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

Logbook Englisch



01.05.2019. to  the  30.06.2019. Malaysia/Germany/ Ireland /Germany.

Ahoy and Harr har Followers of Chev. On the 17.05.19 we got a cab to Sungai Rengit, where we caught the bus for Johor Bahru, where we met our friends Renate and Martin who where flying to Europe with a stopover in Singapore, we met them in Fiji 3 years ago. Sabine and me were crew on their boats in the Tall Ships race in Opua in New Zealand only last year , Sabine on Renate’s  boat Renahara, and me on Martins boat Tystie. We spent the day just strolling around JB were we had a meal and brought each other up to date on what was going on in our lives  a sure it was a great  craic, anyway Martin and Renate went back to Singapore late in the afternoon and we stayed  overnight in a hotel in JB. The next morning we got the bus  back to Sungai Rrengit, the bus driver let us off at the crossroads  to Sebana Cove, and we walked the 5 km to the marina.


Martin and I

Renate and Sabine

Beautiful food in a Nepalese Restaurant

We spent the next few days  getting old Chev  tidied up, the dinghy had to be scraped to get the barnacles off, then stored away, the genoa taken down and stored, the main tucked well up in the lazy bag , fridge emptied and cleaned, now she would be alone until we come back  hopefully before October.


Chevaldy is ready

Scrubbing the old dinghy

21.05.19. we got a bus to JB went through customs for Malaysia and Singapore on the causeway, from their we got a bus to the MRT (train) to Changi airport Singapore , now Singapore is a huge airport complex , and there are a lot of attractions there, some which we didn’t see,  like the sunflower  garden , butterfly garden, and the latest attraction the jewel a 40 ft high waterfall surrounded by over 2.000 exotic plants and trees, it  is really a magnificent spectacle, so if you ever get a stopover or to fly from Singapore`s Changi airport make sure you get there hours earlier so you can visit all what’s on offer, o yea we also watched the pirates of the Caribbean 5 in the cinema there, and it’s all FREE yea haw.


The "Jewel" indoor waterfall

The water falls from 40 m hight

The sunflower garden

 On the 22.05.19 We bordered our flight at 00:30 for  a 13 hour flight to Germany with Scoot Air, lovely and cheap for the 2 of us  we paid 546 € to Berlin Tegel , and arrived at 07.20 and from there a flight to Stuttgart at 10.15, and arrived there at 1130 where we were collected by Sabine’s parents , Sabine was here in Germany last year in April for a month, this is my first time back in over 5 years .


I am at the windowseat

On the 24.05.19 we celebrated Sabine´s Mothers 80th birthday  it was a lovely day indeed.


Gerda's 80th birthday party

Going for a walk after the coffee

Sabine's cousin Petra, Sabine's brother Gerd, me, Sabine and John-Patrick

And we spent the last few weeks  hiking in the hills around Reutlingen, and even further up to the alb, as well as  meeting up with friends that we haven’t seen in a long time.


Sabine and her brother Gerd in the botanical garden in Tübingen

Beautiful flowers

Little Pond in the botanical garden

Our longtime friend Jeanette, who is living in England now

View on Reutlingen and suroundings

Coffee with Sabine's cousin Martina and her husband Karlheinz who visited us on their NZ tour in Opua

On 04.06,19. Our friend Heiner from the sailing boat Dörtita who finished his circumnavigation in the Caribbean in March, and who returned to Germany in April, came and stayed with us for a few days, it was great to meet up with him and we had a grand old time catching up with all the latest.


Heiner and I in front of the Tübinger Tor in Reutlingen

Heiner walking through the narrowest street in the world

We still have another few friends and acquaintances to see after we get back from Ireland.


Going hiking on the Swabian Alb

View from Rutschenfels on Bad Urach

Having coffee with Ute and Detlef, Sabine's ex-collegues

We visited Dietmar and Hildegard for Dieter's 85th birthday

In the last couple of days we have had appointments with two eye doctors, because of my left eye, and the only way to stop the pain is to remove the eye, and to replace it with a glass eye, so on the 04.07,19 I have another appointment with the eye doctor who will then arrange a date for the eye to be removed in the eye clinic.

18.06.19. to 26.06.19. We flew to Ireland and spent most of the running around meeting up with family friends and loved ones, whom I haven’t seen in 6 years , too many to mention but you all know who you are, jaysus it was strenuous trying to keep up with eating and drinking but we did our best LOL , sorry for refusing to have another cup of tea , but we drank so much we were swelling up like Sponge Bob ffs, of course we ate the old chips and batter burgers pies washed down with Beamish stout, birthday cake washed down with beer, dinners that I thought I was going to burst, I tell yea now I was 92 kilos when we left Malaysia 6 weeks ago, I got on a weighed me self yesterday and found I already put on 4 kilo ffs, but we really and truly loved and enjoyed  every minute we spent with you, have left us with beautiful memories that will last for a long long time to come. Hope to meet up with you all again with god’s help, thanks’ to  all of you for taking the time, and sharing your lives with Sabine and me. Wish we could have had more time.


My brother, who we were staying with and I

My grandson Sean

My daughter Martina and my grandson Adrian

My granddaughter Theresa

My granddaughter Kasey

My nephew Damien

My sister Lilly and her grandson Lucas

My nephew Paul

My friends Dolly and Patricia

My daughter Martina and her husband Adrian

My youngest daughter Maria

My daughter Maria and my grandson Shea

My nephew Che and his wife Nina

My goddaughter Jenika

My friend Freddy

My friend Billy

My daughter Tracy

My friend Sharon

The Royal Cork Yachtclub, the oldest yachtclub in the world

Going sailing in Crosshaven on a hummingbird 30 with John

John

We are enjoying the good but cold weather

Back on land

Enjoying a beer in the pub

Dublin on our way back to the airport

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


Malaysia March/April 2019

01.03.19. till 30.04.19

 

Ahoy followers of Chev, on the 05.03.19 we set off on a 16 day tour that would bring us to KL, Borneo, back to KL, with the bus to Melaka and bus to Singapore and then back to Sebana cove. We got a taxi to Sungai Ringit and got the 08.00 bus to Kualar Lumpur, 6 hours later we arrived at the hotel '' D'Majestic place by homes Asian'' where Sabine had booked a room for the night for 2 over the Internet for 4 Euro. We were waiting for the receptionist to bring us to a dirty dingy rat infested old room in the bowls of the basement, or to inform us that there was a mistake, but no everything was OK, to make a long story short we had a beautiful room and there was a swimming pool on the roof that gave us a fantastic view of KL.


Bus to KL


Swimming in the hotel pool

Lovely and refreshing

View from the rooftop

We had just left the hotel to get something to eat when we got an email from our friend Kevin Harris who was on a business trip to KL, and was having a drink with a friend in Healy Mac's, an Irish pub in Bukit Bintang another part of the City, and invited us to join him. No problem there as we were only a block away from a subway station, and 10 minutes later we were in the Irish pub. After a few beers Kevin invited us for dinner to a stake house where we had the best stake we ever had in a long long time, washed down with red wine and whisky. There was an Asian fellah celebrating his birthday with his family and when they brought in the cake we sang happy birthday to him, and were quickly rewarded with a round cake and whiskeys, he asked me to guess how old he was, now I somehow have a knack for jumping into the shit when asked these questions, and to me he looked about 72, so to be nice I said '' sure you don't look a day over 66, he was shocked for a minute but replied he was 62, quick as a whip I said a sure I was only joking yea sure, well that was the last whisky we got of your man. Kevin the restaurant had a fantastic stock of whiskeys and invited us try a 30 year old whiskey, it was very tempting but, as we had a flight to catch to Borneo the next day we declined the offer, and thanked Kevin, for one of the best dinners we had had in a long time, we said good by to Kevin and his buddy, and got a taxi back to our hotel.


The Irish Pub

In the steakhouse

The next morning we got the express train to KL airport for the domestic or inland flight to Borneo, after 2 hours we landed in Kuching city, and got a grab cab to our next abode or hut, well it was small but clean.


KL domestic airport

Before boarding

The next morning we crossed the river with the ferry a long timber boat that is full when 12 passengers are aboard across to the city centre , we then got a grab cab where we hired the driver and his cab for 22 Euro for the day, to take us to the Semenggho Nature reserve where if your lucky you might get to see wild Orang Utans who come to a feeding platform in the jungle, we were lucky and had the privilege and pleasure to watch them swinging slowly down to the platform where their was fresh fruit to be got, after30 minutes or more, they then climbed back up into the trees, we walked back to the carpark where our driver was waiting to take us to Jong's Crocodile Farm where we had a great time looking at snakes, peacocks, turtles, Crocks, and huge fish, the high light of day was the feeding of the Crocodiles, hope yea like the picks of the savage bastards, I tell yea,it was a great trip and when we got back to the city the cab driver gave us a grand tour of Kuching City, and showed us most of the sites that were worth seeing.


The orangutans



Feeding of the crocodils

Lovely lake with flowers in the crocodile farm

Sean feeding a peacock

The next day we crossed over with the ferry and went to the botanical gardens, such a peaceful and tranquil place, the layout of the plants trees and flowers was fantastic. After that we went to the Chines Museum that told of the history of integration of Chines emigrants to Malaysia, very interesting indeed after that we visited the Chines temple. After that we went to top spot food court but unfortunately we were too early they only opened at 6 or 7 in the evening, so we walked back to the little Borneo restaurant and had a good old feed. Well one thing is certain we really enjoyed Borneo and hope we can visit again sometime, after that we crossed over the river and back to our shack where we were knackered and fell down dead asleep.


Orchid






Orchid park

Kucing means "cat", that's why there are cat statues everywhere

New Parliament building and the Golden Bridge

View from the Golden Bridge

Shopping street in Kuching

Chinese Temple

The next morning we called a grab cab and drove to the airport to catch a plane back to KL. We arrived back in KL at 16.00 in the airport and got a grab cab to our next hotel the 123 where we had booked for 3 nights. On the 10.03.19 after breakfast we got the subway in the direction of to the KL tower, but still had to wall a good distance to get to the tower, we got their at 09.30 went in and where shocked at the price just to go up to the tower, they wanted 20 euro each that was a bit much so we decided to walk over to the Petronas Twin towers that was only 2 kilometres away. We reached the Petronas towers at 10.30 to find it was booked out until 13.30. and bought 2 tickets for 27 euro for the 2 of us, so we went window shopping, and got something to eat and drink. We were back in the mall and joined the other 18 people for the lift that took us up to the bridge half way up where we had about 10 minutes to take photographs. After that we went into another lift that brought us to the 84th floor, that's 2 floors from the top floor where we had around 20 minutes to enjoy the fantastic views of Kuala Lumpur, and of course to take photographs, I tell yea it was brilliant we really enjoyed it.
On the way back to the hotel we walked to the KL Forest Echo Park a lovely green oases surrounded by sky scrapers with bridges strung from pylons that take you around the trees, it is really worth a visit, on the way back to the hotel we stopped at an Indian restaurant just around the corner, we had eaten there the night before and it was OK, when we sat down the cook came over and asked us to try something that looked like potato pie's me mam use to make but away smaller, Sabine ate one and I had 5. after that we had some sort of curry rice dish with bread, I woke up in the middle of the night not feel to well, went to the bathroom and threw up and felt a bit better.


Breakfast at the hotel

KL Tower

View from the Petrona Twin Towers

View of KL and skyscrapers

Bridge between the two towers

Sean on the bridge

View straight down from the bridge

KL Eco Forest

On the 11.03,19 I ate a slice of toast and had one coffee for breakfast as I still wasn't feeling too good.
After breakfast we drove with the subway to KL centre where we bough a 2 day ticket for the hop on hop off bus,with these buses we could get of and on at all the touristic sites in KL for 2 days, and we picked out 3 places we thought would be nice .So first we went to the botanical gardens and half way trough I was burning up and throwing up in the bushes, so we returned to the stop and got the bus back to KL centre, and the train to the hotel, I slept badly that night, I was shivering cold one minute and burning up the next minute, so I spent most of the night in the bathroom throwing up and having cold showers to cool me down, I put bath towels on the bed to soak up the sweat that was running out of me, even when I drank water it was rejected by me stomach in seconds. I was thinking I had either a simple flue, food poisoning, or worse dengue fever from all the mosquito bites I got in the jungle's in Borneo and KL city, I was burning up and sweating one minute, then frozen cold and shivering the next, I had joint pains, ear ace, headache that felt like me brain would explode if I had one, and every time I coughed I thought me eyes were going to fly out of me head or me heart was going to explode in me chest FFS, a well tomorrow I will be better with the help of God sure.


Hop on Hop off bus

Scooter park place

Botanical garden

 

12.03.19. I was feeling even worse the next morning, I couldn't eat nothing, we had to check out of the hotel, and had a hotel booked in Melaka, I couldn't walk the mile to the train station so we called a grab cab to take us to KL TBS bus terminal where we got a 3 hour bus ride to Melaka. When we reached the hotel I thought I was going to die, so I spent 2 days just laying down on the bed waiting for death.


Our hotelroom

Melaka River

View from the tower





Melaka Tower Tamin

Tuc Tuc

Ruin on top of St. Paul's hill

14.03.19 I was feeling a lot better today so went to a Chines museum with complementary tickets we had gotten from Colin the owner of the hotel we were staying in, it was well worth the visit.

15.0319. we got a grab cab to the Melaka bus station, where we boarded a bus for Singapore, we had ordered an new AIS transponder and receiver, and had given Kevin's and Susie's address in Singapore. Kevin met us in Singapore and we got a bus to his apartment. We stayed 6 days in Kevin's and Susie's apartment, and had plenty of time to explore Singapore, we are blessed to have friends like that.


Shopping tour with Kevin

Kevin and Sabine

Creepy modern art

We helped Kevin and crew to bring ToD to the boatyard

Sean on ToD

Sean and Claire are taking down the genoa

We deserved a few beers

St. Patrick's Day

Cinema at Changi airport

21.03.19. we got a bus to Johor Baharu in Malaysia, and another bus to Sungai Rengit where we went shopping before getting a cab to Sebana Cove Marina, and back aboard old Chev.

I just want to say that traveling in Malaysia is not expensive, we spent 500 Euro for 16 days of travelling around towns, Citys and jungles of the Malaysian Islands, that included buses, cabs, planes, and trains, entrance fees to National Parks,wildlife reserves, hotels, food is good and inexpensive, dinner and soft drinks included cost for 2 of us 5 Euro. In spite of a few days sickness, we really had a fantastic time intermingling with the local people who are the most friendly, respectful, and helpful people you could meet, who accept you as you are.

19.04.19. Temptress of Down tied up on the pontoon next to us, they had come with another 18 boats from the Changi Sailing Club from Singapore, we had a great night with a BBQ on the pier with all the crews from the boats, after that we had a great singsong on board Temptress of Down, what a great weekend indeed.


BBQ on the pier

Kevin the grillmaster

Kay, Shelley, Kyle and Sabine

Susie and Sabine

Great music night

Ben, Susie and Sean

Sean, Claire and Sabine

ToD on the way back to Singapore

Me left eye is not getting better, I had an accident 6 months ago and there are scratches on the lens that is really very irritating, so Sabine has booked a flight to Germany for the 22.05.19. to get it looked after, we don't know how long it will take or if anything can be done, we can only hope for the best. We plan on going to Ireland in June but have no set date yet. We cancelled our haul out appointment in Endau, as there is a leak in the heat exchanger, will have to take it out and see if I can repair it.

27.04.19. Enchantress is back alongside of us as Kevin and Susie are doing the passage to the east rally, they will be here until 30.04. we can only say thank you for all you have done for us, to two of the most helpful, generous people we are blessed to have met, we hope to meet up again with in the future.

28.04.19. Our friends Shelly and Kyle from Blowing Bubbles have left today for there haul out in Endau, we will miss them and wish them fair winds and following seas.

So followers of Chev take care mind and yourselves well, thank you for your support and kind words, hope we have answered most of your questions, good bye and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and har harr.


Malaysia Jan./Feb. 2019


01.01.19. till 28.02.19

Ahoy and Har har Followers of Chev. On the18.01.2019 we got a taxi to Sungai Ringit and got the 08.45 bus to the bus central in Larkin in Johor Bahru, we arrived in Larkin 3 hours later where we caught another bus to the causeway, where the border between Malaysia and Singapore is situated, and cleared out of Malaysia and into Singapore, the whole procedure took 30 minutes, and just for your information, any person caught trying to smuggle drugs receive the death penalty in both countries.

In Singapore we caught a bus to the MRT ( motor rail transport) station where we caught a train, after changing trains twice we arrived at 14.00 in Geylan, it is the cheapest part in the whole of Singapore to book a hotel room, we paid 85 Eur for 3 people for one night, all other hotels start at 100 Eur and up, and the hotel we booked had a good recommendation according to booking.com. The reason being Geylan is the red light district of Singapore, yes you read it right the first time, Red Light District, you know where Sex Shops selling all sorts of gadgets, brothels and all the whores hang out, and no we did not buy any sort of sex toys or contraptions, books or magazines oh yes its all quite legal and controlled by the government, anyway we had booked a room for 3 persons for one night, in Hotel 81 Premier star that is situated in the very heart of whores Ville, you can book rooms by the hour or overnight.

Aha now don't be getting excited, or letting your fertile minds run mad with you, waiting for all the old juicy bits sure, and don't be getting the wrong idea, Sabine and meself are over 31 years together, and thanks be to God we don't have a need to liven up our lives yet, we have always led adventurous lives, and especially in the last 5 years we have had plenty of action, adventure,excitement, and challenges more than the normal person.

Anyway, to get back to the story, the 2 reasons we were there was because our son John Patrick whom we haven't seen for nearly a year, had done work and travel in New Zealand and Australia, and was coming to stay with us for a few weeks before he headed back home to Germany. His flight from the gold coast Ozz was landing in Changi airport Singapore at 21.00 that evening. The second reason was that the gearbox parts had finally arrived from our friend Mike from Sea power in New Zealand, at our friend Miranda's apartment in Singapore, so we had plenty of time to meet up with our friends Kevin and Susie Harris and Miranda, but unfortunately Miranda couldn't make it that evening and gave Susie the parcel that afternoon. Kevin works a few blocks away from the hotel, and at 17.00 we met up him on the street in front of the Hotel, stopped a taxi that took us to Sue,a friend of Kevin's, we just got out of the taxi when Susie arrived in another taxi at the gate of the apartment complex, and handed me the long awaited parcel with the gearbox parts. We got to Sue's apartment where we were offered some home made beer and cider that her husband Owen makes.


Kevin, Sue and Sean

Well I tell yea it was potent stuff, after the 2nd glass I could feel the old alcohol working, we left the apartment and got a bus to the English pub where Owen was waiting for us and had a great craic eating and drinking in the good company of our old and new friends, at 20.50 the taxi that Kevin ordered to take us to Changi Airport arrived,we said our god byes and said thank you to our friends for a lovely few hours.


At the bar

We Arrived at the airport at 21.05 and after a 40 minutes wait we collected JP and headed back to Geylan where we had something to eat and afterwards went back to the hotel.


JP at the airport coming through the door

Next morning we got the bus to the causeway where we had to wait over 3 hours to clear customs, the reason being the biggest holiday in South East Asia, the Chines new year, this year is the year of the Pig, and of course it being Saturday with all the Singapore's going to Malaysia to go shopping where everything is cheaper, well now I tell yea, there were thousands upon thousands of people queuing up to clear Customs and immigration, there were people fainting, and arguments breaking out, pushing and shoving that nearly ended up in a fight, thanks be to jaysus we finely arrived in Johor Bahru bus central and caught a bus to Kota Tinggi, from there we got a bus to Penwar where we went shopping for supplies, then we had a dinner in the Pakistani restaurant where the restaurant owner's cousin drove us over 30 kilometres back to Sebana Cove for 60 Ringit, that's 13eur, in his small car, we had all the windows open because he had eaten a kilo of garlic, now I love garlic but the man must have been eating it by the bucket full, jaysus the man was putrefied and surrounded by a cloud of stink ffs. We arrived back aboard old Chev at 20.30 exhausted and thank full for the fresh air .

27.01.19. I replaced the new parts in the gearbox, and the flange on the flywheel, John Patrick gave me a hand to push the engine up to the gearbox and line them up so I could put them back together, no easy job specially in the tropical heat I tell yea,but we managed it in the end. After that we had a few beers celebrating JP's 26th birthday.


JP with marina view

Having a few beers

28.01.19 Sabine and JP were going away to Kuala Lumpur for 4 days so we were up early this morning, and when they were gone, I overhauled the alternator that was covered in rust from the sea water that had dripped over the engine from a leaking seawater hose, freeing and cleaning it as it was all rusted up , I hope its still working, I put the alternator back in, put on the fan belt, and opened the old sea cock, and was ready to start old Chev's engine to see if everything was alright, when up pops the next problem, as soon as I opened the sea cock the sea water pump was leaking ffs Aarrggrr I took out the pump and replaced the seal's and the impeller on the sea water pump, put it back in, at last everything was ready to start her up, but I was nervous that something else would go wrong, and as I pressed the starter button there was just a clicking sound, I pressed it again and the same clicking sound was all I heard, I was deeply disappointed, was the starter fucked or was it the solenoid, I was glad there was no one near to hear the screams of abuse and curse words from me vile mouthed tongue, I felt like picking up the hammer and beating the shit out of the engine, WTF was going to happen next, I had enough for the day, just couldn't bothered me jewels any more and let the whole freaking shit lying there, made me self an old cup of tea, and sat out on deck with the sweat dripping off me exhausted, I had started this morning at sun up, and the sun had just gone down, and the feeling that I had wasted a whole freaking day, plus the negative thoughts and self doubt were going through me mind,will I ever get her up and running.

29. 01.19 After breakfast and a little prayer to God for guidance, I set about me work again, I checked the battery, it was fully charged, I crossed the poles on the starter and and heard the same old clicking sound, I tried tapping the starter with a hammer but nothing happened, I took out the starter and checked the bushes, they were OK, so I connected up the starter directly to battery to check the solenoid, and the thing nearly flew out of me hands with the jump she made, I did this a few times and each time the starter worked, so that wasn't the problem, by the time I replaced the starter it was evening, and before I knew it another day was over, its amazing how the time fly' s, anyway.

30.01.09 I opened the old control panel to check the starter switch, and ''Hallelujah'' I found the problem, most of the contacts on the panel were green and corroded, and some were broken,it really was in a bad state so I took out the Panel and with contact spray, and a little wire brush, I spent the rest of the day cleaning the contacts, and trying to solder the broken ones on the panel,

31.01.09 this morning I connected up the wires to the control panel, pressed the starter switch and the starter turned and turned but the throttle cable was stuck, that meant I couldn't give gas, so I left her in neutral but I kept the starter button pressed hoping that the battery wouldn't run flat, and after what seemed like 30 minutes, but in reality was at the most 30 seconds the engine spluttered and stuttered, and I was shouting encouragement's with me heart in me mouth come on Chev come you can make it, come ooonnn Chev don't let me down ffs we need you, and just before the battery died she spluttered into life and started, I waited 10 minutes until she was ticking over smoothly before I put her into gear, me hand was shaking as I put her into gear and when I did SHE FUCKIN WORKED Yehawaaa old Chev was up and running after 4 months, she moved forward straining against her mooring ropes, then I shifted to reverse and again Chev moved backwards straining at her moorings Yeaaaaa JAYSUS Yesss, and then back to neutral Hallelujah PBTG thank you dear Lord, I felt tears of joy rolling down me cheeks, all me worry' s, fear and doubt's that old Chev wouldn't make it vanished, I let her running for a couple of hours just to see if there was any water or oil leaking from the pipes or anywhere else, but everything was fine amen. It was a great feeling to hear the motor purring sweetly, prays be to God.

The next day I thought I would have to replace the gear and gas control cable, I disconnected the cable from the engine block and found that the leaver on the side of the motor that the throttle cable is connected to was sized, after spraying rust loosener I tapped it lightly back and fort with a hammer and after 30 minutes it was free, I connected it all back up and since then everything is running smoothly, not bad for a 31 year old boat, now I can carry on with the old to do list, the rigging, the mast, the light on the mast top, overhaul the winches, among other things, but there is a great load off our minds now that old Chev is back up and running, we can make plans for cruising the east coast of Malaysia when the NE monsoons are over in May. Sabine and John-Patrick came home this evening and had had a great time in Kuala Lumpur, and Sabine was delighted that Chev was up and running.


Little India in Kuala Lumpur (KL)

The National Museum of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

National Mosk of Malaysia

A peacock at the bird park in KL

A storck

JP in the bird park

Uptown KL

Petrona Twin Towers

Near the Batu Caves

Statue of the Hindu god and the 272 steps to the Cave on the left

View of KL

Inside the cave  


The KL Forrest Eco Park

The Chines New Year celebration with the Lion dance

 


09.02.19 we got the ferry across to Singapore and booked into the Fragrance Hotel in Geylan and in the afternoon met up with our with friends Kyle and Shelley from Blowing Bubbles. They had arrived in Changi airport from Toronto Canada, where Kyle had spent 2 months convalescing after his motorcycle accident in Indonesia. It was great to see them again but Kyle looks like it will take a while until he is fully recovered, we went for something to eat and caught up on the latest, well he is one lucky man to have survived that I can tell yea, after 2 hours poor old Kyle was on the verge of a collapse, so we headed back to the hotel. Anyway after that we accompanied our son John-Patrick who had been staying with us for 3 weeks, to Changi airport at 19.00. where he checked in his baggage in terminal 2 for his flight home to Berlin. Next morning we took the bum boat with Kyle and Shelly back to Sebana cove marina where their boat is moored, right across from us, we will be there to help when they need us.


JP on the ferry to Singapore

Shelley and Sabine

Sabine and John-Patrick

Sean and John-Patrick

music on the pier

14.02.19 we had ordered a taxi for 07.30 to take us to Sungai Ringit and were waiting at the reception when we got a call from him to say his taxi had a break down, so we started to walk the 5 kilometres to the main road as we had plenty of time, we had walked about 2 km when we got a lift from a guy going to work,and he brought us as far as the main road where we caught a local bus to Penawar bus station, where we got another bus to Kota Tinggi bus station, where we got another bus, and after 6 hours travelling we arrived at the town of Rompin near Endau, our final destination. The driver was kind enough to stop right across from the hotel we had booked.


Bus terminal in Kota Tinggi

Our doubledecker express bus

We checked into the hotel and got our room where we let our rucksack, and walked down the road to a restaurant and had something to eat. Half an hour later we were walking over towards the bridge to the boat yard where they haul out mostly fishing boats. We entered the yard but did not see one sailing boat, we asked at the office and were told to take a seat, after a short wait a Chinese woman walked into the office and drove us over to the other yard that was about 2 kilometres away, she spoke very good English, and gave us a guided tour of the boat yard. There were no sailing boats there, but plenty of fishing and commercial vessels, along with a few coastguard cutters. She asked us the length and width of Chev and answered all our questions about the hauling out and how they would go about it, but she would let us know the cost after she had spoken with the boss as soon as possible, this was the whole reason for our trip to Endau, as we need to do the antifouling and another few things to get old Chev ready for another 2 years of crusing.


Ng and Sean at the boat yard

Only big fishing boats out at the moment

After that she drove us back to the hotel, where we spent some time lying around in the pool, after that we went to the KFC that was 3 minutes from the hotel, it was Sabine's first in a Kentucky Fried Chicken joint and she was delighted with the food, anyway we stuffed our faces with salad, chicken legs, French fries and coke, the bill for the lot was 4 Euro, I love Malaysia we paid 12 Euro for the 2 of us for the buses for 180 kilometres trip to Endau, the hotel for one night included breakfast was 30 euro for the 2 of us. We did the return trip the next morning but that took longer and was double the price of getting there, but still cheap in comparison to other countries we have been to.

The driver of the bus let us off at the road to the Sebana cove resort at 19.15. we have often walked the 5 kilometres to the main road, and the 5 kilometres back to the marina but always in daylight and always armed with a stick or a pipe or something. I never had to use it yet but it gives me a good feeling, we have seen gangs of small monkeys, they can be dangerous bastards, they are sometimes aggressive and quick to bite, they will run at you and turn away at the last minute. Then there's the wild dogs that roam around in packs, like the monkeys they can be dangerous if they sense that you are afraid , we have had an encounter with a very big Baboon that looked more like a Gorilla come out of the edge of the jungle ten feet in front of us, we carried on walking not daring to look him in the eyes and hoped the fucker wouldn't attack us ffs that was a scary moment even though I had a stick in me hand. There are also Tapir's a bear like creature who are highly aggressive and will attack on site, not to mention wild cats and tigers, and not your pussycats,we know that there are lots of snakes, like Cobras and Pythons and these creatures like to slither along the warm roadside after the sun has gone down,it would take us about one hour to reach the resort, I was lucky enough to find a long metal bar at the side of the road that would come in handy, it would be dark soon, the sun was down and the night was closing in, we had about 15 minutes left before it got really dark as we set off for the marina. We had reached the top of the hill and were surprised to see the lights of a car coming up behind us. I concealed the bar and put up me thumb as he came closer and thanks be to God the chap stopped and gave us a lift to the resort where he was staying, that's what you call the luck of the Irish I tell yea.


A little bat

Musicnight with Kyle and Shelley on Blowing Bubbles

So followers of Chev, hope you will like the photos and the blog, stay safe take care and mind yourselves well now until the next time , good by and God Bless you all, Ahoy and Har Harr


Malaysia


25.10.18. to the 31.12.2018

Ahoy and Har harr followers of Chev, as we have a berth in the Sebana Cove Marina we are entitled to use all the facilities of the Sebana Cove Resort that includes fitness room, sauna, showers, swimming pool and library are all free, so after breakfast we went up to the resort to check it out, and we ended up just lazing around for hours by the pool, going into the water now and then to cool down, enjoying the beautiful view surrounded by palm trees jaysus sure this is the life ye haw, we got back to Chev in the late afternoon and made our dinner. At 18.15 we went up to the bus stop as we call it, to meet up with the crews from the other boats that are here and whom we have already met, for a sundowner, by 19.30. we were back aboard Chev reading a book, and by 21.00 we were in bed after a do nothing day, its a great feeling with nothing to do and all day to do it, and nothing to worry about, I said to Sabine that we would just relax and do nothing for a week just to recover.

26.10.18 We got a message from our friend Shelley. Shelley and Kyle had had an accident with a motorbike they had hired the day before to tour the island of Belitung, Shelley was released from the hospital after 2 days but Kyle was kept in the intensive care unit awaiting transportation to Singapore. Shelley asked if I could come down to Belitung in Indonesia as soon as possible to bring their boat “Blowing Bubbles” up to Sebana Cove Marine. Sabine and me discussed it for a minute and I said yes.

Now Sabine is great at arranging and organizing things like booking flights, she always finds the best bargains, and within 15 minutes had me booked on a flight from Singapore to Jakarta with a connecting flight to Belitung for the next day, she messaged Shelley and told her what time the plane from Jakarta would be landing in Belitung in the afternoon.

That evening at the bus stop I was bombarded with advice and information from our fellow cruisers of the cheapest way of how to get to Changi airport, ''now listen after getting off the ferry, don't cross the main road, don't turn right, do stay on the left side to the first bus stop, get on the number 35 bus it cost 2$ and get off after the 8th stop, cross over the motorway bridge to get to the subway or MRT as its known as, go to platform 3 and take the that says Changi airport, it cost 3$ that would take me to the airport in Singapore, and watch out for this that and the other, jaysus me head was buzzing trying to keep hold of the information. Everyone threw in their tuppence worth as we would say, and we were all having a great skit, ''you can't get lost, or maybe you can'' ''he will probably end up on the wrong plane'' don't take any pills medical or otherwise, they have the death penalty there as well as here, ah sure it was a great craic, as there is no ATM in the ferry terminal, and as we had no Singapore dollars, Rose gave me 10 dollars in change, that should be more than enough to get you to the Airport she said.

27.10. Sabine came with me to the taxi and we said our good byes and the taxi took me to Tanjung Belungkor to the ferry terminal in where I cleared the Malaysian customs and took the high speed ferry across to Singapore. 30 minutes later I cleared customs into Singapore, I walked to the bus stop and got the bus to the MRT station, then the train to the airport, joined the cue for the Lion Air flight to Jakarta, landed in Jakarta, caught the next flight to Belitung, where we had a very scary landing, we flew right into a thunder storm and all of a sudden the turbines were thrust up to full power and we were pushed back into our seats from the sudden climb, I tell yea there were lots of worried faces of people who knew that this was not normal, we went around for a second time and we hit the runway with such force that I thought the fookin plane would fall apart. Jesus Mary and Joseph protect us, after hitting the runway the engines were thrust into reverse but the plane didn't slow down, and it looked like we had landed in a river I tell yea. There were a few muffled screams and people started crying, and then a bunch joined in, and scared the shit out of the rest of us, me included, and I thought this was it, game fuckin over Sean boy, we are all dead, but thanks be to Christ it stopped and went back to the terminal, people were going down the gangway with jittery knees, it made me think of a song ''oh i'm all shook up'' and I started laughing, I went trough customs and was picked up by Evan who owns the bar and restaurant on the beach in Belitung, where Shelly's boat Blowing Bubbles was anchored. After a 45 minute drive to the coast we reached Evan's place where I was met by Kelly a friend of Shelley, who would be helping me sail Bubbles up to Malaysia. Kelly drove us over to the boat with the dinghy,where Shelley told me Kyle was after being flown to Singapore, she showed me where everything was, we talked for a while, and then I hit the sack and didn't wake up till the following morning I was so knackered.

28.10. woke up at 08.00 had a shower and breakfast then Shelly showed me the engine compartment,the fan belts and spare parts, just in case something happens, the tanks, water and diesel were full, we went ashore that evening for dinner and a few beers in Evens bar and restaurant.

29.10. Shelley flew to Singapore, while Evan, Kelly, and me,drove into the city where we met John who is an agent, and who helped us clear Indonesian customs that kept us busy until 16.00. We were back on board Bubbles by 17.00 and at 17.30 I winched up the anchor and headed for Malaysia 350 nautical miles away. Blowing Bubbles is a 16 ton 45 foot Ketch with a 65 hp engine, and as we had no wind I ran the motor at 1500 revs, that's roughly the most economical speed for a boat, we had over 6 knots, and we could always set the sails if we got the wind. 31.10.we passed the Equator 04.15 . I anchored just behind the island of lobam a place where Keven and Susie Harris told me about, just before it got dark as I did not want to cross the Singapore Straits in the dark.

Next morning we headed off at 07.00. on the 01.11. we had the wind and current against us and a dirty massive front, it rained all the way to the straights, it was 10.15 when we started across the straights with the torrential rain making it hard to see, 2 hours later we were in Malaysian waters and heading up river to Sebana cove the rain stopped around 13.30. a half hour later we rounded the bend and entered the harbour where Sabine and another 8 people reaching for the ropes as they welcomed me back.



Sean on Blowing Bubbles

02.11 we spent the whole day relaxing at the pool and did nothing strenuous, at the bus stop that night Jeff an Australian friend said he would help me separate the gearbox the next day, so that was the end of the lazy life I suppose, ah well what can yea do sure


View on the Sibana River

Going for walks

Front of the Sebana Cove Resort

The back of the resort

The swimmingpool

03.11.,after breakfast Jeff came over and we started on the old gearbox, we had to separate the engine by undoing the nuts and bolts that were holding it together, then I had to pull the engine forward on to a ramp that I had made from wood, while Jeff pushed from the back, then I loosened the flange from the flywheel, and opened the gearbox housing to take out the driveshaft, one look at the shaft was enough to see where the damage was, the flange was worn as well, we thought we could have a replacement within 24 hours, but to make a long story short, to get the parts new sent from the UK it would have cost us over 2,000 Euro that was a bit too pricey for us, so we got in touch with Mike our mechanic friend in New Zeeland, who will try to have them up to us after Xmas so until then we can do no more only laze around until the parts for the gearbox arrive, then the fun trying to get it back together will start.

On the13.11.18 Rose booked a table for 8 people at the Super Lobster in Sungai Rengit and organised the Resort shuttle to take us up there and collect us when we ware finished. We had about 4 to 5 different dishes of Chinese food. They kept putting trays of food the revolving table in the middle and nobody went hungry. It costed 50 Ringits per person, beer and soft drinks included. The craic was great among the sailors from different nations ( German, Singaporean, Australian, American English and Irish) and the cost was 12 Euro per person, I tell yea its very cheap here in Malaysia great stuff.


In the "Super Lobster Restaurant"

Rose is feeding Sean a fishhead

Sabine and the lobsters
 

16.11. we had a BBQ and pot luck at the bus stop with the frozen meat we got from Shelley from the freezers of Blowing Bubbles, we dished it out among the other sailors and let it to their imagination how they were going to cook it, in the end we had a grand old time stuffin our belly's indeed, Thanks for the meat Shelley girl.


Enjoying the food

22.11. At 06.45 we got a taxi from the marina to the ferry terminal in Tanjung Belungkor where we got the 08.00 o'clock high speed ferry over to Singapore, we arrived at 08.30, and were met by our friends Susie and Kevin, we got a taxi to Miranda's apartment where we where all invited to spend the weekend.

Singapore officially the republic is a sovereign city-state and island country in South-east Asia with a population of over 5.607 million, it is a multi cultural multi racial city with the Chinese forming the largest ethnic group. Singapore is also known for its lightning and thunder storms it has the most electric storms than any other country in the world, so with Kevin, Susie and Miranda who live there, and know the place like the back of their hand as our personal guides, we visited all the popular districts like Chinatown, little India and Marina bay. On one tour with Kevin and Susie down orchard drive, going in and out of shopping malls and ships chandlers,finally we went to Mustafa's one of the supposed to be cheapest shopping malls in Singapore, where you had to look hard to find a bargain, then we went to the restaurant on the top floor of the mall for lunch that turned out to be the best bargain of the day, we were wrecked by the time we got back to the apartment complex we had walked over 11 kilometres, and spent a while recovering in the pool now we know the real meaning of shop till you drop , That evening we all went to little India and visited the Hindu temple, and afterwards we had a massive meal in one of the Indian restaurants.


At Miranda's

View from the bus

Hindu Tempel

On the way to the Indian Restaurant. Susie, Miranda and Sean

Kevin, Sean, Sabine, Miranda and Susie at the Indian Restaurant

Christmas feeling on the way home

23.11 In China town Kevin and Susie gave us a guided tour of the South bridge Road Buddha Tooth Relic temple and Museum, on the 4th floor behind a glass wall is a golden room is where the tooth relic of the historical Buddha is on display on a little cushion on top of a golden altar with big golden statues the floor is made of pure gold and all the statues and ornaments are made of pure gold, in this room, their were only a hand full of people meditating and praying, a moving experience indeed.


Singapore

from different angles

China town

Having lunch at one of the foodstalls

The Buddhist Temple

Skyline of Singapore

Miranda, Susie, Kevin, Neil and Sean

24.11. we thanked Miranda and Neil for having us as guests and a wonderful weekend , we said good bye and we got a taxi with Kevin and Susie to Changi yacht club where they are members and their Boat the Enchantress of Down is moored, where we stayed with Kevin and Susie who gave us the grand tour of the club and where we spent the time relaxing in the pool and drinking a few ice cold beers,we were known to most of the club members as the story of our rescue by Kevin Susie and Miranda was a topic of conversation within the Changi Sailing Club, and rightly so I think they should get a bag full of medals, we are and will be eternally grateful, there are no words to express our gratitude or thank them enough for what they did for us, maybe we can repay them one day, or do something similar for some other sailors who might need our help in the future.


Sean and Kevin on Temptress

Pool at the Changi Yacht Club

The next morning after breakfast Kevin and Susie escorted us to the Changi ferry where we got the bum boat as it is called, because you might have to wait hours until it is full, but it is only half the price compared to the high speed ferry, we said good bye to Kevin and Susie and thanked them for a great time and tour of an amazing city Singapore , we waited an hour and we were the only passengers aboard the bum boat when it finally headed to Malaysia we landed 45 minutes later near the Naval base, got a taxi to Sebana cove marina and were back aboard old Chev at the end of another day in Paradise.


Sean on the bumboat

09.12. We travelled by bus to Johor Bahru where I had an appointment with a doctor in the eye clinic on the 11.12. at 10.00. We stayed the first night in a hotel in Johor Central where we paid 24 Euro for bed and breakfast for the both of us. We had a lovely day exploring the city, and trying out the local snack food, in the evening we had dinner in a restaurant near the hotel that came to 4.40 Euro with soft drinks included, I tell yea Malaysia is really a cheep place to live.10.12. We moved to another hotel that was closer to the eye clinic, we booked 2 nights, that cost us 36 Eur for the 2 of us without breakfast, there are so many places to chose from where you can get a meal or a dinner with soft drinks included for 2 people for 5.50 Eur.


JB Sentral 

Sean having breakfast at the hotel

11.12 we went to the clinic where I was asked what was the reason for the visit, I told her there were 2 reasons, one was my left eye that 29 years before by judo training, I got a finger jabbed into my left eye by accident, that left me with less than 40 percent vision, and that one night nearly 3 months ago we got caught in a storm as I was dressing to take over watch, we were hit by a big wave that flung me against a plastic keyring hanging from a hook on the wall, injuring my left eye, at first my vision was very blurred, and a week later I could see nothing at all at all, since then my left eye is constantly watering like I was crying out of one eye, it feels as if something is stuck inside my eye and it is very irritating. The second reason was that since I banged my left eye I have had periods of partial and blurred vision in my right eye, that within the last six weeks I went blind in my right eye five or six times, from periods lasting from a few minutes to the longest and most frightening being 20 to 25 minutes. I would like to know if it is a cataract or what ever, and can something be done for the right eye,'' well could you tell me about where and when it first happened she said,'' I can indeed I said, and told her that the first time it happen was when we were walking to the supermarket me vision went blurry, slowly at first, then I could see only half of a persons face, in the supermarket it got worse, I was lucky I was pushing the shopping trolley at the time and had something to hang on to, the shelves and walls where all crooked and misshapen, then it was like I was in thick fog, my first thoughts were Jesus Mary and Joseph, I was totally blind, I couldn't see me hand in front of me face jasus I just pushed the trolley in the direction of Sabine's voice, and hoped I wouldn't push the trolley into someone or something yea know what I mean like , after a while I just stood where I was until Sabine came back and asked if I was alright, I am grand as along as I can hang on to the trolley, just a small bit foggy, like as if I stepped into a deep freezer and me glasses fogged up I said, nothing to worry about me love I will be fine in a minute, but it wasn't, it scared the shit out of me I tell yea I prayed to God, sweet dearest Jesus Christ not as I will but as thy will be done if it must be lord, but please sweet lord God let it be a dizzy spell, and 20 minutes later I slowly regained the sight in me right eye hallelujah,.

Well, she checked me eyes there and then, me vision was checked, then I went from one machine to another, blood pressure was taken, eye pressure was measured, and finally, and after 2 hours was told that me left eye didn't react to any of the tests that it was blind, which wasn't no surprise to me, and that there was no sing of a cataract in the right eye, but the doctor would know more after he has a look,and to make a long story short, she made an appointment for the eye doctor for the next morning.

12.12. we checked out of the hotel at 08.00. and walked the 30 minutes to Mc Donald's for our breakfast, after that we walked the 5 minutes down the road to the eye clinic where at 09.30. I got 3 different types of drops in me right eye, after that we went into the doctor who examined me eyes and and told us that the nerve in me left eye was dead, and that there were scratches on the lens that were causing the irritation to the eye, and that a lens transplant would be the answer, as over time it would get worse, well he gave me antibiotic drops for the scratches on the lens, and dry eye drops to lubricate the eye.


At the eyeclinic

The right eye had no signs of a cataract, the only problem he could see was that floaters in my right eye could slide under the retina and cause a detachment, he gave us the name and address of a doctor in Johor central, with the warning if the blindness increases and lasts longer, I was to make an immediate appointment in Johor, thank be to god for small mercies Amen.

We were back aboard old Chev around 4 in the afternoon after an adventurous 4 days.

24. and the 25.12.18. we had a pot luck at the south side bus stop, that's just over to the pier on the other side, sounds far away but its only 2 minutes walk, that was really enjoyable.


Potluck on the 24th



Bit more food on the 25th



Straight across from Chevaldy

And 31st we went to the Sebana Cove Resort buffet all inclusive for food eating till you burst, or drinking till you drop (water, coffee and tea), live music entertainment and fireworks for the 2 of us at a special price of 32 Eur and had a fantastic time and a great craic, but we behaved ourselves ha ha,


Sean at the dessert table

Having a great time

Sean with some of the stuff

So followers of Chev sorry it took so long to finish the blog, but now you know the reason, we wish you all a peaceful healthy and trouble free new year, stay safe take care and mind yourselves well god bye and god bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr.



View of the marina 
 

Indonesia to Malaysia

 10.09.18 to the 24.10.18

Ahoy and Har harr Followers of Chev, this afternoon as we got back from shopping there was a 60 ft tour boat, the White Pearl tied up to the same Buoy as us, he had only one fender out and had come aboard old Chev, undid the mooring rope, used the Genoa halyard, and the rope from the traveller to tie himself up to Chev, and in the process damaged the stanchion on the left side near the back of the boat. I was lucky that I had tied an extra rope to the mooring line, otherwise we would have drifted onto the nearby reef. The deckhand said the Buoy was theirs and that we should go to another buoy, we have been 5 days on the buoy, I told him we were towed here by the local fishermen and we were told that it was a free Buoy, and could stay as long as we liked, but we could not drive to another Buoy as the water pump had been taking out of the motor, and we were waiting for a water pump to be sent from England I even brought him down inside Chev to show him the holes in the Engine where the water pipes had been, I think he understood what I was telling him, I told him to translate to the skipper of the White Pearl what I had told him, the next morning they went away as we were having our breakfast, around 07.00.


Tje White Perl tied next to us

On the 12.09.18. Around 15.00. We returned from town where we had booked a tour for the following morning, to find the White Pearl again tied up to Chev, the wind was blowing 15 knots with 20 knot gusts, the crew had once more boarded Chev and, undid the mooring line, and still used only 1 fender, we boarded Chev and I checked the extra lines I had tied to the mooring line, they were still there, but I discovered that the railing, the Pulpit, and the forward stanchion was damaged by the other boats bowsprit that was banging down with every wave on Chev, I am normally a mild mannered person, but I shouted to the deckhand to move his lazy arse and get another few fenders between the boats, which he surprisingly did, then I turned on the skipper and pointed out the damage he had done, 3 minutes later they were gone off to another mooring, we thought that was the end of it, but not by a long shot.

We just finished dinner around 19.30. When something jumped down the stairs into Chev, me brain was telling me it was a live RAT I grabbed the lamp and was on me hands and knees looking for the bastard Rat, but couldn’t find it, so I thought that maybe I was imagining it, 20 minutes later Sabine who can hear flies walking up walls, heard scratching sounds coming from behind the cooker, Sabine shone the light with shaking hands down the back of the cooker while I was on me knees trying to see a shadow of the rat, again no sign of the bastard rat, so I opened the back cabin that we use as a store room, and sure enough there was an apple that a rat had been gnawing at But we saw nor heard the bastard rat all night, then it dawned on me, that it must have been the skipper of the White Pearl or one of the crew that had thrown the live rat on board Chev.

The next morning we were up at 05.00. as we had to be over at the tour office at 05.30. but I did not want to go on the tour because I was afraid that when we got back we would find Chev on the Reef, but Sabine convinced me to go, after we had breakfast I emailed Raymond, the Rally organiser and told him about the carry-on of the White Pearl, after that we drove over to the town with the old dinghy, when we reached the office we found 2 of the guys sleeping on a little mattress on the floor, of course we woke them up, and soon we were escorted to the place where we got our snorkelling stuff, then we went to a restaurant where we were given 2 take away dinners to eat later on on the tour, Chicken bones, green beans, 3 slices of cucumber, eggplant and rice, and 2 litres of water. Then it was a short walk down to the harbour and on to the boat that would take us to the islands of Padar, Rinca, and 2 other islands where we could go snorkelling, there were 5 other people besides us on the tour.

After a 2 hours high speed boat ride through some very strong currents between the islands that we passed, each one more beautiful than the next, we arrived in Padar, where after we climbed up the very steep hill to the top, we were rewarded with a fantastic view of Padar and the surrounding bays and islands.


All the boats in the bay of Padar Island

We walked up the steps

Rewarded with a beautiful view

Proof that we were there

After that it was back to the boat where we got fresh bananas to keep the old belly happy for a while, and off we went to the pink beach where we went snorkelling, well we have seen better snorkelling places, but it was nice to swim around in the lovely water, and sit around on the beach, after that we were whisked off to Rinca national park for the highlight of the tour to see the Komodo dragons.

We were escorted by 2 park rangers armed with sticks, who would protect us from the over 1500 dragons that live on the island, only if they got dangerous of course, well says your man(the park ranger), ``the dragons are very slow moving, but don’t be fooled by that, that is there tactic, slow moving then a burst of speed where they can reach 50 kilometres an hour, so keep well away from them, once they have bitten the victim, they just follow it slowly, until it drops down dead from the poison. ``Only last week says he, one of the people who lives on the island, a man, was bitten on the hand by a dragon that walked into his dwelling during the night, he had let his door opened because of the heat, now he is dying slowly and there is no known cure for the bite of a dragon, he will rot from the inside out, it may take weeks and no one can help him´´. Well now like I find it hard to believe that someone would be stupid enough to leave the door open with all these dragons roaming around the place, are they stupid or what ffs.

We started the tour, and around the first corner of a hut were 3 dragons lazing in the shade with their eyes closed, they could have been made of rubber for all I know as they didn’t move a mussel, off we went again along the trail, do yea feed the dragons I asked him, no he said, they hunt for their food, and what do they hunt, `` there are monkeys roaming around the grounds and trees, as well as deer, water buffalo and wild pigs´´ said he.


The dragons in the shade

The next dragon was a female who was laying in the shade of a tree, but had her beady eyes on us the whole time, after that we walked the well-trodden pat through the bush, and up the top of the hill where there was a sort of band stand like view point.


view from the viewpoint

The 2 park rangers were knackered, the older guy sat in the shade of the band stand, and the younger one stretched out on the floor, while we were talking among ourselves then after 15 minutes our rangers had gathered enough strength to guide us down the trail that would take us back to the starting point, when we got there one of the 3 dragons that had been asleep was awake, and walked very slowly around the corner of the Hutt, Sabine was about 4 meters away from it as I took a photo, none of your old ``don’t get to close´´ now.


The dragon getting up

And starting to walk around

The next bit of excitement came as a baby dragon strolled out from under a hut and crossed over to the other side, then one of the rangers caught a fairly big snake, that drew a crowd of workers and tourist around him, I think he wanted to feed it to a dragon, but said that a snake man would come by later in the evening to collect the old snake.

A well all in all it was a good tour, but I only saw at the most 7 or 8 dragons, I was wondering where the rest of the 1492 were.

After that it was back to the boat where we scoffed our Chicken bones and rice, very tasty indeed, and on to the next snorkelling spot, then it was back to Labuan Bajo where we handed back the snorkelling gear, then off to the hardware store to buy a rat trap, the only one they had was a trap that would catch the rat alive, so we bought it. On the way back to the boat the dinghy motor stopped just as we reached old Chev, now I was only after filling her up that morning so she couldn’t be empty, I checked the petrol tank ,and sure enough there was plenty in it, I pulled the start cord and she started again, I revved her up a few times just to be sure it was ok, and it was.


Rinca Island

The first thing I did as soon as we were on board old Chev, was to bait the rattrap with some of the apple the rat had been eating and put it in the back cabin, it was 17.30. and 2 hours later there was the bastard rat running around the cage, now that was quick, I thought it would take at least a few days, me first thoughts was to put the rat in a bag and sling it back on board the White Pearl, but I drowned it instead, I set the trap again and placed it back in the same place, that is 2 days ago and the trap is untouched, it looks like we are rat free again, thanks be to god.

14.09.18. We drove over to the pier to meet an Indonesian guy who Raymond had contacted to help us move to another buoy, 200 meters from the pier the dinghy conked out, so I tried it again and again, but she wouldn’t start, we managed to get to the pier and Chris was waiting for us, we filled him in about the White Pearl, I said I could understand the guy getting upset but we cannot move without the motor, Chris said there was no sense in moving to another buoy, as we would experience the same trouble there, I said I also believe that my outboard motor was interfered with by the same bunch, he advised us to go to the harbour master, but first I needed a mechanic to look at the outboard motor .

The mechanic came and found water in the petrol, and after 2 hours trying couldn’t get it started, he arranged a tow back to Chev for us, and said he would come out the next day, we did not see him since, I spent the rest of the day working on the outboard, i drained and cleaned the petrol tank, stripped down and cleaned the carburettor fuel lines, and replaced the spark plug, and after putting it back together it still wouldn’t work.


Trying to fix the outboard engine

Around 17.00. we were having an old cuppa when along comes the White Pearl as bold as brass, but I was up on the bow like a shot and pushed the first deckhand back onto the Pearl, the second deckhand came and I gave him the same treatment, then I turned and I shouted a shower of abuse at the skipper and told him that as long as I was here he would not use this buoyagain .

Well he went to another buoy 25 meeter's away from us, where a deckhand hopped into their jolly boat and speed away at high speed towards the harbour returning with some other Indonesian guy who spoke perfect English, I explained to him that every time the Pearl had tied up to us he only had one fender out, and that he had damaged the bow railing and stanchions all along the left side, that he had put a live rat aboard our boat, and had also put seawater into our petrol tank, I showed him Chev´s motor with the water pump missing, how long will you be here he asked, until we have the replacement pump I said, it could be 4 days or a week, I do not know, the part has to come from the UK, but until then i will not move from this buoy. This mediator said he will tell the skipper and let us know what he says, that’s fine by me I said ,we would like to know what he has to say. Well the guy spent over an hour talking to the skipper of the Pearl before driving him back to the harbour, but never returned to us to inform us of the outcome.

That night I kept watch on deck, and the next morning i put the smaller outboard on the dinghy and drove over to the White Pearl, the 4 deck hands were sitting around smoking as i came alongside, call your Captain i said to the guy that spoke good English, he came down from the bridge down, and to make a long story short , i told him how much worry and stress he had put my wife and me trough in the last week, we couldn't go ashore without worrying what would be damaged or broke next, he stood and listened to the translation from the deckhand, i told him i had caught the rat he had thrown aboard our boat, my first thought was to throw the rat back aboard your ship, but I drowned it as there are enough rats on board your ship already, and that would make me just as bad as you, but please keep in mind captain ,that you have a beautiful 60 ft long by 20 ft wide timber ship that you make a good profit with, that is your livelihood, our boat is only a 30ft long by10 ft wide fibreglass boat , less than half the size of yours, but it is our home that I will protect by every means available, i am a peaceful person to a certain extent, and I am no stranger to trouble, captain, but if one more thing happens, no matter how big or small, I will personally hold you responsible captain, and then i will return the 2 litres of petrol that I still have in a bottle I had to empty out of my outboard motor, that you or one of these rats added sea water to, you have a a rope locker full of plastic rope, and jerry cans of fuel that would burn and sink your boat before you got a water hose going, maybe you have insurance, but think of all the shit you have to go trough first , it don't bother me one way or the other, but you will meet the dark side of me that never thinks about the consequences of my actions, if you don't stop this shit, you have more to loose than me.

Well he and his crew stood their looking at me a long time, I was ready and waiting for the shit to hit the fan, until he finally he said sorry in perfect English to me, I smiled and said, sure we can all make mistakes and I accept your apology Captain , I reached out my hand and as we shook hands, I said that goes for your friends as well, so make sure nothing else happens Captain, then I returned to Chev where I kept watch all night and checked the mooring line , to be sure to be sure.

Well its amazing what a bit of diplomacy will do, not only did we have no more trouble, I was busy installing the new water pump a few days later, and was surprised when another Captain sent over his mechanic with 2 crew men to help us if we needed it, which we didn't thanks be to god, I had the pump and pipes connected up and after 2 weeks old Chev's engine we up and running smoothly again, the next morning we slipped the mooring buoy on the morning of the 17.09.18. at 07.00 and we let Labuan Bajo behind us, and headed for Bali.


Installing the circulation pump

19.09.18. Everything was going good until this morning , the engine over heated and the alarm went off, what the fuck could be wrong now, to make a long story short , it was the sea water pump, but I had a spare one, and changed it'.

We were 2 sea miles off the north coast of Bali , passing the old port of Singaraja, heading for the anchorage at Lovina beach, when I got bit or stung on the calf by, it was just a burning stinging pain, so thinking it was a bee or a mosquito I just spit on me fingers and rubbed the spit into the sting , 5 minutes later it felt as if calf mussel was on fire so I asked Sabine to have a look and see if there was anything sticking out like a bee sting or a splinter, no bee sting or splinter but it looks like you scratched a pimple, I put Peroxide on the injured pimple, ignored the burning in me calf, and thought no more about it, by the time we dropped anchor in Lovina beach 3 hours later my calf muscle had swollen up and gotten hard and lumpy, we were having a cuppa and I put a hot tea bag on the wound to draw out the poison, the next morning the pimple was 10 bigger, and had a big black blister around it, merciful jaysus, I started taking antibiotics and putting all sorts of creams and potions on it but It kept getting bigger, a week later I went into a chemist and was given special antibiotics and cream that I tried, again to make a long story short , it has been nearly 2 months since I was bitten and it is only now in the last week that I have no more pain, I have heard all sorts of opinions from loads of cruiser friends, here are the 2 most common ones we were hearing, it was a poisonous spider bite, well Sabine or me was not bitten since, another says it was a snake bite, because that's exactly the way his friends leg looked after a snake bite, ok so where is the snake gone, well all I can say I am thankful to Christ that my leg is still where it should be.





We had a great time in Bali, and were treated like kings in Lovina Beach and again in Singaraja, these people really went out of there way to make us welcome, we had a wonderful time and made a lot of new friends.


Lovina Beach

On the way to the supermarket

There are more Hindus living in Bali

A Balinesian dance

Sean singing with the Bali Cowboys

At the cooking contest

Creativity was demanded

Children from the village we visited

women dancing at the heritage centre

More of the culture performances


Another dance

Bullracing

Galadinner in Buleleng

Sunset in Lovina Beavh

On the 30.09.18.We left Bali , and headed for Bawean, 2 days and 2 nights at sea, on the morning of the second day I checked me fishing line and found I had a Styrofoam box with 20 metres of plastic line tangled and wrapped around it, this would cause a mess if it got tangled in someone's propeller, I was thinking, and thankful at the same time it didn't wrap around ours, it took me 20 minutes to cut the tangled mess up and put it in a bag to dispose of it in a rubbish bin when we reached Bawean. Later in the afternoon, Sabine and me self were talking about all our plans and what we were going to do in general, when all of a sudden there was a weird whirring sound coming from the engine, I put the gear leaver into neutral and it stopped, I went down below and removed the engine cover, and told Sabine to put the motor into gear, as soon as she gave gas the noise started again, I hadn't a clew what it could be, so we turned of the engine , and sailed to Bawean.

We reached the anchorage just before it got dark, as we had no motor we had to sail into the lagoon trough the reef. We made contact with an American catamaran who told us to head to the right hand side of the bay after we cleared the reef passage, then we could shoot into the wind and drop the hook 30 meters in front of the first catamaran, we had 20 knot winds as we started our approach , and halfway trough the reef the wind just stopped all of s sudden, we still had 2 knots , but we knew we wouldn't have enough speed to get trough the reef , we had just a slight breeze that kept us at 1 ½ to 2 , and we could see the edge of the right hand side of the reef was getting closer, we were holding our breath, crossing our fingers eyes and legs, and squeezing our arse cheeks tight together with fear, fuck me were going to hit the reef I said, but missed it by inches, our troubles were not over yet, we were inside the reef and heading sideways for the catamaran we should be passing, we came to within 2 ft of it and were saved by a breeze that blew us away from it, but in the direction of a 45 ft British mono hull , at least it was roughly in the direction we wanted to go.

By this time there were people watching from other boats, waiting for the grand finale and probably making predictions or even bets that we either would scratch along the side of the 45 footer, or end up sideways like a blind kamikaze on the reef, nothing like it to brighten up a boring dull day in the anchorage, and here we were the involuntary entertainers, trying to make it look like we had everything in control but we hadn't, trying to keeping cool but with a feeling like were up shit creek without a paddle one way or the other, but hoping someone with a dinghy would come along to help us, we had tried to raise help on the VHF but no one answered, but again just at the last moment a good gust blew long enough to give us wind in our sails and we passed the 45 footer, shot into the wind dropped the hook and drifted back with plenty of room to spare, looking like we do this all the time you know, a few days later one sailor asked us why we sailed in trough the reef and around the anchorage, were you trying to show off he asked, no I said, we had gearbox or cutlass bearing trouble, was the truthful reply, and its thanks be to jaysus we managed it.


Anchorage in Bawean

Well first thing I did was to get a lend of some diving gear from my friend Lars from the Danish sailing boat Alexandria and inspected the sail drive and prop, and sure enough, there was the rest of the plastic rope wrapped around the propeller shaft, I had it free in 20 minutes and was full sure that that was it and with a bit of luck we would be up and running in no time, well I was deeply disappointed when Sabine started the motor and put old Chev into gear, the prop was barely turning and I could stop it with my hand, so I took off the prop and brought it to SY Bolo an Australian friend who is a machine engineer, I showed him the prop and when I told him I could stop it with my hand, he checked the cutlass bearing and said it was OK, it could be the damper plate, or it could be the gearbox, weather or which it would be hard to repair it here he said, as there is no possibility of getting parts sent here, he said, and there are no mechanics here, and he was right, so we decided just to enjoy a few days in Bawean and head for Belitung a bigger island 384 nautical miles to the NW when a weather window came. 

Bawean was another island where the people went out of their way to welcome us, we were collected from the anchorage in a fleet of fishing boats by the fishermen of Bawean, and had 3 students as our escort on our boat, 2 girls and a boy who got seasick and were terrified when the waves got higher, so we sang songs to divert there attention, and it worked, until we reached a beautiful island where we spent the morning swimming , snorkelling , walking on the beautiful white sands, or just lazying about until the afternoon.


Beautiful Island

a little gem

The boats that brought us to the island

At 12 O clock we go t back into the boats to be driven over to the main island , where the whole island had turned out to welcome us, along with the local emergency services, fire brigade, coast guard, navy, sea rescue, and police , surrounded us in boats, as we neared the landing pier, pandemonium broke out, there were too many people giving instructions to the drivers of the 20 fishing boats milling around in a tight circle trying to reach the pier that had only room for one boat to unload their guests , and a lot of boats ended up bashing into one another, one of the locals fell into the sea and was pulled out in seconds by his friends, and we were the last boat to land a half hour later, it was relay funny to see the goings on, and thanks be to God in the end no one was hurt.

We had all survived the landing and walked along the crowded promenade and were welcomed by the local elders, who then signalled to the young men who dressed us with a sarong and a sort of pointy cap like a Bishop wears, the women were attended to by the girls and looked like a load of nuns. We could see the crowed on the top of the cliff looking down and waving at us , when we reached the top of the cliff we were surrounded by people asking if they could make a photo or a selfie with us, we were use to that from the other islands we visited, but this was the biggest gathering we had witnessed so far, there were close to 1000 or more people gathered in the field at the top of the cliff, people pushing their baby's, kids, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers towards us to be photographed, this went on the whole time we were there.


Wrapped in our new sarongs

We were given food and non alcoholic drinks, then we were ushered inside the big Marquee with chairs, full with all the important people, there was a big stage where all the ministers and politicians spent the next hour making speeches and blowing their own trumpets, while this was going on we were being fanned by the the women behind us with banana leaves or whatever,.

One hour later the minister for tourism called out the country's that the cruisers or rally participants came from and asked us to stand up as we were called, and we were given a thunderous applause each time one of us stood up, in the end we were all called up on the stage where we were presented with certificates, food and flowers, and all the ministers and politicians shook hands with us while the press made photographs, then we walked trough the crowds of onlookers who never tired of asking to be photographed with us, after that it was up on the back of a truck crushed in like pigs for the market, and we were driven back to the anchorage, all in all another unforgettable day in Indonesia.


On the truck


Better not to think how dangerouse it could be
 

04.10.18 we drove with motorbikes to the nearest village to get some food and fresh veg, but there was not much on offer, I needed more antibiotics as the old leg still wasn't better, and of course the chemist was closed, so our guide and helper took us to the local hospital, we were greeted by a woman who I thought was the cleaning woman because she had no nurse uniform, she asked me what the problem was, I told her I needed some antibiotics for the wound on me leg, she beckoned with her hand and we followed her down the corridor and into a room.

Inside the room were 2 women lying together on the only bed in the room, and on the floor was a mattress with another 2 women and a baby lying on it , they were all asleep as we entered, and the cleaning woman woke them all up, and out of the bed sprung the 2 young women, while the 2 on the floor hoped up off the mattress, well Mersey-full jaysus ,I thought we were in the maternity ward and the cleaning woman was clearing the soon to be mothers out of the room just for me, “ its OK missus, I said to her, I think you misunderstood me, sure we can come back tomorrow or some other time when its not so busy, and before I knew what was happening I was surrounded and pushed onto the bed by the whole bunch, all babbling at the same time putting paper masks over their mouths and pulling rubber gloves over their hands, and examining the infected leg, and while one girl took care of me leg wound, sprayed and wiped it clean with disinfectant, then an overdose of iodine into the wound as the others looked on and gave her moral support, a bandage, some tape and that was it, then there were the complementary photographic session with the injured victim of some poisonous creature who's life had hung in the balance ,and that they had just saved, after that we were given a bag full of antibiotics and vitamin B1, it turned out the women in the ward were the nurses who had being having a nap, and the cleaning woman was the matron or boss, well it was hard to tell because they had no nurse uniforms, we offered to pay but they gracefully refused to except it, then it was back on the bikes and back to old Cheve after another day in paradise.



At the hospital 

04.10.18 in the evening we were collected this time in a fleet of cars and trucks and driven to a hot pool springs, where there were 2 rooms, one for the men and the other for the women, after that we were driven back up to the place where we had been welcomed the first day for a gala dinner, there was song and dance and food galore, Sabine and myself were invited by the owner and his family to stay overnight and we would be driven back the next day, but as we had planned to sail off for Belitung the next morning we declined their offer, but we had a great night, there was no alcoholic beverages as they are Moslem's, but we still had so much fun with the Indonesians who love singing and dancing, and we drank palm tree juice and ate fish heads and other Indonesian speciality s, it really was a great night


At the galadinner

05.10.18. we wanted to leave for Belitung but there was no wind, so we went in search of fresh fruit and vegetables, we heard that there was a shop about 5 miles on the main road, we walked and found the shop, but they had no fresh fruit or vegetables, on the walk back we had people stopping and asking us if the could make a picture of us and them, no trouble at all a tall, we were getting use to this Hollywood treatment, we should have charged a few bob and we would have making a fortune,lol .


The student volunteers in Bawean

Helping carrying the dinghy

On the 06.10.18 we had a good wind but it was very hard to pull up the anchor, we radioed an Australian catamaran and they came over with 2 dinghy's, their friends from another boat were visiting them, and after a lot of experimenting and wrong doings they filially managed to get us in the right direction to where our anchor was dug in and after dragging us over it we could pull it up no bother, we thanked them for their help and kindness and we had no problem sailing out through the reef onto the open sea heading for the island of Belitung 350 Nautical miles away, it was 11.00. when all goes good we should be there in 3 1\2 or 4 days.

The Cargo ships that ply their trade in South East Asia do not turn on their AIS transceivers on their boats for fear of Piracy, and Indonesia is still classed as a high risk area for Pirates.

There are hundreds of fishing boats in Indonesia, at night you have to be alert and on the ball as they say, the big fishing boats you can see miles away with flood lights that turn night to day, and smaller craft are a hazard as they only turn on tiny flashing lights when you are nearly on top of them, but the biggest danger are the Tugboats that tow huge barges, with a steel cable that can be as long as 200 meters or more, and the most of the time the barge or vessel they are towing is not lit up, we give these tug boats a wide berth when ever we see them, as we have had a couple of close calls with them in the past, and on this trip we had a couple of very close calls with the last encounter nearly ended in disaster.

It was 23.00. on the 3rd night ,we had made over 306 nautical miles, when the moderate to light wind that were supposed to last 5 days according to the weather report just stopped, we were 70 nautical miles from our destination Belitung, and 70 nautical miles to Ketapang on the west coast of Borneo, around midnight there was a massive thunder storm with deafening thunder, loads of lightning, and rivers of rain falling from the sky but, no wind, we were drifting with 1,5 to2 knots to the NE, so we were barley moving, the anchor light, navigation lights, and the deck light were all switched on so we were well lit up, there were plenty of big ships about, but the closest they came to us was I nautical mile.

The first close encounter happened around midnight when I saw a tugboat coming out of the rain and heading directly towards us, he had his AIS switched off, now, he must have seen us with all the lights we had on, so I flashed him with a spot lamp, but he kept coming, I called him up on the VHF and told him we were stopped and unable to manoeuvrer due to a problem with the motor, but got no reply, 15 later he passed within 20 meters of us, it was when the unlit barge he was towing passed within 15 meters of us that I got on the radio and warned other boats of the tug towing an unlit barge . Now, we were not in a shipping lane we were on the open sea, there was 50 metres of water under us, so he had no reason to come that close , to me this guy was just a bored thug bully, who's only pleasure was in scaring the life out sailing boat skippers, but kept well away from the bigger ships.

In the last 2 days we had drifted to within 50 SM closer to the NE of Borneo when around midnight the wind picked up, very lightly at first, but we were moving NW with 3 knots, around 02.00. a couple of Tankers, and a container ship, the tankers were going in the same direction as we were, and the container ship in the opposite direction passed us, the closest one, a tanker,was 1 SM ( nautical miles) away, quite normal, no problem, nothing to get excited about.

The second encounter happened around 02.45. when a ship that was approaching from the NW came in our direction, no AIS, as it got closer I could see it was a Tug boat, at 03.00 Sabine came up to take over the watch, by this time I had changed my course and was heading due west to avoid this Tug, but he kept coming directly at us, we used the spot light to make him aware of us, we tried to contact him on the VHF but THUG did not answer, I changed course to the NW , we were making 1 ½ knots but he kept coming and was 10 meters away as he passed us we got the fright of our lives , I swung the wheel full over to port and was praying that we would be quick enough to pass the huge unlit barge this bastard was towing, I thought that the tow cable would cut trough our mast and capsize old Chev, but TG it missed us by a few feet, I have heard from other sailors that they had similar experiences .

10.10.18. the wind stopped again, and in the days that followed were lucky to manage 5 to 10 knots with our spinnaker on a good day, a bad day of which we had many was when we had no wind, and drifted 10 SM to backwards to the SE, the average midday temperature was between 47 degrees Celsius and over.


Spinnackersailing

On one very hot day a little bird tried to land on Chev but fell into the sea because it was too weak to fly , I grabbed the bucket that we used to pour seawater over us to cool us down, dropped it over the bird and was lucky to scooped it up with the first go, we gave it water and after that it flew down inside the cabin where it perched on the towels that were hung over the door and went to sleep, we left it rest and were surprised when 10 minutes later a smaller bird landed of all places on me baldy old head, he didn't drink the water we offered, but joined the other one below, after 2 hours the bigger bird flew away, and 20 minutes later the smaller one flew up on deck trying out his wings, he landed on my hand then the boom the back stay and railing, I didn't think he was strong enough, but he flew away and came back 10 minutes later where he landed on the bow, I thought he had flown in trough the front hatch and was down below in the shadow again, where I found him dead the next morning on deck, it seemed he had dropped dead the day before from the heat.

On the 15.10.18 We had drifted closer to Borneo where we didn't want to go, as there are no possibilities of getting parts or repairs there, as a matter of fact its nearly imposable to get major repairs done anywhere in Indonesia, there was only 2 places you could haul out in Indonesia ( take the boat out of the water) 1 was in Lombok, but that was closed since the last earthquake 2 months ago, and the other place was further north in Paulau Batam near Nongsa Point just before the Singapore straights, and we were too far north of Belitung, so we decided to try and sail direction Singapore.


A lot of big ships passed too close for our liking

We used our satellite phone to get in contact with Raymond the rally organiser, just to let him know we were safe, where we were, where we were heading and asked what would happen about our Visa if we were another 2 or 3weeks at sea, we were flabbergasted by the reply we received from Raymond, it said we should buy an Indonesian telephone card and contact him, it was only then that we realised that he hadn't a clue about cruising, here we were for the last 6 days drifting in the Indian Ocean and this guy thinks we have shopping centres out here, dose he not know that after 4 to 5 Nautical miles we have no connection to phones or internet, why in the name of fook did he think we were using a satellite phone is he joking or what. We sent an E mail 0ver the Satellite Phone to a friend of ours from the rally and told her of our plan, that we would sail direction Singapore as we had a problem with our gearbox, to inform the others everything was OK, and that if in 2 weeks time when they would be northbound to please keep an eye out for us and maybe some one could give us a tow if we hadn't reached Paula Batam by then.


A weatherfront

17.10.18 We had been 11 days at sea, 8 days of which we had very little wind just drifting and averaging 10 sea miles a day, we were in contact with the Sat Phone and getting weather reports from our friends Kevin and Susie Harris in Singapore, and who were aware of our plight, when Kevin informed us he would be finished work in Singapore on Friday evening and they would leave the next day, we would keep in contact by giving him our position by @ mail over the Sat phone once daily so he could find us no matter where we were and tow us back to a lovely cheap Marine in Sebana Cove, in Melanesia, just across from Singapore, he would not advise us not to sail across the Singapore straights without a motor, as it was nearly impossible, we couldn't believe our luck that someone would be willing to come all thw e way from Singapore to two us to a Marina in Malaysia a distance of over 200 nautical miles down to us and back, well it was a weight off our shoulders, as we had only 3 cans of food left,Ravioli, Spinach, and Sauerkraut, 1 bag of instant potato's, and 2 bags of porridge or oat meal, we had plenty of noodles, rice and garlic, in the meantime we would keep on trying to get as far north as we could.

On 19.10.18. at 19,28 we crossed the Equator from South to North with a speed of 1,8 kts, we were blessed with a gentile breeze and had made 50 nautical miles before it died and we went drifting again.


Still South

Now North

Celebration

21.10. at 06.30 we @ mailed Kevin our position and had porridge and tea for our breakfast, after that I went forward and hoisted the spinnaker to catch a breeze that had just come up, when Sabine who was at the wheel shouted “ there's a sailing boat 2 nautical miles off the starboard bow, that can't be them or can it be she asked “, I looked at the horizon and saw the boat coming in our direction, and sure enough as it got closer we saw that it was the Temptress of Down we were jumping with joy , no doubt about it thanks be to Jaysus ye haw.

I dropped the spinnaker again and rigged up a towing rope, Kevin came close to our stern, Miranda their friend was midships, and Susie up to the bow with a shopping bag full of fresh fruit and veg and cheese and potatoes, that she passed over to me.


Susie passing over the bag to Sean

Ready to take the  lines

After that I got the two line and paid it out as Kevin moved slowly away in front of us until the strain came on it and that was it we were on our way to Nongsa point marina to clear out of Indonesia 100 nautical miles away, we kept in contact with the VHF Radio on ch 72.


On the way again

After the first 10 minutes of being towed we relaxed and Sabine went below and made a salad that was big enough for 4 people, the first fresh veg that we had in 15 days, well I tell yea now we said grace before meals gave thanks to God and we savage it, it was so tasty it was gone in a flash, I told Sabine there was a taste of more of it, and she agreed, I can make some more she said, go on so, I said, but this time make enough for 8 people, we will never ate all that, maybe not but it wont be for the want of trying I said, now off you go, and she busied herself with the making of another salad, and 10 minutes we were committing one of the 7 deadly sins, the mortal Sin Gluttony, well merciful god forgive us a right pair of locust amen, and we devoured it.

On the 22.10.18. at 01.00 we tied up in the Nongsa Point Marina where we celebrated with a rusty nail, that's a mixture of the Johnnie Walker Black and the Drumbuie that I hag saved just for special occasions, and that we all learned to appreciate from our friends David and Susan from Enchantress, that was followed by a few glasses of Grants, and at 02,00 we finally retired for the night. We cleared out of Nongsa in the evening of the 22, and left at 08.00 on the 23. 10. 18.


Going into Nongsa Point alongside Temptress

Nongsa Point Marina



Rescue celebration

Relaxing in the pool

Drink and music

Singapore is the 3rd busiest harbour in the world, and to say we weren't nervous when we saw at least a hundred ships in the shipping channel going in opposite directions would be a lie, and being towed across didn't make it any easier, but Kevin and Susie Harris who have lived her for the last 2 years and are member of the Changi Sailing Club showed no sign of nervousness, they know the place like the back of there hand,and after safely crossing the Straights navigated up the Sebina river and reached Sebana Cove Marina at 13.00 where we tied up and cleared Malaysian customs. That evening the 5 of us celebrated in the marina restaurant, where we toasted and thanked our rescuers Kevin Susie and Miranda, it was still hard to believe that only 3 days earlier we had been drifting around in the Indian Ocean with a broken motor waiting for wind.



Sorting out the lines for the tow to Sebana Cove Marina
 
Towed across the Singapore straights

Alongside up the river

Miranda, Susie, Sabine, Kevin, Zakaria and Sean

Relaxing in the pool in the Sebana Cove Resort

Enjoying a dinner together in the marina restaurant

One thing is sure, there was no way that we could have sailed to Sebana Cove because of the lack of wind, there was also a great chance of drifting aground in the narrow channels between some of the Indonesian islands, and to cross the Singapore Straights by sail ment we would have waiting a long time for the right wind, we were and are and always will be eternally grateful to a great Irish man and friend Kevin Harris, his wife Susie and their friend and now our friend Miranda

24.10. the next morning Miranda returned to Singapore, and Kevin Susie Sabine and meself went shopping for supplies to Pawean where we stocked up with everything, we returned to the Marina, Kevin and Susie returned to Singapore the day after that. So followers of Chev hope you enjoyed the old blog, take care mind yerselves well now until the next time , good by and god bless you all, ahoy and Har harr.


Indonesia 1


01.08.18 to the 10.09.18

Ahoy and Har harr followers of Chev, on the 04.08.18 we cleared customs by our good friend Andy, a real nice friendly guy who took a lot of stress off us and told us not to worry about overstaying our time, which we did, he told us that we could stay until the weather got better, and if for any reason we were delayed just phone him up to keep him informed. After that we went shopping and what money we had left we gave out on a jug of beer 1 ½ litters to wash down a Doner kabab in the beautiful Royal Port Moresby Yacht Club, well I think it will be a long time before we see such luxury at those prices.


Andy the customs guy

05.08.18. We left Port Moresby at 09.45, our destination was Tual in Indonesia, and this trip would bring us through the Bligh Passage and the Torres Straights, a new challenge for us, we would not be stopping on the way through in Thursday island or any other island that belong to Australia, we heard too much horror stories about the experiences of fellow sailors, no we would keep going the 1000 Nautical Miles until we reached Tual, I will admit that I was a bit jittery because of all the things that’s happened since we left New Zealand, but Old Chev is over 30 years old and we need to take it easy with her, so I hope it will be an uneventful trip, wish us luck, now Good luck I mean.

We were about 40 NM from the entrance to the Bligh Passage when out of no ware came a plane from behind us as low as our mast 14mtrs, lucky I wasn’t balls naked ffs, then they made contact on the VHF they asked us where we came from, where we were heading, and so on, all very nice and professional, they wanted to know if we intended to stop in Australian waters, no was the answer and gone were they, a day after that we were called up on the VHF again by a very fast interceptor from the AUS Border guard, can yea believe it they couldn’t understand me English so I gave Sabine the hand set and because Chevaldy is registered in Germany they had a crew member who was German from Bavaria, a Bayern as we would say, well anyway we had to answer a lot more questions this time, but it was all nice and friendly.


The "Storm Bay" for border protection

We reached the Prince of Wales Channel after it was dark, pitch dark no moon just blackness, Sabine had watch and stuck to the right side of the channel that our small plotter showed,  and had a few tense moments, but nothing to worry about, she did a great job in the tense moments when things got a bit tight, she still managed to keep cool, and before you know it we were passing Booby Island just as the dawn was breaking and left it in our keel water with the Australian sun rising behind us.


Booby Island

Booby Island by sunrise

We set course directly for Tual after clearing Booby Island and everything was fine we had a good wind from behind the first day, but had to motor sail the next, on the 10.08 we came across, what I thought was at first Seaweed, but turned out to be a brown sludge or oil slick on the water for miles, now there are a lot of oil rigs working them parts so it could have been a blow out or leak, anyway I stopped the motor and spent the rest of the day  sailing and dodging the stuff as best we could.


Oil on the water

The next day the engine overheated, so while she cooled down I checked the oil, it was ok, and the reservoir for the fresh water to the heat exchanger was full, the thermostat  well it was ok, a bit black with age but ok, to make a long story short, I changed the impeller, the thermostat, and drained the fresh water reservoir, and replaced the antifreeze or engine coolant, after that we were flying again, but the nagging feeling how long, what’s going to happen next, there’s to many things that’s happened in the last few trips.

We were about 150 NM from Tual and had spent the last 3 hours passing over a 100 fishing boats that were anchored in 34 meters of water, with flood lights that would light up a stadium, this was very tiring work winding our way through the fisher boats, around 22.00 to our right there seemed to be no lights in this direction, so I checked the plotter and found that it was ok with a few shallows that we could pass with plenty of room, after discussing it with Sabine who had just finished her watch, we decided to change the course and head in this direction, we had 20 to 25 knot wind from the back, that isn’t too bad, so we were soon leaving the circus of lights, and had this part of the sea to ourselves, everything was grand until 23.00 when all of a sudden the log ( the log tells us how deep the water under the Keel is, we have a depth of 1,60 meters after that we are touching the bottom) went from 80 metres to 5 meters, Jesus mercy Mary help me heart nearly stopped, I checked the chart that showed 80 meters all around for 6 nautical miles, then it went up to 8 meters and I thought it was just a shallow that we passed that was not marked on the chart, nothing to worry about, but that tight feeling in my gut wouldn’t let go, then it went steadily down to 2,20 meters, I called down to Sabine who came and looked at the log to be sure I wasn’t dreaming, I sent her down to get on the radio and send a mayday call which she did, but received no answer in spite that there were numerous fishing boats not 5 Nautical miles away, she tried a couple of times but in the end gave up, we got the snatch bag ready, inside we put our passports , cash, flares, hand held radio, and other essential’s, water, biscuit’s, chocolate bars, and other stuff inside, and the Epirb  (Emergency position radio location Beacon, that gives off a signal to the nearest satellite giving our GPS position to the rescue centre) we decided to wait until we were in the water and the boat on the reef as we still hoped that there was a chance we might get through to deeper water, up on deck with our life jackets on, we knew that it would be nearly impossible by the waves and wind to launch the life raft, I had a Sharpe knife to cut through the ropes that tied down the life raft in seconds, or and to cut the ropes that held our dinghy to the back of the boat, if the chance arose, if not we decided to tie a rope around us before going into the water,  we spent over an hour hoping and praying with all these and more thoughts going through our heads that we would be ok even if the worst happened, 3 times the depth gauge went up to 70 meters the first time we were thrilled and we gave ourselves high fives in celebration and thanks to God, but that was short lived, after 2 minutes it nosedived again and 15 minutes later it went down to 2 meters, that left us with the same horrifying feeling that there’s no escape, any minute now we would hit the reef, and end up in the water, we braced ourselves for the crash and held hands and pledged our undying love for each other,  would we have enough time, after being slung to one side to tie the rope around us and hoped we would get swept clear together from old Chev, the log climbed steadily up to 50 meters, we were hoping again that this was it, we were safe and had made it to deeper water, 10 minutes later we experienced the same horrible feelings all over again, this time it dropped to 1,70 then to 1,60 after that it reached 1,30 impossible  , well now we were still afloat, and not long after that we had 40 meters, then 70 meters,  but we did not, and could not relax until we were back in 1000 meter deep water, that is a night we will never forget as long as we live.

There is no answer to why the depth gauge that is still working perfect went mad on this night, but we heard from the harbour master that the local fishermen have their own radio channels and don’t normally listen in to ch16 the emergency channel, never a dull moment.

After that the only excitement we had were the high waves between the islands passage on our way into Tual, and of course we arrived there in the middle of the night and were happy we could anchor in 16 meters depth near the harbour.

14.08.18. The next morning early we were looking for some place to tie up the dinghy in the main harbour, and were waved over to a coast guard boat by one of the crew who told us we could tie up alongside the ship, which we did, we reported to the health authorities who were very nice and friendly, and had our clearance papers, then we had to bring the customs over to Chev, all nice and relaxed, they were only interested in weapons and ammunition, and of course Drugs, we had a good laugh with them, we were asked to re anchor by the port controller who showed us where to go, and it was in 7 meters depth, now that’s a lot better than the 16 meters we were anchored, so we gladly moved, after we had to cleared immigration, the customs officer drove us up to their office, and from their it was a short walk to Immigration, we were met by Olof who had printed out a crew list and drove me back to the harbour on the back of his motorbike, he then went and collected Sabine and drove her to a shop where we could get a sim card while I was keeping the harbour master company outside the Police station, my first impression was, that the Indonesian’s are a very friendly and helpful race, it was after 17.00 when Olof returned with Sabine and  we were free to go where we pleased, now after all that there was only one place I wanted to go and that was back to old Chev for the grub and a drink to celebrate my 64th birthday and then an early night.


The health officers on board trying out our rum


The guys from custom


On the way to immigration

15.08.18 we walked to the only supermarket in Tual, that’s 4 kilometres’ outside the town, and were walking up the main street with loads of people sitting at the side of the street in the shade, every one of them were waving and smiling at us and photographing us, fuck me we felt like film stars,  no matter what we did they laughed, when we photographed them they went wild waving like little kids, and the kids tribes of them were all over us looking for high fives and rubbing our hands, this went on the whole way up to the junction, we went left over the bridge, they were getting ready to celebrate their Independence day with big parades with over 150 groups taking part.


The parade

Spectators

We reached the Supermarket and stocked up with what we needed, especially juice and Coke, on the walk back we stopped at one of the many shack like restaurants and ordered 2 dinners  Nasigoreng, and Chicken soup  it was at least 35° outside so we guzzled as much ice water with freshly cut limes as we could drink, we had Bananas as tick as me arm as a desert, it was delicious, your one o came with the bill of 73.000 rupiah, that’s roughly 4 € for the lot, no need to say when ever we walked to the supermarket we would call in there on our way back, jaysus its cheaper than buying all the stuff and cooking it, great stuff sure.


The bridge to the supermarket

A colorful village

One of the shantytown


No, thats not the Cork flag

In town

The scuffeling is made from bamboo

Some people are living on the water

Our anchor got caught in a fishernet


We left Tual on 21.08.18 and arrived in Banda Neira on the 23.08.18. Where we stayed 2 days, we were anchored in 8 meters of water when our chain got caught under a rock, a local man came alongside with his 2 boys and after telling him about the chain being caught under a rock, he helped me untangle it, after that he brought us to a buoy where we tied up in front of the village, Dino was his name and he invited us over to his house for tea, we met his wife and half of the village, and got the history of Banda Neira.

 Banda Neira was known as the spice Islands, and this was the birth place of the Dutch East Indies trading company who made their fortunes here, the Dutchman named Von der Brucken had a plantation here of which some of still exists to this present day, we were given a tour of the plantation by Dino his wife and kids and about another dozen kids from the village, the showed us the nutmeg trees, clove trees, cinnamon trees, and mango trees, along the way I would sing a song then the children would sing a song, and before you knew it we were marching along through the jungle and back to the village for tea at Dino`s house, where we ended up singing nursery rhymes, one that we taped with the children singing in Indonesian and posted on FB was `` if you’r happy and you know it clap your hands ´´ it was a fantastic 2 days there and are privileged to have been allowed to share the everyday life of these people.


The kids from the villag


More boys are coming

Having a great time with the kids

Dino and his neigbourghs

Chev on the buoy

Banda Neira

Vulcano

People were very interessted in us




25.08.18 We left Banda Neira and arrived in Bau Bau 29.08.18 where we caught up with the Rally Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia Rally, we spent 5 days of bliss exploring the islands and getting to know the people.


On the way to South Buton

Our bus

South Buton

Our lunch

schoolkids

Children dancing

Young women are dancing

A perlfarm

A seaweedfarm

Ricefields

Festival in the weavingvillage



Sabine is watching the games

The Indonesians have a great humor

They love to be on photos

Sean is getting a traditional scarf

Enjoying the festival

Sabine is trying to do some weaving

In Indonesia mothers are alowed to bring their children to work

A strole through the village

Passing the fisherboats

We visited a pottery

One of the last three women making the pottery

Sabine and the old lady

The sultans's palac


Sabine in a traditionelle weddingdress

Photo with all the workers

Fruit and veg market

Fishmarket in the evening

At the park in the forest

Seany Hood

Some dancing after lunch

At the beach

Bau Bau from the water







Bau Bau from the fort

Some music in the evening

Group photo with the guides in Bau Bau




We left Bau Bau on the 03.09.18 for Labuan Bajo and on the 04.09.18. the motor overheated, and a high pitch sound was coming from the engine, I stopped the motor and had a look, the fresh water pump that cools the heat exchanger that’s driven by the fan belt was ceased, that meant we had no motor power, so we sailed in the very light winds and where 36, nautical miles from the lighthouse that marks the passage through to Labuan Bajo our destination, that’s about 8 to10 nautical miles from the light house, so we had between 44 or more Nautical miles to go. Well to make a long story short, the wind dropped and we were barely moving, it took us 15 hours to sail 13 Nautical miles, we spent 2 nights getting to within 20 nautical miles of the light house , on the 06.09 18 at 07.00. we spotted a fishing vessel and I flashed an S O S he changed course and came closer , I held up a rope that I had already set up in case we could get a tow and sure enough he towed us 25 nautical miles to within the boundaries of the harbour, where we were handed over to a smaller motor boat that towed us right into the bustling harbour of Labuan Bajo and tied us up on a buoy, we have been here for the last 4 days, I took out the water pump , and lossened it out a bit, but I think the bearing is worn, we have contacted a mechanic who will take our water pump with him to Kupang, as there are no facilities’ here, and will try to  recondition it there.


The fisherboat with us in tow

Our rescuers

This boat towed us to a mooring buoy

The circulation pump





In the meantime our friends Kevin and Susie Harris in Singapore  are working their hearts out to try and get a replacement sent down to us, we have had good and bad news, bad news is that Volvo Penta have stopped producing that type of  pump, good news, they still sell reconditioned pumps in England, we will just have to have patients until something turns up, as you can see there is never a dull moment in this sort of life, you don’t know what’s going to happen next, so followers of Chev mind yerselves well now, take care and stay safe until the next time, good bye and God bless you all until then, Ahoy and Har harr.           


Passage to Port Moresby


01.07.2018 - 30.07.2018

Ahoy and Har harr followers of chev, on the 2.07. we cleared out of Noumea and went to the Duty free shop for the old alcohol, then we went to the tank station and filled up with Duty Free diesel, we pulled the dinghy up and tied it on the back of Chev, and checked everything was secured and ready for sea. After a good breakfast we left the Noumea anchorage behind us at 07.45. and headed out through the Dumbea Pass to the open Ocean for a trip that would take us 11 to 12 days, when things went good, or 14 days if things went bad .

Now I don’t want to bore yea with all the shite that happened, so I will give you a quick rundown just to keep you informed OK, after exiting the pass we had the wind from the back so we poled out the Genoa on the right side and the Main on the left that was secured with a preventer, the wind was between 15 and 20 knots and we were flying along, then came the first mishap, about 3 hours into the passage the 1st  misfortune, 4 of the mast gliders were ripped out of the mast when a strong gust of wind hit us from the right side, so we dropped the main, and I put in 4 new gliders, it was really annoying because the sails were serviced in Opua in NZ last year by Rodger a qualified sailmaker from North Sails, and you would expect something more from someone like that, after about 45 minutes were on our way again.


Sunset 

We had really great weather for the first 3 days and the sun sets were spectacular, then the 2nd misfortune, the batteries were running low, and wouldn’t hold the charge, we had to run the motor as soon as it got dark for 5 to 6 hours to charge the batteries,  3rd misfortune, there was a bang as the shekel on the cutter stag that we weren’t using, and was not under strain, it simply fell apart, the middle of the shekel had rusted trough, I thought shekels were made from stainless steel? Anyway I replaced it with a good shekel and that took care of that. Before it got dark that evening, we reefed the main sail and genoa as the wind had increased to 25 knots, and the sea was rough and confused, at 22.00. I was on watch as the 4th shite happened when a big wave hit us from the right side with such force that old Chev was knocked over on her side, all I could do was hang on until she came back upright, when she did everything happened so quickly, we were hit by such a violent gust of wind that the preventer busted, and the boom  flew over to the other side ripping the block out of the traveller, and hitting the mast stays with such force that  I thought the mast was about to come crashing down, I started the motor and got her back on course with the wind behind us, and with Sabine’s help managed to get the boom that was hanging on by the reef lines and lazy jacks, lashed down and  secured with ropes, after that we heaved to and slept for 4 hours until the dawn.

Heaving to or Hove to is a way of holding a boat at an angel to the sea and wind that so she can does not drift too far as well as calming things down by adjusting the sails and the wheel or rudder to snatch a few hours’ sleep,

The 5th misfortune happened the  next night, the Autopilot belt broke but because the sea was so rough, I did not want to take a chance and lose one of the screws that hold the Autopilot together, in the dark, so we heaved too again until daylight to changed the belt, we have had nothing but problems with this Ray Marine wheel pilot since we got it, in 6 months we have changed 3 drive belts, and have had it in to replace the gearbox already after only 6 months use ffs, and to change the belt you have to dismantle the steering wheel, why is it nearly always in the middle of the night that such shit happens?.

On the 09.07. we had the best 24 hour distance of 125 knots, of course easy with the motor helping the genoa, anyway mishap number 6 when I pulled the engine stop cable it just came apart in me hand, so after that we had to take the stairs away to get at the engine to  the stop the motor.

On the 12.07 at 19.00. The 6th  and most serious fuckin shit,  well I suppose you could really call it a disaster, the Autopilot started creaking and groaning, and  was making a noise as if it was about to explode and fly into pieces, I was thinking the belt was tearing inside, so I told Sabine to bring up the spare belt, and in spite of it being dark, and old Chev being tossed about, we dismantled the autopilot again, only to find that the drive belt was still ok, that meant only 2 thing, the gearbox or the motor,  or with our fucking luck it was the two of them, we tried to install our very old autopilot but the flux compass was not working, we had over 550 nautical miles to go to Port Mores by in PNG, by daylight it was difficult enough to hold the course with grey sky’s that looked all the same, and at night in the pitch blackness with no stars to show the way, and our compass light had stopped working, but even with a lamp to light up the compass  it was nearly impossible under these rough conditions.    

To make a long story short, we hand steered under adverse conditions with 25 knot winds and more, direction PNG Port Moresby for 6 long weary days that we thought would never end, or would finally end in disaster, the worse and most terrifying part of the trip was the last night before we reached Port Moresby, on the evening of the 17, at 18.15 with the daylight fading quickly, the waves were huge 4 to 5 meters high and coming from different directions, the wind had reached storm force with  35 knots and over, we ran with the storm as best we could edging our way out to the right of it towards Port Moresby with a meter of genoa out, that gave us plenty of control over the rudder, but I tell yea, it frighten the shite out of me every time when the waves came with the noise like a low flying jet fighter, lifting us up with such force that we were reaching speeds of over 11,5 and 12 knots, surfing down the waves and expecting any minute to be capsized or smashed to pieces by one of the waves that were breaking all around us and asking God to stay with us.

This lasted until 02.00.  Where we had eventually gained enough ground and edged our way out of the depression to calmer waters, at 03.00. We heaved too exhausted physically, mentally and right through to our very souls, but happy and thankful to God to have survived and slept for a few hours, at 06.00 we were back on deck, and at 14.00. on the 18.07 after 15 days at sea we arrived in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea   and were directed to the E pontoon where we cleared customs, immigration and Bio security with no problem.

After that we went to the Royal Papua yacht club and found all we needed there, showers, washing machines. ATM, what was noticeable was the amount of staff and security there, there were 3 security men at the barrier at the main entrance and another half dozen walking around the grounds and harbour, we asked the guard at the gate where the nearest supermarket was, he told us that one was on the right called the Waterfront shopping centre, and on the left was Shop and stop, each being the same distance of just over a mile away, he said  to take a taxi, but said  we would walk instead, jaysus it was more like a military base than a yacht club.


You need a key for the gates

The marina is fairly big

Inside the yachtclub

Outside the yachtclub building

The visitors pantoon with our Chevaldy in the middle

We came out of the Yacht club which is nearly directly in the heart of Port More
sby, and just outside the gate we noticed the red splotches of what looked like blood spattered on the ground, I thought either a lot of people had been shot, or been run over crossing the road.


Selling betelnuts at the traffic jam

That's not blood but betelnut

We passed a bus stop that was full with people waiting for a bus, all nice and friendly, at first I thought they were wearing red lipstick men included, when they smiled as we passed even their mouths and teeth were red and they looked like vampire’s straight out of a Dracula film, the bus shelter looked like a slaughter house, the ground looked like it was freshly painted RED then I remember that these people not all too long ago were cannibals who had eaten human beings instead of hamburgers, fuck me, no wonder there were so many security personnel around the yacht club,  I was on just waiting for one of them to get too close and hop the fuckers off the ground, all the way to the shopping centre the footpath and road was stained with this red mess. We soon found out that most of the natives like chewing Bethel nut, it’s a nut that they dip in lime and chew, then the spit or saliva turns red and thick, but its disgusting to see the amount of red spit splattered on the ground, no wonder there is a polio and measles epidemic in PNG .

The Waterfront Shopping centre was like another prison, 3 security guards at the entrance and 3 at the exit gates, stopping or directing traffic, and at least another 10 patrolling the grounds and park place, inside you had another 20 or more walking or standing around, WELCOME to Port Moresby, Well anyway we got everything we needed there, and the prices weren’t too bad, we went to harbour city shopping mall a week later, and tried the other supermarket, Shop and Stop, and were told by the locals that it was called Shop and Stab, now I don’t have to go into details, except to say, day time is OK but be alert, we would never walk anywhere after dark in Port Moresby, because the Poor people here believe that all Yachties are rolling in money, and believe me there is a lot of poverty here, so don’t be surprised if you are robed and stabbed if your stupid enough to chance it welcome back to civilisation ffs.

We went to the ANZ bank to get money from the ATM, now that was Saturday afternoon at 14.00. I counted 8 security personnel outside the Bank just to protect the 4 ATM machines inside, the biggest employer are all these security companies, they escort white or foreign business people to and from work, we got this from our cab driver, the hotels as well as the yacht club prefer, and advise you to take a Taxi wherever you go,

 We had a lot of damage to repair when we first got here one and a half week ago, I have been very busy and have most of it done. We were waiting for a replacement helm autopilot, from Ray marine, and thanks be to God we finally got It delivered to day Monday the 30th of July. I just have to install it, which is no big deal.


The enginestopper

The boom just got ripped out

Sean fixing the genoa

The autopilot is there

We were at the Indonesian embassy this morning applying for the Visa, and  were told we could collect the Visa Wednesday afternoon, so as you can see we have got most things done, and should be heading for the Coral sea and the Bligh passage to get to Tual in Indonesia whit the next weather window.


Wouldn't be allowed anywhere else

Art at the roundabout

A lot of roadwork is done with "China Aid"

Houses on the hill

As you can see there are many ups and downs no matter what you undertake in this life, but the main thing is to persevere and enjoy the good times and the bad times when they come, shit happens you can’t change it so make the best of it.

So followers of Chev we hope you enjoy the photos and the blog, take care now, and mind yourselves well, stay safe and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr 


New Caledonia 2018


09.06.18 to the 30.06.2018

Ahoy and Har harr follow ers of Chev, hope yea are all fine and healthy, well we spent 2 days hanging out everything that had gotten wet, and very thankful to God we are back in warm climates, and can walk around in shorts and tee-shirt’s, well I tell yea that was one hard trip, it will take a while to recover as we are still feeling the strain, even after a god night’s sleep I feel exhausted.

10.06 I stitched the rip in the main but have not yet gotten round to the genoa, all in plenty of time, one thing after another, yea know like.

On Tuesday morning the 12t we invited aboard our friend Martin´s boat Tystie, at 17.30 to celebrate his girlfriend Renate’s birthday, along with 5 other people, we had a very international group, German, Kiwi, French, Venezuelan, American, Swedish, English, and me self of course IRISH, Aaa we had a great night with eating drinking singing and the usual craic you would have on someone’s birthday that went on till the wee hours, a cracker of a night indeed.


Renate, me, Allan and Yvonne

We are having a little singsong

On Wednesday evening 13th  we had Isabelle and John Pierre aboard old Chev for dinner, we haven’t seen them in over 8 months,  and had a grand old reunion, they brought us up to date on their plans and travels, they had flown back to France and spent the last 6 months there, as there oldest daughter and son have become parents, making them, Isabelle and John, proud grandparents twice over, they returned to New Caledonia in May and put their boat back in the water, a week ago they hired a car, and had spent a week driving around New Caledonia, they would be leaving the bay the following day, and heading up to the north end of the island, where they would wait for a weather window to sail over to Bundaberg in Australia, my god it was great catching up with old friends again.


Renate and Martin are leaving for their circumnavigation of New Cal

Jean-Pierre and Isabelle

Thursday 14th we saw what looked like a good weather window for Lautoka Fiji, and we talked about it and decided to take a chance and sail the 700 nautical miles to Fiji, so we went and cleared out of New Caledonia on Friday, now mind yea, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time as we had originally wanted to go back to Tonga and then Fiji.


Cruisships are a common sight

 On Saturday morning at 08.30. We left Noumea with an outgoing tide, the weather was lovely but the going was tough, we were making 3 knots with full sails, when we reached the Woodin canal sometime after 13.00 this is a narrow Pass with high hills on each side, we had to take down the sails as we had the wind blowing out of the pass right on the nose, so we started the motor and  were making 3 knots, as we went further into the pass we had the wind against the tide that caused a confused and choppy sea, the speed over ground had gone from 3 to 8 knots, jaysus we were tearing along at terrific speed that lasted till the end of the canal, after that we had only the Havanna pass that would bring us the last 16 Nautical miles through the reefs out to the open sea.

It was 17. 40. With 20 minutes of daylight left we set 70° course for Fiji, the light wind and currant was supposed to be east south east, which was true for the first 2 hours, after that we had to change our course more and more north, than south east, Now if we were going to Vanuatu it would have been great, but we wanted to go to Fiji, that meant we were beating our way through the waves that were on the nose, we could have gone on to Mare island that was 0nly 30 sea miles away but at the speed we were making, 3knots it would have taken 10 hours, that was not good for old Chev´s sails or rigging and after the first night we were exhausted, and it made us realised that we still had not recovered from the ordeal of the last storm. So to make a long story short, we made the intelligent decision to turned back to Noumea, we reached the end of the Woodin canal and anchored in (Baie Ouie) or uie bay at 15.30 on Sunday evening where we made dinner, we had the anchorage all to ourselves, we went to bed at 19.00. And slept like kings.


Landscape in the South of New Cal

Scenerie in the South 

Canal Woodin

Red earth

Next morning was Monday, we had our breakfast on deck in the early morning sunshine, something that we hadn’t done in a long time because of the weather and soaked up the beauty and quietness of the bay. At 09.00. We took up the anchor and sailed the 20 nautical miles to the Noumea anchorage where we arrived at 13.00. by the time we found a place to anchor it took another hour, because this main anchorage is always full, we decided we would clear in the next day,


Noumea with marina Port Moselle

 At 21.00. we woke to the rolling and bouncing of old Chev, the wind had changed direction, and was coming from the west blowing right into the anchorage, by 23.00 the winds had gotten stronger and the waves bigger, as well as the surge, we were 60 meters from the rocky shoreline, so we kept an anchor watch for the rest of the night, by 03.00 there was no thoughts of sleep as Chev was bucking about like a wild stallion, the waves would lift Chev high as they passed, then she would crash back down on the water, and thug at the anchor, the waves that passed us would smash into the rocky cliffs behind us rebound and come surging back against Chev.


That's how fast it can happen to loose your boat

At 06.00 the anchor was doing a great job holding, but you could feckin compare the bouncing and rolling inside old Chev to a washing machine, Mersey full Jyasus, we were bouncing and spinning about so much we would easily get a job at Nasa or cape Canaveral as Astronauts ffs, 07.00. We had our bellies full of this shit, so I started the motor and was planning on taking a mooring buoy that was free about a 100 meters away, when Evonne and Allan who we had met at Renata’s birthday party came by and told us that they were moving over to the other side of the bay where there was better shelter, I tell yea we didn’t need to be told twice, I had the anchor up in 5 minutes, and Sabine steered old Chev under full power towards the other side of the bay, 15 minutes later we were anchored in a lot more comfortable anchor place, officially you were not allowed to anchor there , but within an hour all the other boats had joined the exodus to the forbidden anchorage. We went ashore and cleared back in to Noumea, no truble at all a tall.

20.06 12.35 we were still there happy as larry, and will leave probably tomorrow when it gets better or when the harbour master starts to clear us all out ha ha.

21.06. We were one of the last to leave the forbidden anchorage and headed to Maa Bay, a beautiful anchorage a bit more than2 hours from Noumea, and had the whole place to ourselves,   

        
Maa Bay

A rainbow over the bay

 22.06 we celebrated Sabine’s Birthday, just the two of us, but we still had a sing song and the old Rum and coke, the only thing is that we didn’t have a good internet connection here, well as a matter of fact the internet connection in the city itself isn’t the best.                  

23.06. I Spent most of the day repairing the toilet, a right shitty job, had to dismantle the pump seal housing assembly, flush control leaver, valve gasket, pump cylinder, joker valve and discharge flange,  clean it and put it back together, thanks be to Got it worked when I got it back together, otherwise we would have haven to use the old bucket to flush.

24.06 We spent hours discussing the possibilities of where we would be heading for the Cyclone season, 1st we could go back to NEW ZEALAND from here like, which was very tempting, but after 2 seasons we think it’s time to move on, the danger is we would get too comfortable and the hard part is to leave all the new friends we have made in NZ, but if we go back I think we will never leave again. .

 2nd  we could go to Vanuatu to port Villa and get a place in the boat yard for the Cyclone season but heard from friends that it’s not good there so maybe just to visit, and that up to the Solomon islands and over to Papua New Guinea, or from Vanuatu to Cairns in OZ, or back here to New call, and from here over to Bundaberg in OZ that’s only 700 Nautical miles away, this option was very tempting, but that would have meant we would have haven to go down to Brisbane or Sydney to get away from the cyclone belt, that would have meant a 9 month visa, plus we would have to find a harbour or a mooring place, if you have the money there is no problem, in or near any city, but to find something that would suit our budget, well these places are very scarce, anchor places are the same, hard to come by, and when, then they are miles from the nearest shops or stores, plus the very strict entry procedures from Customs, Immigration, and Bio security.

3rd we could get a place here in a boat yard and stay here for the cyclone season, but being honest we don’t feel that’s really an option, compare to what we have experienced it’s not cruiser friendly, there are not enough anchor places in Noumea harbour, because its covered in illegal moorings, we got threatened with a hefty fine from the harbour authorities the first day here because we, along with 4 other boats  were outside the yellow marker, we had to clear in and the yacht club was full, you pay for the use of the dinghy dock, and it’s the same when you have to get supplies from the town, the port Moselle marina is only interested in your money, and as long as the port authorities won’t do nothing about the illegal moorings, then it can only get worse, don’t get me wrong now, I mean the Loyalty islands, and all the great anchor places around New Caledonia are great, but it isn’t an option.

4th option we could sail the 1400 nautical miles to Papua New Guinea, apply for a Visa in the Indonesian Embassy and from there sail the 930 nautical miles through the Corral Sea to the Island of Tual, join the Indonesian Rally and sail around Indonesia for 3 months.  

25.06 we decided to take option 4, so we sailed back to Noumea, after 5 lovely days at anchor, and to make a long story short now, we have spent the last 5 days getting old Chev ready for the next trip to PNG, Sabine has spent hours on the internet getting all the info we needed, about PNG and Indonesia, and filling out forms. On Monday we go to immigration and customs, and will clear out for Tuesday the 3rd, and spend the rest of Monday getting Fuel, food and other supplies for the trip.

So followers of Chev we hope you like the photos and the blog, stay safe take care, and mind yourselves well now, good bye and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr      



Passage to Noumea

24.05.18. to the 08.06.18
Ahoy and Har harr fowlers of Chev, on Thursday 24.05 we drove to our favourite place, the Maori pools with the pickup truck that we had borrowed from our friend Don, where we had a lovely day, it would be a long time before we could enjoy this special place for a while. On the way back to Opua we stopped and stocked up with supply’s for our trip back up to Tonga in the Tropics, we had to be gone by Tuesday as that was the last day of my NZ Visa after that I would have  lot of trouble with the New Zealand Immigration if I stayed in the country
We were expecting the weather window to happen on the weekend with a depression coming across the Tasman Sea and passing the bay of islands by Saturday, leaving the seas to quieten down Sunday we could leave on Monday, it would be a small weather window, but with a bit of luck we should make it, well that was the plan anyway.

On Sunday the weather changed and so did our plan, we decided to sail to New Caledonia instead of Tonga, to take the shorter Ocean passage, 7 to 8 days to New Caledonia, instead of the 10 day trip to Tonga with the prospect of the wind on the nose for the last 2 days which would have added on another few days or more of a stopover in the Minerva Reef, as I was getting slight pains, very slight pains in me right kidney, I still wasn’t over the shock of the last one just in case it was another kidney stone. On Sunday we said our goodbyes to two of the most hospitable people we have ever have had  the pleasure to make friends with, Don and Patricia, on the way back to the dinghy dock we met David and Susan who were leaving on Monday as well for Fiji, we said our good byes and wished them a safe journey , returned to old chev and spent the rest of the evening getting her ready for sea
On Monday morning at 0800, after nearly 7 months we left the mooring buoy in Opua Bay, and went out with the tide down past the Bay of Islands to the open Sea direction New Caledonia.

We were sheltered from the waves by the coast as far as Cape Reinga, we had very light winds and motor sailed, we needed to get as far North west as quickly as possible before the next front came, shortly after we passed Cape Reinga the seas became very turbulent and high, the good thing was we had the wind on the beam and in no time at all we were averaging 5 ½ knots, great stuff, we were flying, at 10.45 I saw 3 ships on the new AIS transponder we installed, 2 a sea mile off to the left of us, and one approaching us 600 meters directly from behind, I used the torch that Don had given me the day we said good bye, and I lit up the monster ship with its powerful beam but got no reaction, was he on the jacks or what?,  I called down to Sabine, gave her the name of the ship MV Gazette and asked her to call them on the radio, she did and got no answer, she kept trying but got no response from the officer on watch, she called New Zealand Maritime radio, and reported the situation, they reported back that they had our AIS signal located, they called up the bad ship Gazette who was by that time 200 meters from a direct collision before he changed his course to avoid us , the bastard came close to running over us, thanks be te God It didn’t turn out bad.

The next scare came just before 04.00 the wind had died down and I had the old motor running when I saw off in the distance a strange green glow appearing and disappearing directly off old Chevs bow, one minute it was there and the next it was gone, I changed course by 5° to port and saw this weird green glow move further away to me right by the minute till it eventually vanished, after that I changed back to my original course  I must confess I had been watching the stars and galaxies’ in the old Milky Way for a while before becoming aware of the green glow the first time, and had been thinking about the possibility of other life forms like ourselves existing up there somewhere, yea know like, now I am not a fan of Aliens from another planet, or E. T. for that matter and the further away from them the better I say, we have enough weirdos of our own on this planet sure, anyway, maybe that set me old mind working on the little green men or jolly green giants from Mars, and caused me to see the GREEN GLOW that wasn’t there, it could have been tiredness and the cold as well I suppose, all in me mind or so I thought,  about 1 hour later I saw the green glow again directly in front of me and the hair on me eyebrows stood up as I have none on me head, I nearly shit me self, Christ me hart nearly stopped , I used me binoculars to get a clear view of the Green glow as it came up on the top of a wave, and there it was a circular green shape like a flying saucer, I am not codding yea, clear as day it was, I put  the motor into neutral and drifted closer to this green glow, I was holding me breath expecting any minute a huge space ship to rise up from under the sea and vaporise us and old Chev in a flash, a few minutes later I could clearly see that it was some sort of GPS marker for a fishing net that was causing this glow, and was lucky not to have got tangled in the friggin thing, I tell yea one thing though,  I was wide awake after that .

Wednesday 30.5. all day long we were still motoring as we had no wind.  

31.05 from here on we were in a depression that was expected to last 6 hours at the most but got worse, and lasted 4 days with waves reaching 5 meters and gusts from 35 and more knots , we hove to 3 times and were blown 25 nautical miles off course, our sales were damaged in the height of the shit, a big  rip in the main sale , and rip in the Genoa.
Half way through the trip I got terrible pains in my kidney just like the first time, I nearly panned out with the pain, I took a pain killer as we had enough shite to deal with 2 days later I was taken 2 x 600 mg Ibuprofen tablets and could only lay on the sofa rubbing me side, I was thinking is there any end to this shit, are we ever going to get to New Caledonia , what the fuck is going to happen next, and drinking as much water as I could, I was worried that the stone would block me pipe and the urine would back up from me bladder to me kidney’s and then I would be in trouble, so I had a thin piece of plastic hydraulic pipe from the water maker at hand, so that I could push it up the eye of me flute as far as me bladder to empty the bladder, a sort of emergency catheter, thanks be to God I didn’t have to put it to the test, Sabine gave me kidney a massage and I had to pass water after that I was using a tin can to see if there was any blood in the old urine and sure enough there was, it’s easy to see , one is light yellow that’s ok, when there’s blood in it its dark yellow to brown, that’s my opinion anyway cause that’s what I saw,

Half an hour later I passed water in the old can and when I finished I looked in and saw something at the bottom of the can, and sure enough there was a white yellow kind of brown at the edges stone more flat than round, in the can, at last I had given birth to the stone, 5 minutes later I was pain free and could get on with me watch, not long after that we could make ground slowly but surely back to our course, and arrived in the anchorage in New Caledonia safe and sound thanks be to God on the 07.06 we cleared Customs and Bio security, but Immigration was closed, the next day we went back to Immigration and we were finished with the Clarence.
So followers of Chev I hope you like the pictures we made, Mind yourselves well take care and stay safe, good bye and God bless you all until the next time,Ahoy and Har harr.




















 

New Zealand

11.04.18 to 23.05.18

Ahoy and Har harr followers of Chev. While Sabine spent a month in Germany visiting family, friends and relations, I took a while to recover and  get back into me old rhythm after the kidney stone caper, I tell yea it frightened the shit out of me it did, I really thought I was a goner, thanks to our good Kiwi friends Don and Trish who with their help and pampering I recovered fairly quickly, I tell yea they are 2 of the most considerate, unselfish, helpful, and generous people I have met in my life , I was welcome to stay at their house to recover after coming back from the hospital, which I refused, I  had the use of their pickup truck, and Dons workshop and tools where I spent time building cutting and repairing things that I would not have been able to do in the confined space on old Chev, like cutting and shaping a stainless steel mounting bracket for the AIS transponder and receiver we bought from China for 340 € including post, a very good price indeed, a grand bargain , taking it out to old Chev, building it in and wiring up, building a wind pilot with Dons help, that’s nearly finished, well maybe we can finish it when we come back in 18 months, well anyway the praise and thankfulness that I can give Don and Patricia would not be enough to do them justice, I am really privileged to have met them.

We sold the Mitsubishi and with our share of the money we bought a second hand water maker, we bought some new filters, pipe and hose, and a new 2000 watt inverter, and after a few attempts and adjustment’s we had it up and running in a couple of days and makes 30 litres of fresh water in one hour, we didn’t build it in, we assembled it so we can run it from the deck as a portable unit as it leeks a bit, must buy some spare hydraulic hose and spare parts, now we are ready for the Marshall islands next November or December, sure what more do we want yea haw.


The watermaker is running

here is the setup

 It took Sabine a week to recover from her flight from Germany, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Singapore, Auckland, and finally the Bay of islands airport where I collected Sabine On Tue 2nd of May,

Well everything is back to normal on board old Chev, it doesn’t seem as if she was away for a month at all at tall.  We are waiting now for a depression to pass, and that will give us a good weather window for our trip back up to warm waters of the Kingdom of Tonga again, we hope to leave NZ within the next week, it really is after getting cold here in the Southern Oceans, what with south easterlies blowing the stormy ice cold winds from the Antarctic that’s only a few thousand miles away as the crow flies so followers of Chev take care and mind yourselves well now, stay safe, good bye and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har Harr 


NZ Camping Part II


20.02.18 till 10.04.18

This will be a more or less in places a quick rundown on our camping trip to the South island

20.02.18 We had a good trip crossing the Cook straights from Wellington to Picton with strong winds and the old rain bucketing down, cyclone Gitta was on her way, and highway 1 to Blenheim that is on the east coast was closed  because of floods and a land slide, but we were a step ahead of her at least with the earlier ferry, and were heading for the west coast and the Marlborough sounds with still plenty of daylight we left Piction behind us, and headed for the coast road that would take us all the way around the sounds.


On the ferry

Malborough Sound in the rain
 

Well we had the road to ourselves as most cars took the main road, and avoided the coast road, and  no wonder sure, they were really narrow bendy roads it was a bit dodgy at times with floods and blockages by mud and stones on the road I was hoping that we wouldn’t get trapped, anyway, the sounds were nice enough even in the rain, there were lovely little coves and tiny little bays well protected from the sea, but with all the rain we didn’t get good photos, we were glad that we reached the main road that took us to Havelock where we stopped for the night on the far side of Havelock, with the rain getting heavier there was no sense in putting up the tent so we slept in the car.

21.02.18 Next morning we reached Nelson, had coffee and pies in a bakery for breakfast, after that we walked around the town and up to the cathedral and gardens, there’s a lovely harbour here as well, we went to the tourist office after that and decided to drive to the Able Tasman National Park that’s about 2 hours’ drive from Nelson, after driving through flooded landscape’s where the cows were floating over the fences in the fields, orchards plantations, and villages.


Nelson

Cathedral in Nelson

We were only 8 kilometres from the Tasman National Park, when we were turned back at a road block manned by the local fire brigade, the road was closed because of numerus mud rock, and landslides in the area, so we turned around and head back to Nelson.


All the orchards were flooded

We stopped by Lake Rootura but got ate by mosquitos, instead we Camped in the Holiday Park in Charleston. Rained again.


Selfie at Lake Rotoroa

Lake Rotoroa

22.02.18 Breakfast at 7. Sun is shining. Drove to the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki. Went shopping in Greymouth. Drove down a train track bridge. Stop by Lake Ianthe Matahi. Walk to the Franz Josef Glacier, this was well worth the visit and a lovely walk. Stayed overnight near Haast.


On the way to the pancake rocks

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks from a different angle

It is getting colder

These Pancakes are hard to eat

Scenerie on the way to the Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

We walked the trail

We are getting closer

A waterfall on the way

That's as close as we could get

Riverbed


On the way to Haast

Beautiful Scenerie

Mountains and rivers

23.02.18 Stopped at the Roaring Billy Falls, and then the Thunder Falls. Had Breakfast at Lake Wanaka. Filled up petrol in Queenstown. Stayed in Moosburn Caravan Park


The morning fog is rising

At the Roaring Billy Falls

Lake Wanaka

Lake Wanaka

We drove the whole length of the lake

On the way to Queenstown

Stuck in a traffic jam


Queenstown

24.02.18 Drove to Milford Sound it was nice but then again after driving through so much stunning and spectacular mountains with lakes and waterfalls, we were spoiled. Stayed in the Last Light Lodge and Camping in Tuatapere (Rained again)


On the way to Milford Sound

There are more sheep than cows on the South Island



Milford Sound

One of the excursion boats

25.02.18 Stopped at McCrackens Rest View, Then at the Gemstone Beach. Went shopping in Invercargill and had a cappuchino. Drove to Bluff and visited the Maritime Museum (3 $). It was cold and it was raining. Stayed overnight in the Lignite Pit Café and Secret Garden in Asher. Put up the tent in the Greengarden.


Bluff

It is raining raining raining

At least we are dry here

26.02.18 Visited Waipapa Point, Slope Point (Furthest Southern Point), Curio Bay, Nugget Point (saw seals). Stayed overnight in the Taylor Park Motor Camp in Milton


Waipapa Point

Slope Point

Slope Point

Nugget Point

Seals at Nugget Point

The other side of Nugget Point

27.02.18 Drove to Otago Peninsula Dunedin, but didn’t pay the money to see the Albatross or the yellow eyed penguins because in our eyes this was one big rip off. Saw seals at Shag Piont. Was nearly attacked by a seal at Shag point, Stayed overnight at Trotters Gorge near Moeraki


Otago Peninsula

View from the top of the hill

Dunedin

Seals at Shag Point

Getting ready to go into the water

28.02.18 Visited the Moeraki Boulders, the weather got better as we drove through the valleys surrounded by huge mountain, the drive to the majestic Mt. Cook was awesome. After that drove to the Tepauko Hot Springs and got money back after complaining about the dirt and filth of the place. Stayed overnight in the car near Tepauko Lake. This was the first time in my life I used a fully automatic toilet, you pressed a button to open the door, and a voice telling you the door would close automatically, you waved a hand over a laser beam for the paper, jasus it would be great if there was one for a cup of tea while u were busy with your bussness, yea know like, and when you were finished with your donations  you waved your  hand across a laser beam to get soap and water, because then and only then would the toilet flush and the door would open automatically, I tell yea I was expecting your man Dark Vader to appear out of nowhere lookin for old Luke Skywalker, there was a great danger though, that you could fall asleep as you sat upon the throne sittin and listened to the comforting music of Beethoven, instead of sittin and shitten, if you did then the doors would open after 10 minutes and you could be viewed by the public sitting in the shit house with your pants down around your ankles, very interesting indeed.


Beach by the Bolder Rocks

A big Bolder Rock

Amazing Rocks

Lake Panaki on the way to Mt. Cook

Mt. Cook

Mt. Cook in the clouds

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo

Enjoying breakfast

01.03.18 Stayed in the Holidaypark in Fairlie

02.03.18 Ashburton, visited our friend Glenda. Ashburton Holiday Park


Visiting Glenda in Ashburton

03.03.18 Ashburton Holiday Park. Visit from Glendao, brought Pies. EA Networks Center Swimming Pools we paid 6 $ each and could stay the whole day in a huge swimming pool including the Steam bath and warm therapy pools,  


Ahburton Holiday Park

An old train wagon

04.03.18 Drove to the Hakatere Huts and Lagoon. Spent the afternoon in the swimming pool

05.03.18 Christchurch, no immigration. Airbnb with Kelvin and Jane

06.03.18 Drove with the bus into town

07.03.18 Drove with the bus to Sumner cove. Collected David and Susan at the airport at 23:00


Visit to Sumner

08.03.18 Drove with the bus to the gondola and walked the Bridle Path






Nearly on the top

The gondolas

The sart of the bridle path from the Christchurch side

Lyttelton

View from the top

09.03.18 Drove with David and Susan to Waipara and did some winetasting in the Pegasus Bay Vineyard and Waipapa Hills. Made spaghetti for Kelvin and Jane

10.03.18 John-Patrick came by bus. Then we drove together into town with the bus. Visited the botanic gardens and the Chinese Lantern Festival


Kelvin, Jane , Sabine and I

JP in the middle

Cathedral in Christchurch

John-Patrick and Sabine

John-Patrick

In the botanical garden

Chinese lanterns

A Dragon Lantern

11.03.18 Nearly missed the plane to Auckland because of the navigation. Renate collected us from the airport. Stayed overnight with Renate and Jason and Amy and Collin.


View from the plane

12.03.18 Took the train into Auckland. Nearly missed the Mana Bus. Don collected us in Paihia. Stayed overnight with Don and Trish because of the rain, and the next morning we were back aboard old Chev and glad to be home after 4 weeks camping that we still enjoyed in spite of the shitty weather, A well, tis the good things we will remember, and the bad things will laugh about isn’t it.

17.03.18 We Celebrated St. Patricks Day in the Opua Yacht club, we were there at 17.30 and finished up at 23.30.

23.03.18-26.03.18 Sabine is gone for the girl’s weekend to the Coromandel.while I changed Chevs engine oil and filter.

08.04.18. I went to sleep around 22.30 after reading me book, and woke up half an hour later with a burning stabbing pain in me right side that got worse by the minute, so I got up to make a cup of tea, when all of a sudden I got a turn in me stomach, I opened the toilet door and threw up in the bowel, and thought I would feel a lot better after that, next thing I was sweating and freezing and close to passing out with the pain in me right side, well it couldn’t be me appendix because I had that removed as a kid, so I was full sure I had a busted gut, I could not stand up so I crawled to the radio, grabbed a dish to throw up in on the way, called Russel radio between gagging splurges, and asked them if they could send an ambulance to Opua marine, after that I phoned Susan on Enchantress and asked if they could collect me.

10 minutes later I was on one knee with me right leg bent up under me in agony I couldn’t straighten it, when the radio operator called back on CH 16 and said she had given my position and an all stations alarm and asked if I could hear a motor vessel coming to collect me, no I said I heard nothing no ambulance or boat nothing I said, and thought ´´this is it Sean boy you’re a fuckin goner´´ the pain was unbearable, no one was coming just my luck, I managed to crawl up on deck on one leg and climbed over the railing, and let meself fall into the dinghy, I started the motor, and laying on me left side, steered the dinghy to the harbour where I met David and Susan on the way out, I tied up the dinghy and hopped on one leg up the gangway, half way up I was on me hands and knees, when I reached the top of the gangway there was no ambulance there, Susan said the ambulance must have gone down to the wrong harbour, and sent David down to tell them where we were.

I was lying on the ground at the top of the pier in me tea shirt shorts and no shoes, vomiting up air, I had nothing left to throw up, no strength left, just the feeling that a knife was cutting away inside of me, all the effort was for nothing, I was full sure I was dying, ´´merciful Jeasus please don’t leave it end here´´ I think it was 5 minutes later that the Ambulance got there, and five minutes after a couple of injections the pain was bearable, David and Susan followed the Ambulance to the hospital in Kawakawa that’s normally only 10 kilometres away, but the reason it took the Ambulance so long was that the road is still closed on Lemon Hill, after a land slide 2 months ago so there’s a 30 kilometres detour.

It was 12:50, I saw it on the big clock on the wall the ER room, I was put on a drip and given more pain killers, after blood and urine tests, the doctor said that he thinks it is a kidney stone that was causing the pain, there was blood in the urine, and it would take a while before it comes out, exactly how long, a few days a week a month? , he couldn’t say, but did say that when the stone would reach the bladder it would be more painful, and gave me strong pain killers for when that time arrives.

It was 04:40 when we left the hospital with the instructions to take the tablets, and if it gets worse that I was to come back to the ER, Dave and Susan were exhausted after all the drama and waiting around in the hospital, I spent the next day doing nothing just resting, and to day I feel a bit better, well I don’t know how long it will take until I give birth to this kidney stone, but I will be glad when all this is behind me.

So followers of Chev I hope you enjoy the old blog, mind yourselves well now, take care, and stay safe until the next time, Good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Har harr...


NZ Camping 2018 part I


28.01.18. till 20.02.18

02.02.18. We were invited down to Marsden cove to stay for the weekend with our friends Dave and Heidi, so we had a chance to test out the new old banger Mitsubishi, this would be the first long drive it would have, and it was grand, we reached Marsden cove no problem what so ever, she passed the test with flying colours.

Saturday morning we bought Heidi with us and we drove up to Whangarei to the sailor’s Yearly flea market, where Sabine bought a lovely Mandolin for 140 NZ $ a grand bargain sure, and we were back in Marsden Cove for lunch, after lunch Dave and myself walked up to the beach with his dog Rusty, where he showed me the damaged caused by the last storm, of which we have had a lot of since we arrived in N Z, the timber and concrete supports that protect the cliffs, were in many places washed away, that caused a lot of the cliff face to crumble away, if it keeps up Dave said that the houses that are near the top of the cliffs will end up in the sea, frightening to think about it.

Saturday evening Dave and Heidi had invited their good friends and neighbour’s for a little garden party, the most of whom we had already met and visited, the first time we visited New Zealand, all I can say is that we had a cracker of a night, with great people feasting and drinking from the finest, a great sing along, and craic that started at 17.00 and ended after midnight, a really lovely enjoyable party.  At breakfast the next morning, Heidi and Sabine said that Dave and I had drank too much and I shouldn’t drive because of the rest Alcohol, so Dave produced a breathalyser and I blew into it, it was green so that meant I had not over done it, Sabine, Dave, and Heidi did the same test, Sabine had green, Dave had, green, but Heidi had Dark RED, we were bent over laughing, no one had expected that result. We said our goodbyes to Heidi and Dave and thanked them for a beautiful weekend, and drove back to Opua.


Plenty to eat and drink

Having fun wit Heidi and Dave`s neigbourgs

06.02.18 Sabine, Susan, Frances, and Chris drove to the Waitangi treaty grounds, and afterwards went to the Haruru Falls, I had work to finish on old Chev.


Susan, Frances and Chris

Flagpole

Waka

Maori with traditional tatoos

Haruru Fall




Susan, Chris, Frances and Sabine



12.02.18 its pissing out of the heavens for the last few days and it doesn’t look like the feckin weather is going to change, so we loaded all the stuff or gear that we would kneed for the 4 weeks camping trip into the dinghy, we had to make a couple of runs, and finally managed to get it into the car

13.02.18. Its 08.30 and according to the weather forecast we have 25 to 30 knot winds that are supposed to increase to gale-force later in the morning as we drive over to the harbour with the dinghy, well the good thing is that it’s coming from the back, our friend Trish was waiting for us with the small pickup truck, we put the dinghy and motor in the back of the truck, and we followed Trish up the hill to her house with the Mitsubishi, unloaded the truck, put the dinghy against the wall on its side, and stowed the motor away in Don`s shed, Trish told us that there was a land slide the day before on lemon hill and the road was blocked, no wonder sure with all that rain and storms for jaysus sake, it has been raining nonstop for a week, with another severe storm to replace this one, tearing down the Tasman Sea that will hit New Zealand within the week, her name is Gita, she was a category 5 TC tropical cyclone when she hit Tonga Tapu this week and devastated the islands, we heard that by Big Mamas on Pangaimoutu island the restaurant and landing dock were washed away, but the kitchen is still standing, our friend Glenda´s home was blown away, along with many others, and NZ have sent relief supplies and tents to Tonga. , And here we have stormy winds, torrential rain, landslides, and a 30 kilometre detour to start with, So these are the conditions, as we start off on our 4 week camping trip that will take us to the south island, but from the way things look, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better, a well we can only make the best of it no problem, sure God is good, anyway we thanked Trish who wished us a good trip, and we said our good byes, it was 10.00.    


floods

Sabine was back in Germany for 4 weeks 2 1/2 years ago, but this will be the longest time that I will be away from our old Chevaldy in 4 years, the longest I was ever away was for 4 days, I Hope old Chev will be safe while we are gone.

13.02.18. In the 5 hours that it took us to get well south of Auckland, we passed rivers that were overflowing, flooded fields with cows up to their bellies in water, roads that had been blocked by fallen trees from the strong winds, it reminded me of the song Bad Moon Rising, ´´oh don’t go out to night cause its bound to take your life There’s a bad moon on the rise ``whoo hoo.

We reached the Coromandel´s safely at 17.00 after 7 hours of driving, thanks be to God, and went to the hot water beach, you could hire a shovel for 5 $ to dig a hole in the sand to get down to where the water was hotter, but the tide was coming in, so even if you had a JCB it wouldn’t have mattered, but that didn’t stop your boyo, he was still hiring out his shovel’s to the tourist, the fucker must be a millionaire by now. The next morning at 08.00. we went back to the beach but we would have haven to wait 4 hours for the tied to be right, so we headed for Rotorua,


digging in the sand



The drive through the 
Coromandel´s was lovely, and there were some beautiful towns and villages where we stopped for a break along the way to Rotourua even the rain stopped for a while.  


Coromandel

14.02.18. We got to the Holden Holliday Park in Rotourua at 14.00.  at the reception we booked 2 days that costed 17 $ a day each, that included the use of the kitchen, toilets, showers, swimming pool and the hot pools, TV, Lounge, Library, and pool table, well now you can’t crib there for that price like ye know, a grand bargan. At 17.30, we went over to the reception where there is a lounge, TV, and library, and planned what sights we would go to visit in Rotourua. At 16.30 we went to the kitchen and made our dinner, the rain had eased off so we pitched the tent, after that we were in the hot pools until 20.00, a sure the lap of luxury yee haa tis the small things in life that count.  


Hot pools

Who is sitting on my shoulder
  
Enjoying a glas of wine

15.04.18. After an early breakfast we were off to the hot pools from 08.00 until 10.00. a jaysus sure what a lovely way to start the day, and after that we drove to the blue lake, Lake Tikitapu that’s surrounded by mountains and Forrest, well the photos don’t do it justice, yea know what I mean like, after that we went to the Red wood Forrest and spent 2 hours walking through the huge trees and giant ferns there, there was a sort of suspension pat that was strung from tree to tree, about 10 meters high, they called it the tree walk, it was about 800 meters in length, that costed 25 $ and kept your shoes clean, but we walked through the Forrest trails that were kilometres long and saw a lot more of the trees, and hardly no people, and was more peaceful  


The Blue Lake

A big redwood tree

The top of the tree

The redwood forrest

Treetops

We were back in Rotourua by 13.00. and toured the Rotourua Lake, and by 14.30 we were in Eat Street in the restaurant where John Patrick was working 12 hours a day, from 11.00 in the morning until 23.00. at night, to earn his keep and the money he needed for his trip to OZZ, but today he had taken time off, and at 15.00. he was finished for the day so he drove back to the camping ground where we made dinner, and after we went again to the hot pools with JP, at 20.00 Sabine drove JP back to the house where he was staying, the time was too short but it was great to see him and were thankful for the time we had with him.


Selfie at Lake Rotorua

Restaurant where John-Patrick is working

A whole street just with restaurants

Father and son

JP and Sabine

16.02.18. After breakfast we went to the hot pools for the last time, it seems that we were the only ones except for about 4 other people that we saw who used them, but we always had a pool to ourselves. At 10.00. We left the camp grounds and drove to the Aratiatia rapid s Dam, well I tell yea now, this is something really spectacular, because the Dam opens the flood gates at 12.00. and the gorge  below the Dam fills up to the height of a 2 story house and shoots trough the rapid’s, again the photos do not do it justice. There was a bouquet of flowers tied to the meatal fence of the view point where we were standing that said ``until we meet again´´ it seems that someone had jumped into the flooding waters of the rapid´s and died, sad indeed, RIP. After that we drove to the Huka falls a 20 minute walk each way, where we met a couple of lovely Irish girls from Belfast who were back packing around NZ.


At the Aratiatia Rapids

Before the opening of the dam

After the opening

At the Huka Fall

 After that we drove to the Craters of the Moon, the weather was great, and we had a beautiful walk around this fascinating Thermal Volcanic active area, well worth a visit, after that we drove to a basic camp ground near Kamianawa Forrest, camped there for the night,it got really over crowded before the night came,    


Crater of the moon

One of the craters

Sean steamimg up



View from the top




17.02.18 somehow the charger for the mobile caused a short-circuit in the wiring of the car, the wipers and windscreen washer stopped working, along with the instrument’s on the dash so I opened the fuse box that is under the dashboard, of course it was all in Japanese, but I checked the fuses one by one with a flash lamp, and could not locate any blown fuse, so I looked under the bonnet and found another fuse box under the hood that was also in Japanese, I checked that as well and found no blown fuse, I was stumped, I know that it must be a fuse but could not find the problem, anyway we drove further to a Fairley big city, Palmerston North where we found an Auto electrician, but they were closed, we drove around and saw a shop that sold electronic stuff for cars, so in we went, there was only 2 customers there, so while we are waiting I asked the guy that was waiting to be served if he knew of any Auto Electrician that was open, to make a long story short, he asked me what the problem was, and I said I think it was a blown fuse but can’t find it, well your man came out to the car looked at the fuses under the dash and after 3 minutes he found the offending fuse, there were replacement fuses in the cover and he replaced it, and that was the problem solved, I offered him 50 $ which he didn’t take sure that was no bother at all says he it was a pleasure, I tell yea we were happy he found the fuse, and very grateful for his help, God bless the Chap. We stopped at another basic camp ground near Manauka, compared to the last camp ground this was better, what can yea expect when it’s a free camping ground, there was a chicken that I named George who came around the tent for the bread that I fed him, I think George didn’t realise how lucky he was that he didn’t end up in the old pot as chicken curry, but we had plenty of supplies.


Dinner is nearly ready

18.02.18 we drove to Wellington and found that the immigration office there had closed down, well that was hard to believe that you couldn’t get to speak to an immigrations officer in the Capitol City of New Zeeland if you had a problem, well it was really windy in Wellington, but the sun was shining at least, so we went to the Te Papa Museum near the Promenade in the Harbour near the Town centre, this is free but I tell yea now it’s really worth a visit, we spent over 3 hours here, and still didn’t get to see everything. 


Selfie at the beach in Wellington

After that we drove to upper Hut to the Belmont Regional Park, to another Basic Camping ground, where we pitched the tent and cooked our dinner this was a beautiful Park with plenty of room and another chicken George who was eating out of me hand in a few minutes, he even stood still while I rubbed his head, and so ended another day.

 19.02.18. we drove into Wellington and parked on the free parking just outside the city boundary’s, and walked up to Mount Victoria, I tell yea now it’s a hard steep walk but worth the view from the top, you can see the Cook Straights and the Tasman sea, and a magnificent view of wellington city, not to mention Wellington Airport.


Wellington

View from Mt. Victoria

Anyway after our decent from Mt Victoria, we walked to the nearest supermarket New World, and bought some, essential´s like bread water and something for the old supper, and a sandwich to scoff, well anyway we were strolling along the footpath that runs alongside by the beach heading back to the car, finishing off our sandwiches and enjoying the view as we went, when me eye was drawn to 2 women joggers who were jogging on the spot at the traffic lights, waiting for the pedestrian lights to change to green about 60 meters away, and there was a cyclist crawling along nearly stopped on the road even though he could have gone quicker and gone through green lights, but he seemed to be the 2 women, then I noticed a bunch of people on the footpath a bit further away who seemed to be out of place just frozen in time, yea know what I mean like, as if they were ready to start a race, but they seemed to be watching the 2 women as well , as we got closer the lights changed again, but no one moved, I couldn’t put me finger on it, but I said to Sabine something isn’t right here, and pointed out the 2 women Joggers who were still jogging on the spot, they had green but did not move, and the cyclist who was watching them was still barley moving , then the pedestrian lights went green again the 2 joggers still didn’t move, they were only 5 meters away , so I said to them waving me hand in front of me face and pointing at the lights and saying `` are yea fuckin blind or what the lights are green long ago yea ejits, gowan out of that and move on´´, then all of a sudden the guy on the bike started to pedal off and a pickup truck with a bunch of people in the back followed by a motorbike drove through the lights, after that the 2 women joggers ran across the crossing, and then the bunch of retards on the path came to life, took off like a light talking about Mayonnaise as the went running at full belt at us, ´´fuck me did they all escape out of the nut house or what´´, jumping in front of Sabine, me adrenalin flooding me old veins, ready to defend her and kick the bollix off the first nutter that showed any signs of violence or anything like that yea know like, but they just ran around us thanks be to God.

Well to make a long story short, a woman and a man walked over to us and the woman told us that we had simply walked on to a film set that was being made for some Mayonnaise advertisement company, and that she needed our names and permission to use us in the advert, well we all had a god old laugh at that, ´´do we get any old free samples girl I asked her`` no but there’s a chance you would be discovered by some film agent she said, well I have a first cousin that was up against brad pit in Cannes a few years ago I said, but I think I could play a good old Hannibal lector and Sabine could do a Pamela Anderson job like on the old beach if the pay is any good, we singed the release forms and walked on still laughing with a lighter swing in our step to where we parked the car, expecting to be discovered any minute now by some producer that was following us, and with thoughts of what we would spend the cash on, when we earn the big money in the film business,             

After looking over me shoulder a few times with me best Robert Dinero look I could muster we reached the car and drove slowly away, to give any talent scouts or film producer’s that might be following, us a chance to catch up with us and reap the rewards of our success, well the only things we reaped were the honking of horns by the line of frustrated drivers that we were holding up by driving 30 in a 60 zone.

After 20 kilometre’s we reached the Weta Caves, in the heart of Miramar, Wellington, at the cave you can see an exclusive behind the scenes documentary about the 20 year history of the Weta cave film industry, there’s a mini Museum with a showcase of props and artefacts from the film’s they worked on, entry to the shop and documentary screening is free, there is also a tour of the workshops and factory, but it was above our budget, but we really enjoyed the film and the Mini Museum it’s hard to believe, that from a little place like this that such creatures weapons crafts and special effects were all designed here. I will only mention a few of the best known film’s they worked on, like Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Elysium, Godzilla, Hercules, Dracula, Spider-Man 2, and a lot more to numerus to mention, what we saw for free was truly amazing, well worth a visit.


Sean with a monster from the Lord of the rings

20.02.18. The rain was pelting down and the tent got soaked and so did we when we were taking it down, it’s been raining all night and the wind has picked up. We drove to Lower Hut and went shopping in Countdown, after that we drove to the Ferry Port, and got there at 13.00. we heard that The Depression Gita was forecast to cross the Cook straights from the Tasman Sea with winds from 55 knots to over 60 knots, we had booked the ferry passage from Wellington to Picton for 17.00 and we were worried in case the Ferry would be cancelled, so I went into the Ferry terminal where another passenger was telling the woman at the counter that she wanted to change her booking for an earlier Ferry and were there any cancelations, no cancelations I heard the woman telling the other passenger that was before me, when my turn came I asked if it was possible if we could sail on the earlier ferry, at 14.45 . it must have been me Irish charm that she liked, cause She asked for the ticket and in no time the deed was done and she told us to proceed to the loading area, that would give us an extra few hours start when we reached Picton. At 14.30. we drove up onto the Ferry and settled into a lovely comfortable sofa for the 3 hour trip to the South Island, now what with Gita, I think it will be an exciting trip one way or the other it’s all in God’s hands now.

I hope you will enjoy our blog and the photos as much as we enjoyed the first part of our camping trip, despite the weather, there’s more to come so this will keep you busy for a while.

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


NZ 3 - Turangi


17.01.18 till 27.01.18

Ahoy and Har Harr Followers of Chev. During the tall ships race, David and Susan had been to Kerikeri shopping, and on the return to Opua David said the car just stopped, he managed to pull in to the carpark and waited 5 or 10 minutes before trying it again, and off she went again back to the marine park place, since then he had not used it for the last 2 days, and as we were going to the Ngawha springs on the 11.01, I thought I could find out what the cause was, well to make a long story short, it happened twice on the over 40 km trip to the hot springs so we brought it to a mechanic, his advice was to take it to Whangarei to an automatic gearbox specialist, as he believes that the transmission fluid must be replaced and the gearbox needs to be flushed, but it seems that all garages have so much work to do that we couldn’t get an appointment until 08.02.

In the mean time we have bought another banger, for 1.300 $ that does a good job, we only need it for the next 3 months, it’s still cheaper than hiring a car, we will take a chance to see if the Subaru will run better after the fluid flush, and if it does maybe we can sell it for a 1000 $.     

22.01.18. Susan collected Sabine and myself at 17.30 from Chev and drove us over in her dinghy to the dinghy dock in the harbour, then she drove us up the hill to the bus stop in the second old banger we had bought together, to catch the 18:10 bus for Auckland, well it bates swaging all the gear up the old hill. The bus was bang on time and we went upstairs to the front where we had a grand view, it’s a nice way to see the countryside of New Zealand, and fairly cheap too if you book in advance, well now like, we booked our tickets a week before online, and paid full price for one return ticket, 51 NZ $ and 37 NZ $ for the other return ticket, but we won’t crib about it, anyway it’s a 4 hour journey from Paihia or more depending on the traffic conditions, of about 230 kilometres or more, so that was 88 NZ dollar’s for 460 or more kilometres, sure that’s great value for money.


Sabine in the Mana Bus

We arrived in the middle of Auckland at 21:40, 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and waited until our friend Maureen collected us at 10:15. Maureen drove us across the bridge that connects the north shore to the south shore, well let’s just call it the Auckland Bridge, sure that’s probably what they call it anyway, the reason I am tellin yea that now, yea see, is because we crossed the same bridge 4 times in 1 hour, once Southbound with the bus that brought us here, and 3 more times with Maureen, the 2nd time, we drove over the bridge Northbound to our friends Tony’s house to return his car keys, 3rd time, after leaving Tony’s house, heading back down the motorway, when  poor Maureen  was so engrossed in a conversation with Sabine that she passed the turn off for her street, so that meant we were again Southbound on the Auckland bridge, after reaching the South shore  we had to get back onto the Northbound lane and crossed for the 4th time the old bridge again, all in all it was a grand tour we got of the old Auckland Bridge and City all lit up in the night sky, we eventually reached Maureen’s house, where after umpteen cups of tea and coffee and a couple of hours jaw Waggin to catch up on the latest, and of course about the coming 3 day trip to Turangi, and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing we had planned together with Maureen, it was after 01.00 when we retired for the night.

23.01.18. After Breakfast we left at 10.00. Southbound once more over the Bridge for Turangi, 5 hours and 324 kilometres later, at 15.00. after stopping to fill up, and shopping for supplies we arrived at the cabin that Maureen had booked for the 4 days we would be here, It belongs to the New Zealand Police Force and as Maureen works with the NZPF she is allowed to book it. The Cabin had a double bed room that we laid claim to, a Har harr, a single room with 2 single beds that became Maureen´s , the room with 4 bunk beds we left for Vassil and Inga, there was a living room, kitchen, bathroom and shower, toilet, and a small laundry room with a washing machine and drier, as well as air conditioner, balcony and garden, jaysus a beautiful cabin indeed, we busied ourselves with storing our stuff and supplies away, and as baths are a rarity for us I hopped into the old bath as quick as a flash and luxuriated for over an hour or more, Aha thank God for small mercies.


Driving over the bay bridge with a beautiful view of the sky tower  

Maureen, Me and Sabine at Taupo Lake

Taupo Lake

Inside the cabin the living room combined dining room

Vassil and Inge arrived at 18.00., and I cooked the old grub while Maureen, Inge, Vassil, and Sabine were talking about this that and the other, after dinner Vassil played his ukulele and Sabine had her mandolin, and we had a nice sing song, I let me guitar back on old Chev as it was too bulky to carry, and it would have taken up too  much space in Maureen’s car.


Vassil, Inga and Maureen having their dinner

Vassil and Sabine making music

 Vassil and meself at singing practise 

Next morning after breakfast we went shopping in Turangi , then we went for a beautiful 30 minutes’ walk around the Tokaanu Thermal Pools, just to get the old legs warmed up for the climb up the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, yea know like, be prepared is my old motto after that it was back to the old Cabin, where Maureen cooked the dinner, and after having so much fun yesterday, we ended the evening with another singsong, Maureen told us that she would not be going on the Hike with us in the morning, so it would be only the 4 of us, Vassil Inge Sabine and me.


After buying the tickets for the shuttle

with me big belly i needed a big surf board made of Kauri wood

Tokaanu Thermal Pools

The mud is boiling

Testing the watertemperature, it is HOT

The pools have different temperatures

Having a steambath

Selfie with Sabine at the Taupo Lake

Taupo Lake

Taupo Lake with the mountains in the backgrund


Maureen, Sabine, Vassil and Inga are getting ready to drive back to the cabin

25.01.18. at 03.45. We had our breakfast, and by 04.45. we were outside the cabin waiting for the shuttle bus from the Backyard Tours Transport Services to pick us up, and bring us to the drop off point on Mangatepoppo Valley road, it was a lovely clear fresh morning with the old stars twinkling in the sky, then along came the shuttle and off we went, 

 40 minutes later we were at the start of the track with another bunch of people, all dressed up in climbing gear woolly caps thick jackets and long pants, sort of made me feel out of place yea know like, and I was thinking should I put on me old jacket or was me old tee shirt, shorts, and rubber dollies (runners)   alright, well anyway, we gathered around the guy from the tour Services and his wife, who wore head lamps as it was still pitch dark, they welcomed us and gave us a quick rundown on what we should expect, on the hike.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a challenging hike over active volcanoes, from Alpine meadows to mountain summits with stunning views of dramatic contrasts, you will walk across steaming vents, glacial valleys, lunar landscapes of craters, piles of scoria and statue like mounds of volcanic desert, ancient and not so ancient lava flows, mountain springs, vivid crater lakes, rugged and steep rocky terrain, distance of 19.4 km, depending on the weather conditions, takes around 8 hours one way, allowing for time for photos breaks, and side tracks, the summit of Mt Tongariro is 1967m and Mt Ngauruhoe ( or Mt Doom, for all the Lord of the Rings fans) at 2287m above sea level, so you will need a reasonable level of fitness, he then gathered us together for a group photograph, and wished us good luck, with that we hit the old trail.


Gloria and meself at 05.46 

Group photo before the Hike

It was exactly 06.00 and still dark with a faint line of dawn in the eastern sky as we moved out at a nice comfortable pace chit chatting following the route well marked by poles up the Mangatepoppo valley towards the Soda Springs, there was plenty of board walks across the old bog and meadows so it was easy enough no bother at all a tall sure, we were there at 07.00 that was the only the easy part of the hike, and it got steeper.


Inga, Vassil and Sabine above the dawn clouds

The dawn breaking and the magnificent colors in the sky

From the Soda Springs to the South Crater is classed as moderate to difficult, the going got steeper and you sort of felt it, yea know like, and when we came across a big sign at the bottom of a slope that said in big letters STOP are you really prepared to continue your Alpine Crossing Trek ?  ´´well as I was craning me old neck looking up the slopes I was thinking it will take me more than the 8 hrs, so yea I will carry on, the next question was,  ´´is the weather OK?  ´´ well it looked all right to me anyhow  `` You are climbing into the Alpine Zone the weather conditions will become more extreme, Consider Rain, Cloud, Temperature, Snow, Ice, `` well now the ALPEN ZONE sounds sort of like the TWILIGHT ZONE scary like yea know  boohoo, so I take a good look at the mountains and the sky around me a bit longer, and can’t see no Aliens, or Big Foot, or Hobbits for that matter thanks be to God, it looks like a glorious God given day, next questions, ´´Do you have the right equipment and Clothing, Clothing, Suitable shoes/Boots, Hat, Gloves, Raincoat, Over-Trousers, Warm Clothing, Drink, Food,? ´´ well now, I have me tee-shirt, shorts, and the old runners on, a baseball cap on me old skull, me hiking boots are in me rucksack along with a light raincoat, a warm jacket, and as me poor old mother use to say  always have a clean underpants in case you have an accident and are carted off to hospital in the back of an old ambulance yea know like, so, as well as 3 litres of water and loads of sandwiches, apples, peaches, prunes, and pears, sure with all the stuff we have we could open up a shop, so we could definitely survive in these mountains for a few days if the case need be, no wonder me pack is so heavy, ´´ next questions ARE You Fit Enough ? and you have 13 kilometres to go, ´´ well now I think I am reasonably fit, fat but fit you could say, now under this is a sort of a print or a graph of the trek or track, and when I looked at this it shows us we are and how far more we have to go, we have a mighty long way to go, my god, there is a wee   bit of doubt there, I suppose sure I can only do me best,  under this is a plane statement that says  ´´IF YOU Have answered no to any of these questions, Seriously CONSIDER TURNING Back,´´ we all decided to carry on.


some people turned back after readind this, and i would´nt blame them

There is no getting away fro
m it this section is a steep climb up to 1600 meters above sea level, known as the Devils staircase and rightly named, not half way up, me right knee felt like me old knee cap was about to explode and fly out from the knee joint, and the arthritis in the same foot was close to  melting point, I tell yea now we made plenty of stops on this part taking pictures of this and that and catching our breath at the same time, when we reached the flats of the south crater the route levelled out, and the going got easier, there is a poled route that leads from the edge of the South Crater over to the base of Ngauruhoe or (MT Doom for all Lord of the Rings fans) , from here it’s a matter of picking your own way up to the top, they say the best way is to follow the ridge of red scoria or volcanic slack left of the scree slopes, the summit can be dangerous and should be avoided it there are any signs of volcanic activity.


Sabine still looking fresh

Vassil and Inga before it started to get steep as the sun comes over the hill with mt Doom in the background i think


Beautiful view from the Devil´s staircase

Mount Doom

The South Crater with the dessert like flats, you can just make out the path at the bottom of mt doom

Nearly on top of the Red Crater and realy feeling the strain

View on the South Crater

Looking down on the South Crater Mt Doom on me  left 



The sun was shining crossing the desert like flats of the South Crater to the Red Crater giving us time to recover but the flat easy start to this part didn’t last long, once we crossed the South Crater, there’s a short climb onto an exposed ridge, the track follows the ridge northwards towards Red Crater a steady climb on loose scoria (sort of sooth or gravel) to the left of the track you can see dark lines of lava standing out from the greyish background rock, the main track continues around the Red Craters narrow rim, a guy that was resting next to me, who has done this trip a good few times, told me the wind can sometimes reach 80 miles an hour, and  that there would be a danger that you could be blown off the mountain, well thanks’ be to jasus no wind was blowing to day I said.

There is a beautiful view from here eastward over the Oturere Valley, the Rangipo Desert, and the Kaimanawa Ranges, well I had to rest again a little less than a 100 meters to the summit, and was thinking sure I am half ways there now, and when I reach the top of the Red Crater I can worry about getting down, anyway I struggled up and up like a monkey bent over, about 20 meters from the top Sabine, Inge, and Vassil were waiting for me, we moved on the sweat was dripping off me, I was thinking that I would have to slide down on all four’s or on me arse, when me eye caught sight of a long bar lying flat on the ground 5 meters to me right, Jesus Mary and Joseph, a 2 meter metal bar that had once been used as a marker and that I would use as me 3rd leg as a help to get me safely down the rest of the track, you can call it what you want, but I call it divine intervention and I thanked Christ almighty and his holey Mother Mary there and then.


Step by step struggling on

Thanks be to Jesus I found the pole I HAVE CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN yeahaw

The view from the summit was fan fuckin tastic, the world looked like it must have had, when God had created it, all the aches, pains, sweat, and effort were forgotten, the all-round view was breath takin spectacular, from aloft we looked down on the Emerald lake, the Blue Lake and other lakes below us, as well as the steam vents, and the strong smell of sulphur, jaysus it is very easy to imagine the start of the earth all these years ago, I only hope the pictures we took come out well, I could see that the decent from Red Crater would be difficult because of the deep loose gravel like scoria, people were slipping left and right, but with the old bar to help me I had no bother at all at all, jaysus I was flying down, passing people with the help of the old bar and reached the Emerald Lake in no time at all.


Still alive and kicking

Fantastic scenery view inside the crater

Yeppie the top of the RED Crater is reached with Mt Doom in the backround, Vassil and Inga behind her
a great achivement indeed hip hip horay

The Blue Lake

Me flying down to the Red Crater, like Moses leadind his people to the promised land

The Emerald Lakes

Sulpher steam rising up

the rim of the Mauri scared blue lake, 

Sabine and Inga so happy to have the Red Crater behind them

Vassil taking in the beauty of the place

The people are like ants coming down the hill, Thank God we left early

The Blue Lake

Looking back up where we were, the Red Crator 1967 m in the fore ground,  Mt  Ngauruhor 2287m =(MtDoom )in the back ground left, we were really lucky and blessed to have such beautiful weather

We reached the Blue Lake that is sacred, it is disrespectful to eat or drink around its shore, and we walked all around it, then back onto the track for Ketetahi hut, the track to Ketetahi is a change from barren massive gravel fields, to lush slopes of vegetation and thick soil, we reached the Ketetahi Hut and had a rest, I left before the rest so I wouldn’t slow them down on the last leg of the hike from Ketetahi hut, to the Ketetahi Car Park that would take 1 ½ to 2 hours, and sure enough Sabine, Inga, and Vassil caught up and passed me 30 minutes later, it’s a lovely board walk path with bridges passing streams that flow into a river most of the way and then you were in a hard wood forest nice and cool in the shade following the river until you came to a short side track that leads to a waterfall before reaching the carpark, where a lot of weary travellers were resting their weary bones while waiting to be collected by their Shuttle buses, Sabine, Inge, and Vassil, completed the tour in 8 hours and 10 minutes, and I finished it in 8 hours 20 minutes, but I tell yea one thing now, I was very very close to packing it in and turning back, after the Devils staircase, it doesn’t get easier, as a matter of fact it gets harder because you get cramp attacks in the mussels from your toes to your hips, the last 3 kilometres were very hard, and the last kilometre was by far the, jaysus I thought I would never get there  but then its worth all the effort in the end when you complete it.

 

We were collected at 14.30 and given an ice cold beer from our Backyard Tours Transport Services driver and owner that we gladly accepted, he asked me to describe the day in one word,  Awesome I said is the only word that comes near it, but Awesome doesn’t do it justice.

We were driven back to cabin and I had a hot bath to sooth me aching muscles, after that we had Pizza and salad for dinner. At 20.00 we went to bed and I didn’t wake up until 07.00 the next morning, where it took me 3 minutes to sit up in the old bed, 5 minutes to stand up, and nearly 10 minutes to walk to the bathroom that was only 4 meters away because of the muscel stiffness, merciful Christ, me whole body was as stiff as a bar, from me toes to me ears was stiff, Jaysus, the wrinkles on me forehead were sore, even me hair roots were sore and I am baldy, the only things that weren’t sore were me old eyeballs, if I didn’t move them that is. At breakfast I found out I wasn’t alone with me stiff joints, Sabine, Inge, and Vassil had muscel stiffness too, after breakfast we all got our baggage and gear packed and into the cars, then we set about cleaning the cabin, and at 09.30 we were finished, and it was time to say goodbye to Inge and Vassel who would be going to Rotorua, while Sabina, and me would be going back with Maureen to stay in her house in Auckland until we had to catch the bus back to Opua from Auckland on Saturday afternoon.


Auckland skyline from top of a parkhouse

27.01.18. Saturday morning after breakfast we had our gear packed and stowed in the trunk of Maureen’s car so we would not have to come back to Maureen’s house, then Maureen Drove Dean, Sabine, and me self to the Northshore beach where she went shopping first, for some cloths for herself and Dean, then we walked over to the beach and stayed until 12.00.noon, then Maureen drove us to the Auckland centre where we said good bye to Maureen and Dean, and thanked her for a beautiful week we had spent together, we then boarded the bus for Opua and were collected by Susan who brought us back to old Chev.

So Followers of Chev Hope you will enjoy the photos and blog we made for you, take care and mind yourselves well now until the next time stay safe, good bye and God bless you all, Ahoy and Harr Harr          


New Zealand II


17.12.17 until the 16.01 18.

Ahoy and Har Harr followers of Chev, hope yea all got over the festive season and had a great time, well we did have a very enjoyable Christmas and new year, on the 19.12.17. we collected our son J P (John-Patrick) whom we hadn’t seen in over 6 months, at the top of the hill just outside Opua, from the inter City bus after a 10 hour drive from Rotorua, he would be staying with us for 3 weeks before he heads down to the south Island’s in the new year, it was great to see him again

The 21 of December was David’s birthday and we celebrated in the same old stile as last year with good food, and beverages, fine Scottish whisky, song and craic, our friends Frances and Chris from Usquabae that’s Scott’s Gaelic for Whisky, where their as well and we had a good old night.


Chris and I

David, me and JP

24.12.17. Our friends Renata and Martin came by for a Christmas Eve dinner on old Chev, and after desert we sang a few German Christmas carols, it was nice and nostalgic, after our guest’s went back to Renahara, me old vocal cords were a bit hoarse, which is unusual like.

25.12.17. At 12.30 David, Susan. Chris, Frances, Sabine and me self, met at the dinghy dock and walked up the hill to Don and Trish who live in Beer Belly Boulevard, that’s right, they named their street Beer Belly Boulevard,  and had invited us all to spend Christmas day with them.




Full house



View from the balcony

Now Don and Trish are typical Kiwi’s very easy going, friendly and hospitable, we had a dinner you wouldn’t get in a restaurant, and the table was full with food, roast beef, Chicken, and a ham that David had won at the Christmas draw in the Yacht club, that Trish had cooked, roast spuds (potato’s), and all sorts of vegetable’s, deserts of sherry trifle, fresh strawberries and ice-cream, and all sorts chocolates and sweets, with wine, beer, and rum to wash it all down.



We had a beautiful view from high up on their balcony, and we sat there all afternoon just enjoying the sights and sounds around us of Opua harbour and the bay with the warm sun shining down from clear blue skies, the tree lined hills of Opua harbour and the bay, the birds, butterflies, bees all going about their Daly business, the yachts and boats on the sea making it look like  a scene out of a film, and I think I am day dreaming , and I swear to God its moments like these, when you see the sheer beauty of this God given world we live in, that I just can’t believe it’s true, and I am so content and thankful for the privilege of experiencing and cherishing these moments  I know this world will still be around long long after we are gone. We had spent a great day together with 2 people who invited us into their home to share their Christmas with us, thank you from our hearts to Trish and Don for your kindness and hospitality, it was a Christmas we will never forget, god bless you both.






Don, me, Trish and Sabine

31.01.17. As poor old David had an accident, when a winch he was cleaning and greasing slipped from his hands, and landed on his leg, Susan collected Sabine J P and meself at 22.00 and drove over to the harbour, we walk the few kilometre’s to the old railway tunnel where we had heard that at night you could the see glow worms in the tunnel, we reached the tunnel that was closed off again, but we climbed over the barrier and walked into the tunnel, inside it was pitch dark and sure enough we saw the green glow of the worms on top of the old tunnel. After about 20 minutes in the tunnel we headed back the track to Opua, about halfway back we heard an Owl and we shined our lamp up the tree and the cheeky creature just sat on the branch looking down at us, Aha jaysus we got some good photos of him or her before it flew away after we scourged the poor thing.


Sabine in the tunnel


We arrived back on Enchantress at 11.30 where David, Chris and Frances were waiting for us to celebrate the new year, we would have walked up the hill to watched the fireworks but David was laid low with his injured leg, well we still saw the fireworks from the boat, and welcomed in the new year. Next year 2018 in May we are all going back to up Fiji for another Saison, then after 3 years of sailing together our paths will part as David and Susan will be heading for Sydnie Australia, and we will be either in the Marshall Islands or New Caledonia,




Happy New Year

03.01.18. today was Frances birthday and in the evening we celebrated on board Usquabae, Frances made Lasagne and salad with fruit salad and ice creamor desert, we had a grand old night and got back home to old Chev in the wee hours, I think it was after one o clock in the morning.




Frances and Sabine

04.01.18. For the last few days we have had severe storm warnings for Cape Bret and the north lands, that’s where we are, so in the morning we cleared the deck of everything that was not tied down, and were prepared as best we could for the storm. In the afternoon I slept for a few hours to be fit for the night watch to night, while Sabine and JP kept watch, the winds freshened up and were blowing 20 to 30 knots from the S.SE, at 23.00 it had reached 35 knots with gusts of42 knots and over, and was coming from the N, NW, that’s when the shit hit the fan and boats started to go adrift as there is nothing to stop the north westerly winds that blow into Opua Bay  

The first I saw was a green catamaran 200 meters southwest of us dragging anchor, well now, it was obvious there was no one on watch because the cat dragged anchor for over 300 meters, just missing other yachts that were on moorings by inches, they were awakened by the shouts and horns of the other boats, they got their motor running and spent another hour re anchoring and were lucky they did not end up on the rocks, while this was going on 3 other boats went adrift on the far side of us, well the further away the better I say, well to make a long story short, the Storm lasted 2 days with the strongest winds being recorded near Russel with 60 knot winds.

 Of course when it was over we heard the stories of one yacht that gave out a mayday in the middle of the bay, and of course in the middle of the night, begging to be taken ashore, which they were by the coast guard, now their boat was not adrift and was in no danger of sinking, I think it must have been the old nerves getting the better of them, in the end boats were damaged by other boats crashing into them, but no lives were lost Thanks be to God.

It reminded me of a time long ago, when Sabine and meself had hired out a 20 ft. Sail art in Sippling on Lake Constance for a week, we had a great time and were back in Sippling tied up on the small timber pier on the last evening, well now you could say it was more like a cat walk really, anyway, on the bigger boat next to us was a German family, the mother about, age 35 or their abouts, a fine stable well-built German woman, who was definitely fond of her food, the father around the same age was a well built fella with a love of the old beer I would say from the size of his belly, yea know like, the boy and girl  about 8 and 10. We’re running around on deck and they all seemed happy enough.

To shorten a long story, in the middle of the night a violent thunder storm came down from the Swiss Alps, and ripped across to the German side of the old Lake, we were ripped out of our sleep by the banging noise the boat was making when it was slammed against the pier, I went out on deck, wearing only me ballbags, or underpants if you prefer, with the old lightning flashing and the thunder crashing and the boat bucking like a wild horse, I loosened the stern line on the left side (Port) and tightened the bow line to take the stern a good bit away from the pier, and that sorted it out, I crawled on all fours around to the right side (starboard) but it was the German Family’s boat that was banging against the mooring poles,  I could hear the mother screaming ``WE are all going to die `´´over and over again she was hysterical wit fear, her old nerve’s had gotten the better of her I suppose, anyway I shouted across to Hans and asked what was wrong, we need to get off this boat but can’t, I managed to jump across from our bouncing boat to his bouncing boat and together we pulled the boat so close to the pier that the family could get off and ran like the clappers up on land and vanished out of sight, I managed to get back aboard our boat, 1 hour later the storm moved on and we went back to sleep.

In the morning the Hans came to us and gave us a bottle of fine wine as a thank you for the help, they had spent the night in the car driving around, he had only come back to collect their belongings  and there was no way were they setting foot on a boat again, because boats are dangerous.

06.01.18 To day we took part in ``The Tall Ships Race´´  it’s a fun regatta, well now there were a lot of boats that would have been disqualified if it was a normal regatta. Any way Sabine and JP were part of the crew of 6 on the Renahara a 49 ft. catch, and I was part of the crew of 4 on Tystie a 35 ft.Junk, 2 Americans Mark and his wife Robin, me friend Martin the Skipper English, and me self Irish, the course was 18 nautical miles, and we got away to a great start, we were all bunched up as we crossed the start line, jaysus we were so close we could have handed over cups of tea to the boats that were left and right of us, or stepped across to the


Tystie




JP auf Renahara







After the first 2 hours, we were way ahead of the other Junks and were first in the Junk class, we were flying as we came to the halfway mark, this is where a lot of boats had gathered and clumped together all trying to cut the bend and get ahead, and this is where things started going wrong for us,  another boat cut so close to us that we were nearly driven up on the rocks, martin was screeching abuse at him, it’s supposed to be a fun run, but he kept coming and passed us, we lost speed and slowed down so much that Renahara who had been at one stage 500 meters behind us, not only caught up to us but passed us, but we were still first in the Junk class as we came to the next course change around Robinson island, we like a lot of other boats got caught out when the wind shifted we, were too close to the island and had only a puff of wind, we were nearly overrun by the only Tall ship in the race Tucker Tomson, and it was only the ships weight that was moving it, it was 3 meters away from us and closing, his bow sprit was over our heads as he closed to within 1 meter of us, fuck me, the passengers on board all armed with their mobiles and big smiles on their faces, filming us and probably hoping for an exclusive film of us being pushed under the waves, and the crew dressed in Pirate costumes with eye patches, swords and pistol’s, but we were lucky and got a breeze that slowly, very slowly pushed us away from Tucker fuckin Tomson´s bow and we finaly managed to get out from under his bow thank God.




Tucker Tommsen

We rounded Robinson island on the las leg of the race and were back in the race, but one of the junks had caught up to us, he was only 100 meters behind, Martin and meself were hanging our weight over the side to counteract the healing, of which I have plenty, and we drew away from the other junk and as we crossed the finish line by Russel we were 600 meters ahead of the other junk, we thought we had come first in our class if not definitely 2nd place, we anchored in Russel and had a celebration beer, after that we went over to Renahara, the crew from the German catamaran green duck were aboard Renahara as well, and the old rum and coke was making the rounds we were 14 happy people. For the half of us it was our first regatta and I must say it was a fantastic feeling, we went ashore to the Russel Yacht Club for the presentations as well as the dinner.  


Sabine on Renahara


The presentation ceremony started with over 300 sailors gathered siting on the grass as the winners were called out there were prises for 1st 2nd 3rd and other special prises, poor old our Skipper could not believe that we came last, ´´I mean we were ahead of everyone else in our class, and even with the handicap we should have had 2nd or 3rd place´´ I felt sorry for him because he was realy disappointed, Martin fuck the trophy’s it was great craic and that’s what mattered said I, yer right by jaysus said he and we drank a beer, when we heard that Renahara had come 9th from 80 boats that had taken part, we couldent believe it, it was Renate´s first time in a race, the poor girl, she had a smile on her face that didn’t vanish for the whole night.

After that we lined up for the old dinner called a Hangi, it’s a traditional Mauri way of cooking a feast, it was cooking for hours in a hole that was 10 meters long, and as deep as a grave, there were hot stones at the bottom of the pit, then metal trays piled 4 high and 7 wide with food inside wrapped in sheets, then the top was covered with plastic to stop earth from falling on the trays, the hole was then filled with earth, a young Maori then asked us to bow our heads, asking God to bless the food and the gathering Amen, then dug away the earth and dished out the grub to the hungry multitude’s, there was Pig, Beef, mutton, Chicken, Clams, stuffing, spuds peas onion’s and assorted roots, all for 15 NZ $ a head, cant crib about them prices now can yea, with a beer for 6 $.





There was live music and dancing after the dinner, a great way to get rid of the old fat we have collected since we came back to New Zealand, although I say it will take a lot more than 2 hours of dancing to lose the fat I have to spare, all in all it was a day and a privilege to meet so much lovely friendly kiwis and other Nationals having a great time together.  





07.01.18. on Sunday we were on Renahara for our Breakfast, after that we were invited by Jason for lunch to a restaurant, I had fish and chips, and I had a pint of Murphy’s Stout that’s brewed in my own home town of Cork in in Ireland to wash it all down, now the last time I tasted an old Murphy’s was over 4 years ago, well I ordered another murphy’s stout, yea know, like the Irish woman that took the anti-baby pill twice, te be sure te be sure. After lunch we went back to the Russel Yacht Club where we said good bye to our son J P, who would be traveling with Jason, and his wife Renate to Auckland where he would stay overnight with them before heading on to Wellington, it’s hard to believe that 3 weeks are already over that J P stayed with us.

We stayed another night at anchor in Russel and left the next morning sailed to the Parekura bay in the Bay of Islands, in the afternoon Renata arrived with Renahara, and anchored next to old Chev, 1 hour later Martin arrived with Tystie anchored in front of old Chev, we were invited for dinner by Renate and had lovely spuds with meat ball and salad washed down with Renate´s homemade beer, the next morning Renate and Martin along with their boats headed back to Whangarei, we stayed in the bay until the afternoon and returned to Opua in the evening.




Renahara and Taystie

15.01.18. We had a visit from our friends Vassil and Inge from SY Olgalou who flew into to Auckland, Ingy needs a new Passport from the German Consulate in Wellington, so they drove up to visit us and stayed overnight with us on Chevaldy, we spent hours talking and it was well after midnight before we called it a night, the next morning we were up at 06.30 and had a breakfast and still had tings to talk about, its nearly 3 years since we saw them last in Martinique, but its if it was like yesterday, they didn’t change a bit. We brought them across to the marina at 09.30. We said good bye.


Vassil and Inga



We will be seeing them again next week, they will join us and Maureen our Kiwi friend for three days in Turangi for the Alpine Crossing Hike. So Followers of Chev we hope you will like the photo’s we picked out for you. Mind yourselves well now, take care and god bless you all until the next time. Ahoy and Har Harr     


New Zealand


05.11.17 until 16.12.17

We didn’t have long to wait for the customs officer, 20 minutes after tying up to the Q-Dock (Quarantine Dock) she came aboard asking us the usual questions very nice and friendly, we knew her from our last visit to NZ, she checked the papers that we had filled out, said everything was in order, stamped our passports and after 5 minutes she was gone. 10 minutes after that Bio security arrived with 2 officers, a man and a young female recruit came aboard, the older officer was telling the young one what, where, when and how to search for restricted goods, Jaysus I mean our old Chev is only 30 Foot from stem to stern (back to front) and off she went full of determination  like a sniffer dog to do a good job, looking in every nuke and cranny locker and cupboard, while the other officer sat with us had a nice little chit chat about this and that, he like a lot of kiwis has Celtic fore fathers, he had an Irish Grandmother and great grandmother had married a Scotsman, now and then he would give the girl a tip or 2 like look in the dark places with a lamp, and off she would go again after 20 minutes she was just about finished and had found nothing, then your man asked her if she had checked the oven of gas cooker ? so she got down on her knees looked into the oven lifting out the old frying pans ´´Aa Ha´´ there’s something stuffed into the back of the oven said she in an excited voice and her eyes lit up as if she had hit the jackpot on a one armed bandit in a gambling casino in Los Vegas, your man tensed up as he looked at me fully alert, I looked at Sabine, what the fuck could that be I wonder?  ´´ what have yea got says your man as he stood up ready for action, fuck me now I mean hallow like as skipper of old Chev I had visions of your man arresting me for smuggling, snapping on his old handcuffs with the 2 of them escorting me off the boat at gunpoint and me shouting me innocence to no avail, anyway to make a long story short, up hoped your one O  with a triumphant look on her face as if she had just found a bag full of Drugs’, and all she had in her hand was only an old white unopened netty bag of garlic with 5 squashed garlics that we had forgotten about for fucks sake like, well anyway, we had to admit to unknowingly having a bag of Garlic on board, no big deal welcome again to New Zealand they said, and off they went after a job well done, well nearly you say like, because she had missed the Cheese we had forgotten about still in the fridge, aha well all’s well that ends well.

We were finished at 16.00 and we left the Q dock, our friends David and Susan from Enchantress had contacted us on the VHF radio to tell us they would guide us to our mooring with their dinghy, and help us tying up, after that we went back to Enchantress with David and Susan it was 16.30.  Susan cooked a good old feed of rashers eggs and beans with fresh bread, Christ it was lovely. We had last seen David and Susan in Musket Cove in Fiji over 6 weeks ago, and so we had a lot to catch up on, at 20.00 Susan warmed up the leftover from yesterday’s dinner to make a long story short, it was after 1 o’clock in the morning before we had finished our tails of adventure and David drove us back to old Chev

Next morning we went shopping to Paihia in the used car we had bought together with David and Susan the last time we were here in New Zealand, David and Susan had arrived in NZ a week before us, and David had been to the MOT with the car and had it taxed and insured, so we were mobile again yea haw.

Since we got here we have attended the all usual BBQ´s that were given by the different businesses here in the harbour, which means we have put on a few kilo’s more, we drive regularly to our favourite place the Ngawha hot springs, this is where the Mauri’s used to go to heal there wounds after a battel, and we come here to recover from the aches, pains, and strains we receive while we battel our way through our to do list, and just to relax, Aa sure tis a great place and it only cost 4$ entrance. I dismantled the autopilot that had broken on the way down here, and brought it back to the ships Chandler where we bought it and handed it in for repair, the sent it to Auckland and it was back after 2 weeks, they had replaced the drive gears that had shown signs of wear and were stripped, as it was still under guarantee we did not have to pay for it.


Jamming session in the cruisers lounge

Now I don’t want to bore yea with everything we done since we got back here, so I will give yea the quick rundown so far just to keep you up to date. These are the highlights:

12.11.17. We were invited by Asa to dinner along with Jeff and Kate from the American sailing boat Mezzaluna, aboard the Swedish sailing boat Ellinor for dinner and, and had a grand old time celebrating her husband Dan’s birthday.



16.11.07. We had a visit from Sabine’s cousin Martina and her husband Karlheinz who were over in New Zealand on holidays, the last time we seen them was 25 years ago at Martina’s brothers wedding, we spent 3 hours to gather and had a nice time reminiscing about the good old bad old days.


Karlheinz, Martina, Sabine and I

17.12.07. we spent a long weekend with our friends Davie and Heidi in Marsden cove, and     

22.11.17. Sabine went off with David and Susan to a vinyard on Russel for a wine tasting, while I was busy cutting and covering the new upholstery.


Winetasting

Susan, Sabine and David sharing the pizzas

26.11 BBQ at the Opua yacht club, where we paid 5 $ for a huge hamburger and salad including a beer, and me self sure did the gannet and scoffed 3 of them, just like I did last year, jaysus me bellie was bursting I tell yea.

29.11.17. Today was our 26th wedding Anniversary, and if you take into account the 4 years we lived in SIN then we are 30 years together, and it seems like only yesterday, sure we are still madly in love, jaysus she should get a medal for putting up with the likes of me, so we went to the Opua Yacht Club for dinner to celebrate with our good friends David and Susan.  Aa well here’s to another 30 years .

01.12.17. Sabine, Susan, and David took part in the Ladies yacht race as crew aboard the Commodore’s yacht, yes David as well as the commodore in the Ladies race, well now, it’s like this yea see, there weren’t enough ladies there so they mixed the crew men and woman, but there must be a woman on the wheel, so it’s still a Ladies race, anyway who knows what David and the Commodore get up to in their spare time, yea know what I mean like, nod nod wink wink, whoa ha haa, anyway there was a couple of things went wrong, one was when they went to hoist the spinnaker and the sail got twisted and tangled, now we won’t say who was to blame there, yea know but a sudden shift of wind caught the old commodore on the hop and nearly caused him to fall overboard as he was wacked by the main sheet and lost his balance, but just managed to stay aboard, anyway they came over the finishing line in 4th place, and taking part was the main thing.



08.12.17. Sabine went to Whangari for a girls weekend with German friends, while I went sailing around the bay of islands with my friend Martin on his JUNK rigged sailing boat, had a grand old time.

12.12.17, spent a lovely few hours with David Bushby who had sold his boat here in Auckland NZ.  And was back here for the handover of the boat, Sure twas great to see him in such great shape at 83, he looks younger than me, I am not codding yea, Sure jaysus I am only 63 and I look like a 90 year old that fell out of a coffin in the old peoples home, we had some enjoyable times with along with Susan and David from Enchantress with David and especially his wife Gitta, who loves the old sing songs, god bless and look after them both.

16.12.17. today we walked the trail from Opua to Phaihia and back a 4 hour walk, and I am wrecked even me hair roots are stiff, will have to do more walking.

So Followers of Chev we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New year, mind yourselves well now, take care and God bless you all until the next time, Ahoy and Har harr       



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

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.


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




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

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