Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Land based activities - Tiare taporo III still at Airlie Beach

Today we had a bit of a change. We had been becoming so fed up with the weather that we decided to hire a car for the day and drive the 70-80 kms to Bowen to check out the marina there. There is something lurking in the back of our minds that if it all gets too hard to get past Cairns on time that Bowen could be a fall back position for us for the summer. If a cyclone rears its ugly head then we would hightail it for the Hinchinbrook Channel which is supposed to offer safe haven. Still, this is very much Plan C; Plan B would be the Louisiades (PNG) and north from there and this is more and more looking like an option. The weather here at the moment is very trying with SE winds and rain in the marina of over 20 knots and it's now 2300 on Wed. It's supposed to ease in a couple of days which should enable us to at least make Magnetic Is. before the next bout of bad weather. We've said it before and we say it again - this coast is not often friendly - it's nothing like the travel brochures!!!
The other imperative is the cost of staying here. This marina (Abel Point) and Airlie Beach in general (which is really just an overblown Paihia in the Bay of Islands, NZ) is very expensive and the marina is actually in receivership. You would think that the sensible thing would be to reduce their charges and get more custom but it's now run by the accountants and they are not renowned for their business acumen. This in spite of the fact that Jim has been an accountant in a previous life!! So we'll probably anchor off tomorrow and hopefully will then be able to leave at 3 or 4 in the morning on Friday to enable us to make our first anchorage (Upstart Bay which is 75 miles north of here) in daylight.
Anyway, back to today. We drove to Bowen across mainly alluvial flats with endless sugarcane and met Andrew who is a co-owner of the marina. There are some vacant berths so we could hole up there for a while if we were still in Australia then. We then looked around Bowen whose main claim to fame was the filming of the film "Australia" which was released in 2008 and was the 2nd highest grossing Australian film of all time. We had pies for lunch at the famous Bowen pie shop and were treated to a blow by blow account of the filming from the proprietor's wife which was actually very interesting. The film was set in the early stages of WWII and depicted the Japanese bombing of Darwin - all set and filmed in Bowen. It also involved a 1500 mile cattle drive and the cattle were run through Bowen's streets. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were the main stars in the film.
Another interesting historical fact is that 2 squadrons of Catalina flying boats of the RAAF were withdrawn from Port Morseby in PNG when the Japanese were overrunning that island and relocated to Bowen. It's possible to still see the concrete apron where the hangars were as well as the ramp into the sea where the aircraft were launched. Jim's uncle Euan flew Catalinas during WWII but with the RNZAF. The RAAF had 168 Catalinas at one stage and over 60 were lost in action. Of course in those desperate days there was real concern that the Japanese Army would invade Australia and it was the naval Battle of the Coral Sea off the Australian coast (not far from Bowen) that finally stopped their advance. In NZ as well there were invasion fears and Jim recalls his first mother in law Con Tomkinson recounting how she and her two eldest daughters lived on Takapuna Beach on Auckland's North Shore then. Mary and Gillian were only toddlers at the time and when they wanted to go for a swim they had to be taken between the rows of barbed wire and tank traps to the water. The beach was mined as well so a firm hand with the children would have needed to be exercised!! Hard to believe when one looks at Takapuna Beach today with its multi million dollar properties.
We drove back to Airlie in pouring rain and stopped at Cannonvale to get some more provisions while we had the car to carry them in. Now back on board and about to get some shut eye. Tomorrow we'll anchor off and then on Friday de bonne heure we will leave for points north. Upstart Bay, Bowling Green Bay, Magnetic Is., the Hinchinbrook Channel, Dunk Is., Mission Bay and then Cairns 350 miles on.
Watch this space -
Love from us...........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Watermaker - the bane of our lives

We came into Airlie Beach yesterday and managed to contact Kent, the owner of Enzed Whitsunday who specialise in high pressure hoses and pipe fittings. He came on board and we ascertained the problem which in a nutshell was that the hose from the high pressure pump to the membrane which separates out the fresh water from the salt had ruptured in more than one place. The hose which had been installed back in the Bay of Islands in 2007 was rated at 650 psi whereas our system produces fresh water at 800-850 psi. This is just another example of the dishonest shoddy approach to the selling and installation of Open Ocean's water maker system. How the hose lasted as long as it did is a mystery.
Dennis, I'm now certain that this was the source of water in the engine bilge as we came north. I think it was leaking slowly as we made water and whenever I looked in the engine compartment to see where there might have been any leak none was to be seen because at that stage the watermaker had been turned off. It was just very lucky that when I turned the watermaker on as Gina and I left for Hook Is. the other day I was still watching the water pressure when it suddenly went from 800 psi to zero. This immediately alerted me to a problem and the leak was then very apparent as water was pouring into the bilge. If the hose had burst later after I had shut the lid giving access to the pressure gauge water would have continued to pour into the bilge and we would have sailed on in blissful ignorance. Not a pleasant thought at all.
Anyway, today Kent came on board and installed a replacement hose from the HP pump to the membrane. The hose we have now will handle up to 4,000 psi. A huge safety margin. Then Kent left and Jim decided to start the engine and see how it was all working. No sooner had the pressure come up to 800 psi than the high pressure hose on the other end of the membrane burst like a bomb liberally showering Jim in the process. We should have realised this was likely to happen and replaced it as well but it is now replaced with a length of stainless steel tube which will be bullet proof.
We are crossing our fingers when we say this but this is the last of the critical parts of the watermaker installation to be replaced and hopefully now we can get the last of Open Ocean, Opua out of our lives.
Terry Forsbrey of Open Ocean and additionally John Martin of the Island Cruising Assn (based in Opua) would have to be two of the most objectionable crooked and unprincipled people it has been Jim's misfortune to have ever been associated with. John Martin was unfortunately employed by Jim and his then wife as designer/project manager to build a house for them at Kerikeri in 2005/2006 and not only grossly misrepresented the cost, but was incompetent and dishonest in his role. When he was sacked he threatened to stop any subcontractors from working on the house "for 6 months". Needless to say this never happened. In addition (just to illustrate the dishonesty) there was a bank account under the control of Martin but funded by Jim and his wife for sundry small expenses associated with the building. It had a balance of some $4,000 in it when Martin was sacked and when a refund was requested Martin refused. It was later found that he had used the funds to pay his solicitor's costs in fighting his termination, which happened anyway. Later his ex partner who was a totally different (and honest) person became so embarrassed by this shameful episode that he refunded the amount out of his own pocket.
So our message to anyone reading this is to have nothing whatsoever to do with John Martin of the Island Cruising Assn., Opua, NZ or Terry Forsbrey of Open Ocean Ocean Watermakers - also of Opua NZ. Not sure what it is about that place - maybe something in the water?!!!!
Our plans now are weather permitting (it's still howling from the SE) to leave here on Thursday and head for Cairns. Beyond that we are not sure as we are rapidly running out of time for the Darwin rally so might look at going to the Louisiades (PNG) and then Malaysian Borneo after that. At the moment our plans are very fluid!!
Watch this space........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Monday, 28 May 2012

Back in Airlie Beach

Well, who would have thought it?!! We're back in Airlie to get a watermaker HP hose fixed and everything is all go for the morrow. We've identified the problem and the local Enzed Hose owner has been on board. He will be back tomorrow with the necessary bits and then we'll be back in business. Hopefully this is the last of the Open Ocean Watermakers, Opua shoddy workmanship to be repaired. Whenever we get a chance we tell all and sundry to have nothing to do with them and the message is being reinforced by people who have worked on the system here in Australia. They deserve to be run out of town for the lies and deceit that we have been subjected to. We've replaced the old brass HP pump which had virtually disintegrated and now we are replacing some brass pipe fittings as well as the burst hose which could well have sunk us the other day had we not seen the sudden loss of water pressure in the watermaker system. Brass and HP salt water are bad bedfellows. And Open Ocean had the absolute cheek to suggest that our problem was electrolysis.
We're still at Airlie but will be making a concerted effort to get to Cairns in good time and will then make a decision as to whether we feel we can make Darwin by the deadline. Crooks like Open Ocean certainly don't help in these endeavours.
Our email addresses are 1) or 2)
We are hoping to sail from here in a couple of days.
Keep watching this space............

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Fw: Kaikohe Speech - group w

This says it all really. Remember the BNZ, NZ Rail and Telecom to name but a few.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: New Zealand First Membership <>
To: New Zealand First Membership <>
Sent: Sunday, 27 May 2012 1:39 PM
Subject: FW: Kaikohe Speech - group w

Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First
Address:        Public Meeting
Date:              May 27 2012
Time:              2 pm
Venue:           Senior Citizen's Hall,
                        55 Tawanui Rd , Kaikohe
'The Budget- a Country up For Sale '
The Budget this week revealed the true mentality of the individuals who now lead the National Party.
In their first term of office they handed out huge tax cuts to the very rich.
Remember the boss of the Westpac bank got nearly six thousand dollars a week extra in his take home pay.
And people at the bottom of the heap got to pay higher GST on everything like their food, petrol and power bills.
The country could not afford those tax cuts – it is going further into debt because of them so what do these financial wizards come up with?
They're going to ignore the profits of the very rich – the overseas banks and the rip off merchants that exploit New Zealand .
And they are going to go after the children, the paper boys, the pamphlet deliverers, the kids who wash cars.
Apparently these paper boys are the real tax dodgers bleeding our economy dry.
In all my years in politics I never thought I would see the day when the nation's children would be targeted for their pocket money by a minister of finance.
Remember a few short years ago when it was revealed he had taken tens and tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money for living in his own house in Wellington !
Some people appear to have forgotten that Mr English is the biggest housing beneficiary of all time in New Zealand .
He talks about fiscal prudence – but that's for other people. 
Those at the bottom of the heap have to be fiscally prudent.
They have no choice.
The Budget was also unkind to the elderly.
It is only a matter of time before pensions are "adjusted".
The National Party's cheerleaders, behind the scenes, have mounted a big campaign to get the pension age increased and the amount reduced.
Hidden in the Budget and unannounced was a change to the asset testing when a pensioner goes into residential care.
It is a punishment dished out to those who save for their retirement and own their own home.
More and more pensioner homes will be sold to pay for residential care.
And this is being done to people who have worked hard and paid their taxes all their lives.
The Budget did nothing for the Northland region either.
You have heard it all before.
About nine percent of the workforce up here in the North is unemployed – that's according to official figures.
We all know that it's much higher.
It is a sad fact that Northland levels of poverty and health issues are the worst in the country.
A third of the children in the lower decile schools in Whangarei receive weekly food assistance.
In some cases they have to get extra food more than once a week.
Just this week 600 people from this area signed up, at a meeting in this town Kaikohe, to look for work in Western Australia .
What does that tell you?
It tells us there are plenty of people here who want to work but there are not enough jobs.
It also tells us New Zealand is being asset stripped of our greatest resource – our people.
Teams of Australian recruitment agencies are travelling throughout New Zealand to pick up people willing to travel to the "Lucky Country".
We are losing people to Australia at a rate of over a thousand a week.
And what does Prime Minister John Key say?
Well, he says no worries.
He says "there should be no cause to worry about New Zealanders going to work in the Australian mining boom.
Australia contributed to 40 per cent of the economy and New Zealand wanted a strong Australia ."
How is that for dismissive callousness?
Mr Key was speaking to the TransTasman Business Circle in Auckland – some of these people have a vested interest in sucking New Zealand dry of resources and people.
And wait for this one – when he let slip the government's real agenda.
He also said that if you were shopping for countries, New Zealand would be a good prospect.
He bragged - "If you were really going to go out and buy a country, why wouldn't you want to buy New Zealand ?
So there you have it.
An admission of what many of you have suspected.
The leader of this country is out there selling New Zealand .
It's not enough to sell our power stations and our airline.
Everything is going under the auctioneer's hammer.
To him this country, its resources, its people are just there to be traded like everything else he's laid his eyes on.
The leadership of this country has a mindset that is quite frightening.
They have no patriotism – no love of their native land.
They are mercenaries, ready to sell even if it is not for the highest price.
Their idealism is buried in the ashes of the first deal they made.
This nation was built by hard work and sacrifice.
The speculators and wheeler dealers who arrogantly stalk the halls of power are interested only in exploiting our resources and enslaving the workers.
It has become clear what is happening.
It's time for some blunt speaking about the government's policies of exporting our professional people, our tradespeople, our skilled, our keen and enthusiastic people.
The government is deliberately driving out of the country the middle class and trades backbone and anyone with the ability or courage to stand up against them.
They don't want people with steel up their backbone, they don't want the traditionalists, the patriots, the staunch and the stable.
They actually want to get rid of whole sections of the population.
They want to replace them with subservient immigrants willing to work for slave wages because anything is better than where they come from.
This fits in with their aim of a low wage, high price, economy.
Just think about it.
Over one thousand people leaving every week, leaving to look for a better life for their families.
We are exporting many of our best and what are we getting in return?
What sort of immigration?
In too many cases people without the skills of those departing.
In too many cases people who come here for what they can get.
Who can blame them but that does not form the basis of a sound and wise immigration policy.
In too many cases people who come here and then bring a team of relations – especially older people who eventually get a New Zealand pension without ever contributing anything.
In too many cases people who come from an alien culture, often complete with all their hang ups and prejudices and expecting us to conform!
New Zealand has a reputation as a "sucker" nation.
And the National Party's latest threats to the pensioners of this country gives the lie to the wisdom of our Immigration Policies for the last 25 years.
Part of the reason for this wholesale Immigration Policy was to ward off the effects of an aging population.
It has done no such thing.
In many cases it has added to the aging population.
Over the years New Zealand First has had boxes and boxes of immigration scams.
We could not keep up with them. And when we tried to do something about it many of the cases would disappear down a black hole.
In my lifetime I have seen this country go from being one of the best places in the world to work and bring up a family to one of the worst.
Deliberate government policies have created this low wage –high price economy.
New Zealand wages are low.
The cost of living is soaring.
This winter the price of power is jumping at least ten per cent.
Petrol prices are up and so is just about everything else.
Northland has been seriously hurt by the policies of successive governments.
I know about this area – I grew up here.
When we were young we lived in a province full of energy and hope.
There was a future for us at home.
The future now lies across the Tasman.
Australia is bleeding us dry.
We raised our young people.
We educated them. We trained them.
We prepared them to work in New Zealand to keep building a then great country.
Now they are pouring across the Tasman to work in Australia .
It is a sad fact of life that the Australian government is creating more jobs for New
Zealanders than the New Zealand government.
This is an indictment on the leadership of this country.
They are globalists – they don't care about this country.
It's just a heap of resources to be plundered.
Do not think for one moment that they care about our children and grandchildren going to live in another country.
What about the grandparents?
What about the family back home?
New Zealand will end up as an economically and socially distorted society, made up of senior citizens reliant on new immigrants.
That is the brighter future John Key promised you at the last election.
For three years his government pretended to be reasonable – behind the smiley face.
Now it is clear.
The smiley face is a wolf in wolf's clothing.
Nothing is sacred.
All of this Finance Minister Bill English describes as a "series of moderate and considered adjustments.
Everything is up for sale by this money trader and his big financial backers.
We say enough is enough.
The Key government did not get a mandate to chop up New Zealand and sell it.
Make your voices heard.
Hammer your local MP's.
Bomb the Beehive with your message that you want jobs and hope.
That you want your families to live in New Zealand .
And that you want to own your own country. 
And you want it back NOW!!!!
And that on these critical issues: to you, to your family, to your towns and cities, and to your country, you will never ever back down.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

FW: Dear Mr Key

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Bouverie" <>
To: <>
Subject: FW: Dear Mr Key
Date: 27 May 2012 00:20:00 -0000

This is cool....

Dear Mr. Key,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing NZ's economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the
money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan..
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 200,000 people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the
following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
200,000 job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new car.
200,000 cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy $100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .......
and there's your money back in duty/tax etc

6) Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading
scheme that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell the greedy
b.......s to reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years or
we shut them down.

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay
back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.
If not, please disregard.

Grumpies of the World Unite

Also .

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and
They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical
treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying
it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped
instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed
and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals
and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual
counselling, pool and education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free,
on request.
Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with
Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the
guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and
Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay
$600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):
THE NZ CONSTITUTION - They keep talking about drafting a
Constitution for Iraq ... Why don't we just give them ours?
It was drawn up by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for
centuries and we're not using it anymore.
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a
courthouse or Parliament, is this -
You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal', 'Thou Shalt Not Commit
Adultery' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges
and politicians...... It creates a hostile work environment.
Think about this .... If you don't want to forward this for fear of
offending someone -- YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us
grumpy old folk of NZ to speak up!


This email and any attachments are strictly confidential and subject to
copyright. They may contain privileged information. If you are not the
intended recipient please delete the message and notify the sender. You
should not read, copy, use, change, alter or disclose this email or its
attachments without authorisation. The company and any related or associated
companies do not accept any liability in connection with this email and any
attachments including in connection with computer viruses, data corruption,
delay, interruption, unauthorised access or unauthorised amendment. Any
views expressed in this email and any attachments do not necessarily reflect
the views of the company or the views of any of our related or associated



No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - <>
Version: 2012.0.2176 / Virus Database: 2425/5018 - Release Date: 05/23/12

------ End of Forwarded Message

----- End of Original Message -----

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Nara Inlet - again!!

We left Airlie Beach in light winds this morning and on the way out had a brief conversation with "Illusion". We said we'd see them out at Nara and they duly turned up. We had a very boisterous sail in up to 28 knots - single reefed main and reefed genoa. And not far out of Airlie a HP hosae on the watermaker ruptured (another relic of Opua). This means that we won't now have a watermaker until we get to Cairns. It just seems never ending. Still, it's not too far and we've got plenty of water if we're careful.
We're again not confident of reaching Darwin in time if these diabolical conditions continue. There are lots of issues. Sailing at night which we will have to do in waters where we haven't been before in these nasty squally conditions coming from dead astern is daunting to say the least. We are seriously again thinking about the Louisiades (PNG) leaving from Cairns in August. And then taking the north PNG route to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. Everything's up in the air at the moment - we'll see what the morrow brings; maybe we'll feel a bit more optimistic, but instead of trying for Magnetic Is. direct we'll probably stop at Cape Upstart (named by Capt. Cook) which will be far enough as it's 70 miles from here.
However, this NE coast of Australia is proving to be an endurance test. The sail from Bundaberg had its good moments but mainly it was characterised by poor, rolly anchorages, strong tides and very strong winds from dead astern which might sound good but that is far from this boat's most comfortable point of sailing. The scenery is very uniform and uninteresting in the main with the possible exception of the northern Whitsundays where we are now. Economically it's not good for us either with the Aussie dollar being at the moment 23% stronger than the Kiwi and with the economic saboteurs currently running NZ this won't change anytime soon. So, we need to leave Australia but at the moment a decision as to the best way is elusive. However, things will clarify as we sail further north we're sure.
As always watch this space.
Jim and Jean (Gina)

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Friday, 25 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III

Dear friends and family,
This is to let you know that we are in the Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach tonight (and have been for the past 2 weeks) and will be leaving for Cairns via Hook Is. (Nara Inlet) tomorrow morning. Gina arrived back last Saturday somewhat exhausted after nursing her sister back to health but she is now more or less back to her old self. We've been relaxing around Airlie Beach and visiting supermarkets (a 10 minute bus ride) to reprovision. A serious concern was an order placed on a website for 3 cases of wine about a week ago but fortuitously they arrived this morning!! Then came the difficult task of stowage but at last the task was accomplished. We've had very indifferent weather today with SW winds up to 26 knots in the marina and rain, but all has quietened down now and it's looking good for the morrow.
We will go out to Hook Is. for tomorrow night (12 miles from here) and then on Sunday set off for Cairns. Not sure where we'll stop - it will depend how we feel but the intention at the moment is to sail direct for Magnetic Is. That's about 180 miles and Cairns is 350 miles from here. We've been persuaded that we still have time to get to Darwin on time (mid July) so we're giving it our best shot. Darwin is 1730 miles from here.
So, tune into the website for all the latest news of our doings. And feel free to contact us on this address - just make sure that you don't hit the "reply" button - always send a fresh virginal email!! Virginity is a slightly rare commodity these days!!!!!
Cheers and with lots of love,
Jim and Jean (Gina)
s.v. Tiare Taporo III
Abel Point Marina
Airlie Beach

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Monday, 21 May 2012

Jean's return Northwards from the Whitsundays

Hi to everyone,
Jean arrived back here last Saturday (the 19th.) after a tiring 5 weeks in NZ nursing her sister back to reasonable health. They had both flown from Auckland to Brisbane on the 18th. and then driven through heavy traffic out of Brisbane to Maleny which is normally 2 hours north in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. There is a health retreat there and Jean and her sister spent the night there before she left her sister in the good hands of the retreat and drove back to Brisbane (leaving Maleny at 0600 on Saturday) to catch a flight to Proserpine which is the nearest commercial airport to Airlie Beach. Jim was so glad to see her ("Oh frabjous day - caloo calay"!!), although she was totally exhausted, both physically and mentally. Still, we are in the marina now (at AUD400/week!!) and this is a great place to relax. A few days of that and she should come right.
We had been thinking that with all the delays and uncertainties we have had that we might have to flag Darwin/Indonesia/Malaysia this year and we had even been thinking that we might consider going to the Louisiades (800 miles north of Cairns at the SE corner of PNG and part of PNG). Then the plan would be to go past the north coast of PNG and then sail direct for Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo (Sabah). However, this involves around 1,800 nautical miles non-stop in what would likely be quite light winds and without sufficient fuel to motor much of that distance, we would have difficulty. Otherwise we could spend next summer in Australia but with the heat/humidity and possibility of cyclones that isn't too attractive an option either. Then there is the issue of quarantine because, as we are a timber built vessel, we would have to apply for a further 12 month extension to stay here which may prove difficult to get. The Australians seem to be irrationally obsessed with protection against timber boring insects when in fact they probably have more than anywhere else - certainly more than NZ!!!
We have been talking to other boats also in the Indonesia Rally and they all reckon we still have enough time to get to Darwin by mid July so we have remade our plans and will be leaving here on Saturday (the 26th.) initially for Nara Inlet, Hook Is. to give Jean a brief look at the northern Whitsundays. Then we'll sail nonstop for Magnetic Is. (although we might stop once on the way) which is 165 nautical miles north of here. That's about half the distance to Cairns. Another must see on the way is the Hinchinbrook Channel which we will do. If we undertake a few of these longer passages we should be able to make up sufficient time to get, first to Cairns, and then Darwin on time. Here's hoping!! But as they say where there's a will there's a way.
So, some R & R for Jean, some further re-provisioning and we'll be off. As always watch this space............
Love from us

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III at Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach Lat.20 degrees 16' S Long. 148 degrees 43' E

Yesterday we sailed from Double Bay just north of Airlie Beach. The sail was great as the wind was the usual SE around 25 knots straight out of the point we wanted to head for so we sailed a series of tacks hard on the wind with reefed genoa, reefed main and staysail and had the scuppers under most of the time. The old girl absolutely loves this point of sailing and performed wonderfully. Again Dennis thought he was in seventh heaven and, apart from the temperature, could have imagined he was sailing her across Cook Strait all over again. We hove to off the marina and furled the sails and then called them up on VHF 09 for a berth allocation. C37 is where we are and enjoying a bit of civilisation once more.
Dennis flies back to NZ on Tuesday and Jim will remain here with the boat until the 26th. Jean is due to arrive on the 20th. That will be a red letter day!!! Tomorrow we're going out for a short sail so that Dennis can get some photos of the old girl under sail from the dinghy. It is normally almost impossible to acheive this because of course one is always on the boat so we'll put Dennis over the side in the rubber ducky and then Jim will do his best to run him down!! Hopefully some good pics will result.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Friday, 11 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III at E Double Bay Lat. 20 degrees 12' S Long. 148 degrees 38; E

Dennis and I had a great sail today from Macona Inlet, Hook Island. It started off fairly disappointingly with a light SE under 10 knots but after negotiating the tricky entrance a short time later the wind increased in strength until it was regularly over 20 knots and occasionally up to 30. Amazing how quickly it changes. We had a broad reach all the way and Dennis helmed almost the whole 15 miles and was in his element. It so reminded him of Wellington and Cook Strait and the old girl performed admirably - just like the old days 30 years ago. She romped along under single reefed main and 2/3 genoa hitting over 7 knots most of the time.
We entered the bay on the mainland where we are now around 1300 and had a beat into the bay where she again showed her prowess hard on the wind. A good sheltered anchorage but fairly featureless like all the mainland anchorages so far.
Tomorrow we leave for Airlie Beach which is only 6 miles as the crow flies but with several beats to windward in store we'll cover much more ground than that. She's good hard on the wind and it will be an interesting sail especially if we get winds similar to today.
It's great not always having to sail downwind legs as we did constantly up the coast from Bundaberg - she doesn't like that. She's better off on tangents - bit like her owner!!
Had some moments of sober reflection at the time of Grandma's funeral today as we were screaming across the top of the Whitsunday Passage - it all seemed a bit surreal.
Now listening to Louis Armstrong - "Louis and the Good Book" which is a collection of Negro spirituals jazzed up in the inimitable Armstrong style. It's a CD which we purchased in Noumea last year and is the same recording exactly which was Jim's father's favourite and which was purchased as a vinyl LP in Tahiti all those years ago in 1960. It was recommended by Charles Coulon who was the manager of Etablissements Donald - Tahiti back then and always remained a favourite.
Well, now to bed and up in good time for the windward passage into Airlie Beach.
Cheers for now and love to everyone...........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III in Macona Inlet Hook Is. Lat. 20 degrees 09' S Long. 148 degrees 56' E

Didn't do much today - just moved sideways to a new anchorage. Not as good as last night and we actually touched a rock/coral reef which we had thought was safely behind us but a little misjudgement!! Not to worry (or in the local vernacular "no worries") and we re-anchored in deeper water. Tomorrow looking forward to a longish sail across to the mainland slightly north of Airlie.
Tonight thinking of Jim's 3 daughters who have lost their beloved Grandma who passed away 4 days ago aged 101 years. A great life full of experiences including being a founder member of Tongariro Ski Club in 1931. She and her husband Bryce Tomkinson did freelance film work for the then NZ National Film Unit in the 1930's and toured NZ in their Singer Roadster. She had 8 grandchildren and several great grandchildren. Her funeral is tomorrow which should be a celebration of a life fulfilled but of course there is always the sorrow at losing a beloved family member forever. Charlotte is going to mention Jim in her funeral eulogy.
In the meantime life goes on and we will now be heading gradually back to Airlie. Dennis flies out in a few days and Gina flies in on the 18th. Can't wait - the boat and the life on board is incomplete without her.
Watch this space...........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III at Nara Inlet, Hook Is., Whitsunday Group Lat. 20 degrees 08' S Long. 148 degrees 55' E

After re-fuelling at Abel Point Marina we left this morning for a few days out around the islands. The wind was forecast to be 15-20 knots but we had prolonged gusts up to 27 knots and mostly above 20. We were close hauled on starboard tack with reefed genoa and single reefed main and fair screamed along doing over 7 knots at times. Scuppers sometimes under and salt water all over our newly scrubbed decks - perfect for them. Dennis helmed all the way across (10 miles) and had a grin from ear to ear. Just like it used to be when the old girl as "Reflections of Wellington" was around Cook Strait was the verdict. She revels in a bit of rough!! He of course was an early owner when the old girl was based in Wellington.
We sailed into Nara Inlet and then just inside were becalmed by the lee of the land. You have to be careful there because there's a reef to port as you enter but it's all on the chart and is also marked. We have gone as far as we could up the inlet - about two and a half miles. It's very pretty with wooded slopes and reminiscent of the Marlborough Sounds but nowhere near as deep. We are anchored in 22 feet of water.
Yesterday we had completed our provisioning and impressions of Airlie Beach are simply that it's a bigger Paihia in the Bay of Islands. Warmer and slightly more tropical looking but essentially that's what it is with legions of young foreign backpackers everywhere. Mostly female it seems to us and all wearing the regulation "uniform" of short shorts with the fashionable ragged edge!! One never gets tired of observing!!
It now seems that for a variety of reasons we are not going to Darwin this year. We've worked out that even if everything went absolutely to plan (and in this cruising life it hardly ever does!), it would be a very tight schedule to get to Darwin on time to get Indonesian visas, re-provision and join the Sail Indonesia Rally which leaves Darwin on July 28th. If we really pushed ourselves and the boat we could probably do it but we'd miss seeing so much as we'd have to be on the move constantly just to cover the distance. There's another 1,800 miles to go to Darwin. And there are family issues back in NZ which may mean Jean has to return there a couple of times so, all in all it seemed a wise decision to defer the voyage north until 2013. The big disadvantage is that as we are 65 now, more years become much more significant than when one is younger. And there is the issue of cyclones. We will need to have as foolproof a cyclone strategy worked out as we can - whether that's here, Bowen, Townsville or Cairns, we're not altogether sure at present. And, apart from cyclones there are the north Queensland summers to prepare for. We were reading the cruising guide and specifically about the Nara Inlet where we are anchored right now. In Jan. 1970 cyclone Ada hit the northern Whitsundays. In Nara Inlet many boats had taken shelter and most were destroyed with 13 lives lost. Not the place to be, that's for sure.
Now though there are many marinas behind high rock walls and also recognised cyclone "holes" such as the Hinchinbrook Channel just south of Townsville and Trinity Creek upstream from Cairns. Hopefully we'll have the situation adequately covered. The drill is, if you're not in a marina, and not all marinas are safe by any manner of means, go well up a tidal creek (with the crocodiles!!) and tie yourself to the mangroves with anchors out fore and aft. Everything movable is removed from the deck (awnings, sails, dinghy, covers, etc.) and you then hunker down and wait it out. Hopefully none of that ever happens but you have to have a strategy.
Watch this space........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Airlie Beach

We were going to re-provision today but it's Labour Day here today so will have to wait until tomorrow before we depart for Hook Is. It's very pleasant here with cool nights and clear fine days. Everyone tells us the summers are not so good so that's something to look forward to - including cyclones!!!
Caught the bus to Cannonvale yesterday and bought some provisions so we're not starving!!
More later...........................

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Tiare Taporo III finally arrived at Airlie Beach Lat. 20 degrees 16' S Long. 148 degrees 43' E

We arrived yesterday (4/5) at 1600 after a long sail from Shaw Is. which we had left at 0800 with double reefed main as usual!! When we left there was a SW blowing up to the usual 20 knots or so and initially all went well. However, once we left the lee of the land and were well out in the Whitsunday Passage the sea became very nasty with a steep chop. The sea state isn't helped by the fact that very strong tidal currents flow between the islands, especially at the moment as we approach the Moon's perigee. Apparently the moon is the closest to the earth that it's been for some time and the tides up here are huge by NZ standards. The tidal range at the moment is 5.25 metres whereas only 8 days ago the range was 2.65 metres. An interesting phenomenon and one to be aware of because when anchoring you need to be sure that you will still be afloat when the tide goes out!! At one stage we were pooped by a following sea just as she rolled heavily to port and there was water in the cockpit again. And because the cockpit drains are almost exactly at the same level as the waterline they aren't very effective and sometimes let more water in than they drain. We then gybed over to avoid running into a shallow patch off Cape Conway and the rolling got worse so started the engine and headed for Dent Passage between Dent and Hamilton Islands. It was much calmer in the passage and we had the tide with us which was just as well because we hit over 9 knots over the ground as we came through. Fastest the old girl has been. As we approached a jet was taking off from the airport on Hamilton which was a bizarre sight after all the remote places we had been to.
We then passed between Whitsunday Is. and Henning Is. to then round Loriard Point into the Hunt Channel and Dugong Inlet which are all part of Cid Harbour. We dropped anchor just around Hughes Point for lunch and then continued across the top of the Whitsunday Passage to Airlie. The scenery from Hamilton Is. north is much greener and lusher than the arid islands to the south. Dennis said it reminded him very much of the Marlborough Sounds except for the water depth and the temperature! We had a good sail for the 15 miles across the top of North Molle Is. and then on to Airlie Beach. On the way across we rang the marina at Airlie to ask whether they would have a berth for us and they asked about public liability insurance. We told them we had NZD5 million but it wasn't enough. They are now asking for cover for AUD10 million so we are anchored off. If we want to go in at some stage we'll have to increase the cover because most marinas are now in fact requiring the same.
We went ashore after securing the boat and we were able to land on the Coral Seas Resort jetty off which we are anchored. Reasonably sheltered and the jetty is handy. Had a meal at the Whitsunday sailing Club which is down the other end of town and then back to the boat for an early night.
We have now sailed over 400 miles from Bundaberg which works out at an average of 26 miles per day. We have another 1000 miles to do to Cape York and after allowing for some provisioning stops have around 43 days in which to do it. This means that we would have to average at least 23 miles per day every day. After Cape York it would be 800 miles to Darwin which would be done in two 300-400 mile segments over a period of about 10 days. Doesn't sound a lot but is actually a very strenuous regime - from experience so far. And there's no possibility to spend some time exploring if so inclined. So we have to make a decision very soon and the other factor is an on-going family health matter in NZ which Jean is involved with. The downside of staying in north Queensland is the possibility of cyclones in the summer so if we stayed we would have to somehow make sure we were in or near a cyclone "hole" in the event that one came through. So, a difficult decision all round.
Watch this space as always..............

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Brampton-Carlisle Lat. 20 degrees 48' S Long. 149 degrees 16' E

We arrived here around 1400 from Scawfell Is. - about 25 miles. Had a generally good sail with a very broad reach on port tack. Double reefed main in the expectation of strong winds which didn't materialise - only up to about 18 knots. However, we left the engine off and it was a peaceful passage. We are now at anchor at 2100 on 02/05 and have had a good dinner - one of Jean's Thai chicken curries that she froze and left for us before she went to NZ. Had a phone conversation with her also today as this is the first time for some days that we have had cell phone coverage. Brampton is the southernmost of the Whitsunday Group so we're getting close to our intermediate destination. Tomorrow it's either Shaw or Thomas Is. Weather forecast is for more of the same - 20-25 knot SE - sooooooooooo BORING!!!!!!!Watch this

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Tiare Taporo III at Shaw Is. Whitsunday Group Lat. 20 degrees 30' S Long. 149 degrees 03' E

Well we are well in the Whitsundays now and in fact only 39 miles from Airlie Beach if we have to sail vectors - otherwise about 10 miles less as the crow flies.
We had a good sail today from Brampton - started off motorsailing with just the jib and double reefed main until the water tanks were full again and the batteries charged, then off with the motor and we shook one reef out of the main as the wind hadn't increased as forecast. We then sailed downwind vectors - first into Cape Conway on the mainland , then gybed over and managed (mostly) to lay the top end of Lindeman Is. The wind had increased again and was SSW instead of the forecast SE so we really tramped along hitting over 8 knots over the ground with some tidal assistance!! There were a few shoal areas and isolated rocks to watch out for and then sooner rather than later we were abreast of Shaw Is. Decision time. Whether to go in there for the night or carry on to the Lindeman anchorage. However, in this wind it looked as though it might not be as good as Shaw so we hardened up onto the wind which by then was gusting well over 20 knots - again!! We tacked several times to get up to the anchorage and finally dropped the anchor about 1430, having left Brampton at 0830 so a good day all in all.
The flora and fauna are all the same with all these islands - just scrubby hills with some good beaches but much of the foreshore quite rocky and inhospitable. As I write the wind has just gusted up to 21 knots but the anchorage is calm and we can get some needed R & R.
Hopefully Airlie Beach tomorrow. If anyone has the time could you please look up "Marinas Airlie Beach" and email us (or txt to 001161229471895) their contact details? particularly phone nos. I think there are only two. 'Ta very much as we have no internet access yet.
As always watch this space........

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see:

Brampton-Carlisle Lat. 20 degrees 48' S Long. 149 degrees 16' E

We arrived here around 1400 from Scawfell Is. - about 25 miles. Had a generally good sail with a very broad reach on port tack. Double reefed main in the expectation of strong winds which didn't materialise - only up to about 18 knots. However, we left the engine off and it was a peaceful passage. We are now at anchor at 2100 on 02/05 and have had a good dinner - one of Jean's Thai chicken curries that she froze and left for us before she went to NZ. Had a phone conversation with her also today as this is the first time for some days that we have had cell phone coverage. Brampton is the southernmost of the Whitsunday Group so we're getting close to our intermediate destination. Tomorrow it's either Shaw or Thomas Is. Weather forecast is for more of the same - 20-25 knot SE - sooooooooooo BORING!!!!!!!Watch this

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: