DOMINO Powercat For SaleMajuro, Marshall IslandsJanuary 2018After a full season in Vanuatu and a short month in marvelous Kiribati, we are now cruising the Marshall Islands. We are planning on returning to the US via Alaska in June. Meanwhi…
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|In the banks Islands, dug-out canoes are the only way to fly!|
|DOMINO in Vanuatu|
I’ll let the pix do the talking… Once again, our granddaughter Zoe and friend Q joined us for 2 weeks, and there’s no greater pleasure than grandchildren on board.
|A parrot fish peeks over a bit of coral|
|Breakfast on board, ready to go for a swim|
|A lonely cowrie, not much else around|
|It may be blowin’ a stink, we’re off for a snork!|
|The Old Man is spweing|
|flower market boon|
The Blue Hole saw the girls play Jane-of-the-jungle, swinging from vines into cerulean-blue pools.
|Whales are always a welcome sight|
|… and turtles are fun to swim with|
|Manatees, big sea cows, are really gentle and gregarious|
|The Blue Hole in Espiritu Santo|
|Totally protected from the sea, Lolowai Bay, a volacnic crater|
|Water taro terraces cling to the hill, way above the bay.|
|JP holds the bag and happily lets our guide spear a few prawns.|
|Every day, I had to dive these ancient corals, so unlike any other I had seen in the Pacific|
|As soon as we drop anchor, the locals come to visit|
|Entering Losa Lava, not too hard, but can be tricky in low light and high wind.|
|He may be deaf and mute, but our friend is the best communicator ever!
With mimes and gestures, he had us laughing so hard!
We could not refuse his prize for entertaining us: JP’s sunglasses!!!
|Have you hugged your wahoo today?|
“This is Your Yam.”Port Vila, VanuatuOctober 14, 2013″This is your Yam – Ambryn.” Words spoken to Capt. Cook by the Ambryn chief during his visit. Of course, Ambryn is famous for its twin active volcanoes, and it truly is an island deeply c…
|Awai’s sandy beach|
|Women going to the gardens|
|Man on his way to the gardens|
|Peskarus landing from the inside anchorage, not reachable at low tide|
|Now, why did Stewart say we could snorkel?|
CANOE RACE FESTIVAL – When a month later our buddy boat “Blue Bie” announced they were returning to Uliveo for the Canoe Race Festival, I was not enthused, but JP managed to convince me it could be fun. So, we returned and landed the dinghy at Peskarus. No sooner were we on land that Chef Mad Dog was passing me a letter asking for a donation for his Independence Day Festivity Committee. Was he kidding me?
|Kit is the man!|
|The lagoon is an idyllic anchorage… if only boats could get in!|
|Paddling is at the center of the villagers’ lives|
|Our reception committee|
|Canoe making: 1st, fell a breadfruit tree|
|Then, give it a gross shape|
|Then, drag it to shore|
|The village’s deaf-mute is the only one who knows the secrets of sand drawing|
It was a privilege to be part of this festival, a celebration of the canoe without which the Meskaline islanders could not survive.
|Sharing a light moment with the kids as they teach me to weave palms into balls.|
|This is the original bungee jumping|
|Each jumper has his own landing style: shoulder sideways, upper back roll, chest flat.|
Pentecost is one of the few islands where traditional villages still exist, primarily on the east coast.
|A branch, a stick, and 2 tuna cans do the job: perfect trolley!|
|The French-speaking villagers were about to feast with chicken… that will be for another day.|
|The elder makes sure that everything is done right.|
|Another successful landing|
|First jump ever!|
|The top man!|
|Back landing… stylish!|
|Successful 1st jump… proud boy!|
WATERFALL BAY – 15*47.310S – 168*09.691E – A few weeks later, we anchored overnight in this beautiful bay, one of the many where waterfalls drop straight into the sea. Another nice anchorage!
|Arriving Port Vila at sunrise.|
|Running away from the storms|
|Fishing is a main activity on board. This short bill spearfish is an exception… released|
|Fabricating 2 steel extensions – Lower launching point, more forward, and a smooth-grooved acetal roller.|
|Nasty, nasty exhaust stains… and hard to clean|
|Not sure what to make of the tear drop, but definitely less smoke to clean|
|Some people look for the pot of gold… rainbow was chasing us and we didn’t want to be anywhere
close to the wind and rain at the end of that rainbow!
|Sunset off Tanna Island. Perhaps the volcano smoke gave the sun this hazy red tinge?|
|The market: peanuts!|
|Baskets of yams and sweet potatoes|
|Even in the rain….|
|Under leaden skies and another gale warning, JP finds the way to catch dinner.
|Trying to dodge weather… not today!|
|In Whangarei, extra-tropical cyclone COOK brought us beautiful skies|
|Cyclone from the north, ridges and troughs and all sorts of nasty things.|
|More nasty weather and gales|
|Cold in the morning (1.3 celsius = 34F) may be pretty but it’s too cold for us!|
The Bay of Islands has seen us switch anchorages almost every day, as the wind shifts from NE, to NW to SW…
so many sheltered spots, but few have cell phone reception, which means no Internet!
|Taking advantage of a sunny morning and low tide, JP and I go clamming.|
|Part of our passtime: looking at boats!|
|Koru, or the Kiwi fern.|
|Our wonderful ventilation hatches: never use the A/C|
|Massive extensions for the RAYA anchor bow rollers|
|There is always a new quilt to work on|
|The lovely Bay of Islands, NE coast|
|HF: check – Genset: check|
|JP worked hard… time for R&R|
Opua, April 3, 2017 – The Fiji cruising season is upon us and yachts are lining up in Opua, waiting for a weather window. We’ve cruised Fiji twice and I wanted to share with you in a single document all of the waypoints and routes we g…
|Enough visibility at the helm?|
|Yep, only ONE head… and no glass shower door to scrub and polish!|
|Plenty of room for the 2 of us… and the occasional other diners… room for 6, if we must!|
|Nav station and night watch bunk.|
|Stored on the davit or on the fly bridge, Do-mini is our play ride. Gasoline tanks stored on the aft platform.|
|Party? Start with 30 dinghies streaming off your stern and you’ll see how many we can host!
See how we kicked off the cruising season last year at Minerva Reef…
or how we staged the Sea Mercy Recovery effort in the Lau Group
|The 5 vent doors give such efficient ventilation that we haven’t used the A/C since we left Paraguay, 7 years ago!|
|DOMINO making and delivering 6,000 liters of water in Susui|
|The view from the galley is rarely bad!|
|And watching shooting stars at night is without compare.|
|New anchor launching system: lower and more forward, easier to single hand.|
|Workmode, JP in his workshop while I quilt.|
|JP: “Don’t worry, Dear, I won’t spill epoxy on your freshly-waxed table!”|
|Skies over Ovea, The Loyaute Islands, New Caledonia|
|DOMINO awaiting her fate at Port Denarau, Fiji|
|Pacific Dolphins commonly play around us at anchor, here in Nagles Cove, Great Barrier Island, NZ|
|What I love most in cruising? Diving, snorkeling, looking for species new to me
(No worries, this triton went right back where it came from – Belep Islands, New Caledonia
– No Breaks– In all these years, we had taken only short breaks to visit family, always whirlwind visits, too short, too shallow, to unfrequent. While I spent these breaks with our California family (neglecting our Arizona and S.Carolina children) JP had to split his time between his French roots and his U.S. offsprings. We were both itching for quality time with our 13 grandchildren and could not see how this would happen while cruising full time.
- CURE? Take frequent and/or long breaks from cruising to get back in touch with family and friends.
|Had we gotten tired of talcum-powder beaches? Here, in Ouvea, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia|
- Cultural Aftershock – What would I give for a night at the Opera, or the Theater, or even just a movie in a comfortable seat! Not that we are short of Cultural experiences. From Latin America to French Polynesia to Indo-Fijian, Kanak and Maori cultures, our lives have been enriched in many ways. Still, I felt “out of my gourd,” disconnected from my roots, be they French of American.
- CURE? Take frequent and/or long breaks from cruising to get back in touch with our cultural roots.
|Cruising with friends helped. Here, in Lifou (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia) with the CNC|
- Too Much Ocean – Did I just write this? Could there be such a thing as Too Much Ocean? Truth be told, we had become lazy, trying to be satisfied with our daily snorkeling sessions, fishing excursions, and walks on the beach. We had hardly taken any hike, visited any village, walked through any town, or even sampled any restaurant. We thought we were content to stay on the boat. Obviously not and suddenly there was Too Much Ocean.
- CURE? Get off the boat, one way or the other, and experience LAND.
|It always comes down to just the two of us. Would we be reduced to just one?
No worries, I fixed this silverbeet and potato salad for JP, home-baked bread, in the Bay of Islands yesterday!
|Hope… in Ile des Pins, New Caledonia.|
|HOME is where the boat is.
Here in the “Back of the Barrier,” Barrier Island, NZ
|Hiengiene, New Caledonia|
|Cruising with friends is fun… we meet Claude & Annie again in N.C.|
|Christmas at Great Barrier Island, NZ … Santa found us!|
|At Norsand, JP supervises the re-configuration of our anchoring system.
Brought the anchors lower and more forward
|What we want more of? Fun with grandchildren on board|
|This is what we want more of: family on board|
|Wherever the boat is, we’ll find a way.|