Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Sailing Camp

We had heard good things about the sailing program put on by Robbs Hielkema at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club so we registered the two big kids and anchored off the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

The kids had a great time and learned lots.  Turns out we anchored in the middle of the training area so easy to take photos of the kids sailing.

Four boys in a boat - what could go wrong ...

Nothing actually went wrong and they had a great time.

Victoria and Ella from Varekei.

The girls needed a bit of extra weight - Devon from SV Anthea helps out on a windier day.

I helped out at the yacht club with the launches and recoveries.  Benjamin helping with the boat trolley.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Christmas in the Bay of Islands

We cleared into New Zealand in Opua at the end of November.  We caught up on some maintenance (and sleep) and then went out into the Bay of Islands for Christmas.

The Tall Ship R Tucker Thompson came into the anchorage so the big kids swam over to say hello
Swimming back from the R Tucker Thompson with scones and jam !

Benjamin watches to ensure they stay safe.

Swinging on their rope swing.  The kids swam back with scones they were given.  The kids then went back to give the crew some of the fudge that Victoria had made.
Anchored off Waewaetorea Island where we spent Christmas with the other kid boats two years ago.

Lots of nice hikes in the Bay of Islands.  Johnathan is sitting on a WWII observation post.

Pretty views.

Where we anchored for Christmas this time.  Waiwhapuka Bay

Hiking on Waewaetorea Island

Hiking on Waewaetorea Island

Hiking on Waewaetorea Island

One of the beaches on Waewaetorea Island.  Liz was doing yoga here in peace and quiet when a tour boat load of tourists landed on the beach complete with barbecue and stereo.
Spearfishing with the kids for lunch and dinner

and mulberry jam from the mullberries the kids picked from behind the Russel Boating Club.

A bronze whaler shark coming to check us out.  They are bigger than most reef sharks but seem quite timid.

A contrast in anchoring neighbours: nice considerate neighbours anchoring at a safe distance.

A contrast in anchoring neighbours:  anchoring too close - hard to see but there is a posh Hanse sailboat right behind our transom).  We took this photo after they had let out some more chain and we brought in some more chain after we had asked them three times.  Winds were forecast to be 25 kts so not the time for short rodes.

The kids regularly took the bus down to Whangarei to visit their friends on Honey.  Christmas preparations

The kids regularly took the bus down to Whangarei to visit their friends on Honey.  Christmas preparations

I am not if this is where they stored Benjamin when he visited Honey

More Christmas preparations

The elve's sweatshop in the V-berth. Victoria making Christmas presents

Christmas !

Christmas !

Christmas Dinner !
and, of course, maintenance.  Johnathan removing the dynmea tack line so we can take the mainsail off for inspection.
Johnathan and me making a new "anchor stick" for the windlass.
Modifying the anchor stick for the windlass

And a bit of wind - 51 kts - as we prepare to leave the boat for a few weeks.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Pasage from New Caledonia to New Zealand

Liz has written about this passage here, here and here but here are a few photos:

Navigation lesson before departure.

Removing what we think were squid eggs from the anchor chain before stowing the chain.  That could have been smelly sitting there for a week or so in the chain locker.

We are all heading for the same channel in the lagoon so the commercial traffic come pretty close.

Victoria made slippers for the passage south.  Note the leather from our old turnbuckle covers.

Plotting the noon position

Fluenta time stayed on New Caledonia time so lots of sun early in the morning.

Our tack way east brought us close to a few remote islands.  This is Walpole Island that we passed on Victoria's watch.  These remote islands and reefs are why you need to check the route at the appropriately large scale to see the hazards on the electronic charts.

Sunset or sunrise ...

If you are not on watch you should be sleeping.  It was a bit bouncy as we were close hauled into the steep waves.

More sleeping.

Splash.  Staysail pulling us along nicely

Benjamin on the other hand did not even notice the bouncy weather.  Here he is in a fort he made under the saloon table eating away.

All ready for New Zealand weather.

Arrived.  The last bigger wave knocked in the dodger a bit.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Tourists in Noumea

Of course, we did not spend all of our time out in the lagoon or playing with our toys.  We also tried to remember to be tourists and see and do things a bit in Noumea.

Liz wrote about it here and below are some picture.

The aquarium in Noumea is excellent.  The fun thing is that we have seen many of these fish in their natural habitat but Benjamin normally misses out as he does not snorkel much.  I have seen Napoleon Wrasse quite a few times while snorkeling but have never managed to get a good photo.

Shark ! 

No Benjamin.  That is not lunch.  We spearfish these guys pretty regularly but not at the aquarium.

Victoria with a sting ray.  This is how we normally see them:

Mystery solved: Victoria found some of these on the beach.

Hmm ... easier to photograph in the aquarium than while holding your breath underwater:

We see turtles daily in New Caledonia but these ones were in the aquarium

Making baby Nautilus 

Mandatory cheesy tourist photo.

Cultural Center Visit

Cultural Center Visit - I stayed on Fluenta to try to fix fuel lines.

Visiting the French Gendarme Maritime patrol ship.  They were very welcoming and a bit surprised by the detail of the kids' questions.

Visiting the French Gendarme Maritime patrol ship.   They came by for an inspection of Fluenta to check that we had the required mandatory safety equipment.  Halfway through showing them the equipment they said we could stop as it was clear we are well equipped.

And on the volunteer lifeboat (similar to Coastguard Auxiliary in Canada or RNLI in the UK).  The Noumea Harbourmaster is actually giving us the tour.

And Victoria and Ann making fudge on SV Cavalo

Not in the aquarium but rather trying to get into our dingy.  A rather poisonous but not aggressive sea snake.

Playing the park

Playing the park

and maintenance.  Cleaning the watermaker filters.

and gravity filling propane (actually butane).  Normally I find a nice secluded beach and a tree to hang the French tank from .  A little harder in downtown Noumea.

and what a way to finish off our time in Noumea.  A lovely dinner with James and Chantal of SV Q at their AirBNB before they head back to Montreal.  Thank you again James and Chantal.