depart and continue on our voyage to Tahiti, with just under 400 miles to go, we'll be there on Sunday. We look forward to a good passage and some fun times in wntown Papeete, maybe even internet!

It just wouldn't be complete without a picture of a flower!

Monday, May 04, 2009

We made it!

Land Ho!

After 23 days at sea, most of which was rougher than we like, we arrived in Tubuai. By 8:40 last night, we had the anchor set and were enjoying a relaxing drink before bed. We were particularly tired after hand steering for the last four days. What a relief to not have to steer or stand watch. Orca III, with whom we'd been traveling, and Candine, who left Auckland the same time we left Whangarei, arrived about 30 minutes after us. Now here we sit, three Canadian boats at a remote Polynesian island, it's surreal! It was very exciting to see this little island appear in the distance after not seeing land for so many days, it was an amazing sight.

The three Canadians invade Tubuai, only one other boat has been here this year.

This morning, we tended to some chores such as laundry, general tidying up, inflating the dinghy and moving the life raft, then we headed to shore to explore this beautiful island. The people here are so very friendly, everyone who passed us on the road waved. We must have looked very conspicuous, ten of us white Canadians walking the main road in town. We even garnered a hearty chuckle from a fellow riding his scooter, when all of us stuck our thumbs to hitch a ride. Marie at one of the little stores opened up just for us, so we all indulged in a frosty ice cream bar. Then it was off to the Gendarme, unfortunately they were closed today, but there were workers in the garden who asked us to return tomorrow morning. You should have seen the looks on their faces when we told them that there were three boats and fourteen people checking in! It's even more apparent now that this little island gets few visitors. It's hot and humid here which will take us a few days to adjust to, but at least this is the coolest of the Polynesian islands, so we can acclimatize a little easier.

Thanks to all of our family and friends who have been supporting us through prayer during this passage, we couldn't have done it without you.