Chevaldy on tour
Der Weg ist das Ziel.....

Logbook Englisch

New Caledonia

14.10.17 until 05.11.17

We reached the Havana Pass and were glad to find we had the tide with us thank God, we had heard stories from other sailors who ended up making ½ a knot speed against the tide, and others with weaker motors going 1 knot backwards, ffs like we don’t need that sort of shite now, We reached Cape Ndoua 1hour and 45 minutes later as the wind increased to 25 knots, and before ye knew it we were flying through the narrow pass of Canal Woodin. I mean it was Saturday, and even if we cleared in now we would have to go to immigration on Monday again to get clearance from them as they don’t work on the weekend, and with the wind ever increasing we decided to anchored in the Uie Bay, which we reached at 13.30 and dropped anchor in 4 meters depth with good holding.









We had lunch and were relaxing with an old cuppa, when Renahara  (our friends on a German boat) Called us up on the radio, Renate had thought she had seen us in an anchor bay she had passed, and was surprised to find out we were ahead of them, Renahara decided to go the 20 nautical miles and anchor closer to Noumea.

We had finished talking with Renahara when we were contacted by Sodric ( our friends on a French boat)who we hadent seen for over 6 months, and who were close to the bay we were anchored in when they heard our boats name being called on the radio, one hour later Sodric dropped the hook next to us and came over to Chev, Jean-Pierre his wife Isabelle and daughter Orelle , we had a good old chin wag over coffee and biscuit’s, Orelle is in the French Navy and was with her parents for 3 weeks sailing holiday, when it ends they all fly back to France to gether for 6 months before Jean-Pierre and Isabelle return to their boat Sodric.


Sodric

Jean-Pierre, Isabelle and Orelie

They showed us a better anchor spot that wasn’t too far away but more sheltered from the ever increasing winds that had at this time reached 30 Knots, so we re anchored 300 meters to the south west of the bay where it was better protected from the strong winds, we were invited for dinner on board Sodric for the evening, and caught up with their adventures, Jean-Pierre who plays guitar and sings lovely French songs with Isabelle, we had a lovely evening, and as they would be leaving early in the morning we wished them all a lovely trip and stay safe until the next time when we will see each other again.




Jean-Pierre und John

Isabelle and Orelie

15.10 from.17. We moved to the ilot maitre, that is an island resort only 40 minutes from Noumea harbour, and there are mooring Buoy’s you can tie up to free of charge, we saw 2 moorings in front of the other boats, now the wind was blowing with 25 knots and you can imagen how difficult it can be to hold a boat in position with these winds, well, Sabine hooked the buoy first go, and I shot up to the bow to help her pull the buoy up, now, you wouldn’t believe the pressure that was on the boat hook from the waves and wind was so much that I felt me right hand and arm being stretched so much that I thought me arm would be torn out of the socket, I was thinking I could scratch me feet from now on without even bending down, and the boat hook that is actually a gaff hook we use to pull in the old fish we catch, it didn’t have the shape of a hook anymore because of the strain from the strong wind that was blowin, the fuckin thing straightened its self into a straight line, making it impossible to hook anything, anyway with no one on the wheel old Cheve turned away with the wind  to the right, I shot back to the cockpit put her into gear and headed for another buoy that was in this direction when there was a banging and grating sound, poor Sabine nearly lost balance, and asked me what that noise was when the same thing happened again, Bang scrape and scratching sounds, well it could only be one thing, the thought flashed through me mind, we are on a fucking reef, fuck me after safely navigating the reef infested waters of Tonga and Fiji we end up on a reef in New Caledonia, it wasn’t so bad though we had hit a reef but were free of it again thanks be to jaysus, we got another buoy with the help of a fellow sailor in his dinghy, well we couldn’t hook shit with the hook thing we had, the moorings we had tried to tie up to were only meant for small motor boats but there were no sings any ware that said this  and all the moorings were the same colour, well we found some comfort in the fact that we were not the first that this had happened to, I went about me business of checking the bilge for sings of water leaks, there were none thank Christ, and  the straightening the old gaff hook, and was thankful that me old right arm wasn’t stretched as much as I thought, then again, maybe there would be an advantage to having extra-long arms I suppose sure.  

16.10.17. Monday morning at 06.45.there was a scatter of boats in the direction of Port Moselle harbour to check in, well we were among the last to leave the island resort and arrived in the anchorage in the harbour at 08.00 and found a spot near Renahara and dropped anchor.


Mooringfield in front of the marina

Naumea in the background

To make a long story short, Sabine and Renate spent the whole morning looking for immigration, Customs, and Bio security to clear in, the different department offices where spread all over the city, when they finished with the clearance we got a place in the harbour at 13.00 we were tied up on the pontoon in the visitors dock and could relax, and before the day was over we had been to the telecom shop for a Sims card, the supermarket where we loaded up with supplies, then back to the marina for a hot shower, an early dinner and an early night’s sleep, I think we were in bead at 7 0 clock that evening.

New Caledonia has a population of 268,767 and consists of a mix of Kanak people as the original native inhabitants are called, people of European and Metropolitan French descent or Caldoches as they are called, Polynesian people as well as Southeast Asian people as well as people of Pied-Noir and North African descent, with Noumea being the Capital.

The first impression we have of Noumea was the smell of the place, it stunk of piss on every corner and doorway,I am not codding yea, but it became obvious after we went walkabout, that the city has a lot of drug addicts, alcoholics, and homeless people, the most of them are native Melanesian or Kanak aged between 16 to 30 years old, hanging around in groups, or sleeping in the parks, it’s very  hard to believe that in such a small country with a population of  268,767, that had a GPD of nearly 10 Billion US$ , Per capita 38,921 only 6 years ago has such problems today, it proves that the normal people never got a share of that wealth, In the shops and supermarkets we saw a lot of private security personnel in uniform, and there is a big presence of Police in the city, after talking with the people we met, they think and feel that there will be an explosion of frustration that it will end in violent protest, I really feel sorry for them and New Call.

 After a week in the Marina we went back out to the anchorage where we waited for another week for a weather window that would take us back to New Zealand, on Friday the 27.10.17. We cleared out of New Caledonian, the harbour master asked us when we would be leaving, I told him we planned on leaving Saturday afternoon, he then told us we could stay until Sunday evening if the weather gets bad he said, very nice from him indeed we would keep it open as an option just in case we told him, thanks very much God bless yea. On our way back through the city we spent the last of our South Pacific Francs on bread jam and of course our last ice cream, now there’s nothing we love better than buying an old ice cream in the supermarket, finding a comfortable bench or place to sit down and enjoy the view as we ate the ice, when we finished we returned to the marina had a last hot shower and drove back to old Chev with the dinghy.


T

he anchorage

Dinghydock in the marina

Bar and marina office in the background

Around 17.00 we had a visit from our friends Renate and Martin from Renahara, came to say good bye, and told us they were going to another anchorage in one of the outer islands, and that they were thinking about leaving on Tuesday or Wednesday as the weather should be better, that maybe we could all leave together then, we declined the offer, as at sea there is no safety in numbers, once you leave a harbour you are on your own, and besides that there was a front expected the following week on Monday evening, that meant we would have the trade winds right on the nose as we got close to New Zealand, one way or the other we would get a hammering, but we would prefer it to happen on our terms in the middle of the trip while we were still fresh and have plenty of room to run with the storm, rather than near the end of the trip. With that Renate and Martin wished us good luck and a safe trip, we said our Farwell’s and wished them fair winds and following seas, and that with the help of God, we would meet up with them again in the Bay of Islands in Opua when we reached New Zeeland.

 Saturday morning we downloaded the Grib files for the weather up date, we had planned to go to day but after reviewing the grib files decided to leave Sunday morning instead. The trip to New Zealand would take us 7 to 8 days, we were expecting the weather to deteriorate according to the weather report, halfway through the trip from early Wednesday morning, until Friday evening with the worst shit, 25 to 30 Knot wind and 3 to 4 meter waves happening Saturday, we spent the rest of the day getting Old Chev ready for her Ocean passage and by the afternoon we had everything stowed away and were ready to depart Sunday.

Sunday morning we had our breakfast and at 06.00 we loaded down the weather report, and after looking at grid files, predict wind, and windy ty, we decided to head off, at 08.00 I pulled up the anchor and Sabine steered us towards the path that would take us through the outer island and the reefs out onto the open ocean, a final good bye to Noumea, and a prayer to God to guide and keep us safe on our journey.


Sunrise at sea


05.11.17. we reached the bay of islands after 7 days and 6 hours, a distance of 930 nautical miles everything went as planned with the winds getting stronger and the seas and waves getting higher from Wednesday through until Friday evening, the strongest winds we measured with a hand held wind meter as out mast top meter was blown away in a storm last year after leaving Bora Bora, was 25 knots, from the side with the waves being as predicted 3 to 4 meters, it was rough but not as rough as last year when we sailed down from Tonga with the wind on the nose, the hardest bit was just before the end of the storm our new Ray Marine wheel auto pilot packed up, it just jammed, so we had 3 days of hand steering. We reached the Bay of Islands and thanked God for the safe passage we had, 2 hours later we are tied up on the Q dock (Quarantine dock) and waiting to clear into New Zealand, its 14.30 on Sunday the 05.11.17 we are safe sound, very tiered and thankful. So Followers of Chev, hope you will enjoy our blog and the old photos we made for you, take care now look after yourselves well and stay safe until the next time, good bye and God bless you all...    


Cavali Islands
    
No time for a shave
      


Viti Levu (2)

22.09.17 till 14.10.2017

26.09.17 Ahoy and Har harr to yea Followers of Chev, we had an early breakfast and at 06.30, our friends Inge and Ernst from the German boat Atlantis came over with a noodle salad, fish in batter, and pancakes for desert, so lunch, dinner and desert looked after by Inge, that will save us time making it, thanks to you both, lovely stuff.

We were outside Vuda point and contacted the Marine at 07.50 and were told by Timo to come into the harbour and tie up on the mooring boy in the middle of the harbour, we got as far as the inner basin where we were then told by some other guy we would have to raft up to another boat on the kay wall and await further instructions. While we were waiting and waiting, 2 commercial boats were already after being lifted out. Now like I can be a patient person, but after 3 ½ hours tied up to another boat in the unbearable heat, and being told to wait again as another ferry went to the buoy, I reached the end of me patients, I climbed on board the boat we were tied to and went ashore to the yard where I spoke with Timo who was up to his arse in stress, and told him I had me belly full of this waiting shit I keep hearing, ´´I will take you out next but that could take another while´´, give me a time I told him, 12.30 he replied, good I will hold you to that.

12.00 o’clock came and over comes a well-dressed security man in a shiny uniform with a radio in his hand and tells us we will be taken out after 14.00. Now Sabine who very seldom loses her cool lost it then, in a shaky voice told the security man we are waiting since 08.00 and what does he mean by after 14.00. He just kept repeating his message like a recorded announcement with a smile on his face, that was enough for me Jesus’ wept I erupted in a fury, I told him with a voice that would have broken glass, and made the smile vanish from yer boyos face, listen well now,  we are going on that Buoy NOW, you have done your job, thank you  so go back to the office right now and tell those brainless assholes who don’t have the guts to come here themselves, that we are next out, . With that I started the engine and Sabine let the ropes go and we went over to the buoy that the ferry had just left and we tied up to it.

At 13.00 while waiting on the buoy, that’s right in the centre of the harbour, we saw thick black smoke billowing out of a boat on the pier, I never saw a crowd gather so fast, before the fire we saw the odd person now and then, but at the height of the excitement they were like ants all over the place, it broke the monotony of waiting in the scorching heat, the fire lasted 20 minutes and was more smoke than fire, before it was finally put out, a short circuit caused the electric cable to melt and ignite, the boat was ok but there’s some messy cleaning and repairs to be done.

At13.45. we heard some boat calling the marine office telling them they had a haul out appointment at 14.00. they were told by the office to stay outside by the anchorage in front of the marine and to remain on standby on channel 15 as the marine was full, 5 minutes later, the same boat called again asking permission to go to the Crain basin for haul out, they received the same reply, please remain on standby do not enter the harbour as there is no room. To make a long story short, this boat came into the harbour, and after being told to raft up to the boat by the wall where we had been all morning, by the yard workers, what does this fool do, he ignores the instructions of the yard worker, comes straight to us and tells us they would tie up to us, I told him no way that he was double our size and he was to raft up on the boat we had been tied to all morning where the yard workers were waiting for him, listen mate we have a haul out at 14.00 and I will tie up to you until then, I told him how sorry I was to hear that, but we have been waiting since 08.00 and we are next out and until then he could go where he liked but he would not tie up to us, that he was annoyed would be an understatement, as a matter of fact he was really pissed off at that and after an exchange of a shower of foul mouthed  words with loud voices at forty paces he went back out to the anchorage where he came from, good riddance I say.     

We had to wait until 15.00 before we were lifted out by crane, and I was told by a worker that Apparently the 2 nice girls that worked in the Marina office that had given us the crane appointment, were fired after being caught fiddling, so their Crain appointment calendar was up in a heap, we heard stories from other people, the real juicy bits about how long it was going on and how much they had stolen, but that was only gossip and not Fact. Nothing like a juicy bit of gossip, sure we all love that sort of stuff, and most times there’s always more juicy lies added on as the story gets passed along, maybe there was a few hundred dollar’s$$ taken but in the end it will probably be a few hundred thousand or a few million.


Ready for the travellift

Getting ready to go back into the water

Sabine and Susan are waiting

Timo the yardmanager

Nearly back in the water

We spent 2 days and 2 nights in Vuda Marine, I finished the anti-fouling and we were back in Saweni Bay on the 28.09.17.  Where we got more provisions up in Lautoka.

01.10.17. We sailed to Musket cove and anchored just outside the harbour, we went ashore with David and Susan, in the Marina office we paid 10 $ Fijian each for lifelong membership in the Musket cove Yacht Club and resort well now, that entitles us to the free use of the showers, pools, deck chairs, beach beads, laundry, and we could get rid of our rubbish as well, we spent 4 days lazing around just soaking up the beautiful luxury island atmosphere, really nice place, we will come back again after the hurricane season is over, lovely stuff sure.




We met Russell and Jane from Ta-b

View from the hill





Having a fine time in the swimming pool















05.10.17 we returned to Saweni Bay at midday and had a sing song on the beach that evening, the next day we were invited to dinner on board the Atlantis by Ernst and Ingy and had a great night.


Inge and Ernst

07.10.17. We motored up to lautoka with Renata’s boat, Renahara, anchored in the harbour went ashore and spent 2 hours shopping for supplies for our trip to New Caledonia, and we met up again in the chilly tree Café before returning to the boat, it was a sort of farewell to Hardy who would be flying back home to Germany after being a crewmember on a boat for 2 weeks, he plays the Ukulele and loves the jamming sessions and sing songs, after that we went back to the boat and back to Saweni bay.


The sugarcane train

Singsong at the beach

08.10.17. We all gathered on the beach before sundown this evening for a final farewell and sing song, Our time in Fiji is nearly at an end, and all the old friends we have met up with again, and the many new friends we have made since arriving here in Saweni bay will soon be going their separate ways to different destinations, some we will have the pleasure of meeting up with again with the help of God, and some we may never see again, but I know that each of them, like us, will carry the wonderful times we were privileged to share together, in their hearts and souls, we had a cracker of a night with everyone giving their best by playing an instrument or singing along, the last song we sang was the Parting glass, a fitting song to a for a lovely evening, god bless them all and keep them safe.


Our sunsail got ripped and had to be stiched

The goodbye party

Inge, Sabine, Kyle, Tony and I

Martin and I

09.10.17 we lifted the anchor leaving Saweni Bay in our keel water, dropped the hook again 1 hour later in Lautoka harbour cleared customs, when you clearcustoms in Fiji you must leave the country straight away, at 09.30 we left Lautoka harbour, Good bye Fiji.

We had very strong winds at the start, 25 knots the first day. The second day our new autopilot belt broke, we had to take off the steering wheel, so we got a chance to try out our emergency tiller that was made for us by our good friend Detlef, well now, all I can say is it worked like a dream thanks Detlef boy great stuff, and while Sabine steered old Chev I dismantled the autopilot, changed the belt, refitted the wheel, and old Squeaky was up and running.


It was fairly cold at night

We are there

The winds dropped between 15 and 20 Knots, the waves got lower, 2 to 3 meters, Chev took off like a rocket and we had the best daily average speed over a 24 hour period, we had ever recorded so far on old Chev of 150 nautical miles. We reached New Caledonia in 5 days on the 14.10.17 where we will stay until the middle of November before heading back to New Zealand. So followers of Chev, hope you enjoy the old blog, take care now and mind yourselves well until the next time, good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Har harr.





Havanna Canal New Caledonia
               


Viti Levu


31.08.17 till 21.09.17

WE dropped anchor at 16.30. Just before it got dark In a bay not far from Volivoli point, and the mud held the anchor solid all night. The next morning we motor sailed by very light winds to Toba Naloma Bay and dropped the hook in 5 meters of water on another muddy bottom that gave us great holding.


Volivoli Bay

no wonder the Ausies and Kiwis love it here, its like sailing on a pond

01.09.17. the small dinghy motor was giving trouble again so I took of the carburettor but it was clean so it could only be the main valve, I start to tak e the main valve out with a spanner in me right and a rag in me left hand just in case the valve slipped out and of course it did, the friggin thing fell away from the cloth in me hand, bounced off the deck and plopped into the sea, it shouldn’t have happened, I mean I had the cloth right under where it should have fallen, I felt like the biggest dickhead that was ever born as I watched it disappear beneath the water. I got our 2nd motor out of retirement and had it up and running after 20 minutes, it’s a bit stiff, I have to use a plyer’s to put it into gear, it uses a lot more petrol and its as heavy as fuck but at least it’s working, but for how long.

02, 09.17. We were hoping to reach the big village of Tavua that we could Just see behind the thick mangroves, we went aground a couple of times with the dinghy just before the entrance to the mangroves, and again in the mangrove swamps we scraped ground 3 more times as we tried a couple of paths through the mangroves that were very shallow in parts and just when we thought we were on the right path, it turned out to be a dead end, and after more than 3 hours we gave up and returned very disappointed to Chev, Poor Sabine was so looking forward to some fresh bread, chees, tomatoes, green salad    



  
the Mangrove maize where we had so much fun and frustration 

We enjoyed it in this huge bay with loads of room, in the 2 nights and 3 days we spent here we didn’t see a sign of another sail boat. The friendly fishermen that passed us in the mornings always shouted a Bula or hallow to us as they passed.  03.09.17. At 11.20. We lifted anchor after 3 nights and 2 days in Naloma bay and 10 minutes later we drove onto a mud bank, the depth gauge showed 1,30 meters, we have a depth of 1,60 meters, Chev´s keel was stuck in 30 cm of mud with the tide going out. I put her into revers as I turned the rudder left and right I slowly increased the throttle up to full power and said a bag full of prayers, old Chev moved very very slowly at first and after what seemed like hours but in fact was only 5 minutes we were free of the mud TG, I tell yea now were very lucky, it could have been a reef. Vatia Bay was only 10 nautical miles away and 2 hours later we got there with no further surprises, thank God, that was enough excitement for one morning, 

04.09.17. We had anchored about I kilometre from the beach of the Vatia Bay reasort the day before when we arrived because of the reefs. The heavy old dinghy motor would be too much bother so we rowed ashore to the beach, there was a small resort on the beach and we asked the girl at the reception whose name was Zuma, if it would be ok to leave the dinghy on the beach, no problem she said, we told Zuma that we had run out fresh fruit and vegetables a week ago, we needed flower too and asked her where we could get them. She told us how to get to the nearest big town that was 20 kilometres away where we could get everything we needed, that it was 3 kilometres to the main road from the resort, and from there we could stop the bus on the main road.


 landing on the beach 

asking if it was ok to leave our dinghy on their beach

you can just see Chavaldy through the trees 

It was only 09.00 but it was already over 30° So off we went on walkabout the sun was splitting the stones as they say, as we headed down the dirt track, that would lead to a gravel path, that would bring us to the main road. 2 klicks later we met a guy who was also walking in the same direction, and like most Fijian’s, he was very friendly and kept us company to the main road, where not long after the bus that would bring us to the city came along, we climbed aboard and we paid the driver 3 Fijian $ for the 2 of us, that’s about 1,30 € for the 20 kilometre trip to town. We arrived in Ba bus station at 10.30.  It’s a fairly big town , and there are 3 supermarkets within a short walking distance to the bus station, now that’s very handy when you have a heavy load to carry.


Sabine making contact with the locals

always find some one to play with on the bus to Ba, You Hoo peek a boo


the lovely town of Ba 

We went to the New World supermarket and stocked up with all we needed, and went back to the bus station, where we didn’t have long to wait for the return trip to Vatia Bay.

the long road down to Vatia Bay with a heavey load

We got back about 15.00 and drank a mug of tea and coffee at the resort, we had a good old chat with Zuma, and also got to know her cousin Alisa who also works there. We were back aboard Chev at 16.00 completely exhausted, and after an early dinner went to bed at 18.00, and slept until 06.00 the next morning.




Me blowing me trumpet at the Vatia Beach resort

surounded by beauty in fiji

05.09.19 We had forgotten to buy a mobile top up for the internet and caught the bus to Ba, where we took time to look around the city, we found the only Vodafone shop where we got our top up after a little wait. We found a hardware shop, and got some paint and glue. Ba is like being in a city in India, all the shops are owned and staffed by Indians, in a music shop I saw a Fender country and western guitar for 650 Fijian $ that would be 275 €, are Fender after lowering their prices or what ? I think it could be a Chines copy. Anyway after getting off the bus at the main road we were walking the 3 kilometres back to the beach were we had our dinghy and were passing the Hindu cemetery, now if I remember Hindus aren’t buried they are burned, so we went up the road that leads to the cemetery, when we got there, there were no grave stones or markers of any kind, there was only a small concrete shed that I looked into of course, me being a nosey bastard by birth, and sure enough there were 3 opened coffins on a sort of shelf, the bodies were wrapped in a sort of mesh vale like cloth, I said a prayer for the souls of the dead and closed the door again, about 200 meters away there were 4 steel girders sticking out of the a circle of blackened concrete in the ground and it was obvious that this is where the corpses were burned.


sugarcaine being transported to the factory



grave in the garden is a common sight 



the sugarcaine fields wit the mountains in the background



on walkabout in Ba

the town of Ba

On our way out we met a young man that was on his way into the cemetery, Sevril was his name,         who told us that the 3 bodies would be there another few weeks, then there would be a big celebration when they would be burned, the bodies were embalmed so they would not rot in the heat. Sevril asked us if we would like to come to his house for some tea, it was the green house at the start of the path that leads to the cemetery, we accepted the invitation and called to the house where we were met by Sevrils mother, who made us the sweetest cup of tea I ever tasted in me whole life I tell yea, there were at least 5 shovels full of sugar, well I know only one person that would have loved it, me brother in law Gerd, he shovels the sugar into his tea as well, there was sliced fruit cake that was soggy wet, I think she took it out of the freezer and thawed it out in the microwave, that I put in me mouth and nearly gagged when I swallowed it, anyway we drank every drop of it and told her the cake was lovely, out of hospitality, yea know what I mean like, but there was no fuckin way we were having a second slice or cupa for that matter.

There was something strange about Sevrils mother, she was brown black around her eyes and mouth but the rest of her was white, her neck was sunburned and so were her hands, well she would definitely get a part in a Zombie or a vampire film, and being honest I wouldn’t like to meet her walking down the lane in the dark of night, I started wondering why they were living near the old cemetery and the thoughts that fled through me head would scare the shite out of a normal person, thanks be to jaysus I am not normal or else I would have crossed 2 bits of wood as a cross and see her turn to dust, instead I asked her did she have an accident and were they burn marks ? No she said, I was black until I had my 3rd child and then she went white and have stayed that way since, now I didn’t want to ask her the poor girl, was the child so ugly that gave her the fright of her life and turned her white, but that’s what I was thinking, so I asked her was the child born white, no she said there was nothing wrong with the child that it just happened, we thanked her for her kindness and we hit the road for Vatia bay thankfull it was still daylight. A week or so later, we met up with David and Susan, Susan who is a Pharmacist told us that the child takes all the Carotene from the mother, and that’s how this black woman turned white, it’s not unusual, so there yea are. Well we learned something new again.

our frind who lives near the cemetry,the woman who turned white 

As we walked the last kilometre there were a lot of cars full with Indians came along the path, now the only place the path leads is to the beach resort, they could only go at walking speed because of the dirt track, we reached the resort and Alesia told us that there were a lot of people coming, 4 different groups, that were celebrating the festival of Ganesh an Indian God, well there were about 50 people, men women and children gathered so far, then a truck arrived followed by a buss, how they got up the narrow track is beyond me.

They were all in colourful cloths, had their faces painted, and gathered around as the men under the direction of the priest like fella, removed the golden like statue of the God that had the head of an Elephant decorated with flowers, then placed it on a mat on the grass, then there were offerings of food, fruit and milk that were laid before the statue with the people praying and the priest chanting as a bowl with smoking incense was passed from one to the other, after that they started bowing before the statue and tell their God all the problems they would like him to remove from them, then they ran or walked very fast around in clock wise circles singing and chanting in the end. The statue that is made of clay was then loaded on a long boat, then was brought out to sea and dropped over the side along with some offerings where it would dissolve and carry away the worries and problems of all those that had asked the God to take from them. It was a lovely ceremony and some of the people explained to us what was happening and were not in the least put out that we were taking photos of the goings on, as a matter of fact they were glad that we were doing it.

We said good bye to the those that we had spoken with and rowed out the I kilometre to Chev, it was though going as the wind was blowing onshore with high waves that made it hard to row as well  as soaking us as they came into the dinghy, I tell yea we were glad when we got back aboard old Chev from where we watched 4 statues of the God being slung overboard weighed down with the worries and problems of the 200 plus Indians’ that had congregated on the beach before the day was over. It was lovely to have watched and experience the different culture, religion, and beliefs at first hand tough.


Alisha and Sabine

The high priest and his helpers decorating the alter to their God 

the worshipers asking the God Ganesha to take all their worries and problems from them

two seperate villages putting statues in the boats to sink them in the sea

the last of the worshippers

 06.09.17. We left Vatia bay after breakfast and reached Saweni Bay at 13.30. Where we were met by our friend Kyle from Blowing Bubbles, who told us there was a BBQ and sing song at 17.30. on the beach, he had invited everyone that was anchored in the bay, we found a place to anchor and at 17.15. we got in our dinghy to go to the beach, halfway over the motor stopped so we rowed ashore, like always we met some old friends like Ginger and her husband Lanny who we had last seen in Portobello in Panama, and another dozen people half of whom we had crossed paths with in NZ and other places, anyway Kyle loves to play the ukulele and with Sabine playing the tin whistle and Mandolin, meself playing guitar and singing, we had a good old get together and an enjoyable evening.


Lautoka

the gathering of the fatefull sundowners followers on the Saweni bay beach

Kyle and me selfe keeping the fatefull happy

David and Susan arrived the next morning from Vuda Marina where they had to replace their cutlass bearing along with painting the Kiel after scraping the ground on a reef, and other little things, we hadn’t seen them for 3 weeks at least, and had a reunion meal washed down with Johnny walker Black, the day after that they headed to the Yasawa Group.

09.09 17. There was a request from the majority of the sailors to have another BBQ and sing song,as first one was so enjoyable that they wanted a repeat performance, and 3 nights after that we had another jamming session, with Ginger and Kyle playing ukulele, Erich from Scoots playing Bass guitar, his wife Vendy playing drums, Sabine and Ginger backing with the harmony, and meself doing vocals, we were all gathered around a blazing fire from the drift wood that Kyle and Lanny had collected that morning, a lovely BBQ and a very enjoyable night with a great bunch of people we had sure.


The BBQ fire burning brightly

Shelley and me self, notice me long pants to stop the mosquitos from ateing me

16.09.17, Shelley and Kyle, lynne, Maureen and tony, Sabine and me self, got on the bus to go to the Sugarcane Festival at Saweni Bay, but the bus went first to Vunda point. We reached Vunda point after over an hour of the bus winding its way along dirt roads, passing fields full of sugarcane, goats, cows, little farms, and houses, the driver stopping whenever people held up there hand to board, or rang the bell to get off, and every time it stopped it was covered by the dust cloud that followed it, now, there are no windows, but a canvas that was rolled up, that you let down by pulling a string in case it rains, that was never used so that meant the dust had free entry to the buss.

Let me tell yea now though, the trip we made with this buss costed 1, 50$ = 0,70 E cent, the unspoilt view of the coast and countryside was fantastic, and was an adventure in its self. When we reached the end of the peninsula, the buss drove up a narrow rocky track and reversed back onto the road, I saw a wet trail of oil on the ground and had a feeling it was from our buss, it could have been gear oil or diesel, but I was praying it wasn’t brake fluid, well now to make a long story short, we reached the outskirts of Lautoka where the buss broke down and just managed to pull in off the road, the driver told us that another bus would be sent to collect us, but seeing we had only 2 kilometres to town we decided to walk the rest of the way, and so did the majority of the Fijian’s that were in the buss.         


the landing of the chosen few

the broken down bus in the back ground, and the heavy Gang walking to Lautoka
the sugar cain pulp mountain in the docks on the right as you look at the picture, will be shipped to China and pressed into fire wood bricketts for Chinease.


 too hot to ride the ferris wheel 

the croweds will come in the cool of the evening

17.09.17. In the afternoon we then were invited for coffee and cakes on board Atlantis by Inge and Ernst a very likeable German couple, in the evening we were invited on board Amarula for sundowners by Lynne and Eric and a little singsong.

Kyle and me self getting in a bit of pratice on board Amarula wit Eric and Lynne lounging about enjoying it

18.09.17. We walked along the sugarcane train track to Vuda Marina, pronounced Vunda, to make an appointment to haul out so we could do the antifouling, a lovely 10 kilometre’s walk down and back, in the office we met Timo, he is an Italian and is in charge of the yard, we had met him in NZ where we bought a Haul out voucher for 80 $ NZ, Timo introduced us to one of the 2 girls that were working  in the office who would give us an appointment to be lifted out, a very helpful and friendly person indeed who helped us filling out the forms, she gave us the papers verifying that our lift out was scheduled for 26th at 09.00. We would be the first to come out, she told us to be outside the marina at 08.00 then radio the Marina, as they could start earlier and we would be told when to enter the harbour to be hauled out. 20 minutes later we were finished and after looking around the marina we headed back along the train track to Saweni bay. 


checking out the hard where Chevaldy will be lifted out 

the start of Vunda Marina

the Goat Herder

the Sugar Caine traintrack bridge

The entrance to the Mangrove swamp

On Amarula Eric made a lunch that Sabine Lynne and me devoured

21.09.17. This morning after breakfast Sabine and me went for our usual swim around old Chev in the warm waters of Fiji, anyway when we had enough we swam back to the ladder to get out, just as I was reaching for the ladder, I saw out of the corner of me beady eye a sea snake that had just slithered up the back of the ladder, and was on the first step above the water, it was a highly poisonous black and white banded sea snake, their venom is 20 times stronger than any land snake, and is called by the natives a 3 step snake, because after they bit yea you’ll take 3 steps clutching you’re heart before dropping down dead, the young boys often play catch with them, letting them swim away and catch them again and again until they get fed up.

The book says, ´´These sea snakes are usually docile, and normally don’t attack unless they are severely provoked,´´ anyway that’s what the book says , it also says that their mouths are too small to open wide enough to bite yea, but ´´even the small ones can slither in between your toes or fingers that helps them to bare their teeth and inflict a bite which rarely happens´´, now what the fook dose rarely happens mean like, is it 1 death or 100 deaths a year, well they don’t tell yea that,  ´´there have been reports of larger specimens inflicting bites´´, now I mean like, one paragraph tells yea they can’t bite and the next one tells yea they can, ´´it is better to avoid them´´.

What a load of bollix, I mean on one hand there telling yea no problem at all a tall boy, sure they can’t bite ye know like, but if they slither in between your fingers or toes they can, Aa sure it’s only the big ones that can bite but rarely do, what do they mean by rarely do, and how big is fuckin big like,  I mean this bastard was at least one meter in length, anyway now my days of provoking anyone or anything, especially a dangerous slithery snake are long over.

 I didn’t want to provoke him so I splashed him with water to wash him off the ladder, and instead of falling down, he slowly started to slider up the ladder, fuck me, now I didn’t want him getting into the boat so I went closer and I really splashed the shit out of the slithery serpent, and sure enough he lost his grip and plopped into the water 2 meters away from me, I was expecting him to go away as I wouldn’t call splashing it with water as a provocation, but instead the mad bastard swam towards me in an aggressive manner with a mouth big enough to bit the fingers and toes off me, someone forgot to tell this snaky snake he is supposed to be gentile and docile and just fuck off out of it go wan now, off with yea, yea know what I mean like.

 Well now if it can slither between your fingers and toes, then you don’t have to be a bloody genius to figure out he can slither around between other places as well sure, so with the old toes of both me feet along with me arse cheeks tight together, and the palms of me hands me fingers closed tight to make it harder for the basket case to bite me, I began to beat the water with all the power I could muster hoping to stun the aggressive fucker, and by jaysus it worked, the cowardly fuck did a U turn and head back towards the ladder that he had taken over, so I climbed aboard our dinghy that Sabine was hiding behind and got one of the oars that I then used to shove him further away from the ladder and old Chev, and what did he do, the fucker slithered up on to the oar and while I was holding him away from the boat, Sabine moved with a speed I never knew she possessed, I mean she was like greased lightning, and so fast I didn’t even see her, she shot up the ladder in a blur to safety, got the camera and took a picture of old snake hanging from the oar, after that I flung him from the oar and he landed about 10 meters away, and I hope the bastard finds another boat to play snakes and ladders on and stays away from us.

The deadly Serpent that wanted to play snakes and coffins

So followers of Chev hope you like the photos and blog, now mind your self’s well, take care, stay safe, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time, Ahoy and Harr harrr.     


Fiji - Vanua Levu


04.08.17 till 31.08.17

04.08.17. We had planned to be in Suvasuva in Fiji on Monday morning some time, so we would avoid paying overtime for a weekend Clarence. The first 24 hours were very uncomfortable, with the light winds from the south, and big waves and swell from the north, At 15.00 the next day, we had the first 110 nautical miles behind us. I had me 2 fishing lines out and was expecting to catch a few skip jacks at least with the old reliable pink rubber squid, and was hoping to catch a Mahi-mahi with me new lore, a big fat green squid that I had got from me Kiwi friend Tony, well I was sorely disappointed when at the end of the day I had caught nothing.

06.08.17. At midnight Fiji time Sabine woke me for my watch,  we had reached the Fijian eastern Lau group of islands and were approaching the first of the outer island reefs, we had made out that we would both stay on watch until we had passed between the first reefs,2 hours later we had passed the first reef and Sabine went off watch for a well deserve sleep, in the moonlight I could just make out the other islands up ahead in the distance, well they looked a bit close together, and  to be sure I checked  the course, yep everything was ok.  02.30 the moon that had been shining brightly up until then, decided to go behind the thick black band of clouds that had gathered and plunge us into darkness as we were sailing the reef passages between the islands, it was as if someone had switched off the lights, ffs.

Now, even though there was plenty of room and I had nothing to worry about, it made me a bit uneasy that I could no longer see clearly, and I started to tense up and I thought we were closer to a  reef than we should have been, yea know the old Devil can play tricks on idle minds, or was it idle hands now, anyway sure, old Nick was sowing a few seeds in me idle mind, I was thinking of poor old Heiner, me friend who hit a reef in Vanuatu only last month and all the other  horror stories about boats hitting reefs and been lost in the South Pacific, fuck me, before I knew it me mind was like a racehorse galloping off with me. now, everyone knows the facts, that in the dark it’s hard to judge distances, and that sound travels further, and that everything seems to be closer than it really is, and that rock that was miles away 5 minutes ago, suddenly turns out to be an island right bang smack in front of you, and you nearly get a heart attack with the fright.

In the dark the sound of a cough can seems like a clap of thunder right over your head, or the whale that’s supposed to be 100 meters away is suddenly spraying you wet with water spewing out of his hole in his lumpy old head because he is right next to your fuckin boat, and then this creature that is as big as a double decker bus dives under your boat, anyway you’re lucky if you don’t shit yourself when these things happen, and believe me they do more often than you think, that’s when you’ll  feel the blood sink away from your head and shoot into your toenails, it’s like a 10000. Volt electric shock, and you´re mind runs away with yea, yea know what I mean like, anyway, somehow me nerves were getting the better of me because the old adrenalin was trickling in me old veins, just ever so lightly at the start, yea know what I mean like.

Ooh yea, in me mad mind’s eye I could see the dark clouds waiting to unleash their fury in a fierce tempest of screaming winds and lashing sea’s, lifting old Chev and us high up on the crest of a mighty wave and smashing us to pieces on the reef, to join the countless other poor souls and boats, doomed and dammed for ever on the reefs of FIJI.

 jaysus me Nevers were working overtime to night, the adrenalin wasn’t just trickling anymore,it was pounding trough me veins, the old nerves were getting the better of me alright, they were really on edge with all the thoughts I was thinking, until I felt the first spatter of rain on me face that turned quickly into a downpour, that was all I needed to stop my wild imagination and brought me galloping train of thoughts to a stop, fuck the devil, a squall was galloping at us and I had work for me idle mind and hands , I needed to reef the sails and quick, I had just got the sails reefed and was back in the cockpit when the first strong gust of wind shot through old Chevs  rigging, the squall lasted 25 minutes and was gone before yea knew it, just like me wild galloping thoughts.

At 05.00 we were passing the island of Taveuni. Now the international date line runs through the Taveuni island our position on the plotter was Lat 17° 01’ 6647 South and Lon 179°59´9999 West, or 180° this is the furthest point from Greenwich 0° and I watched as the longitude went from West to East on the plotter, from now on we would be according to our plotter heading EAST, and Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. The rest of the watch was uneventful as Sabine took over the watch and waited for daylight so we would have a better view of the reefs at the entrance to Suvasuva harbour.

07.08.17 At 08.30 on Monday morning, we tied up on a buoy from the Copra Shed Marina in Savusavu in Vanua Levu, we made radio contact with the Marina office who arranged for the customs, Immigration, health, and bio security to come to our boat, at 10.30. The Health official was brought to our boat on the dinghy of the last boat he had been on, and said in a real posh voice, ´´ I have asked the Master of the vessel that I have just completed, if he would be so kind and deliver myself to your vessel, as it would save time with the formalities and all this dreadful back and forth, are you the master of this vessel ´´, he asked me.  Well now tis only old Chev a 30 foot Bavaria, me wife and me self, I said, and I suppose I was called a lot worse than a Master if you’d  add on the old bater bit I suppose , but sure what harm skipper will do, I said . ´´may I come aboard ´´ he asked. of course yea can come on in.

He was at least 1, 85 metres as broad as an ox and his name was Orris but we could call him Orrie, welcome to Fiji, he said with very feminine actions and a smile, yes it was plane to see that Orris was Gay, its normal here and in all the other islands we have visited, from the Caribbean right across to Fiji, that gay people are treated with respect and are not looked upon as if they have a disease or that they should be hunted down and shot on site, they are treated like human beings, and rightly so.

Am I the first Fijian that you have ever seen he asked Orrie, and he was very pleased when we answered yes to his question, a very likeable friendly guy. 20 minutes later we were finished, then  Orrie asked me if I could ferry him ashore if I wouldn’t mind of course, so we got in me dinghy to bring him ashore to the marina, Well half way over, the old dinghy motor spluttered and stopped, no problem, I pulled up the oars that were on the floor of the dinghy and in that time the Master of the vessel that had brought Orrie to our boat, must have been watching us, because he drove over in his dinghy and offered to tow us to the dock, thanks very much I told him, but if he would take my friend Orrie , then I could row back to old Chev and sort out the motor, which he kindly did.

When I got back to Chev, I opened the drained screw of the carburettor for the dinghy motor, because I suspected there was water in it and I drained off the fuel, when I finished I put back the drain screw and started her up, I drove around towards the dock and back with no problem.

 One hour later the same guy from the boat in front of us turned up with the rest of the clearance team, the man from customs, the woman from immigration, and another woman from Biosecurity, really friendly people, we filled out the forms paid the biosecurity officer her money, the customs money would have to be handed in at the court house at the end of town the custom officer told us, and that was that, welcome to Fiji he said, it was the easiest clearance we had done, they said good bye to Sabine and got in the dinghy, ´´ is that big enough for all of us´´ asked the older of the 2 women, no problem at all a tall, I said, so in they came.



Can ye believe it, the same shit happened again half way across, the motor spluttered and died, FFS, no one there to give us a tow this time, there was a current against us and I had no room to get at the oars, so I pulled the start cord and she started again, I kept her throttle to the lowest revs and we inched our way towards the dock, the woman from Biosecurity was blessing herself and was terrified, I mean come on like, we were only 100 meters away from the pier, the sun was shining and if we drifted we would have ended up still inside the harbour,´´ Oh God help us oh God help us sis she,   a religious person indeed, so I started to sing a hymn  ´´ you raise me up ´´ just for the crack so she wouldn’t be too afraid like, and she started singing with me, the other 2 were laughing their heads off at her, but she didn’t give a shit, she sung at the top of her voice as if her life depended on it, and she hadn’t a bad voice at all at tall, we just finished the last verse when we reached the pier, where she climbed out of the dinghy on her hands and knee, with tears in her eyes thanking God she was still alive, and the other 2 officers couldn’t get out of the dinghy because they were laughing so much they nearly pissed themselves, the people that were sipping coffee and drinks at the tables on the dockside cafes  were all laughing, I think they couldn’t tell if officers were crying or laughing, welcome to Fiji said the Customs officer after finally getting out of the dinghy, thank you I said but you said that already, and off I went rowing back to old Chev, where I stripped the carburettor, and yes there was water in it and other bits of shit, I cleaned it thoroughly and after that she was flying again sure, that was enough embarrassment for me for one day.                

08.08.17 we went walkabout in Savusavu, and found the market, supermarkets, ATM. Digicell SIMs card, we got back on Chev stashed the supplies, and sat out on deck with an old sup of tea, where just 30 meters away from us a drama was unfolding, to make a long story short, a 2 master sailing boat was after dragging its mooring and was after going sideways into two other Boats that were moored in front of us, it had happened just as we sipped our tea, I would have helped but there were already more than enough people mucking in, so we watched the free entertainment until it was all sorted out 30 minutes later, there was no serious damage done.  

 
Moorings in Savusavu

10.08. 17. We had trouble for the last few days with the water supply from the tank to the sink, it was blocked somehow, the pump was making a noise like it was working, I had topped up the old tank 3 days ago but nothing was coming out, and since then we were using the old Gerry cans. This was a major job, so Sabine was given a free day, herself and Susan took a 3 ½ hour bus ride to Lobasa for the day.




The dirt inside the tank







A clean tank 

 I had to empty out the back cabin completely to get at the water tank, pump, filter, and hoses, well, the filter gave me a fright when I took it out, the bastard thing was clogged up with chunks of what looked like chalk or muck, I took it apart and cleaned it along with the pump, then I screwed off the 30 screws and plates that hold the top of the tank, after some struggling in the narrow confines of the back cabin, I couldn’t get the cover off completely, but I could lift the cover up enough to look inside the tank, I shone a lamp in and was shocked at the sight that meet me eyes, jaysus if I didn’t take photos of it no one would have believed the shit that was inside the tank, the old gasket sealer that over time had rotten away and had clogged up the main pipe completely, there was a brown mucky colour inside the tank with all this sort of rubber like porridge at the bottom of the tank, we are lucky we weren’t poisoned, or maybe we are FFS. It took me the whole day to finish the job but it was worth it in the end, thanks be to God.      

11.08.17. This morning Amarula arrived in Suvasuva and our friends Eric and Lynne who we hadn’t seen in over a year, but it was as if it was only yesterday came over for an old cuppa, anyway we agreed to go with them to a potluck in Savusavu marina the following day.  

 I had woke up with stiff muscles this morning where I didn’t even know I had muscles, from all the bending and twisting like a contortionist in confined spaces, and jaysus wept, tis a long long time since I felt like this, now, we had heard there were natural hot pools in Savusavu, just what me muscles needed, so after breakfast we set of to track them down and sure enough we found a place where there were hot pools come up out of the old ground, in a clinic not far away at all, well, we had two separate concrete baths, the reason being was, 38° was hot enough for Sabine, where as I wanted it a bit hotter like yea know, nothing less than 40° or 42° that I got , people must have thought we were mad to be having such hot baths in the tropics, well I tell ye now I couldn’t give a shit what anyone thought , and we spent 4 hours luxuriating in the old pools, and Sabine had a massage that was a belated Birthday present from me to top the day off, and me pains and stiffness weren’t so bad, Aa jaysus great stuff sure and a great day.

12.08.17. On Saturday morning David and Susan came by and David asked if I wouldn’t mind celebrating my birthday on Sunday evening so he and Susan would be fit to head to the southern Lau Group of islands on Monday, Eric and Lynne had planned to leave on Monday also, to which I readily agreed, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of my birthday as mister Spock would say.

Eric and Lynne and their 2 dogs Chewy and Scrumpy pick us up at 17.30. For the pot luck. Now a pot luck, for those of you that don’t know, is a gathering of Cruisers and other people who bring their own drink and food, then the food offerings are all put on a table to be shared, and everyone can try a bit of everything, and a great way to meet up with old friends, and make new friends as well, we met up with Thomas and Gaylyn who we had met in NZ.  And Jeff a retired Veterinarian who lives in Suvasuva with his wife Jose, a German pair from Hamburg Ben and Marlene, and a lot more whose names I have forgotten, but we had a great night, There was music by 5 guys who have played a lot together who supplied the entertainment for the evening and they were very good, we discussed my birthday with Eric and Lynne, who agreed that it was a good idea from David and it would be better to celebrate my birthday on Amurla, as there would be much more room on a 60ft Catamaran than on 30ft Chev, so it was settled where Sean´s Birthday would be held.







13.08.17. at 17.30 we were collected with food, drink and our musical instruments, by David who drove us over to Amurla, we were welcomed aboard by Lynne and Eric, Jeff and his wife Jose, whom we had met the night before, and of course Susan, David’s wife, not long after that Thomas and Gaylyn, and a friend of Eric and Lynne, and his son whose name I have forgotten, I think it must be getting Alzheimer’s God forbid, so we were 12 people. We have been on Amurla before and always have had a great craic, I remember some great time in the Caribbean, Panama, and Morea, and had some great sing songs, Lynne and Eric love being host to these get together and every time I can safely say you get the greatest feed of fish that you ever tasted any were, Cooked by Eric himself, and to night was no different, along with the other foods that the others brought jaysus it was a lovely feed fit for a king, we had indeed, we talked, joked, laughed and sung and at midnight Susan brought out a birthday cake of muffin’s with a lighted candle for me to blow out and we all sang happy birthday to me and drank a toast or 2 or 3, anyway we sang the parting glass that normally is the final song, but I do know it wasn’t the last song. I had a great night, a night with friends that I will remember for a long time to come, thank you all for going to the bother of cooking foods and salad’s, and thank you just for being there with me it was great, and thank you to those of you who sent E mails wishing me happy birthday.  




   






















    

16.08 17. We went over to the Copra Shed Marina for the happy hour and met up with Tony and Maureen from Taki moana, Mike and his 2 friends from Tutsi 2, all Kiwis it was a nice evening.


Copra Shed Marina



Maureen and Tony

17.08.17. We slipped the mooring in Copra Shed Marina at 09.30 on a beautiful sunny morning for a 30 nautical miles sail to fawn bay. The weather forecast was for a lovely 9 to 11 knot winds from the S E, that meant we would have the wind at our backs and the waves as well, great stuff.

At 12 noon the wind backed around to the E and was hitting the 15 knots mark, so we reefed the sales. At 14.15.we were 900 meters from the Reef entrance , the bay entrance is almost 1 see mile wide but gets narrow like a funnel and goes down to 120 meters at the entrance, as we got closer the waves got bigger, they went from 2 to 3 and more meters because the depth gets shallower the nearer we got to the entrance, and along with that we had the wind blowing us straight onto the reefs, with 500 meters from the entrance the waves were closer together and you could see them crashing on the reefs, we were reefed and still had a speed of 6 knots, it started to look really dangerous so I decided it was too much of a risk, I started the motor and with the next big wave gave full power and  swung away from the entrance and headed back out to sea.

After that we headed to Viani Bay the next anchorage that was a good 14 sea miles away, we reached Viani Bay at 17, 15 but one look was enough to know there was no way we were going to chance an entrance there either. The wind by now had reached 20 knots from the east, as we headed over to Tavenui island to get cover from the high hills, we had to beat our way the 3 sm and were within 400 meters from the 2 anchorage’s of Tavenui, but the wind had shifted back around to S, S, E the wind instead of easing off increased, and we found no cover there either.

Poor Sabine had enough, after what started out as a lovely day and now the 3rd time where we can’t even anchor, it was 18.15 and we had at most 20 minutes of daylight left, what will we do now. Well we were both very disappointed the way the day had gone, but what can ye do sure.  I suggested that Sabine could go down and make us something to eat and after that she could go to bed for the night, and I would sail the 50 Nautical miles back nice and slow with only the Genoa reefed, and we would be back in Copra Shed at sunrise in the morning, to which she agreed. And off we went after the feed, Sabine to bed and me on watch.

 After we got away from Tavenui the wind dropped down to about13 knots on the beam and we were making over 4 knots with the half reefed Genoa nice and comfortable, at midnight Sabine came up on deck with 2 cups of lovely soup that we eat with a chunk of bread, after that she offered to do a few hours watch, but I told her she could sleep away and I would call her when we reached the Marine. At 07.15 on the 18.08. I woke Sabine and at 7.30 we were back on the same mooring in the Marina we had left the day before.

22.08.17. we went to the hot pools this morning, it was just the right day for it, rainy and overcast with thick clouds, so we luxuriated in the old pools, and around 13.00 I had a massage that Sabine gave me for me Birthday, after that we walked back to town and bought an ice cream, and headed back to old Chev.

25.08.17 at 07.00 we left Copra Shed Marine this time heading SW to coconut point, this was another beautiful day, the perfect weather for the 50 nautical mile sail, the only difficult part would be the entrance through the reef, would the weather hold or would it be a horror story like the last outing 7 days ago?,.

4 hours into the trip we had just 2 nautical miles to go to the start of the Nasonisoni Passage and everything was fine, our auto pilot who we renamed Squeaky was squeaking away doing his job, when all of a sudden me fishing line that I had in the water suddenly went taunt, Yea a fresh fish had just volunteered to be our dinner this evening, it was a fine big pike I got him on board thanked him for his kindness and wacked him on the head with the winch handle and sent him to the old spirit world, now you’re not going to believe this, but a minute after killin the barracuda, the plotter, the speed and depth gauge, 2 instruments that are crucial for safe navigation suddenly went blank, fuck me, I went down below and checked the instrument panel thinking a fuse had blown, no everything was ok. I told Sabine what had happened, so she took over the wheel and just sail back by the compass course that she taken from Open CPN from the laptop



I spent 1 hour ½ trying to find the fault, but was unsuccessful, so I ran a temporary cable from the electric panel to the Plotter, Speed and depth gauge, it worked but the 1 ½ hour delay would mean it would be dark when we reached the anchorage, now that’s not the right time to be sailing around reefs. Of course there were other anchorages but they were all open to the SSE. So we decided it would be easier to go back, we had already sailed 6 nautical back in the time I spent pissing about with the cable, and had only 19 moor to go, the easy way.

 We didn’t go back to the marine, but to a beautiful anchorage by the Cousteau resort that was about 14 nautical miles away, we got there at 16.15. and had the bay to ourselves, I filleted the old pike and after that we went for a swim, then we had a drink and watched the sun go down, after that Sabine cooked half of the fish for the grub or dinner as you would say, jaysus it was lovely our bellies were full with fish and rice, after that we conked out for the night.

26.08 17. We enjoyed it so much in Cousteau anchorage that we stayed there another day and night it is a really a lovely place.























On the 27.08.17 at 07.00. We set out once again for coconut point anchorage, at 11.00 we reached the same place where the instruments had taken a dive and packed up, but the cable I replaced was still doing its job thank God, we reached the entrance to the reef but I couldn’t relax until we were well inside the reef and away from the narrow pass. When we reached coconut point the wind had increased to 20 knots from the S E, that meant we had it at our back or astern if you like that’s not so bad as you know.

At 14.15. we reached coconut point anchorage but didn’t offer as much shelter as we thought, so we carried to the our next anchorage Bua Bay that was 13 nautical miles away, no panic we still had plenty of daylight left, it was only 14.30 like yea know.

When we got to Bua Bay and anchored in 4 meters depth we had had cover from the wind and the ground was pure muck that gave great holding, you could hear the wind howling but she never got low enough to the water to be of interest to us, it’s a huge bay but there was only one other boat that was at least 1 ½ SM (nautical miles) away, now if you like the feeling of being in the wilderness and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature now and then like us, then this is just the place for yea, we spent 4 days there , 2 other boats came for 1 day and were gone the next, along with the boat that was there when we first came, after that we had the Bay to ourselves for 2 days        

The 2nd morning after soaking up 2 days of peace, tranquillity, and energy in the wilderness, I set about looking for the fault that caused the electric circuit to collapse, Sabine helped me emptied the back cabin. It took 1 ½ hours but I found the answer in a cable bundle that runs through the back cabin, It was a corroded minus or earth wire connection so all I had to do was replaced the cable, no problem I have a brand new 30 meter coil of cable just the right thickness for this job so it will last for years, it’s in the right hand corner by the batteries under the seat where we had just put a lot of the stuff from the back cabin, no problem, I take a lot of the stuff that we took out of the back cabin, down off the seat and put it in the front cabin so I can get at the cable, I lift up the seat and can’t find the Cable, OK now where did I put it, I take everything back out of the front cabin and put it back on the seat, so I can search under the locker under the mattress, lift out lots of stuff from the locker and even find 2 tubes of silicone that I was looking for in NZ when we hauled out there, but couldn’t find, no sign of the feckin CABLE, so we put everything back into the locker under the mattress.

You know what, that’s the shit about a small boat, you’ve got to shift everything around to get at what you need I have a brand new coil of fuckin cable 30 meters somewhere I know I have, now if I am I boring you with all this shit, well then I am sorry but this is just the way things happen, yea know what I mean like, you spend hours repairing something or other in anchorages, and just as long if not longer trying to find the right bloody  part or piece that you know you have put away safely just for this type of job, so where in the name of fuck did I put it, I have move everything looked everywhere, I know I have it somewhere, but I just can’t remember where in the name of jaysus did I put the fuckin thing, I turn the bastard boat upside down a second time and it’s still no ware to be found, I mean it can’t have just vanished. I bet yea I will find the shagging thing when I don’t need it any more, that’s when that shitty cable will pop up in front of me, NOW I am a very easy going fellow and am normally nice and relaxed, but I still haven’t found my 30 meters of brand new fuckin cable and that’s the sort of shit that makes me want to screammmm rrra. Aa hem sorry about that, we all have our ups and downs sure. So in the end I just replaced it with some old cable that’s not the right thickness.  After that shite I needed another day in the wilderness just to charge up I tell yea.







 31.08.17 We left the wilderness anchorage of Bua Bay at 07.00. To sail down to Viti Levu the main island of Fiji. So Followers of Chev,take care and look after yourselves well until the next time, so  good bye and God bless you all. Ahoy and Har harr


Tonga - Vava'u


07.07.17 till 03.08.17

29.06.17. to the Today we got an E mail from our friend Heiner´s wife from Germany sometime after 20.00 informing us that Heiner and his friend Edy were after hitting a reef near the entrance of the island of Tane in Vanuatu on Sunday evening 25.06.17 sometime after 18.00, they glanced off a reef and there were 2 massive bangs, they were flung across the cockpit with the force of the collision, Heiner took the rudder but found the steering was jammed, so Heiner ran down below to check for damage, and found the rudder shaft that was made of 6 cm thick stainless steel shaft had bent like a banana and had torn a hole in the keel where the water was flooding in, Heiner stuffed the hole with everything he got his hands on but still the water poured in, the electric bilge pumps couldn’t keep up with the amount of water that was pouring in, they was up to their ankles in water. Heiner turned to Edy and told him that the Dörtita was sinking, at this time it was pitch black he gave out a Mayday on the radio but got no reply, so he fired his red distress flares. They were close to land with Edy´s handy that had access to the net, and Edy phoned someone in Germany, told them of their situation, gave him there position so they could inform the German Rescue services in Bremen who would then coordinate a rescue with the rescue services in Vanuatu.

Well to make a long storey short, Heiner and Edy launched the life raft and their dinghy and were ready to abandon ship when 2 dinghy’s from the hospital sailing yacht Chimere  arrived with hand held bilge pumps and immediately began pumping out the water, soon after that the Chimere came alongside  and lowered a powerful generator driven pump on to Heiner’s boat, all through the night it pumped the water out of the Dortita, and in the morning at high tide they towed the Dörtita on to a beach near a village, waited until the tied receded and with the help of the village people, held the Dortita as the tide receded and like a wounded animal laid her on her side in the sand, the crew worked quickly and patched the hole in the boat with timbers and alum plates and quick setting epoxy, they even built an emergency rudder and when the tide came back the Dörtita floated off the beach, she still leaked but the board bilge pumps could handle the little tricklet was that was, now that was a close call I tell yea,

The reef that Dörtita hit is on the charts but don’t forget these are not always accurate. Now you could say sure nothing can go wrong with all that stuff they have to day, well you would be totally wrong, it only takes a small mistake, because there are boats and ships that have all the latest technology, still being lost on the reefs of the Southsea’s. The Tuamotus in the French Polynesians is littered with wrecks, Tonga is another ships graveyard, and Fiji is one of the biggest ship graveyards.

Heiner and Edy sailed the Dortita the 130 nm up to Port Villa accompanied all the way by their friends Rainer and Ute with their sailing boat Trinity, they don’t know how long the repairs will take, must be cleared up with the Insurance I suppose, but they have been were very lucky, It can happen to anyone of us.

08.07.17 to 03.08 17. Well the weather for the last 2 days is not the best, Yes it rains pours’ and blows in Paradise more than you would expect, with grey skies and strong winds, we are sheltered behind Nomuka Iki and old Chev roles a lot in the swell, the waves are too high so we can’t go ashore, well at least I can rest me foot and the old toe can heal up. Anyway as soon as the weather clears up, and according to the weather forecast that should be tomorrow, we will head up north to Haafeava island and see what’s in store for us there.

09.07.17. Now it is a known fact that the paper and electronic charts for the south seas are out from a hundred meters in some places to 500 or more meters, and Since we arrived in Nomuka, our plotter was showing for the first time that we were up on the reef even though we had 8 meters of water under our keel and were 200 meters away from the reef and 300 meters from the beach, so as a backup we also navigate with Open CPN and have downloaded raster charts for Tonga and Fiji from New Zealand that are more accurate, we also have satellite photos from Google Earth that we downloaded, for Vavau and Fiji that give a great birds eye view of the reefs. We plot the course and lay down waypoints on the small net book and transfer the course to the plotter on the steering colm,

We also got the waypoints from Enchantress and  so when we left Nomuka at 08.30 we followed Enchantress’s who had the same course out through the reef passage and arrived in Haafeava at 13.00 through the Reefs and into the anchorage. Last night we didn’t get much sleep as we were rolling about in the surge when the wind changed and came from the south, we heard the anchor chain scraping off the rocks all through the night and knew that the chain had wrapped around another rock, but we would have to wait until tomorrow before we could do anything about it.               

10.07. 17 We went ashore around 10.00 and walked 20 minutes trough lush green jungle like dirt tracks to reach Haafeava village, every now and then we came across piles of rubbish just dumped in the bush, well it was a big village there were a few pickup trucks, that had all seen better days, a rusty JCB that will never work again, and extreme differences between the houses, some were ramshackle wrecks and looked filthy, the majority of them had an untidy appearance, could have done with a bit of paint, there were 3 houses that were well looked after with clean and tidy gardens, the inhabitants were not so open as the people we had met in Nomuka, but were friendly enough when we spoke to them, there were a lot of cows and bulls rooming around through the jungle and there is no shortage of pigs on this island, all running around free as the birds and happy as fuck, I was thinking of taking a small one back to old Chev, but it would be a messy job cutting him up I suppose, anyway we bought the biggest Bananas that I have ever seen in me life, I tell yea now they were bigger and fatter than the biggest fattest cucumber I ever saw, after that we headed back to the boats where we re anchored.






















There is an island not far away from here called Kao that looks like a volcano should look like, it is 1046 metres high, and it looks something like Mt Etna, or Stromboli, but it’s not active, there’s also a bigger flatter island next to it called Tofua reaching 507 metres, with an active volcano on it, we saw clouds of smoke bellowing out of it last week from Nomuka.

11.07.17. Enchantress left for Vavau at 0900 this morning as Susan had a bad throat and wasn’t feeling to good, David wanted to get there as soon as possible and with an average speed of 6 1/2 knots meant he would be getting there around 1 or 2 in the morning. We decided to leave at 13.00, do an overnight sail and reach the approach to Vavau with the morning light of the next day.

We left Haafeava at 13.00 as planned under motor first to get through the reef’s that were easy to see with the sunshine, once we cleared the outer reefs we rolled out the genoa, I didn’t want to stub me broken toe, so I let the main sail down, we had an average speed of 4.5 knots that would get us to Vavau after an overnight sale in about 21 hours no rush nice an easy.

2 hours later we spotted a whale with her calf going in the opposite direction to us, she was 200 meters away a nice safe distance in my opinion. Sure wasn’t it only last year that we were surrounded by the beasts of the deep in these very same waters and had them right next to our boat, that’s too close for my liking, anyway it’s great to watch their antics, the males trying to impress the females with their carry on, and it’s really fantastic to see them shooting out of the water in a high arch and landing on their backs in a huge splash of water. That I don’t like them being to close, I mean these creatures are bigger and heavier than old Chev, I think they can weigh up to 30 tons, and Chev is only 3 tons, they can reach 15 meters in length, old Chev is just under 9 meters, now, you could imagen the damage these romancing loved up fuckers could do if they landed on our Chev, well I can tell yea now, that would be the end our Chev and to our sailing days, and maybe the end of us as well.

Anyway now is migration time for the humpback whales, that means that they come back like there doing since time began to the South Pacific, as the waters of the Antarctic are too cold for the newly born calves to survive in, the pregnant mothers swims over 6.000 kilometres that takes them up the east coast of New Zealand into the warmer waters of the South Pacific, and then along the subsea volcanic arch that leads to the archipelago of over 170 islands that forms the Kingdom of Tonga, to give birth in the warm and sheltered bays of the Tongan islands. There are tours available where you can go swim with the wales, it’s supposed to be a once in a lifetime experience, we enquired about the price, but at 400 TG $ it was too much for our budget, anyway It’s a great place to cruise, this is our 2nd season here, and a lot of Kiwis come up here year after year. The Kingdom of Tonga is a beautiful place to Cruise.

12.07.17 Sabine woke me for me watch at 06.00, it was still dark and we had 20 sea miles to go, great stuff we would have the sun high in the sky going into Neiafu harbour, well it was a lovely night for sailing with a full moon lighting the way, with 15 to 20 knot winds from the back and following seas for most of the trip, very enjoyable indeed, we arrived in Neiafu were tied up to a buoy at 10.00 not far from Enchantress and David brought us some muffin’s that Susan had made to eat with our breakfast, after that we went ashore with David and Susan to report to customs, then we went shopping and had an ice cream, we had fish and chips at lunch time for 8 Tongan $ = 3.50 E, with the amount of fish that was on me plate I tell yea I was barely able to finish it, great value.











13.07.17 it rained all day to day and we filled up our water tank and canisters, the weather forecast is for strong winds with rain for the next few days, a well, we will take it as it comes, it’s still 26°warm during the day, lovely stuff sure, but it drops down to 17 ° at night brrr.   



18.07.17 Sabine and me walked about 5 kilometres to the boat yard on the other side of the bay, we were looking for a bracket and thought we would be lucky there, but they didn’t have what we wanted, so we had a nice walk back to the Neiafu. One thing I noticed on this walk was that the pigs that run wild all over the place and compared to the pigs on the other islands, the pigs in Neiafu were only sick looking creatures, skin and bone and full with worms, when you see such scabby pigs it would put ye off eating pig meat, I tell yea now, I’ve seen more meat and flesh on the end of a Irish tinkers stick after an argument than I saw on them pigs.     



20.07.17 We headed to Port Maurelle one of the island anchorages a short distance away and were ready to drop anchor, when David who was there before us guided us to a free buoy, now this is what I call a beautiful place a good secure bay with beautiful snorkelling, and a lovely beach, and a dead safe anchorage, this is what you would expect from a south sea island    






sea star with 6 arms

24.07.2017 we went over to the beach for a walk, it’s about 300 meters long with fine corral sand surrounded by bush and palm trees, we reached the end of the beach and walked through the bush, we could hear the grunting sounds of pigs in the thick bush but couldn’t see them after a short while we found a tractor path, we had 2 choices, we could go left or right, and decided we would follow the trail to the left, the trail went up hill and winded trough the bush, we came across mucky holes  along the path with footprints and body shapes of pigs that had a muck bath in them, it remind me of the old saying ´´AS Happy as a Pig in Muck ´´ or was it shit. After about 2 kilometres we came to a spot where the track branched off, we kept left and marked the path for the way back, we came to a tree that had wild oranges and while Sabine was picking some a heard of horses with foals came out of the bush 20 meters in front of us, they came closer sniffing the air, they looked like wild horses to me, then suddenly the rushed back into the bush and were gone, the same happened with the pigs, every now and then a wild sow would run across the track with a litter of young ones and disappear into the bush.





About 2 kilometres after that the track led us to a lovely little village of about 20 houses and 2 churches in a big clearing, so we went walkabout and found lovely well-kept houses with some lovely gardens, but found no shop as we got closer we saw washing lines full with freshly washed cloths, and heard music from the radio playing and some small children playing in a garden and the mother waving at us from the door, not many people walking around , except for the pigs that were all over the place and as happy as Larry roaming around, the dogs, well they were too lazy laying in the shade and couldn’t bother about us, as we passed one church I could see a few women sitting on the floor feeding there baby’s, we went as far as the beach and 10 minutes later we were heading back the way we came, we met by 3 boys between the ages of 5 and 6, we had just seen them come from the school that was at the far end of the village, they could not speak English but were talking with hands and legs, they were joined by a girl of about 8 who had a few words of English the smallest boy was her brother and the walked with us as they lived near the start of the village, they said good bye and went in to the house where the woman had waved at us, we walked the 4 kilometres back to the beach and drove back to Chev, that was a lovely day.





25.07.17 Sabine had gone with David and Susan to the swallow cave, and I was doing some work on old Chev, always something to do ye know like, Sabine wasn’t long gone when I heard what sounded like someone screaming, I went up on deck and the sound was coming out of the jungle on the right hand side of the bay, I heard it a couple of times before I realised it was the screeching of a pig in the bush by the rocks, from the way it was squealing I thought it was a fight between 2 pigs, now I couldn’t see anything because of the dense bush around the top of the rocks, it would stop and start again, screeching then silence, screeching then silence, on and off for at least 20 minutes and I am not codding yea now but it sounded like as if someone was being fuckin murdered, but it definitely was a wild pig, anyway I made an old cuppa tea for me self and sat out on deck to drink it, I just finished the tea and the screeching started again, this time it was much closer, I looked with the old binoculars, and fuck me what I saw would have made the hair on me baldy head stand up if I had any, I saw a pig with a big bloody piece torn out of his right shoulder, an ear ripped off, and half his face missing being eaten alive by 2 dogs, they had him between them one on the right holding the pig by the neck and one on the left, biting chunks out of him, the pig was still on his feet and limping as he dragged himself with the 2 dogs along the narrow ledge of the reef, he was trying to get to the water.

This was all happening 150 meters away from where I was, the tide was on its way in but the reefs were still above water, my dinghy would have been shredded if I tried to land, so I just started shouting at the top of me lungs at the dogs to[J1]  get the fuck away from the pig, get on home out of it yea bastards or I am going to get yea savage fuckers and kill yea, the dog on the right let the pig go and scurried away back up the path into the bush, the white one let go but seemed to hesitate, but that gave the poor pig  a chance, and he used I, the pig limped on 3 legs into the sea and swam up onto the next reef that was 20 meters away, I never knew that pigs could swim.

 A catamaran nearer the shore had a hard rib dinghy and he went with his wife to try to save the pig, but the reefs were still uncovered in places and they couldn’t reach the pig who hobbled away out of sight into a cleft in the rocks, when the neighbour came back he told me that the pig looked in a bad way and didn’t think it would survive the night, him and his wife were so upset by the screams of the poor pig that they left the anchorage soon after that. Well now you wouldn’t believe it but the dirty bastard dogs came back again, the only thing that stopped them was that the tide had risen over the reefs. I don’t know if the pig made it or not, but the whole drama put me in a very aggressive mood, I think I would have beaten these dogs to death if I had half a chance the fuckers.

02.08.17. After being over 2 weeks in this beautiful bay, we were heading back up to Neiafu this morning when we came very close to colliding with a whale, well it was blowing fairly strong after rounding the point where the wind is funnelled between 2 islands so the water was very choppy so it wasn’t very clear, I wasn’t sure if I saw something breaking the water a few meters away from Chevs right side, it happened so fast it could have been a wave, but 5 seconds later Sabine let a shout and pointed towards the back of the boat  ´´A WHALE´´ the fecker came up I meter on the left side nearer the back and splashed us with his tail what a lovely sight it was, he blew a fountain out of the hole in his head, and was gone before we could get a clear photo of him or her.

We got a buoy in Neiafu, went ashore informed the customs and immigration that we would be leaving Tonga the next day, then we went to the Tropicana and asked Greg the owner if he could phone the oil company to deliver 200 litres of duty free diesel the following morining to the customs pier, went shopping for supplies and after that had our last Tongan fish and chips at 8 TG$ each then back to old Chev for a good night’s sleep.

03.08.17. We were tied up at the customs dock at 07.00 this morning, there were 2 other boats already there before us tied up together, or as we say rafted up, 10 minutes later came a 4th boat and rafted up to us, unfortunately the supply ship was after arriving a bit further away from us, and that meant that the whole island would be out in force to collect their good’s that were being delivered by the supply ship, that meant a busy day for the customs, and a long wait for us.



To make a long story short, we had the diesel bunkered and our clearance papers singed and stamped at 13.00 we had to wait until the boat that was rafted up to us was finished, then we finally let the ropes go at 14.00 and let the town of Neiafu in our wake, NEXT STOP IS FIJI. So Followers of Chev hope you will enjoy the photos and the blog, take care and mind yourselves well now, god bye and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr. 


Market in Neiafu

View on the Vaua'u Islands

 


Tonga


07.06.17 to the 07.07.17

07.06.17. Nuku´alofa is the capital city of the Kingdom of Tonga since 1875, and has a population of over 24,000. With an average elevation of 3 meters above sea level it’s a flat little island, hope they don’t get a tsunami, it is the main port of the country, and has a wide bay with a lot of islands, and the easiest way to get around and see the sights is to walk.

The first Europeans came with the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1616. Then the British explorer James Cook in 1773 and the rest is history.

Aha sure it’s great to be back in the old Tropics again, we spent a month here in Nuku´alofa last year before we went down to New Zealand for over 6 months, were only here a week and it feels as if we never left the place, the water is 25°C warm and a great way to start the day is to have a swim before the breakfast. Tonga is known as the friendly Islands, and rightly so as the Tongans are always smiling.

Today we visited the Royal Tombs, in the Mateialona Road, well you can’t actually go in as it is only opened when they bury someone, but you can walk around the outer boundaries of the graveyard. In 1885 His Majesty King George Tupou the 1st declared a day of fundraising (Red Day Festival) to start the first Government public school, red was chosen to represent the blood of Christ. After the Red Day Festival this ground was known as Mala´e Kula (Red Ground). In 1893 when the King passed away, Mala´e Kula was chosen as the burial ground as it is part of the Royal Estate, it was considered convenient for the pall bearers to march straight from the Royal Palace down Vaha´akolo Road and left into Laifone Road to the tombs or Mala´e Kula. King George Tupou the 1st was embalmed and lay in-state at the Royal Palace while the construction work for the Royal Tomb was being carried out. And King George Tupou the 1st, was the very first to be buried there.




Opposite or to the left as you look at the entrance to the Royal Tombs, on Taufa´ ahau road, is the tent shaped roof of the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua, the first Basilica in the South Pacific islands, this impressive building, most of which was constructed by volunteer labour between 1977, 1980.  The light that shines through stained glass windows on the conical roof gives a wonderful show of light on the inside of the church, the large timber beams joints are covered with traditionally woven seniti mats from coconut fibres. The altar, lectern, baptistery, pews, and tables are all hand made. The Stations of the Cross are made from coconut wood and inlaid with mother of pearl. At station XI a tiny coconut tree that belonged to Queen Salote Tupou III is fitted into the hair of Christ, a beautiful place to visit.

On Laifone Road in front of the Royal Tombs stands the Centennial Church, or Free Church of Tonga. Built out of coral blocks in 1888. The Church was established in 1885 by King George Tupou 1st (formerly Taufa´ahau Tupou 1st) and Rev Shirley W Baker. Originally with the name The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, it became the official State Church, Queen Salote and King Tupoa IV were both christened here.

So that’s enough of Tongan culture and history and sightseeing for a while, me old feet are falling off with all this walking around, we will have to have a rest at Friends Café our favourite Café here in Nuku´ alofa.

08.06 we invited our Kiwi friend Glenda whom we had met here last year, and who has been living for the last 5 years in Tonga, and has lived the last year on Pangaimotu, along with an Australian friend Gary who we met in New Zealand and who has sailed up from Opua, to dinner aboard Chev, we had a lovely night and a great craic

09.06 Was talking with a Kiwi that got here the same time as us, just small talk you know the way sailors are, how was the weather did yea stop at Minerva Reef how long did it take, he had to do a lot of motor sailing and had stopped at Minerva. I told him we had planned to stop at Minerva but didn’t as we were too far east when we got the warning about the weather, and that we had a thick fog about the 5th day out, when I told him this he got really interested and asked me to describe the fog, well come to think of it now I said, it was like a bad case of dandruff,  ´´did it stay on the water and float like ?´´ well come to think of it now, yes it did, ´´was there dust on the deck?´´ being honest I can’t remember, it started at 23.00 and got so thick by 12 that I told me wife to come up on deck with her life jacket, visibility was down to 20 meters, and that’s when most sailing boats that don’t have radar or AIS transponder vanish without trace, so I was using the signal horn every 5 minutes and lighting the place around me like a light house with a powerful lamp I had gotten from a friend of mine  then at 01.00 in the morning Sabine went down below to sleep, then around 05.00 it cleared thanks be to God , well now said your man, ´´ it’s possible that what you saw wasn’t fog at all, but volcanic dust from an underwater eruption that happens quite a lot around these parts he said´´, maybe he was right, strange things happening yea know.

This evening we had a lovely thunder storm that lit up the place and lasted a couple of hours, after that we had very strong winds that kept us on board for the next 24 hrs.

11.06 David and Susan arrived this early morning and anchored by Big Mamas not far from us, we let them sleep away until the afternoon, at 17.30 we were invited aboard Enchantress for dinner and we caught up with the latest from David and Susan’s trials and tribulations, 36 hours before arriving in Tonga they had strong winds on the nose, the anchor locker had filled up with water as the drain holes clogged up, then it flowed from there into the bilge and flooded the bilge, they didn’t notice it until the water came over the floor boards, no problem thought David just switch on the electric bilge pump of which he has 2 , none of them worked, OK he still has a hand operated bilge pump, that didn’t work either, so they had to use buckets to bail out the water that had flooded their boat, which they successfully achieved despite the fear of what could have happened. Now that was a close call said David, with which I agreed.

12.06. We went over to Enchantress to help them tie up at the customs pier, at 10.00 while they were waiting Sabine and myself walked to town to get some supplies, we were back on Enchantress at 12.00 they were still waiting for the Health officers to come, so Sabine and me went over to the old Chines chipper and bought a bag of chips or French fries or Chines fries, anyway the health guys were after coming and going in the time we got me old chips, at 13.00 Susan and Sabine walked up the road and came back with Tongan style Chicken suppers, chicken and some sort of long Rooty thing instead of chips, it tasted like sticky poppy or potatoes, but not quite right yea know like, more like rubber, anyway I ate the most of the old Rooty stuff, washed it down with Cocoa cola  and me belly was full, at 14.00 we took in the lines and headed back to Pangaimotu island, just before we anchored I got a pain in me belly, but of course I ignored it like, after Enchantress was anchored, we said bye bye to David and Susan and got into our dingy to head home to old Chev that was only 5 minutes away, well we were only 2 minutes from Chev when I felt rumblings deep down in me old guts, and a pain that felt like I was going to give birth there and then and it wasn’t going to be a baby, I tell yea that now, jaysus wept the stabbing pains, it must be the fucking roots, me guts are reacting, fuck me I am going to get a bad dose of the old gallops, could I hold it for one more minute, so I squeezed me arse cheeks as tight as I could and was panting like a fox on the run, between me teeth I told Sabine that as soon as we are alongside Chev, she should get aboard as quickly as possible, open the door, then take the dingy rope and I would hop into the shit house, well anyway that was the plan, so we reached Chev Sabine gets aboard and started fiddling with the keys I am right long side her hopping from one foot to the other as she turns the key, great stuff I say take the rope of the dingy, and I pull out the door while Sabine gives me an ear full about having no patience, ffs does she no realise how close I am to shitting me self, I just jumped past her and swung into the jacks closed the door ripped me pants down, arse on the throne and nature took over, phew that was close, one second later and I would have not made it, and I am thinking to me self that that’s the last time I’ll be eating these fuckin Rooty things, unless I have constipation, emergency over all is well, out I come, Sabine still giving out about how impatient I am, cool down I said relax ffs will yea, well I didn’t get time to relax as Sabine started shouting ´´Sean the dingy was gone and is being blowing out to sea by the strong winds´´, fuck me no time to rest and recover from me ordeal, well I tell yea I was like a grey hound out of the start box at the race track, the old adrenalin flooding into me mussels, nerves and veins, all me senesces are on full alert, as quick as a flash, I pull me pants off tea shirt off glasses off, all this happening  on the move now mind yea, and over the back of the boat head first in full flight in me ball bags, as I hit the water I lost momentum and slowed to a full stop beacause me ball bags were dragged down around me ankles,well, I reefed them back up over me arse and off I went at full speed after the dinghy that had a 60 meter start, I reached it but was out of breath and had to have a minutes rest, I hope te fuck I don’t get a stroke are a heart attack, jaysus help, I pulled me self aboar, and as I did the old ballbags came down around me ankles again, I just managed to keep them caught with me toes, and I hoped no one was watching this ffs, I rolled in to the dinghy, stood up and pulled up the old ball bags to give me some form of decency, then I started the motor and headed back to old Chev without further ado, got aboard tied up the dinghy and gave Sabine a right old tongue lashing, ´´if she had done what we had planned and tied up the dinghy instead of mean mouthing me it wouldn’t have happened, ´´did yea see Garry coming to help she asked´´, you know I see nothing without me glasses sure, I said, and I hope he and anyone else on the beach on pangaimotu Island didn’t see me with me old tool waving in the wind, that’s all the fuck I need now, to be done for exposure on top of that. Well shit happens, it’s not all sunshine yea know but all is well that ends well.

17.06.17.   I changed the engine oil and oil filter, all went well until I knocked over the container with the old oil, I picked it up quickly and there was only 250mil litres spilled but what a fuckin mess it made, I was lucky that Sabine was gone to town with Susan, and had most of it cleaned up when she got back.

18.06.17 The weather is warm but the wind is blowing from 20 to 25 knots with one squalls one after the other, it’s supposed to stay like this for the week, as long as the anchor is holding we don’t mind sure,  We went over to Pangaimotu island with David and Susan, and spent 2 ½ hrs not far away from old Chev just relaxing, Sabine and Susan went snorkelling, I went paddling in me Berea’s, David sat in the sand, then we walked around the island, with the full tide it was more adventurous, normally you should do it when the tide is out, Big Mamas was doing a roaring trade, along with the regular Sunday visitors there was a lot of Welsh Rugby fans there,that were in Tonga for the match between Wales and Tonga.

















22.06.17 Well today is Sabine’s 50th birthday, and she was busy getting the dinner ready for the evening, and as I watch her, somehow I cannot believe that my Sabine is 50 years old, I mean she looks and moves and thinks functions like she always does. I remember her 40th birthday well, we celebrated that with our family and friends out in the stall in Pfullingen in Germany where we kept our horse old Florie, she still looks like she did then, but the other 9 birthdays I cannot remember. I remember my own 50th birthday that I celebrated in me mothers house in Ireland surrounded by family and friends, I remember my 51st in New Orleans a few weeks later New Orleans was devastated by hurricane Kathrina, but after that I have no recollection, I know that I will be 63 in august, but some times when I look in the mirror and see a tortoise faced ugly old baldy bollix looking back at me I can’t believe that that’s me FFS, I feel about 50 or younger, a well that’s life, I think I could have Alzheimer’s god forbid.

We are 25 years married, 29 years together but it only seems like yesterday or last week that we met, we have been through a lot of tough times together, hard times, and some brutal hard times and still learned to come out smiling, after us having a good old cry together, but  where the fuck did the time go can anybody tell me that, I mean we are living on a 30 ft sailing boat doing a circumnavigation of the World for the last 3 years now, it is very small and very confined, but we have become even more closer in these 3 years in spite of that, there are times when I miss her even  when she is sitting alongside of me and I know she feels the same way, I know she is a very brave and trusting woman who has learned to go beyond the limits of her endurance and shown courage to overcome her fears and still go further when the going got really rough, she is very deep thinking wise loving very giving and caring and is the most beautiful person I know and love she has learned to take every day as it comes and I am very privileged to have her in my life, without her my life would be meaningless, she deserves the medal of honour for putting up with a prick like me, and I am very proud of her, HAPPY BIRTHDAY me love I loves yea sure, come here to me and give me a kiss hug and squeeze don’t forget the old rub noses I loves yea sure.

We put the food in the dinghy along with the Guitar and mandolin, and drove the 100 meters to Enchantress and unloaded the dinghy, Sabine had made out with Susan and David that we could have the party on their boat as Chevaldy is too small for 8 people, I collected Glenda from Big Mamas and was back on Enchantress just as Garry from Freedom Song arrived and tied up his dingy, David had driven over to Haven to collect Kerry and Bruce and at 17.30 David opened the first bottle of Champagne and we all drank a toast to Sabine, there was fresh Mahi Mahi, some dipped in curry and rolled in flower and then fried in the pan, and some fried in olive oil and garlic, meat balls and salad for starters, then the main course of Ratatouille, all cooked by Sabine, and washed down with the finest red wine a la carton le NZ  and of course the second bottle of bubbly opened by the master of ceremonies Sir David, at 19.30 The lights went out and Susan brought in a Birthday cake she had made with flaming candle’s on top that Sabine blew out, we had the cake as Deseret al la muffin with cream, we sat and drank and talked and of course sang and at 23.00 the master of ceremonies open the sacred Scottish bottle of life and dished out the Johnny walker Black Label, and the songs got louder and holeyer with OH When The Saints Go Marching In, in loud voice and accompanied by bodily exertions with hands waving, head and shoulder’s shaking, and eyes rolling, hands clapping and ending in screams of hallelujah.

The master of ceremonies David at around midnight or was it later? Hic or was it earlier hic. Opened the highly sanctified and glorious bottle of Drambuie, along with the sacred Johnny Walker Black Label, in a secret ritual known only to the few masters of the mix, and passed secretly down through generations of Scottish Clans, with a skill that takes years of hard learning, and with 7 pair of eyes watching, David successfully mixed the contents of each Bottle to the exact measurement’s with the true skill of a grand master mixer concocted the perfect RUSTY NAIL which was dished out to the hardened few for the last song of the night, the parting glass, we all made a circle and those that are well versed in such matters joined in voice to the singing, when the first verse was sung you were allowed to clinking each person’s glasses drink a sip from the glass, then when the song was finished you did the same glass clink and empty the glass . Anyway to make a long storey short, we got the parting glass perfect but it wasn’t the last song like it should have been, and the reason being, was the Rusty Nail was so good that we were still singing until after 02.00. Aaa what a great old night we had, we won’t forget it for years to come.


Gerry, Sabine and Bruce



Gerry, Bruce, Sabine and Glenda

Susan, Sean and Kerry

23.06 Just taking it easy to day, nice and slow, have to recover yea know like.

24.06 Sabine was gone ashore with Susan, Kerry, and Bruce, so I was alone on board in the afternoon as a squall went through the anchor field, I went up on deck checked our position and noticed that the boat on my left with no one aboard looked like it had dragged anchor and was too close for comfort, I started to take up our anchor to move away from yer boyo but me anchor was caught around a stone, so with the help of Kim from Philiosophy and Garry from Freedom song we managed to get it untangled from around the stone and re anchored a safe distance from the boat that had dragged.

25.06 We slept good last night, nice and calm no swell an d woke up to a God given glorious day, gone are the constant strong winds, we had a whole week of 20 to 25 knot winds and over. Now this is what we signed up for sunny skies and blue sea’s har harr a vast yea swabs, let’s go swimming yeehaw.

26.06.17.  Sabine and me went over to Pangaimotu to say Good Bye to Big Mama, Earl, John, Bessy, and the other staff, but especially to our dear friend Glenda a truly remarkable humours beautiful Kiwi, as we would be leaving for the Haapai group of islands in the morning, we had a nice just shooting the shit about everything and anything, then at sailors midnight 21.00 we hugged and kissed anyone that got in our way, as we said our good byes.


Very low water

Glenda and Sean

Next morning after breakfast we lifted anchor and were heading out of the anchorage, an were surprised to hear someone calling from the shore, we looked and there was Glenda and Big Mama standing on the pier waving shouts of good bye and take care, coming across the still waters from the pier from Pangaimotu island, now that was extremely emotional, we were waving and shouting back our last goodbyes to them and were close to tears, but I suppose it was the fact that we may never see these people again. ´´Aha stop it Sean boy get a grip on yourself, real men don’t cry´´ sniff sniff where’s me old hanky oh God help us, I am becoming an emotional wreck FFS.

We stopped at Malinoa island not far away, we heard there was good snorkelling there, but the cloud thickened as we dropped anchor there and the swell made it uncomfortable, so we decieded to head back to the Pangaimotu anchorage, we got there just as it got dark and slept sound.


Malinoa

28.06.17. At 06.00 we had our breakfast, and just as the dawn was breaking we left Pangaimotu anchorage behind us and headed for Kelefesia island, underway I threw out me old fishing line and by noon time I had 5 fat skip jacks, more than enough fresh fish for us and Enchantress who were 1 nm in front of us, great stuff thank you God. We reached Kelefesia island but found no shelter there. We had 2 hours of daylight left to reach the anchorage in Nomuka island that was over 13 nm away, and got there just in time, we anchored and at 18.00 we drove over to enchantress who were just behind us for a sundowner that we really deserved, along with sausages and mash that Susie, and were back on old Chev at 2030 were we slept like Royalty.        


    
The catch of the day. One is still hanging overboard to bleed out
                        

29.06.17. What a beautiful glorious morning, everything you can only dream of, Sun Sea and Sand, we are anchored off Nomuka Iki, it was used as a prison island once upon a time, that’s the small island across from the big island of Nomuka, not a soul to be seen  on the beach. David and Susan came over and collected us, as we have a leak in our dinghy, and we drove over to the beach, Susan and Sabine walked down the beach towards a big wreck to have a look at it, David and me pulled the dinghy high up on the beach and tied it to a palm tree. We were greeted by Joshua who said he was the caretaker, he told us there were Pigs, and cattle on the island, that his father and an Australian Don Macintyre had leased it together, then We had a look around at a sort of big garden tent that was in a clearing of the mangroves and palm trees, along with a concrete tank to catch the rain water, a big solar panel, just the bare essentials. Well we spent a grand time on the island swimming, snorkelling, exploring, it gave yea the feeling that Robinson Crusoe must have had on that island he was shipped wrecked on. Fantastic is all I can say.












Making music for Joshua the caretaker





30.06.17 to day we went over on Enchantress to Nomuka the big island, in search of Sims cards for the internet, we went ashore with the dinghy and walked up the dirt road towards the village, David and Sabine went into a shop to inquire about the Sims card, I was outside talking to a girl and boy who had just come from the shop, Anna was her name, she was 10 years old and her brother was about 7, I made some photos of them and showed them the results, the owner of the shop told Anna to show us the way to the radio shack, so with the kids as our guides we set off for the 15 minutes climb up through the jungle like paths until we reached the radio shack, David and Sabine were inside with the owner, Susan, Anna and her brother and me waited outside, it wasn’t long before we were surrounded by a bunch of kids, Susan took out a plastic Frisbee that she had in her bag and we had great fun showing the kids, who never saw a Frisbee in their life how to throw it.

 A young woman about 24 appeared with a baby in her arms and was talking with Susan, and Susan said she was looking for a husband had asked if I had a wife, are yea trying to marry me off or what, I am already married I said,  then a kid of about 5 came along carrying his younger brother on his back to join the Frisbee fun, the woman with the small children told the oldest boy who was about 10, to climb the coconut tree and throw down a few coconuts for us, well I tell yea, he was up the tree like a monkey and threw down a half dozen coconuts, which the mother opened with a knife and offered one to Susan and one to me to drink, she then asked me if I already had a wife?, YES I have a WIFE I said, she is in the shack getting a Sims card, would we like to come to her house for dinner ? well that’s very friendly but no thank you very much because we had to get back to the boat as soon as my WIFE and my friend were finished in the shack, when I finished the drink I carried on playing Frisbee with the kids, it was great to see children being children and just enjoying themselves, the young mother gave us 4 coconuts to take with us as a present. Sabine and David came out of the shack and said they were lucky to have gotton the last 2 Sims cards.

We walked back through the village at our ease and talked to people we met, the Tongans are really easy going and really friendly, but they don’t seem to know their age when you ask them how old they are, it was like a guessing game, are yea 6, aaa shake of the head meant wasn’t sure , are yea 7, uuu nod of the head meant that sounded right, it was the same with the older women, are yea 20 or 21 or 24 or 19 or 17, when you hit the right number you got a nod of the head. The Tongans are a very religious race, we counted 3 Churches a Catholic church, a Mormon church, and the free Wesley church of Tonga, now for a small island like this is, that’s quite a lot of Churches, we were escorted the whole way by Anna and her brother, Sabine and Susan gave them a good hand full of coins for their guide work and ran off to the shop to buy sweets.

We met a man on a bicycle who stopped and said hallow and he had a mobile phone in his pants pocket turned up full, with music blearing from it, further down the road we were greeted by a bunch of kids and a woman whose name was Sahara, well she was a barrel of information about the religion on the island, and very proud to be Tongan, `` how do you like our island, are the Tongan people friendly, this island weaves a better sort of grass skirt as anywhere else in Tonga´´. Oh yea I nearly forgot about the Pigs, well the place is full of pigs roaming around for something to scoff, but it was my first time to see a sow pig eating a plastic shopping bag that was blowing around, not just that, she was being chased by another half dozen little pigs who were trying to steal the juicy object from her mouth, well I suppose her guts will be in the bag when they slaughter her. That was a beautiful day.         

    




Anna and her brother












05.06.17. We collected Susan today as David wasn’t feeling too well like, and we drove over to Nomuki Iki, we wanted to walked around the island, with the weather being beautiful, and the Sun shining, it all looked fantastic, when we reached the western end we climbed up the bank to where the trees looked like they were all rotten, and had a good view of the navigations light on the opposite island, On our way up from Nukualofa we saw a whale, so we thought we might see a some  Wales out beyond the reefs, as this is the time for them, but had no luck. We headed down the beach to the eastern side of the island, and about 2/3 down had to walk in the water up to our tights under the cliffs, the stones and rocks were very slippery and poor Sabine slipped and cut her wrist on the sharp coral, It could have been worse I suppose, anyway the going got slow and slippery and our full concentration was call upon a couple of more times before we got back on the old sandy beach and safety,

We were heading back up the beach to where the dinghy was, and had only 700 meters of fine white sandy beach to go, and I swear I was lost in another world, surrounded by breath taking beauty and the amazing contrasting colours of Mother Nature in this garden of Paradise.




























Well I tell yea now, I wasn’t long being torn away from Mother Nature and forgetting about the contrasting colours, not to mention Paradise and coming back to the here and now, when I realized that the cracking sound I heard, wasn’t a dried out branch that I stood on, but the fuckin toe next to the big one on me right foot, snapping like a twig on a solid rock that was just sticking up out of the sand, JAYSUS WEPT the fuckin pain, I stifled a scream and was sure me toe was after been bitten of by some creature, or sliced it off on a broken glass bottle, but when I looked down it was still attached to me old foot with blood drooling out of it, thanks jaysus for small mercies I said, I felt around where the pain was and knew that it was broke the way the joint was swelled up, best thing is to keep moving, which I did, we got back to old Chev and Sabine tape it to the other small toe next to it, sure that’s all you can do with a broken or fractured toe, It could have been worse sure, a well shit will happen, but the moral of the story is, Keep your wits about you even in Paradise.

Haven has arrived in the anchorage and we have been invited by Kerry and Bruce, along with David and Susan for dinner, so got to go now.

So followers of Chev. Hope you like the Blog. Take care and mind yourselves well now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr.     


New Zealand - Tonga


05.05.17 till 10.06.17

05.05.17. Today we were hauled out at 13.45, we only wanted to scrape the bottom of Chev, while she was hanging on the crane,  but when we saw that there was hardly any antifouling on the starboard side, it was beaten off by the waves and heavy seas on our way down here, so we put Chev in a cradle on the hard, where we will do the antifouling along with other things that need to be done like the gearbox seals, zinc anodes, it should take a week of hard work and then it’s back in the water, well at least we have good company with David and Susan and Enchantress right next to us, and every one as busy as bees. 


Chev in the slings

A musselfarm on the keel

Chevon the bock

next to Enchantress

Susan is busy

06.05.17 we spent the day getting the boat ready for the antifouling, a lot of grinding and scraping, the keel was the worst, a dirty job indeed, after that we put on 2 coats of primer and let it dry overnight.


Sean is sanding

I am scrabing off the barnicals



Somebody is in the need of having a shower


07.05.17 to day we painted 2 coats of antifouling.with a 3rd coat just under the water line, stern  and bow section.


The antifouling is finished




Coffee brake

08.05.17 Finished the antifouling at 13.00.  Had a mechanic over to check out the gearbox as there is seawater in it, he replaced the 6 seals but said that there was a bend on the shaft, that maybe marine engineering could sort out, otherwise I would be replacing the seals every 3 months, the big question, How MUCH, he could not answer or even guess. I asked him to check the rudder shaft as there seemed to be a lot of play in it, the bushes must be replaced, and again he could not give me an estimate of the cost. To remove the rudder we had to have the crane lift Chev, the bushes were made and measured by marine engineering.at 16.00 we had the crane lift old Chev again to put the rudder shaft pack in, but we had problems as the bush was to tight, we had a lot of problems to get the bush down to the end of the rudder shaft, but thanks to Mike from Sea power it all went well in the end now we must wait for a part that closes the hose at the top of the shaft, maybe tomorrow.


The propellershaft has been taken out

Too much play in the rudder

The rudder had to be taken out

Therefore Chev had to be lifted up again

Sean and his rudder

11.05  Dave and Heidi called up to Opua today and spent a few hours here, maybe we will visit them again before we leave. We have being monitoring the path of Tropical Cyclone Donna for a while now, and it looked like Donna would be passing off to the north east and missing us here, well today it looks like its heading straight for us and should reach us to night, and that’s not all, there is another TC heading for FIJI, they called her ELLA, they don’t know what direction she will take, maybe she will head down here too, looks like we will be here a bit longer than planned.


Donna on her way

15.05. 17 we were put back in the water at 09.30 this morning and were back on the mooring 15 minutes later, all is well so far.


The rudder is back in

Chev on her way back into the water

Sean is habby

16.05. 17 we had very strong winds last night and were rock and rolling all night with the swell and waves that were in the bay, there was a lot of water in the bilge that had come out of the fresh water tank, the feckin thing is leaking, at least we know where its coming from, I have to fix that but it will have to wait, another job for the to do list.

21.05 we drove to Waipu and collected John Patrick and Anna at 11.00, then we drove to the National Park to do the Kauri trail walk, we stopped at Dargaville for some fish and chips then it was on to the Forrest to see the giant trees. We had a lovely day with JP and Anna, and were back in Waipu at 17.30, we said good bye, and headed to Marsden Cove to stay the night with Dave and Heidi. Monday we went up to the lawn bowling club with Dave and Heidi armed with hedge trimmers, chainsaws, bolt cutters and rakes, to cut back the hedge there, we had a visit from our Kiwi friend Graham Taylor who had drove 60 km to wish us Farewell and good winds, we were finished at the Bowling club at 13.00 and were back in Dave’s at 13.15 for lunch, after lunch Heidi and Sabine drove up to Whangarei to go shopping, while Dave and me self repaired the chain saw. Heidi and Sabine came back with 4 medium piazzas that were devoured in no time at all.


Anna, JP and Sabine

JP hugging the Kauri tree

JP and Anna on the Kauritrail

In the background the"Four Sisters"





JP and Sabine in front of Tane Mahuta

Happy family

Heidi and Dave with the chainsaw

Sean and the chinsaw

Graham coming for a visit

Heidi showing the men how to do the wor


Goulash for lunch

Heidi serving



I kept the best part for last, well now it has been 2 ½ years since I had a warm bath and Heidi said if I wanted to I could have a bath, she didn’t have to ask twice, I went into the bath and ran the water until it was as hot as I could bear and just lay there luxuriating in heavenly bliss for over 1 ½ hours, I slept like a king after that.

The next morning we said Farwell and adieu to our friends Dave and Heidi and headed back to Opua.

24.05 We filled up our gas bottle and bought some more supplies for the voyage to Tonga, then checked out old Chevs equipment, we oiled the sliders for the main sail, checked that the navigation lights, A I S (automatic identification system) batteries lamps torches, and everything else we could think of. We were loading down the weather files every morning and it looked like we would be leaving for Tonga on Saturday. We cleared customs on Friday and said good bye to John and Debby from Wind Walker, David and Susan from Enchantress who would probably wait for the next weather window.

27.05.17 we slipped anchor and motor sailed to the mouth of the South Pacific Ocean, we set our course that would bring us close to the south and north Minerva reefs, were we could shelter if the weather turned nasty. There was a big swell against us that made it very slow and uncomfortable, after being over 6 months in Opua Bay in New Zealand it took a while before we found our sea legs, we did a lot of motor sailing at the start as the winds were very week, we caught a Mahi-mahi but before I got him close to Chev he got away, the next day I caught another Mahi-mahi, it really took all me strength to get him alongside Chev but he got away before I could get the gaff hook, the next day caught a fine big skip jack and got him aboard where I filleted him and we had meat enough for 2 days, aha jaysus he was lovely I tell yea that now.




It is still cold




yeah, we caught a skipjack

Lovely meet for two days

sunrise

sunset

Filling up with diesel

It is getting warmer

31.05 We got a weather report from David that said the rum line looked good so we set our course straight for Tonga, 2 days later David suggested that we stop at Minerva Reef as the weather was not looking good, northerly winds expected, that meant we would have the winds against us, but we decided to stick to our course, yes we got a good bashing but we reached Nuku’alofa in Tonga Sunday morning 04.06.17, we anchored at big Mammas as it was Sunday, and Monday was a holiday so we had to wait until Tuesday before we could clear customs. Wednesday we went to town got the sims card for the mobile, went to the market and just enjoyed being back in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Our plans now are to go to Hapaii group of islands then on to Vavau in northern Tonga, and from there over to Fiji. So followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoi and Har harr.  

New Zealand 6

14.04.17 till 04.05.17

14.04.17. Ahoy Followers of Chev, hope you all enjoyed your Easter holidays. Well we had a fantastic Easter weekend. On Friday we drove down to Marsden Cove to Davie and Heidi who had invited us to stay with them for Easter, while Davie and me took rusty for a walk up to the Beach and down through the Estate talking with his neighbour and that neighbour, Heidi and Sabine were busy getting the dining room set up with candles and decorating the table, and cooking the grub for the evening meal, well, when they were finished it looked like a  hotel dining room, and the food was excellent, only from the finest, there was roast lamb with onions in juicy brown gravy, zucchini wrapped in bacon, with veg, roast potatoes and boiled potatoes, and we weren’t finished yet, not by a long shot, after that came the ice cream with fruit cocktail, so that along with the old Champagne, of which one glass is enough for me, I don’t have the tongue for the stuff, and red wine, well now that I like, and of course Davies home brewed poteen, schnaps, aah jaysus  we had a feast fit for a king, really lovely.

The next day was Saturday, so while Sabine and Heidi went shopping Davie and me took rusty for his usual walk up to the beach and back through the neighbourhood, we checked out the progress on the new houses that were being built around the place. 2 weeks ago when we were here, they had started to build 3 houses, well they were finished with 2 of them being lived in, and across the road on the corner from Davie where there was a little field, were 3 houses,1 finished, 2 nearly finished, and the foundation of a 4th house was already laid. Davie can tell yea what a house would cost, or what a piece of land would cost, as he is a retired real estate agent, and the price of these houses were, from 800.000 NZ $ for the biggest one, had a really big garden and driveway, and 400.000 NZ $ for the smallest one. Well I tell yea one thing, the price of land and houses is unbelievable here, and there is a massive shortage of trades men, like plumbers, carpenters, electricians, in fact anything to do with the building trade, Davie said there is a waiting list for plumbers of a month or more, because of the shortage, so if you know any unemployed trades men, tell them to get in contact with New Zealand and they will have a job in a jiffy.   

Anyway when we got back after the walk, Davie and meself got busy setting up the old still in his backyard so we could distil some poteen, or schnaps, or Mountain Dew or whatever you want to call it. Well now, if we did this in Ireland or good old Germany we would be arrested on the spot that I can tell yea, but here in New Zealand it quite legal to do it as long as you don’t sell it, you have no trouble at all a tall. Anyway, Davie had already the mash fermenting for over a week, the sugar content was just right so all we had to do was tip the 35 Kilos of Kiwi mash into the boiler, put on the copper cone shaped top, connect up the hose to the cooler coil, or condenser, turn on the power boil the mash and the alcohol flows from the condenser hose into the bottles, it’s as simple as that, Aaa no bother at all a tall, sure any old fool could do tha, that was the way it was supposed to work like.

Well anyway, after a while as the temperature increased and the pressure went up the old boiler started hissing, shaking, trembling and dripping alcohol, but not like you would expect, now I am no expert yea know what I mean, but it wasn’t like it should be, well if it was a man, then I would say he had a prostate problem the way it was dripping instead of flowing yea know like. Anyway poor old Davie was standing there scratching his head wondering what the problem was, so I told him about the old prostate blocking the pipes on a man’s organ, and maybe the pipe on the still is blocked, yea, there must be a blockage in the condenser coil he said, so he switched off the power to the boiler, opened one of the clamps that keeps the lid on the boiler, a bit too soon I was thinking, as the old still was still shaken and hissing, then there was a sort of popping and hissing sound, followed by an almighty bang that blew up the still, the lid flew into the air, and it looked like a fuckin flying saucer in full flight, and before we knew it, it wasn’t Alien’s that were landing, but boiling hot mushy Kiwi mash spewing and spitting from the air as we sprinted away from the eruption to safety, fuck me, we were lucky we weren’t scalded by the brew that flew,  I tell yea this self-brewing business can be a dangerous indulgence, you can be poisoned from the methanol, scalded, burned, bludgeoned to death or disfigured for life by an exploding still.

Well anyway, we had to wait a while until it was cool enough yea see, so we could to go back to ground zero, to see what was left of the still, but we were happy enough to find we only had to tighten a few hose clips on the pipes, and replace the clamps on the cover, I was expecting to fight of flocks of zombie like alcoholics that should have being drawn by the smell of half distilled poteen to up turn up in Davies back yard, but instead it was a load of wasps drawn by the sugar in the mash. Well, Davie blew compressed air through the condenser coil and out shot a fat Roundy brown thing like a prostate but not as big, it turned out to be a cherry that was stuck inside the condenser, Davie said it must have been his neighbour’s kid that stuffed the cherry up the pipe, and that was the cause of the still exploding and nearly killing or maiming us, Now I won’t tell yea what he called the kid but it was enough to make a holy man blush. As I said a dodgy business.

The second attempt was better, as they say, practice makes perfect, and soon the old Alcohol was flowing, not dripping mind yea now, but really flowing, the first that comes out is methanol, you can’t drink it as its poison, so it was put into a container that I will use to rub into aching muscles, or sprains and bruises. Then we poured the rest of it into a big dish and checked the alcohol content, it was 65 % Davie and me tried a drop but we spat it on the ground, it burned the fuck out of yea, so we added distilled water into the alcohol, and it went down to 55%, and sampled it again, well it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either, so we added more water again until we measured 45% alcohol, we tasted that as well of course and it was away better, at least you could drink the stuff,  but isn’t it funny how it tastes better the more often you taste it.

 Davie called Sabine and Heidi out to the back to taste the freshly brewed schnaps, poteen or mountain dew, and we all agreed that it was a bit too bitter, so we added a little more water until we had it down at 35% and had another dram of course, and another one to be sure to be sure that It was nice, and it was indeed just right, it tantalise the old taste buds, Aaa yea haa hee great stuff.  After that we poured it into the bottles and we got 6 litres of the Adele drop from the 35 kilos, Kiwi MASH, and after that I had to have a little lie down and slept like a baby for an hour or was it 2, that was hard work I tell yea, all’s well that ends well.

Saturday Evening the Australian neighbours from across the road from Davies house, and the South African neighbour were invited by Heidi and Dave for a live music and schnapps night, Heidi and Sabine had hand painted some hard boiled eggs with the name of each guest written on the egg, along with small chocolate eggs and Easter bunny’s for everyone, and of course the fresh brewed poteen was dished out but I had had enough of fresh brew for one day, must think of the old liver yea know like, and we had an enjoyable evening indeed.        

 Sunday afternoon we drove over to Davies friend Mike for lunch, Mike is a building contractor who loves his job so much that it’s his hobby as well, his wife said they had sold their house and had just moved into this old timber house with a huge garden, so he will rebuild this from scratch, landscape the garden and when he is finished, she said they will buy another old one and do the same thing again just to keep Mike busy, well we spent only 3 hours with Mike his wife and friends but they made us feel so welcome that we felt as if we were one of the family and have known them for years, they wanted to know are we sailing all our life, was it hard to sail across Oceans, how long it took, were there storms, how many, were we afraid, yea they were really interested so we answered their questions as good as we could, then mike told us he has a motor boat and his friend has a motor launch, and stories of fishing trips that nearly went wrong, Aa it was great to listen to their tales of the Sea.   

Heidi had wanted to see JP and Anna as she was looking for someone to do house sitting when she and Dave go on holiday’s, so JP and Anna hitched a lift from Opua to Marsden Cove and were outside Heidi’s house and found no one home, so they phoned Sabine who told them she would be over in 10 minutes, so Heidi and Sabine drove back to collect them and brought them back to Mikes house where they were feed and found and of course had ice cold beer, Sabine had brought our musicale instrument’s with her after collecting JP and Anna, so we played a few songs for Mike and his Friends, and when we left, we were given warm hearted kisses, hugs and goodbyes from them all, and to be sure to call in whenever we are down their way, after that it was back to Heidi’s house where we had dinner, after that JP and Anna were shown where they would staying for the night in the mobile home, that is parked in the driveway, it has a double bed kitchen living room and bathroom with wifi.

Next morning after breakfast, Davie and myself went up to the lawn bowling club where Davie is a member, and he showed me how to play, very easy says he, gave me eight bowls and I spent an hour flinging them from one end of the field to the other, it’s not as simple as it looks yea know, and after another hour I was rolling the bowls a small bit better, then we went back for lunch to Davies.

After lunch Davie and me self, headed to the Waipua bowling club to take part in a fundraising tournament that was being held there, at 13.00 it started , we had 16 mixed teams of 4 persons per team that was 64 people men and women just playing, and a lot of spectators, no small time stuff here boy. When each game finished the teams changed as well, that meant you were playing against someone you just had played with, great fun, but they played as if it was a world tournament, at least I managed to score 1 point in the whole tournament which was 3rd from the end of losers, Davie was playing with another team and won 3rd place, we were finished at17.00 and then we drove back to Davies where we packed our bags and thanked Heide and Davie for allowing us to be part of their lives and for an unforgettable Easter weekend.



Waiting for the eastermeal

Heidi and Sabine

Heidis garden

Beatiful flowers

Starting to brew the Schnaps

Sean is helping



Front garde

At the lawn bowling

Dave and Sean

Dave won some chocolate

Anna and JP squashing the Kiwi

Sabine helping as well, Rusty in the backround

JP beeing busy

We arrived back in Opua where we were expected on board Moonraker to bid Farwell to Laurie who was flying home to England the next morning, and Chris her husband would sail the boat with the help of his friend back to the Caribbean as he wants to finish his dream of circumnavigation, well I don’t think Laurie will ever forget her last night here in New Zealand for a long time to come, whit  Susan and David Sabine Chris Laurie and me singing Funny songs that made Laurie laugh, and very sad songs that set the tears flowing from her eyes, we finished up with us all singing the parting glass at 01.00. a lovely farewell to laurie.   

19.04.17 JP and Anna went to thumb a lift to Whangrei where they had the next job as woofers on an organic farm, they would be working just for their food and accommodation as Anna’s Visa still has not been granted, we said our good byes to them in Opua harbour, then Sabine and me headed to our favourite place the hot springs, where we spent the rest of the day just cooking our bones in the hot pools, and of course meeting up with the usual Maori friends that we regularly meet there, there’s no better way to get to know Maori and learn about their culture and customs, as a matter of fact this is where there Maori ancestors came after a battel to heal their wounds as well as their aches and pains, so if its good enough for them then its good enough for us. 

20.04.17 we had a BBQ in the yard by the haul out crane, to celebrated 2 birthdays this evening, Jane´s and Jonas´s, a lot of other cruiser’s brought their own drinks and some food to put on the table, then ev
eryone can try a little bit of this and that and have fun shooting the shit.

21.04.17 Davie and Heidi called up this morning, we had already made out that Dave and me self would go sailing around some of the famous Bay of Islands, while Sabine and Heidi would go shopping. We slipped the mooring at 10.00 Davie was at the wheel, and headed down the channel towards the open sea, we had the tied with us and there was a light wind blowing, as we passed Paihia, Dave had spent years in the Merchant Navy and worked as a fisherman in Australia and NZ in his younger day so he had no problem steering, but like all of us to master the harnessing of the wind is difficult at the start, so for the next 4 hours he made progress and managed to turn a full circle a few times, it wasn’t bad for the first time, we spent 5 hours sailing around Robinson Island and headed back up river to the mooring in Opua Bay.

We were supposed to be back for 2 O clock for a BBQ by Carters Chandlers, but unfortunately we arrived over an hour late and were lucky we got some leftover buns and butter, the other hungry fuckers had scoffed the lot, we said bye bye to Dave and Heidi and promised to call down before we leave NZ.




Dave at the wheel

22.04.17 To day we had the Great pleasure of meeting up again with 2 young Kiwis, very interesting people, Grace and Campbell, whom we met when they had spent a hiking holiday last September on the Island of Niue, we exchanged e mail address then and have kept in contact since, they live in Wellington, and flew up to Auckland airport, where they got a loan of their uncles car, and were on their way up the coast to North Cape to visit the Northlands and Cape Reinga, and stopped off to pay us a visit. They arrived at the pier in Opua where we collected them and brought them over to old Chev, where we had tea and coffee and dinner and spent 3 hours chatting, and a pity they only had such a short time, sure that’s what it’s all about isn’t it, getting to know people and places .


Grace and Campbell

25.04.17 while I stayed aboard finishing off the Lazy bag I had made, Sabine went ashore to the Customs Req`s and Chart marking for the Pacific Islands Seminar. 

26.04.17 in the morning we had an e mail from John Pierre and Isabelle, then after a phone call to find out where we were they called over for a visit, they had arrived the night before, and over coffee and tea we caught up on their travels around NZ, that afternoon we had the Pacific weather seminar.

27.04.17. We went up to the hot pools with John Pierre and Isabelle and spent the morning there, on the way back we stopped at the shopping centre and bought some groceries and we were back on board old Chev where Sabine got busy with making a dinner for 6, she had made out with Isabelle that she would make the dinner and we would come over with David and Susan to Sodric to watch the film that John Pierre had made of their travels around the south islands. We were over on Sodric at 17.30 had an enjoyable evening eating dinner that Sabine had made and a desert that Isabelle had made we were finished at 22.30.


Sean, Isabelle and Jean-Pierre



Enjoying our dessert

28.04.1. There was a BBQ this afternoon at Caters to say farewell to Donna a young woman who has worked there for the last 4 years, were well looked after with Sausages, kipper, smoked fish, wine and beer all free, there were a lot of cruisers there and no shortage of storey’s, the best one came from Jonas the Swede, that morning he had been over in the harbour on business, and went to the dinghy dock, his dinghy motor would not start, he had tried everything, he then lifted his motor up to see if there was something stuck in the propeller, and nearly shit himself with the fright he got, there was a dead pigs head jammed in the prop, he made a photo with his mobile to show those who would not believe him. The BBQ ended at around 19.00 when there was nothing left to ate or drink, the crowed vanished, but it was good fun.

29.04.17 we wanted to go to the weather seminar at 10.00 over at the Opua yacht club, but the weather was poxy, all night storming winds and rain, and this morning the wind was blowing even stronger with the rain still bucketing down, so we stayed aboard Chev to have a nice quite relaxing day and were hoping that the weather would brighten up in the afternoon as there was another BBQ at Burnsco, with more free booze and grub, and that’s one thing all cruisers love no matter what the weather. Well it didn’t stay nice and quiet long, at 11.00 there was a caller on the radio saying in a distressed voice that a sailing boat was dragging anchor and had being blown directly on to their boat, Sabine and meself went up on deck to see if we could help, but all we saw was a catamaran close to us trying to re anchor, and over towards the marina we saw another boat doing the same thing, so there were a few boats that had dragged anchor.

The caller then gave the name of the boat and asked if someone could contact the owner, that led to a flurry of activity and miss understandings on the radio, and in seconds the net that was bussing like a beehive, ´´could you repeat the boats name´´, what was the name´´, ´´ would you spell that please´´, now over in the yacht club at the same time everyone could hear what was happening as they have the radio tuned on the emergency CHN 16 , the weather seminar was having its own difficulty’s, yea see, the seminar that was in full flight stopped all of a sudden, when someone that was  having difficulty breathing collapsed clutching his chest, Jesus, Mary, and Holey St Joseph,  everyone thought that the chap was having a heart attack, so the emergency services came flying down to the yacht club with the old flashing lights and siren to assist, they drove him over to the local Hospital, and the panic died down in the yacht club, although I heard there were a lot of people had got a good scare. Someone managed to reach the owner of the boat that had dragged anchor on his mobile, he went out to his boat and re anchored and that was the end of the panic there as well.

The man that was shifted to Hospital recovered, I think it was a sort of anxiety attack or something like that, maybe he thought it was his boat that had dragged . Anyway by 12.00 it was all quite again except for the wind and rain, never a dull moment and all’s well that ends well thanks be to God.

The weather got a bit better so we drove over at 16.00 to the harbour in our rain gear for the BBQ at Burnsco, there was only a hand full of people there, so we thought there would be hardly anybody there, I am not codding yea, we just had our beer and sausage and in 2 minutes we were surrounded by a crowed, it was a great BBQ with plenty of everything, and at 1900 we headed back to old Chev.

01.05.17 we had made out with Dave and Heidi we would visit them on our way to Waipu to see JP and Anna, so we drove to Marsden cove where we arrived at 11.00 at Davies and Heidi’s house where we were greeted by Rusty the dog and Dave who promptly took Sabine and me out back to where he was distilling some more Schnapps, fijoa was the name of the fruit, and the fluid was flowing into a 5 litre bottle, Dave knew we were coming and had brewed this Schnapps just Especially for us, what can you say, only thank you friend, we went to Heidi who was in the garden hanging out the washing, and were warmly greeted by her, at 12.00 a dinner of homemade meatballs with potatoes veg and gravy, and a salad was on the table, at 13,30 we bade farewell to Dave and Heidi.

We drove to Waipu where we were expected by John Patrick, and Anna, they work as woofers on an organic farm and would be finished at 14.00, they are living in an old church that the owners of the farm had transported from the town of Dargavill on the west coast of New Zealand to Waipu on the east coast where it was put back together again 17 years ago, it’s a very beautiful place, JP and Anna are really happy there and love the place and hope to stay longer to learn more about organic farming, the owners are a very lovely friendly couple who have worked the farm for the last 17 years.

We went for a drive to Waipu beach and took a walk on the beach, went back to the farm and sayed good bye to our JP and Anna as we might be leaving for Tonga before this week is out, of course that depends on the weather, but so far it looks good.        

 
JP at Waipu beach
  
The former church of Dargaville
 
Sean and JP

04.05.17 it doesn’t look good to be leaving as there is a category 2 Cyclone called Donna that formed off of Vanuatu 2 days ago and doesn’t seem to know where she wants to go, and is expected to reach a category 3, so we will have to wait until this has passed, the next window is expected to be around the end of next week.  Tomorrow we will haul out the boat. So we will see what’s next on the agenda.

So Followers of Chev, that’s all for now, until the next time, take care and mind yourselves well now, Good bye and God bless you all. Ahoy and Har harr.


New Zealand 5


13.03.17 till 13.04.17

13.03.17 we need a new anchor winch, so I measured and photographed the old one, height length and width, ready to order a new or second hand one. 


17.03.17. We celebrated St Patricks Day with live music song and dance up in the Cruisers Lounge in Opua marina from 17.00 until 23.00. There was between 26 to 30 people there, all Cruisers, well to be honest like, the men were a dead loss at the old dancing, they couldn’t let themselves go sure, except for David and me self that is, and the women, well they were having a great time dancing away in couples and groups. And what with everyone bringing something to eat, there was enough food on the table to fill the emptiest bellies and there was still some left over. Sabine played the tin whistle, mandolin, and sang, JP and Anna shock the rattlers, I played the old guitar, cracked a few jokes, and mocked a few people, all in good fun, and before the night was over nearly everyone had joined in the chorus of the more well-known Irish songs and we all had great fun.    











18.03.17 we drove JP and Anna down to Tutukaka where they would be working for a week at a house with a big bit of ground, we got there around 10:30 and got the grand tour by the owner Caroline, she had a horse, 3 calves, and a sheep or 2, I am not sure anymore, anyway it looked ok,



JP and Anna had a room with a bathroom included, they were as happy as Larry, so we said good bye and then we drove to Whangarei, did some shopping at pack and save, we went to Stanley Marine to look to see if they had an anchor wince for old Chev, well, they had 7 anchor winches but none that would have fitted Chev, we drove out to Burnsco chandlery and picked up a grand bargain for a new pair of binoculars that we badly need for 53 NZ $ can’t say nothing there like, then to the Whangarei falls, where we had a sandwich in the car, before we went walkabout, very nice in deed.


Whangarei Falls

Then we headed for Waipu as it was already late in the afternoon we stopped at the first camping Ground we came across, and ended up in the Uretiti camping park, funny name for a camping ground, and of course it’s right next to the beach with the same funny name, you got it in one, THE URETITI Beach, a well beggars can’t be chooser’s, and if you’re a titi then I am not Haaa, we had an 1 ½ hours of daylight left so we paid up and drove to a spot not far from the beach and put up the old tent, then we cooked the dinner and stuffed our faces and filled our bellies, After that we went for a walk up the beach before it got too dark.



On the way over to the beach we met an Austrian guy by the name of Florian and his wife from Rumania, who were cleaning their van, with Florian we spoke in German and with his wife Anna we spoke English, after we completed our walk on the Beach we passed Florian again and he offered us a glass of wine that we accepted, we were then joined by Gabi a German woman, To make a long story short, we had a great old crack that went on until 11.30. Its chance meetings like this that I love, you get to know someone and feel like you have known them a long long time, and it is just a passing moment that you or they will not forget for a long time.    


Gabi and Florian




Anna and Sabine

19.03.17 we left the camping place with the funny sounding name Uretiti, and headed up the Kauri coast road and stopped at a little village called Paparoa, it reminded us of a cowboy town in the Wild West, it had a bank, a grocery and hardware store all in one, it looked deserted. But it was a vital link when logging began in 1886 this is where they held the Kauri logs at the landing, ready for rafting to the sawmills, Paparoa or the village in the vally, has seen the landscape change forever in a very short time, from native bush to pasture land, in less than a 100 years, with the loss of more than 96% of the iconic Northland Kauri Forrest.

We drove on to Matakohe where there is a beautiful church and graveyard, a post office and the Kauri Forrest Museum, we wanted to go In to the Museum but when your one told us the entrance price is 25 NZ $, there’s no way we were going to pay that price for any Museum, so we just looked around the grave yard, that we found very interesting, the post office and the church, at least it was free.








Root of a Kauri tree

We drove further to Dargaville and stopped for something to eat at a Chinese chipper, we asked for two fish, a medium and a large bag of Chips, (or French fries for yea of no culture), well the China woman told us that one medium French fries would suffice, if not you can always order more Sabine said, well I tell yea I really had a job to finish the chips and was glad we hadn’t ordered the large one.


Hundrets of cows in one field

Fish and Chips

We drove on to the Kai lwi lakes and went a small walkabout, there really wasn’t much to see but the lake which was very nice.




They cut the trees to get more fields for the cows



We then drove to the Trouson Kaurii Forest Park where there was a camping place. We got there around 15.00 put up the tent and went for a 2 hour walkabout in the Forest and bush to see the Kauri trees, or anything else that cared to cross our pat.





The Kiwi is a brown round bird but they can’t fly, they have powerful legs, and a loud call that can be heard all over the gaff, but we never got to see one, they form lifelong partnerships and defend their territory full of campsites, and every year lay at least 2 large eggs in a hole in the ground, or under cover of leaves and bush, they hatch after 3 months, and it’s the father that sits on them until the hatch, then there on their own after that, they have to find their own food and water, now that’s hard to believe.

After we got back to the tent, we set about making our supper and the night was upon us, we got talking to an English girl whose name was rose and we were falling around the place laughing at the stories she told us, then a Canadian guy John Dooley whose father was Irish got talking to me telling jokes and stories his father had told him, then it was time for bed, after that, you could hear the Kiwis squawking and screeching all around the camp site, there were people with red torches going around the Forest trying to catch a glimpse of a Kiwi, but they had no luck, no wonder the fuckers were screaming, what with all sort of weirdos with red lamps crashing around in the dark and frightening the old Kiwis.          

20.03.17. after a breakfast fit for a king we left the Trouson Kauri Forest Park in the Kaihhu Forest and stopped at a look out platform in Waipoua forest that gives you a fantastic view of the vastness of these huge Forrest’s of Malborough Forest, of which Mataraua Forest, Waima Forest, and Waipoua Forest are all forming one massive Forest.



And after drove to the a part of the Waipoua Forest where the oldest and largest Kauri tree in NZ is to be found, Tane Mahuta , Tane is the life giver according to Maoiri cosmology and all living creatures are his children, they say that Tane Mahuta sprang from a seed over 2000 years ago during the lifetime of Jesus Christ, the height of the trunk is 17,7 meters, total height is 51,5 meters, Trunk grit is 13,8 meters, Trunk volume is 244,5 meters, you would have to see it to believe the size of this tree, no photograph can do it justice.




Tane Mahuta

We left the Waipoua Forest behind us and headed for the town of Rawene to get a ferry across the Hokianga Harbour to Kohuhkohu and on up to Kaitaia where we stopped at the supermarket pack and Save for some supplies, we had still plenty of time to make it to Cape Reinga. We arrived at 15, 00, the clouds were gone and the sun was shining, it was great, there were very little tourist about just perfect.







Maori tradition identifies Cape Reinga (Rerenga Wairua) as the departure point of the spirits as they begin their final journey to back to the ancient homeland of hawiiki, I think that means Eternity or the other side, so to the Maoris this is a very sacred place.

The famous landmark of Cape Reinga Lighthouse, sits on the most northern point of NZ and overlooks the meeting point of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, on a good day like today you can actually see the waters meeting where the whirlpools and waves clash and dance in a constant battel, I hope you can make it out in the photo I made for you. We didn’t have far to drive to the Tapotupotu camp site, where we camped for the night.



















21.03.17. we left the Tapotupotu Camping site in Cape Reinga and drove to the Te Paki sand Dunes, there wasn’t another soul to be seen there, maybe it was too cloudy, well, they are very impressive indeed I tell yea that now, this hard going to climb them, especially on the steep parts where the sand just rolls away from under your feet, the trick is to take short steps.









We then drove to the 90 mile beach and strolled around there, after that we drove back south, stopping again at the supermarket in Kaitaia, then on to Nagawha springs to sooth our tiered bones in  the hot springs after all that driving. Only 5 km from Nagawha springs is the camping place Kaikohe where we stayed for the night,


90 Miles Beach

22.03.17. in the morning we went back to the springs where we stayed until noon, as I said it’s our favourite place in the whole of North Lands, after that we drove to Kawakawa a lovely little town with a small railway station, and the toilets and other things that were built by Hundertwasser, the Austrian artist with NZ citizen ship who lived and died here and is buried in Kawakawa, not that we are toilet freaks, but this guy built these sort of things so it’s like a sort of jazzed up shithouse, he created other things like the seats that you can sit on in the town very nice.





Then we headed for Whananaki to visit Stewart’s Horse Ranch he told us to call in if we were passing so it was on our way, we didn’t know for sure if he would be there or if he was still in the USA to celebrate 70 birthday, we had met him in the hot springs in Ngawha where he lives, and had visited him twice there, anyway we found the Ranch where Stuart has some Maori’s looking after it, but I think that these creatures weren’t ridden, or had contact with humans for a long while, they were just left to themselves, they had water and grass aplenty, but they were asocial like yea know, I went to check the hooves of one horse and the bastard put his ears back and wacked me with his old skull, well now if there is anything I know about its horses, we had one for 10 years ourselves, so I gave him a smack on the neck pushed back and fucked him from a height, to put him in his place, and to do what I told him, then I talked normally with him and checked his hooves, well it’s had been a while since this fella had his hooves cut, along with the other 10 they were in good shape but like I said neglected, the paddock fence was down, we walked up the road towards the club house with the horse that I gave a smack, to right behind me, when I stopped he stopped, when I walked on he walked on, he was delighted to have contact with humans again and thought he was off for a gallop.

 The club house looked like a dump, the halters and ropes for the horses were worn, dried out, dirty and hard from lack of use.

 We drove to the top of the hill where the main house is and found that too in a neglected and dirty state as well, from the 2 guard dogs, one ran over with its tail between its legs, looking for a rub, while the other one stayed under the scraped pickup just watching us, I said hallow a few times, until what seemed like ages a white woman came out through the open door, we spoke with her and asked about the trail ride tours? , she seemed annoyed that we had disturbed her afternoon nap, in an unfriendly and bored tone said, that it’s only very seldom that they do that, we told we were friends of Stewart, that were just passing, well she said, it’s really her boyfriend that looks after the place but was away at the moment, and Stuart was away in the US of A and who should she say had called, with the first smile on her face, we told her our names and left,. As we were driving down the narrow dirt track, a car a pickup with no licence plates came towards us, I pulled over to let it pass, there were 3 Maori´s in it that looked stoned or drunk, heading up to the house we had just left, they looked like they couldn’t look after themselves, never mind a fuckin Ranch, I wonder how long it has been since Stewart has been here, poor fuckin horses.

After that we drove down the 6 km to the Holiday camping park in Whananaki, and arrived there at 16:30, there was no one at the reception, but an English guy Brian told us just to pick out a spot and put up our tent, that the owner would be back at 17.30, there must have been a smell of the hot springs off of us because Brian showed us where the showers were and told us it was only 50 cent for a shower, we have no small change said Sabine, he wiped out 2 shiny 50 cent pieces and gave us one each, we pitched the tent, and had a lovely warm shower, after that we had a look around at this beautiful kept camping place, there was even a small swimming pool there, and it was right in the Bay with a long timber bridge wide enough for 2 people to pass each other if they turned sideways that is, when the tide was out you could ride across the bay on horseback, Christ I was still thinking about these horses, poor fucks.



We went back to cook up the old supper, there was a big kitchen with 4 cookers, we got talking to another woman who couldn’t understand my accent, don’t worry I said even the English have problems with that, her Name was Heidi and she spoke German so we used that language to communicate, Heidi and Sabine got on like houses on fire, and she invited us for a beer that she makes herself after we were finished with the supper, well now how could yea say no to that like.


Heidi, Dave and Sean

Heidi introduced us to Davie partner and their dog Rusty, well Davie was born in Yugoslavia in what is now Croatian and was a merchant Sea man that had jumped ship in Australia and has NZ citizenship and has lived here for the last 50 years, and Heidi was born in Bosnia, but moved to Germany and has German citizenship and NZ residency, well we talked and never ran out of things to talk about, and they told us to visit them in Marsden Cove. We slept well in our tent and next morning after saying our good byes to Brian, Heidi and Davie, we hit the coast road for Opua, nearly home now.

23.03.17. We toured the coast road from Whananaki to Russel, passing the Kallkanui Forest, we stopped in Helena´s Bay for a sandwich, and on to Okura Bay, with Russel forest on the left, and Whangaruru on the right, and on to Okiato to the ferry in Russel that got us back to Opua.









We were back on board Chev at 16.00, we just had our gear put away when we got a call from John Patrick to collect himself and Anna from the pier, as they had finished their job in Tutukaka, they had hitch hiked from TutuKaka to Whangarei, and from there to Opua, we had our grub and exchanged stories of their and our travels. We were gone only 6 days and 5 nights but it felt like a lifetime, that was the longest that I was away from our Chev in 3 Years old Chev was happy as well to have us back. Aahh sure, home sweet home.

24.03.17. Sabine was up in the  Cruisers lounge with JP and Anna on the internet and I was repairing something in the car, as I was passing the Café this big guy was saying ´´ I was sitting in the swimming pool and it was raining, I am From Barcelona´´, now I know that there is no swimming pool in Opua, and it hadn’t rained in the last week, now yer man was as white as chalk, so he couldn’t be from Barcelona, he looked like he had escaped out of the nut house, and the people that were sitting in the café were smiling that smile behind his back, ye know what I mean like, when they are looking at a nut but don’t let the nut see it in case you draw him on yea, and give him the excuse to go crazy and choke, beat, or stab yea into the nearest hospital, so I  kept on walking, then he said the same thing again, even louder looking at me, so over I went to him and as I got near him he put up his hands and said ´´I was only joking don’t hit me please. Why in the name of God would I do that I said, ´you look dangerous and are the first person that was brave enough to approach me´. Are you from Barcelona I asked him, no he said but Manuel from Faulty Towers was. Well to make a long story short. His name was Derick an English man who was on the last day of his holidays in New Zealand, he had been trying to strike up a conversation with somebody for the last 40 minutes, but the people avoided him as if he had the plague or something. And why wouldn’t they, sure my first thought was that you had escaped out of the nut house, or that you were left behind forgotten by some institution for the mentally insane after a day´s outing I said, I asked him if he would like to come out to old Chev for a cuppa when I finish me job, that would be fantastic he said.

I told Sabine about Derick, so John-Patrick, Derick, and meself went over with the dinghy to Chev first, we had a hard job to get Derick up on Chev I tell yea, Christ, I pulled the muscles in me neck and back, and he was close to a heart attack, after he got on board he sat down and asked how was he supposed to get off, that will be easier I said, we will leave down the ladder,  put a lifejacket on yea and you hop in the water and then I can put a rope around yea and tow u back, I was only joking, or was I, anyway JP went back to the harbour to collect Sabine and Anna, and while I put the kettle on for the brew up Derick sang some sort of sea chanty, when the others returned, we had the afternoon tea with the old biscuits. Derick was full of questions and was really enjoying himself, he had been on big Ships but never on a sailing boat, unfortunately the wind picked up and Derick felt a bit queasy with the movement of the boat, well it wasn’t that noticeable at all at all, so we got Derick into the dingy and I drove him back to the pier where he sat with his shoes and stockings dangling in water, we talked for a while and he  thanked us for giving him something he will remember for the rest of his life, it was the most daring thing he had done in his life, he actually thought he would die 4 times over, now I am safe on land once more but I will follow your blog with interest, do you still think I am nuts he asked, well you had the Balls to go out on a small dinghy and climb aboard a sailing Boat, now, you don’t have to be nuts to do that, but from one nut to another it helps. Aude and Farwell my new found friends, May God bless you and keep you safe on your adventures around this world, Amen I said as I shook his hand and left him standing on the pier waving.        


Derick and Sean

25.03.17. Saturday, Heidi and Dave drove up to Opua to visit us, but when Heidi saw the small dinghy, she said there’s no way that I am going into that dinghy, so Sabine and Heidi went to the Harbour Café while I took Dave out to old Chev.

He was delighted but could not believe that we had come all the way to New Zealand from Croatia, where he was born on such a small boat, he was interested in the navigation as Dave was a sailor in the Merchant Navy in his younger days. I showed him our OpenCPN program and he was amazed with what you could do with it, Brilliant, fantastic, great, ´´How much does it cost ´´ he asked, when I told him it was free and you just had to load it down off the Internet, he could not believe it, we spent an hour on Chev then I took him back to Opua Harbour in the Dinghy, were we said our good byes after promising Heidi and Dave to visit them.   

26.03.17. We were up in the Ngawha hot springs, our favourite place here in Northland’s, we spent 5 hours there, and then we returned to Opua where we were expected at 16.00 by Debby and John on their Boat for dinner, that was chocked up on the dry in the boat yard, and it had been pouring rain for the last 4 hours, but we had rain jackets with us so we weren’t too wet.

 Well, we were halfway through the dinner when John Patrick and Anna phoned us up, thinking that we were on board old Chev, to collected them at the pier in Opua, they had been over in Russell all day and had to walk all the way back to the Ferry as they got no lift, and of course they were soaked to the bone, even though they had rain coats with them. Straight away Debby said that they should come over and join us for dinner as there was lots of food still there and she would be delighted to meet them both, no trouble at all at all. 5 minutes later they were on board Wind Walker, with Debby telling them to get out of their wet cloths and giving them a change of dry cloths, Johnny and Anna ate everything that was put up in front of them, and why wouldn’t they sure, Debby had her own restaurant in Chicago and she can still cook great meals, outside the winds and the rain were howling and beating down, and inside we were as snug as bugs in a rug, chin wagging with John about this that and the other, waiting for the rain to clear off.

Sorry to say the rain did not stop for the rest of the night and the following day, so we were soaked by the time we got back aboard our Chev that night with our full bellies, Ah sure you can’t win them all, but what an end to a glorious day.       

28.03.17. Our old anchor winch was giving us trouble for a long while now, even when we were in Spain I use to help the winch and pull it up by hand because the bloody thing was always jamming and it was too much trouble to free the bastard thing, so in the end it just stopped working and I was just pulling the anchor up by hand, which isn’t very good for the back, we planned to get a new one in Panama, but because it was too dear there, we said we would get it in Tahiti, so we got to Tahiti and they were even more dearer than, Panama, so we decided to buy one here in good old New Zealand. We went over to the chandlery and enquired what it would cost here, 2.000 €, says he, and that was without the controller, I think the controller would have been another 1000 €, I told him I would think about it. So, I went back to old Chev, removed the old anchor winch and controller to have a closer look, there was a big piece of aluminium where the chain drops down from the winch, worn right through, and that’s why the chain was getting stuck around the gipsy, cause there was nothing to stop it coming back up the hole,.

I took the winch controller apart after that and found that the contacts were pitted and worn, so I used sandpaper and smoothed them down even again, I put it back together again and connected it up to the power, then I connected up the winch just to see would it work, and it did, now the controller was working but the winch had a piece missing out of it, so I bought it over to Mark in easy Marine, Mark told me to take it over to Marine Engineering who were specialist’s at welding aluminium, I told the guy what the problem was, he looked at it and told me it could be welded no problem, and to call back in an hour, well we collected the winch and paid 80 NZ $ which is about 56 €, well now, that’s a lot better than 2000 €. The next day I put the anchor winch back in place, she was up and running after an hours work, thanks be to God.      

31.03.17. We were invited to stay with Heidi and Dave for the weekend, at their house in Marsden Cove, that’s about 100 kilometres from here (Opua). We arrived at 14.00 and were welcomed at the door by Heidi and their dog Rusty, Dave was down at the Boweling club, we chatted over a cup of coffee, then Heidi gave us the grand tour of their beautiful home and gardens, then we walked the 500 meters to the club where Dave was playing, after 10 minutes Heidi and Sabine went back to the house and I stayed and watched the bowels, when it finished we went to the club house were everyone drank a beer around the table shooting the shit and mocking each other(taking the piss, or acting the langer , all in fun of course, like people usually do, but Duncan the Scot was in his element, it was fun to hear his witty remarks , no one escaped his wise cracks and cutting tongue, the fucker was even mocking me self and the Irish-sure, Now, I am a master at mocking and gave him a dose of his own medicine, and challenged him to a duel, weapons would be foul tongues at two feet, Man to Man, one old fart to another, no holds barred, insults and wise cracks were flying back and forth, I said that he was fucked out of Scotland for being an old agitator, he said that I had escaped out of an Irish lunatic asylum, that led to viler things that were said, that cannot be repeated here for fear of offending others of a weaker nature of course, but in the end the others were falling around the place laughing  Aaa sure we got on grand and had a good old craic, he even invited me to come out on his boat the next day to do some fishing. 

01.04.17. We drove with Dave to Mangawhai to visit Graham Tayler a Kiwi we had met up in Tonga, Graham was a dairy Farmer but gave the farm to his son, and bought the farm he is living on now but without cows or creatures, he is waiting for a new hip, we spent a nice few hours together, he gave us apples lemons and limes, to take with us, then we drove to the beach, and after that back to Dave and Heidi´s house in Marsden Cove, where we stayed until the next day, Sunday morning Sabine loaded down OpenCPN from the internet for Dave on his computer and showed him how he could work with it, for which he was very thankful. We returned Sunday afternoon to Opua after a great weekend.


Sean and Graham

03.04.17 On Monday evening there was an information evening on Sail Indonesia which included a free dinner with 2 free drinks, it was to start at 17.30 but until they ironed out the electric problems with the PowerPoint presenter it was 18.30, they are trying to make it easier for Sailors to enter Indonesia without all the complicated bureaucracy, it was an enjoyable evening where we met some old friends. Slowly but surely they will all come back up to Opua where they will wait for a weather window to head back up to Tonga or Fiji or wherever they plan to sail to. We hope that the Cyclone season will be finished by the middle of May or start of June, well let’s wait and see.













              

It has got noticeable a lot more colder here now as the New Zealand Autumn has started, and brings more storms up from the Tasmanian Sea, it won’t be long now and we will be on our way back to Tonga, as we want to visit the Hapaii Group of Islands, then the northern Vavuu Group of Islands of the Kindom of Tonga, after that then we plan to go to Fiji.

08.04.17 we are watching the Tropical Cyclone Cook (Hurricane) that has hit Vanuatu and New Caledonian, looks nearly as bad as TC Debby that hit Queensland in northern Australia 2 weeks ago but this one seems to be going south east hope the people that are there will be ok.

09.04,17 we went to the hot pools in Nagawha springs this morning, but it was full to the gills, but we still had enough room, got back to Chev in the afternoon, and got a call from JP and Anna, if I could collect them at 16.00, they had a free day today and wanted to go to the cruiser’s lounge for the Internet, Sabine drove them in the dinghy to the harbour while I made the dinner, they came back just when the grub was ready, they talked about Fiona the woman they are working for, she seems to be a nice person, and they really like working there, well they don’t get paid money, but get free lodgings and food, I dropped them back in the dinghy to the pier that’s about 600 meters from where we are, it was hard to find in the dark, then they had only 300 meters to walk to their tree house. When I got back to Chev I checked the latest weather that Sabine had downloaded from the Internet, it showed that the TC was Cook had 12 beaufort, with wind gusts of 87.0 kts 995,4 hpa, its bringing lots of rain and it is  moving fast and seems to be coming our way, I hope the fuck not.

10.04.17 Sabine and I got the lazy bag that I have made myself under the sail, on the boom, it looks good even if I say so myself, just got to stitch the piece that covers the sail, then sort out the lazy jacks and it will be fine. Well that Cyclone Cook looks all set to hit us, with 12 Beaufort 67.7 kts with gust of 84,7 kts and 993 hpa with God’s Grace it might just miss us by a few miles.

11.04. 17 After checking the latest grib files, it’s definite now that the Cyclone Cook will hit north and central New Zeeland, maybe it won’t be so bad as it looks, its gone down to 10 Beaufort 48,5 nts wind gusts of 59 nts  996,0 hpsit thanks be to God, Aaa well sure we all ways worry about the wrong things, don’t we now, the only thing you can do is hope it won’t be so bad.

12.04,17 We had torrential rain this morning for 2 hrs, and again this afternoon, and now since 20.00 we have rain sometimes slow and sometimes heavy, TC Cook is approaching us from the north west and is expected to start crossing us here in Northlands around 12.00 in the afternoon, the worst for us should be over by 18, 00 tomorrow evening, just have to wait and see.

13.04.17 last night i had to go into the dinghy and bail out the water that had gathered in it, before it would sink, the petrol can was already floating around, I tell yea you wouldn’t believe the amount of rain that’s after falling. Well we got away lightly when the TC Cook moved just that extra mile away from us.



It is now 16.15 and it’s deadly quiet and still, we have had storm and gale warnings, so I think we have the worst behind us, all is well that ends well.

 So Followers of Chev, that’s all for now, until the next time, take care and mind yourselves well now, Good bye and God bless you all. Ahoy and Har harr.


New Zealand IV


12.02.17-12.03.17

12.02.17 Ahoy Followers of Chev, today we were invited by Graeme and Nathalie to their house in the  Bay, along with David and Susan, and Susan´s Mother wendy, for a BBQ, Sabine and Susan made some salad, Graeme and Nathalie supplied the rest, Stake sausage with roast potatoes, of course me being a spud lover eat the most of the Potatoes, washed down with wine and beer, after that we savaged the old fruit cocktail in Ice-cream, then we retired to the living room where we made music and had a lovely old sing song, with Graeme playing the Accordion, Sabine playing banjo mandolin and tin whistle, and singing, and me throwing in me tuppence worth with me 3 cord trick on the guitar and vocals, helped along by  Celtic choir of David, Susan, and Wendy it was really an enjoyable evening, with Kiwi culture and hospitality.


Enjoying the food






15.02,17 we drove down to Auckland Airport to collect our Son John-Patrick and his Girlfriend Anna, we there 2 hours before they arrived, it has been 3 years since we last seen JP and were delighted to be able to give him a good old hug and squeeze, we went to the car park and put there rucksacks in the boot, I told JP and Anna about the big statue from lord of the Rings that was in the Airport, and showed them the photos we had taken, and in all the excitement had forgotten to show them, so we decided to walk the 5 minutes back to the Airport Arrivals hall. We go there to find crowds of people outside the Arrivals hall, with the rest of the people that were inside being evacuated by the Police and Airport Security because of a bomb scare, Welcome to New Zealand.




Sabine, John-Patrick and Anna

16,02.17 Sabine JP and Anna went ashore to the Cruisers lounge to use the internet  and do the laundry there, the weather was overcast and cloudy, thanks be to God, because the two of them were as white as ghosts, and still JP managed to get sunburned.





The next day was a beautiful sunny day, JP and Anna didn’t wait long to jump overboard into the water and spent the day relaxing and enjoying themselves. That evening after dinner we were outside in the cockpit, I put some fat from the meat that I had cut off when making the dinner, on a hook on me hand line and tried to catch a fish, 15 minutes later Anna asked if she could have a go, so JP and Anna took turns with the fish line and fat, just before it got dark Anna let out a shout `` I caught one´´ and pulled in a huge snapper that weighed 5 kilos at least, even here in NZ fish is an expensive item, we saw the price of snapper in the supermarket a few days later was 16 NZ $ a kilo, anyway we had a lovely feed of fresh fish for dinner the next day.













That evening Remi and Helen invited Sabine, Anna, Shoe in and her partner Lorence, John- Patrick, and myself to their French SY Kaoana, for a pizazz night with wine beer and song, as a farewell to our friends Remi and Helen, who would be staying for a year in New Zealand it was a great night we had indeed.

18.02.17 Sabine drove with Susan and her mother to the Farmers market in Kerikeri, then visited the honey factory, and spent the day relaxing, while the skipper worked his arse off on old chev, well someone hast to do the donkey work I suppose sure.


Wendy and Susan


23.02.17 we went to our favourite place here in Northlands with JP and Anna , the Hot Pools in Ngawha, and spent the day there, Tis a great place to relax in the hot springs that come up from under the ground.










Stewart and Sean

JP and Anna in Stewarts garden

Hungry after the pools

24.02.17 we slipped our Moorings then sailed to Robinson Island with John-Patrick and Anna for the day, the water is clearer there and you can swim, fish, grill on the beach, or just hang around enjoying the atmosphere, Anna caught another snapper, but a smaller one this time, I used the clear water to look and see if old Chev´s bottom was clean, and got the fright of me life, it has been 4 months since I scraped it. So I put on me snorkel mask and had a peep, jaysus, I couldn’t believe me eyes, the whole keel was covered in sea weed, slimy moss, thick with barnacles, shell fish and all sorts of other creepy crawly creatures down there, no wonder we were only averaging 4 knots speed, it looked like a wild field down with there, well that’s another job for the old to do list.








Anna caught another fish



JP needs a lot of sun

01.03.17 To day we drove JP and Anna to their first work away job for a week, to a Farm in Okaihau,  it’s out in the back of beyond, They have a small caravan to live in with no toilet, when JP asked the owner where the toilet was if they needed to use it ? Well now, said the fine fellow, while scratching his chin  ´´, you can use the house during the day time, and after dark sure you could go around the back of the old caravan and water the flowers like all the others before you have done ´´.  Now, I could see that there was dog shite all over the place, and I was wondering, what if at night there was a sudden call of nature, because the house is a bit far away like, as you know, there’s a dangers of stepping in something going through the mine field of Dog Shit, and  if they survive that then they had to face a far greater danger, and they would surely be savage by the mad dogs before they reached the shithouse, so as far as I could see they had only 2 choices, one, they could hope and pray that they wouldn’t need to answer natures call, and hope that their bellies wouldn’t burst and they’d have to make a shit in the bed in the middle of the night, God forbid, Or they would have to practice Eco farming and fertilize the land with their bodily fluids near the old caravan, and hope they wouldn’t get typhoid fever, or the plague, or worse . I was wondering why the grass around the old caravan was so green and fertile. Anyway all I can say is, it’s in the arse end of nowhere, and I can’t see them staying out there very long,













02.03.17 we were over on Enchantress with David and Susan, to say Farwell to Susan’s Mother Wendy, she had spent a month here in New Zealand, that was quick I tell yea, 4 weeks gone like that in a flash, well at least she had a good old time, enjoyed her Holliday and has lots of happy memories to take home with her, a lovely Person is Wendy.

03.03.17 I started to clean and scrape the shit from Chevs dirty old bottom, just a little bit at a time was the plan, but of course I over did it, 4 hours later I had finished ¾ of it, and was lucky to have the strength to climb back aboard old Chev, every mussel was aching that afternoon, next morning we headed off early with our American Irish friends, Debby and John from the SY Wind Walker 4, to the Ngawha hot springs, this is where the Maoris healed there aches, pains, and wounds after a battle , well if it was good enough for them, then it would be just right for me , so I spent hours boiling the aches and pains out of me old baggy body, and was feeling as good as new, tis a great place I tell yea, it cost only 4 N Z $ entrance and you can stay there all day, the only disadvantage is that you stink for days after from the sulphur and mineral rich waters no matter how often you shower and soap yourself, you can put on perfume and it still stinks, but it’s really worth it and we love going there, after 4 hours in different pools I was as good as new, great stuff great place and great people the Maoris.

The same evening we were invited to dinner by Debby and John, we were eating like Kings, only from the finest, corn on the cob, chucken, lovely spuds of which I eat the most of, olives, Feta Cheese, blue mouldy Cheese,  Norwegian smoked Salmon, and we gobbled it all up like it was the last supper, we didn’t have a feed like that in years, and of course washed down with ice cold beer, we weren’t surprised when Debby told us that she had a restaurant Chicago, I tell yea she can cook a grand old meal, after that we laughed telling old Irish jokes, and we sung some lovely old Irish songs, it was really nice evening.

05.03.17 Debby and john drove us to the the 180 km to the Karikari vineyards and restaurant, where we had a lovely view of the KariKari Peninsula, John asked one of the workers if it was ok to have a look around, your Boyo called some other fella who turned out to be the wine maker, a very nice chap indeed, he gave us a guided tour of the wine cellar and told us all about the place, lovely place, but very exclusive and expensive, then we visited the camping place, and stopped at some other beach and bought some lovely ice cream. After that we drove to the Tokerau Beach in Doubtless Bay, where we strolled around in the water, it was too shallow to swim in so we walked up the old beach, we were back in Opua around 18.00. Well we are getting around to some really nice places here in Northlands, there is so much to see, but like the man said, nice and steady and we will get it all done.


























Debbie, John and the dog Hugo

08.03.17 Today we collected JP and Anna, from Kerikeri, after surviving there week at the farm, I was expecting them to call us 24 hours after we dropped them off there. The Farmer Rick and his wife lindy drove them to KeriKeri, then we went shopping, then drove back to Opua, after that we had a rough crossing out to old Chev and everyone got soaked, it started raining and blowing a Gail on the 07.03.17, and since then we were only off the boat once, and that was to wash the clothe in the laundry, yesterday by a break in the foul weather, and were lucky to have been first there getting 2 washing machines loads washed and dried, in the meantime we had hot showers, and were in the internet long before all the other sailors got the same idea. It did not last long that same evening it stormed up again and has up to this evening 12.03.17 been blowing a gale here, it is 17.55 and it has gotten better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she blew up again tonight.

Thank you to my friend John Meldrum for the very good tips about the Charcoal and vinegar for food poisoning, and stomach upsets, I will remember it the next time I get the gallops.

So followers of Chev, hope you will like the pictures we put up, take care now and mind yourselves well, Good bye and God bless you all, until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr


New Zealand III


01.01.17. – 11.02.17

Tis hard to believe we are already into the 3rd month in New Zealand, well on the 07.01.17 David Susan Sabine and me drove over to Russell to watch the Tall ships Regatta that’s held every year in Russell, and Kim an American guys we know, got a chance to crew on one of the boats for the race, he just asked the race organisers if it was possible and had luck. It is the summer time now in New Zealand and the place is full of Holliday makers since Christmas, we found a parking space and walked up to Flagstaff hill which is about the best vantage point to watch the race from.
















Russell


On this very spot in 1840 the first signal flag was erected by the British on Flagstaff hill, after the signing of the Waitangi Treaty between the British and the Maoris, the English would protect the Maoris from the French, in return the English got half of, or most of their lands, they were all great friends with one another until about 4 years later, When the Brits must have done or said something that annoyed 0ne of the old Maori Chief’s, anyway, because yer boyo the head honcho got in a rage whipped out his hatchet and chopped down the flag pole, that was on the 8th of July 1844. So the Brits put up another flagstaff in place of the old one, well, it didn’t take the Maoris long and they chopped the fuck out of that one as well on January 10th 1845. A third flagstaff was erected on January 17th, and before daylight on the 19th January the Maoris made short work of that and chopped the shit out of it. Well now the English being a cleaver race, covered the first 20 foot of the 4th flagstaff with iron sheeting thinking that that would put a stop to the Maoris gallop. Aha well they thought wrong, because the Maoris they chopped the be jaysus out of that one as well and down it came sure on March 11th 1845.

Well now to make a long story short, that was the last time the British would erect a flagpole on flagstaff hill, they had there belly full of this shit, I mean like they had to get a new flag pole every time and march it up to the top of the hill, and no sooner would their job be done, the Maoris would  chop it down again,´´ it reminds me of the nursery rhyme, the grand old duke of York,  he marched his men to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again´´,  anyway that was the final straw, the Brits got the fits and went bonkers, ran down the hill in rage, into the town of Kororareka they went, and beat the shit out of the Maoris and anything or anyone they came across, ransacked, plundered, and pillaged, and did other outrageous things that they usually done back in the good old bad old Days, then burned the town to the ground just to teach the Maoris a lesson.

 Well anyway the Maoris must have learned their lessons well, and 13 years later In january1858 the British flag was flying again, from a new pole the Maoris had erected on top of flagstaff as an act of Peace, amidst the general rejoicing of both races, the Maoris called the flagpole Whakakotahitanga, Now if you think that’s a long name, you would be right, but at least you can get your old tongue around it, now hear is a real hard one for yea, now It’s the name of a small town Taumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateapokaiwhenuaktanatahu, on the east  coast about 100 KM from Hastings, and according to the tourist guide, it’s supposed to be the longest  Place name in the world, try getting your tongue around that one now. Anyway back to the storey about the old flagpole on top of the hill, the Maoris called it Whakakotahitanga,  translated it means, Being at one with the Queen, and throughout the intervening years, the Peace which it commemorated was never been broken again. The present flagstaff is the remaining piece of the original Whakakotahitanga, well I tell yea now this I find hard to believe, I mean what with the extreme weather conditions they have here in New Zealand, I can’t see how it would last over 158 years, it would have rotted away, but it’s a nice story I suppose sure.

17.01.17 I became ill and was laid low for the whole week, the first day the pains in me gut were very strong, me blood pressure was up to a 150 /100 usually I have 120/80, the old pulse was 120 beats a minute, I normally have between 75 and 80, Aha well tomorrow it will be better sure I said, it didn’t, the 2nd day I got 39° to 40°  fever, tomorrow it will be better I said, it didn’t , the 3rd day it got worse, I got a bad case of the vomits, and on top of that I got the fuckin gallops, and in me dashes of agony to the Throne, where I managed to do 2 things at the same time, in spite of the awful state I was in, I deposited the contents of me belly and guts from 2 orifice’s between the dish in me hands and the bowl I was sitting on , jaysus I nearly went off in a weakness and fainted, later on I thought Aha sure the worse is over now, wrong again, the 4th day it got worse, I was in agony with the pains in me stomach, back, arms, wrists, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, and eyeballs, and as well as me strength weakening, me faith began to low, I was losing hope that I would be better the next day Well I tell yea now, it got so bad the next day that I was fully convinced that’ it Sean Boy your fucked, game over, you’re going to kick the old bucket now, I was just a big heap of misery, the pains in me belly were so bad that I thought I was riddled with cancer, and that I am not long for this world, Jaysus just when everything was great, sure what can yea expect isn’t that just the time when shit happens, and all these depressing thoughts were filling me head, I suppose its normal in a situation like that, to think like that, but on the other hand sure I don’t have the time to die now.

Think positive says I to meself, then I thought of old Murphy’s Law, the one where he says ``You can’t get rid of a bad thing``   The man is dead right sure, and sure aren’t I one bad bastard me self,  Now, not long after I thought of  these wise words of wisdom, I was up and around again, I Tell yea though, it took a lot out of me, and I still don’t know to this day what the fuck it was, but thanks be to God I am grand now.         

24.01.17. The Bay of Islands sailing week 24 – 27 January is one of New Zealand’s leading sailing regattas, encompassing an action packed racing format across a huge range of vessel classes, including Multi Hull and passage classes for cruisers. The event lasts 4 days and includes a Beach Party day, evening prize giving’s and live music.  This morning the 50 ton travel lift was taking a 12 meter motor launch out of the water, it had hauled it up to a height of about 3 meters, when all of a sudden one of the cranes cables that holds the back sling busted, then the back of the launch crashed down into the water with a big bang that sent a fountain of water splashing up into the air, David said it sounded like an explosion, the guy that was on board at the time was lucky and wasn’t hurt, but probably shit himself, he just needed to change his underpants I suppose sure. The crane was out of action after that, because they had to send to Auckland for a new replacement cable, no big deal? , well the first regattas of the Bay of Islands Race week starts on the 25th, and there are few big regatta boats and another few smaller ones that are waiting to be put into the water, looks like the first race has started already, the repair the crane race.

25.01.17 the good news is that after working through the night, the yard workers had the Crane up and running, and were lowering the boats into the water already at 07.00

26.01.17. We were over this evening at the race week celebrations, we didn’t stay to long, I did not eat or drink anything as I was still recovering from me aliment, but we still enjoyed being among the living, with the crowed and the live music like.

27.01.17 I probably would have had a heart attack hiking the 35 minutes up to flagstaff hill, so Susan, Sabine, and me drove to Waitangi instead, to watch the start of the last day of the race, we parked between the golf club and the Waitangi Visitors centre, and after a short walk, found a nice little spot at the edge of the Golf course where we had a view of the start, it was a bit far away to make out who was who even with binoculars’,  well from what I saw, it was a very slow start and for the first ½ hour they were barely moving, anyway California Kiwi was the winner from his class, but it was still a nice outing we had indeed.
















29.01.17. Sabine planned a small walk from Opua to Paihia, 2 hours down and 2 hours back, nice and steady and no problem. That evening we had a dinner and sing song on board Chev, with David and Susan from Enchantress, and George and Lorna from Quatsino II, we had a great old crack until the wee hours,  








The next morning I was seized, I had mussel pains even in me arse cheeks, so off we drove to the Waiariki hot Pools, in Nagawha springs, 40 Km from Opua, we spent a 3 hours luxuriating in the black greenish sulphur smelling pools, after that back on old Chev we slept like baby’s I tell yea.





31.0I. 17. I was feeling so good and fit the next day that I asked Sabine if she wanted to do the same walk that we done the day before, yes was her answer, and off we went at 10.00, we reached the beach in Paihia after 2 hours, and we carried on into the town, Sabine said we could take the ferry to Russell and walk to Okiato, after reaching Russsell it took us over 3 hours of walking up and down hills, it was a beautiful walk, but the last 3 KM  nearly killed me, that was the hardest pice, all in all we were walking for over 5 hours and were glad to get back to Opua where we bought 2 big balls of ice cream, another lovely day.











01.02.17, we moved to another mooring Buoy, Graeme, a guy that´s working on David’s boat rented it out to us 70 dollar’s cheaper than the Opua Marine was charging us, I tried out the new Autopilot while we were moving but it didn’t work, must look into that again.   

03.02.17. we went to the hot pols again today, we were armed with enough sandwiches and water, and spent 5 hours there, tis a great way to relax I tell yea.

06.02.17 we calibrated the new auto pilot, and tried it out but it kept going its own way, we calibrated the compass, and all the other things but it still didn’t work like it should. At 14.00. we were invited over by Graeme and his wife Natalie to their house, along with David and Susan, Graeme has a 6 double bedroomed holiday   house as well that he rents out, at 3 o’clock we had tea and coffee and all sorts of cakes, baked by Graeme´s son Matt, and Susan supplied the other one, well anyway I haven’t had a feast of cakes like that in a long time, and I didn’t have to be asked twice, I gobbled them up lovely stuff, after that we had a lovely stroll around the hills and grounds of the land, after we had returned to the house and drank a couple of cold Kiwi beers, Natalie showed Sabine a very old Banjo, and asked if Sabine could tune it, she tried but without success, Sabine suggested we take it back to Chev and try to find the problem. At 18.00 we said our good byes and thanked them for their lovely hospitality. 

 
When we tried out the autopilot we passed a battleship







Susan, Nathalie and Sabine

David, Graeme and Matt


08.02.17. We asked George from Quatsino II who is very good with electronic stuff to come out with us to do the Sea trials of the new Autopilot, after 2 hours we were back after calibrating mister Zulu´s Electronic chips so we can communicate with him. So were up and running and ready for the Oceans of the World again.

11.02.17. This morning we drove to Whangarei for the sailor’s flea market, where we picked up a couple of bargains. After that we went for a walk in the town, then we went to the Pack and Save supermarket to stock up, after that we headed back home to old Chev, that´s all the news for now, hope you like the photographs.


Lorna, George, Sean, Sabine

Our Subaru

So Followers of Chev, mind yourselves well now, and take care, until the next time, Good bye and God bless you all. Ahoy and Harr har         


New Zealand II


27.11.16. to the 31.12.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev. We Hope yea all had a lovely Christmas and a good start in the New Year?  Well we are coming along OK with our “to do”- list, but there are some things we can’t get like hatch seals (window SEALS), and gliders and rollers for the Genoa traveller.         

29.11.16 we celebrated our 25 years of marriage, not to mention the 3 years we lived in SIN, it doesn’t feel like 28 years, it really and truly feels just like yesterday, Aah sure we are still madly in love like.  Well, David got a loan of a van and we drove over to a lovely restaurant in Paihia to celebrate our anniversary, and had a lovely dinner with wine and beer in the good company of Susan and David.


Kerikeri

Anniversary Selfie

Susan and David are picking out their meal

Sean having a fit of laughing


30.11.16. It cost 60$ a day to hire a car, a costly business, the bus to Paihia, the nearest town, cost early in the morning 4$ each return, and 6$ each return after 10 o’clock, and everything is dearer. So We wanted to buy a second hand car, and had been looking at a few, then I saw one that looked interesting, the price was 3.200 NZ $ so David and meself took a drive in it, she was running ok with nearly 300.000 on the clock, we would be going in wack ( 50/50) with the price, well to make a long story short, David talked to Bruce who was selling it for a friend of his, and got it for 2.500 NZ $. The next day David had it taxed and insured,  with all of us as named drivers, well now if she lasts until May we will definitely knock another couple of thousand clicks up on the clock, that means we paid  1.050 € each for a set of wheels for the next 5 to 6 months, tax and insurance included, now that will save us a fortune on  busses and hiring out cares, and sure maybe we can sell it and get a few dollars back when we are finished with it, now wouldn’t that be grand, so since the 01.12.16.  We are once more car owners with a set of wheels under our arse again Yeenhaw.

09.12.16. I found a great little place called Easy Marine that will make the rollers for the travellers, but still haven’t got the gliders. Started to install the new Autopilot today, and realised that it doesn’t fit because we have a square column, I told the salesman we had a square steering column I nearly drove me self nuts trying to figure out a solution. In the end David searched the internet and came up with the answer, which means I have to cut a hole in the fiberglass column so the ST 4.000 motor fits in, to shorten the story it took me until the 15.12.16 to prepare the column and run the electric cables and the sea talk next generation cables to the controller from the autopilot and the other gadgets. Well our new autopilot is up and running, all we have to do now are the sea trials. As Old Mr Zulu is gone into retirement, he shares a room now with Zulu number 2 in a box in the back locker all we need now is a new name for him, we will consider any name you would suggest? So go on now and don’t be shy.

16.12.16 went over to the Volvo Penta to order a new electric control panel as the old one was rotten, the cable and some of the connectors were corroded from the salt, just the panel frame alone was 114 $, sis your man the mechanic, ``I probably need the whole thingamajig say I ´´  we have to order it, he says, ´´ and how much will that cost now ``  that will be 1400 $´´, Holy jaysus, are you trying to give me a heart attack or what,´´ I mean we are on a very tight budget and we can’t afford to be lashing out 1400 $ for a control panel, so I spent another week replacing broken and rotten cable, cleaning, and soldering the broken contacts, on the panel, and with Sabine’s help, replace all the wires, and correctly connected them back to the panel, we only need to replace the main switch and it will be as good as new

18.12.16. We went over to the cruisers lounge at 16.00 were we had arranged to meet other sailors to sing Christmas Carrols, I suppose you could call us The International CHOIR of the12 apostles, French, USA, Scottish, German, and Irish, with Jean-Pierre playing guitar, Sabine playing mandolin, Lizanne playing ukulele, and Gustan playing the mouth harmonica, with David and Susan, Isabelle, Robin and Teres FRA, Greg and Debby Alaska, singing their guts out, and me playing guitar, we had great fun singing, well at least we were trying our best to sing Silent night in French, we finished up at 20:00, with us making a circle and singing an Irish song parting glass, Aha jaysus it was great sure, a lovely feeling of a Christmas atmosphere.



21.12.16. We celebrated David’s birthday on the Enchantress with a lovely dinner and of course the old champagne, 2 bottles of the stuff, along with wine song and good conversation, and my Sabine knocking glasses of wine over, her usual habit when she’s talking with her hands flying about like a conductor of an orchestra, she only needs to get a smell of the old alcohol and she’s pissed, then as the evening wore on, the good old stuff came out of hiding in the bilge, David’s finest Scottish whisky, its only on special occasions now mind yea, that he dish this stuff out, and after a glass or 2 or was it 3 or more, I was nice and merry, we celebrated Davies birthday last year in Banedup, in the San Blas Islands.       

22.12.16   Last night a single handed female sailor had set the wind vain that steerd her boat, then went down below to have a sleep, while she was asleep the wind changed direction and the boat ran aground on a reef a few miles just north of New Zealand, she managed to get her dinghy into the water and was picked up shortly after by a fishing boat that brought her to New Zealand, well now she was lucky you could say, but the story doesn’t end there, not by a long shot. Well you won’t believe me now when I tell yea, that a few years ago the very  same woman was on her way from New Zealand in direction of The Minerva reef, when she fell overboard from the very same boat, and watched as her boat sailed out of sight, Now why or how she fell overboard we don’t known, maybe she fell asleep, or lost her balance while out on deck, Anyway, she was picked up by a fishing boat shortly after, Now, that’s what you would call very lucky, anyway, she asked the skipper of the fishing trawler if he would kindly follow the course her boat was on, there was a good chance she could find it, now I don’t know if she paid him some money or what, but anyway yer man the skipper did as she asked, and after a while following the said course, caught up with the sail boat, your man manoeuvred his trawler alongside the yacht and your woman hop back aboard her boat, now that’s what I would call one very lucky fucker, but this time she lost her boat, well you can’t win them all I suppose, shit happens.

23.12.16 The dinghy was leaking badly for the last 6 weeks, I was scooping out 30 litres of water every time we wanted to go ashore, so it was high time I had a look at it, there are a lot of dead dinghy’s that lasted only 2 years in the tropics, I mean ours is at least10 years old and still doing its job. I found no less than 8 holes in it, 2 big ones and six smaller ones, plus a leek where the rubber is connected to the timber that holds the motor, hope it lasts another while yet.

Today a young German girl went swimming off the 90 mile beach and got caught in a current that pulled her out to sea, a young man who swam out to save her, got into trouble himself and had to be rescued by another man, unfortunately the young girl was drowned, very sad news just before Christmas.               

25.12.16. We celebrated Christmas on board the Enchantress with David and Susan, Isabelle and Jean Pierre, Sabine made the curry soup with prawns, and the fruit salad desert, Susan cooked the turkey and ham with veg, well I tell yea now me belly was bloated after the dinner, it’s hard to believe that we celebrated last Christmas with David and Susan on board the Enchantress in Linton Bay in Panama, how time flies.  




David and me

Lovely food

David

Susan, Sabine and myself

Jean-Pierre and Isabelle

Sabine and me

Singing Christmassongs

28.12.16 Today we drove to Whangarei to go shopping, we first went to the Port Marina as David wanted to know what it would cost to get the teak deck looked after. After that we went to Stanley Marine chandlery, it’s a second hand shop as well, we bought a 5 meter roll of material for 30 NZ $ to cover the sofas on old Chev, Susan bought a blow up canoe for 200 NZ$, then we took a stroll around the Whangarei harbour and the town,in the park we eat all the sandwiches washed down with coffee that Susan made, bought some guitar strings and some picks, after that we went to the big supermarket Pack and Save to stock up our supplies, then we headed back to Opua, all in all a lovely little days outing we had indeed .  


After the picknic

In the back Whangarei Basin Marina

On the 31.12.16 Sabine said she would cook Ratatouille for dinner, what the fuck is Rat at ouille some sort of Witches brew or what, I asked, because it sounded like fried Rat with dirty old roots boiled in pooly to me like, ´´Sorry to disappoint you Sabine said, it has nothing to do with old rats roots and piss that you maybe ate in your mad old days, but a delicious mincemeat with Zucchini, Aubergine, Paprika, onions, garlic, Rosemary, Basil, and Oregano that will tantalise your taste buds, just wait and see´´,  now not that I wouldn’t have tried it mind yea, like my motto is eat what you get and be thankful yea know like, but I was surprised, when it was finished it was really lovely, and tasted delicious, well now, after that she had to beat me away from pot before there wouldn’t be nothing left for poor David and Susan, well we had a lovely feed, and before you knew it was 11 pm, time to drive ashore and walk up to the hilltop in Opua to see in the New Year and to watch the fireworks in Paihia. We had a great view along with other sailors and locals, and celebrated the start of the New Year 2017 on top of the hill in New Zealand, last year we celebrated the New Year in Portobello in Panama.





To list the highlights of 2016 for us would be very difficult because there were so many, so we will just mention a few of what we see as our main highlights and achievements. Transiting the Panama Canal, Why, for us it was the decision to go further,

Leaving Panama to cross the Pacific, WHY, because we knew that after Panama there would be no turning back, it turned out to be the longest sea journey we ever made because there was no wind, it was an El Nino year, we went as far as the 9th latitude before we found the trade winds, and it took us 40 days to reach Hiva Oa.

Cruising the French Polynesian, Why, because of all the dangerous reefs, to us it was a navigational challenge.

Especially Palmerston Island in the Cook Islands, Why, because it was Paradise on earth.

The Kingdom of Tonga, Why, because of the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the place.

 The Passage to New Zealand, Why, beacuse that really was a test for the crew and the boat, old Chev and us were pushed to our limits and beyond, in the 9 days it took to get here,

So Followers of Chev  mind yourselves well now, take care until the next time, Good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Har harr          


New Zealand

11.11.16. – 26.11.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev on Friday we were at the first of the many BBQs, workshops and seminars that went on for 2 weeks for Blue water sailors. At 16.00 we were officially welcomed to New Zealand by the organisers of the All Points Rally, and where yours truly before the night was over, had scoffed 3 hamburgers and 4 sausages washed down with 5 small (330 ml)  beers, or was it 6 or 7,  jaysus me belly was bloated I tell yea, and it was all free. It was a great way to meet up again with all of the sailors that we had met here and there in other countries on our way from Panama and also a great way to make new friends, now, I won’t bore you with the names of the people and boats, because there really was a lot, we made new friends as well.


Susan and Gitta



Jean-Pierre and Isabelle

Remi, David, Susan, Sabine and Jean-Pierre on Sodric

Remi, David, Susan and Sean

George and Sean making music

Social night on Ta-b

On Monday 14.11 was the first seminar at North Sails, where we were shown all the different materials and types of sails, it started at 10.00 with a break at 12.00 Where we had Tea, Coffee, and sandwiches, well if this keeps up I will be as fat as a fool before the 2 weeks are over, anyway, at 13.00 we had a seminar about the Progress that has been made in sail and sailboat design, It was over at 14.30.

15.11.16. We had our first workshop again at North Sails, where Rodger the sail maker showed us how to make sails last longer, and how to do emergency repairs on Sails quickly at sea, starting with small rips and tears, that were stitched as quick as a flash, even the more difficult repairs with just a needle, an awl, repair tape, and sail tread, Rodger made it all look so simple, It was great to watch an expert at work and learn a few tricks. Our main sail needed to be repaired and we gave it into Rodgers good hands.

 During the next 2 weeks we took part in most of the seminars, and of course the BBQs. The ALL Points Rally ended on the 25.11.16 we had 4 free tickets, 2 we got from Gitta and David from the SYAres Mear, each ticket entitled you to a hamburger that was as big as side plate, with poppy salad, beetroot, and other stuff, and 1 free beer or 1 glass of wine, well now, I would ate the hand off yea, as you know yourself like, but after 2 of them hamburger dinners, I was stuffed, and as a matter of fact in the 2 weeks that the All Points Rally was on, we only cooked twice or at the most 3 times, we spared a lot of gas as well as food.


Sean with Shelley and Kyle from Blowing Bubbles

At the back Bruce and Kerry from SV Haven and Kyle and Shelley from BB

26.11.16 I started on me to do list, and I tell yea, that will keep me busy for a long time to come, were lucky that our poor old Chev is still in one piece and not in pieces, with the bashings she took, at least they have a good couple of chandlers, and you can get almost anything you need here.

Since we arrived here, we have had Earthquakes which we didn’t even notice, and Tsunami warnings that did not reach us thank Christ. Kiwi land is very much like Ireland, lazy cows and bulls grazing in lush green fields, with winding streams flowing through hills and hollows, its Fairley cold here too, although its  summer time here.  

The amount of people drowning in the seas around the NZ coast is unbelievable, we have heard regular requests from the Marine coastal stations for all ships to assist in the rescue of people, who have drifted or been washed out to sea, or to look out for people in the water after their boat has turned over or sunk.

3 weeks ago there was a steel hulled 12 meter cruiser went to sea on Friday night on a little star watching cruse, with 11 people on board all locals, skipper included. At 07.00 on  Saturday morning NZ Maritime radio gave an all stations alert for boats in the vicinity to be on the lookout for this blue with white coloured superstructure, 12 meter steel hulled cruiser that was overdue, this message was repeated several times in the morning.

Now you don’t think negative when you hear this the first time, they could have had a problem of some sort with the motor or hydraulics or steering, this happens more than you expect, just something small you think, but when you hear it the 3rd and 4th time you think different, like, why don’t they use the radio, or call someone with the cell, or mobile phone to put people’s minds  at ease, I mean that’s what you  would do yourself isn’t it  yea know what I mean like, Anyway, Saturday afternoon NZ Maritime Radio gave an all stations alert for all boats in the vicinity to keep a look out for people in the water, the ship had capsized and sank after being hit by a big wave outside the harbour, that’s when you start worrying and hoped to God that they would be all right. The next message came around 17.00 was that 7 people were accounted for, 4 were missing, ´´ Merciful Christ look after and protect them´´ I prayed, then at 20.00 the message was that one person was still missing. There was about 1 hour of daylight left, only 1 hour before darkness comes, ´´ Oh dear God let it turn out weIl ´´ Christmas was just around the corner. To make a long story short, on Sunday morning the rescue services sad everyone that was aboard the ship was accounted for, from the 11 people that were on board, all adults, men and women, three were recovered alive, the other 8 people were found dead and their bodies recovered, a very sad state of affairs .


View on the anchorage

Chev on our swing-mooring

A foggy morning

View from the winery

Waiting for the ferry

Winery





Church in Russell

So followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well now, we wish you all a very merry Christmas with a happy and prosperous New Year, until the next time Good bye and may God bless every one of you,  Ahoy and Har harr.

 


25.10.16. till 10.11.16   Tonga to New Zealand

Ahoy Followers of Chev, we left Tonga 25.10.16 in the afternoon, with a weather window that would hold for 5 days, our plan was to reach the North Minerva reef and wait there until the next weather window opened up to complete our trip to New Zealand, after 2 days motor sailing we reached North Minerva reef just before sundown, there were only 3 other boats there.


Sundown over the Minerva Reef

A week Before we left Tonga, I spent2 days scraping and cleaning away all the barnacles and slimy weed from the hull, there would be an inspection on the hull when we reached New Zealand, and if they find that you did not clean your hull, then they will take your boat out of the water and clean it at your expense, plus a hefty fine, so the next morning I was just going into the water to give the old hull the once over and see that it was still clean of barnacles and seaweed, I had just put me foot on the ladder when I saw a big brown shark swim by so close that he nearly touched the ladder, now this thing was over 2 meters in length, well I don’t know much about sharks, but I knew from the look of him he was trouble and he was looking for something to eat for his breakfast and It wasn’t going to be me, so I put me snorkelling mask back in the hold.

 Enchantress had left Tonga a day after us and arrived in Minerva on 28.10.16 at 08.00 and called over after they anchored, we talked about the next weather window, as David had loaded down the latest gribfiles, and we would take at least 7 days from Minerva to reach New Zealand, the weather was touch and go, like it always is, so if everything went right then we should make it no problem.


North Minerva Reef

Susan and David on the way over to Chev

Chev in the twilight

Weatherdiscussion

There were 2 more boats arrived that morning, the SY Vagabond, and the SY Calyope, Vagabond we had met in Niue, and Calyope we met in Nuku Alofa. On the 30.10.16 Enchantress, Vagabond, and old Chev left Minerva for the 800 or more sea miles to NZ.


Chevaldy under sail

The sun is still shining

The first 3 days went well, but we had to wear warmer clothes, as a matter of fact it was the first time in 2 years that we had on long pants, T shirts, polo neck, woolly jumpers, and winter jackets we had radio contact with Enchantress, and we had received the weather report from David before we lost contact after a hefty squall. Vagabond called us on the VHF and told us that a front was passing to the south of us, after that we could make a direct course to NZ. The 4 day was rough going, and we had 38´knot winds from the side and from the back. Days 5 and 6 were the toughest and roughest, because of the high seas we couldn’t cook, and sleep was hard to come by when you had finished your watch, we were on a hard reach with 30 knot wind from the south, or right on the nose with thunder and lightning, soaked to the skin and frozen to the bone with the cold, in other words we got the shit whipped out of us, and poor old Chev was taking a wacking , flying off the top of the waves and crashing down onto the concrete like sea with a bang and shudder that gave you a feeling that the boat would burst into pieces anytime now. the compass light went out, the seal on the forward hatch busted and when the waves came over the bow, they just poured inside and soaked everything, next  the fuckin bilge pump packed up, and to top it all, the new seawater pump sprung a leak, so we had to bail out water that came in the front window from the waves, and bail out the water that leaked in the motor bilge at the back, and  I was full sure that the mast would come crashing down any minute now.These are the times that you ask yourself, what the fuck are we doing going down to NZ, we could have gone to Fiji or New Caledonia and still be sitting in the sun in our Baden togs nice and warm, instead of beating our way through this miserable never ending shite.



So we hived too, and did some emergency repairs, to the window seal, and the seawater pump, made something warm to eat, got 3 hours sleep and felt like you didn’t sleep for a month, and off we went again, at least the wind was better this time with 20 to 25 knots, so I told Sabine we were nearly there and the worst was behind us now and it can only get better.

On the 7th day, was Saturday 05.11.16, in the afternoon we picked up the NZ Maritime Radio station that was giving a storm warning for Sunday afternoon with wind speeds of up to 47 knots for the sea area we were navigating at the time,  we knew we would not make it before Saturday night and that our only hope was to get to the Bay of Islands as quickly as possible where we would have cover from the winds, we reached the bay of Islands thanks be to God at 04.30  on the 06.11.16 Sunday morning, on Sabine’s Fathers 80th  Birthday,  but we slowed down until it was bright at 05.30 before entering the passage leading to the harbour  and Marina.





Later we heard from a couple that we know, that they hit a green marker at night with full power, the catamaran had a 1,50 meter crack on the right hull, and had to be towed into the harbour, the tow cost them 1500 N Z $ not to mention the repair cost.

Halfway up the pass to Opua Harbour we met our Australian friends from SY Haven who had just left Opua and were on their way to Whangarei, we came close enough to have a chit chat with Bruce and Kerry, the last time we saw them was in Tahiti.

We tied up at the quarantine dock in the Marina just before 08.00 and were cleared by the customs officer who had just arrived by dinghy, after that we had the bio security, we were finished with the clearance very quick and had a good old skit with the frontier officers, Ireland were playing the All blacks to day the customs man said, I replied that Ireland were no push over and were always good for a surprise, and sure enough they were, Ireland beat the Kiwi’s that day, well done lads.

After we were finished we went in search of our mooring buoy with the number 17 that we had reserved and of course we couldn’t find it, so we radioed the marina office and were told it was north of a trimaran and very easy to find, so off we go again and looked at 8 buoys that were north from the trimaran, and again we saw no number 17, I was losing patience as well as me temper, so I contacted the marina again and told them to send out someone to show us where number 17 was, and sure enough out comes a woman in a motorboat 10 minutes later, who was armed with a plan of the buoy field, and still had difficulty trying to find number 17, she looked at 3 buoys before she could tell us which one was ours, Sabine hooked the buoy and I helped drag it right up on deck to inspect it, but still saw no number 17, the woman was still there and I asked her do I need a microscope to see the number 17, ´´that’s it but the number must have fallen off sorry about that ´´ apology  accepted I said with a smile. After that David came over with his dinghy and brought us over to the marina were Susan had made a brunch of eggs, sausage’s, and ham with lovely coffee to wash it down with, after that, all the stress of the last few days just vanished, and we were grand and happy that we had made it safe and sound to New Zealand.        



         

07.11.16 we were invited over to Russell Island by Richard and Pipe who we had met in Arricife 2 years ago, we got the ferry over to Russell,( it cost 1 N.Z. $ each,)  where Richard was waiting for us with the car, he drove us to their house where Pippy was waiting with coffee and cakes, they asked about our crossing from Tonga to NZ, they showed us their big house and huge grounds that reach all the way down to the sea, then we went on a tour of Russell in the car,  where Pippy told us that it was the biggest lawless town, full of pimps, whore houses, pubs, and gambling dens, in fact it was like the wild west, sin city, or Sodom and Gomorrah, back in the good old bad old days. After that we went back to their house and had a lovely dinner and wine, we thought we would be back on board old Chev before sundown, but when you meet old friends, you have so much to talk about and the time just fly’s. We said our good byes to Pippy and Richard drove us to the ferry at 21.00. there was only one car waiting, a Police car, Richard said if we asked the gentleman in that car for a lift, we wouldn’t  have to pay the fair on the ferry, the Police man heard what Richard had said, and told us to hopp in, his name was Chris and he was returning from Russell, after his college asked for assistance with a family row, up here in the Bay of islands his job is very easy, the ferry came we drove on board, with Sabine sitting in the back and me in the front, the crew of the ferry must have thought we were a right couple of Jailbirds, we reached Opua and Chris drove us down to the dinghy pier, where we shook hands and he wished us a wonderful time in New Zealand, now that’s what you call your friend and helper, I tell yea.            

 On Tuesday 08.11. We rented a car for the day to go to Whangarei, that’s about 1 hour drive from Opua, we had booked a mooring in the harbour, David and Susan had also wanted to go to Whangarei to take Enchantress out of the water and get some work done there. We parked near the Marina and walked over to the ships chandlers, and looked around the town, and bought a Sim-card, it really is a nice place. At 15.00 we met up Heiner from the SY Dörtita, and Wolfgang and Ilse from High Flight, at a café near the water front, it was nice to see them all again and we had a good little chat.






CityCenterWhangarei

Hundertwassr Creation

Susan, Heiner, Sabine, Ilse, David and Wolfgang

After that we went over to the Mad Butcher and bought 2 steakes, then around the corner to Pack and go supermarket, we had a trolley full with food beer, wine, chocolate, sweets, potato chips, and along with David and Susan’s stuff, we had a job to fit it all in the car, then it was back to Opua were we had to make 2 trips with David’s rib dinghy that he had lent us while he was in the marina, to get all the stuff over to our boat, that was a long day we had, we were knackered when we got back aboard Chev, but all 4 of us had decided to stay in Opua as the pile moorings didn’t look to inviting, as well as being right in the middle of the town, at least here we can slip our moorings and sail around the Bay of Islands that are really beautiful when the weather gets better.     

10.11.16. We were invited over to Enchantress to celebrate our successful passage to New Zealand, David opened a bottle of Champagne for the celebration, like so many times before, we had a great night of good food cooked by Susan, talk, Wine, and song, and before the night was over Davie opened another bottle of Champagne, and what better way to celebrate than with two people who we have become our very best friends, in the 12 months we know them they were always there to help, with weather report downloads, that we can’t receive, or running their water maker when we needed water, allways collecting us in the dinghy, and especially their company.


Lots to eat

Sean playing the guitar

Having a great time

Going back to Chev in David's dinghy

So Followers of Chev, take care, and mind yourselves well, Good bye and God bless you all. Until the next time.     


The Kingdom of TONGA.


21.09.16 to 25.10.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev, sorry that you had to wait so long for this blog. We cleared customs on Wednesday morning and left Niue at 14.00, destination the Vava´u Island group in the north of The Kingdom of Tonga. We had very light winds from the North West, against us, although the weather forecast was for south east winds, we made 90 NM (nautical miles) in the first 24 hours, we had no wind but the swell was pushing us South West so at sundown we hived to and went to sleep for the night. The next morning we had a good breakfast and after that we decided to head for the Tongatapu island group in the south, to Nuku´ Alofa, the capitol City of the Kingdom of Tonga, we motored sailed with very light North West winds and 5 days later on the 26th we arrived in Nuku´ Alofa just before the dawn was breaking.


About 3 NM from the approach to the Harbour we spotted a humpback whale and her calf about 200 meters away, the calf was hopping and splashing and doing all sorts of tricks, great fun to watch, then another whale with her calf popped up even closer than the first one, and as the sun rose higher we could see that all around us where whales with their young calves, jumping out of the sea and landing on their backs, the cows staying protectively close to the calves, and now and then one of the cows  would shoot out of the Ocean like a rocket,  you should have seen the splash they made when they landed on their backs, Christ, the water literally Exploded in a huge fountain sending waves in every direction.



Anyway, the calves were from about 3 to 6 meters and bigger, depending on how old they were, and the mothers were at least double or triple that, because not one but 2 huge wales popped up just 5 meters away from us, and they looked twice as big as our Chev I tell yea that. Now  Chev is 8.90 meters in length, and these 2 were so close that I could see the Roundy lumpy sort of carbuncles hanging of their faces, and their beady black eyeballs having a good squint at us, they were too close for my comfort, as a matter of fact I wasn’t comfortable at all at tall, in me mind’s eye I saw the monstrous creature jumping out of the water in a high arch, then  landing on its back in a body slam fashion on top of old Chev, smashing us to pieces and sinking us on the spot.

So to avoid this, I started the motor and slowly but surely increased the speed and got the fuck away from the 2 monster  mother whales that were giving us the old once over, after that they kept their distance. We counted 20 whales before we entered the harbour.

There are numerous storeys that you hear, about sailing boats colliding with these giants of the sea as they sleep on the surface of the water at night, and boats been damaged or sunk, well after this experience with the wales,  I believe there is a good chance these stories have a lot of truth in them.

 We tied up on the pier in the harbour at 08.30, where we were pestered by taxi drivers trying to sell us guided tours, laundry services, handmade carvings out of whale bone, we are flying the yellow quarantine flag, I said we cannot go ashore until we have cleared port control, customs, immigration, and the health authorities, this took until 15, 00 before we were finely cleared in.

Time moves different here, we are 24 ahead of Nuie, but things move slow here, welcome to Tonga.

We went shopping in the nearby Chines store, after that we left the harbour and headed over to Pangiamotu island where we dropped anchor in 11 meters depth in front of Big Mamas and had a good nights sleep.






Glenda, Big Mama and Sean

Next morning we went with the 09.00 ferry from Big Mamas over to the mainland, it cost 10 TG $ Tongan dollars ((4.30 €) return, the return ferry would be at 11.00. 12.00. And the last one leaves at 17.00.

 the minute we set foot on the pier the taxi drivers were around us like flies, oh city very very far away, no thank you, we just kept on walking in the direction of the city, and very far it was not, it’s a lovely walk that takes you past the Palace and other lovely buildings and it is only 20 minutes by foot to the town centre.

Didn’t take long to find the ATM, the supermarket, the fruit and veg market that is huge and where u can get fresh fruit and veg at very reasonable prices, its great fun to haggle  barter or Handle, you can save a few bob ´´ and we love to barter and handle´´, depends how much you buy, we got a carrier bag full with tomatoes for 7 TG$, that is about 3 €, a dozen eggs, 3 €, a 5 lbs bag of spuds 1.50 €, 6 onions, 1.50 €. Apples, oranges 5 for 1.50 €, with a head of lettuce, a bunch of spring onions and a cucumber thrown in as a present for good measure, and all done with a smile, Aah sure you can’t beat shopping like that I tell ya.

 28.09.16. we went to town and did another walkabout, we found a lovely local restaurant that sells chines food, Sabine had the vegetarian dish  and I had the old chicken curry that was supposed to be mild, after 2 forks full it burned the gullet out of me, and  I got the hiccups, Holy smokes i used a bag full of serviettes to wipe the sweat and water that was flowing from me eyes and pours, not to mention the steam coming out of me ears, I gulped down 4 ice cold soft drinks to cool me burning mouth and scorched lips, you would need a mouth like a blast furnace to eat it, but I hate to see food being wasted  so I  finished it, a hot curry burns twice as you know, what goes in must come out, but I will worry about that when the time comes, we paid 7 TG $ is about 3€ each for the lot.   

 
Grave yard

Market

Street in Nuku'alofa

Palast


29.09 We walked around and did some more sightseeing, in the afternoon we found Friends Café a lovely place where u can get lovely big mugs of coffee for 2.40 €, we didn’t do this since we left because the prices were too expensive, I went into a shop that sells cloths shoes shirts and dresses, and bought 4 pairs of glasses or spectacles for 14 TG $ 6 €. Now I am short sighted and the last cheap glasses I bought cost me 250 US $ 0r 230 € for 2 pairs and here I could buy a pair for 1.50€, we came back the next day and bought another 2 pairs, now that’s a bargain and a half I tell yea. 

30.0916. Kyle and Shelly from the Canadian SY Blowing Bubbles came over to Chev for a sundowner and some music, as Kyle has a ukulele and wanted to get a bit of practice playing with others, it went ok and we had another few practice secessions with Kyle improving with each session, so we   decided to have a singsong over in Big Mamas.  


Kyle and Sean



Glenda and Graham

We had a music and BBQ night at Big Mamas with Kyle from the SY Blowing Bubbles playing the ukulele, and Routh from the SY Irgendwohin playing Guitar, Sabine playing the thin whistle as well as playing the mandolin and myself doing the singing, every one enjoyed it, Big MAMA asked us if we would play at her birthday 28.10.16.  We told her we would probably be on our way to New Zeeland, but if not we would be delighted to come to her birthday party.

.Illelya a 2,4 metre gentle  giant from   Russia, who now lives in Washington DC in America,  and who had spent a few weeks sailing in the South Pacific on a friends boat, inviting us and everyone who he liked to visit him, he was pissed from too much rum, we offered to drive him back to his friends boat, because he had gone back at 11.00 with his wife, now it was after midnight and he had no one to drive him to his boat, we went to the dinghy dock and Sabine and I got in, I started the motor and then Illelya just jumped from the pier into the dinghy and it was like on a trampoline, Sabine and me flew up into the air but we had luck and landed without falling in the water.

05.10 16 there was a seminar on the weather and passage planning to New Zealand by John Martin from the all points rally for cruisers, it was very interesting and informative and free, didn’t cost a penny   

09.10.16 we were invited for dinner by a Kiwi named Graham Taylor on board his SY Te Aria along with Glenda who is also a New Zealander or Kiwi who works and lives in Tonga, well Graham cooked offal or backbone from a cow, then a leg of mutton with spuds and cabbage, jaysus I didn’t have that since I left me mothers house, God rest her soul, we had a great laugh with Glenda telling us tales from her younger days, and  graham putting the wind up us by telling us stories of ships and SY that vanished without trace in route from Tonga to New Zeeland.

 10.10.16 we had a storm warning for the last 3 days on the radio, and this morning they said that it was imminent, the grib  files that we loaded down showed a massive front with winds of up to 50 knots, so I put another 5 meters of chain and 10 meters of rope onto the anchor chain that gave us 60 meters in a depth of 15 meters, then I rigged up the 2nd anchor with a 50 meter rope, had it ready to drop in case we started to drag. There were 10 other boats at anchor and they were all doing the same thing, putting in more chain and more or less hoping that it wouldn’t be so bad.

You know shit is coming and there is no escape, but the worst part of the shit hitting the fan is the waiting for the shit to hit the fan, when it starts flying then you have to react and make decisions and hope for the best.

In the evening the wind increased in speed from 22 to 27 knots, at 1900 to Gale force 34 to40 knots by midnight. On 11.10.16. By 05.00 we had storm winds of 43 and over, with heavy rain thunder and lightning, at 07.30 the winds receded to 35 knots and stayed that way all day.

 We heard that In Vavau Lynne and Eric went to Tapana Bay to re anchor, we also heard someone was struck by lightning as the entered the same Bay, and that the massive amount of rain that fell caused floods, Shit happens sure what can yea do.

On the 17.10.16 with Wolfgang and Ilse from the German catamaran High Flight we got the local bus and we went on a tour to the blowholes, after about a 1 hours’ drive, we got out and walked about 1 klm to the beach where the blow holes were, when a big wave came in and ran along the half submerged rocks it pushes the water with great force through the hollow crevasses into a big fountain like spray, it’s one of the things you must see as a tourist but it wasn’t  really that spectacular.







When we were finished we walked back to the main road and caught the next bus back into town, where we caught the next bus to the CAVE that was another must do as a tourist thing, so off we go again another 1 hour drive to THE Cave, when we got there the bus driver drove us the 2 klm off the normal bus route to the Cave with no additional charge, and told us he would return to collect us in 1 and ½ hours, now that’s what u call friendly service with a smile I tell yea.


Wolfgang, Ilse and Sean




There was a charge of 10 TG$ (5 €) pro person for the Cave with a guide included, there were 2 other women along with us, we went down some steps into the cave, it took a while until your eyes adjusted to the light, then we were in a dark cave that was lit with electric lights in places but it was still dark, it was about 100 meters in length, there was a dark pool about 10 meters in circumference a mixture of fresh and sea water, where there were 2 guys, just treading the dark pool water, well it really didn’t look that inviting. There were a lot of small bats flying about and even more hanging up on the roof of the caves, the tour took 10 minutes, then went back up to the entrance where we sat around a picnic table and got out our sandwiches and lemonade.

We got talking to the 2 women and they told us that they were from Austria and were from the cruise ship that had arrived in Tonga that morning. They had joined the ship in Los Angles from the Costas cruise shipping line, the ship was on a 3 month world cruise and would they would leave it when they reached Italy, well I hope it wouldn’t join the other one that went and sunk off the island of Gigolo in the Mediterranean, only a few years ago the Costa Concordia, God forbid.

We got the bus back to town and were back in time to catch the 17.00. Launch back to Big Mamas on Pangiamotu Island. It cost us 40 TG$ about 17.20 € for the day, if we booked the same tour over the private tourist office it would have cost us for a half day 80 €.

We were watching the weather for the last 4 weeks and every now then there was a weather window, that means that the winds were in the right direction, which for us would be South easterly and according to the grib files that we loaded down there would be a short weather window with South Easterly winds that would be enough to get us to Minerva reef the next week, we decided to leave for Minerva Reef on Tuesday.

On Monday 24.10.16 we got the first ferry from Big Mamas, to the harbour with Wolfgang and Ilse, with 20, 20 litre jerry cans between us, 10 for Wolfgang, and 10 for me, and a hand crank pump that we got a loan of from Earl from Big Mamas, now, 200 litres is the minimum the fuel company will deliver, so we let Ilse  to guard the jerry cans and the pump while Sabine, Wolfgang, and me headed for Customs, we were at the customs office at 09.00 ,  but we had to first  go to the Port Captains office and get a form from them, so we marched back up the road about 600 meters asked where the said office was and after going into 3 different offices, found the one we needed, we got a form to fill out then we paid 18 TG $ 7.60€  and off we went back to customs, only to be told there was a stamp missing, he forgot to stamp the fuckin form, Jesus Mary and Joseph give me strength, off we went back up the road me tamper growing with each step I took, and steam coming out of me head, I won’t tell yea what I was calling the fucker that forgot to stamp the form, by the time we reached the building I was furious and in no mood for Crap, I shot up the stairs 3 at a time, ripped open the door, went to him and told him as cool as possible that he forgot to stamp THE FORM, I was ready to tear him out over the counter and kick the shit out of him if he gave me any Bullshit , ´´O no you must go to de other offiz just down de stairs and next offiz to de right, and why did you not tell me that before, ´´sorry I forget ´´ he said with a genuine smile, ok we all make mistakes I said , thank you.

Down we went and in the office there were 8 people, 6 women and 2 men sitting at different tables, they were mostly playing with their smart phones or surfing in the internet, Sabine told me to let her deal with it, OK I said. We waited at the counter at least 5 minutes before a guy came over and asked could he help us,  yes Sabine said with a smile on her face, we need a stamp on this form before we can clear customs oh the officer that’s responsible for that is in a meeting right now, so she asked him when he would be back, maybe at 13.00, it was only 10.30. and I think I was going bonkers listening to this shit, look I said all we need is a stamp on this form so we can clear out and get fuel but we need a stamp now, surely be to God if the officer gets a friggin heart attack and dropped  dead, someone else must be able to stamp this form in his place, I asked, trying not to scream abuse at the dopy fucker, I imagining I was smashing his face to bits, he spoke with the other guy that was half asleep at his desk 2 minutes later he came over took the form went into an office and vanished 20 minutes later he came out and gave us the form with the stamp on it.

Back we went to customs and YES we got our clearance papers and cleared out, from the customs officer we received the form for the duty free diesel yea yea yippee.

Then we walked a kilometre to the bunker office, that’s the oil company that delivers the tax free diesel to the harbour, we gave the woman in the office the form from customs, and paid 238 TG$ that’s about 105€ for our 200 litres of diesel, great stuff, we told her which pier to deliver it to and asked what time it would be there, it was11.20, well said she there is a form missing, A FORM MISSING , what form and where do I get it, does it need a STAMP, while I was trying not SCREEEAM, my imagination ran RIOT, I could see me  BREAK her teeth with a head butt, then bite her juggler, and spraying the walls red  with her blood as I choked the last bit of life out of her, then  hop her corpse of the wall and kick the bones out of her till there was only her skin and bits of and pieces left of the stupid bitch.

Whoa STOP stop Sean Boy, JAYSUS  am I gone fuckin psycho, is there something in the food, or what the fuck is happening to me,´´  what do you mean ? ´´ She asked, so I tell her in detail what I was just thinking of doing, she looked surprised and serious and asked me if I am crazy, as mad as a hatter I said,  ´´where do you come from ? ``, Ireland I said,  Ah Ireland she said, then she started laughing,  saying, you’re so funny,  then I laughed as well, then she explained it’s a form that you get from the Port Authorities it’s near the Port Captains office, what do I need that for, oh that’s just for the driver to say that he is allowed to unload the fuel at the harbour, must I come back her again, oh no she said, at what time will the fuel be delivered I asked, sometime after 12.00 o clock she said if we have a truck free, thanks be to God  she thought it was so funny, I could have been put in a padded cell

So off we go again in search of the Port Authorities office and we found it, the woman there gave us another form to fill out then she stamped it, is that all I asked are we finished now, no you must get it signed by the Port Captain, and where do I find him, in the next room she said, in we go and out he comes and signed the form and that was it, what a load of bollox, I know and understand now, why quite normal law abiding people like myself, have snapped and gone on a rampage of death and destruction, no wonder when you get shit like that.

 The fuel came at 15.00, by the time we emptied the 200 litre barrel into the jerry cans, and loaded them into the ferry it was 17.00.  And by the time we had it loaded on to our boat it was 19.00. A whole day for something that should have taken maybe 2 hours at the most, as I said the clock ticks slower here.

21.10.16 we were having our breakfast 07.00 when Sabine told me to look over to a boat that had just finished anchoring, and there was the Enchantress with David and Susan waving at us, now that was a nice surprise, we hadn’t seen them in over 6 weeks since we left Bora Bora on the 30.08.18, after breakfast we showed David and Susan where the customs office were, and after that we showed them the town and had a coffee in friends café and restaurant,   

 25.10.16. Susan and David wanted to clear out on Monday, but because of bad weather it took them until Tuesday to clear customs, we promised to help them with the Diesel, and on Tuesday morning we went with Enchantress and her crew over to the harbour, tied up to the pier, then we showed David which offices to go to, while Susan looked after Enchantress.


Seanpumpig the Diesel

We got all the necessary papers and within 1 hour David had cleared customs, it’s easy when you know where to go, we then went up to the Bunker office where David was told there would be a delay as the customs were measuring the fuel tanks, but the fuel would be at the pier by 11.00.

 To make a long story short, it took untill14.00 before we were finished with pumping by hand, the 3 barrels of diesel fuel = 600 litres, 200 litres pro barrel, into the 3 tanks of Enchantress, and all the other jerry cans after that we motored back to Pangaimotu island, we said bye bye to David and Susan after they had driven us back to Chev,  who was prepared and ready  for sea, so we lifted the anchor after one marvellous month in the Kingdom of Tonga, and left Nuku’alofa at 3 pm on the 25th of October to sail the 270 nautical miles to Minerva Reef, where we would wait for the next weather window on our way to New Zealand.

So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well now, Good bye and God bless you all until the next time Ahoy and Har harr 


Niue


11.09.16 to the 21.09.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev we left Palmerston on Sunday 11.09. at 14.00 hrs. we slipped the mooring and set course for Niue 389 nm away, Well, we had very light winds so we motor sailed, and switch on our autopilot Mr Zulu that I had repaired, but instead of holding a straight course he started turning in a wide circle to the left (port) back towards the reefs and the buoy we had just left, when I pressed the 10° to the right (starboard) he would follow it until the 10° was reached, then start turning to the left again, I switch him off, and using the steering wheel brought Chev back on course again, I turned him on again and the same shit happened, after that I decided to let Zulu go in a complete circle in the hope that it would help him to calibrate his innards automatically, after he reached a full circle he just kept going for another round, jaysus, I could imagine what our friends on land were thinking, are they coming back or are they going, or are they drunk or what, and I wouldn’t blame them either, the big question now was, had Mr Zulu received permanent damage in the last storm, if so then we would have a hard time steering by hand to Niue.

Sabine steered by hand, while I disconnected Zulu in the hope of maybe finding out what was wrong with him. After taking him apart, and going through every cog, gear, drive, and washer, I could find nothing wrong, so I checked the connections from the computer, in the end it wasn’t old Zulus fault at all, at tall, but the connecting plug from the computer, it was corroded, so with a scrape of a screwdriver, and a squirt of electronic spray, I connected Zulu up again, held me breath, crossed me fingers legs and eyes and switched on the juice, there was a whirring sound as Zulu got power and the drive belt turned then stopped as he reached the given course, Yea haw old Zulu was back in business again, I wouldn’t doubt yea Zulu boy, and off we headed for Niue.

On the 14.09.16. We rounded the northern eastern point of Niue, we had only 7 nm miles to go to the Alofi Bay that would take us about 1 hour and 25 minutes with the 5 knots that we were doing, and were glad that this trip went reasonable well. With 5 nm Sabine contacted Niue radio and asked about clearing customs, she was told to call again when we were on the mooring buoy, we were 4 nm from Alofi Bay, ETA was 13.00 and could just make out the masts of some of the yachts that were already moored there, when out of nowhere we were hit by a squall that came from the south east, exactly the direction we were heading, within 2 minutes we lost eye contact with the coast because of the amount of rain, and the wind went mad and blew us back the way we came, so we headed north west to get close to the coast and hoped for some shelter from the high cliffs of Niue, in the meantime Sabine made contact with Hannes from the Austrian SY Cayenne who informed us that there were 2 mooring buoys free on the north side of the bay and that this Squall could last longer than expected and to be careful of the fisher nets  close to shore.

Now. Here we are motor sailing blind in torrential rain in the direction of the Niue coast with Sabine screeching to be heard above the noise of the wind, even though she was only 1 meter away from me, that there were drift nets close to shore, this along with the fact that the coast is littered with shallow reefs made me think, that’s all we need now, a fuckin drift net to get tangled up in the prop  then old Chev and us smashed to pieces on the reefs, I was on the verge of forgetting about Niue and just  carrying on to the Kingdom of Tonga, and that would save us a lot of bother, but I will give it one try and one try only, so, with me nerves on edge we inched closer in the direction of the coast it took ½ an hour until we could just make out the cliffs, 20 minutes after that we had cover from the high cliffs, we were 200 meters from the shore and 6 nm from Alofi Bay, again we made our way towards the Bay, as close as was possible to the shore and finally tied up to the mooring buoy at 15.00 . Now that was a kneetrembler I can tell yea.

We contacted Niue radio and the operator replied in a whisper like voice that I couldn’t understand, I thought she was joking, so I tried again, and got the same whispering woman on the radio. Are yea sick or hoarse or what girl, I said, she whispered some other shit that I couldn’t decipher and told her that I didn’t copy what she said, again she whispered an answer, listen, I told her, I am half deaf, had the volume on the radio up as high as it would go, and still couldn’t understand a word and could she speak a bit louder please, again she replied with the same whispered shit,  Is this some kind of radio sex channel or what the fuck was going on here, yea know what I mean like, she reminded me of a horror film I had seen years ago, I think it was the babysitter, where this loony psycho kept ringing up asking the babysitter on the phone in a soft whispering voice ´´DID YOU CHECK THE CHILDREN`` in the end I gave Sabine the hand set, now Sabine can hear fly’s walking up the walls and  even she had trouble understanding her, in the end we figured out what the whisperers message was, she gave us an appointment for the 15.09 the next morning at 09.00 for custom Clearance, we then contacted Niue Yacht club and told them we were on a buoy and we would call by in the morning, and suggested that they replace the whispering operator that no one could understand.


Chev on the mooring buoy




On the buoy behind us was the French SY Sodric that we had met in Palmerston and had left before us and had arrived in Niue that morning, Jean Pierre called us on the radio and invited us over to Sodric for a sundowner which we accepted, Jean took out his guitar and sang French songs with Isabel, we took turns playing and singing songs it was a nice enjoyable evening we had with Isabel an Jean Pierre.

Next morning we drove over to the pier, while we waited for the clearance officials to arrive, there is a crane to take your dinghy out of the water to put on the pier, we were met by Keith who introduced himself as the Commodore of the Niue Yacht Club, a very funny and nice guy, Keith told us that he has never been out of the bay on a boat because he thinks it’s too dangerous.

Niue is one of the smallest country in the world but can boast that the island itself is the biggest corral block in the world, the whole island is like a Swiss cheese, full of holes, high cliffs, and deep chasms, it has no natural harbour and the only shelter to be found is halfway up on the west coast, where there is a bay with 17 mooring buoys in front of the main town Alofi. Up until 1974 it was ruled by New Zealand, in that year the Niueaner islanders voted against full independence but wanted and got an Associations contract and self-government of Niue from New Zealand, that meant that the Islanders are New Zealand Citizens, still entitled to a New Zealand Passport, and more Islanders live in New Zealand than on Niue, the Population is estimated to be 1400 people, the main language is English as well as a Polynesian language (Maori) is spoken.

The port authority’s arrived and we filled out the bundles of forms for the customs immigration and health officers, after that we were free to go walkabout. We went straight to the Sailing club where the WIFI is free if it’s working and when, then it’s very slow, but you can go to a telecom store and pay 5 NZ$ for one hour wifi. We met Ira and Brian who run the club, Ira filled us in on what, where, when, and how, was in Niue, the first stop was the ATM (cash automat) then the Supermarket, well you couldn’t call it a supermarket, it was more or less a big shop, there are 2 shops, We really  got a shock when we saw the prices, we got 2 loafs of bread, 12 eggs, 2 apples 2 oranges, and 3 scabby shrivelled looking carrots + a 2 litre bottle of coke in the big shop, now, we filled one small plastic carrier bag with our messages, and paid 58 NZD $ = 39 fuckin €, we asked if there was a mistake and went through the price of each item , no mistake all correct and give us the cash thank you, we thought of putting it all back on the shelves and walking out, but what can you do.


Pier in Alofi


The cran to haul out the dinghy




The next day the Canadian SY Cattiva with Maurice and Maria that we had met in Palmerston arrived in Niue, and we invited them along with Jean Pierre for a sundowner and some music and chit chat,

We decided to hire a car to see the tourist sites that Niue had to offer, I asked in the tourist centre if we would need hiking boots,´´ Aha Naw´´ said your one, ´´ sure you’ll be grand with sandals´´. We went to get the vehicle, we had booked an 8 seater van, and we ended up with a 4 seater hatchback that had seen its best days a long time ago, and wouldn’t have passed the MOT, baldy tyre’s, faulty seatbelts, mudguards hanging off, just to mention a few of the faults, anyway, Maria volunteered to sit in the booth to which there were no objections, and off we went with Jean at the wheel, straight onto the wrong side of the road, in Niue they drive on the left hand side, the French drive on the right and old habits die hard and jaysus I thought we all were about to die as well but we were lucky, it could only get better, don’t cod yourself boy.

We visited the first site, a chasm with caves and all sort of tunnels that led down to the sea shore, very nice, only shit was the corral rock was sharp and slippery the closer we got to the sea, after 1 hour of climbing around rocks caves and holes, we were back on the road to the next site, more or less the same but with a lovely pool sheltered by the reef, where you could swim or snorkel, it was then that I realised that I had no togs or mask, some crew member forgot to pack them, so I sat on top of the ladder with me feet in the water and watched in the glass clear water the coming and goings of the little colourful fish and the lovely stripy coloured eels in the shade of the rocks, hang on a minute, there not eels there poisonous sea snakes, well my feet were out of the water so quick that Michael flatly would have found it hard to keep up with me, 5 minutes later there was a guy coming towards the  ladder to get out, so I warned him of the snakes, he still climbed up the ladder, ´´there harmless he said they can only bite you between the toes or fingers´´, so there not poisonous ? I asked, ´´ well yes they are but their teeth are so far back in their mouths that they can’t bite you´´,   in the name of fuck what sort of stupid answer is that I asked him, there poisonous but harmless, they can’t bite you, but they can bite you, but only between the fingers or toes, so can yea die if the bastards bite yea or not, `´ well I don’t really know anyone that got bit by one´, says your man, of course you don’t yea fuckin dope cause there all fucking dead ,´´ well they usually avoid people as they are shy´´ so off went your boyo,  ½ an hour later the all got back without being bitten by sea snakes, thanks be to God, as a matter of fact Sabine only seen one but kept well away from it.

We drove around to all the touristic sites that were to be seen on Niue, but it was sad to see the amount of deserted houses, I mean literally every village or town we drove through had at least 50 or more deserted homes, except the main town Alofi.


































Isabelle climbing down the ladder










We kept meeting a very nice young New Zealand Couple who were on holidays, Campbell and his wife Grace, and in a conversation with them I mentioned all the deserted homes on the Island, they are all down working in New Zealand said Campbell and after making enough money they come back to Niue and build the houses back up.

Niue is unique and the people very friendly, like all the other islands we have visited, it has more churches than you would think were needed.

 Niue was also very expensive, now we have a very tight budget, and never live beyond our means   we paid 46 € clearance fees, we paid 72 € for 44 litres of diesel, at 1.70 € a litre, for a week on the mooring boy, we paid 95 €, all in all the 7 days we spent their, cost us 500 €, for us the dearest and most expensive place we visited so far since we started the trip, the only thing that was cheap was the hired car. Only 11 NZD per Person for the day, to top it off me Jack Wolfskin sandals, fell apart after been exposed to the hardships of the rocky cliffs and reefs of Niu .

Well Followers of Chev , take care and mind yourselves now, Good bye and God Bless you all until the next time. Ahoy and Har harr 


Palmerston


30.08.16 till 11.09.16

30.08.16 Ahoy Followers of Chev we left Bora Bora to go to Niue, a distance of 1050 nautical miles we planned with 9 to 10 days, more or less, so we waited for the rain to stop and we headed off at 15.00 in sunshine, the first night at sea was lovely, the weather was great with 4 to 5 beaufort, there was no Moon but millions of stars and planets to be seen, a lovely start to the trip. Just as the daylight was fading I caught a big ugly Barracuda 75 cm long all mussel and meat, and I gave thanks to God, gave him a good wack on the head with the winch handle, and that sent him to the happy fish pond in the sky, you should have seen the teeth on the ugly beast. Now I normally wouldn’t ate Barracuda, but my good friend Graham from the SY Karma told me that they have a lovely white meat and taste beautiful, so, I sliced him up and boned him, that’s important because if Sabine gets a bone, then that’s the end of that, she loses her appetite, me as well, so I make sure there are no bones in the old meat, anyway she cooked him and it was like Graham said, fuckin lovely I tell yea.

On the 3rd day out we caught a skip Jack, he’s like a small Tuna, but we had enough to last us 2 days, we were really having a great trip, sunshine and beautiful sailing weather, I mean this is what you would expect from the South Seas, yea know like, great stuff.

0n the 03.09.16 at 09.30 I was awakened by Sabine who said that the wind had changed from the East to the north and now she is coming from the west, all in the last 5 minutes, now  that’s a sure sign for dirty weather, so we dropped the main sail and reefed the genoa, we just had this finished, when the wind backed around and came from the south with the sky blackening and the wind increasing suddenly in strength. The first thing that hit us was the torrential rain, it felt as if you were standing in front of a high pressure hose with a force that stung the skin, Sabine ran down and got the rain gear but we were already soaked to the bone we still put them on, I thought it would blow over in a little while, but it got worse. The seas got bigger and steeper and by 12 noon we were running North with a full blown storm, because our wind speed instrument is busted, in my opinion, it was at least 45 knots, screaming and howling in fury like the demons out of hell, the waves that were at least 4 meters, if not more higher, came crashing like an express train from behind with such force that our autopilot busted, Sabine took over the wheel while I got out the spare autopilot and rigged it up, that lasted 1 hour before it ended up busted as well.

From there on it was steering by hand and praying ´´ Dear God, please don’t let it get worse, and if it does then keep your protective hand over us sweet Jesus, and if it is meant to be that our time on this planet is over, help us lord to try not be afraid of the dying, let our children, our families know we loved them, our relations, friends and acquaintance, and everyone we met on this journey know we enjoyed and cherished and loved the good and the bad times we were privileged to share with them, and bless everyone we know and met on our travels, thank you dear God Amen.


Now I would love to tell yea that after that it got better, but it didn’t, in fact it got so bad that we were surfing down waves with close to 12 knots and by 16.00 you couldn’t see nothing but smoking seas and foam flying off the huge waves, that would have made the little bit of hair I have left on me skull go grey if it wasn’t already grey, at 18:00 the winds dropped between 6 and 7 beaufort but the seas stayed high which had the effect that it blocked the wind when we reached the bottom of the wave, we had no speed to run up to the top of the waves and were at the mercy of the waves that were breaking all around us, so we started the engine, now, we have an 18 hp motor that with 1500 reeves on a flat sea, gives us a speed of 4 knots, at maximum reeves that we seldom use, we would get 5 knots or a little more, so  we rolled out the genoa a bit more, bit by bit until we could control the wind in the sail and got enough speed to get over the top of the waves and  have control again. To make a long story short, the shit weather lasted all through the night, the waves decreased enough so we could gradually get back on our course, we steered by hand in shifts, Sabine relieving me when I had enough, and when the dawn broke we hived to, and left old Chev to find for herself for 3 hours while we both got some well-deserved sleep.

When we woke up we had a breakfast of fried eggs and bread, washed down with a lovely cup of tea, even though it was dangerous cooking because we still had 25 to 30 knot winds and high seas, it was like trying to cook on a carousel. After that we decided to head for Palmerston that was about 250 nautical miles away, so with Sabine on the wheel, I striped down the 2 autopilot with the hope of being able to salvage and repair them, there were gears and cogwheels and what not, I had all the parts on a slip proof mat on the table, then a big wave set Chev on her side and everything ended up on the floor. Well you should have heard me screaming and cursing, fuck this for a crack, I have enough of this shit ect ect, but what can yea do. The poor old seas and the waves, sure there only doing what they’re doing since time began, like they’re supposed to do, yea know like. Anyway to make a long story short, we steered by hand in shifts for 3 days, with no change in the weather, strong winds and high seas (big waves) and hove to at dawn every day for a few hours honk (sleep).

 06.09.16. We were approaching the north eastern point of Palmerston at 23.00 and tried to get them on the radio,  got no answer,  kept trying and eventually got a reply from a boats called Cartena  that was on a mooring, he advised us to approach with extreme caution, as the reefs were very close and east from the moorings, he told us that there were only 2 boats in the bay, and there was a buoy  between him and the second boat about 50 meters apart, we thanked him for his help, and arrived in Palmerston at 02.30 looking for a mooring buoy in the pitch blackness of a moonless night, we radioed Palmerston station umpteen times for assistance but nobody answered,

Sabine had strict orders from me not to go beyond the bows of the other boat, we could hear the waves crashing on the reefs and it didn’t seem very far away yea know, in fact it seemed closer than was good for us. With Sabine on the wheel and me on the bow with a torch in me hand, and both our nerves stretched to the limits, searching the waters for the elusive buoy, then with the light flickering and just as the batteries were dying, we finally spotted it, hooked it and tied our mooring lines to it,  and thanked God for his grace, it was 03.30 and with the weight of the world gone from our shoulders and souls, all we wanted to do was to sleep for 24 hours, we lay down and were asleep one minute after our heads hit the pillow.

Well so much for 24 hours sleep, after 3 hours and 15 minutes, we were awakened at 06.45 by someone banging on the side of old Chev and saying good morning Chevaldy, hallow Chevaldy, we went up to see a young fellow about 17 years in a small boat hanging on to the side of chev, good morning he said my name is Andrew Marsters, welcome to Palmerston, when you are ready, call me on the radio, my call sing is Alfa Golf then I will bring the customs and the clearance officers out, then he was gone, and Sabine and me just sat there looking at how close we were to the reef, merciful Jesus thank you, if we were 25 meters away from the reef we were a lot. We made our breakfast and first job after that, was the autopilot, I had scooped all the parts from the 2 of them when they fell into a plastic bag, now I would try and sort the parts out, at 10:00 Sabine called A G, and told him we were ready for the official clearing into Palmerston.

About halfway between French Polynesia and the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific is an isolated atoll about 10 kilometres in diameter, consisting of a circular reef inclosing a deep lagoon called Palmerston, it was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774, and was uninhabited until William Marsters arrived there in 1863, who with the help of 3 wives, Akakingaro, Tepou Tenioi, and Martavia, the renegade Englishman planted palm trees and harvested copra, as well as producing 21 children,  the land is owned by just one family, every person living on the island is a Marsters, direct descendants from William. Unlike all other Cook Islands which is Maori, the official language of Palmerston is English. Although numerous islets dot the outer reef, all 60 residents live on Palmerston or Home Island as it’s called. The island was divided into 3 equal parts, each wife receiving a 1/3, the direct decedents of these women still live on their part of the island, when a woman marries a man from the other side, then she loses all rights to land from her side, and when she dies, then she will be buried in the part of the island that her husband comes from, that’s why there are 3 graveyards on the island.













At 11.00 the clearance crew, customs, immigration, and health authorities, tied up alongside Chev, the first to come aboard was Martha from the health authorities, she sprayed some stuff around the inside of Chev, asked us to close the hatch, which we did, then we sat in the cockpit and filled out the forms that she gave us, and answered the questions she asked, Martha was followed by Arthur from Customs and immigration, while Sabine was filling out the clearance forms, I went aboard the tender to Goodly the Quarantine officer and Mayor of Palmerston , and filled out his forms, and answered his questions, they were all very nice and really friendly and easy going, we paid the 70 US$ Clarence fees then they each in turn shook hands with us and said Welcome to Palmerston, Bob the father of Andrew and the driver of the tender said he was now our host family and would collect us for lunch at 13.30, maybe another time as I had too much to do, I said, ok said Bob then I will bring your lunch out to you later on, then they drove away back to the main island.

At 15.00 Bob and his son Andrew were returning with some other sailors from a Swedish SY, and stopped by on his way, Andrew passed me a very big bowl of food and before I could ask how much it cost, they were gone. Well I tell yea now what we had to eat, we had chicken, pig, fish, veg, and rice, still warm enough to eat, I tried it first of course, a little bit of each offering, with Sabine looking on, when I finished, she asked me, ´´ and is it safe to eat, is it nice´´ , jaysus its delicious I said, and we gobbled it all up, every morsel of it, and sat there with our bellies swelled up like 2 overdue pregnant  women, the last time we were stuffed like that was in the Chine’s restaurant in Arricife in the Canaries in Spain 2 years ago , with our frinds Jochen, Annette and Katrin, were we got ALL YOU CAN EAT for 7 €.

The next morning we went ashore with Bob when we walked up the beach to the house we were introduced to our host family and  warmly greeted by Bobs mother Tipou, who sat in the shade of a shed at the table and asked us to join them at the table, we shook hands and we kissed each other on the cheeks, the same with his wife Tupou , who  gave us a lovely big glass of ice cold orange juice, and I shook hands with  Palmer his relation, each one said welcome to Palmerston, we sat and talked with them for over 1 hour then Bob said we could walk around and go wherever we would like to go and do whatever we felt like doing on the island, but to be back here after 14.00 for lunch, so off we went and took a stroll around Palmerston island, we were accompanied by Denia bobs 5 year old daughter and Henry her 3 year old brother, she showed us her swing, a rope tied to a high coconut tree, that she climbed like a cat, holding the rope in one hand, when she reached the halfway mark she swung into space and came flying on her swing, when it stoped swinging, she climbed up the rope using only her toes and her hands she was like a monkey, and it made me think of Darwin’s theory of evolution, she definitely came from monkeys, and would have no trouble getting a job in a circus , I tell yea, and Henrys party piece was climbing on to the roof of the shed and swing down by the palm tree leaves.




Denia

Henry was allowed to come

Bob collected us in his boat

We were back at Bobs for lunch at 14.30 and were joined at the table by 2 other couples, Maria, and Maurice from the SV Cattiva French Canadian’s , Isabel and Jean-pierre from the SV S
odric French, after dinner we were given a guided tour of the Island by Bob, after that we went swimming and snorkelling and sitting around on the beach until it was time to be taken back to Che , you only had to ask Bob and he would drive you back anytime you wanted to go.




Forever tiered



Having lunch



The school

 Back on board Chev we would sit out on deck before sundown and if we were lucky we would see Whale cows with their calves on the water, sometimes they came close but no matter how many photos we took, they could not describe the beauty and feeling of power that these huge creatures of the seas radiate as the swim by, one night we were sitting on deck with the light of the moon when a whale popped out of the sea not 15 meters from old Chev, blowing water out of her hole in her head with such a noise that we nearly shit ourselves with the fright she gave us the bitch, alone just to see the size of the beasts humpy and lumpy chin popping up out water and the eyes gleaming in the moon light close up would frighten the fuck out of yea I tell yea, jaysus it was the best fright I got in a long long-time, 

When the whales were singing or moaning or squeaking or communicating with each other the sound would travel up through the boats hull, and if you put your ear to the door or bulkhead, you felt as if they were right next to you, it was fascinating to hear this.        

To make a long story short, we came in search of paradise and found it not in a Bounty bar, but in  Palmerston, in our opinion Palmerston is Paradise on earth, we were accepted by these people as if we were one of their own, on the second day we got to know most of the other islanders and were literally dragged bodily into Bills house for coffee and ice-cream, no one asked for money.


Bill

Bill showed how they fished before

Isabel, Maria, Bill and Sean

Sean is showing Bills daughter a few tricks

Bill`s Family

On the 3rd day we were invited to the official celebration for the 6 elected council members who received there certificates at the ceremony, the tables were full with food that everyone brought, there was no alcohol as it was a solemn occasion, with the oldest woman praying and asking God for guidance and wisdom for the council members, then she gave each councillor, 2 women and 4 men their certificate and after that the mayor Mr Goodly held a speech, then everyone went over to the councillors to congratulate them, us included, after that the feast began, by jaysus I never tasted so much beautiful and exotic food in one go, Mother Mary it was divine, with most of the people chatting in couples and groups and just enjoying the ceremony, then Bills daughter sang a song and played the guitar, when she finished she gave it to me and asked me to play, so Sabine and me sang you raise me up, it’s a very beautiful old hymn that we first heard in Granada, before we reached the chorus we were surrounded by the natives armed with cell phones filming us, when we hit the chorus they joined in with us and were singing their hearts and guts out, some had tears in their eyes, by jaysus it was very emotional, then I was asked to play Island in the sun, which I did and again they all joined in, Aha it was great sure it was.








Sabine, Jean-Pierre, Isabel and Maria

The next day Tupou washed our laundry in her washing machine and we hung it out to dry, while we went to the beach, after our lunch it was dried and folded up in our sea bags ready for the evening when Bob drove us back to Chev.

11.09.16 Sunday this was our last day here as we would leave for Niue in the afternoon, so we went to church, with the women and girls on the right side, and the men on the left side, it was lovely, after we were outside talking with the islander’s and saying good bye to them, I was talking with Goodly when Maria from the SY Cattiva asked him his name, Goodly, but sometimes they call me Badly he said, he has a great sense of humour, like all of them, very likeable, then it was back to Bobs house for lunch, after that it was time to say Good bye to Bob and his family, we thanked them for their outstanding hospitality, sharing there Island and home with us and we would always remember the time we spent in Paradise in Palmerston, then Bob and Andrew drove us back to Chev.



Inside the church

Outside the church

Sean with Tipou and Tupou

Sean and Goodly the maire



Marha the nurse and Sabine

Tipou, Sabine, Maha, Denia, Bob,Tipou and Sean

We spent only 5 days in Palmerston but it felt that we had spent years there, from all the good food from Tipou and Tupou we have put on weight, not to mention all the ice-cream and coffee we had at Bills and never paid a penny. We paid 10 New Zealand Dollars a day for the Buoy that included lunch and soft drinks, and use of the showers, plus transport to and from the boat, in the end it cost us 35€. Imagine what we would have missed if we hadn’t run into the storm


So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, Good Bye and God bless you all until the next time. Ahoy and Har harr                                   


Bora Bora

24.08.16 till 30.08.16

24.08.16 the Cruise Ships Paul Gaugin, and Wind Spirit arrived in Bora Bora and anchored in the bay at 7 am in the morning, we meet these ships quite a lot as they have a regular cruising route through the French Polynesian Islands, its handy now and then if you see them and need the latest weather report, you just call them on the radio and they are very obliging. Anyway, at 09.30 we were just about to go ashore when I saw what I thought was a squall (dark clouds that bring strong winds), but it turned out to be a tropical depression with winds of up to Beaufort 6 with gusts to 7(27 to 33 knots), I thought it would blow over but it lasted over 14 hrs, now, at that time there were a lot of guests that had gone kayaking or jet skiing , or paddle boarding, as part of the cruise ships program, out in the bay, and they had to be collected by the tenders and the jet skis, paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, and what not had to be towed  back to the Cruise Ships. The strong winds lasted into the night and moderated at 23.00. One week later the same Ships were back in Bora Bora again, and ended up getting torrential rain I felt sorry for the cruise ship passengers who gave out all that money and ended up with shit weather. The bad weather is one of the best kept secrets in the French Polynesians, I will tell yea the 2nd one soon.

Weather or which, it’s all show for the Cruise Ships, on the day a cruise ship, or ships arrives, the natives set up their souvenir stalls, then the young girls dress up in grass skirts and wear coconut over there best piece´s, and the men wear a loin cloth that looks like a nappy, then they dance and scream about accompanied by a band with drums and ukulele´s, even the bums and alcoholic’s get in on the act,  now don’t get me wrong, it’s nice when you see it a couple of times, but after a while it’s just doesn’t have the same fascination as the first time, it’s just that that is what the cruise ship passenger’s want and expect, and of course the natives give them what they want and earn good money.

When the tourists are gone, the locals pack their trinkets in boxes, the stalls come down, and everything goes back to normal, as a matter of fact that’s the way we have seen it ever since we started our trip from Europe to here, then when the tourists are gone, then we are the really privileged, because we get to see the real natives behind there masks and makeup, the real culture without the show, they are really lovely and friendly, and they except us as  we are, (Yachties ) who don’t have money to throw about, so there is no need for show and they can be themselves, and with mutual respect on each side there is no better way to get to know someone.        

28.08.16 we left Chev on the mooring at the Maikai Marina, as we would be gone overnight with David and Susan on Enchantress over to the south east point of Bora Bora to do some snorkelling, there, it’s supposed to be the best snorkelling in the South Pacific, we had a great time there, but I think that the corral gardens in Tahaa were the best and will be hard to beat, we will wait and see. 


On our trip on Enchantress to the south









Lion Fish

Morea

Sean snorkeling

29.08.18 Sabine, Susan, David, and me went over to the Maikai Marina for the happy hour, where you can have a good old chat with other yatchies, and get all the latest info on what’s going on, there were crews from 9 other yachts from all over the gaff, mostly couples.


Mai Kai Marina

Sean, Ilse from High Flight and Sabine from Cayenne

We heard that in Suwarrow  the park rangers, or caretakers of the island, were becoming a pain  in the arse of the yachts that turn up there, like taking beer or rum from them, we heard of 3 boats that were having a nice time grilling on the beach, when the park rangers (Father and Son) turned up and got very aggressive, threatened them with physical violence, and told them leave the island, now that definitely was the wrong place for a man of my mild Irish temperament, jasus, I think I would have been arrested after introducing the fuckers out of hell to me right fist and booted their heads to getter, at the time there was a gale blowing outside the harbour, and this was pointed out to the rangers, the yachties wanted to know what was the reason for this behaviour, the answer they got was that they had not asked them for permission to go grilling, and they had to leave the island.

We had twice applied to Roratonga for permission to visit Suwarrow in the Northern Cook Islands but got no reply, but would not risk going there without the confirmation, because we heard of boats being fined and after hearing this, we did not feel it would be worth the bother, so we decided we would be heading for the Southern Cook Islands, Niue with Palmerton as a secondary stop in case of trouble.

30.8.16 at 15.00 we left Bora Bora and our friends David and Susan, who would be going to Suwarrow, in our wake, but we will be meeting up with them again in the Kingdom of Tonga. We had spent 12 days in Bora Bora on a buoy in front of Maikai Marina, ´´Now here is the 2nd best kept secret´´. We didn’t pay a penny, we had got a tip from another yachtie, who said that they don’t own the buoys, but they will take the money off you if you are stupid enough to ask them how much it cost, or how much you owe, we would have had a bill for 130 $, and of course we gave this hot tip further to the other yachties. Our Davie and Susan arrived 5 days after us in Bora Bora, and went up to the Bora Bora yacht club for one night, as no buoys were free in Maikai, they charge 20$ a night. David was not satisfied with the mooring as the line was wore through to just one strand, so Davie complained  to the manager at the Bora Bora yacht club reception, who told him they are not responsible for the buoys, so Davie says ´´ could you tell me please then, what the hell am I paying 20$ for,`` for the use of the yacht clubs facilities , came the reply,´´ which I have not used´´, said Davie, then you owe us nothing said the manager, this was very quickly  passed on to the other yachties by word of mouth, now isn’t that a grand ending, hope you like the blog and pictures we made for.

  So Followers of Chev, take care now and mind yourselves well, god by and God bless you all, until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr



Bora Bora


Vaitape

Chev tied to the mooring ball in Mai Kai Marina

 


Raiatea - Tahaa


 02.08.16. To the 24.08.16

 Ahoy Followers of Chev

Sabine was collected by Susan and David, they were going shopping and then to the Post office to load down the weather forecast for the next 7 days, if the internet was working,  so I got busy with   repairing the vacuum valve on the motor, when I heard a shout, I popped up on deck to have a peep around, and there was a fella in the water about 200 meters away that seemed to be snorkelling, he was wearing one of those weird snorkelling masks that let you breathe through the nose and mouth, except he had it on his head like a cap, I waited for a shout from him that didn’t come, and went back to what I was doing, but with a gut feeling that something was wrong.

Now funny enough, only last Sunday afternoon here in the same place, David and Susan, were on Chev having an old cuppa with us, when I saw a woman 300 meters out from Chev, that would be about 800 meters from the beach,  nothing unusual about that here, but she was hanging on to a surf board and could not get back up on it, well, I kept me old eyeball on her for a ½ hour and she tried now and then to get back on the board , in the end she was just hanging on to the board, and I had the same feeling that something was wrong, so I got in the dinghy and sort of pretended that I was only passing, by the way like yea know, so I  wouldn’t panic her, and sure enough she was on her last legs from the look on her face, I asked if she was ok, ´´ I am fine thank you´´ ,  so your just waiting for the undertaker I suppose,  do you need help I asked, ´´well I don’t need to be rescued if that’s what you’re asking, that would be too embarrassing´ she said.

Now. Here she was hanging on to a board that she couldn’t get back up on for the last 40 minutes or more, in the same spot, with a danger of hyperthermia laming her body, or worse, like getting caught in the current and getting washed out to sea, and all she can think about is how it would look if she had to be RESCUED, Jasus, some people are really dopey, I wonder how many just like her have died because of their vanity, or of being ashamed to cry HELP, because it would be embarrassing, or worrying about what others might say or think. Can yea imagine now, your one o is up shit creek without a paddle and all she’s worried about is the embarrassment, ´´where’s me makeup bag´´, ´´how’s the old hair´´, ´´do I need more blusher and eye liner´´, ´´is the old lipstick all right´´ OK I am ready, you can save me now´´´. Jaysus Mercy Mary Help, Now, my mother would have called her an awful stupid bitch, and she would have been dead right in my eyes, but I won’t tell yea what I would have called her.

Anyway, I said to her, if I hold the board steady with one hand and helped you up with me other hand, then you might find it easier to get up on the old board, so  that would be only helping and it would not be classed as a rescue, so what do u think of that I said, she agreed to that, after 2 attempts I finely managed to get her up on the board, listen now I said, if I gave you a rope I cold tow you as far as my boat then you can go the rest of the way under your own steam, and sure no one would be the wiser, yea know what I mean, thanks be to God she agreed to that as well, so I gave her a rope to hold and towed her towards the beach, when I was close to Chev, as was made out, I let her go so she could paddle the last 200 meters to the beach, so  she would still have her dignity, or stupidness, depending on what way you looked at it I suppose, so it all turned out well in the end.

Anyway Back to your man o. 20 minutes later I heard this cry again and took another look about, and there was your Man again, still in the same place, Now, this fella was making no sound, or waving for help, but I had a gut feeling that something was wrong, the way he was just sort of standing straight like, with his head bobbing out of the water, no other movement, so I went down and put the dinner on a low gas flame, and went back up on deck, just in time to hear your man making some sort of guttural sound, and that was enough for me, I untied the dinghy, started her up and went towards your man, just before I got to him, a Polynesian in a canoe came along and your man locked on to the  back of his canoe, but the canoe was going nowhere only down because yer boy o ,he nearly sunk the natives canoe he was so heavy. As I came alongside him, he locked on to my dinghy, but hadn’t the strength to pull himself up and the Polynesian paddled off like a flash whiteout a backward glance, and let me with your man who he was probably glad to be rid of him.

Anyway, your man was about 65, small and Roundy, as fat as a fool, and as slippery as an eel with all the sun cream he had caked on his skin, that made it all the harder to grip him, and he weighed a fuckin ton I tell yea, he nearly capsized the dinghy, and on top of that, I nearly broke me back in the process of getting him into the dinghy, where he just lay there with his eyes bulging in his head, well he didn’t look good at all a tall, so I told him a load of lies to make him relax, ye know yourself like, Aa sure your looking grand now mister o, your fine now, you only got a little fright your grand sure I said,

Well to tell yea the truth I’ve seen better looking dead people than your man o. Where are ye from, no answer, where are yea from, still no answer, tell me now are yea on a boat or what, he didn’t answer or respond in anyway, and I didn’t like that look of his face, it was a bluish read, when all of a sudden the thought entered me  head, he´s going to have a heart attack or a stroke if he’s not fuckin DEAD already , Sean boy yea fuckin fool do somthing, so I started shouting at him, HEY come on now your safe now de ye hear me, and I shook him, Hey  You’re  ALRIGHT for Christ sake your grand sure, can yea hear me fella, still no reaction, then I gave him a few smacks on the side of his arse, just to get a reaction, but there was none, then I heard voices, well it was more mumbling than anything else, from a boat that was nearby. Now, there were 10 other boats in the bay as well as Chev, some even closer to your man than I was when the drama first started, Funny enough, none of them went on deck when your man first shouted for help, and now, I look around and everybody is on deck, pointing in my direction and watching with binoculars’, The Sunday matinee was just starting.

 I could already see the headlines in the newspapers, Irish man arrested, after being caught rowing around Southsea Paradise with a dead man in a dinghy. A world full of witnesses’ say they saw the VICIOUS and BRUTAL attack by the Mad drug crazed Irishman in broad daylight, he was shouting and beating on the helpless French holiday makers DEAD bODY. Blood test reveal Coca wane, Herro wane, and other stuff, plus a high level of alcohol. CASE PROVEN, VERDICT, G U L T Y, Hang the fucker. Jesus save me, I could feel the rope already around me neck.  

Christ, I felt me heart pumping blood into me old brain, me gut tightening at the same time, Hey don’t go getting a HEARTATTACK or a STROKE do yea HEAR ME MAN. I don’t need none of that fuckin shit now, and get any ideas of DYING in my DINGHY out of your fuckin head or I will kill yea dead meself , I tell yea that now yea gobshite, you won’t be getting me in the height of trouble with that sort of CARRY ON here, yea langer, this time I gave him a real good hard smack on his arse cheek and screamed into his ear wake up yea fucker. Well that brought the desired reaction from your man o, because a couple of seconds later, his eyes focused on my face , he rubbed his arse cheek, then he babbled something in French that didn’t sound like thank you (Mercie)  after that the colour came back in his face, and I relaxed again, thanks be to Jaysus.

 Now to make a long story short, I sat him up and I found out from him in guess language with hands and legs, that he was staying in the hotel on the beach, off I went at top speed and 5 minutes later I got him up on the pier after a struggle, where he staggered around and nearly fell back in the water, but I managed to grab him by the scruff of his neck in time, in the name of Christ are yea trying to commit suicide or what yea dickhead, I said, so I pushed him down till he was sitting on the ground and told him to stay like that for a while on the pier to recover a bit, after 3 or 4 minutes he got up Mercie said he, and staggered off towards the hotel entrance, he still didn’t look to good, I was hoping the fucker wouldn’t drop down dead before he reached the hotel doors, so I waited until he vanished into the hotel, well he’s there problem now, so if he kicks the bucket then they can hang the lot of them and not me, and like the Polynesian in the canoe, I headed home to Chev without a backward glance, as I was passing DörtIta Heiner who had seen it all told me he wasn’t sure if he needed help but I got there first so there was no need for him to go, on the other boats they went on with what they were doing before the drama. I got in just in time to turn off the gas and tried save what I could from a burned dinner, lucky it was only the old dinner that was burned, but when you think of it, it could have been me, that was burned black after sitting on the old electric chair for a while with a few thousand volts frazzling me, shit happens sure.        

That night Sabine and me were invited for the happy hour in the yacht club, by Silke and Alfonso, friends from Heiner from the S.V. Dörtita, where you can get a half litre of ice cold beer in a glass, just like in good old Germany for 3 €, the cheapest price in the whole south Pacific, as a thank you for the lovely music for the night before.

 03.08.16. We went snorkelling at 10.00 with David and Susan, the weather was just fantastic, had one of the nicest days in a long time, when the weather is good then it’s really like being in Paradise in the Polynesians.   

04.08.16. We lifted the anchor at 09.00 and left the Fare Bay in Huahine through the Avapihi pass in the corral, we were heading for the Faaroa Bay in Raiatea. We were just outside Huahine´s  Avapihi pass, when Sabine let out a shout `` OH look a whale´´ says she, I looked to where she was pointing and sure enough there was a humphback whale with her calf swimming not 100 meters from us, we grabbed the camera and managed to get a couple of nice pictures of the old whale and the new whale, hope you will like them.




Anyway after a rough little crossing we arrived in Faaroa Bay at 14.30 and tied up on a mooring buoy next to Enchantress, we went over to David and Susan for a sundowner and the usual chin wag, with me and David doing most of the talking and me driving poor David mad with my long stories and opinion’s, but it’s all in good fun.


Church on the way down to Faaroa Bay

05.08.16. David and Susan collected us and we went up the Faaroa River with his dinghy, an adventuress trip. I tell yea now, you could live off the land in all of these tropical islands, from the Caribbean Sea, to the South Pacific Ocean, you have an abundance of fruits’ and veg growing in, or on the edge of the jungle or forest, too numerous to mention, but here’s a few, Avocado’s, breadfruit, papayas, mangos, wax appeals, and oranges smaller than we are used to but taste delicious, limes, lemons, banana’s, coconuts, passion fruits, and all sort of roots, like potatoes, chickaree, nutmeg, cucumbers, carrots, a turnip type of thing, all of which we have eaten and liked, and we saw this again on this trip up the Faaroa river.





 We met a young farmer named Andrew who gave us a very interesting guided tour of his small plantation, he showed us all the various plants, trees, bushes, nuts and roots that the Polynesians themselves use for eating and cooking, we bought limes, lemons, papayas, oranges, coconuts, and a stock of bananas between us, and paid 10$ the lot, split down the middle, 5$ each . He gave us each a coconut that he opened with his machete so we could drink the milk, the one I just mentioned is young and green and used as a refreshing drink, the older one is brown and hairy in colour and is used for cooking, or to extract coconut oil from, we were given read flowers to eat that tasted lovely, it made me think on old Michel Jackson who regularly eat flowers, well if it was good enough for old Micky´o then it was good enough for us. All in all a lovely 3 or 4 hours with beautiful sunshine, we just got back to old Chev before the heavens opened to water all the old plants and trees in Andrews Plantation and surrounding Jungle, and of course to fill up our wash water barrel.       




            

 07.08.18 at 10.00 we lifted anchor and headed for the anchor bay in front of the yacht club in Raiatea but the 30 meters depth was too much for us, as a matter of fact the most of the anchor places in the Society islands exceeds 30 meters, we have a 45 meter chain with a 20 kilo Bruce anchor and that’s our limit, I have a 50 meter anchor rope that I could shekel onto the chain, but I wouldn’t like to take the chance and lose it all, when the rope would be cut by the Sharpe corral. We found no suitable anchor place in Raiatea and decided to go to Tahaa were we got a free anchor buoy in the Apu Bay. The next morning we headed to Haamene Bay about 6 nm away, where there’s a post office so that means internet connection, and a shop. When we came out of the Apu Bay the wind was blowing a 6 to 7 beaufort right on the nose, when we finely got to Haamene Bay we discovered it was a death trap, the wind was blowing right in to the Bay, we had no shelter there and after a hard fight to get back out, we returned to Apu Bay again and tied up on another free buoy. Enchantress had gone back to a marina in Raiatea as Davie had some problems with his electric system that needed looking into.

The next morning we decieded we would row over with the dinghy and walk down to the end of the Apu village. There wasn’t even a shop there, can you credit that, so we walked back along the way we had come and decided to walk to Haamene Bay, maybe we could thumb a lift, well, after walking 4 kilometres we got a lift from an old gent in a sort of Landrover, where we went up over 2 high hills through the mountain pass before we reached the post office in Haamene Bay. The post was closed but the main thing was we had an internet connection, God bless the post, Sabine spent 1 hour loading down her E mails and the Weather report for the next 8 days, we got some bread and other things in the shop, then we started the return trip to Apu Bay, well to make a long story short, we ended up walking all the way back to Apu Bay over the 2 high hills in the mountain pass, a distance of 10 kilometres, plus the 4 we had walked at the start, I don’t have to tell yea that we slept well that night.











11.08.16. Thursday morning we headed for the Tapuamu Bay after 1 1/2  hours we tied up on a buoy, Enchantress came a ½ hour later and got the last buoy that was free, I was thinking we were very lucky to have gotten the buoys, in the afternoon we went with David to the harbour, where we were stopped by a woman who told us we must pay 15 US $ a day for the Buoy, That’s a bit much I said, to your one o, dose that include a 4 course meal or what, ´´ no, but you get 1000 litres of water and we take your  rubbish as well´´ she said, do yea want to sink me boat with a 1000 litres of water or what I said, I only have a 90 litre thank, so at the moment we don’t need water so that should be cheaper, she was all puzzled so she called some fella that decided we would get 5 US$ off because we wouldn’t be using the water, ok  I said, now if we stay 5 days what would get off,  anyway ,we ended up paying 30 US$ for 5 days, not bad at all a tall.

12.08.16 we went snorkelling in the Famous corral gardens with David and Susan, it’s a place between 2 islands on the coast of Tahaa, well, it was fantastic I tell yea, we walked along the island until we reached the west end, then we entered the water where there are passes through the corral and the current pushes you through the passes, we made some photos of it and I am sure you will like it.

14.08.16 my 62nd birthday. Thanks to all of you who sent me greetings, it’s nice to be remembered and thought of, I am terrible at remembering birthdays me self, I am lucky to have Sabine, she has them all in her head.

We went over to the corral gardens again at 10.00 with David and Susan because it was so great the last time, but this time I put on my wet suite the right side out, the last time I put it on inside out, see if you can spot the difference in the photos, I made some more photos and will pick out the best ones for you, well my favourite is the porcupine fish, she looks so shy and cute, she’s like a cartoon character. 


View of Bora Bora and the corral garden between the two islands.








The suit is on the right way











David is waiting for us

Sean having his wet suit on inside out

Enjoying the warm water

 That evening we were invited over to the Enchantress by David and Susan, as a birthday present Susan made the dinner, a chicken curry from 2 whole chickens with a few pounds of potatoes thrown in extra for me. David supplied the alcohol, Beer, Wine, Rum, and his best Scotch whisky and played barman.´´ Well I don’t have to tell yea that we ate and drank them out of house and home, and me belly was so full, I looked like a woman that was expecting triplets´´, Aha I am only codding yea sure. We really had a great night and celebrated with two of the finest people I have come to know and have become very good friends with, and with food and drink from the finest, we drank, ate and sang, and celebrated my 62nd Birthday from 17.30 until 12.30.

18.08.16 we slipped the mooring Buoy in Tapuamu bay, and headed for Bora Bora, we had very light winds so we had a chance to fly our spinnaker, and really enjoyed the short sail to Bora Bora.

Bora Bora The Pearl of the Pacific is Polynesians most famous and glamorous island, is the most visited island by tourists, her lagoon is world famous for its beauty. Bora Bora island is small only 32 km in a full circle, and has no less than 5 mountains, Mt Rufa 139m, Mt Mata Pupu 236m, Mt Mataihua 314m, Mt Pahia 661m, and Mt Otemanu 727Mt.

Bora BORA rises from the centre of the multi coloured lagoon and is surrounded by 21 smaller islands or Motu = islets  inside a protective coral, with the colour and shades changing from deep blue to turquoise waters along the sparkling white sandy beaches, the only entrance to the lagoon is through the Teavanui Pass facing the main town of Vaitape, to the Southeast of the island is the Coral gardens, an amasing natural underwater park with nearly 700 species of tropical fish, well maybe they got mixed up with the counting, at Matira Point you can,( but I won’t , I learned me lesson the last time in stingray city), swim and get bitten by manta rays, grey rays, spotted leopard rays, and if that’s not enough, you can go outside the lagoon just before the pass entrance to the ´´ << WHITE VALLY >>´´, 55 meters deep, and try your luck there, where you can see grey sharks, lemon sharks, and Whales swimming down below you, and if they give you a little nibble then you’ll end your days as shark or Whale shit, and  can’t tell no one about the lovely holiday you had, Aye Aye me hearty’s A  Har harrrrr .

 Well Followers of Chev, take care and mind yourselves well good bye and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr

           


Huahine


15.07.16 to the 02.08.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev. After 2 week in Moorea we pulled our dinghy up on the back of Chevaldy, sailed out through the reef in Opunohu Bay, and headed to the next of the Society Islands, Huahine, we planned to be there for 10.00 the following morning, as expected we had very light wind, so we would motor sail the 90 NM, I mean like it’s only 65 cent a litre of duty free diesel, everything was going fine, we passed a SV (sailing vessel) I thought I recognised , but from the distance, I wasn’t sure, and just before the sun set he was way behind us on the horizon.

At 21.00 I saw on the AIS that I had a freighter on my Starboard side (right) that was 7 NM behind me and an American SV on my Port side (left) that was 3 NM behind me, 25 minutes later I heard the SV calling the freighter on channel 16 asking the Skipper if he could see him, 5 minutes later the American in a raised voice, told the freighter SKIPPER  this is the SV on your portside, your portside can you see me over, no answer, ´´  YOUR crossing MY path a bit TOO CLOSE, I repeat, MUCH TO  CLOSE, OVER ´´, but he got no answer,  now, I could see the navigation lights of them both, but it was hard to tell how close they actually were or if there was a danger of a collision, so I zoomed in with the AIS and saw there was still plenty of room between the 2 dots but kept an eye on them anyway just in case shit happened, 2 minutes  later the lights of the freighter were on the portside of the SV and going further away followed by a barrage of threats’ from the yank on CH 16, that he would see the freighter skipper before the Maritime Courts, that he had his AIS number + the ships name, and at least 5 other sailing vessels as witness, the only ships you will skipper from then on will be in your bathtub, do you copy, over and OUT Buddy. Now, from my point of view I could see no other vessels within sight, but the main thing was that it all came out well in the end, no one was hurt or damaged, and to tell the truth, it was a nice enjoyable bit of drama to liven up the old watch, sure what more do yea want, 5 minutes later it was all quiet and peaceful again, until the rain came down in buckets,  aah well you can’t get too Comfortable ye know like, no rest for the wicked and all that.

 23.15. I had just checked the AIS and it had shown a fishing vessel 6 NM off my Starboard side (right side), now, the rain was pouring down so bad that I couldn’t see 10 meters in front of old Chey never mind to say 6 NM, so I did a completed 360° eyeball look about and had seen nothing that suggested that another vessel was near. Not 2 minutes later came a Sailing Vessel out of the curtain of rain, in the opposite direction, and passed me on the starboard side at a distance of between 6 to 8 meters between us, now that’s what I call a very near miss, or a close call, it happened so quick that it was over before I could react. The other boat had his top light, motor light, and his navigation lights all on, I had my navigation lights on, but I believe that he had not seen me, just like I had not seen him, and I firmly believe that it was the Grace of God, and someone praying for us, that saved us from something worse happening, I tell yea, I said a prayer in thanks to the Almighty for protecting us and old Chev.

The rest of the trip went without a hitch, and we arrived in Huahine Bay at 10.00 after carefully navigating around the loads of small rowing boats, and motor boats that were fishing all over the gaff, even in the entrance to the reef, Christ, the whole village must have been out fishing.

Huahine is less than 200 km far from the hustle and bustle of Tahiti, it’s a lovely laid back little piece of Paradise, it’s made up of two islands enclosed in a single lagoon, with a land mass of 75 sq. km. A bridge joins Huahine nui, wich is the biggest island, with Huahine Iti, at a channel connecting the Bays of Maroe and Port Bourayne, the highest point on the north island is Mt Turi 669 meters, and yes we got a lot of accelerated fall winds, with Mt Pohue Rahi 462 meters on the southern island. Huahine has 8 villages, 4 on the big island, Fare, Maeva, Faie, and Fitii, and 4 on the small island, Haapu, Parea, Tefarerii, and Maroe. The population of about 6400 people live an essentially rural lifestyle, they grow water melons, taro yams, which is a sort of edible root, bananas, papayas, and various other seasonal fruits, along with fishing, all this is an integral part of family life on the Island of Huahine, everything else has to be imported from Europe and transported by ship to the French Polynesia islands,

 The islands of Huahine and Tahaa produce three quarters of the Polynesian Vanilla, renowned worldwide for its powerful fragrance and strong taste, are produced here on the islands of Huahine and Tahaa. 

We went ashore and tied up on the dinghy pier, then we went walkabout, off to the supermarket for the old shopping, after that to the post for the internet, and of course the internet wasn’t working, and has not been working for over a week now we were told, sure what harm we can try tomorrow. we got back to the quay around 16.00, and there were crowds of people gathered, to watch the weigh in of the fish that were caught that day, in a fishing competition between the 8 villages, jaysus, no wonder there were so many boats around when we arrived that morning.

There was great cheering as each boat had its catch weighed, all in a nice and jovial atmosphere. Its festival time here in the French Polynesians, and here it’s Heivai Huahine 2016, it goes on a whole month, Every morning there’s some sort of contest taking place that goes on till midday, then every evening there’s some drumming and dancing going on, I wonder what they think up for tomorrow,

0n the 17.07 Enchantress arrived in the bay, and after anchoring came over for an old cuppa, after that we went to town for fresh bread, when we got to town, there were again crowds of natives, this time it was a 12 man war canoe race with 7 canoes taking part. A 12 man is made by two 6 man canoes being joined together in front and back, you should have seen the speed of them, they were going like the clappers, ide say a four stroke would find it hard to keep up with them. Of course numerous people from the different villages turned out, and there was lots of shouting and roaring going, on but like I said before, all nice and friendly stuff like. After the race we walk to the post for the internet, but the internet was not working, well you can’t win them all, and tomorrow’s another day.


Kanurace women

Canurace men

19.07. We went ashore in the afternoon to try if the internet was working, it’s a nice little stroll through the town, and of course David already 100 yards away up in front of us in quick march, was already siting outside the post, when we got there 5 minutes after him, but we knew from the smile on his face that we could see from 30 meters, that the old internet was up and running, Sabine and Susan were happy as well, it shows how dependent we have got on the old INTERNET. 1 hour later we were heading back to the dinghy dock, but we took the short cut down to the beach, when we reached the beach the locals were decorating 3 double canoes with palm tree, and banana leaves, we asked what was the occasion, and were told that it was for a wedding that was being held in the town in the next hour, they had just launched the canoe with the dancers, drummers, and the priest, so we walked along the shore as far as the quay where there were crowds of town folk waiting, there were chairs for everyone to sit on, it was a pity that it was getting dark because you couldn’t take good photos, but it was still nice.

20.07 Sabine and Susan were gone ashore, and I was working on me to do list, when I heard the shouts and horn blowing coming from quayside, and their off, this time it was a single and double canoe race of about 15 miles, now I am only guessing so don’t hold me on that, round after round they went, the 25 participant’s,  well I chose the green double canoe to win, but in the end I wrong, the 1st 2nd 3rd place all went to single canoes. More speeches’ horn blowing and cheers for the winners, ´´ I wouldn’t doubt yea jimmy Barry Murphy boy  ´´, and all that,  but the losers get tapped on the back as well and everyone is happy, to be honest it’s a likable safe place here in Huahine.

  21.07. This morning early we were visited by at least 20 Dolphins with their young, who spent quite some time exploring the Bay and its surroundings, Aah sure you could watch them all day, I tell yea, nothing brightens up a voyage more, than when these beautiful creatures pop up alongside your boat, entertain you with their antics and stay a while with you.

 Well now, to day you had to beware of highflying speers, it was speer contest day, there was an egg shaped target, I suppose it was about the size of a rugby ball I would say, anyway, that was on top of a pole about 16 meters high, then armed with about 12 homemade speers pro man, or woman, the 2 teams lined up from left to right across a sports field, of course chivalry prevailed and the ladies  went first, from a distance of 11 meters they flicked their spears, by holding it in middle by the right or left hand, then the flat end of the speer in the palm of the throwing hand, then flung or flicked it up towards the target, without a run or a hop, none of your old  professional Javnelle throwing shit here, they just stood there and flicked it nice and casual, as if you would splash water at someone like, ya know,  and fair play to them, they managed to hit the target now and then.

Then the men took to the field, at a further distance of course like, I think maybe 16 meters, and they didn’t do much better than the women, they had more brawn than brain, and were lacking in skill, but what I found nice about it, was that there were all ages mixed together, young and old on both teams, but as I said a great old crack was had by them all sure.

21.07. Susan and David collected us at 18.15. then drove us to the dinghy dock, where we walked a couple of kilometres to something like a fair ground with a huge hall in the middle, where there was a drum bands, and dancing competition taking  place. We strolled around the grounds or fields you could say, where all sort of little stalls were selling everything from candyfloss, to noodle and chicken, snacks, coke a cola, and the like, and god knows what else they were grilling, to keep the throngs of peoples bellies full, there was table football, flipper machines, shooting stalls with pellet guns, rings stalls where u tried to get the ring over some furry rabbits or other things., it reminded me of Pipers Funfair long ago in Crosshaven, the only thing missing was the smell of a greasy bag of Fish and chips wrapped in an old newspaper, Aah sure God be with the good old days   

The show was supposed to start at 19.00. so we went in and were shown to our sit places on a hard plank by a lovely girl with a bush or a sort of wreath on her head, somehow it sort of reminds me of a funereal wreath, but it seem to be the normal headwear for the women and the men here.

It was 19.30. and still no sign of much happening, but we have learned to take time as it comes, no need to get your nickers in a knot, just relax and take it easy, enjoying the atmosphere of the moment, in other words looking around and watching the goings on of things, and people about us, like mothers with little baby’s a month old, and 3 to 4 year old kids hopping all over the place, but no one seem to mind , us included, this would be going on until 23.30 or longer,  and if it was in Europe there would have been uproar.

Well anyway, we weren’t expecting much for our 4.20 € a head, the show started and to make a long story short, it was a great night we had indeed, there was great cheering from the crowed when their village or groups turn came to preform, but the most cheering was done when the girl from each group, did a sort of belly dance to the pounding drums, to tantalize the temptations of the male members of the jury, it wasn’t bad at all a tall.

Then the boy of each group did a war, or hunting dance, to get the blood pressure up in the veins of the women of the jury. Well the movements that they were making with the grating of their groins and loins, left nothing to the imagination, you knew exactly what he was hunting and it wasn’t food either I tell yea now, if it was a war dance, well, I think the enemy would have fallen down dead after  laughing themselves to death.  I mean the warriors, if that’s what you would call them, well I for one wouldn’t anyway, cause they weren’t deserving of it in my eyes, they were only skin, bone, and grizzle, and the they were, Strutting around like skinny chickens, for Christ sake sure I saw more flesh on the end of an Irish thinkers stick after an argument than on some of the warriors or contenders bones, and the antics they were doing, well if I did anything like that while hunting in a field or Forrest in Ireland I would surely get done for indecent exposure, or with intent to interfere with wild animals, and fucked straight into the lunatic asylum in a strait jacket never to be let out again, and they would be dead right too sure,  I nearly pissed me self-laughing, with all the mocking we were doing we should have been thrown out, we were lucky that we were covered by the shouts of the crowds, I swear, the tears were pouring out of me eyes, all in all one great night, worth every penny we paid and a lot more to booth, we won’t forget that now in a long while.























23.07 strong winds all night and most of the day with gusts of over 40 knots screaming down from the mountains, unfortunately there will be no water sport competitions today. Sabine is gone ashore with David and Susan, and I’ve a few jobs to do from me old to do list, all in all a nice peaceful easy day.   

26.06. This morning we upped anchor and headed down to Port Bourayne Bay in the south half of the island a lovely quite little place, and tied up to a mooring buoy next to a lovely little beach and a good snorkelling area, the only thing is that it’s raining again, but between the sun showers we got some snorkelling done, as a matter of fact you can see more fish swimming around the boat without getting your feet wet.







31.07. Headed back up to Huahine nui, anchored in the same place as the last time, we filled up with water, stocked up with food, bread and other essentials, and downloaded the e mails, now we are ready to go to Raiatea the next island.

So Followers of Chev, take care and mind yourselves well, good bye and God bless you all until the next time. Ahoy and Har harr 

  


Moorea


27.06.16 to the 13.07.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev, this morning after breakfast, a Dutch man named Onno, whom we got to know here in Papeete, was leaving at 09.00 for Suwarrow so we blew our horn to wish him well and to have a good safe voyage, so did Heiner From Dörtita, along with David and Susan from Enchantress, old Onno was delighted with his little send off, and we went back to our usual board routine of doing the jobs on the to do list, and just enjoying the day.

Well Sabine and me self were having a lovely cuppa at around 15.00, I suppose you could say ´´ afternoon tea´´, anyway Sabine said ´´Onno must be about 30 Nautical miles away by now if he is making 5 knots, or how far would you say,´´ well now say´s I, that’s very simple, he is about 100 meters away and getting closer, if me eyes aren’t deceiving me now, he is coming towards us in his dinghy at full speed, and sure enough 1 minute later there he was alongside us, What happened that your back so soon Onno, I asked, well you won’t believe me when I tell you what happened he said .

 So Onno told us his tale of misfortune, he was 4 NM out from Tahiti when he got caught in a squall that had over 40 knot wind and 5 meter waves, it came out of nowhere he said, then his chain came off his steering wheel and couldn’t use the wheel,  so he had to use his emergency tiller, then his UV strip on his main sail just ripped of like it was paper, around 14.00 he was back in Tahiti, just outside the reef, he radioed for, and got assistance from a tug from the Taina marina, who towed him to the anchor Bay, then came the next shock, his anchor winch wouldn’t work, so the tug towed him to a mooring buoy where he tied up, he was very lucky it didn’t turn out worse, the poor man was still in shock, and he will have another shock when he gets the bill from the Taaina Marina.

We were invited for a sundowner that night on Heiner´s boat, along with David, Susan, and Onno,  Rainer and  Ute  from Trinitywhere. Onno told us all once again of his trials and tribulations of the day, then Heiner put more than enough (nibbles) food on the table to keep our bellies full, after which we had a good old sing song and Onno wasn’t long forgetting his old troubles, as he joined in with the song chorus of who the fuck is Alice, it was a very enjoyable night

 28.06. 16. In the afternoon David went to lift his anchor to go to the diesel dock, but it wasn’t working properly, it wouldn’t winch up the chain but it would put it in, so after Davie had  spent a few hours trying to fix it, and asked if I could come over to help him, just as it was getting dark we found the culprit, a rotten electric cable, so we replaced it with a new wire and it was as good as new, we then drank a beer to bid good bye to Tahiti after 5 wonderful weeks , as we were leaving for Moorea the next morning.

The next morning after filling up with diesel we headed for Moorea in beautiful weather, we arrived in Cooks Bay in Moorea in the afternoon, and dropped anchor.












There were about 10 other boats in the bay and one of them was Amarula, we just finished anchoring when Eric and Lynne along with their dogs Scrumpy and Chewy came by to welcome us to Moorea, so they came aboard and on went the old kettle for tea and coffee, while we exchanged the latest news, Eric said that Moorea is just like Fatu Hiva with its beautiful mountains and lush green Valley’s, ´´ you will love it here´´ he said, we asked him how was it with the 70 boats from the puddle jumpers that were here last week, no problem there was enough room for them all. After the tea and coffee, Eric and Lynne invited us over to Amarula for a sing song, and that there was an Australian musician coming as well as some other friends of their, of course Davie and Susan were also invited, altogether we would be 10 people, no problem for the 60 foot Amarula, well when you’re invited aboard the Amarula, you are guaranteed to get the best fresh Tuna and other fish caught and cooked by Eric the man himself, along with other food that we and the others brought with us as well, ah what a night we had, the song sung by Dave the Australian, together with George the English man about a pig, had us all laughing tears, it was a scream, a great night we had indeed.


Lynne and eric and the dogs

On the First day we toured the town, the 2nd day we visiting St Joseph Church, the old Chapel is known for its mother of pearl altar and the beautiful painting by Peter Heyman (1908 to 1982) that depicts Polynesian nativity. The members of this small church wrote to the Pope asking for permission to let Hayman make a religious painting that depicted Jesus, Marie, and Joseph with Polynesian traits, the Pope granted their wish, only on the condition that the painting be made in the form of a mural, so it could not be moved. Then we hiked up the dirt and coral rock road that took us up to the coastal plains and foothills of the island of Moorea, where the fields of grapefruit, papaya, and Pineapple grow. Then we paid a visit to the Juice Factory where they make juice and alcohol from the fruits from the local fruit farms, we got to taste their alcoholic products.















The 3rd day we went snorkelling on the reefs in front of Cooks Bay with David and Susan.








The 4 day being Sunday, Sabine, Susan, and me went to Maharepa Protestant Church to participate in the Sunday service, while Davie the pagan stayed by the post office surfing in the internet . Well we picked a good day and really got the full works, I suppose you could call it a holy show, as well as the Sunday service. There was a Wedding, A Baptism, and a teenager making her confirmation, Most of the women were wearing there pearls and jewellery, and colourful decorated hats, most of the men had guitar’s or ukuleles’ or bongo drums which they played when the hymns where sung.  











The service and Hymens were all in Tahitian, and went on for 2 hours, even if we didn’t understand what was being spoken, all I can say is that the singing was so harmonious it put a shiver up me spine, it touched my very soul and brought tears to my eyes, it was really and truly a very very, beautiful and moving experience,  

05.07.16 at 15.00 the German SV Dörtita Skippered by Heiner dropped anchor in Cooks bay about 100 meters away from us, we went over to greet him and were welcomed aboard for a Coffee, Heiner had 2 friends from Germany, Roland and Volker, whom he had collected in Tahiti, and would accompany him as far as Bora Bora, David and Susan, came aboard with ice cream for us all, as they had just returned from shopping at the Supermarket and we had a good old chinwag,

06.07.16 at 09.00 we went to Opunohu Bay after we lifted the anchor, and I mean literally lifted it by hand as we are having trouble with our anchor winch for the last 6 months, I know, I am always going to repairing it, but sure there’s something else always coming up, at least it gives me old arm and back muscle’s a bit of exercises, but don’t worry I will fix it soon.

 We anchored at the south end of Opunohu bay, the largest Bay of Moorea island, it’s surrounded by high mountains, with Mount tohi´e´a, being the highest point with 1207 meters, or 3960 feet, that same night we had fall winds flying down the mountains and shaking the shit out of us, they were really strong gusts I tell yea but there is good holding here. Captain Cook was here in 1777, and Mel Gibson was here in 1983 to film his version of ´´Mutiny on the Bounty´´, and if it was good enough for them then it will do the job for us as well, sure what more do yea want.

On the 09. 07. 16. We went with David and Susan to a place called the Stingray feeding Zone, which is a 1, 30 meters deep, by 60 meters wide sand bank that slopes down to a deeper depth of 10 or more meters at the edges. Sabine has renamed it Stingray City, where you can go swimming with the Stingrays, we bought a can of old Mackerel with us for the rays to eat, as we reached the place we saw from the dinghy out, that there were not only Stingrays there, but black tipped reef sharks as well, the Stingrays swimming in small circles, and the sharks in bigger circles  but every now and then, the sharks swam between the stingrays,  now, we have swum with sharks before so there ok but I still wouldn’t trust them, after all they are unpredictable, the Stingrays were just swimming gracefully by like balley dancers doing the old Swan lake job, But the very minute we got into the water we were surrounded by the slippery flat flukes, who forgot about their ballet danc, there gracefulness, and turned into pack of savage scavengers and attacked me, Christ almighty, the hungry fuckers were lashing me back, with their wavy things, or wings, or  what yea mecall ums, well they don’t have Finns, anyway, one of them even hopped up out of the water and started sucking at me neck, if he hopped a bit higher I could have been wearing him as a cap, the others were sucking at me empty hands for hand outs of food that I didn’t have sure, because Sabine had the old can of Mackerel, and I was being attacked from all sides, then i got a bite from one of the bastards, I swear I thought me finger was bitten off, fuck that for a crack, now the sharks will smell me blood, go into a feeding frenzy and eat me alive, game over. I stepped back to get away from 4 of them and stood on top of one that was behind me, then I felt his old tail whipping at me calf and hopped off him like a shot, away he went in a stuttery sort of way without sticken his stabber sting in me leg , I probably crushed his skull I was thinking, then a light went on and I thought about yer man the Australian fella that was stabbed to death by a Stingray, that he was swimming with, Steve what yea mecall em, anyway that was it for me, I was in a dodgy  situation .  Now, I always say attack is the best form of defence, so i got me rag out, and gave me temper free rain,  I held me left hand over me heart, so that if they did lash out it would only stab me hand, and used me right hand to clatter and kick the flat fuckers away from me, jaysus, I scattered the lot of them, and every time they came too near me after that, I punched them or put the boot in and gave them a fine few lumps, after that the auld Stingrays weren’t long getting the message and left me in peace. I checked me finger and was thankful to God that me finger was still there and that I wasn’t bleeding , I went and told Sabine but she was either deaf or didn’t mind taking a chance with the greedy slippery pack. After that I went over to where the sharks were, at least they didn’t swim up me back, the closest they came was about 1 meter, but that was only when there were in 5 or 6 packs, the just kept circling at a respectable distance, I kinda like the old reef sharks ye know, but I keep me beady eye on them all the same, they can move like greased lightning, and don’t forget there wild creatures and are unpredictable.

























11.07.16. We went on a hike to day, through the Opunohu Valley, where there are an impressive collection of ancient Polynesian archaeological sites, like platforms, dwelling’s, scared, cultivated, sacrificial sites, where they made human sacrifices to their gods. Then we carried on up to the view point on the Belvedere, where there’s a fantastic view of Mount Rotui 2952 meters / almost 900 feet, as well as the Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay, it was well worth the hike we took to get there.












12.07.16. Sabine and Susan went on a walkabout of Moorea, they wanted to go by local bus but in the end hitchhiked, and were delighted with all the friendly natives who went out of there way for them. Well now, We tried that a couple of time throughout the Polynesian islands and the lovely locals seldom stopped for us, but I suppose if I saw a fella with a face like mine, then I wouldn’t stop either.


















David needed me help to winch his dinghy up on deck so he could put on a pair of wheels on it, then I went back to Chev to get on with me own work to do list, I started with with the anti-syphon valve, then a break for a cuppa, after that I started on the scraping of barnacles and weed from old Chev´s sides.

I was nearly finished what I was doing, when a motor launch with a man whit 2 kids came by and asked me in German, if I had sailed the boat from Germany, I replied in German that my wife and me started our trip from Croatian, 2 years and 4 months ago, he was very interested and asked a load of questions, how long it took, how was the crossing of the Oceans, how did my wife cope, and so on. I answerd all his questions, and when I finished, I invited him to come on board for a beer at 17.30, ok said he, and he introduced himself and his kids, I thought they were on Moorea for a Holliday in the hotel, and were after hiring out the launch for couple of hours, and asked how much it cost to hire it out, `´that’s belongs to me its the tender for my sailing boat´´ and where’s your boat, now at the time there were only 3 sailing boats at anchor, Balvinie, an Australian, Enchantress, and Old Chev, and further out were 3 Super Yachts, and (you gussed it) that’s mine he said pointing to the nearest Super Yacht, very nice says I, so see yea later says he and off he went.

Sabine and Suzy returned at 15.30 and were collected by Dave from the beach, as David dropped off Sabine he said jokingly, aha yea `` we’re not good enough for you anymore now that your hobnobbing with the rich´´ I told Sabine about your man and that he was coming for a beer later, and sure enough he was there at 17.30 with his teenage son, and we had a good old chinwag,  I asked where he got the Yacht, oh says he, I bought that as a present for my 40th birthday, I asked him how much he had paid for it, ´´a lot of money´´ says he with a big smile,   

Last night the wind backed around from the NW, more North than west which made life very difficult for us as it is the only direction that we are not covered from in this Bay, so we were up most of the night doing anchor watch, around 11 o clock Balvinie started to drag anchor, but managed to get more chain in and stopped it dragging, we had measured wind speeds of over 45 knots, and even now it’s still blowing a gale, even though the forecast says 17 to 21 knots. There’s nothing that wears you down quicker than thinking and hoping that the weather is getting better, when it only gets worse, well as soon as she blows herself out then we will move on to the Society Islands starting with huahine  and ending with Bora Bora.

One step at a time, nice and steady and old Chev will get us to the end of the world and back, Har harr wait and see.

So Followers of Chev, take care and look after yourselves well, Good bye and God bless you all till the next time, Ahoy and Har harr



Tahiti


22.05.16 to 26.06.16

 

Ahoy Followers of Chev we are still in Tahiti and getting along fine, how time flies when you’re enjoying yourself,  well now, we have got our sails repaired and hope they last another 6 months at least, we also got 2 new head pieces made for our old autopilot, in fact you can get nearly everything made or repaired here, if one place doesn’t have  what you want, they will send you to another place that will, or  you go to poly industry and get it made, it’s a nice long walk to the other side of the  harbour but it’s worth it, we went there and showed Eric the boss, the broken part, and the boss man  told us there and then it would be ready in 3 days and would cost 400 US $, well, what you want isn’t always what you get so we bartered about the price of course, and in the end we paid him 235 US $, this will get us to New Zeeland we hope, and maybe we can buy  a cheap second hand autopilot there.



Papeete harbour

Papeete

Markethall

 We were told when we crossed the Atlantic, from A shop owner in Martinique that our autopilot, an St 3000 from Ray marine, ´´because it was so old, you could class it is a Museum piece, and we would be lucky if it got us to Margot Bay in St Lucia,´´  the cheek of him, when I told him it brought us across the Atlantic he did not believe me. Ok, we had problems with it and still do, but it’s still doing its job, and it still got us here to Tahiti.

 06.06 16. On Monday, the weather forecast for the day, and that week was for 4 to 5 beaufort  winds, 11 to 21 knots, that over the course of the next few days would come from  SE, NW, N,and E,  increasing to strong winds, then there were rumours running wild on the net spreading from boat to boat via short wave radieo  of gale force winds and a 4 meter swell, then there was a call went out from the Charter bases from Bora Bora  to Tahiti, that all Charter boats were ordered to return to the harbours, well that started a run of boats for the only 2 Marinas here, the Taina , and the Papeete Marina, I mean you can’t blame them because here in this anchor Bay we are wide open to the east and south east, and if a 4 meter swell driven by gale force winds dose happen, then the reef would not stop the 4 meter swell, and devastation and destruction is on the cards, Beside that we are anchored in 17 meters deep, with all our chain, 45 meters out, so Monday night until Tuesday morning we kept anchor watch, like everyone else , we were hoping and praying that it wouldn’t be so bad, that everything would be all right and the anchor would hold, which it did, thanks be to God.

 There were strong  winds with gusts up to gales force, with quite a lot of heavy swell, and with the dawning of the day we could see the huge waves breaking on the reef, with a roar as if a jet was taking off, God almighty, it was frightening but fascinating to watch.

 The SY Aris Mear, a 45 foot Norseman belonging to David and Gita, a Scotsman with a Danish wife that we had meet in Panama, there boat had dragged anchor that night, along with another couple of boats that were on moorings or anchored, and their motor wouldn’t start either, so David dropped his 2nd anchor with enough chain and rope that would have held a Battleship. On 07.06.16 David and Gita decieded to take their boat to the Papeete Marina, so Sabina, along with Susan went to helpe to crew the SY Aris Mear to Papeete Marina, and I stayed aboard Chaveldy,  well now ,to make a long story short, it took them over an hour of hard labour, along with our Davie, and Susan from the Enchantress,  and my Sabine to untangle the second anchor that David from the Aris Mear had dropped the night before, because it had a very heavy chain that was attached to a 40 meter rope, that they then had to pull it up in by hand, I think he must have hobbled it from a big Cruise Ship,  anyway in the end they got the Ares Mear safely docked in Papeete Marina.

Like most of the other boats that stayed at anchor, we had 3 nights of worries, with everyone hoping that the worst was over, and then on the 3rd day  the weather front moved on, with the grace of God, it turned out well in the end, besides the rocking and rolling from the swell the worst was over.



Waves splashing over the reef

20.6.16. If you think that it’s all sunshine in paradise, then let me tell yea now you’re wrong, since we left Panama there is nothing right about the weather forecast, O K , they tell us that it is an´´ El Nino year´´ as if that explains everything, but what I can’t  understand, is that with all their modern technology, that the weather forecast agencies have at their disposal, like satellite’s and computer programs, and still they never seem to get it right, maybe 2 out of 10 if there lucky I mean like it’s not a joke anymore, yea know what I mean, we watch the weather forecasts from the so called best agencies, and assess their prognoses to plan a passage, even on a short passage of 8 hours, and we end up in a Gale or storm that could cost us our boat or even our lives, because of these fuckers, now that’s not just coming from me, we hear it a lot lately from other sailors who have witnessed the same weather as us, and we have met a lot more that say that they thought the south seas was supposed to be a sailors paradise, not a horror trip, and that it’s pure luck that more boats are not damaged or lost, even a short 8 hour trip they can’t get right, so they blame El Nino the Christ child.

 For example, this morning’s forecast was for Beaufort 3. thats 7 to 10 knots, a weak breeze, well the morning started great with the wind blowing a 6 to 7, beaufort 22 to 33 knots, and reached gale force with enough wind that would have blown the balls off a brass monkey before the day was over, so come on are yea Metrologists or Mythologists, well I think you’re a bunch of shitethologists, you’ve all got brass necks, but you don’t have the balls to admit to your mistakes, and blame the greenhouse effect , or El Nino, or La Nina, in spite of that, we still have a great time in the South Seas

22.06.16. we celebrated Sabine`s birthday on Enchantress with an 8 course meal, due to more space for 7 people (Bruce and Kerry from SV Haven, Heiner from SV Dörtita, Susan and David from SV Enchantress and Sabine and I), a guitar and an ukulele. We had a great night stuffing our faces with soup, veggies, poppys and minced meat that I cooked, the first 2 courses, 3rd course was a desert,, a chocolate cake that Susan baked, the 4th was coffee, 5th was beer, 6th was wine, 7th was rum, 8th was coke.With the local band, me and Sabine, playing the usual favourites for the crowed. A great crack was had by all.  



Sabines new ukulele

24.06.16 David, Susan, Sabine and me self of course, took a bus to town and another one to  Matavai Bay, to Point Venus, now I know what you fertile minded bunch of sinners are thinking, but I am sorry to disappoint you, this has nothing to do with the Kama sutra, in fact this is the spot where Captain James Cook in 1769 on the 13 of April, tried to observe the transit of Venus across the solar disk and calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun, but it was impossible with the instruments of the time to accurately do this, so it was a failure so Cook named it Point Venus, we had a lovely day out and learned something new, so boys and girls I hope you learned something new too.













Somebody is cheating

We are planning to do the Society Islands next, so we go to Moorea on the 29.6.16. Then after that to Huahine, then Raiatea, then Tahaa, and then Bora Bora, after that we do some of the Cook Islands, then on to Nuie, Tonga, and on to New Zealand to sail out the Cyclone season, so I say again we don’t always have a connection to the internet, so please have patience with us, even here we have to travel to the shopping centre to get into the net, and we have been told from here out it gets worse.

So followers of Chev, look after yourselves well, and take care until the next time, good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Har harr         



Moorea

Carrefour shopping mall

Irish night on Temptress

Kanurace of the locals





Old wreck

Pufferfish

Shoal of convict fishes

Sailing fish

Tuamotus


29.04.16 to the 21.05.16

 

Ahoy followers of Chey. On the 29.04. at 09.00  with Enchantress we left Nuku Hiva for HakaHau Bay  in Ua Pou , only 27 nautical miles  away, with its unique, very sharp and pointy mountain peaks that look like arrow heads, when we arrived there at 14.00, there were 3 other boats anchored in the small  harbour but they all had their back anchor out, now my back anchor was in the locker, covered with ropes, jerry cans of diesel, spare parts, tool box and all the usual old rubbish that you have in the locker of a small boat, but I couldn’t bother me arse to shift all that stuff and decieded to go to Anaho Bay 20 minutes away, we told Dave and Susan of our plan, and left them in the harbour. Anaho Bay was deserted, we had it all to ourselves, it was lovely, and we had a fantastic view of the beach, the lushy green hills, and peak´s off in the distance, but we had a rolly old night with the heavy swells that rolled into the Bay, and crashed like roaring thunder on the beach, but we still enjoyed it.


Oa Pou

On the 30.04 we got Enchantress on the radio as they intended to stay another day in Ua Pou, and  told them we would see them in the Kauehi atoll and headed off on the over 500 nautical mile trip that would bring us to the Tuamotu Archipelago, it was known as the dangerous islands, and not so long ago sailing yachts gave the Tuamotus a wide berth because of the dangerous currents and reefs, it’s still a dangerous place, and many the world trip had an early end on these reefs, let’s hope ours doesn’t end up there.


Sundown on the way to the Toamotus

We had to motor sail the first 2 days because there was very little wind, but on the  3rd day, we had a beautiful day of sailing weather that you could only dream of, Sun, clear blue skies , wind speed 11 to16 knots, wave height 10 centimetre’s, average speed 5,4 knots, then on the morning of the 4th day at 03.30 the wind increased to 27 knots and that put an end to our dream sailing,  Aah but it was great to have experienced it though, anyway, we reached Kauehi our first Lagoon on the 04.05 16. after 4 days, we had planned to arrive at the entrance to the reef by slack water at 14.30  but you can’t plan everything yea know what I mean like, so we were already there at 11.30,  now according to the old guide book,   ´´you should wait for slack water before entering the pass through the reef entrance, to avoid the strong currents that make the pass difficult enough under normal conditions´´,   well we  were a bit early I suppose,     ´´  when there is strong S E winds or heavy swells´´     which we had of course,     ´´ the current coming out of the pass can reach 6 or more knots ´´,    now Chevs top speed with the throttle fully open would be 5 knots, so that meant we would be going backwards at 1 knot,     ´´ be careful in the lagoon, use eyeball navigation,´´    well we have no radar so we are used to using our eyes to be sure,    ´´ have the sun at your back or straight above you´´,     well now we didn’t have that either, as a matter of fact there was no sign of the sun at all, at all , but we did have a huge black cloud that looked like it was going to touch the mast,  and we wouldn’t have been surprised to see a bolt of lightning hop out of cloud and run down the mast and fry us to a frazell,  we had the rising tide rushing through the gap into the lagoon, and to top it off, we had a  strong S E wind that was blowing across the lagoon and pushing up loads of little waves just inside the pass, not the best weather for our first atoll entrance. Anyway to make a long story short, we decided to run in with the tide and be prepared if it got bad to roll out the genoa and use the strong wind to blow us in, well that was the plan,  so, off we went, we approached the pass with 4 knots, as we were about 10 meters from the mouth of  the pass the speed shot up to 7 knots, and the waters were blubbering and bubbling all around us, yeehaw that’s the stuff, then suddenly  our speed dropped suddenly to 2 knots, it was hard to steer and I was losing control over old Chev , and the waves were breaking over our bow, jaysus mercy, i had visions of old Chev going up on the reefs,   ´´ and immediately implemented the emergency plan, we  grabbed each other and started to scream our lungs out, in plain English, we were shitting ourselves,´´  naw I am only joking yea sure, but it was scary, but  as quick as a flash we rolled out the genoa and our speed increased to 5 knots again and we headed in the direction of the village which was 1 hour away, we finally made it to the anchor bay after a few scary moments with reefs, no problem at all sure, there were only 2 other boats there, and there we were expecting the place to be full with the US navy´s  7th fleet , anyway that was our first atoll entrance, now we only have to get out safely again, but with God’s help that should be no problem at all  a tall.           


Kauehi Atoll approach
   
Bubbling waters                                        

On the 05.05.16 we had radio contact with Enchantress who were outside the lagoon waiting for slack water, the weather conditions were a bit better, but the old SE wind was still blowing, and they experienced a drop in there speed even after waiting for slack water, when they were anchored, we called over and of course Davie dug out a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate our successful navigation of our first atoll, after that Sabine and myself headed for the village to look around and see if we could get some bread in the shop, we had to navigate our way over the reef infested water in our dinghy to reach the beach, and pulled the dinghy up, we spent over one and a half hours walking around this village that had 2 shops that were closed of course, a lovely small church that’s being repaired, with some beautiful decoration like light shades hanging from the ceiling, all made out of seashells and coral, I hope you will like the photos we made, after that we headed back to Enchantress to collect the 100 Ltr water that Davie had made with his water maker for us and filled up Chevs  water thank.



0n the 06.05 we all went ashore for a walk, and what we thought was the post office the day before was in fact the health clinic, but the staff gave us directions to the post office,  first we went walkabout and found the shop open, I wanted to have a junk food dinner, ´´I am eating so much fish I am starting to look and smell like one´´, aha I caught yea there, sure that’s another joke, so we got 10 frozen beef burgers, and 2 kilos of frozen French fries, bread, and other things, and invited David and Susan for a junk food meal that evening, which they gladly agreed to, Davie bought a round of ice lolly’s for us and we carried on with the walkabout, we were approached by one of the locals who asked us if we were interested in buying some pearls, we said yes but we would meet him by the church when we finished the walkabout, O K said he, after a while David’s foot was hurting and said he would wait for us at the post office, well he  had had a sore toe a week ago, but of course it was only an excuse to get into the internet, so Sabine, Susan, and me had a lovely walk all around the village, after 1 ½  hours we found David sitting on  the steps of the Church, complaining  that he was waiting for 2 hours for us, he had found the post office, but there was no internet connection and the pearl seller didn’t show up either, Sabine said she would like to try the post again, and we walked to the post, the internet signal  was weak, but you could use it for the smartphone, after downloading our Emails we headed back to the boats, at 17.30 Susan and David arrived in time for the fast food meal, well Sabine Susan and me wolfed ours down, and we had to remind Davie that it was a fast food meal and would he mind hurrying up out of that, after that we had a good old chinwag about David’s and Susan’s round the world trip in 2009-2011 that they had to break off because of pirate’s, Susan has crossed the Atlantic 5 times and David 4 times, it’s always great to hear their first-hand accounts of how it was with the round the world rally.







On the 08.05 we were snorkelling, hope you like the photos of the coral and the fish, we were 7 days in Kauehi and if we saw the sun 2 days we were lucky but it was still a place that will stay in our memories.


View from the top of the mast






Wed 11. 05 16 we had decided with Entchantress to sail to our next atoll of Fakarava 41 nautical miles away, when we arrived at the pass the wind was blowing a gale, David went ahead of us but turned back as the wind and current were too strong and said he would wait until the winds were calmer, it  was 15.00 and we had a good bit to go after entering the pass, so if  we waited too long it would be dark, it is dark here at 18.00, so we had a wack off it, the good thing about Fakarava is that it has the widest entrance to an atoll in the Tuamotus, but still it was very rough and there was one stage where I thought we were getting nowhere, Chev really took a battering from the 35 knot winds or more, but we made it inside to the  anchor place,  but I tell yea, there was no way we would stay here as there was no protection from the South Easterly wind that was blowing, so out we went again, David and Susan were waiting for the wind to soften, but I had enough, we told them we would head for Tahiti, Davie said it would be better to go to Rangiroa, in the end we decided to meet up again in Rangiroa.  Davie went west, and we headed North West with the winds howling and the seas getting steeper its easier with the wind at your back I think.

As the night wore on, so did me nerves, I mean to sail around in the Tuamotu Archipelago is bad enough during a dirty day, but in the black of night with 30 knot winds is madness, it’s like being  driven by a blind man  along a long and narrow cliff without lights in total darkness, you have no control over it, and you can only hope that the fucker doesn’t drive you over the edge,  as a matter of fact only last week, an Amel 46 went up on a reef by Aratua, an atoll not far from heater, the crew of 3 were rescued by chopper, but the boat was lost.

I spent most of that night and the night after that, praying to God just to get us through the darkness without us hitting a reef, well with all the praying I do since we started our trip,´´ I think it won’t be long now till theirs a holy halo shining around me baldy old head´´

We arrived outside the Rangiroa atoll on the 13.05 at 06.30. we had 2 days of shit weather, with squall after squall that brought torrential rain that made it hard to see 5 meters in front of Chev, and as we started our final run through the very narrow pass, of course another squall appeared and gave us a hard time until we finely reached the anchor bay, David had had a bad experience the evening before, in the pass he nearly lost control over his boat because of the winds and currents, and had to abandoned his attempt to get across the pass to the atoll, and decided to sail to Tahiti, he had sent a sat mail the evening before but we didn’t get it until we were anchored in the Rangiroa atoll, we were worried after we wrote a couple of text messages and got no reply, they are probably still at sea. Another friend of ours was also caught in the shit weather on his way to Tahiti, we all had looked up the weather reports before we left for our destination’s, it was supposed to be 12 to14 knot winds, not 25 to 35 knots, but shit happens, sure you can only make the best of it and praying helps as well.

14.05 We awoke after a solid sleep at 05:45, we went to bed at 18.00 the night before and I only woke once to water the plants, were glad to have made it into the 2nd largest atoll in the world, but it has a very narrow entrance, I mean a few sticks of dynamite would widen it no problem like.

We went ashore on a walkabout for a few hours, talked to the natives, did some shopping, and got back to Chev just in time to see a canoe race with the different supporters factions following their chosen paddlers in overcrowded motor boats, dinghy’s, and paddleboard’s, there was one boat with a band on  board singing their guts out, jaysus it was like a football match what with all the roaring and shouting, and there we were in the very heart of the goings on, aha it was great fun, lovely stuff.





On the 15.05 we were hanging up the washing, when this guy that was swimming by asked me where the dinghy dock was and if the shops were near, I invited him aboard for a cuppa and some bread and butter, well it was bread and margarine, butter is too expensive, anyway his name is John he lives in Seattle in the US of A, I told him were the dinghy dock and  the shops were, and of course places of interest,  had a good old chat about the usual stuff, where we came from, how long are we underway, where have we been, where we go next, how was it here and there, how much did it cost, what was the best place, where was the worst place, quite interesting really, but that’s what we and most people ask as well. The next day we collected John from his boat QUEST and we showed him around the village, then we booked the free visit to the pearl farm, we were collected from the village and driven to the farm which is quite a long way from the village 13.30 that afternoon. The pearl farm tour was very informative but the price was a small bit too much. We invited John over for dinner that night, and we had an enjoyable chinwag. 

On the 17. 05. We were playing some Irish songs and ballads, Sabine playing the flute and me the old guitar, it was just after sundown, and 20 minutes later a dinghy came alongside us asking us would we mind if they could stay and listen, if you want you can come board, I replied, which they gladly did, Brenda is a Canadian, Karen from London, and Oliver from Canada, well they had a nice time and Oliver invited us over to his catamaran for dinner the next night. We went over to Oliver for dinner and had a feast you would only get in a restaurant, he also gave us the island travel guide Maupiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine, Tuamotu, he told us where the best places are, and lots of other tips, he has been sailing the French Polynesian for 4 years now and know them like the back of his hand, he will head back to Canada as soon as his new autopilot arrives.     

On wed 18.05. We went over to the pass entrance, we wanted to do a drift snorkel but the current was too strong so went to the reef island, there’s buoys where you can tie up on and there was not much of a current there, there was only 1 other dinghy there, besides that we had the whole place to ourselves, we were putting on our snorkelling gear when along swam a 2 m shark right next to us, I told Sabine to stick close to me at all times so we could at least see each other being savaged and ate alive by the sharks Harr Harrr shiver me timbers Aahrrr.


Shark





Morane Eel

My God almighty, when we entered the water we were surrounded by so much beauty, the wonderful coral in so many colours, the shoals of loads of different colourful fish, and swimming among them were the black tipped sharks, quite close to us but kept their distance that made watching them easier, we even saw a big Moorea eel. We never saw anything like it, it was fan fuckin tastic, the pictures we made would have been better if the sun was shining, and sure what harm at least we still have all our limbs after swimming with the Sharks Harr Harrrr, we had spent 7 days here, it rained most of the time and we had 3 sunny days but still had a great time.

On the 19.05 at 14.00. we upped anchor and left the 2nd largest atoll, and the dangerous Tuamotus  behind us, and headed for Tahiti, the capitol of the French Polynesian islands 208 nautical miles away. We arrived safely in Tahiti on Saturday 21st at 06.00 after a rough and wet sail, and finely reached the Taina anchor Bay at 07.30, our friends David and Susan from SY Enchantress, and Keven and Susie from the  SY Temptress of Down welcomed us to Tahiti, and it’s good to see you made it safe as we passed close to them, 15 minutes later we had the hook dug in17 meters depth, then David collected us and brought us over to his boat where Susan was already cooking breakfast for us, he gave us the rundown on where dinghy dock, the shops, ATM´s, laundry, and after that we returned to Chev  with full bellies, and an invitation for dinner at Davies for the evening. We went ashore after hanging out everything to dry, and our first stop was Carefour a supermarket like Martkauf or liddel, that have everything you can think of, there was no shortage of carrots, tomatoes, eggs’, and meat. Then we returned to chev and slept for a while, after that it was over to David and Susan to celebrate Susan’s Birthday that we had missed along with Kevin and Susie from SY Temptress of Down, of course we had the old bubbly (champagne) to toast Susan’s Birthday that we had missed, we had a lovely dinner of stroganoff, and good chat, in a jovial and good humoured  fashion that is typical when we get together, now isn’t  that a great way to start the evening after coming in from the sea, the worries and hardships are soon forgotten with friends who care and look out for each other.

We have been here in Tahiti a week now and we know this beautiful city like the back of our hand, as a matter of fact you get a feeling that you’re in the Black Forrest, or even Austria, with all the green  mountains and trees.  The Polynesians are a very friendly and helpful People, you can really relax here, there mad about anything to do with the sea, their favourite pastime is paddling their single, double, treble, or six man canoes, there’s always loads of them paddling up and down the harbour men and women, and on the weekend there’s whole families in anything that floats on the water.

So Followers of Chev, God bless you all. take care, stay healthy, and mind yourselves well until the next time, Har harr  


Hiva Oa - Nuku Hiva


06.04.16 to the 28.04.16

Ahoy and welcome followers of Chev, on the 6th we went to walked the 3 kilometres into the village of Hive Oa, and were told to thumb a lift,  that the lovely local people always stop and take you with them, sure no problem at all boy the first car will stop for yea, well 20 cars passed before about half way we got a lift from one of the lovely  locals right to the first shop, the village is small but its stretched out, it has 2 small mini markets and 2 big supermarkets, a post office where there’s an ATM,( money machine,) a small bank that has another ATM, a hardware store a boutique, a   Paul Gaugan   museum,  I heard he was a French painter that died here, and is buried along with some famous French singer in the graveyard at the top of the hill with a beautiful view of the bay, anyway, we finished our shopping and started to walked back to the harbour where Chev was anchored, with the midday sun beating down merciless  on us, ivHivehH

About 30 cars passed but not one stopped, there must have be a smell off us I said, or we only met the rotten locals.

When we got back aboard old Chev, the first thing we done was to strip off and jump overboard into the lovely 30° degrees water to cool down, after about 30 minutes Sabine got out and I stayed in the water armed with a scraper and started to scrape the slimy green weed and barnacle’s that were all over the sides above Chevs water line, I mean like what way would you look if you were in the Ocean for 40 days like, well I for one wouldn’t like to see yea that’s for sure, never mind to scrape the slimy weed and barnacle’s off your baggy body, anyway I finished and old Chev looked some way presentable in the end.

The next day I went over to the SY Toothless, and I asked Chris if his boat was as dirty looking as chev was, yea he said, it took him 2 days to scrape and clean just the sides from his dinghy, why from the dinghy I asked, well he said that there are bull sharks in the water and he wouldn’t take a chance with them devils he said, he seen what bull sharks can do in Australia, and they love water that is not clear and hard to see in, are u bull shitting me I asked, no he said, you can read about them on  GoogIe, I told  him that I did one side yesterday and that I just finished the other side 10 minutes ago, from the water out. When I got back to Chev Sabine looked up about bull sharks in the internet, they are responsible for the most attacks on humans as any other shark, and are more dangerous than tiger sharks or the great white sharks, they measure between 1 meter 50 to 2 meters and weigh from 170 kilos to over 200 kilos, after I read that I told Sabine that I will wait until we reach clear water before I scrape the barnacles from Chevs keel, at least you can see the bastards coming in clear water.

There are huge manta rays swimming around the harbour, every day you can see them as they pass right alongside your boat, there as big as our dinghy 2, 70 meters and I got a photo to prove it, heard that there are hammerhead sharks here as well.




Big Manta Ray

On the 09.04.16 we returned from the village without getting a lift in or out, from the lovely locals, the bunch of stingy fuckers. As we were leaving the dingy dock I saw a boat called the Temptress of Down, now if that’s not an Irish boat I said then I am Japanese, over we went and we were invited aboard by Kevin and Susan for a cuppa and a chinwag, it turned out that they had left Panama 28 days ago and arrived just as it was getting dark in Hive Oa the night before, 27 days it took them, they have a sun odyssey 47, and they had met  our friends David and Susan in Panama. In the afternoon Enchantress entered the harbour of Hive Oa 28 days after leaving Panama, we thought they would be exhausted and said we would call over the next day but David and Susan insisted that we have a celebration drink of sparkling wine, we ended up going through 2 bottles of the stuff. David was after catching a tuna that morning and invited us to come over for dinner as there was too much tuna meet there, I told him about Kevin and Susan and straight away he got on the radio and invited them over for the celebrations dinner. It was a night to remember, and we drank a rusty nail and other drinks as congratulation’s on the nonstop 4200 nautical miles that we all had completed, the grub was just lovely, and the crack was good, and we left Davies and Susie’s boat at 11.30 pm after a lovely reunion.


Enchantress arriving in Hiva Oa


Susan, Sabine and Susan

Sean, Kevin and David

And on the 10th David Susan Sabine and me, had a simple spaghetti dinner on our Chevaldy.
On the 12th we were invited over to the Temptress of Down by Kevin and Susan, and Susan made an Indian rice curry with other stuff, and potato’s with spinach, lovely grub, in the course of the evening David told us that he had mentioned Chevaldy in his blog, that we had arrived after 40 days in Hiva Oa, and that he got reply e mail to tell the Chevaldy crew congratulations on their achievement, and no mention of poor Davies achievement, that got a good laugh, of course I brought my guitar along and we had a great old laugh, what with storey telling and singing even Davie was singing. We left the Temptress of Down at 1 o’clock in the morning, Aah sure you can’t beat good company I tell yea. The next evening  13th we were invited along with Kevin and Susan over to an American boat the Konami, ´´it means small wave, and Tsunami means big shit´s going to happen, by John and Diane, a lovely couple, we’ll all I can say is, it’s the best way to taste all the different dishes and it never gets boring, making new friends, and learning what other people´s value ´s, expectation’s, and aims in life are, in a relaxed and uncomplicated surrounding such as a boat, we said good bye to Diane and John as we were going to another little island not far away the next day, we didn’t say farewell to Kevin and Susan as they would be joining us along with David and Susan the day after.

On the 14th David Susan on the Enchantress, and Sabine and me on Chev upped anchor and sailed over  to the Island of Tahuata only a short sail away, we arrived in the Hana Mathu  bay and dropped anchor in a beautiful bay with a white sandy beach, palm trees ,and Cristal clear water we went swimming and after that I started to scrape the barnacle’s off old Chevs  Kiel, surrounded by all kinds of beautiful colourful fish big and small, but I was always looking around to keep an eye out for bull sharks, and Sabine was up on deck keeping a lookout as well, we finished the Kiel the next day,0n the 16.04.16 I went up the mast to put the spinnaker hallowed or rope around the roller and then  down through the mast, when I got up to the top I couldn’t find no sign of the roller or even a bolt, there was just an empty space where it used to be, the whole thing was ripped out by the force of a gust of wind, after that I went under the water to stab and scrape the barnacles that were up the pipe of the water intake of the sail drive for the engine , as well as in the sink pipes, the bastards get in every hole I tell yea and block up everything, so make sure you scrape out your holes or you will end up with them blocked up.    








The barnecals have to be scraped off

Sean is getting ready for work

At 14.00 we went ashore to the lovely beach to make a BBQ, the landing was a bit tricky, what with the big waves breaking there, but we managed it without a mishap, so David and Susan from Enchantress, Keven and Susan from the Temptress of Down, Sabine and me self, were welcomed by a tall skinny fella who said his name was Steven, now, he gave us a rundown on what he does there on his bit of land, like hunting, fishing, and farming, everything is natural, he lives in harmony with the Earth, Sea, and creatures, no roads will he allow on his land, oh no ill have none of this modernisation, not with me, just pure Nature says he, then he cracked open a coconut with 5 or 6, or was it 7 blows of a dirty rusty  machete,  probably infected with tetanus or rabies, and dished it out to us all, telling us how there was no biocides or poisons in it, he plucked a few leaves from another tree, and told us that if we rubbed it into our skin it would ward off the mosquitos that were rampant here, I rubbed it in and was still eaten alive and on top of that I got a fuckin rash, then he ripped off a few black knobby lumpy yellow looking things and said this is good for the digestive system, you will never again have a stomach problem, now let me tell yea I never had a stomach problem in me life, yea know what I mean like,  well not until I ate that stuff, after that I was hours in  the shithouse, I thought me arse would never close again and me insides would fall out, and in the end I would be wearing nappies for the rest of me life, so much for natural jaysus stuff without additives, and to top it off, now this takes the biscuit like, in the background you could hear the noise of a generator that was running, and then his mobile was ringing as well, he probably had a sat TV, microwave,  washing machine and what not, so much for nature pure, aah come on like, but we still had a grand afternoon grilling and Steven turned out to be good company with  all the stories and tall tales he told us, of course he charmed all the girls by giving them a flower to put behind there ear, the right if they have a man, and the left if their hearts are free and single.



BBQ

17.04.16 we upped anchor at 14.00  and headed for Nuku Hiva , that’s another Island that lies 85 nautical miles away, an overnight run, and even with light winds  we had to slow down to get in just as the sun was after rising .Towering over the Pacific Ocean, the huge green peaks of Nuku Hiva are the first thing you see when arriving from sea, there beautiful.



On the 18th We anchored in TaioHae bay and where greeted by Heiner from the SY Dörtita, whom we had met in Panama. Heiner told us where the shops, and ATM were, he went ashore and returned with bread, and over breakfast Heiner told us about his stop at the Galapagos, it was nice but for the 4 days he was charged 900 $ US just to anchor there. After the breakfast we went ashore in search of paradise and found it in the supermarket fridge, a  2 litre bottle of  ice cold Coca cola, Aha that’s what you call Civilisation  . The village of TaioHae is very nice, the people very friendly, the shops and all other businesses’ are open from 0700 and close at 1130 until1430 for a siesta, on Sunday all shops are closed . With a surface of 330 square kilometres Nuku Hiva is the largest island of the archipelago, and second biggest in the French Polynesia, there’s so much to see and do, so we hired a 4 wheel drive pickup in the harbour, together with Keven and Susan and spent the day driving around the main sights of the island.  It was spectacular going through the rainforest’s with their lush green canopy of bush and trees, not to mention the spectacular views from the peaks. In HatiHeu there’s a statue of our Lady, 300 meters high on top of one of the basaltic peaks, this is where they made human sacrifices by throwing people off a platform in the good old bad old days 








































On Sunday 24th we along with SY Enchantress, SY Temptress of Down, SY Haven, and SY Usquabae, which means whisky in Scott Gaelic, all headed to Daniel’s bay for a beach BBQ , it’s a beautiful spectacular inclosed bay surrounded by mountains, and it’s so peaceful, tranquil and serene, well it was until we got there, ho ho Boy we had a great afternoon of grilling and jaw wagging, and in the evening we had singing, and you won’t believe this now I tell yea, we were even Dancing to the hokey pokey, a jaysus it was great crack sure, of course we finished up at a respectable hour at 1930 and headed back to the boats and let the serenity settle over the bay once more.









Monday 25th, by a check on one of the fuel filters I discovered slime or diesel bacteria, I had to change the fuel filters and bleed the system before she was up and running again, thanks be to Christ I found it here at anchor, you can imagine what would have happened if we were entering an atoll and the motor stopped, clogged up with slime, you can end up on a reef very quick, end of storey, end of trip. On  Wednesday the 27th we returned to Village of TaioHae, we plan to stay here and stock up with supplies until Friday or Saturday, then we go to Ua Pou the next island, its only 26 nautical miles away while we  wait for a weather window that we expect on Monday, then we head to our first Atoll in Kaueh, that’s over 500 nautical miles away, then we will work our way through the other Atoll’s until  we reach Tahiti, well that’s the plan anyway, now, don’t forget we won’t have internet until we reach Tahiti,      

So Followers of Chev, take care now and mind yourselves well until the next time good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Har harrr        


25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish .


Getting the pole ready

Setting sail

Happy Fisherman

The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears.
I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.


Sean in his raingear

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.


Spinnackersailing

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  


Coastguard plane

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus.


Crossing the Equator

Now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week.

On the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 21.03.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a boat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.


Pic of Chev taken by Toothless

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help.


Autopilot with the wooden construction

5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .


Approaching Hiva Oa





Anchorbay

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       



Sean baking bread

Sqids an board in the morning

It just ripped

Rain and

Sun

Sabine hooked up

Ups and downs

Still laughing in the rain

Sunset in the Pacific

Beautiful sailing

A lot of work has to be done

Never ending to do list

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

 Passage to Hiva Oa

 25.02.to the  05.04.16

Ahoy followers of Chev, in the evening of the 25th  we went to the Pizza place  in La Playita in Panama for the last time, that’s where all the blue water sailors meet on Thursday evening for Pizza and beer at the cheapest price in Panama, and of course to catch up with the latest news and info, share jokes and stories and even tell lies if u want , It was a lovely evening and like always great fun, the time came to say good bye, as we would be heading west to the Marquises the next morning to our new and old friends, some we would see again that were going west, and the  others who we may never see again,  after lots of best wishes, God speed, Take care, and fair winds, some tearful, some funny, but all coming from the hearts of each fellow Blue Water Sailor that wished us these things.

We deci ded to leave the Galapagos out, it cost 800 $ to anchor there, plus u need an agent to clear customs, that cost between 100 and 200 $, then it can cost another 1000 to 2000 $ depending on what tours you want to make plus food and drink, all in all it would have cost too much for our little budget, I will let you know the cost when our Australian friends catch up with us as they went to the Galapagos.

 

 On the 26th we pulled the dinghy up on the back of the solar panel  frame and tied her up well, as we won’t be needing it till we reach the Polynesian islands har har, now, according to the weather report we would have strong north easterly winds for 3 to 4 days, yeha great stuff we were thinking, that should get us well clear of the Gulf of Panama, at 07.30 we had the old hook up and were heading out of Panama under motor, 4 hours later we had enough wind to set our sails, the next day we caught a big snap jack fish, a jaysus they taste lovely and are our favourite fish . The same night the wind got stronger, so we reefed the sails and were flying along, at 02.00 in the morning there was a massive bang as a  big wave came crashing down on Chev  from behind, me old heart nearly stopped with the fright I tell yea, it soaked me to the skin and flooded the cockpit, as the water ran off Chev, and out of me ears, I was thinking there’s something missing, and sure enough, the dinghy was gone ,ripped down from steel frame by the wave and was hanging by one rope upside down in the water, I managed to get another rope around her and got her next to Chev  where I pulled her up bit by bit and let the water run out,  in the meantime Sabine was up on deck and between us we managed to get the dinghy back up on the frame were we tied her up so she wouldn’t escape again, the whole operation lasted 1 hour, and in the end  I could scratch me toes without bending down, because of the weight of the dinghy when it was full with water, Christ there’s always something happening like yea know, never a dull moment.

The next morning the wind dropped to a gentle breeze, so we put up the spinnaker, aah jaysus it was great, flying along in such a light breeze, there we were content and at peace with God and the world, this lovely feeling lasted till the afternoon, ( you got it in one) There was a loud bang, well it was more like a twang, as if a guitar string snapped, yea know what I mean like, and down flew the spinnaker and landed in the water, that was the end of our peace and quiet for a while, we fished the Spinnaker out, stuffed it in the bag and stowed it away, the Top Nate halyard had ripped and fell down inside the feckin mast, so it was back to the poled out genoa and main sail.

On the 01.03 we were circled by a plane from the U S Coastguard, here we go again, It brought back memories of the time not so long ago when a Columbian coastguard plane circled us and the same night we were boarded by the Panamanian navy, fuck that for a crack, I mean we were at this stage 300 Nautical miles from the borders of Ecuador and Peru, so I told Sabine to radio the Plane and ask them what they wanted, ´´we are only looking to see that all is ok´´ Every things fine here, we are heading for the Marquises said Sabine, then they wished us safe journey and flew away in a north easterly direction, the same evening just before dusk, we sighted a Coastguard Cutter just 4 nautical miles from our position, but as the night went on the turned off in another direction, and that was that.  

On the 02.03.16 we crossed the Equator around 11 o’clock and celebrated this with a small rum and coke and of course we gave a glass full of rum as a tribute to Neptune and Rasmus, now I tell yea there was more wind from me farts after a feed of spuds bacon and cabbage, than we had on the Equator, after that we had nothing but rain for a whole week, and it was cold as well, then we were both sick, I had a very high fever for 5 days, but Sabine wasn’t too bad,  we had to wear long-sleeved jumpers and jackets plus our rain gear, oil skins and rubber boots for a whole week, on the 6th of the 3rd I was awakened by the banging and clanging, my god it sounded like an alarm bell in a fire station, so I asked Sabine what it is, ´´it’s coming from the mast she says´´ , now  my Sabine is not allowed outside the cockpit at night, ´´and guess what time it was´´ you got it in 1 the good old midnight matinee was about to start, out I went with the lamp and me a sick man with fever, and there was the trouble, the deck floodlight up the mast, was hanging by the wires out of the holder and swinging like a drunk and making a racket that would disturb the devil himself, bang bash kling klang, it wasn’t switched on, but if the glass breaks then it might cause a  short-circuit, melt the plastic coating and set fire to the other cable inside the mast, so Sabine secured me with the dirk halliard  and up the mast I went armed with a screwdriver, insulating tape, and a pinchers, to make a long story short, the plastic rim that holds the halogen lamp in, was after breaking off, so I removed it, taped the wire ends up and stuffed the wires back in the holder, back down, into the cockpit and said thanks to God that all went well.  2 days later I went to deposit some water in the head ( toilet), when I finished me business I caught the pump handle to pump out the toilet, now, I know that I am blessed with strength, but with the first pump the whole toilet bowel, seat, pipes, and pump and all, were left hanging in me hand in mid-air, out it flew as if the 4 bolts that were holding it were gone, what the fuck is this, have we termites or wood worm or what, well the answer was simple some crew member was using the toilet wrong, when you use the toilet in a boat that is rolling, then you must jam yourself in with your arms and legs, I mean you can’t just let your arse hang in the bowl with the whole weight of your body swinging about from all the rolling, sure no screws or bolts would hold up to that, I dug out 4 bolts and bored 4 new holes, and it was as good as new, after that I called the crew together and explained the wright way to use the head, like I said there’s always something happening.    

  We had a weather report from our very good friends David and Susan every 2nd day and they told us to head south for the 5th latitude, and then 7th and the 8th till eventually we hit the trade winds on the 9th latitude, now there’s the coconut milk run and the barefoot route from Panama to the Marquises, so we decided to call this route the oilskins and raincoat route.

On the 12.03.16 the autopilot went mad, it wouldn’t hold the course, and we were going all over the place, the drive belt kept slipping, so we had to take off the steering wheel, no big deal just loosen the nut and out comes the wheel, bullshit not with our wheel, I had to use frost shock spray, 3 in one oil, and a big hammer and beat the feckin shit out of it before I got it off, anyway, on with the new belt, on with the wheel and bob´s your uncle and finished, that should hold for at least 6 months, just waiting for the next shit to happen, no problem. Exactly 6 days later, in the middle of the night, at 23.59 there was a cracking crunching sound, it was the plastic driveshaft falling in pieces to the deck and that was the end of our autopilot, Sabine steered while I went and dug out the spare autopilot number 2, off with the old on with the new and Mr Zulu number 2 was doing his duty, how easy that was, Bob´s your Uncle and Mary ´s your Aunt,  and it’s as simple as that sure, the next shit is only around the bend, wait for it.

On the 23.06.16, exactly 2 years ago we started our world trip in Croatia, it doesn’t seem so long ago, anyway, on this night old Chev was laid flat by a squall that came out of nowhere, and as she came upright again the wind gust that hit her from the other side had so much force that it bent the shackle on the boom brake, the roll reef halliard and the genoa halliard were wrenched out of my hands, and the genoa got tangled around the fore stag, but by the grace of God it untangled itself so we could reef the sails and the scare was over.

On the 24.03 at 03.30 Sabine called me up on deck as the pin that holds in the cone for the drive belt on the autopilot fell out, she steered by hand until I managed to fix up a splint that would hold in the cone part for the belt, of course it was hard to steer with the seas running high as they were, but 30 minutes later we had it connected back up and Mr Zulu 2  was ok again, no problem, and if Mary had a pair of balls she would be your Uncle, on standby for the next shit to happen. 

On the 30.03.16 we had to assist the autopilot more and more, he had problems with the high and confused seas, this takes a lot of concentration, and makes you tired as well, so we did shorter watches. In the evening our AIS, ´´automatic identification system´´ gave the alarm that a bat or ship signal was after been picked up, it turned out to be an Australian sailing yacht called Toothless, a 45 foot sun odyssey,  we made radio contact with them and it turned out that they were on the same course and heading for Hiva Oa, the same destination as us, they passed close to us just before it got dark, and we took some photos of them, as they had 7 knots in comparison to our 4 and a half, they would reach Hive Oa a day or 2 before us, but the amazing thing to us was, that another boat was on the same course as us in the biggest Ocean in the world, since they left the Galapagos.

I noticed that there were 2 spacers missing from the autopilot the next day and I came up with an idea that would help the autopilot, with some bits of wood I put pressure on the right part of the motor and it managed to do its job without our help, 5days later we reached Hive Oa without any further mishaps thanks be to God at the dawning of the day, after 40 days at sea and over 4,200 nautical miles that’s about 7778 kilometres give or take a few I suppose, but it was great to reach our destination,  Hive Oa in the French Polynesian, we walked and stumbled like 2 drunks after setting foot on land after so long at sea and we were laughing like 2 kids as we walked a full kilometre before we finally found our land legs again, I am very proud of my  wife Sabine, the way she held up to and mastered the trials and tribulations of such a long nonstop voyage, its takes a very strong and special person to manage that, and putting up with a Looney like me sure and still come out smiling, like Joanie Tod said´´ Sabine you will be as mad as Sean  before yea get to the Marquises ´´ Aah sorry to disappoint yea now Joanie girl, but Sabine is just the same as ever but I am gone mental LOL , and yea YEA WE MADE IT thanks be to GOD and it’s a great feeling, it’s not over yet but the hardest part is behind us .

 We will cruse this south sea Paradise and let yea all know how it goes, So Followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, and God bless every one of you that took the time to read this blog, wrote comments and wished us well, I did us good to receive your messages and heart lifting comments, but we could not always reply, yea are a great bunch of Followers of Chev we thank you for your support, so take care of yourselves now, good bye and God bless you all, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr       

       

 

      

 

       

06.02 till 24.02.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev ,  after leaving the Miraflores locks behind us in the dark, we headed for La Playita  de Amador, at the end of the Amador causeway, it´s a good but rolly anchor bay in front of the Marina, about 20 minutes later we passed under the Bridge of the Americas. This bridge joins North America with South America through Central America, 5 minutes later we were passing the entrance to Balboa Yacht Club, Where the adviser would be collected by a launch from the Canal authorities, and Victor said good bye to us, as the launch came alongside, Victor jumped and slipped, he had one leg on the launch, with his arse and one leg hanging in the water nearly, but was saved by the strong hand of the deckhand on the launch, I think Victor has a very long way to go to become a competent adviser, I can only wish him good luck.,  because it was dark, this made it hard to see, but with Lynne as our pilot, we found it difficult to find the anchor bay, so Lynne phoned Eric and asked if he would turn on the deck lights on Amarula to guide us, 1 minute later we saw their cat lit up like the Eiffel Tower, 10 minutes later we dropped the hook, 2 minutes after that Eric collected us all and brought us over to Amarula, for a lovely feed of Meatballs and Chicken liver, all made by the man himself, with baguette, cold beer, and a bottle of the old bubbly so we could drink a toast to Lynne as it was still her birthday, as we were all fairly knackered we only stayed 2 hours, then Eric drove us Back to Chev, where we panned out 5 minutes later.


Birthdayparty on Amarula

07.02.16 07.00 we had a breakfast, after that we thanked Kerry and Bruce for being our line handlers, then we said bye bye to them, and Erich collected them, so they could use the shower on board the Amarula, and then bring them into the marina so they could go back to Shelter Bay.


La Playita

Are there Aliens in the bay?

The 08.02 16 Monday, we drove over to a German boat called Dörtita that was anchored near us, and asked the owner Heiner, if he would keep an eye on our Chev, as we would be gone for 2 days to help our good frinds David and Susan, who needed us as line handler’s to help bring their boat Enchantress through the Panama Canal, no problem said Heiner, so that was one problem less.  09.02.16 Tuesday 07.00 we left early to avoid the traffic, we got a Taxi from Flamenco bay to the  Holiday inn Express hotel  in Panama City, were we were to collect Andy at 08.00.  Andy was the 3rd line handler, but the streets were empty and we got there at 0730, the taxi driver told us that most Panamanian’s were gathering there strength for the climax of the Carnival week, that was to take place that night, it was weird to see the empty streets, Andy got in at 07.45 and off we went, the taxi driver connected his mobile to a bracket on the dashboard, and we were watching old film hits of ABBA, The BEGEES, and other groups of the seventies and eighty’s, great stuff, we got to Club Nautico at 09.05, David collected us and drove us over to where  the Enchantress was anchored, and  Susan had coffee and tea ready. We left the Club Nautico anchorage shortly after and headed to the flats anchorage, we dropped anchor, and had our grub. The Advisor came aboard and Susan used the anchor winch to lift the anchor, with Davie at the wheel we headed for the Gatun Locks at17.00 , and arrived there at 17.45,  David had the same problem’s that we had, strong winds and currents’ and waiting for a cargo vessel that was delayed, we rafted with a 50 foot Reinke aluminium boat that tied up to a 100 foot motorized catamaran cruse ship, the cat made a lot of problems for the us and the crew of the Reinke, and we finally exited the Locks at 20.30,  we tied up to the buoy in the Gatun Lake and stayed for the night. 10.02.16 the Adviser arrived at 09.00 and we continued with the rest of the canal transit.  We exited the last lock of the Miraflores at 17.00, at 18.00 we were anchored next to our old Chev, this was the second time that we had transited the Panama Canal in 6 days thanks to our friend´s David and Susan, and we dually celebrated with Dinner, beer, bubbly, and some of the finest Scottish whisky.


Rafting up with Suerte Deern

In the Gatun Locks

Sabine is taking a break

Sean in the Miraflores Locks

Ready to leave go



Bridge of America

Thursday 11.02.16 we had a get together with a bunch of people from the Panamanian Cruisers at a nice little restaurant, were they usually meet once a week to drink beer, eat Pizza, exchanged news, tell old and new stories, and tell a few old and new Lies as well, if you want, it was great fun. On Friday 12.02.16 where collected by Heiner as he needed, like us, to go to Panama City for supplies, so the first thing we had to do was go to the Panama City bus terminal to get a bus card, it’s like a cash card, that you run across the card reader as u get on the bus, and where the Supermarkets are, of course we got all this info from the other cruisers the night before, and that it would cost 4 to 5 $ for a taxi into Panama City.  Now, the first Taxi driver we asked wanted 20 $, I just laughed and asked again, 10 $, we went to the next taxi driver and he said 10 $, so we just walked away in the direction of the causeway, 2 minutes later your man the taxi driver came along and offered to take us for 8 $, no thank you, 5 $ or buzz of sham I said, OK he said. He dropped us at the Allbrook shopping mall where the central bus and metro station is situated. Now this place is huge, there is at least 100 ticket counters on the ground floor alone, it looked more like a huge airport than a bus and train station, it took us a while to figure out where the bloody hell we could get the bus cards, and at what counter, no one we asked, could speak English, anyway we found the ticket office, told the girl what we needed in sign language and the odd Spanish word thrown in for good measure, she asked us for our Passports, which we didn’t have of course, we only want a city bus card, I mean do we need a Passport for that like, come on girl, to make a long story short, we were lucky we had our driving license, that she thought were our Passports, and that was that, we had the old bus card ha ha.








Metrobus in Panama City


After that we went to Super 99 supermarket, and got what we needed, went back to the bus station and got the bus back to Flamenco bay at the end of the Amador causeway, and it only cost us 50 cent each, now that’s  what I call a grand bargain. Saturday 13.02.16  we visited the old Panama ruins, of where the town of Panama was first grounded, it was very interesting, and we did a lot of walking, when we got back in the late afternoon we were ready for the old people’s home.


The Old Panama






The old Clocktower

Nice view from the Clocktower



Monday the 15.02.06 I got the 08.00 express bus to Colon, I had the last appointment by the dentist to rip out the last part of the nerve in me tooth. I arrived at 09.30 and as Sabine was not with me, I walked through the streets to Colon 2000, and arrived at 11.00 at the dentist, after 2 hours and 22 x-ray’s she finely got out the last bit of root from me tooth, me only fear now was that I had gotten Radiation poisoning from all the X rays and I would be glowing in the dark, lord forbid and jaysus protect me sure. After that I walked back to a RAY Supermarket because they have a better quality of fruit and veg, and the meat is always fresh, then I walked back to the bus station, got the express bus back to Panama. Panama City is beautiful and clean, Colon Looks like the dirtiest part of a city you would expect to find in Calcutta, well it’s like being in another world. 16.02.16 went to the Volvo Penta dealer to get a few O rings and Seals, as spears for the Seawater pump, we gave her the code numbers of the parts we needed, and she told us to come back tomorrow. We came back and nearly got a heart attack when she told us the price of the stuff we ordered, 266$ merciful Christ I was thinking it would have been better if the Dentist had pulled the nerve out of me brain instead of me old tooth, we would have paid 50 € for the same stuff in Germany.

21.02.16. Sunday we made a bus tour around Panama, and Sunday evening we had a get together on Erich and Lynn’s Cat Amarula, Catherin, a guest of theirs, there was David and Susan from the SY Enchantress, Bruce and Kerry from SY Haven, Peter from SY Peregrine, Alistair, Jill ,And  Neil from the SY Star Charger, Sabine and myself, we had a great old crack.


Nice evening on Amarula

24.02.16 We were very bussey getting ready to leave for the Marquesas, in the French Polynesia, it is the longest Ocean Passage we will make, it is over 4.100 nautical miles, to get to Hiva Oa, if everything goes good we hope complete this voyage in about 40 or more days, we will head for the Las Perlas on Friday 26, and leave as soon as the weather window opens up. So followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, good bye and God bless  you all, till the next time, Har harr.

 


11.01.16 till 06.02.16

The long way to the Pacific Ocean

Ahoy Followers of Chev, on the 11.01 we went to Colon 2000 shopping centre, were we bought a new camera, to replace the old one some crewmember broke, I won’t tell yea now who it was as you know I am not one to tell tales like, but SHE better take care of this one I tell yea.  It’s  a Cannon Power Shot D30, waterproof to a depth of 25 meters, we didn’t try it out underwater, and shockproof to booth, we could have gone to the Free Zone that’s only up the road sure, it’s the 2nd biggest shopping complex in the World, surpassed only by the one in Hong Kong, with over 2.000 international companies from all over the world that sell the same old rubbish, sure you would need a new pair of shoes by the time you walked around that feckin place, so we opted for the smaller place and bought a smart phone 75 $ US and the camera for 267 $ US, anyway it’s a grand barging what more could you want. We tried out the camera the next day and made some grand photos, but we must still think about putting it under water, you can’t believe everything they tell yea you know what I mean like.


The old fort





Portobelo

Backround Bay of Portobelo

Church of Portobelo

Selfie

On the 15 we had a good old singsong in Portobello in Casa Vela, that’s the pub restaurant that’s run by the German couple Birgit and Ray (Reiner), we meet up with Davie, an Irish single handed sailor from Tipperary , who made it to Portobello 5 years ago, and his American buddy jack,  Martin the Dutch man that has a 3 master schooner, Allen the scot and a lot of other people that lifted the roof with their singing, and Davie making a great job of singing seconds in harmony Aah sure it was great a night we had, we finished up at midnight and we only paid one fruit juice and 1 beer the rest was free.


Sunday afternoon we were over in Casa Vela for a BBQ and Martin  that owns the 3 master, brought over enough pork meat to feed the hungry multitude.


Birgit and Rey from Casa Vela

We were supposed to get our new toilet, the navigation cards for the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean on the 19.01.16, the shipping agent phoned up to tell us we could collect our parcel at Shelter Bay Marina, to make a long storey short, the shipping agent in Miami sent the invoice but not the goods, we made out with the Panama agent to collect it in Panama City when we get there, shit happens. 20.01.16. we went shopping to 4 alto with the buss, Oh yea, I forgot to tell yea that its normal to throw your rubbish out the window of the moving bus, I am not coding you boy, bottles, cans, papers, nappies, even the driver does  it, no wonder the place is manky . Each bus has very colourful spray painted motives of all sorts of things, I made a few photos for you to see for yourself, I also have a nice photo of me self and one of an armed police man in Colon shopping centre, hope you like them.


Bus in front of 4 Alto

Bus in Portobelo

Police in 4 Alto Mall

On the 21.01.16 we had Tipperary Davie over for dinner and had a good old chat about this and that as we filled our bellies wit lasagne and drank a few beers and a glass of wine together, Davy wants to go further, and any day soon now he will up anchor and head for the Pacific, it’s amazing just how many other sailors like Davie we have met, and after getting so far just stop, but still believe they will go further, it’s sad in a way really to see the way they end up. 23.01.16 at 07.45 we headed for the short journey to Cristobel (Colon), we arrived in the harbour breakwaters 4 hours later, and I tell yea now you need to keep your wits about you like, as well as having eyes in the back of your head around here, with all the huge ships that were coming and going, Christ I was glad when we finely dropped the hook at the anchorage in the flats, well the first night we had 35 knot winds from the north north east, that whipped up the swell and made sleep difficult. Monday 25.01 our Chev was measured, and inspected by the Panama Canal Authorities, after that we went back up to Club Nautico and anchored just outside the harbour, Tuesday 26.01 we drove over to Club Nautico where we were charged 6 $ for tying up , got a taxi (1.25 $) to the City Bank on the other side 
of the city, outside the bank we were searched by an armed guard in a bulletproof jacket with a  machinegun, he looked inside our rucksack patted us down, then we were allowed to go to the main door that was opened by another armed guard with full metal jacket from inside, as soon as we were in he closed and locked the door, we are sort of use to this now though, welcome to the City Bank Colon, we paid 1875 $ US into the Panama Canal Authorities account, 891 $ US of this is a buffer fee, that will be refunded, less 25 $ US which the bank charges as a wiring service fee, if all goes well.  The whole procedure took 30 minutes, after that we went shopping to 99 supermarket, got back to Chev,  phoned the Canal Authorities  office, asked if they received the money, ´´yes they did´´, then we phoned the schedule office and were told the next available appointment would be on the 05.02.16  which we accepted, Wednesday 27.01 we returned to Portobello. Saturday 30.01.16 had a great old multi nation sing song at Casa Vela, American Jack graced us with his presence and sang 3 or 4 blues songs, he was very good, another young American girl, sang some country songs, and of course me self, singing everything that popped into me old skull, with all the others joining in and singing along, they were Irish, Scottish, Americans, Australians, Kiwi’s, Swiss, French, Colombians, Canadian’s, aah sure jaysus what an almighty night we had, everyone had a great crack to be sure.






Sean is bringing the fenders for the transit

Our visitor Mr. Pelican

Tuesday sailed back down to Club Nautico in Colon. Friday morning 05.02.16. The BIG Day arrived. we got up at 06.00 had our breakfast, went shopping for enough drink and fresh food to feed 6 people for the next 2 days, our 3 line handlers, our old friend Lynne, and our new friends Kerry and Bruce, and our pilot or adviser as they are called, plus Sabine and myself, at 11.30 I collected Lynne from the Club Nautico marina and headed for the flats anchorage, where we were joined by Kerry and Bruce, our friends David and Susan collected them with their dinghy  from the New Zealand or Kiwi catamaran named Our Rose, and at 12.30 we were all aboard Chev  having our lunch, at 14.00. David and Susan wished us a good transit and returned to their boat, after that I prepared the 4 38 meter mooring lines on deck, checked that the fenders were all in place and secure, gave everyone their positions for going through the canal, Sabine and Bruce on the bow would be responsible for the forward lines, Lynne and Kerry would be responsible for the stern lines on the back, and I would be on the wheel. At 17.30 Julio our ADVISOR for the transiting of the Gatun locks arrived and introduced himself, and shook hands with all of us and asked our names, gave us the rundown on what to expect during the canal transiting, a very nice young fella, and with his good looks and charm, was an instant hit with the girls. Now only a day before, let me tell yea, I asked my Sabine if she wanted to take the wheel locking down through the Miraflores locks, the last locks on the Pacific side, which are supposed to be easier than locking up, ´´ NO WAY`´ she said, I tried to persuade her, Aa go one ,go one, ´´NO`` Aah do a do sure you will have no problem  at all and if you do  sure what harm ´´  , all to no avail ´´NO no no  she said and that’s that, and you can do what you like about it, you won’t, get me on that wheel´´, well to make a long storey short like, at 18.15. I went forward to pull up the anchor by hand, as our anchor winch packed up months ago, anyway, When I finished and went back to take the wheel, there was Sabine, Lynne, and Kerry, hanging on every word Julio was speaking, OK says I to Sabine, I can take over the wheel now, it’s ok I will stay on the wheel she says, Jaysus that was a quick change of mind, I bet yea now Julio I said, if you weren’t blessed with good looks and charm boy, Sabine would not be on the wheel, and the other women wouldn’t be nearly sitting on your lap either, well we had a god laughing after that.


Our raftingpartner Katamaran Jigsaw

Julio, Sabine, Kerry, Bruce and Lynne

At 19.10 we reached the entrance to the Gatun locks, but we had to wait for a ship that was delayed to go before us into the lock chamber, so we were cruising up and down until 19.55. The Panama Canal Locks, have functioned flawlessly for over 100 years, and was for a long time the World’s largest construction. There are 3 locks on the Atlantic side called the Gatun locks, they  are all connected to each other,  at Gatun the vessels raised up a total of 26 meters (84 feet) to the Gatun Lake, and 3 on the Pacific side, the first locks, the  Pedro Miguel locks, lowers vessels 9 meters (29 feet) to the Miraflores lake, an artificial body of water that separates the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, after crossing the Miraflores lake the vessel  enters the chambers, and is lowered to sea level by the  Mirafloes locks, which are just over 1.6 kilometres in length. Due to the Pacific Ocean´s extreme tidal variations, the Miraflores lock gates are the tallest in the whole Panama Canal. At 20.00, we tied up to an Australian catamaran called Jigsaw, when 2 or 3 boats tie up to one another it’s called rafting, or nesting. at 20.15 we entered the 1st chamber of the 3 locks the Gatun locks on the Atlantic side, then Jigsaw and Chev were lifted a total of 26 meters (84 feet) in the 3  steps of the chambers, each chamber is 33.53 meters wide (110 feet) and 304.8 meters long (1000 feet), the entire Gatun lock system including the two approach walls, is 2 kilometres long,  we left the last chamber of the Gatun locks after untying from the Aussie cat Jigsaw at 22.00.


Bruce and Kerry

Sabine at the wheel with Kerry, Bruce and I

In the Gatun Lock

Rafting with Jigsaw

At 22.20 we tied up to a huge buoy in the Gatun lake, where already a blue and white 55 foot boat was moored, here we would be staying for the night, before continuing the rest of our transit the next day . We all had a great crack with Julio, he was a very confident and professional advisor, he told us what we were to do, how to do it, and was right beside you if he saw someone was unsure, we were all relaxed and had a great and enjoyable transit of the Gatun locks. Julio complemented each of us on a job well done. Because of the very strong currents, and the strong winds on the approach into the lock chambers, made it extremely difficult to get the boats into the exact position in the chamber, this demands a lot of concentration and skill from the person on the wheel to hold it there, so the rest of the crew can pass up there mooring lines, to the line handlers on the locks, or tie up to another vessel, that is already secured, as the case may be, this responsible job, was carried out with great team work by Phi,l the Skipper on Jigsaw and by our Skipper on Chev, Sabine. The pilot boat came at 10.45 to collect Julio, who had become like an old friend before he left us. After that we sat around drinking a lovely cold beer and talked about the things of the day, and what way the next part of the canal transit would be like, it was 1150 it had been a very long day and everyone was tiered and ready for sleep, when we realised that in 10 minutes it would be Lynne’s birthday, so we stayed up to wish her a very happy birthday, 10 minutes later they were all asleep. Julio turned out to be the best adviser we had in the transit.


The big mooringbuoy

06.02.16. 07.00 we had our breakfast, we told to be ready at 06.00 which we were, but no one came, at 08.00 the advisers’ for jigsaw, and the Rose,  2 catamaran’s, arrived, 5 minutes later they were on their way across the Gatun Lake heading for the Pedro Miguel Locks.


Sunset in the Gatun Lake

At 10.30 our adviser came aboard, lea lanky and late, with a smile said ´´my name´s Victor as in Victory now let go from the buoy, after that he was on his mobile,


Victor

Sabine took the wheel while me and the others went about untying ropes, 3 minutes later we were all back in the cockpit, I asked Victor if he would like something to eat or drink, no thank you, without taking his eyes off his mobile, at this stage we were getting closer to the big ships that were anchored in the Gatun Lake, and Sabine asked Victor if she should pass in front or behind the anchored vessels, he made no reply, just kept fingering his mobile without looking up, she asked him again in a louder tone, no reaction, so I told Sabine to pass in front of them, as the yellow buoys were at the rear of the anchored ships, and that way she had plenty of room to manoeuvre, she changed course to go in front of them, straight away  Victor told her to keep close to the Yellow buoy´s while fingering his MoBile, 20 minutes she asked him should she cross the shipping lane to the right side, no answer, well I said, there’s nothing around at the moment so now is as good a time as any, Victor told her to keep to the green buoy’s without looking up from his MOBILE. I could see that Sabine was unsure of herself from what was happening, so I asked her if I should take the wheel, yes came the prompt reply. I sat at the wheel asked VICTOR did he know that we were on the wrong side of the shipping channel? That a big container ship was coming straight at us, he looked up and told me to hold my course towards the green buoy, and then he started getting nervous and tells me to go still closer to the buoy, Christ almighty VICTOR I am so close I could reach out and touch it, his radio crackled and the pilot of the container ship to clear out of his pat , Go on the outside of the BUOY victor said, 3 minutes the huge ship passed to within 50 feet of us, and we were bouncing around in the waves he made as he passed, his I told victor I didn’t like the advice he was giving me, that nothing was coming I would now cross the shipping lane to the correct side, after that victor put down his mobile. We were only 30 minutes into what should be an 8 hour trip.



Having a cup of Coffee

The Gatun Lake

Stay near the red buoy

Our transitpartner in the background

Lynne had gone down below, Bruce and Kerry were gone forward with Sabine and I was left alone with old Victor trying hard to keep me temper from boiling over, then I started laughing as the thought crossed my mind, ´´ Victor as in Victory me shit, more like Victor in Frankenstein ´´  .  At 15.00 we reached the Pedro Miguel Locks, here Victor tells me we would tie up to the Kiwi cat Our  Rose that was 100 meters ahead of us, ok I said told the crew what the plan was, 30 meters from The Rose VICTOR says that there’s a change of plans, we will tie up on the Jigsaw instead, OK I said told the crew the new plan, as I was on the final approach to Jigsaw victor tells me that there was a change of plan, we would tie up to the 55 foot SY yacht,  Jaysus wept, Victor how many more times is this going to happen, so I slow down for your man to get closer, and he slows down as well, I put the motor into neutral and was drifting with 2 knots, I asked victor if he told your man of the plan, yes says he. We are getting closer to the wall of the lock and I asked victor if I should turn, aaah aah aaah amm aah  mmm wait says he, my speed is increasing to 3 knots with the motor in neutral, I tell VICTOR this and he tells me to slow down, no thank you I say, then I give gas and turn Chev about and slow down after the turn again, then it was up and down in front of the locks for 45 minutes, then we went forward to tie up to the 55 footer,  that was tied up to a big tourist boat, that was tied to the wall, Sabine took the wheel, because of the current and the gusts of wind coming directly from behind, it was difficult, and I looked after the right back line but we managed to come alongside your man and get the back line on, after that it was easy, but your boyo was cribbing and moaning how close and how fast we came to his boat,  we should have slowed down and done this and that, then his adviser said something similar, and if we hadn’t gotten the line over we would have crashed into the lock gate and maybe it would have ended in disaster, I told about the strong current and the wind, you must be prepared for that, we were, and we managed to tie up, no big deal, so take a hike, as soon as the lock gates opened  we untied from your man and he went forward to the Mirflores locks, this time I stayed on the wheel as we tied up to old shithead, then Victor tells me that we would stay tied to your man and raft into the 2nd lock, I don’t think it’s a good idea Victor, he is nearly double old Chev´s  size and over 6 times our weight, there would be too much misbalance, he talked to the other adviser who assured us that there would be no problem, then why did we not do it from the start, I mean this is the last lock I said, yes but he has a very strong motor he said, it should be no bother, so we stayed tied to old shithead, who untied from the big tourist boat, as big tourist boat started its motor the wash from its prop caused us and old shithead to be pushed sideways towards the walls of the lock, Victor  let out a screamed like the Banshee,  old shithead was struggling to keep us straight and put his motor into reverse, then we swung around with the back of his boat just missing the side wall of the lock, as we came closer to the wall, old Victor let out another terrified screech, and I was full sure that this was where our trip would end, we went waltzing left and right forwards and backwards just missing the walls by inches, in the meantime the big tourist boat was in the last lock secured to the wall, anyway your man went into forward gear and off we went, we had a speed of 3.6 knots and we were not straight and it didn’t look good I tell yea, I had visions of us tied together going over the top of the lock gate and straight into the history books as the first vessels be smashed to pieces and sunk in the Panama Canal, merciful jaysus, we had 50 meters to the big tourist boat and we still had a speed of 3.6 knots and at a 45° angel so I gave Chev short doses of reverse and we started straighten out, now all your man had to do was to move nice and steady forwards to the big tourist boat, which he did and got the back line over to the line handler who quickly tied it to the cleat, then the other lines followed and we were saved, old shithead looked over to me and nodded then we all started clapping, and I  thanked the good sweet and Merciful lord. 20 minutes later the lock gates opened and I said to Sabine ´´welcome to the Pacific Ocean´´ so far so good.  So followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well, good bye and God bless untill the next time, Har harr    



Big ship behind us
 
The Miraflores Locks

People can watch the transiting
 
Bachúe on its way to the excursion boat
 
The last Lock
  
Lynne and Kerry

Yeah, we managed


 
                

25.12.15 till 10.01.16

Ahoy Followers of Chev X mas morning went to Linton Bay Marine to fill up the water cans so we could fill the 100 litre water tank on Chey, and to see if the leaks that I repaired on the dinghy were holding, well it was still leaving in some water but not a lot, so I thought it was ok, At 17.00. We were invited for our X mas dinner on board the Enchantress by David and Susan, were we drank champagne, wine, and beer, with a beautiful dinner of Ham with cranberry sauce, and peppered peaches. Corn on the cob, boiled carrots and potatoes, fritters, with cake and liquor sauce for dessert, well I can only say we were stuffed like two turkeys with so much good food in our bellies, I thought if we didn’t burst, then we definitely would have to use Enchantresses dinghy davits to lower us into our dinghy to get home when we were finished, even Susan made a great sound singing Jingle Bells and the other songs we were singing, it was a great night we had.


On the way to "Enchantress"

Santa Clause Sean and Santa Clause David

Two Christmas Angels

At 23.00 we got into our dinghy and the water was up to me ankles, the repair I done didn’t last long so I bailed it out and drove the 50 meters home to old Chev. Next morning David and Susan drove us over to the Restaurant that’s run by a Dutchman named Johannes, Hannes for short, he also repairs dinghy’s, among other things, Hannes told us that Colon is still a very dangerous city, people have been robbed at gun point in broad daylight with police men standing a few feet away, the bandits favourite trick is to approach a couple, stab one person and in the confusion and panic that follows take their wallets , cash or credit cards, he advised us not to walk anywhere in Colon, but take a taxi instead, later David towed our dinghy over to Hannes who told us it would take 3 days to repair. 27.12.15 I spent most of the morning scrubbing the teak deck on Chev and preparing it for the Teak oil, on the 28.12.15 we got the bus to REY supermarket in Sabanitas, Sabinitas lies on the outskirts of Colon it takes over an hour for the 40 kilometres and cost 5.40$ for the 2 of us one way, with David and Susan we did the big shopping.  When u buy  500 $ of merchandise at REY, then they deliver u and the stuff u bought where ever u want free, Sabine had a bill of 800 $, now don’t forget Panama is your last chance to stock up with wine and beer and canned food and flour, at reasonable prices, 1 pt can of millers beer cost 89 cent 2 litres of a la carton wine 6,79 $ you will pay double or more for the same items in the south Pacific, when we get to Panama city itself, we will stock up again with fresh food, fruits and eggs, anyway it was a lot easier to do it like we did, the REY delivery van drove us to Hannes restaurant where we loaded it all into Hannes big boat, Hannes and his son drove us out to the Linton bay were we were anchored, first to Enchantress were we unloaded Susan’s and David’s supplies, then over to Chev were we unloaded our supplies, Hannes charged us 5 $ for driving us with all the stuff to our boats, now that’s a fair price I tell yea, we will move down to Portobello as soon as Hanes returns our dinghy because there is a better bus connection there. 29.12.15, 08.30 I went with David to Linton bay marine to help him collect his sail from Roman the sail maker, we then went back to Enchantress put up the sail and said good bye to David and Susan, at 10.45. Enchantress lifted her anchor and David and Susan headed the 150 nm to Bocas Del Toro where they want to celebrate the New Year as it’s the in place to be, then after that they will head to Shelter Bay Marina.


Bye Bye Enchantress

I finished off putting the teak oil on Chevs deck so that’s one less job off the to do list. Today we heard that 2 more sailing boats that were on their way from Trinidad to Grenada were attacked and robbed at gunpoint by Venezuelan pirates in separate attacks 30 nm of the coast of Venezuela, one 5 days ago and the other one yesterday . On the 30.12.15 Hannes and his son Martin returned our dinghy that he repaired, the price was 20 $, in the afternoon Sabine and me drove over to Hannes, we drank a few beers and sang a few songs, and had a good old chin wag, Hannes told us that alone this year 15 sailing boats ended up on the reefs of San Blass, at 17.45 we asked for the bill, Hannes said he enjoyed the music so much and that that was payment enough, a very nice man indeed.



Sean playing the guitar

On the 31.12.15 we lifted anchor and sailed to Portobello a very historical port indeed. Portobello was once the most important sea port for transferring Spain’s South and Central American riches, tons of gold, silver, gems, and jewellery were transported back to old Seville, the onetime commercial capital of the Spanish empire, between 1574 and 18.21, fleets of galleons set sail from Portobello to Seville, each ship carried in its hold 30 million pesos of riches all of it robbed and plundered from the poor old half naked natives. In 17.08. a Spanish ship the San Jose, was sunk by a British war ship off the coast of Cartagena Colombia, it was part of a 17 vessel fleet that were carrying plundered riches from Spain’s South American colonies back to the King of Spain to finance the war of succession against the British. At the time the cargo´s value reportedly exceeded Spain’s annual income. Well now to make a long story short, not too long ago, some salvage company located the San Jose, 16 miles out and  300 meters deep, ´´ down in Davie Jones locker Harr har and still full to the gills with the Robbed Riche arrharrr ´´,  the Estimated current value of the Treasure Trove is, 17 billion US $. Back in those days, the whole Portobello
[J1]  bay was surrounded by massive fortifications and Forts, to protect and guard the wealth that arrived there, it was a strong temptation for pirates like Captain Henry Morgan better known as Black Beard the Pirate  the scourge of the Spanish main ´´ AH Harr har a vast yea swabs ar I ran yearr trooh, cut thar trooats, Ah Harr harrr, pices of eight Spanish doubloons Yarr harharrr ´´  as you can see I have done a Private Pirate language course, ´´Shiver me timbers ´´  , anyway, Morgan with an assault troop of 460 men managed to capture the town of Puerto Bellow and made off with as much treasure as their ships could carry, rumour says that Morgan buried his treasure on deserted islands all over the Caribbean, and shot the men who help to bury the treasure, so no one but he knew where it was, and to this day has not been found,  Yarr Harr. Another English man Sir Frances Drake died here and was given a sea burial in a lead coffin, what was buried along with old Frances, and wehre he was buried,  just outside the bay, no one knows for sure, but my guess would be near Isla Drake, or Drakes Island, as my friend David would say ´´ that’s not a fact, that’s only my opinion ´´.Today you can still see some of the remains of the fortress, but the most of the stone the Spanish used for their fortifications was hauled away and used in the building of the Panama Canal, and proper order too I say, today Portobello is a favourite tourist attraction for 2 reasons, the first reason is to visit and see the wooden statue of a black Jesus of Nazareth carrying a cross, they call it  the Black Christ of Portobello who is worshipped throughout Latin America because of the miracles attributed to it, People walk on their knees from as far away as Costa Rica as a pilgrimage on October 21 to the church of San Felipe de Portobello.


The "Black Christ" of Portobelo

The second reason is to visit the forts and ruins, other than that there is not much else here except a fairly regular bus serves and the crime rate is not so bad. We celebrated new years’ eve with Sabine and me firing our out of date signal flares into the night sky Happy New Year to everyone Yea haa . 02.01.16 went with the bus to 4 alto, a big shopping mall just on the outskirts of Colon, and met an Australian guy named Rob who gave us loads of info and tips about getting around in Panama, the hardware shops were closed,  the ships chandler was open, did have what we wanted, a new toilet for chev, the old one is leaking and cannot be repaired, but was to expensive he wanted 264 $, sure you would get a bucket for half noting, it’s always an adventure riding these busses into unknown territories. 04.01.2016 we drove with the free shopping bus from Shelter Bay Marina that rob told us about, ´´Of course it’s only for customers of the marina´´ but it gave us a chance to cross over the Gatun locks, and see the Gatun Lake, on our way to Shelter bay Marina, the good thing was it didn’t cost us a tosser.



A big ship going through the Gatun Lock

05.01.16. I had a dentist appointment for 10.00 o’clock in Colon, at 06.00 ate our breakfast, rowed ashore to Cassia Vela, a bar and restaurant run by a German Couple and their son, it’s a safe place to leave your dinghy, then we caught the 07.30 bus for the 55 kilometre drive to the central bus station in Colon, go a taxi to the dentist, we were there at  09.30, 10 minutes later I was X rayed on the cracked molar that was hanging on by the skin of me top gum for the last month, and X rayed on the lower back tooth that I had to cut twice to let the poison flow out, we were lucky to have had the old antibiotics that we bought in Guyana I can tell yea, anyway, your one said the bottom lower tooth needed a canal job, but first the old back tooth on the top gum she would have to pull out which did not surprise me, the first question was what would it cost, 55 US $ to pull the tooth, 230 US $ for the canal job, pull the tooth and I will think about the canal job it’s a lot of money said i, so she needled the gum and jaw on top and started to pull at the tooth, the bit that was hanging off was out in a flash, great stuff no problem, then she spent the next 5  minutes swinging out of me jaw, there was a lot of crunching and ripping sounds, then a cracking sound as the tooth broke, she nearly went flying off her chair, I nearly shit me self, I could feel the broken jagged bist sticking out of the hole in  me gum with me tongue, I was hoping she can get the broken bits out, she spent another 5 minutes twisting and screwing something that felt like a cork screw up into me jaw, Oh  protect me sweet mother Mary, at one stage I thought I could feel something drilling in me cheek bone close to me eye, God almighty will she ever get the shagging think out, and then she ripped out the last bit of tooth, thank you sweet Jesus Christ I said to me self, thank you, I stuck me tongue up into the hole, and half of me tongue fitted in to it, it felt like you could hide a golf ball in it, ´´ keep your tongue out of the hole ´´  she said and stuck a big bit of what looked like a bandage the size of a small face cloth up into it, now keep the pressure on it for a while she said, I was full sure she had pulled half me jawbone out with the tooth, anyway I must  think about going back next week for the canal treatment. Before we left I asked the dentist if it was safe to walk the one kilometre to Colon 2000 shopping centre, she told us that she was born and reared in Colon and used to walk all over the city, but 5 years ago she was robbed by a 12 year old boy that held a loaded gun to her throat in broad daylight, just down the street from where we were, she gave him what money she had and was thankful he hadn’t shot her, in that same year there were 648 people murdered, since then she has never again walked anywhere in Colon, she either drives or takes a taxi, so we took a taxi to the shopping centre, where I bought 2 pairs of glasses, eye test included for 256 US $, they will be ready next week, then we got a taxi to the bus station to catch the bus to Portobello were we arrived safely at 16.30.


Busterminal in Colon

While we were In Colon we saw armed Policemen in bulletproof vests riding motorcycle’s in groups of 2  pairs, the policeman on the back of the bike had a semiautomatic snub nosed machine gun always at the ready, alone outside the bus station on each corner were 2 armed policemen in bulletproof vests, and across the streets were police cars within eyesight of the others, yes there is a massive police presence but there are still Daily, deadly shootings, murders, stabbings, robberies and muggins, not to mention the rapes beatings and drug related  gang wares, yes Colon is a very dangerous city, just like any other big city that has massive unemployment, but the majority of the people are friendly and helpful.


Arned police on the motorbike

You are either lucky and always in the right place at the right time, or in the thick of the shit in the wrong place at the wrong time. My advice is, avoidance is probably better in the end an it’s cheaper to just get a taxi, it only costs 1 or 2 dollars, the bus from Portobello to Colon and back a distance of 110 kilometres cost for Sabine and me 6, 80 US dollars return, of the 3 taxies we took, 2 charged us 1, 25, US$, and one 2 US$, we spent a total of10 $ 80 the whole day, very quick and safe. In the evening Lynne and Erich from the catamaran Amarula contacted us regarding information about Portobello, was it safe to enter the bay in the dark, and what to look out for, we told them that there was only one reef to watch out for and gave them the longitude and latitude position of the reef, and it was straight forward after that,  the next morning they called over with their dogs scrumpy and chui  and we drank coffee and told them where the safest place was to tie up their dinghy, where customs and immigration were, how to get to Sabinites and to 4 Alto shopping centres, the bus times and the other usual stuff that we all like to know when we reach an unknown port, in the afternoon we went to Casa Vela and drank a few beers together, after that we went back to Amarula for dinner of pork, rice, and a sort of cabbage like stuff in coconut that Lynne had made. After dinner Lynne and Erich told us of the attack that happened on the 25.11.15  at the hands of 5 armed thugs in the Taganga Bay in Columbia, It was sad to see the hurt, pain, loss, and humiliation,  that they both still feel as they told us of their ordeal, it’s clear the shock still sits deep, but we are sure with time they will leave it behind them, like Eric says ´´there are so many no go zones and warnings to avoid, but if you listen to the armchair advisers you will never go beyond the crowded anchorages´´. I believe that if the present trend continues, most people that can afford it, will end up in heavily guarded harbours behind barbwire fences  and never meet the local people and experience their views and culture, the best example we saw of this was when Sabine and I visited Shelter Bay Marina, its miles from no ware, we passed a military post with armed guards that checked everything going in or out a mile from the harbour, In the harbour itself there is everything from gym and swimming pools, hotel, minimarkets, laundry, electric services ,Internet and communications, restaurants, bars, Medical including Dentistry, Veterinary, boat care, chandlery, Transport, in fact ,they’ve got almost everything you could possibly need, if they don’t have what you need, then they will order it for you, in this harbour they only want people that take out long-term berth leasing contracts, they don’t like it if you only stay 2or 3 days but they tolerate it because they still have some empty moorings, their best customers are mostly rich Americans who are used to that sort of thing, but I think that this concept destroys the spirit cruising or blue water sailing. 09.01.16 Erich and Lynne collected us and we went over to the other forth which is away better than the one in the town, we walked around the lower walls and then climbed the hill to the top, where you get a fantastic view of Portobello bay, it’s really impressive when you take in the Forts and Fortifications that surround this whole bay.


The old fort

View on Portobelo Bay

Harrr harr, captain Sean

Sundowners with Lynne and Eric

After that we went for a feast on our boat. Sabine cooked hand made pasta and meat with sauce. So Followers of Chev, take care and mind yourselves well, good bye and God bless till the next time, Ahoy and Har harr


18.11.15. till 25.12-15

Ahoy Followers of Chev on Wednesday morning at 07.00 we had a lovely chat with Joan from the SY Karma, herself and Graham were in Carriacou after leaving Trinidad and were on their way on north to the BVI. 10.30 we left the beautiful island of Grenada and headed the 400 nm (nautical miles) to Bonaire, our friends David and Susan from the SY enchantress had left at 09.00 on a more northerly course ,  we steered a more direct course of 270° that kept us just about 10 to 15 nm north of the chain of islands that belong to Venezuela, the weather was fantastic, on Thursday I had a fishing line in the water with a small chain over the line on deck as an alarm, so that when a fish took the bait the chain would make a rattling noise, but i caught nothing all day, then at 16.00 the alarm went off, I grabbed the line and sure enough there something on the line, i had to put on gloves to stop the line from cutting into my hands, jaysus this was a big fish I tell yea, just from the strain alone, I pulled him in hand over hand, with Sabine winding the line up on the stick as I gave it free, after 10 minutes we had it alongside Chev and l lifted it up on deck, my God what  beautiful  colours it had, it was a  15 kilo or more  Mahi Mahi, now, we had just had something to eat, and there was still more in the pot for the night, and our bellies were full before we caught the fish, and our small fridge wasn’t working properly, and it’s not big enough for such a big fish, now if we had not eaten, I can assure you that fish would have been filleted so fast u wouldn’t believe it, but it would have been a waste, another thing that stopped me from  killing it was that as the life goes out of the fish so does the colours go out with it, and its eyes turn to you with an accusing look as if to say, did you really have to do that to me yea fecker, so we thanked God for giving us the privilege of having  caught him and put the fish back in the sea where he swam like the clappers away from us, it was the highlight of the day, Friday evening at 23.00  we were only 6 nm from the islas las avaes as we changed course to the south of Bonaire, and Saturday morning at 07.00 we tied up to a buoy in the town of Kralendijk .


Spinnacker Sailing


What a lovely Mahi Mahi

David and Susan who had arrived just before us , collected us and we went together to the Customs to clear in, with that finished we explored the main street to see were we could find a supermarket, it didn’t take very long and we had a general idea where things were, Sunday we walked further to the outskirts of the town to the bigger Supermarkets to where the prices  and the quality and more choice  were way better than in the town center, Monday we went to the marine office to pay for the buoy, 10 $ a night, a fair price I suppose sure, Tuesday we went snorkelling with Dave as Susan had booked a diving course,  Wednesday at 1400  Dave collected us and we went to another place to snorkel, it was just fantastic, no wonder Bonaire is the supreme dive  destination in the Caribbean, we’ll all u need really is a mask and snorkel and a pair of fins to skin dive or snorkel with schools of colourful tropical fish surrounding you, I suppose the closest you could  describe it to  you could say,  it was like snorkelling in a huge  aquarium, we spent over 2 hours looking at unbelievable colourful fish, it looked like the painter went mad  and splashed all sorts of colours all over the fish,  I tell yea that now,  it was really a beautiful  day a  high you could say.


Promanade in Bonaire

Going for a walk

Merry Christmas

An iguana in the marina

Free parrots

Lovely paintings

Sean is tickeling a fish

Colorful underwaterworld

Lovely colors of Bonaire

Flamingos







Slaves were supposed to live there



A selfie



Salines



But like everything else in nature  sure, after a high follows a low I suppose, and the low came quicker than expected. Thursday morning we heard on face book that our friends from the SY catamaran Amarula, Lynne and Eric, who were in the peaceful taganga anchor bay in Colombia, were boarded by a gang at night, were attacked, degraded , threatened, tied up, beaten and robbed of everything they had, laptops, smart phones, satellite phones, cash, jewellery and of course their most valuable possession of all their pride dignity and trust in people, I mean anybody who knows Lynne and Erick, would tell you that that the last thing they want right now is sympathy, Erich is a very proud man that finds it hard to except help from anyone, but is one of the first there to help others if they ask or need help, Lynne is a very friendly and trusting person who loves to  travel and meet other people, we can only hope now that this event will not take away from, or dampen the calibre of people they are, they were very lucky to have  escape with their live, thanks be to God. The Rosario islands are about 20 miles from Cartagena in Columbia and are a convenient stopping place for yachts that sail along the Colombian coast en route to Panama, On September the 19 this year, the Dutch yacht Lazy Duck with Duradana Bruijn and her husband Peter, who were anchored at bahia de les Montas anchor bay, were boarded and attacked by 6 men, her husband was beaten unconscious, Duradana was killed in the attack that followed. On the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia, the pirates of the Caribbean are still active and very much real for years, and attacks like this are on the increase. Friday we hired a car together with David and Susan and did a tour of the whole island, when we got back we went shopping for supplies as we will be 3 or 4 weeks in the San Blas islands where there are no shops or stores, and no water, and no internet connection, so I suppose you could say we have our Christmas shopping done, and were ready to start the next leg of our journey,  the 700 nautical miles west towards the San Blas, we headed off early on Saturday morning, we also took in to account that the weather would be bad for 2 days, with 5 to 6 Beaufort, 2 meter waves, but once we had Punta Gallinas behind us it should be an easy sail , ´´oh how we mortals  live in eternal hope´´, we had dirty weather as forecasted  for 2 days , but instead of a 5 to 6 Beaufort, she was blowing a gale and getting worse, Sunday morning found us 20 nautical miles from Punta Gallinas trying desperately to hold our course of 285°, at 05.30 we had monsoon like rain, then the winds increased with gusts of over 40 knots blowing us off  course  to 232°  pushing us from the 600 meter depth, closer to the shallow banks where the depth drops down to 60 meters, and were the west current meets the coastal currents of Columbia, with the result of massive high seas , as the dawn broke you could really see the huge waves caused by the howling winds being lashed up by against the currents and the shallow banks, we had our Chev reefed to the last  and under the circumstances she was doing a great job battling her way through the seas, we felt ok, a small bit apprehensive maybe but were  keeping our spirits up and our fears down by singing songs as we always do in such moments, this all changed 2hours later when a wave came over and flooded the cockpit and sent our Chev so far over on her side that we thought she was going to capsize or lose her mast at least, jaysus we were sitting in water up to our bellies, I remember seeing a Cushing floating off into the waves never to be seen again,  but up she came and struggled on, that’s our Chev I tell yea a great little boat,  we were just after getting over the first fright  when the same thing happened again an hour later, not once but twice more in quick succession the cockpit was under water, she came back up after the second wave but a lot more slower, our poor Chev was barely up and was still reeling from the second wave when a third wave much bigger than the first two, crashed down into the cockpit with such force and so much water that we were hanging on for our lives and hoping we wouldn’t go the same way as the old Cushing, it was then we realised that our Chev was on the ropes and going to her knees but by God there was no way she was going down without a fight, so we started fighting for our life’s  and our Chev,  we changed our tactic, ran sideways to the seas hard on the wind to get back to deeper water, trying to get speed up to shoot straight up the higher waves, and when we reached  the highest point of the wave swung the rudder full over and slid sideways down it,  straighten her up for the next one hoping to have enough speed to reach the top, then full starboard rudder (full wheel to the right)  to  slow her down by sliding sideways down the wave again, sometimes we shot down the waves at unbelievable speeds out of control, our nerves on edge and we were praying that she wouldn’t flip over at the bottom, this went on for another 6 hours and we slowly, very slowly got back into deeper waters , close to the end, 2 more waves entered the cockpit because of lack of concentration or tiredness or both  on my part ,but they were not as bad as the first 3, the last wave caused Sabine’s automatic  life vest to inflate that really  gave us a good old laugh, In the 10 hours or more of bad weather, we had reached speeds of over 10 knots and an average speed of 8 knots with the highest speed being 13,2 knots, for a 30 foot sailing boat  like Chev,  (9 meters)  our average speed is between  5 and  6 knots and a bit more  with wind and currant in our favour up till now our highest recorded speed was 9 knots, our main sail was ripped right across from one side to the other, down below it looked like a bomb had exploded, everything that was on the shelves ended up on the deck, things came lose that didn’t budge on the Atlantic crossing, but we made it through the storm, the weather improved and at 15.00 we had beautiful sunshine and clear skies, we thanked God for looking after us and getting us through it. Tuesday 01.12 15 around 07.00 we had past ,Santa Martha with a distance of over 45 nautical miles from the Columbian coast,  after that we just sailed along with the light breeze enjoying the beautiful day. Wednesday was more or less the same glorious weather, around 13.00 in the afternoon we were sitting in the cockpit reading, when a plane from the Columbian air force flew very low (100 metres) over us then he turned and repeated the same manoeuvre 5 more times before finally flying away, now at this time we were 100 nautical miles away from Columbia, with 95 NM to the San Blas islands and thought it strange that the Columbian Air force had shown such an interest in us, anyway at around 23:50.  I went up and changed watch with Sabine, the log speed showed 3 knots so I decieded to start the engine and motor sail so we would arrive at the Holandes Cays around 08.00 the next morning, so there I was 15 minutes later nice and relaxed, enjoying the view of the stars, looking for far off galaxies’ ( clusters of stars )  and minding my own business, there was no Moon, and everything was grand, when all of a sudden came the roar of a powerful motor behind me in the pitch blackness that frightened the be jaysus out of me, then this black shape came closer with a red and blue flashing light, my first thought was that they were fishermen and I had damaged there nets, but I saw no lights what so ever before they started their motor, so my second thoughts were Pirates, I mean in the middle of the night off the coasts of Columbia and Panama no matter what coloured  light, I was not stopping until they identified themselves, I shouted down to Sabine to bring up me machete,  the boat by then was only 4 meters away on the left side but I could not see much because the flashing light was blinding me, they were shouting and screaming but because of the noise from there motor I couldn’t understand a word, besides that sure I am half deaf as you know,  I told Sabine to go on channel 16 and ask them to identify themselves but got no reply, then for the next 10 minutes i turning left and right so they couldn’t board us,  I suppose you could say I was like an Irish  hare  jinking around so the greyhounds wouldn’t get him, they might have been faster but speed was of no use here, then they turned off there spot lights, light there deck light and i made out at least 8 armed men in camouflage uniforms, and an insignia aero naval Panama on the side of the speedboat so I turned off the motor rolled in the genoa , and then one of them boarded Chev, while doing this the helmsman damaged the railings on the port side with the bow of the speedboat, yer man asked for our boat papers and passports, where was the last port of call?, Bonaire we said, where is that, says he, the A B C islands says we, what country do they belong to, the Nederland’s said we, he said maybe Venezuela, he asked which port in Columbia we were in or had left from, we were not in Columbia said we, this went on and on, but there was no getting through to this guy, I looked at Sabine and knew she was thinking the same thing as me ( he’s an asshole) I asked him what was this all about, are we suspected of doing something illegal and are we under arrest, no no just routine says he,  one hour later he went back aboard the patrol boat and  was replaced by 2 armed soldiers, I asked them if we were under arrest, with hands and feet we talked and understood, no just routine they said, the speedboat then went in search of some other sailing vessel leaving the armed guard with us, in all this time there was that plane again flying around in great wide circles in the middle of the night, jaysus it must be costing the tax payer a small fortune, I wanted to roll out the sail but was prevented by hand signs from our armed escort, that we must wait here until his comrades return ed, when will that be I asked, they had no idea, now they had no radio to contact their boat, we were communicating with hand and foot and mimic with them, they had no English, 1 hour later the 2 boyos lost their soldiers composure and were a heap of misery, moaning and groaning that Chev  was rolling about in the gentle waves, aha, the fuckers were sea sick, ho ho boy, and 1 hour later they were sick to death of the sea, I could have taken their weapons and thrown the 2 of them over the side, they were in no shape to prevent it,  they were used to fast moving boats with 800 hp , I told them if we put up the sail she wouldn’t roll so much sure, to which they happily agreed to, Sabine felt sorry for them and gave them anti seasickness drops and tablets, at 06.00 Sabine made me a fried egg with bread and an old cuppa tea to wash it down for me breakfast, then I noticed yer boyos going green at the sight of me as I ate, of course I asked Sabine for another lovely fried egg and bread, and I made plenty of slurping and chomping noise, AHA LOVELY Greasy grub sounds in front of them, ´´  would you like some lovely fried eggs boys, a do sure,  a go on now here yea are, a do, sure yea have to ate something to keep your old strength up, go on go on now ´´, they refused with the both of them waving the grub away, 5 minutes  after that they made lovely guttural chocking sounds as they Vomited their hearts out and shared the old bucket I gave them to collect the contents of their guts in It, now that was justice I tell yea, any way to make a long story short, when the patrol boat returned, we were escorted to their base at Porvenir we arrived there at around 15.00 and dropped anchor, we were then told that they would go to Colon to get a diver to look at the keel, now from Porvenir  to Colon is a round trip of 140 nautical miles, a distance of  over 260 kilometres,  such a time consuming stupidity and waste of petrol, I couldn’t believe it that a person in a commanders position  could be as thick as shit, I was losing my patience and me dander was up,  they gave us back our passports and we sat waiting, still accompanied by the 2 armed soldiers, for the diver to come, at 18.00. another patrol boat came alongside, asked for the passports again, photographed them and us, the commandant then told the 2 boyos to search the boat once again, that was it, up I went like a fucking rocket and screamed at him, what the fuck is this shit, we have been held hostage for the last 18 hrs. we are not under arrest, we have broken no laws that we know of, yet we have been treated like criminals and are not allowed to do anything without permission from you and you’re like, we have nothing under the boat to fuckin hide, there’s more brains in a monkeys shit than in your whole fucking body, and I have had enough of this shit , after the search he told us we didn’t have to wait for the diver that we were free to go, they collected the armed guard and waved bye bye, I won’t tell yea what I was waving, next to us was a charter sailing boat who’s skipper came over to us in the dinghy, he told us  he was boarded by the same bunch of fuckers at 02.00 after they frightened the shit out of him and his Guests, and under armed guard were escorted to Porvenir, he was disgusted at the way they had treated him and his 10 charter Guest’s  but you can’t  do nothing about it, he wished us a nice stay in the San Blasé.


One of the soldiers

On the way to Porvenir

We had a visit 2 days later from a guy from Switzerland who has been cruising between Panama and Colombia for the last 4 years, we told him of the trouble we had had with the Aero Naval from panama, and then he told us that on the day we were stopped was the same day he had left Cartagena in Columbia, he was also buzzed by the plane that was from the Columbian Air force who work together with the Panamanian Government in the fight against drug smugglers and more than lightly he was the one that they were looking for, and here he was right outside their customs and emigration offices, I know this story is hard to believe but I smuggled a few photos of our armed escort.


Pier in Porvenir

Kuna Yalas next to Chev

We had a look at a B & B

Chev at anchorage outside Porvenir

On Sunday morning we finally motor sailed to the Holandes Cays and dropped anchor in the Banedup bay where we could take time to relax and get over the last bit of shit. In Porvenir I replaced the seawater pump, here I spent 2 days stitching the main sail by hand ( I hope it holds ), 1 day scraping the barnacles of the keel, painting the timber on the dinghy  as well as swimming fishing reading walking around uninhabited islands and just lazing about in between, like they say blue water sailing, or cruising, is working and repairing your boat in the most beautiful places in the world. On the 11. 12. 15. Enchantress sailed into Banedup bay and anchored in front of Chev and we were reunited with David and Susan, David opened a bottle of Sect (sparkling wine) to  celebrate when we told him we were down to our last 3 beers and 3 bottles of wine he immediately offered to give us some beer and wine that we could give him back  when we get to Colon or Panama, on the 12.12.15. David and Susan collected us to go snorkelling in the swimming pool anchorage, he also brought 2 shopping bags with 12 bottles of fine Chilean wines, and 24 cans of beer, now that’s what you would call a friend indeed when we are in need, after that we had a good but though snorkel, though because of the current that was flowing through the reefs, nice because we saw Sholes of beautiful colourful fish, a 1 meter long barracuda and a big stingray, poor old Davie was knackered and we (Sabine and me) weren’t far behind, of course Susie was last back, I think from all the diving and snorkelling that she does, that she’s after grown a pair of gills behind her ears, 16.12 .15  I repaired our dinghy  for the 2nd  time more or less, I hope it doesn’t sink, will let yea know how it goes. The 21.12.15 was David’s birthday, we were over in the Enchantress at 16.30 and we had a great time, eating from the finest juicy roast duck, washed down with champagne, we talked, laughed, and sang Christmas songs, and of course sang Davies favourite song LADY in RED, all in all we had a grand old time, but if Graham Joan Richard and Elliish were here it would have been even grander.


East Holandes Cays

A Kuna Yala "House"

The Kuna Yalas are very small people

Paradies

Enjoying the peace

Selfie at Banedup anchorage EHC

One of the San Blas Islands

A happy man

Our torn sail

Sean repairing the sail

Sean fixing the seawaterpump

David is admiring our birthdaycard

22.12.15 at 07.00 we cleared out in Porvenir sailed the 42 nm, and arrived at 16.00 in Porto Lindo were we ate a paella with the medium sized snapper jack that I had caught for dinner and shared it with our friends Susan and David. 24.12.15 we got a bus that took over an hour to Colon, to the big supermarket, it’s one of the safest places to shop, with armed security guards in bulletproof vests at the doors, and more of them patrolling the floors, we bought enough to get us over Xmas as we plan to come here again to start loading up with most of the supplies we will need for the Pacific crossing. 25.12.15 we used the satellite telephone to contact our family’s at home to wish them merry X mas, it was great to hear their voices and to know that they are doing a good job battling with the daily struggles and problems in their lives. So we wish all our family, friends, and the followers of Chev a very merry X mas and a happy new year, take care and look after yourselves well good bye and God bless till the next time, Ahoy and Har har

13.10.15 to the 17.11.15.

Ahoy Followers of Chev, I had the pleasure of being the first Irish customer in the yard of the new marine in Clarks Court Bay, not only that but the big surprize was that the general manager (BOSS) Connor Holms, Irish born and bred like myself and comes from Cork the biggest and most beautiful county in the Emerald isle, one of the nicest guys I met since we started our circumnavigation, Connor is a true Cork man always friendly and helpful and proud to be Irish, he phoned up his father just to tell him that there first Irish customer is a Cork man a nice surprise indeed. well I won’t bore you with all the details of what I was doing in the 10 days I had Chev out of the water, and chocked up, all I will say is I worked long and hard and got most of my to do list done, main thing were the antifouling on Chev’s keel (bottom), repairs to the Rudder, new hose pipe to the toilet, new frame for the extra water tank, plus a lot of other small but crucial jobs. Then on Wednesday the 21.10.15 at 16.00 we were back in the water, and with the help of my friend Dave who came over, we motored Chev to the anchor ground, dropped the hook and drank a beer for a job well done, in the following 18 days I was kept busy doing other little jobs, well the fact is you will never be finished with work on a boat, you will always have something to do. On the morning of the 08.11.15. we had 3 to 4 days of Gale force gusts, very, strong winds and heavy rains, in that time you heard on the radio about Boats that were after dragging their anchor going adrift and bashing into other boats or going up on the reefs all around the anchorages in Grenada , ´´oh yea that just reminded me of a boat that was 300 meters behind me that was sitting on a shallow reef 2 days long, now in this time we had beautiful Caribbean weather, I only noticed it when I was visiting Matze on the SY Papillion because he was nearer to the Yacht that was aground, first thing that was strange was the boat was heeling ( leaning ) to one side, and the fact that she was facing in the totally opposite direction to every other boat that was around it, I said this to Matze and he said he thought there was something funny about it, the same day the guy moved his boat to a different anchor place when the tide was full, he must have  been flutered (pissed).´´anyway, back to the story, on the morning of the 8.11.15, there was a Gale blowing with gusts of up to 43 knots and more, like everyone else I looked out every now and then to see that everything was ok, not that you could see much with the rain, at around 09.45 I looked outside and saw a Danish 55 or more Ft,  2 master timber ship that was adrift and was directly in front of Chev, I went up to the bow and saw no sign of life aboard, so I shouted a few times but in the howling winds and lashing rain I was wasting my time, the boat was 10 meters away, coming  towards Chev`s  bow, with him directly in front of me it would have been stupid to lift the anchor ,so I started the motor, locked the rudder to the left side and gave gas, using the anchor and motor to swing us in a wide circle away from the path of the Danish boat, Chev passed the Dane with about 4 meters to spare, i held Chev with the motor and anchor in this position, and all the time I was praying that the Danish boat´s anchor wouldn’t hook my anchor as he passed, until the Dane drifted further away from Chev in what seemed like hours, but in fact was only 10 minutes, I could finally relax and let Chev drift back into her old position, for us the danger was passed, but for an English boat that was behind and to the right of me, the trouble was only starting, 20 minutes later the Danish anchor dragger bashed into the bow of the English steel yacht, there was nothing anyone could do because the waves and the wind were too strong, we could only watch as the boats collided and hope that they both would not end up on the reef 200 meters behind them, the English boats anchor held, and 15 minutes later the winds decreased, so did the waves, I took a chance with the dinghy to reach the boats and nearly capsized twice going over to them, when I got there, there was a grey haired man on the English steel yacht, I told him to start his motor and steer to the right (back ) of the Danish wooden ship while I held a couple of fenders against the side of the Danish ship, but he just stood there, I asked him twice more but I think he was in shock or just did not believe that this was happening, or because I am half deaf I did not hear what his answer was, so I jammed a couple of fenders between his bow and the side of the Danish ship, 5 minutes later there was at least 8 people on board the 2 boats, most of them in oil skin, and me being in me swimming togs felt out of place, as I had forgotten my dinner suit in the heat of the moment, so I got back in my dinghy and drove over to Chev to dry myself and get on some proper cloths, when I went up on deck I saw that the Calvary had arrived, there was about 20 people there, and more coming a galloping to the rescue in there dinghy’s, there was no further need of me so I stayed where I was, my friend Dave came over from hog island and came aboard Chev as he too thought there was enough helpers, so we had a cup of tea and watched the rest of the goings on, Dave was worried that the Danish ship would hit Chev as they were too close for his liking, but in the end they managed to sort it out, there was damage done to the bow of the English steel yacht, how much I don’t know, but it was great to see the response of the other sailors, the sailing community and how their always there for each other when someone needs help, great stuff. I heard from another sailor that the English man’s motor was never seen or heard running or even moved in all the years he is there, he doesn’t have a dinghy motor, and we saw him lots of times rowing over to the Whisper Cove marine, well there is never a dull moment, and the danger about anchoring comes always from the boats in front or to the side of yours. On the 09.11.15 I went to collect Sabine at the Maurice Bishop Airport in Grenada at 16, .45, when she came out the door I nearly missed her, her face was covered in a wild bush of hairy curls , she looked like a one after escaping out of the lunatic asylum, jaysus  the poor girl looked like she aged by 20 years in the month she was gone, and a head of hair that would have done a wild curly headed  sheep proud on some mountain top, she looked like she needed a sheep sheerer and not a hair dresser, it took about 2 to 3 days until she was back to her normal beautiful self, the  main thing now, is we are ready for the next stage of the trip that should take us  to the A B C islands, Portobello, San Blass, Colon, through the Panama Canal, to the Las Perlas, and out to the Pacific Ocean to the Galapagos islands, then to the Marquesas, of course that is only a rough plan that can change under circumstances. with God’s help, we plan on heading off on 17th Tuesday afternoon  or the 18th  Wednesday to the A B C islands. So Followers of Chev look after yourselves well and take care, good bye and God bless till the next time Ahoy and Har harr  




Chevaldy in CCBM


Collision in a storm

The helpers are on their way

 


Guyana-Tobago-Grenada

15.09.15 till 12.10.15

Ahoy followers of Chev,

           There’s no such thing as a simple job that will take only 5 minutes,. This afternoon I was on me knees with only me hands inside the engine compartment, me head wouldn’t fit because the space was to small, or though sometimes I can be big headed, and there’s a lot of people can tell yea that and I suppose they would be right sure, only sometimes now mind yea, beside that I needed it (me head) to keep me self-balanced on a rolling boat by pressing me forehead against the timber panel of the motor compartment, u know what I mean like, so anyway, I was changing a hosepipe on the engine that should take about 5 minutes, armed with a rusty screwdriver in the right hand, the hosepipe clamp in the left, trying to loosen the rusty screw from the clamp, all by feel now mind yea, but the flogging thing wouldn’t budge, I tried all the old tricks I know, heat, cold shock spray, no chance boy, well by now the 5 minutes was 6 times up, so I sprayed a rake of penetrating oil on the old screw, and being a man of patience as I am like, had an old cuppa while I waited for the oil to penetrate the rusty old screw and do the trick, 15 minutes later the tea break was over and I was back on me knees, well, I was expecting now that the screw would float off after all the oil I sprayed on it, but it would only move bit by bit with a lot of pressure on the screw, and so did Chev, from the wake of a motor boat that was passing, anyway I lost me balance, the rusty screwdriver slipped off the rusty screw and I stabbed me self-straight into me left thumb, Christ Almighty, so I pulled it out looked at it, it was a deep but small cut, about I cm in length, I wiggled it about to see if it was still working, a bit sore but still useable, always thankful for small mercies, so I licked the wound, desinfected it with surgical alcohol, got a plaster and finished the  5 minute job 10 minutes later, all in all it took one hour, the so called 5 minute done in a jiffy, so there u are.  later on Richard came by and we drank a cuppa while we were shooting the shit, Sabina told Richard about the hole in me thumb, oh says he, let’s have a look at it, oh that looks bad, come on over to my boat I got a wound glue that will close that hole, so off we go, on board Granuaile Eilish look at the hole and says oh that looks like a bad cut but this glue will seal it, she took out this wound glue stuff, and reads the instructions carefully  twice, she reminded me of the Irish woman who took the pill twice, to be sure to be sure, so she squeezed the glue on me 1 cm cut, but being as blind as me self she glued me bloody thumb onto the palm of me hand, jaysus, I looked like a fella that had a stroke, God forbid, so I pull me skin apart, that was no easy job though I tell yea, the stuff is just like superglue, but I got it off in the end, now the cut  is a ½ centimetre bigger than before, but at least I don’t look like a stroke victim,  after that we had a sundowner and a good old chinwag, the 16.09.15 we went over to the Baganara Resort to say good bye to Stuart and the workers that were there and thanked them for the great time they had given us, at 10  O’clock we lifted the anchor and went down river with the tide to Bartica escorted by Granuaile and Kuaka, and anchored in the same spot as when we arrived in Bartica 2 1/2 weeks ago, we went ashore and cleared customs, but were told by the immigration officer we would have to come back in the morning to clear immigration, we told him we needed to sail one hour before high tide to have enough water under the keel to clear the shallows and Sholes to reach Roed en Rust safely, that would mean we would have to leave at 07.30. Thursday morning, ´´no problem says your man I will be there at 07.00´´, so of we went to the market shopping for supplies that we would need to get to Tobago, we went to our favourite little shop in Bartica where we once found the shopkeeper asleep on a flattened cardboard box on the floor behind the counter, now believe it or not, we witnessed  this on another island before, these people know how to relax I tell yea, so we woke her up with a shout of ´´let’s rob the gaff´´ that frightened the be jaysus out of her, but she saw the funny side of it and we had a great laugh, since then we buy 6 bottles of the 2 ltr cola from her at the cheapest price in town for 1.50 € a bottle, just like today,  we told her we were going back to Tobago the next day and said our good byes to her, and  as a going away gift she gave us 6 eggs, a lovely girl,  we returned to Chev and Sabine cooked a chicken curry for Eilish and Richard as a farewell meal, they were staying another month in Guyana, we had a great crack and Richard surprised us all by drinking 2 glasses of port wine, now, the man didn’t drink for years like, anyway sure I suppose the fact that we had shared some great times in the 4 months that we travelled together, and after tonight that would all be coming to an end, tomorrow Sabine and I would be going a different direction than our very dear friends Richard and Eilish, 2 very generous lovely people who were always ready help when and where they can and who we will never forget. So I can only guess that the reason Richard drank 2 glasses of port wine would be that he was very happy that he would finally be rid of us and have his peace and quiet again thank God, and he was dead right sure, when the time came to part poor Eilish was in tears, but I know we will meet them again, they can’t hide for ever, u know what I mean like, we will track them down to the ends of the Earth Har harr. On the 17.09.15.  at the dawning of the day 06.15 was the last time we saw Richard and Eilish when we were going over in the dinghy to clear out in Bartica, Richard drove close to us and he was smiling and waving, and poor Eilish was by the mast waving with tears in her eyes, and we were waving our last farewell from the dinghy and hoping Richard wouldn’t run us down, God look after them and keep them safe on their travels, we will miss them.


Eilish and Richard are waving good bye

We cleared Immigration shortly after 07.00, went back to Chev, upped anchor and headed down river keeping a sharp lookout for nets, reefs, rocks and shallows, anything at all that could be a danger to us, we keept a beady eye on it. We arrived in Rode en rust at 12.30 went in to the town of Parika gave out our last Guyana dollar’s, went back to Chev and had a good sleep.


To get to the pier in Roeden en Rust you have to climb up some tyres

On the 18.09.15. at 08.00 We lifted the anchor and headed down river, after 6 hours we cleared the last obstacles and dangers that make navigating the Mighty Essequibo River a very demanding but great challenge, we finally reached the Atlantic Ocean again after a month in Guyana, we set course for Tobago. The trip to Tobago took 3 days and 3 nights, and it was lovely and smooth, no squalls or thunder showers, just perfect sailing weather.



On the 21.09 at 02.00 we reefed the sails, not because of bad weather, but because we were going too fast and had to slowed down so that we would be in Man of War Bay after 08.00, if we arrived any time before 08.00 we would have had to pay overtime for clearing in. The town of Charlotteville is a lovely place that we know like the back of our hands, we renewed acquaintances with some of the local people whom we got to know on our last visit here.


Our first "big" fish

This is also the first place where we found a shopkeeper asleep on a mattress behind the counter, but we didn’t see her till she hopped up like a puppet from behind the counter and nearly fell back down again, I thought she was flutered but she had only lost her balance, we didn’t stay long in Tobago, but filled up with cheap diesel 154 litre for 35 € one of the main reasons for stopping here, and filled up the 100 litre water tank with free drinkable water, that was the other reason, 0n the 23.09 Wednesday we cleared out and at 16.30 we sailed out of the Man of War Bay escorted by the biggest scabbiest cheekiest bunch of dolphins we ever did see, they blew air bubbles and spat water up at us, but as always it’s great to watch the carry on´s of these creatures. After a magnificent night at sea, with a good Moon and a billion stars to light the way, jaysus it was fantastic, I was watching far of galaxies and the Moon with me old binoculars, did u know, that sometimes u can see between the bright and dark side of the moon, and imagine the landscape through the variation of light and shadows caused by the huge mountains and craters of the Moon, we arrived in Woburne Bay at 07 30 and anchored near the SY Karma and cleared in at 09.00 with no problem and returned to Chev, at 11.30 we were invited over to Karma for lunch by Joan and Graham who we haven’t seen in a while, stuffed our bellies with a lovely fresh fish stew, and caught up on the latest from them. Friday 25.09 Next day we went over to the new marina to verify our haul out date 12.10, so that’s another thing out of the way. Saturday 26.09 we went with Graham and Joan shopping to St Georges with the bus, we know this place very well it sort of grows on u. 27.09 Sunday we tied up our dinghy in Hog Island and walked over to Prickly Bay to the Flee market, it was really hot, 35°, I  picked up a couple of blocks that I needed for 5€, met Suzy and David  from the Enchantress talked their ears off, walked back to Hog Island got the dinghy and went to Matze and katja for coffee on Papillon, 2 hours later we called to Karma and 1 hour later we were back aboard old Chev .Monday 28.09 one of the bolts that holds the pulpit (bow railing) on the bow had to be taken off and welded as it was busted, so another 5 minute job, u got it in one ´´there is no such thing´´ well it went ok and after 20 minutes I had the pulpit in the dinghy with Sabine  holding it, and off we went to Graham on Karma, after 15 minutes getting the stuff for the job ready, and 5 minutes welding it was as good as new and we drank a coffee to celebrate a job well done, thank you Graham, back on board Chev it took 30 minutes to get the pulpit back in position, another job well done thank u Sean boy, to me self. Tuesday 29.09 we went with the shopping bus and bought a new radio aerial and 18 meters of coax aerial cable, a silicone pistol, and 96 small cans of beer that should last at least over a month, we had Joan and Graham over for dinner and I made a batter dinner, batter sausages, batter burgers, and potato pies in batter, anything I got me hands I battered it, and washed it down with a couple of cold cans of beer. Wednesday 30.09. We were collected by Graham and Joan in their dinghy and drove over to Whisper Cove where we caught a bus to St Georges, there we caught a bus to Sauteurs then we walked to Levera Beach and further to Bathway Beach were we went swimming in the sea protected by a reef, after that we walked to River Sallee, from there we caught a bus to Grenville were we got another bus as far as Calivigny, after that we walked the last 3 clicks (kilometres) to Whisper Cove, Graham dropped us off at Chev, were Sabine cooked and eat the rest of the sausages  before she fell down dead from exhaustion, we had a lovely day and a lovely breeze from the sea all day, the buses cost us about 6 € per person for the complete circle of Granada.  Thursday 01.10 I had to connect up a new electric cable to the navigation lights on the pulpit among other things that would keep me busy for the day, so Sabine went off to St George with Catja, at 18.00 we were invited over to Hog Island by Susan and David from the Enchantress for dinner, me teeth and tongue  were swimming in me mouth from the smell of the meatloaf and potato salad, the beer and wine flowed to wash down the lovely dinner, well there was nothing left over, I can tell yea that now, I scraped every pot clean before it went back and if the lights went out I would have licked all the plates as well, after that we had a coffee and then some lovely 12 year old Scottish whisky that put a lovely glow in the old belly, then when there was no more to eat and drink we got up and went home, ha ha I am only joking, we talked about  going to the ABC Islands, the San Blass Islands, Panama, and the Pacific and still wanted to hear more from David and Susan, it’s great to hear first-hand from someone who has done it before sure, we had a good crack as well, at 12. 30.  We headed for our own home, All in all it was a lovely night. Friday 02.10. There was free live music in the le phare Bleu marine. At 19.30. Graham and Joan collected us from Chev, then we were driven at high speeds into the reef infested side of the marine in the dark by graham the mad fucker, I think he was trying to drive us into the mad house, or frighten the shit out of us which he succeeded in doing, ok there were lights marking the reefs but still at that speed, well it wasn’t for people with week nerves like me ohhoo, the Marine was top class and we were seated in wicker chairs with thick cushions, and the group were very good, guitar player drummer and organ player, and the 2 girls singing, with the salty sent of the Atlantic up the nostrils and the gentle sound of the waves breaking on the beach it was really lovely. Saturday 03.10 we went shopping to St Georges that took the whole morning, came home and relaxed for the rest of the day.


New dinghypantoon  by the Island View Dock

Sunday morning the 04.10 Graham collected me at 08.30 and we drove over to the Amarula where we helped Eric and Lynne put back on the sails of their 60 foot catamaran, it was no easy job with the 4 of us but we managed it all in the end, at 10.45. Graham drove back over to Chev to collect Sabine and we then went back to Karma were Joan had made a snack and we drank a toast to Graham for his 57th birthday, at 12.30 Graham and Joan went to taffys bar to watch the rugby match, and called over to Chev at 17.00 were we sang a few songs and drank a few beers until 19.00. Then Joan sad that’s it now, Graham has to go to bed early now that he’s 57 and look after himself, his wild days are over now, but if he behaves himself and be a good boy she might let him stay out late the next night and off they went to Karma, anyway it was way past me own bed time. The 05.10. Monday morning at 09.00 Graham called over and climbed up the mast like a monkey and replaced the old aerial with the new one, then we pulled the coax cable down through the mast and that was the hardest part done thanks be to Graham, the rest I did me self and now our radio is up and running like new ye haw, at 17.00 we were invited to Karma along with Susan and David for dinner, we had a lovely fish stew again, yes I know ´´AGAIN´´ but Graham wants to empty his fridge and get rid of all the fish he has before he goes to Trinidad to haul out, so we volunteered gladly, don’t forget now Joni is a good cook. Tuesday 06.10 we went shopping again to St Georges in the morning, and on the way back we went to help put a floating pontoon in the water with about 25 other sailors, so that was our good deed for the day. 07.10 Wednesday night we went to Taff’s were there was supposed to be a jamming session, it started off bad but ended up with us and everyone that was there having a great time. Thursday 08.10. I  put a new shackle on the dinghy chain and just finished when the sky got a dangerous dark colour, from one minute to the next the wind went from 15 knots to 30 knots, and the rain was bucketing down, when a canoe with 2 people passed close to Chev, I signalled for them to come alongside and to come aboard until conditions got better but they waved this invitation off and carried on even though the wind and wave height were worsening by the minute, Sabine asked me if they were crazy, no I said, I think there might be a screw loose but crazy there not, the weather report for the day was good weather with 14 knot winds and sunshine, and I believe that they had heard the same report, so no they are quite normal, now like, the wind in the meantime had increased to 45, knots 2 minutes later the canoe capsized in front of our eyes, with the 2 people who were without life jackets, just like most blue water sailors including us of course, ending up in the sea, they were about 100 meters away from us and we watched as the man climbed back on-board  the canoe, but the woman couldn’t manage it and gave up trying, at this stage they had passed 1 boat and were close to a catamaran on their left side, but instead of trying to reach one of them, they kept going further to their right, but because of the rain it was getting more difficult to keep them in our sight, and with the conditions we had, then we would lose sight of them in the next couple of minutes, that’s it I said to Sabine I will go after them with the dinghy and see if I can help them somehow, by the time I was in the dinghy I could barely make them out in the high waves, but thank Christ I caught up with them and told the woman to hang on to the canoe and I towed them to a catamaran that was about 300 meters away that turned out to be their own, I tied the dinghy to the cat and ask if I could wait for the wind to die down as the danger was there that the stormy winds  could overturn my dinghy and that wouldn’t be good for me or the engine, to make a long story short , I had to wait over 1 hour before I could return to Sabine and Chev, at the height of it, the winds reached a speed of 47 knots, of course they thanked me umpteen times and said that they had underestimated the conditions, they were told that the canoe they had was unsinkable, and that it couldn’t capsizes, only last week there was a big container ship lost with all  hands on board 300 nautical miles from here, maybe the Captain had underestimated the weather and the capabilities of his ship, shit happens sure, that was my good deed for the day. 09.10 Friday. We went to St Georges today, and had a feed at De Joint were we met up with Lann and Stan an American couple, then we went shopping and stopped off at taffys for a beer that Graham and Joan paid for before we got home.


Having fun at the D Joint

Saturday 10.10.2015 we were going to Hog Island Beach to make a BBQ at 12.30, this would be the last BBQ as Graham and Joan, David and Susan would all be going in different directions in the next few days well the weather is not very good in the last couple of days, with very strong to storm force winds, squalls, and torrential rains and today was no different, but we still had a very nice BBQ with Graham and Joan, David and Susan, all had a great crack, what with singing and tin whistle playing while we watch the monsoon like rains beating down, and feasting from the finest, it was the first time I ate sail fish, and other fish that gram grilled, along with breadfruit pie, potato salad, mixed salad, mango salad, beetroot salad, and poems being read by Graham.


Joanie, David, Susan, me, Graham

Graham reciting the ballade of William Bloat

At 17.30 there was a break in the squalls, so  we decided to head for home before the next squalls starts, we just made it to Chev for 18.00 before it got dark and sure enough the wind picked up again, a well that’s life I suppose sure.  Sunday the 11.10 was supposed to be a dinghy concert at 15:30, but because of the wind and the rain it didn`t take place. Still David and Susan called over for some coffee and an hour later Graham and Joanie turned up. We had a great night, telling a lot of funny stories, something to drink, some snack to eat and some music and of course a lot of laughter. It was a nice farewell for Sabine because she is flying home the next day. On Monday the 12.10. Graham came over at 7:30 as we just started to lift the anchor. It was really dug in and so it took some time to get it out. We headed over then to the Clarkes Court Bay Marina for our appointment to be hauled out. It took a mighty long time to get Chev set properly on the trailer.











A diver had to guide them, but finaly at 12 a clock, just an hour before Sabine got collected with the taxi, Chevaldy was settled on her blocks. So harrrr harrrr followers of Chevaldy, I am off to work at my “To Do List”…….          

Guyana
28.08.15 to the 14.09.15.

Ahoy Followers of Chev, we started to get supplies in Parika yesterday before we head upriver to the Gold mining town of Bartica, u know yourself like bit by bit, so we don’t have too much to haul at one go, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th we did the same, went to the market and get the vegetable’s fresh from the fields, and the eggs straight from the hens arse, that way they will last longer, one good thing though is we bought 200 antibiotics capsules’, and 50Tramadol pain killer capsules, all without a prescription, now not that we turned in to a couple of pill popping junkies like, but because sooner or later we will need them, I guarantee yea, there’s nothing worse than being days or weeks away from land, with a bad ear, throat, chest, or lung infection, or a badly infected wound, so we are ready if stuff like that happens anyway, I mean like, Richard god bit by a dog 3 days ago on his way to his dinghy, the poor man couldn’t sleep with all the worry he had, had the dog rabies, or some other infectious disease yea know like, how quick shit can happen, I tell yea.


Pier at the Roeden en Rust Marina

Fastferry from Parika to Bartica

Anyway Sunday after the market, we headed back to Chev and were ready when the tide changed at 13.30, up came the anchor and off we headed for the first short stage of our trip, with the tide, sail, and motor we had a speed of 6,6 knots, one hour later we dropped anchor just 50 meters off the pier from Forth island. Forth island was originally known as Flag island during the early years of Dutch occupation, because a large flag was flown on the island to guide boats. Flag Island was twice the capitol of the Dutch Colonies of Essequibo and Demerara, once during the 16th and 17th century, they then relocated the capitol further to the mouth of the Essequibo river at the start of the 18th century, then the 2nd time in 1739 they (the Dutch) relocated back to Flag Island, the island acquired its new name in 1740 on account of a new brick Fort that was built under the guidance of the sectary of the commander Laurens Storm van´s Gravesand, that’s enough of the old history lessons now, anyway we go walka-bout around this lovely small island, we looked at what was left of the old fort, talked with some of the natives that made us feel very welcome, we even visited the local island school and were invited in by the teacher, she introduced us to the 7 children from 3 family’s who’s ages ranged from 7 years the youngest, 14 years being the oldest, the were all beautiful well behaved, when they smiled, it was with there whole heart and soul. we spent over 1 hour together with them, at the start they were shy but in no time at all they were just being themselves, asking loads of questions, and we got on really great with them , we showed them where we came from and where we intend to go next, when the time came for us to leave the teacher asked us if we were Christians, would we would sing a Christian song for the children, so Sabine and myself sang ´´you raise me up´´ and so ended our visit to Fort island, we came away with an experience richer that I don’t think we will forget, and we know how privileged we are to have been allowed to share the time we had with them together.


Fort Island

Fort Island Museum

The Fort

The Primary School

The children at school

The children and teacher

Photo of us together with the kids

We went back to Chev, raised up the hook and headed up river for Shanklands. we navigate the Essequibo River by way points and Eyeball and I can tell yea its a very dogy and nervy business, u cant see no
thing because of the brown mucky coloured water, and the fishnets that are just drifting on a busted bit of Styrofoam, that looks like rubbish floating down the river, u have to have your whit s about you all the time. Anyway the engine boiled over again, now I just got the seawater pump fixed last week, I put in a brand new impeller so it couldn’t be the seawater pump, the problem was that there was not enough water flowing through the cooling system to keep the engine at the right temperature so we drove at slow revs until we reached Shanklands, it was just getting dark when we dropped anchor in the bay. 01,09,15 the next morning we went walkabout in Shanklands, its a deserted holiday resort, but it was a pleasant walk.


View from Shankland Resort

On a trail on Shankland Resort

On 02,09,15, I put in the last impeller I had before we headed up to Bartica, it was only 90 minutes away, but I couldn’t afford anything going wrong because it was the trickiest part of the whole trip, to many sand banks, reefs, floating logs,trees,debris, rubbish, and other obstructions, this was definitely the place were u didn’t want engine trouble I can tell yea, anyway we made it to Bartica no bother at all sure, we will only have to worry about the return trip to the Atlantic when the time comes. The hustle and bustle, and the dynamic nature of Guyana's wild-west gold mining town Bartica, Bartica where the Mighty Essequibo, Mazaruni, and Cuyuni rivers meet is powered by tough, optimistic people, squeezed onto a rugged peninsula, the Mighty Essequibo River, and a seemingly endless expanse of tropical rain forest. Bartica is a River town, the only way in is by boat on the Mighty Essequibo, and the only way out into the jungle is by high clearance 4X4 truck. The town makes its money, in support of the gold mining industry and is still the launching point for Guyana’s gold and diamond miners. Gold is mined by the dredging process at both the industrial level, and at a cottage level, it seems as though everyone here is involved in some way with equipping the bush camps, or feeding and "entertaining" the young fellas whose hard labour produce the fruits of El Dorado. (By the way, this is exactly the area where the fabled golden Amerindian City of El Dorado was said to exist.) it seems as though everyone owns a gold mine or part of a gold mine. The town has a population of of over 15,000, the central town is about 1 square mile and consists of 7 avenues and 9streets, the avenues run north to south, the streets east to west, so u cant get lost there, The down side of Bartica, Its such a small compact town that the double talkers, backstreet walkers, alcoholics, conmen, homeless, destitute down and outs, seem to be all over the place, they were young guys that once came in search of a fortune and ended up with nothing, God help them sure, a sad state of airfares indeed. Packs of worm infested scabby dogs are roaming the streets, and rubbish is a big problem, the dogs rip open the garbage bags scavenging for food and what’s left behind ends up in the river, As with most Third-World frontiers this is definitely not the place for the easily offended or the politically correct, especially on the weekends when the gold diggers are back in town, instead of galloping in on horseback like in the good old wild west days, the come driving at high speeds with there big off road high clearance 4 X 4 4 ton trucks in clouds of diesel smoke, polluting the place and terrifying the town folk, ´´well shucks that just ain’t fair folks, Yep I think its time to pin on my badge, strap on my old six shooter, to bring these Varmits to justice by locking them up, or shooting them dead, yep folks Sheriff John J for justice is here to save Yaa, Yawl hear mee now, lets bring back the good old weekend public hangings and whippings in the town square ´´ ye haw´.´ There is a monument in a park here in remembrance of the 11 people, 8 citizens and 3 police officers, that were mascaraed there by some drug crazed gang in 1998, I heard from a local that armed gangs were roaming the streets back in the bad old days of 2008, but since then its got a lot quieter, ´´ or he is deaf like me, or maybe the hoods use silencers´´ but the normal folk never leave there houses after dark, for fear of hackings, stabbings, shootings, robbing´s,or some other way to meet their maker quicker than they expect to, Bartica, Where else does one see a full page advertisement in the local newspaper on cans of mercury (quicksilver) everybody has some in their truck for the gold separation process) that ends up in the river to, bush trucks with exotic ladies names and even more suggestive deals, there are a lot of hotels doing a roaring trade, renting out rooms by the hour to the lady’s of the night, Welcome to Bartica. We left Bartica for the quite solitude of Baganara Holiday Resort 5 nm up river.


Seaside of Bartica

Bartrica town

A goldmine truck

The monument

U are allowed to anchor in front of the resort 50 meters off shore from the Famous Baganara Holiday Resort, its right in the middle of the jungle, Mick Jagger stayed here, prices range from 135$ to 520 a night, we had slack water so I decided to go into the water to scrub away the stains above the water line, I was in the water about I hour before I finished, then in the afternoon Sabine and me jumped in and had an old swim around to cool down, no big deal there, I mean the water temperature is 29 or 30 °, but don’t forget now like, we are in one of the biggest Rivers that flows from the Amazon and there are plenty of, ´´Oh my God Nooo, Piranha in it Ahhaaa ,´´ jaysus are we stupid or what, I hear u say, no problem there harmless creatures sure, I think so anyway, at least we still have all our parts, no fingers, toes, nipples, noses, or any other important things missing, thanks be to God. On the 04, 09, 15, we were invited over to the Resort by the consulting manager, his name is Paul he is of Polish decent, comes from Canada, is very diplomatic and thinks before he talks, we had tea and coffee while he gave us the run-down on the Resort, now we were interested in a doing a tour of the Kaieteur National park, we had heard its supposed to have one of the most spectacular tropical rainforest, and the Kaieteur Falls is one of the tallest single drop water falls in the World, its 741 feet high, that’s about 5 times higher than Niagara Falls, but u have to to get to the town or village of Potaro Landing which lies about 50 kilometres as the crow flies, to the north east of the National Park, or Kurukabaru town or village that lies about 25 kilometres to the South of the National Park, that shouldn’t be to difficult as there are roads into these places if they are not blocked by falling trees or land slides, weather or which in both places the road stops and ends there, end of the road, I like that it has a sort of ring to it yea know like sounds god, END OF THE ROAD, yea know what I mean, All Aboard ha ha, so u have2 choices there. Then u go walk-about through the Jungle that can take anywhere between 1 to 3 days march depending on the weather with a guide, so u have 2 choices there as well, Take it or Leave it, or do it or dont. so we asked Paul about the possibility of getting there as we don’t like the idea of leaving Chev on her own too long, no problem there at all sure,says he, the owners of the resort have an air company, a gold mine, and river boat tours, now u cant go by River, u can hike it if u like it, but the best and most comfortable way is to leave in the morning,fly in to the National Park with their plane, meet up with the guide, walk 1 to 2 hrs to the Falls and other places of interest, then u are back in Baganara in the afternoon, sounded great to us and we were ready to go, but don’t forget we have to watch the old money, and we the next question was, HOW MUCH dose it cost Paul, he made a phone call and gave us a price of between 250 or 260 US dollars a head, the phone rang again, and when he finished with the call, he told us that the National Park was closed because some woman went missing from a tour group the day or 2 days before, and they had search parties out looking for her, and it would remain closed for a week, maybe earlier if they find the woman, we pray to God she is alight and that they do find her, but Paul doesn’t think her chances are good,so after this he gave us a guided tour of the Resort, its a very beautiful place, he told us we could walk around the resort but to keep off the runway, we could also use the kayaks to go up the side river to the creek if wish, all free of charge, now that s what I would call a kind offer, ´´thanks Paul boy the blessings of God on you and yours, I wouldn’t doubt yea at all sure´´.


Baganara Island Resort

Paul is giving us the tour of the resort

Baganara Beach with our dinghy and the boats in the backround

There are a lot of bird on Baganara Island

On the .05,09,15, we made a trip with the dinghy trough some side arms of Essquibo River, in search of Black Creek, we passed beautiful mangrove swamps, saw 2 huge Eagles but found no creek, in the end we did a full circle and ended back in the Essequibo by Baganara, that was enough exploration for one day no point in overdoing it yea know what I mean like. The 07.09.15. Since we entered the river the barnacles are getting less and less, and not only that, I think that the fresh water is clearing the shit, dirt, and crystallisation in the motor, I hope so that’s me last impeller like,. I ran the motor and let her running for 1 hour, just like I have been doing every second day and it seems to me that there’s more water coming out, now it could lie on the fact that there is a high copper content in the water here, as well as other stuff like Quicksilver, yellow fever,typhoid, dysentery, Piranhas, Snakes, and other things we don’t know about, anyway like, the barnacles on the keel (that’s the underside of the boat) don’t like whatever is in the water because they just die and fall off, this is a fresh or sweet water river (not salty) but u cant drink it, or the tap water here, we don’t take any ice cubes in nothing,the chances are you will get typhoid, yellow fever,or dysentery, or u might be unlucky enough to get the the whole lot in one go, then U are really up shit creek without a paddle, all jokes aside now u can actually shit yourself to death, and in the deep jungle U WILL GET MALARIA FOR SURE , I hope that we will get the fuck out of here safe and healthy, so if U are here be careful I tell yea now. on the 07.09.15. We went for a stroll around the Resort and we ended up talking with Stewart whose family owns the island of Baganara, he is the other manager and a very likeable fella indeed, he is very open and says what he thinks, he told us of his and Paul’s big project, of building another 15 rooms on the Resort, about his 90 year young mother likes it here, they have a house in Georgetown with 2 women looking after her, and how Paul is one of the family, Stewart like Paul, gave us the run of the Estate, plus we have free wi-fi its a bit week but working, a generous guy u are indeed Stewart. On the 09, 09 15, at 08.15 we were picked up from the boat by a high speed motorboat that belongs to Baganara Resort, he was heading down river to Parika and he dropped us off at Bartica on his way down, he said he would collect us again and take us back to the boat in Baganara around 12 or 1 o’Clock, that gave us at least 4 hours to get some supplies from the market, and have a nice relaxing walk-about, every thing went well and we were collected at the pier at 1 o’Clock and drove at high speed back to Chev it costed us nothing as he was going that way anyway sure, but we still gave the driver a tip and a big thank u. At 15.00 we set off again to find the entrance to the Black Creek, we had already tried to find it 4 days ago but failed, the entrance was very hard to find as it was covered by overgrown jungle, u had to go really close to the mangroves, but this time we were lucky and found it.


Amerindians living in the jungle

Eilish and Richard are paddling

We are here as well :-)

In the middle of the jungle

Deep into the jungle

Yeaaa, it was great just like something out of an adventure park, we spent over 2 hours rowing and gliding through the swampy Creek, we heard the red howler monkeys, but never caught sight of one, thanks be to God, this is the real Jungle so bring an umbrella with u, because what we can tell u is that the red howler monkeys throw sticks at u from the trees, now that’s not to bad like, but the worse is that they will piss down on top of your head, not to mention the shit that they will fling at u, now that’s where u will need the old umbrella, I swear its true I tell yea, u will be stinking for hours if they get u, and u can throw away your fuckin cloths after that sure, so don’t be fooled by them, the monkeys are cheeky saucy bastards. I tell yea that now. I never expected that there would be so many turn-offs left and right of the main Creek, it was like a maze and I hoped I would remember the important ones on the way back, I mean there’s no signposts to show u the way like u know what I mean, were in the fuckin Jungle here like, now I thought there was another exit and tried to find it, the further in we went the darker it got, we were still hoping to find the exit that didn’t exist just around the next bend, but the jungle closed in even more and we were ducking under the low lying branches, just round the next bend I was thinking, I was full sure that there was another exit around the next bend,but there was only1way in and out, its amazing how time fly s when your enjoying yourself sure, I mean it was relay exciting and adventurous gliding up the Creek like, and the stillness is hard to describe, here we were Sabine Huckleberry and Sean e Finn, having a great time and before u knew it the sun was nearly gone and the night was riding in, I didn’t even notice it until a frightened voice from far away in the distance of another world scared the shit out of me, Jesus Mary and holy Saint Josef have mercy on us. But it was only Sabine on the other side of the dinghy asking how far more are we going to go, ´´can u find the way back before it gets dark Sean Boy I mean we have been paddling into the Creek for last 2 hours now, so it must be 17.00 now, and the sun goes down around 18.00 that means it will be pitch black soon and my hands are tired, So tell me Sean are we up Shit Creek without a paddle or what, do u really think u will find the way out with all them twist and turns in the dark Sean Boy be honest Sean please, are were going to be stuck in here all night or what ´´. That s the love of me life my Sabine sure, she s a mathematical genus, highly intelligent, she thinks very logically, BUT she has a WILD and VIVID imagination like, yea know what I mean, one look at Poor Sabine’s face told me that her mind was running away with her, like a panicky horse that was ready to gallop off blind with fright, jaysus she was waiting for snakes or tarantulas or some other creepy crawlies to drop from the trees down on top of us, she was lost in the darkness of her wild imagination, and spending the night in the Jungle already , ´´ Its all right me love no need to panic says I, you don’t have to worry your little head about a thing sure, We are not up Shit Creek without a paddle, as we still have 2 paddles, we even have a grand dinghy motor sure, and that will have us out of here in 2 shakes of a cats arse, so I started the motor and to make a long story short, within 30 minutes without making 1 wrong turn, and with a lot of luck and loads of help from God of course, we were back in the River, 15 minutes later we were back on old Chev at 1750, we had time to make a sundowner and sit out on deck to cool our nerves after our Jungle Creek adventure. So that’s enough action for a while, to morrow we are going to have a lazy day and just fart around doing nothing nothing at all, so there u are now.


Sun is going down

On 10.09.15 we got news that we might be able to do the tour to the National Park and the Kaieteur Falls on Sunday the 13.09.15 just ignore the date and hope we don’t go missing like that poor woman last week and get back in one piece. 11.09,15. Serge had a visit from Stewart and Paul and we were told to be in the office to finalise the tour to the Falls, it would cost per person, 230 US $ that’s 208 €, that includes Flight, guide, and refreshments, I mean u cant say nothing there at them prices like, that’s a grand bargain sure for a once in a lifetime trip, at 1400 we went with the Baganara ferry boat to Bartica with Stewart Paul some 4 guests 4 employees Sabine and me, the 12 Apostille´s passengers, it was the wettest,hardest bone jarring trip we ever made I tell yea, we had only left the shadow of the island and were caught in a squall that whipped the river into waves that we bashed and shuddered into all the way to Bartica, all the 12 Apostille´s us included were fucking saturated, we stood on the pier with the water dripping off us as if we climbed out of a fecking washing machine, it wasn’t half so bad sure the squall was gone the sun was shining and by temperatures between 30° to 35° we were wouldn’t take long to dry. Paul invited us for a drink at the bar, so we came with the gang Richard, Eilisch, Serge, Charlotte,Sabine and me with my guitar, Paul informed us that we could either fly to the Waterfall on Saturday 12th , or Sunday 13th, of course I said 12th and that was that settled, Stewart told that his Grandfather who was a Portuguese, who had made his fortune as one of the first Gold Prospectors in Guyana, he bought the island and set up home here, built the Baganara house or estate as it was then called. Stewart lived and grew up in Georgetown, before he moved to Barbados at some stage, the dates I don’t have but the reason was that Guyana was in danger of becoming a Commonest country, then he moved to Canada with his aunt, now he spends most of his time between Georgetown and Baganara, then we had a good old singsong the drink was free, Paul kept filling the glasses and himself and Stewart sang along and clapped there hands in time to the music,it was a very interesting and informative evening, The next Morning after breakfast we packed our knapsack with 2 ltrs of water ans some biscuits to munch on in case we got hungry, then at 09.40 we hopped into the dinghy, drove ashore, dragged the dinghy up high on the beach, walked down to the shelter or hut, as a matter of fact it looks just like a bus stop shelter, u know what I mean, anyway along comes Paul and 5 minutes later came the 5 seater plane, landed turned came back and stopped, out came the pilot, he chatted with Paul then showed me and Sabine how to climb up the wing and our seats were right behind the pilot, next came Eilisch and Charlotte at the back, then came the pilot and last but not least Richard in the front, he told us the flight would take about 50 minutes, and off we flew, oh sure it was great, as soon as we were a few hundred meters and climbing, u could see the vastness of the rain forest, then we were at a cruising hight of 4 to 500 meters, u saw the shear size of the never ending jungle below, as we got closer to the highlands where the bulk of Guyana’s precious gold and diamond reserves are embraced, which is drained by the Essequibo, Cuyuni, and Mazaruni rivers and there tributaries, we could see below us first the winding red dirt tracks that leed to the small mines, then we saw the industrial mines that were stretching out like treeless islands of rock pools for miles, how many miles I could not accurately say, but it was as far as the eye could see from a hight of 400 to 500 meters, a good guess now like would be between 15 to 20 to miles id´e say, we flew in a circle over the Kaieteur Falls before we landed so we got great old photos for u and hope u will like them OK. We landed right in the Middle of the Jungle, and were brought to the reception of the Kaieteur National park, were our guide introduced himself to us, he told us to leave everything except the cameras behind on the plane, each of us got a lovely cold bottle of water, then we walked of to the trail that would take us 2 hours to complete, it was great we saw creatures that are only found in this part of South America,. A praying mantis that I would have missed but Sabine nearly walked on it. And a bird with the weird name of Cock on the rock, I mean did he shit on the rock or dose his cock fall off on the rock or what, I didn’t understand why they gave it a name like that like, I mean I asked your man the guide but he didn’t didn’t know either sure but he was laughing all the same though, a cute boyo I would say. To make a long story short, the best part for me was the Falls itself Guyanas number one attraction, now the Kaieteur Falls has a sheer drop of 226 meters and a total hight of 251 meters making it the worlds largest single drop falls, more than 136,200 litres per second flow through, making it one of the most spectacular and powerful falls in the world, during the rainy season it can reach a width of 122 meters. Our first view of the magnificent falls was from the plane with an unforgettable low fly by over the very top of the cascading falls. We made our way to Johnson s viewpoint which is the furthest from the falls but gives u a real good sense of scale of the sheer size of the falls, the Amerindian legend says that the great chief kaie of the once powerful Patamona tribe sacrificed himself by paddling his canoe over the falls in order to appease Makonaima the Great Spirit who to save his people from being destroyed by the savage Caribs, teur translated means falls, hens the name Kaieteur, the legend says that the old Chief and his wood skinned canoe were turned to stone and now form part of the rocks of Kaieteur, perhaps he found appeasement, for his name still marks the magical curtain of the waterfall known as Kaieteur. Then we moved up to boyscout view and saw the tiny endemic (only found here) golden rocket frog that was the size of the tip of me small finger, he lives his entire life in a leaf of a plant called the giant tank bromeliad. We finally emerged at the rainbow viewpoint, and rightly so it is named, the very final viewpoint is from the top of the falls that allow u to walk right out to the edge and look down on the dramatic view 251 meters below, its fantastic, but now don’t try that if u are nervous, fainty, or after a feed of beer or stuff like that because the last thing your going to see will be, your hole before your head fly´s up your arse after u hit the rocks below. There are no wire fences or barriers to keep u away, u are free to go where u want, that’s what makes it so special. With more than 85% of the country still covered with intact forest, most of it left undisturbed by man, its as natural as the first day the world began, and still gives u a felling of adventure and discovery, and that is relevant to all of Guyana, We got back to Baganara at 14.00 hrs and we spent the rest of the day asking ourselves did we dream the whole trip, we know it happened but it still seemed like it was dream somehow. All I can say is that it was the tour of a lifetime and we will never forget it as long as we live it was absolutely Fantastic. It will be hard to beat. The Kaieteure National park and falls are still un commercialised, the record number of visitors to the park and falls was in 2012 with the total number of visitors being 6,667, 2013 totalled 4940 visitors, we were lucky on the day we went we were the only visitors. On the morning of 13.09.15, we heard that the park was closed again shortly after we had left, the reason was that the woman that had gone missing on the same tour a week ago was found dead at the bottom of the falls, R.I.P


Our plane

The terminal

Baganara Island from above

A goldmine

More goldmines

The Kaieteur Falls from obove

Hike to "Johnson`s View"

The Falls

Kaieteur Falls

A rainbow

Me, Sabine, Eilish, Richard and Charlotte

Beautiful vegetation around us

The cock on the rock

The frog in a plant

On top of the waterfall

Having a great time

View at the canyon

Chevaldy from above

Photo with our pilot

Paul and Steward our organizers

We will be planing the return to Tobago this week,as our visa runs out on the 21.09.15 so all we can say is that, in all the time we spent here we never felt threatened or in danger at any time, all Guyanese people we met were very open friendly and very helpful and genuinely interested in where we came from and how we got here , of course we met a few ass-holes, sure u get them every where, as a matter of fact since we started our travels over 18 months ago, all the people we have met were very friendly helpful and courteous. So followers of Chev Good bye God Bless take care and mind yourselves well now until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr .


From Tobago to Guyana
07.08.15 till the 27th of August

Sabine and me were having a cup of tea on deck after hauling jerry cans of diesel with the dinghy from the town to Chev, when along came Richard in his dinghy, we had made out to go for a walk to Fort Cambleton, or to be precise, where Fort Cambelton once stood, or what remains of it,  well from the look on his face I knew something was up, he came along side and was all upset, the fuckers had blocked his credit card at the bank, now he can’t get no money out at the ATM, he had spent 1 hour, and a small fortune trying to contact his bank but always ended up in some call centre talking to someone from India or Pakistani who did not understand his northern accent, or what he was trying to tell them, on top of that they told him his card had been reported as stolen and simply hung up, jaysus the poor man was nearly demented, so off he went to tell Eilish the bad news, we were worried about him because of his heart yea know like, he is normally not an excitable type of fella, 5 minutes later Eilish shouted me name a couple of times, Sean, Sean, Christ almighty I was full sure that Richard had had a heart attack, I was going through the revival technique’s for heart attack victims in me head already, but it turned out thank God, that she only wanted to say they would be over in 15 minutes to go for the walk. It was a lovely walk up to the fort, and it gave Richey a chance to relax and come down. There was only the outline of a wall and two 25 ponder cannons that was all that was left of the once mighty Fort Cambleton, the natives have built houses on the ruins of the once upon a time Fort.

Fort Campbleton

View from the Fort to the Suckhole Restaurant

Anyway on the way back down in Charlotteville we went to the ATM to withdraw some moula with Richards card expecting nothing, he put in his card and out came the cash, the man was so delighted he danced a jig I tell yea, how come its working now we asked, then Richard realised that he had tried to used his old card that was already cancelled for over 12 months but had it still in his wallet, well we all had a good laugh, it could happen to anyone sure. The next day 08.08.15 was Richards and Eilishes 20th wedding anniversary and we decided to go to a restaurant in the village, now don’t get mad cause I sewer I am not making this up, but the name of the restaurant is called the Suckhole, I had to look twice to see if me eyes were deceiving me, fuck me, with a name like that if it was in the dark of night I would have had second thoughts about it being some sort of sleazy place to do with gastronomy of another art, yea know what I am saying like, nod nod wink wink, was this some sort of  weird place or what, sure u wouldn’t know what the fuck u were putting into your mouth, or what the hell u were eating, or where it came from, or would it be fit for human consumption for that matter, I mean Suckhole, as a matter of fact I suggested that we should try some other normal sounding place, now I have eaten in weird sounding places like sloppy Joes in Quay West, or dirty Micks in Cork city, or even the greasy chip in Glasgow, something along them lines yea know like, and it wasn’t bad at all, so as it was only 15:00 on a sunny Saturday afternoon sure we could try it out, why not I suppose, so we went in to the place expecting the worst. To make a long story short it was fantastic, I mean we got some of the finest food, even though I asked for junk food, hamburger and chips, it was done lovely and presented in style with salad, and u were full when u finished, Sabine had maih maih fish with salad and french-fries, Richard had snapper fish in batter, and salad, Elish had the same, with drink included it cost 50 € for the 4 of us, and it even tasted better when Richard paid the bill,  09.08 15 as it is the rainy season we are collecting loads of water, the tank is full and we still have enough left over to wash our cloths, when it really pisses down, with thunder and lightning, then it’s great havening a shower outside at night in me birthday suit, it makes me really feel alive, if I am not struck down dead that is, but Sabine says it’s too cold for her so she waits until the sun is shining and showers in the sunshine, a well everyone is different I suppose sure. Well 4 sucker sharks have their home under Chev now, the big bastard 1.25 meters is still there, and 3 small ones, because I caught 1 small fella, chopped him up and fed the fucker to the others, Serge another sailor was bitten, or sucked near his belly button by one of the small sucker sharks, he went and got his fishing rod and caught him, then he stabbed him in the head, cut him into little pieces and threw him overboard.  He still felt the pain 2 days later, even though they don’t have teeth they exert tremendous pressure from the suck, and there tails are like sand paper which can scrape u open, so he doesn’t go in the water anymore without a wet suite, I told him if it was the big fella that’s under Chev that sucked his belly, then he would have sucked his backbone out I tell  yea,  I still chase the bastards around like a herd of cows with the gaff hook, but I can’t catch them. On the 10.08.15 we hired a maxi taxi, the drivers name is Odell, his Mobil nu is Tobago 274-6903, a very fair man, he drove us to the rain Forrest and waited until we returned 2 hrs later, then he drove us to the Argyle falls, named after the river along which it is located, the Argyle waterfall is the tallest on Tobago at 54 meters (117 ft.) the triple tiered flow, cascades into crystal clear water that make a breath taking refreshing swim, especially after a 2 hr walk in the rain Forrest, when we were finished Odell collected us and drove us back to Charlotteville.


Come out with your hands up

The junglebunch


Argyle  Falls




Back break ridge

As we drove through Roxborough, we passed the beach that was buried under tons of Sargassum Seaweed and like most of the beaches in the Caribbean, they are the turtle hatchlings incubators, but the Seaweed has turned the windward beaches into mass graves of the baby turtles, that means that another generation of leather back turtles are doomed this year, and an already endangered spices is one more step closer to extinction, it brings tears to me eyes every time I see it. the poor turtles are being wiped out before our very eyes for fuck sake and no one seems to give a shit. 11.08.15 we are getting all geared up to be ready when a weather window comes, so we can head off to Guyana, it looks good for Monday the 17th, then the wind is a little north of east for 3 to 4 days that should be enough to bring us to the mouth of the great Essequibo river, so we must be ready before then, we gathered on the SY Grainuaile with Serge and Charlotte from the SY kuaka a Swiss French couple, that are living in New Zeland who want to join us for the trip to Guyana, we talked about the tactic and course we would steer, and to stay in radio contact with each other for security, that when we reached the Essequibo river in Guyana, we would wait until everyone reached Roeden en Rust before going further up river to the gold mining town of  Bartica, the only in there is by river, we can make all the plans, and Monday we would try to keep with them. We had a dinner of goat stew cooked by Richard because he didn’t catch any fish, and Eilish dug out 2 bottles of her finest wines from her plank to wash down the old billy goat, and we chatted away for hours. On 13.08.15 we went again with the maxi taxi to Scarborough to load up with supplies for the trip to Guyana, and again we had to wait 2 hours for a return trip to Charlotteville. 14.08.15 was my Birthday and we celebrated on board Grainuale with Richard and Eilish, Serge and Charlotte, and Richard had baked a lovely chocolate birthday cake, and we talked drank and sung, and had a great crac till midnight, we are blessed to have 2 friends like Richard and Eilish,  next day we invited Richard and Eilish to the Suck hole restaurant  for dinner,  and I asked the waitress why the restaurant was called the Suck hole, the answer was, that her father was a fisherman, and not far from the restaurant was a cave where he use to fish by,when the tide came in it would make a loud sucking like noise, and so he named his restaurant the Suck hole, the dinner was great the beer was cold so what more could u want. On Monday 17. 08.15 we went to clear customs and immigration, we were there at 08.00 bang on time boy, but the customs officer wasn’t on time though, so we waited 1 hour and still there was no singe of your man, so I walked down to the security officer at entrance and asked him if the customs officer was alive or sick or had he died in his bed in the night at home or what was the story, ´´ he will be here in 15 minutes´´ he said, 1 hour later we went to the police, which was in the next building to ask them if we could report a missing person, or maybe send out a search party for the missing customs man, or could they try to phone him, ´´our telephones are not working´´ came the reply, jumpin jaysus, is this a joke or what, so, back to the customs office and 20 minutes later your man turns up, apologised to everyone and cleared us with the customs, hooray now we are happy, we need to clear immigration as well BUT, u got it in one, the immigration officer was missing, fuck me are we in the Bermuda triangle here or what, u know what I mean like, back to customs, he calls her on the phone, she will be here at 12 noon, as she is flying in from Trinidad it will take 20 minutes so 12.30 or maybe 13.00 would be better. We returned at 13.00 and waited with other crews until 15.30 when She came along, I let Sabine go alone because I was close to tearing her hair out as I don’t have enough hair meself to get a grip of, 20 minutes later I go in and sign the completed forms threw HER a dirty look, asked her if that was everything, and walked out, we went back to Chev and got her ready for sea, just before we upped anchor, Richard and Eilish came by to give us a form that She (immigration) forgot to give us and all the other crews as well, without this form the clearance would be deemed as invalid and we would have not been allowed into South America, we would have haven to return to Tobago to get it sorted out, if that had happened I think I would have easily murdered HER, God forgive me, I will not repeat the names I called this immigrations officer, I will leave that to your wildest imagination, but I wonder if any of the other crews had left without this form. It reminds me of a story I heard of an English sailor who had been cruising the Caribbean, at the time the world championships in cricket, he had left the islands of Trinidad & Tobago without the immigration clearance form, ´´maybe it was the same officer was on duty that time´´, anyway your man sailed all the way up to Antigua, left the boat to fly home to England, at the airport he was stopped by the Antigua immigration authorities because of the missing clearance stamp from Trinidad in his passport, he tried to explain that that the mistake was with Trinidad and not with him, besides that he was a British citizen and Antigua was part of the commonwealth, and his flight was booked months ago, to make a long story short, the poor chap was told he would not be allowed to board the plane as his documents were not in order, that he had to return to Trinidad the same way he had come on his friends boat, who by this time was already gone to some other island, to sort it out with them, imagine that, in the end it took him 3 days to sort it out with the help of the British Counsil  not to mention the cost he had to pay for hotel and new flight, well that’s the story anyway, fuck that for a crac shit happens sure what can u do. Richard and Serge were so knackered after all the shit to clear out the decided to wait till the following day We left Tobago at 17.00.


London Bridge Tobago

on the 17.08.15 for British Guyana in South America, a distance of 287 sm to the mouth of the Essequibo river, then 60 or more sm to the town of  Bartica, we rounded the north coast of Tobago and were heading south east at 141°across the Atlantic Ocean against the prevailing winds and currents just as it got dark, first night was rough, the 2nd day and night was very rough with squalls thunder showers choppy seas, the 4 th day we had very little wind then the autopilot just fell apart before our very eyes, shortly after we started the motor so Sabine could steer Chev while I repaired the autopilot, 1 hour later I reconected the repaired autopilot, then the motor alarm sounded, the motor was overheating, I replaced the thermostat, started the motor and it was ok, stopped the motor and sailed until midday where we were becalmed, motor on 1 hour later alarm motor overheating, new impeller, screw broke while replacing impeller cover, had luck, got broken screw treads out replaced screw while tightening up the screws, 2nd screw broke off, fuck that, to shorten the story, 4 hours later we could run the motor at 1300 revs without motor overheating, the most nerve wracking  part of getting here, was the enormous amounts of nets that are spread between 2 poles, in the delta, it would remind u of a vineyard, the water was muddy brown so u couldn’t see the shallows, reefs, or nets that had broken off and were adrift, we only had our way points to go by, and were hoping they were in the right positions, which they were thank Christ.  3 hours later on the 21.08.15 at 18.10 we dropped the hook on the east side of Leguan island, after 4 days we had reached the mouth of the great Essequibo river, it was pitch black, night comes quickly here, we are only 368 sm from the Equator  so we were not surprised when a thunderstorm exploded right over our heads. The next day after breakfast at 07.00 we hoisted the hook, and motored slowly the 10 sm to Rode en rust marine, well actually there is no marina here, it’s a sort of boat yard, so we anchored in the river, got a taxi to town of Parika, found the immigration at the local police station and were told that we can move around freely, but as the customs was closed on Saturday we must report to customs to clear in on Monday, after that we went shopping and returned to Chev,  Granuaile and kuaka were anchoured in the river near the boat yard, but they were so tired that they just went to sleep for the night. On Monday 24th I asked a guy if I could get me seawater pump sorted out, I needed the broken screw drilled out, and the O rings replaced, Richard needed someone that could weld his broken steering bracket from his autopilot, no problem a tall at all says he, he drove us up to Sunshine marine were his buddy had a huge workshop, I told the boss what I needed, he looked at it and said tomorrow 14.00 it will be ready, Richard got his welding done there and then, 5.000$ ( 22 € ) then we headed back to Roden en rust, his name was Benedict his buddy’s name was Wesley and I invited them over for a sundowner to Kuaka, of course I asked Serge if it would be ok which it was and we had a great crack.  On Tuesday at 14.45, I went to the workshop the pump was finished, he charged me 10.000$ (44 €) can’t say nothing there I mean that’s very fair like, back in Cheve I built the seawater pump back in, said a little prayer, then Sabine started up the motor, I was looking for leaks and found non, thank u sweet Jesus, she was purring like a cat, I let her run I hour and she was still dry and working, will see how she goes heading up river to Bartica next week. On the 26.08.15 at 07.30 we all headed for Georgetown the capitol of Guyana to clear customs, we got to the government buildings were the main customs office is, we had to go through a security check, like u would at an airport, then we were told we would not be admitted in short pants and tee-shirts, we were lucky that Serge had this foreseen, so we put on long pants and shirts then they took our camera’s off us, then we had to wait at reception, hand in the passports and wait to be escorted up into the offices of Mr Simon the customs officer, Serge had his name from the government guy in Parika, otherwise we would have not been allowed up to the office, after all that shit we went through, Mr simple fuckin Simon says we were at the wrong office, we needed to go to the customs office in the dock area, no one seemed to know nothing, we really witnessed incompetence at its highest form, the whole procedure was sickening, we walked over to the docks with a homeless old guy that had asked us on the street where we wished to go, he became our guide, for a fee of course, and we reached the dockside customs office, we explained what we needed to the customs officer, then we were lead into a room to a private agent or ships broker, this guy started filling out forms that would have cost us a small fortune, then Serge complained and asked if we were not allowed to fill out the forms ourselves, after a discussion with the customs officer we completed the clearance forms handed them to him, we told him that we intended to go to Bartice, he told us we must report to his office for permission before moving the boat any ware and then we must come back here again to finale clear out, we were arguing with him and told him we could clear out at Bartice, to make a long story short, we got what we wanted after a hard argument. After that we went to a walk around Georgetown. We saw the Starbuck market on Water St were u can buy everything from vegetables to gold, we saw the Parliament building, the beautiful wooden city hall built in 1889 on Regent St and Avenue of the Republic, the High Court a very impressive beautiful building built in 1887 between Brickdam and Croal St, and the most impressive and most beautiful building of all to me was the St Georges Cathedral on North road, its reputedly the world’s tallest wooden building and still being used for worship, inside is really lovely and gives u a sense of tranquillity and peace as well as refuge. Guyana is lies on the north eastern shoulder of the South American Continent, the size of Guyana is 83,000 square miles, or 214969 km2 it has a population of 749,190 by the last count in 2002, the currency is the Guyana dollar, 100 dollars is worth at the moment 0,44 €, its neighbours are, Suriname to the East, West is Venezuela, South and southwest lies Brazil, and to the north is the Atlantic Ocean. So fowlers of Chev Good bye God bless look after yourselves well now, until the next time, Ahoy Har harr.  



A bussy place the market

The main busstation


The City Hall


City Hall of Georgetown



The House of Parliament

St. George Cathedral, the highest wooden building in the world

St. George Cathedral from the inside

Walkabout in Georgetown

The Stabroek Market in Georgetown

From Grenada to Tobago
13.07.15 till the 06.08.15

Ahoy followers of Chev. Sabine and Eilish Richard and me caught the bus to St Georges, Richard and me got out on the outskirts of the City, Sabine and Eilish carried on to the city centre to do a bit of shopping and just stroll about in town, we walked to the island Water world boat chandlers shop, where it’s supposed to be grand and cheap with great bargains, so in we went, I just needed 13 meters of 10 gauge electric cable for me old solar panel, but not for the price they wanted 90 €.  Richard wanted to buy 2 sort of thing that u can stick on to the Dingy so u can lift it out of the water with the spi halliard, and got his first fright, the PRICE 50€, as well as looking for a sea fishing rod and reel, there he got his second fright, the cheapest one was 220 €, now Richard has trouble with his pump, and he has had a heart attack before like ,so  I suggested we get the fuck out of here as quick as we can, and to watch out for his old ticker in case it stops working and he gets another heart attack, that was it, and out we went, so much for cheap prices and bargains. We walked towards the city and stopped by the harbour for a rest, and bought an ice cold coke for me and sprite for Richard so he could relax u know what I mean like, we sat and drank them in the shade by the main harbour, watching the ferries and the cargo ships loading up with all sorts of cargo, coming and going, the fisher men filleting and washing their fresh caught fish in the harbour water, while the customers on the quayside were haggling, shouting, and bartering with them over the price, most of them with smiles on their faces, laughing and joking and slagging each other in a jovial friendly way, just watching and taking in what was going on around us, gave me a lovely peaceful feeling of thankfulness and contentment. We finished our drinks and walked the rest of the way into the city centre were we bought a veg roti from the Indian guy, it’s a sort of cross between a pastry and a pancake with all sorts of vegetable’s and stuff wrapped up inside, u can get curried chicken or beef, but make sure u are near a toilet or rest room as they say here, because u will be doing a lot more than resting, yea know what I mean like, the last time I got a terrible pain me old gut and got a bad case of the gallops after eating the old beef Currie, yea know what I mean like, lucky for me I was just outside the shopping mall, because there’s a rest room there,  so after that I stick to the old veg roti instead, they cost 2 to 3 €, but your belly is full after eating it, it can empty fairly quickly I can tell yea that though, it might be handy to bring a spare underpants as well just in case u are not near a rest room, anyway we went over towards the plaza shopping mall where there are benches and tables and a restroom to be on the safe side like, just in case we had to make a gallop in that direction, so we sat down and scoffed our roti’s as we looked at the crowds of people going about their Daly business, I have never seen any mother with a buggy or a pram, they carry their baby’s in their arms mostly, to come to think of it now, even on the other islands I have not seen a pram or buggy. We were just finishing our roti’s when along came Sabine and Eilish, they bought a roti as well from the Indian chap with a lemonade to wash it down, after that we headed to the bus station to get a bus back to Wobourn. St George’s is a city that’s always busy and  bustling with people, and street vendors that want to sell u all sorts of things, taxi drivers offering to drive u everywhere, and raving Rasta’s shouting abuse and screaming their heads off  because there brain cells are rotten from too much weed, but the bus station is the busiest place of all, its pulsating with life, the minute u arrive there u have 1 or 2 guys, or drivers asking where do u want to go then they show u which bus to take, then u wait until the bus is full, which doesn’t take long for the local busses, but when u take the regional busses then the waiting for the bus to fill can take a little bit longer, the longest we ever waited was 20 minutes,. On the 15.07.15 we went to the 7 sisters waterfalls in St Margaret, we paid the 5 EC $ (east Caribbean $) 1.70 € entrance with guide included, it’s always a great feeling to walk through a rain Forrest, it was a lovely walk, not too hard and hilly, yes it was mucky and slippery, but this time we had our hiking boots on, it took all in all about 35 minutes to reach the falls, now don’t forget this was all downhill, so we took a dip in the old waterfall pool, swam around cooled down dried off and eat a sandwich, then we started the climb back up the hills, sure we were back quicker than we got down, 30 minutes, easier than I expected anyway.


Hike to the waterfall

Sean having a nice dip

The Seven Sisters Waterfalls

Sean in the rainforrest

We caught a bus to Grenville were we bought some yum yum doubles, well doubles are like roti’s but a lot smaller, spicier, and a lot cheaper 0,80 €, after stuffing our faces we headed for the bar called the revolution, a bar here is more like a shack, well I’ve seen bigger sheds in a back garden like, this one had 3 stools at least and u get 3 ice cold beers for 10 EC or $ 3,40 €, to make a long story short we got 12 beers for 40 EC 13.40 €, then we caught the bus to the crossroads by Woburn and walked the 3 clicks back to whisper cove marine were we had our dinghy’s tied up. On the 16.07.15 we booked a tour with Patrick the bus driver that takes u to a place in St Georges where there is a steel band, and were they make the costumes for ´´Carnival´´, it was great to see and hear the kids playing there shiny steel drums. Before they were made from old oil barrels, they learn to memorize the tune by constantly repeating each whack of the drum over and over until it becomes automatic, the youngest kids were 6 years, and the oldest adult over 80 years but there’s a mighty lot of work, practise, and discipline goes into their steel band, then we were treated to a show from the older teenagers, jaysus I found it hard to control me legs, and in no time at all I was moving with the rhythm as they say like, getting the feel of the beat and that sort of thing u know, and so were a lot of other people, I swear it was really great, they then showed us were they made the costumes for carnival, but without the help from the club members, supporters and the public, then all that we saw would not be possible, there was a break for refreshments so we shared a  grilled chicken, with a carib beer for me and a rum punch for Sabine, during the break we met Mary and Jeff a very nice couple from the USA, who we had met on the last tour we did to Levera beach to the turtles, we exchanged E mail addresses so we could stay in contact, it’s a small world isn’t it now sure, anyway it was a very enjoyable tour.


The youngsters are playing

Get the rythm

Some of the costumes for Carneval

On the 18, 07, 15 in the afternoon we drove over to SY Papillion were we said good bye to Matthias Katja and Pauline their daughter who was visiting for 2 weeks, In the evening we had David and Susan from the SY Enchantress, Richard and Eilish from Granuaile, over for sausage in batter and potato pie in batter, cooked by me, with poppy salad from Susan, avocado dip from Eilish, garlic mayonnaise from Sabine, and everyone bringing their own drinks, it was to say farewell to David and Susan as we were leaving with Richard and Eilish the next day to sail around to Grand mal bay on the west coast of Granada, then back up to Carriacou to clear customs, then wait for the wind to sail to Tobago were we will stay a week or 2, then on down to Guyana in South America to go up the Essequibo river to  explore the Amazon delta if we get the right conditions, like a north easterly for about 3 days, then to Trinidad if we still have some time, then back to Granada in October to haul out repair and work on the boat to get her ready for the next stage, while Sabine goes home for a month’s holiday,  then comes the sad part to say good bye to Richard and Eilish who have become really good and close friends, as their planning on going up to the Virgin isles and then back home across the Atlantic in May next year, while we will head for the A;B;C; islands, then on to the San Blass islands, before we go through the Panama Canal and on into the Pacific, these are our plans, but nothing ever goes according to plan u know yourself like, as we told David this, he invited Sabine and me to his 70 birthday in the San Blass islands in Panama on the 21st of December as he plans to be there about then, we had a nice relaxing evening and a lot of laughs. On the 19th at 09.30we left Clarks cove bay in our keel water, Richard and Susan came and accompanied us for a short while in their dinghy. 4 hours later we anchored in grand mal bay, 20th we went snorkelling in the underwater sculpture park just off Moliniere point, there are loads of statues sunken all round this park, we drove over with the dinghy were we tied up on a buoy and spent about 1 hour snorkelling around the underwater sculpture park, there were a lot of little jelly fish that were hard to see because of their size, but they stung the shit out of yea, this happened just towards the end of the tour thank God, but it was Great.


Underwatersculptures The circle of children

Sean looking at the children

A mearmaid

Sean standing on a sculpture

Another mearmaid

Sean and Eilish snorcheling

Grand Mal Bay with Granuaile

The sun going down in Grand Mal Bay

On 21st we had planned to sail up to Carriacou, but there is no dentist in Carriacou, so we went to St Georges to look for a dentist or a doctor as I had a big swelling on me elbow for the last 2 weeks that wasn’t getting any better, plus I had a tooth ache for the last 4 days that was driving me mad, me lower gum on the left side was swollen up,  and stopped me from drinking anything hot or cold or chewing anything, it was getting worse, so I needed some strong antibiotics, and u won’t get them without a Doctor’s prescription, we found a Doctor who drained 60 cl of fluid out of me elbow, gave me 3 injections, one contained steroids, isn’t that the stuff that makes big muscles I said, my muscles would not get bigger but maybe your brain she said, as long as me ears don’t get any bigger, then that’s ok, she bandaged me up, told me not to use me hand for at least 4 days, gave me a prescription for antibiotics and pain killers that I must take for 5 days, told me to go to a dentist in case the old tooth was rotting in me head. We found one and got an appointment for the next day. On the 22nd  the dentist x rayed me tooth, the tooth was alright thanks be to God, but I had an infection in me gum, that much I already knew, she then gave me a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers, that I must take for 7 days, I told her about the tablets I am already taking, `that doesn’t matter u must take them all says she, don’t worry about a thing everything will be all right, now where did I hear that before, sounds like a Bob Marley song I think, jaysus I hope I won’t die of an overdose or get a heart attack in the next couple of days. On the 23rd Richard and eilish came over to take Sabine shopping to St George’s as we planned on going further on the 24th to Carriacou. At  14.00 We had a radio  warning of a possible Eruption within the next 24 hrs, of the underwater Volcano Kick em Jenny, that’s just 15 nautical miles north from here, from the Granada radio station, they say that since 11.07.15 there has been increased seismic activity with small underwater earthquakes around force 3 , I mean we were snorkelling in the underwater park 4 days ago and saw nothing strange like gas bubbles or a rising water temperature, I mean Granuaile was on a buoy right next to the park were they said that gassy bubbles were sighted, and the only sound Richard heard was the buoy banging on the hull of his boat, sorry to say it like, but I think these guys couldn’t tell the difference between a fart out of a fishes arse and  gas from the boules of the earth , they were also issuing emergency evacuation  plans to get the people to higher round in case there was a tsunami, as if the poor people hadn’t enough to worry about for Christ sake like,  the Grenada Government also increased the exclusion zone from 1 ½ to 3 nautical miles around the underwater Volcano, Kick Em Jenny. Poor Sabine had visions of Armageddon, fire and brimstone raining down out of the sky like, tidal waves and all that sort of end of the world shit, yea know what I mean like, and I would say there were plenty of other people thinking the same way, the churches were probably full with people praying and lighting candles for god to spare them, of course God always gets the blame when things go wrong sure,  I told her to cool down, because if it happens at all then exclusion zone won’t matter a fiddlers’  fuck, when u see what happened with Montserrat, I mean it blew half the mountain  away and buried half the island with tons of ash, anyway says I, I think it’s a lot of old bollix and panic making and nothing would happen at all at all. At 07,00 on the 24th we upped anchor in Grand Mal bay,  and motor sailed in a 30°north direction, we chose to go east for 5 nautical miles to avoid the strong currents and then heading 20° north for 11,5 nm , after reaching the north end of Granada, we would steer an easterly course of 90° for 5,4 nm, to avoid the 5mile exclusion zone around Kick em Jenny, then a 23° course for 13,8 nm into Tyrell bay in Carriacou, a distance of 30,8 nm, it would take about 6 or 7 hrs. Anyway that was our Plan. Richards plan was to steered a 30° course for 11,5 nm, after reaching the north end of Granada he steered a course of 354° due north for 9,2 nm, then 75° for 10,2 nm to Tyrell bay, a distance of 30.9 nm which should take 6 to 7 hrs. Richard has a 30 horse power engine, compared to Chevs 18 horse power, and was about 2 nm ahead of us in the first hour, the second hour we saw him beating a reach 4 nm ahead of us direction north, he was flying, we reached the north end and headed east, we were god with the time it took us only 2 hrs to get the 11,5 nm, 1 hour and 30 minutes later we had another 3 nm, behind us, it should have getting easier now, we had only 1 nm to London bridge and after rounding that it was a straight forward run up into Carriacou, then the wind blew stronger and our speed dropped to 0,5 knots on the log, the waters were bubbling all round us and it was hard to hold the course, so I tacked from left to right, but wasn’t making much headway, now at this speed it would take about 2 hrs to reach London bridge , at this stage I had me belly full of this shit yea know like, of course there was an easier way to get the hell out of here but that would take us straight through the exclusion zone, now Sabine was asleep below so there was no problem there, so I took a chance and I swung Chev about to the new course, in next to no time we were flying, jaysus we had 5 knots on the log, we were doing great and reached the middle of the exclusion zone 45 minutes later, now I was sort of hoping that old Jenny wouldn’t wake up and start kicking or erupting, u know yourself like, u will always worry about the wrong thing sure, and it wasn’t Kick em Jenny that erupted, oh ho no, it was screaming Sabine that erupted instead, she woke up and with one glance of her beady eye at the open waters maps on the laptop below stairs, she saw that we were slap bang in the middle of Kick em Jenny, and up on deck she came, and she exploded,  Ahaa what are u doing Oh my  god we are on top of kick em jenny,  do u know that, ´´Are u mad bla bla, are u trying to get us killed bla bla, how stupid can u be,´´  jaysus cool down sis I, and don’t wake up old Jenny herself sure, because if she carries on anything like u do then were up shit creek without toilet paper, what’s all the excitement about anyway, I told her what had happened and why I crossed into the forbidden zone and in 40 minutes or less we are out of the zone and that’s that, to make a long story short, we got trough no bother at all with Sabine a little bit sour. 3 hours later sure we saw Richard approaching from the west, at the same time as we approached from the south west to Tyrell bay, Richard got in ½ hour before us, we had taken 10 hours to reach Tyrell bay and were glad to drop anchor, it just goes to show how all the planning can be turned upside down, sure what harm we still got here safely thanks be to God. The 25th of 7th. After a great night’s sleep we awoke to strong winds and heavy rain that didn’t change much the whole day, the rain eased off in the afternoon but there were strong gusts all night. On Monday the 27.07 we went up to Hillsborough to get supplies like potatoes carrots, bananas, coke, and other things we need, because it’s cheaper. On Tuesday the 28.07 we went over to the customs to clear out for Wednesday as we wanted to sail to Tobago, on Wednesday morning, at 08.00 headed for Tobago with the wind a little north of east and not to strong, it was a force 4 to 5 , receding to a 4 as the day went on, we got into a few squall’s but it was nothing we couldn’t handle, Thursday morning at 1 o’clock I was glad Sabine came up to take over her watch, I was wrecked, it had been a long time since we did a night turn, we got too soft with all the time we spent in Granada. We arrived in Tobago at 10:30 on Thursday morning, we were cleared by customs and immigration at 12 we were back out and took our first walk about in Tobago, bought a roti and an ice cold beer and sprite to wash them down, went back to the pier to claim our dinghy back from the local kids that were using it as a diving board.


Chevaldy in the back

Pirates Bay in Charlotteville/Tobago

Then we drove over to visit Eric and Lynne on their 60 foot sailing catamaran, and did a bit of jaw wagging for a while, then went back to Chev, Richard and Eilish arrived 3 hrs after us at 1330, and they were just as knackered as us, in the evening Lynne Eric and there 2 small dogs came over to Chev for a sundowner, and we enjoyed their company and the stories they told, then Lynne suggested that we could do a dinghy drift the next night, on the 31st of the 7th as it would be a blue moon on this date, now a blue moon happens only when there are 2 full moons in the same month, then the 2nd full moon is called a Blue Moon, so the next night we gathered by Eric and Lynen’s cat at 18.00, it was still bright as they tied up to our dinghy and we tied up to Richards dinghy, then we just drifted on the sea, then along came the Americans Joan and Travis and tied onto Lynn’s and our dinghy, then came the couple from Switzerland that now live in New Zeeland and whose names I forgot unfortunately, they tied up to Richard and Lynne’s dinghy just as it was getting dark. Now it’s like this, everyone brings their own beer or drinks and something to eat with a little bit extra for the others to munch on as we drift along, chatting about where we were and were we came from and where we are heading for next, and telling funny stories about things that happened to them on their travels, and just shooting the shit in general like, it was great fun even though we didn’t see the moon because of all the clouds, then it pissed out of the heavens, and that put an end to the old dinghy drift, we untied all the lines that were holding us together, forget the women and children first shit, it was every man for himself now, survival of the fastest, outboard motors were fired up and in no time it became a dinghy gallop back to the boats to the shelter of home sweet home and off to bed. At 03.30 in the morning I was awakened by a howling and a sort of scraping or scratching sound outside, so expecting trouble I armed me self with a flashlight and a butchers knife, I crept up on deck to see what or who the fuck was making that noise, to my left I saw the moon so bright big and shiny that I didn’t need a torch, I looked around and saw nothing unusual, I must have been dreaming I thought, so I just was looking at the moon, jaysus it was so lovely sight to see, I put down the torch and knife, picked up the binoculars to get a real close view, and was staring at it for a while, then I heard a loud howling sound like a dog off in the distance towards the land, then all of a sudden I heard this very slow faint light scraping sound again, coming directly from behind me back, holy Jesus I would have shit me self if I didn’t have me arse cheeks squeezed tight, the little bit of hair on me head stood up and nearly fell out with the fright I got, at the same time as me heart and breathing stopped, as me blood froze in me vanes, I was fully convinced that the WARE WOLFE  was behind me and the sound was from the nails of his paws getting ready to rip the throat and juggler out of me, I spun around so fast with a scream on me lips, that me head nearly snapped off me neck, the binoculars raised as a weapon, to cave in the creatures skull and bash out his teeth. There was nothing there, then I heard the faint scraping sound again, and saw that it was being made by the chain that we use to lock up the dinghy scraping against the deck railing as the waves rolled old Chev around, I went back to bed laughing at me stupid thoughts about a ware wolf, Christ it took me a long while before I fell asleep because of the adrenaline that was still pumping around in me old vanes. On Saturday morning of the 1st of august I went to check that me anchor was still dug in, on the way back to I saw a big fish under Chev, as I got nearer it looked like a shark but it swam off towards the bow as I got next to Chevs ladder, I climbed out and told Sabine that there was a shark under the boat, how big is he?, she asked, about 1,25 mtr I said, 4 hrs later we wanted to go snorkelling, we got in the water and I wanted to show Sabine the shark at the front of the boat, as we got closer he swam away behind us, then he came flying straight at us, I kicked out at the bastard but he swerved around me and swam at Sabine, I shouted at her to head back to the ladder and get out of the water, but she was already in a blind panic, her eyes bulging out of her head, she was swimming like an Olympic champion, jaysus she was flying, but in circles, fear can make u move fast, I caught up with her and pulled her back towards the ladder, I kept the crazy fish busy by lashing out with me hands and legs,  while she got out, the fucker kept coming at me, he would circle and then come at full speed straight at me face, then I would lash out with me hands and feet, and he would swerve right or left,  I shouted to Sabine to get me the gaff hook that was hanging of the solar panel, then armed with the gaff hook, I chased the fucker all around the boat, the boot was on the other foot now, there will be shark in batter for dinner tonight yea fuck, I am going to eat u come here till I kill yea fish faced bastard, jaysus he kept his distance after that, I would swim up the left side, he would swim down the right side, I swam under Chev to block his pat, then he would turn and run back the way he came, I was at the back he stayed at the front, after 15 minutes I gave up, there would be no shark in batter tonight, I told Sabine it was safe to come back in  the water so we could go snorkelling, but I kept the gaff hook in me hand until we got back to Chev, we went snorkelling for 1 hour and when we came back the bastard was still there, but he kept his distance on the bow. Richard told me he had a small one under his dinghy one time, and he would attack him every time he got out of the dinghy, I told Erich about this crazy fish, and Eric told me that they have no teeth, so they can’t bite u, but they have a flat head and they suck on to whales and other bigger fish, they suck on to the boats with their heads as well he said, great, I can see it now, me coming out of the water looking like Daniel Boon, but instead of a coon skin cap, a fuckin big sucker shark stuck on  me baldy head instead, a well it could be worse sure, what harm. On Sunday the 2nd of the 8th, we bought our washing to the laundry, then fill the water can and spent the day working on Chev. Monday 03.08.15. at 07.40  we were collected by Richard and Eilish with their dinghy and drove over to Charlotteville to get the 08.00 bus to Scarborough, we arrived at the bus stop at 07.55 where a man his wife, his sister and her daughter, and their 2 nephew’s, who were also waiting for the bus, 5minutes we were chatting as if we had known them a long time, they were from Trinidad and were in Tobago for a 2 week holiday, we x changed e mail addresses, after 2 hours waiting they decided to get a maxi taxi which is quicker but also more expensive, it cost 13$ were a bus cost only 8$, the bus came into the village at 10.30, let the passengers out then went some ware up in the village, we thought he would come back to collect us in 5 minutes, but after 1 hour and 45 minutes, there was still no sign of him, so I walked up and found the bus outside a shop with it engine still running, but no one was in it, I asked at the shop and the woman said he was gone fishing, I walked back to the others and told them that we should wait in the bus as it would be a lot more comfortable than standing in the shadows, no sooner were the words out of me mouth when the bus flew past without stopping, well that was the end of our outing, we just headed back to our boats. On Tue 4th we met on the beach for a BBQ with Richard Eilish Erich Lynne and June Sergei and Charlotte, we were given lessons on how to cut clean and cook fish by Erich, then we sang until it got dark and that was another day over.


BBQ

Today we got a maxi taxi for 13 TT$ to take us the 1 ½ hours’ drive to Scarborough the capital of Tobago, were we did a bit of sightseeing and shopping and waited at least 2 hours for a maxi taxi to take us back to Charlotteville.


View from the Fort in Scarborough

Lighthouse with Eilish, Richard and Sabine

Sabine and the canon

View on Scarborough

The Queen of the forrest

Thursday 06.08 15 we drove over to the pier and were tying up, when along comes the port captain and told me that the boats from the cruise ship that anchored in the bay would be needing the space to land with their passenger’s, and would I mind and drag my dinghy up the beach, I looked at the space  threw my dinghy anchor out behind, then I told Sabine to tie the rope on the far corner which took our dinghy well away from the pier, I then asked the port captain if it was ok there, it’s well away from the landing bay, it’s not locked with a chain, so if u need to move it just undo the knot, ok said he and off we went, we only got 10 meters when 2 men and one woman in  customs uniform approached us and told us that we were not allowed to leave our dinghy there, I pointed to the port captain and told them that he said it was ok, when we came  back 2 hrs later, our dinghy was still in the same place, and not a sing of the port authorities, or customs, or no one else,  and off we went back to Chev, we stopped by Richard and Eilish who were also after been ashore after us and he had to pull his dinghy up on the beach, as they were walking along by the pier the police stopped them and asked them if they knew who owned the only dinghy that was tied up by the pier, no idea said they, all that hullabaloo for nothing , never a dull moment. So followers of Chev,good by God bless, and look after yourselves well until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr                                                                          



Grenada II
25.06.15 - 12.07.15



Sabine and Eilish back from washing the clothes


Ahoy followers of Chev, on Friday the 26th 06 we drove to Prickly bay with the shopping bus from Whisper cove marina, its specially for the sailing community and we were 13 people  but don’t forget it’s a Hiace van, and what with all the shopping bags there was bound to no room to move, so Trevor the driver said he’d take the first that were finished, and return for the rest so we could all get our supplies back to our dinghy’s in Whisper cove, now, the bus goes to the Bank, the Hardware store, the big shopping centre, then to an off licence where u can buy beer wines spirits and soft drinks like coke or sprite and the like, so we finish in the supermarket, Eilish Richard, Sabine and me, are waiting at the end of the shopping mall for Trevor to collect us to takes us to the off licence, we were waiting a good while when in walked another driver and asked us if we were waiting  for the whisper cove bus, yes came the reply, so we followed him to his bus, where he had some difficulty trying to open the doors, well he couldn’t open the back to put the shopping into, ´´don’t worry all is fine´´, says he, and after a struggle he got the side door open, then he couldn’t fold  back the seats so we climbed over them and stowed our shopping on the seats, then he had trouble trying to close the side door, had a problem with the passenger door, and the driver door ´´don’t worry all is fine´´, says he,  I asked him is it his van, did he steal it, or did he find it somewhere, if u can drive as good as u can open doors, then I think we are in trouble, should I to make me testament before we go any further?,´´ don’t worry all is fine´´, says he, so off we went out of the parking lot, turned right  onto the main road, so far so good, we got to the end of the road where there was a massive traffic jam, now this was at 12 noon on a Friday, well says our driver we cannot go the other shop as all the roads are blocked because of a Police exercise so we go straight back to whisper cove, what can ye do sure it’s not his fault, we are directed down this and that road by the police, half an hour later we take a short cut that your man knows, flying down this road and that road, racing up and down hills for 20 minutes at least, and end up back at the shopping mall where we got in, jaysus have u got Alzheimer’s or what I ask him, no sis he I have a flat tyre and need air, ´´don’t worry all is fine´´, we get to a petrol station where your man blows up his tyre, gets back in the bus, takes off at high speed and nearly hits the car next to him that was filling up, drives out of the exit from the gas station, straight out onto the road without looking right or left, were a big fat Mac truck just missed us by inches, I looked at the drivers face in the mirror and saw he had changed colour from black to white, and just for a moment I thought I could see his eyes glowing red as he said ,´´ don’t worry all is fine ´´, well I stopped worrying just when the truck flew by, now I am shitting me self, I think this fucker is the Devil himself or one of his advocates at least,and we are on the highway to hell, ´´ Jesus’ mercy Mary help ´´,  me ears were still ringing from the trucks hooter 5 minutes after he flew past, it sounded like an express train, and I am deaf yea know like, after that we were only hoping to get out of the bus alive, well we finally got back to whisper cove 2 hrs later, safe sound and alive, our knees still wobbling, thanks be to sweet Jesus, it usually only takes 20 minutes from Prickly bay, I was thinking maybe it had to do with the number of passenger’s, I mean like there was after all 13 on board unlucky for some, and of course and we ended up getting the shit end of the stick, but that’s the last time we will get in a bus with that fellow driving I can tell yea now, sure what harm, all’s well that ends well.

On Saturday 27.06.15. we went by bus to the Grand Etang Forrest reserve to go for a nice relaxing little walk around the lake, the bus dropped us off at the park entrance, there was no one there so we walked 2 clicks ( kilometres ) to the lake, The Lake is a volcanic crater, surrounded by High Mountain’s covered with thick jungle, and according to the guide book that Eilish had, it was a grade 1 trail ( very easy ) that would take about 1hour 30 minutes to complete, so off we go up the steps to our left, and after about 10 minutes the trail went 2 ways, to the right, were steps going back down, with a big sign that said ´´to the lake´´, and a wide path that led upward with no sign, so I was thinking that maybe there were 2 trails around the lake and we were only walking 10 minutes at this stage like, I mean walking at our ease, I know now that Irish people are the fastest walkers in the world, well that’s what I read one time anyway, and we can’t be that quick like, I say this to the others who agreed and we decided to take the path that led up hill, 10 minutes later the trail got narrower and steeper, 30 minutes later the track becomes a little path completely hemmed in by jungle at least we have sandwiches and water in our rucksacks for a picnic by the lake, one hour later, we are going up hill on our hands and knees, it must have rained before we got here, because its mucky, slippery, steeper, and the going is tougher, especially when we are only wearing sneakers and t-shirts, dressed as if we were out for a feckin Sunday stroll even though it was only Saturday,  with the sweat dripping of us, and being ate alive by the ´´no see ums´´,  mosquitos, cuts from razor grass, watching were we put our hands, because of poisonous centipedes that can grow to 1 foot ( 30 centimetres) long and they are fast, they can give u a nasty bite that gets infected quickly, I tell yea, there’s congory millipedes’ as well that are all over the place, they give u the creeps, it must be mating time for the bastard things I think, they squirt a yellow poison that would burn the eyes out of yea, or burn your throat if u breath in the vapour, there’s scorpions, tarantulas, venomous frogs and snakes, which we didn’t see, aren’t we lucky, and were still having a good time, every now and then it’s not so steep but only every now and then we come to a little clearing where we can see around us , 25 minutes later the Forrest gets thinner and we can see the lake about 3 or 4 clicks away down below us, we see also that we are walking on the thin ridge of mountains that surround the lake, the path is about 1,50 to 2 metres wide, left and right of the path way is a sheer drop of about 300 meters straight down, and with the strong wind that’s blowing, u  could fly over the cliff very easy, we also see that we have another couple of  hills to climb, and one more very high ridge to climb, then it looks like it starts descending back down towards the lake, we are about half way around the lake but we know now that we missed a turn or a sign somewhere as we come across a sign half an hour later, which points west, with the Concord falls written on it, 45 minutes later we reach the highest ridge and are rewarded with a fantastic view from the top, but also with a view that shows the ridge goes further in a north west direction, and not as we had thought in a circle towards the lake, we enjoy the view before a cloud comes, then we make pow wow on 2 ways to go back, 1st  option was to go back the trail to where the signpost said Concord falls and follow that, although we didn’t know how far it was, or how hard the terrain was. 2nd option was, go back the way we had come, at least we knew the way and going down would be easier and quicker than going up, so we decided on the 2nd option and headed back, to make a long story short, we got back with no problem, to the place where we saw the first sign that said ´´to the lake´´ and while Sabine and me waited for the others to catch up by the sign, we saw another sign nailed to a tree on the opposite side of the track nearly covered by bamboo and bush, the sign said Mt Qua Qua, we pointed this out to Richard and Eilish. Eilish read the tour guide and discovered that Mt Qua Qua  is 2,370 ft and was a grade 5 which is a rigorous 2 1/2 h climb there and back, we took 3 and a half hours, and were covered in muck and dirt and were knackered, we had to clean our shoes and scrape off the muck, before we could get into any bus. We looked like a right dirty tramp pack, we were lucky to get a bus to St Georges. Then we went shopping in the supermarket in all our fine dirty rags, then walked to the bus station and got the bus back to Woburn cove, now that was a good days hiking, Oh Yea Ho ho Boy what.


Lake Grand Etang

At the start of the trail


Walk trough the rainforrest

Walking up the hill

A congory miliped


Taking a brake


Nearly on the top

Still a hard climb up

Sean is helping Eilish

The path goes up and down

Beautiful view over the lake


Nearly there

Exhausted

Waiting for the bus

On Sunday 28.06.15 we had very strong winds (43 knots) and rain, so I made a water catcher. I cut a small hole in the canvas cover, that we use as a shade, then I stuck a drain from a sink in the hole and tightened the nut, cut a bit of garden hose, stuck one end of the hose in the sink drain the other end in the water can and it’s as simple as that, at last I could try out me water catcher and filled the 25 litre water can 2 times before the rain stopped.


Our raincatcher

On Monday 29.06.15 I got 20 litres, and on Tuesday Sabine and me walked the 1 1/2 hrs over to Prickly bay to find a dentist and got an appointment for Tuesday 07.07.15. Walked back to Hog Island were our dinghy was and motored back to Chev where the 25 litre water can was full again. Wednesday it rained again and I finely filled up the 100 litre water tank, so the rain catcher is working well. 01.07.15 Wednesday evening Sabine, Eilish, Richard and me went with a bus to Levera beach. That’s on the north east point, well more north than north east, it’s a closed area where turtles come to lay their eggs in the sand, so u need a permit to go on the beach that is watched and patrolled by students that are doing research on the endangered leather back turtles. You’re not allowed to use a flash for photos or use a white torch, but u can use a red torch, that’s why the photos are sort of weird. It was something we will never forget, it was out of this world to feel this huge turtle, as she was laying eggs on the same beach that she visits from June until August where she lays between 90 and 110 eggs every 10 days. Every 3 years she comes back to the same beach. The shell felt like it was some sort of space ship, completely smooth but hard like steal, like kitchen tiles I suppose u could say, it was a great experience, we saw 3 and the 3rd was gigantic.


The leatherback turtle lying her eggs.


On the same night we could see Venus and Jupiter rise in the western sky with the bare eye just after dusk, and have been watching this appearance for the last 12 days, Jupiter is circling Venus in a clockwise direction. We also heard disturbing news, that the beach we visited and other beaches where the turtles lay their eggs, have all been covered with this Saragossam weed. Now the turtles can’t dig holes to plant their eggs because of the weed. So an endangered species is even more endangered. When will the governments wake up, I mean we saw this coming 6 months ago and the frightening thing is that there are still millions of tons of this shit still out there and coming, I mean every beach on the east coast of the windward islands is covered with this stuff. When it rots it starts to stink like sewerage but no one seems to want to do nothing about it. They can ignore it but it won’t go away, it’s going to get a lot worse I can tell yea that now. 0n Friday evening 03.07, at around 14.00 Matthias and Katja from the SY Papillon arrived in Clarks Cove Bay and we guided him to a good anchor spot. And when they were finished they came over to Chev for a stew, and we gave them all the info on how to get around and where to buy what in Grenada. Sabine, Eilish, Richard and me were invited for dinner by Susan and David from Scotland on board there boat the SY Enchantress were we had a very enjoyable night with good food and wines, and lots of interesting and funny stories about David and Susan, told by Susan and David. That’s the great thing about sailing, it brings all sorts of people from all walks of life together, and in that short time that u are with them ,there’s a bond made that is more intensive and lasting than u would ever make ashore. Some u will remember and others u will never forget. On the 07.07 at 09.00 we had a dental appointment in Prickly bay, Sabine was over an hour with the dentist. When she came out she said there was nothing wrong with the tooth, it was just very sensitive, even after 3 injections. Not to worry next week she would get 6 injections before she would work on the tooth. She paid 90 EC $,  I was in and out in 5 minutes with a new filling in me back tooth without a needle, and I was charged 100EC$. I hope the thing doesn’t fall out next week. Sabine had plenty of time to think about the next appointment and cancelled it with a phone call.

On the 08. 07.15 We went to the Grenada Chocolate company in the Belmont Estate for a guided tour. We were shown how they made their famous dark bitter chocolate from the harvesting of the coco beans, to the fermenting the drying the polishing and finely the making of the chocolate, were we got to taste and drink the chocolate. Well the beans that were drying in in the sun tasted so nice I stuffed me pockets with them, after asking the guide of course, it was enjoyable.


Sean filling his pockets with cocoabeans

Tasting the hot chocolade

Belmont Estate

Animals shouldn't feed the humans

After we left Belmont estate, we walked towards the River Antoine Rum Distillery. It’s better known as Rivers Rum, that was about 5 clicks away, halfway there Richard’s old back injury started to bother him, so I cracked in his back and off we went again. I know now you’re not going to believe this, but not 5 minutes after that a car stopped and asked us if we were going to the ´´rum factory ´ and needed a lift. Well now he didn’t have to ask us twice I tell yea, we were in like a light. It turned out that this fella was an employee of the Rum Distillery we were heading for. His name was Lions, a very nice chap. He told us all about the place and that also the strongest rum 138 % was not allowed on a plane into Europe or the USA, so they have a little trick that they use for that, they just write 75% on the label and that’s that, but the most important piece of information he gave us, and which we used later was, that we could drink as much rum as we wanted at the end of the tour. Well our guides name was Juney a fine strapping block of a woman and as she gave us the grand tour of the Distillery, she was doing all sorts of gymnastics. She was stretching her back this way and that way, bending forwards and backwards and sideways, turning her head this way and that way. Christ the poor girl was in agony. When the tour was finished, I offered to do an alignment (bone setting) of her body if she wanted, to which she agreed. We went over to a picnic table and spent 10 minutes cracking her in from head to toe, told her to give it 5 or 10 minutes and she would be as right as rain. We walked slowly back to join the others at the reception area, then I told her we had information to the effect, that at the end of the tour we could drink as much rum as we liked, and we wanted to know from her if that information was true. Yes said she u can drink as much as u want help yourselves said she, and unveiled 3 bottles, 2 with rum the first was 69% and the other was 75% ( 0r 138%), the other was a 16% rum punch. I asked June to reserve 3 beds in the local hospital for the night, ´´why 3 she asked´´, well Richard doesn’t drink alcohol says I, so that leaves the 3 of us. So nice and steady we tried a drop from each bottle. Sabine and Eilish stayed with the Rum punch and I stayed with the old 75% White rum. Nice and civilized now mind yea. Anyway after 3 or was it more glasses of the glorious old rum, I sang the parting glass with the intention of finishing up and heading down the road for the bus to Grenville. Sabine sang seconds and it was lovely. When we finished, one of the other girls from the reception sang a beautiful love song, when she finished, we retaliated with Oh Danny Boy. Of course we had to have another drop of the creature to lubricate the voice box, then Juney and some other couple that were visiting just like us sang “You Raised me up” a beautiful gospel song, to which we replied to with Lord of the dance with Juney dancing around. Nothing wrong with her back now says I. In the meantime other groups of people had gathered after their tours and stood around just listening or joining in with us, and this went on for over an hour, even the managers and bosses were joining in and harmonising to the songs we were singing, and sure of course we had another wee dram or 2 of the good old rum, to be sure the old vocal cords didn’t get knots in them. I mean u have to watch that like, anyway I started singing Amazing grace, everyone that was there all sang this last song together. My God what an overpowering feeling it was to hear and feel, everyone singing with their whole heart and soul, when we finished there were tears in some of their eyes, they told us that they never witnessed the likes of it before, I don’t think u would see the same thing happening anywhere, it was a one off thing that u could not repeat or capture no matter how hard u tried. Juney thanked me for fixing her neck and back, we said good bye to them all and they told us to visit them again that we would be more than welcome. Now I mean like we paid under 2€ each for the tour of the Distillery, we were there from 13:30 until 16:30 and I am not sure how many glasses of rum punch Sabine and Eilish had, but I can tell yea now that I, me as a dirty glutton as I am like, had a lot more than me fair shear oh yea, I mean I wasn’t pissed like but sort of merry u know what I mean. Well now I can tell yea, if we had to pay for what we drank, I think it would have been a pretty penny at the end of the day, then to top it off, we were offered a lift to Grenville that was at least 15 clicks away, from Simon one of the managers, where we caught a bus back to Woburn to Clarks Court Bay, and so ended another beautiful day.


Sean and Lions

Juney being the guide

Here the rum gets distilled

Tasting the rum

Eilish having a laugh with Juney

Sean enjoying the rum

SEan cracking in Juney


Sean, Juney, Sabine, Eilish, Richard

On the 10.07 we had a BBQ on the beach on Hog Island. We were 11 people just ´´liming´´ as the Caribe’s call it. It means simply hanging around and socialising and enjoying one’s self, or chin-wagging, shooting the shit, or gabbing. Of course and as always when we are grilling on the beach we automatically think on our absent friends Graham and Joan, who have taught us a lot, sure we still miss them, I know that Eilish and Richard think the same, there were other people there as well, all doing the same thing, and of course I played me old guitar. David asked if I could sing Lady in red from Chris de Burgh?, I can and I did, then he and his wife Susan danced  as I played and it was very romantic I must say, ahh ohh how lovely, don’t worry it was only 17.00 hrs still daylight, but the no –see- ums were already active and eating the legs of me, they only bite u on the ankles or the wrists and u can’t see them, I mean it can land on your hand and u can look but u won’t see them, no-see-ums are tiny fly’s u won’t feel them bite but u feel the itch, and the worst is that the bite from the bastards can itch for 24 hours stop for a while and itch the shit out of u again for another 24 hours,. Richard did a great job as the grill master and it all went well, we had a bag to collect the rubbish and the only things we left behind was our foot prints.


BBQ

Sean playing Lady in Red

So followers of Chev, good bye, God bless and look after yourselves well, until the next time Ahoy and Har harr.          

Grenada
01.06.15 till 24.06.15

Ahoy followers of Chev, on 1st of June we left Chatham Bay to go to Clifton bay with the thoughts of maybe staying a few days, but it was just pure stress there, there is a big reef that takes up most of the bay so there is not very much room left for boats to anchor, but the ground is good and u don’t need to put in to much chain, because of the reef the waves are not that high, but the trade winds make a sound as if u were sitting next to a water fall, it’s really loud, on the way into the harbour a boat boy kept asking us if we ´´wanne tu tie anna buoy ´´NO thank you I don’t want a buoy I am going to anchor ´´ but he kept on asking ,´´duu  yuo wanne buoy, special price 4 u´´, he sounded like a recorded announcement and was getting on me nerves as well as getting in the way, and he kept on and on, duu yuo wanne buoy, and was nearly bumping into our Chev,  I had a feeling he was trying to distract me until I ended up on the feckin  reef, I had me belly full of this shit, listen good for the last time I says, ´´ I dun te wanne fackin buoy,  I am going to anchor dou yuo unnerstan me and would you kindly keep the fuck out of the way please ´´, yes he understood the Queen’s English and off he went, it’s amazing what diplomacy can do, sometimes it’s the only way to communicate with some people I suppose, that’s what you’re up against sure,  anyway we anchored right next to the reef because there was not much space, with boat boys and day trippers flying in and out between the anchored boats, we went ashore and  were asked ´´what yuo need I help ok, people dose like it here man, we move nice wid dem as we does wid each other yuo no man, no corruptions or hatreds a tall, all is like one, have yuo 5$ for me man everyone trying to make a few dollars´´, we went to get some supplies like bread, fruit and veg, eggs, and other things, the prices in the shops were very expensive, and the harbour was stinking from all the seaweed that’s  washed up there, this sea weed is becoming a serious problem, we even heard that the Volvo ocean race competitors had their rudders jammed up from the weed, and we witnessed first-hand how a dinghy’s motor got clogged up and stopped, and a yachts engines cooling system was choked,  had overheated and stopped, it can even clog up the propeller, no way were we staying here 1 day was enough, so we went to clear out with  customs, which was a short walk to the airport, we got there at 12. 30. Pm and were told to wait until 1300, Or we would have to pay 43 EC$, so we waited in the main hall, and had a chat with a man and his wife who had spent 2 weeks on Palm island, a private Island  owned by some big hotel chain, which is 1km off the coast of Union island, ´´oh how lovely it was and it only cosseted 1.000 $ a night for 2 people, and the food was absolutely gorgeous, and the spa was fantastic, now we are flying to Barbados for 2 weeks and then back the UK, and which hotel have you been staying at, if I may ask´´,  I tell her we are on a boat not in a hotel, we have crossed the Atlantic, and cruised most of the Caribbean islands from Martinique all the way up to St Martins and down here to Union island, now we will sail to Carriacou, then on to  Granada where we will stay for at least 2 months, depending on the weather, it can get very windy around these parts at this time of the year ´´, oh how wonderful, but it must be awful expensive that long on a big cruise ship´´,  we are not on a cruise ship we are on a sailing boat, then I and showed her Chev out in the bay at anchor, and told her what it had cost, what you gave out for the 2 weeks on Palm island, we gave out in the first year, and what you will spend in Barbados, would kept us for another 2 years or longer, now it might not be as comfortable as a hotel, but certainly a lot cheaper, but if I had the money I would do just as u  have done, and enjoyed every minute of it while I could, and I hope u will have a fantastic time in Barbados, ´´oh thank u it was a great pleasure to have meet u, maybe we shall meet again sometime, God only knows girl says I, she smiled,  then she and her husband boarded the plane to Barbados and we cleared customs.


Chev in Clifton

Lovely view from the anchorage

All the stinking Saragossam Seaweed in Clifton

It was nice but stress and we were glad to leave Clifton in our Kiel water I tell yea, so we headed for Tyrrel Bay in Carriacou and cleared in with the customs, all went well and we were cleared for Granada too, great stuff, we met up with Grahm and Joan from the SY Karma, and Richard and Eilish , for a sundowner, as Karma was leaving the next day, we enjoyed Tyrrel bay so much that we stayed a week there, it was a nice quite place with a big anchor bay, 3 supermarkets, and a marina , some nice places to go walkabout, we went to Hillsborough, the capital city of Carriacou twice.


Tyrell Bay

On Tuesday 9th we set sail for Granada and after a hard fight with the current and the wind from south east, it was supposed to be from the west but what can u do sure, we arrived 8 hrs later, tiered but happy in Clarks bay, we anchored next to Karma, Graham and Joan called over and it was nice to see them again, 1 hour later Granuaile anchored between Chev and Karma, then Richard came over after checking his anchor for a short while as he was tired and wanted to have an early night.


View from our anchorage in Clarkes Court Bay

We planned to be here in Granada for a least 2 months, while there’s so much to see and do, and because of the hurricane season which has started, so when a hurricane warning comes we can run south to safety in Trinidad, which has only been hit 3 times since 1871, the last 2 times were in 1993. 2002. Granada has been hit 7 times, since 1871, the last 2 times were in, 2004, and 2005. The hurricane season is supposed to start on the first of June and end on 1st October, but in the last 30 years there have been more ´´late´´-October, November, and December- hurricanes than there have been in the previous 120 years on record, as a matter of fact, in October 12th 2014 a tropical wave developed in to a tropical storm about 150 miles east of Antigua, It was named Gonzalo. Warnings went out, with winds been expected to reach 40 to 50 knots (75 kmh) but  when Gonzalo hit Antigua, some claimed that it was a full blown hurricane of a 100 knots or more (185 kmh), luckily it was moving fast across farm lands so the towns and cities were spared massive damage. 90 nautical miles away, St Martin wasn’t so lucky, When Gonzalo hit St Martin it drove 14 yachts that were anchored in Marigot bay up onto the beach. Now any boat that goes up on a beach in a storm, never mind to say a hurricane, will almost be a total loss, as was the case in Marigot Bay, all 14 boats were a total loss, we saw the last 2 boats, a 45ft catamaran and 44ft monohull, been removed from the beach when we were up in St Martin in  March, they just flattened them both with a JCB, and loaded them onto trucks to be carried off to the town dump, shows u how quick shit can happen. We hope that here we will be lucky enough to receive a 4 day warning of any approaching depressions or hurricanes. A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone-an organised rotating weather system that develops in the tropics, normally of the west coast of Africa and Cape Verdes. Hurricanes rotate counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows: Tropical Depression -- an organized system of persistent clouds and thunderstorms with a closed low level circulation and a maximum sustained winds of 33 knots (38 mph) or less. Tropical Storm-- an organised system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph). Hurricane—an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and sustained winds 64 knots (74mph) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons, in the Indian Ocean they are called cyclones. Every hurricane gets a name. the first one this year was called Ana, Ana formed north of the Bahamas on the 8th of May, on the 11th she made land fall along the north east coast of south Carolina, now the strange thing about Ana was that she was the earliest tropical storm in the history of the USA, and she did not know, or maybe it didn’t bother her that she was nearly a whole month too soon before the 1st of June, and now on 16th of June we have bill blown his way towards Corpus Christi in Texas. The national weather centre have made a list with 21 names for this season, I hope it will be enough, so 2 down and 19 to go, So I hope u learnt something new from that now cause I have, like that the weather is unpredictable . On the 14th we all went with the bus to Saint George´s, the capital city of Granada, where Graham and Joan gave us a guided tour and showed us all the best places to shop at. It’s a very colourful, busy, and bustling place, we bought a bottle of rum 40% alc/vol1 ltr for 21 EC$ (=7€), u can get stronger stuff like 136% alc/ vol or more, for around the same price, but I wouldn’t take a chance with losing me old liver now, first time in a long time that I had mushy peas in a wrap for 1€, Graham calls them yum yums, u can get veg curry 3 €, chicken, or beef curry 4 € , and all sorts of lovely stuff to scoff. On market day, that’s Friday and Saturday, but my favourite is a young coconut, the guy cuts it open with a machete sticks a straw in the hole and u drink the juice, when u finished, then u give the nut to your man who slices it open in 3 pieces with his machete, u use a bit of the nut as a spoon to spoon out the very soft slippery sort of slimy coco meat that is only found in the young coconuts,  I am always amazed that your man never slices his hand  or fingers off with the speed he has, and I never argue or Hagel with him over the price, I wouldn’t like to louse me head now to his machete I tell yea, anyway it only costs 1€ sure, Graham buys 1 and a half litres of  fresh coco water for 4€.  The supermarkets are well supplied with all u wanted, but the first thing we look at, or ask is the price which are ok, and u can’t complain about the price of the buses here, we paid for the return trip from Woburn Bay to St Georges, a distance of 18 klm 3, 40 € for the 2 of us, and it’s always a great adventure in the busses,  it’s usually a Hiace van with extra seats that fold up, the most people I counted in one was 20 adults and 2 kids with a few baby’s to booth, along with gas bottles, jerry cans of petrol or diesel, stinking sardines and anything else they can fit in, u bang the roof 2or 3 times for the driver to sop, and if the person at the very back of the bus has to get out, when the buss is full, then the people that are sitting on the fold up seats on the left hand side all get out to leave the person that’s at the very back out, they all climb back in and off goes the buss again, most times there’s a kind of helper to take the money and he makes sure that he squashes as many people as possible in to the bus, pore Richard was flattened from a huge fat black woman, I mean she was big, and I told her make sure u squash him in the bends, and we were all laughing, its good fun and sometimes it’s a great crack, there’s always music to cover the screeching of the tyres and the noise the motor makes, like it’s about to explode or fall apart, and the drivers have some sort of status symbol, they’re always driving at full speed and constantly blowing their horn and going over to the wrong side of the road in every curve corner and blind bend, beep beep beep, it reminds me of the road runner cartoon, but u don’t hear the beep beep de de beep because your holding on for dear life  and praying to Jesus that the feckin bus doesn’t go over the cliff with a bang and a biff, and hoping the fat fella that’ sitting next to u will cushion u like an airbag in the crash, or that the bus driver on the other side of the bend is not as crazy as the Looney that’s driving your bus, but the best adrenaline rush comes when they over take a line of cars flying at full speed downhill in a bendy jungle road and around the bend comes the next crazy bastard bus driver, and then it’s a matter of who chickens out first, then with their horns blowing driving straight at each other, oh yea that’s when u hold your breath and the old heart stops beating and the blood rushes to your feet because u know u will die in a head on collision,  that’s the split second I look at Sabine, smile and mentally tell her I LOVE u good bye, but then one of the drivers swings to the side in the last second and the worst thing that happens is that their side mirrors might get smashed, but then the old heart and lungs start working again and your glad to be alive, like I said its adventure pure on them there busses but,´´ u soon get used to it soo keep cool man like one heart one love man O key let’s get together  an feel alright ´´.  The people in Granada are the most open, helpful and friendliest we have met so far, they also have a great sense of humour and they make u feel welcome, we had a street BBQ at the side of the road just outside Prickly bay, the cooks name is Eric and his buddy’s name is Gavin, there were 4 chairs and 5 of us, plus one shaky frame thing u might call a table that we put our rucksacks on, well any way Eric and Gavin introduced themselves and shook hands  with each of us, then Eric gave us a rundown on how he runs his business, he makes the BBQ sauce himself and buys only the finest meats, the grill must have the right temperature of course, etc. etc. and if we have any questions he would answer them, I asked him where did he rob the grill from, and if the meat was fresh road kill that he had scraped of the street that morning, did he rob the pigs and chickens as well, and how many people has he poisoned since he started grilling, well we were falling around the place laughing Eric and Gavin included, like I said these people have humour one wise crack followed the other and we had a great time, and the grub was really great I am not codding yea, I had a chicken leg that looked like it came from an ostrich, it was feckin huge and lovely I was licking me fingers after it, Sabine had pork chops and the only things she left on the plate was the  bare bones, now that’s something she wouldn’t normally do my Sabine, there was mashed potatoes with a salad to booth, washed down with an ice cold carrib beer, it beat all expectations, and was up to scratch with the best restaurants, the only difference was u had to hold it on your lap, Graham and myself got a strong rum on the house 140% alc / vol  Sabine paid at the end 12 € with drink included for the 2 of us, jaysus u wouldn’t even  get a smell of a soup in a classy restaurant for that sure, and  u won’t beat them prices I can tell yea that now.


On the way to Prickly Bay

Waiting for the BBQ

Eric is dishing out the food

Sean, Eric and Gavan

On the 17th we left Clarks court bay at 09.30 with the bus to St Georges, we got another bus to the north end of Granada, to Duquesne, then we walked up hills through the rain Forrest where we plucked mangos, nutmeg, and passion fruits from the trees on the way down to a beach where we had a break for a swim and a sandwich, then back on the trail to Sauteurs town where we got another bus to the sulphur springs, then a bus to Grenville, then the bus to Confer, then we walked the last 4 clicks back to Clarks court bay where we arrived at 18.30, we paid 6, 50 € for the busses and we had done a complete circle of the island of Granada, that was some hike I tell yea, we had enough hiking for a while.


Rainforrest

On the bus

On the hike

Sean having a Mango

Here are lots of sheep


Beach in Sateures

More seaweed

Sean and Graham

On the 20th we celebrated Graham and Joan’s 30th anniversary with a BBQ on the beach in Hog Island, we started at 13.00 and finished at 23.00hrs, it was a great crack, Joan made bread fruit pie and it was the first time I tasted that, it’s lovely, tastes like mashed poppies, there was a lot of people from the sailing community there, every one bringing something to add to the buffet table, and of course they bring their own drink and more as well, Graham was singing like an Irish blackbird and drinking like a fish and I wasn’t far behind him, that’s why he wasn’t up early the next morning I tell yea, ho ho boy what a nigh