Friday, 27 November 2009

The wind turns

A further update. The wind went NW today and was very light - hardly ever exceeded 10 knots. So there was some motor sailing to be done. Cape Brett was spectacular as always and when we stopped to anchor in a bay in the BOI on the SE end of Moturua we had an added bonus. There was a school of dolphins in the bay leaping and generally cavorting and 3 dogs on the beach going mad!! They eventually swam with the dolphins - probably thought they could get them to come onto the beach to play!! In the meantime we anchored and they stayed in the near vicinity for at least 2 hours. It was great to see them up close like that; much better than when moving at any speed. They rolled over as they came up alongside and looked at us and bumped the boat probably hoping we'd come and play.
One thing I forgot to mention the other day - when we were at Mimiwhangata we were visited by HM Customs, probably attracted by our Scottish flag! They wanted to establish that we were a NZ yacht or, if foreign, that we had cleared in. The surveillance is certainly stepped up these days but at what cost? Their boat was a large motor launch with at least 6 crew. We were also buzzed by an Air Force Hercules coming up to Whangamumu. Still, there are a large number of boats heading to NZ at the moment. We listen to Russell Radio's evening scheds and it's fascinating hearing boats reporting their current positions. Tonight we acted as a radio relay for a couple of boats that Russell Radio couldn't hear but we were picking up loud and clear. So it certainly seems that our SSB installation problems have been well and truly sorted in Whangarei - thanks Murray.
Kerrin - glad to hear that all is progressing with "Jado". What boat doesn't go over budget? The Tiare and I know all about that!! It almost sounds as though those copper tanks were the originals! How did you manage to source those?
One other matter - we have received the odd email where the sender has hit the reply button. If you wish to reply to us (and we are always very pleased to hear from you) then please send a fresh email as these emails are sent and received from and to the boat by HF radio. From here they go to a Sailmail station in NSW where they are converted into conventional emails. If you hit the reply button our original message to you simply gets re-transmitted back to us clogging up the airwaves.
As always hope all is well and looking forward to hearing your news.
Jim and Gina (Jean)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Journeying north

Fairly quiet day today. We left Mimiwhangata around 0830 and motored in very light conditions for about 2 hours to Whangamumu - mainly to fill the water tanks and top up the batteries. Had a bit of a wake up call on the way. About a mile north of Home Point Jim had what he thought was a good look around before going below to check on the water maker. After about 2 minutes Gina yelled out that there was a boat dead ahead. Gina was about to disengage the auto pilot to manually alter course which would have done, but in the event a quick dash aft and a 30 degree course alteration on the pilot saved what would have been a very nasty situation. There had been a largish tinny with about 8 people on board in front of us - fishing. The colour of the boat must have blended perfectly with the sea colour and so we didn't see them until almost too late. We passed about 15 metres away at nearly 7 knots! Things like that really ram home the lesson that eternal vigilance is so important.
Whangamumu is a great anchorage. It's a deep sheltered bay in what is otherwise quite a rock bound coast and sheltered in almost all winds. "Bella Via" (a Canadian catamaran which was at Norsand during our time there) and another Canadian boat as well as a German one were already here when we came in. Later in the afternoon we went ashore to the old whaling station which at its peak in 1927 processed 74 whales in that year. The ruins are plainly visible and all explained on a DOC notice explaining where everything was and how everything worked. Prior to 1910 when a steam powered chaser arrived they used to go to sea in open rowing whalers and there were heavy set nets"Amanda D" which hampered the whales' progress enough that they could get in close with harpoons. Then they had to tow the whale carcasses back in (at least 3-4 miles) by rowing. Then the carcasses were winched up a concrete ramp and the processing began. Whatever we think about whaling these days those guys must have been hard men and out in all weathers as well.
While there Gina cut Jim's hair which felt quite bizarre in that setting. We were speculating at Noel's likely comments while this was happening - probably something like "that's not enough; take some more off!!
We're intending to sail into the BOI tomorrow. Here we are only 5 miles south of Cape Brett so shouldn't take too long. If the wind direction is favourable we might spend the night in Paroa Bay (Jim's old haunt) before heading for Russell.
J & G

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Our Wanderings

hi how are things with you all? Here we are at Mimiwhangata.A nice little bay on the East coast 45 miles Nth of Whangarei. Jim and I have had three days sailing now. Friday for 5 hours around the Hen and Chickens. Saturday we went out again around the Hen and Chickens with Noel aboard to check all his handy work that he has done to the boat over the last 12 months. It was a great day and i certainly learnt a lot, not just about the boat but sailing in general. Jim is back into his sailing , and I am the keen learner, so progress will happen I am sure. We are both very tired after each day of 6 hours sailing.But we will adapt as time goes by. It has been FUN. Will leave for Russell and the Bay of islands tomorrow. We had Sth Westerly winds in gusts between 10 and 30 knots coming up the coast this morning so we had a good sail. Tiare sailing at 5 -7.7 knots. Will keep y ou posted when we reach the Bay of Islands.There is so much to learn about preparing a boat for sailing,not just sailing equipment, but food storage,having a different wardrobe.A bit of a contrast to Hongkong days He He.I have become a expert Gluten free bread cooker,and cooking in general. Wow wonders never cease. Well will leave you all and hope that life is treating you all with love and care.Kagan Rhea Jiveen and Pritika see you around xmas.Andrew and Caroline love to you 4.Sara and Richardo are you over for xmas or the Hols?Wanda love and hope all is well in Tasmania. Maita like your hair colour and will write before xmas.Good Photos!!!!!love Jean.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


Well, we came back to the marina at Whangarei because the weather was not suitable for us to conduct day sails to experiment with new systems and sail combinations and Whangarei harbour isn't all that friendly with NW to W winds. Finding adequate shelter seems to be always a compromise. However, we came in the other day but are gradually weaning ourselves of the umbilical cord to the land - food shopping whenever we feel like it, movies, and all the things we take for granted in this consumer society of ours. Jim is slowly (maybe) getting used to the notion that we will run out of protein of the meat variety at some point and he may have to resort to chickpeas and lentils!!! Quelle horreur! Hopefully we might catch some fish which will alleviate the meatless symptoms somewhat. And alcohol deprivation - a very serious disease!! When the beer runs out that's it. However, a general observation is that we are both feeling better and more energetic and generally coping with the said disease with surprising fortitude.
Talking of movies - we saw "2012" last night and would have to say that, although the special effects were very well done and were edge of the seat stuff, it tended to trivialise in a typically Hollywood manner a potentially cataclysmic issue. We don't know whether to take it seriously or not but when you read a bit about it and learn about the astronomical knowledge that the ancient Mayans were reputed to have, and their predictions for the next critical planetary re-alignment which is supposed to occur around the 22nd. December 2012, and with all that could flow from that with the Earth tipping 90 degrees on its axis, perhaps there is food for thought. Compasses, GPS and charts won't be worth much then. They do say that it has happened before - about 3,500 years ago. Anyway, it's all beyond anyone's control and as far as we are concerned we will concentrate on our goal of ocean passage making. Being at sea could be the safest place to be when the event takes place and, if not, well we will have expired well fulfilled.
We are leaving again in the morning in the light of a much better weather prognosis and hopefully will get the old girl (the Tiare!) working like a well oiled machine. Whether one could say the same about the crew and skipper is another matter all together. Probably all depends on the severity of the meat and alcohol deprivation symptoms. The skipper seems to be much more susceptible to these symptoms than the crew.
We'll regale you again (if you can stand it) with further nautical adventures.
Jim and Gina

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Tiare Taporo III

Hi everyone,
Just a brief email to let you know that we are currently in Taurikura Bay in Whangarei Harbour waiting for these lows to pass - then we might get some sailing done! Some might say we should just get used to it because I'm sure that we will experience our share of rough weather, but at our tender stage of development with virtually a new boat and after 16 months of refit we are taking things quietly. Gina made some gluten free bread today with pea, rice, and potato flour and it tastes great!! So healthy!! Went ashore in the new dinghy at Urquarts and walked over the hill to Smugglers Cove - no sign of Capt. Hook which was disappointing but great views and invigorating. We are enjoying the rocking of the boat (we aren't causing it!) - it seems so long since the last time. Well better not say any more - they do say when in a hole stop digging!!
Hope this finds you well.
Jim and Gina