Navigation Menu
F I J I
June 92017

BULA!   Welcome to FIJI !

Uncharacteristically, this FIJI Listing is going to be a long one. I warmly suggest you dig into it when you have your favourite beverage by your side, and a clear 35 minutes… : )

Fiji wass our penultimate destination for 2016, and more-than-managed to live up to the magnificent reputation our cruising peers suggested it might be.   In a word ,,, Awesome!   👍

 

AITUTAKI    FIJI   (arrived Aug/29/2016)

Total trip time:  7 days, 16 hours

Total trip distance:  1360 nm

Total fuel used:  1012 gals.  /  1.34 nm/gal

 

 

 

First things first though. If you have frequented our blog in the past, you may recall our anchor winch failing (almost catastrophically) in Aitutaki, Cook Islands, during our final recovery.  Not understanding what mechanical support lie ahead in Tonga, we decided to by-pass Tonga, and head directly to Fiji where support was assured.   (I am SO glad we topped-up our tanks with Tahiti’s duty-free diesel when we had the chance  👊).  However, arriving FIJI under such conditions (an unplanned destination, and the ability for us to change plans quickly), was immensely rewarding.

During our transit to Fiji, I made contact with James Ellingford / N62-PENDANA.   James confirmed that Port Denarau Marina was indeed the place to go, and offered to manage our arrival in Fiji with Customs, Agents, and service providers.   All was waiting on the quayside when we arrived.  Thank-you James!

 

PORT DENARAU

After the legalities of checking into Fiji were completed, we immediately tore into the Hydraulic Winch problem.

 

img_0221

Upon stripping it down, we found the keyway-key had sheared, the clutch-cones were damaged, and the main shaft was scored.

 

 

img_0241

This is the gearbox.  The hydraulic motor mount broke off and you can see part of it still attached to the gearbox.  All the bolts were loose, the seals were shot, and of course all the oil had leaked out.

 

 

img_0242

All internal and external components have been removed.  We replaced all damaged components for new, and rebuilt the winch in place.  This was a relatively easy job.

 

The project got off to a good start.  We identified all the parts required, and left the ordering of parts in the service providers hands.  We then decided to rent a car for a few days and check out Nadi while our parts were to be flown into Fiji from New Zealand.  Not my brightest move.  Julie and I usually handle all repairs ourselves.  This time however, I decided to hire professionals to quarterback the project as I was exhausted, both mentally and physically from the anchor-failure-drama, and the week-long transit to Fiji.  The last two days of which I was on ‘high-alert’ as we threaded our way through Fiji’s insufficiently-charted waters.

It seems there was an issue behind the scenes, between the NZ distributor and Maxwell.  Old part numbers conflicting with new Maxwell 3500 HWC drawings.  Days rolled on.  When I inquired about the delay, only then was I informed about the issue.  (The British have a saying – “I was beside myself!“)

In retrospect, I blame only myself.  I should have ordered the parts myself (as we always have done) and managed the entire project between us (as we usually do).  The delay in receiving the parts was further complicated by the Marina needing our slip for other pre-booked vessels.  We played dock chess for a week, moving 5 times during our stay.  Ali @ PDM was a star.  Ali – God bless you my friend.

Our agent, Josephine Morris (Jo), from Yacht Partners Fiji, cleared the parts through Customs and had them delivered to our boat in hours.  Jo continued to provide exemplary service to INFINITY  throughout our entire time while in Fijian waters.  + 10!

Our hydraulic windless was rebuilt in just a few hours, then function tested and put back into service.  I suppose we’ll never know for sure what the exact root cause of the failure was, and I have many theories.  But having stripped and rebuilt the unit, I’m convinced of the Maxwell quality and satisfied INFINITY  is good-to-go for another 16 years.

 

 

We rented a car for a few days, and zipped around Nadi to see what we could see.  The Sleeping Giant mountain was repeatedly suggested as something you should see, so we drove out to the Botanical gardens.

 

img_0306

Our rented charabang for a few days

 

 

Normally, I’m not really a flower guy.  Oh I can appreciate it alright, like when Julie and I used to get ‘garden-fever’ when we owned our house, but I thought of this trip out to the Gardens more as something to occupy some time.  I was pleasantly surprised by the tranquil energy and vibe of the place.  In  fact, I’d welcome the chance to visit the local ‘Gardens’ in any future destinations we go to.

 

img_0254

 

 

img_0259

 

 

img_0263

 

 

img_0284

 

 

img_0288

 

 

img_0302

 

 

The next day we headed out to familiar territory, and tried-out the  Sleeping Giant Zip-Line.  Just the drive out there was an adventure in itself.

 

img_0345

 

 

img_0337

 

 

img_0328

 

 

img_0331

 

And of course no visit to a new destination is complete without dropping-in to the local Market.

 

Nadi market.  Typical island flair,,, great place!

 

 

During our stay at Port Denarau, we met a great couple (Gerard & Trish Knight).  Yes, Gerard Knight is James Knight’s brother.    We enjoyed a fun afternoon together, and invited them over to the marina for some cocktails on  INFINITY.

 

img_0358

 

 

img_0017

 

 

img_0008

Sept. 9th, 2016  –  Celebrating our 28th Wedding Anniversary

 

 

 

We were asked if a Nordhavn Rally was taking place because there were 5 Nordhavns gracing the docks, 1 x N60,  2 x N62’s, 1 x N75 EYF, and 1 x N78.  I t was cool spending time with the Captains, and the owners.  As you might have guessed, all good people     :  )

 

img_0316

Nordhavn 78 – SIRIUS

 

 

img_0321

Nordhavn 60 – OCEANZSPIRIT

 

 

img_0322

Nordhavn 62 – WALKABOUT

 

 

img_0320

Nordhavn 75 – LADY GREY

 

 

img_0325

Oh, my personal favourite,,, Nordhavn 62 – INFINITY

 

 

While sitting at the ‘Rhumba’ at Port Denarau Marina (PDM), sipping our rum & cokes, we watched one of the most wonderful sailboats I have ever seen, slip gracefully into Harbour.  A famous quote sprang to mind.

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made.”  – Robert N. Rose

The vessel was s/v ATLANTIC, and she must be seen to be fully appreciated.  While studying the boat from our bar-stools, I had this realization come over me, ‘our days here are going to be cool’.  PDM is temporary home for many super yachts, cool yachts, and other fine ocean crossing craft.  Pinch me now.

 

atlantic-2

 

 

img_1866

 

 

INFINITY next to some big dogs.  (Helps us keep our perspective as we travel).

To our Starboard side was Senses,  (owned by the dude who owns Google).

To the Port of us was SuRi.

 

img_6440

 

 

img_6438

 

 

img_0245

this plane was actually lowered off of SuRi.   Apparently it was time to be replaced by a newer model.   Yep,,,

 

 

 

MUSKET COVE

 

With our windless repaired, and our stores replenished, it was time to move on and discover FIJI.  But just around the corner was Musket Cove, a must-see location near Nandi.

 

img_0040

flying our colours as we enter Musket Cove

 

 

img_0060

S/V  ENCORE    (our neighbors in Hawaii)

 

 

The timing our our arrival at Muskett Cove was just perfect.  Everyday was filled with fun events, followed by an evening party.

 

 

 

 

img_0065

 

 

img_0143

 

 

img_0134

 

non-stop events, people flying-in & flying out at regular intervals, daily.

 

img_0090

 

 

img_0119

 

Cloud 9.  Yes, that’s right.  A Bar & Pizza joint right out in the middle of Ro-Ro Reef, opposite Malolo Island.  The only way to get there is by small boat (dinghy).  You anchor your boat just off the platform, or tie your boat right up to the platform rail as we did.  The Bar is surrounded by crystal clear water, around 20’ deep, and ideal for snorkeling.  The top level is perfect for diving-off of.  Rock music is playing and the vibe just says –“PARTY”–.  I loved this place, it was unique and a lot of fun.

 

20160918-143911-1010496w

with Monty & Margy from the sailing cat  WHISTLER

 

 

fiji-regatta-week-header

 

 

Another great cruising event, in another fantastic tropical destination.      :  )     😎

***********************************

 

After regatta week,,, Musket Cove turned into one of the most peaceful & tranquil anchorages we’ve ever been in.

 

img_0157

 

 

img_0068

 

 

img_1913

 

 

 

 

 

Jay & I went sailing on a Hobie Wave (a small Catamaran) this afternoon, and what great fun!!  We had such a fun afternoon, we have decided to buy a small sailing Catamaran for INFINITY.  Because we require one which can be assembled on site, our choice is between two models, the MiniCat or the SmartKat.  Which one will we choose?  Which one would you choose?  Our next Listing for New Zealand will reveal all.     ;  )

 

 

20160920-154554-0111w-2

 

 

Funny story:  27 years ago Julie and I were visiting New Zealand.  Our trip to the south island was scuppered because all the Ferry’s were booked solid.  So, feeling cold and needing some warmth, we booked 10 days in Fiji instead.   27 years later we find ourselves in the exact same resort!  We spent a fun afternoon going down memory lane at the Plantation Island Resort.

 

 

img_1990

 

 

Yep, 27 years ago we stood right here  (BC)  “before kids”.

 

img_1937

 

 

img_0163

Musket Cove was great, but we can’t stay here forever.   Anchor up & heading north up to the Yasawa Islands!

 

 

NAVADRA ISLAND

Our first stop on the Yasawa Islands tour was Navadra Island, which consists of two islands joined together by a small inlet.  It’s the perfect Island-get-away that you dream of, and we shared the bay with only a couple of other boats during our whole time there.

 

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

This cave is still used by the local Fijians for the occasional ceremony

 

 

Margy (from s/v WHISTLER) organizing the party

 

 

From our boat, we had the most stunning view of the hill top beside us.  I kept looking at it during my morning coffees, and mentioned to Julie how it was toying with me.  “We should climb to the top of that mount”,,,  seemed like a good idea at the time.

 

DCIM110GOPRO

half way up the hill

 

 

at the top of our summit!

 

 

getting nostalgic, we decided to build a North American Inuksuk to leave our mark

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

now we get personal!   Leaving the  ∞  card behind.   ;  )

 

 

my favourite Navandra photo!

 

 

Monty & Margy (from s/v  WHISTLER), got their Drone out and managed to capture some great shots of INFINITY from the air.  Note to self:  must buy a Drone!

 

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0149.JPG

 

 

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0144.JPG

 

 

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0140.JPG

 

 

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0117.JPG

 

 

 

WAYA ISLAND / NALAUWAKI BAY

 

On our next stop, just 15 nautical miles north from Navandra, is Waya Island.  We met some wonderful locals there and got some great diving in.

 

the view from here was great!

 

 

unfortunately, our 300 lb CQR adopts this attitude too often

 

 

Once we met with the Chief, we were invited to walk around their village.  It left a huge impression on us, being surrounded by such lovely people.  And by lovely I mean folk without any agenda at all  (well, perhaps some Kava or fish-hooks) button attachment to the outside world or even a consideration about it.  I found the experience calming, something with a purity about it.  I liked it.

 

img_0237

 

 

img_0342

 

 

img_0251

 

 

our guide (Pauli)  for our mountain top excursion

 

 

half way up this one!

 

 

and to the top we make it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

water break for everybody

 

 

Julie and our Paulini shaking it out,,,

 

 

Waya Island village view from mountain top

 

 

INFINITY on the right.   s/v ENTICE (Greg & Karen) foreground.

 

 

Ya, we fell in love with this too.    We will return     ;  )

 

 

sometimes, the photos we take do not capture how truly beautiful a place is,,, and sometimes they do!

 

 

While we were on Waya, the was a group of Volunteers from Australia rebuilding the village school that was damaged in the last Hurricane.  God bless these guys.  While social media prevails with negative stories, as Jay and I travel we consistently see good, bright, positive deeds done by wonderful people.

 

img_0206

 

 

img_0214

 

 

img_0353

 

 

these village kids took a shine to Julie

 

 

img_0313

 

 

img_0318

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

the children revelled in showing us the new fresh-water pipeline that was installed at their village last year. The new line is piped right to the village from a mountain top spring. The original water supply was contaminated by wild animals.

 

 

Julie and I donated some items to the local village at Nalauwaki Bay.  (various items that we had onboard INFINITY)

 

 

the kids seemed to like the masks & snorkels we picked up in Hawaii – Thanks Dad & Joan!

 

 

img_0359

 

 

here comes the school bus – really!

 

 

img_3103

the presence of God everywhere you look

 

 

Back in the water for some more diving.

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

img_0393

Pauline and Amelia hanging’ out

 

 

Yeah, that’s it.  We trekked right to the top of that right-side peak

 

 

leaving Waya Island, and heading north to the Blue Lagoon

 

 

NACULA ISLAND / BLUE LAGOON

Navigating through the Fijian Islands is done in daylight, and by sight only.   Many of these waters are uncharted, which make it easily the most treacherous waters we’ve had to navigate in, by far.   Vessels going aground are common.  Lately, our navigation is assisted with Satellite imagery, using an iPad app ‘MotionX-GPS HD’.  This simple software is a revelation to me and has saved our bacon once already. (entering into Blue Lagoon).

While we were anchored in Nalauwaki Bay, we spent some time with Greg & Karen (s/v ENTICE), and they mentioned a couple of activities they enjoyed during their stay in Blue Lagoon.  I have come respect the opinions of other cruisers who have gone before you.  It’s usually hard-won knowledge, and something we can capitalize on while cruising to new anchorages.  So, when they suggested we venture out to a nearby Island to buy some fresh vegetables, and go mud-crabbing with with Shirley, that sounded like a good plan.

 

 

We dinghied over to a neighbouring Island near Blue Lagoon, and met the local Vegetable farmer who welcomed us to all that was in season.

 

 

You can’t get any fresher than this!

 

 

 

During one of my morning paddleboard excursions, on our third day at anchor,,, behold!  What do I see?  The sailing vessel  Red Thread – who we last saw in Tahiti!  I paddled right over and said a big hello to Jesse & Neil, who with cruising with their good friends from the USA, Katrina & Tyler.  It was a blast to see these guys again, and just reinforces why international cruising is so cool.

 

Katrina, Tyler, Neil, Andy, Julie, & Jesse,  impromptu group meeting – they’re the best!

 

 

INFINITY gets to relax in the sun too.

 

 

getting ready for the mud-crabbing-collection adventure.   Tooling up with heavy socks & water shoes.

 

 

getting our game plan together with our host, Shirley.

 

 

 

 

into the mangroves we go

 

 

,,, and keep going

 

 

Shirley recounts the crab-catching-plan one more time

 

 

Shirley 2,   Andy 0

 

 

be adventurous they said,,, it will be fun they said,,,

 

 

we can see you!

 

 

Turns out the “plan” is to stick your hand up a black mud filled space, feel for the crab, and yank ‘im out.

 

 

I had a better idea.   I’ll hold the bucket!

 

 

Yep,  Shirley could catch these fish by hand too, so they made up some of the menu that night.

 

 

Neil was right in there. You-the-man Neil!

 

 

all washed up,  heading out for the nights’ Fijian feast.

 

 

All the food we gathered and caught that afternoon, was cleaned and prepared by Shirley’s family, and we we’re invited to their home to enjoy the feast.

 

 

 

Yep, that’s the mudcrab. Tasted good, if not a little ‘muddy’

 

 

Shirley’s sister, and our wonderful host for the evening.

 

 

The feast in full-swing!

 

 

awesome experience, wonderful night,  great people!

 

 

 

 

 

SAWA-I-LAU  ISLAND

 

Sawa-I-Lau was yet another, quiet, tranquil anchorage in the Fijian Islands chain.  Additionally, the location is also renowned for it’s underwater cave structure, which is open to cruisers.

 

Hook is down, dinghy has been launched, and we’re going to investigate the caves.     (excuse the steam on the Go-Pro lens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

looking for a spot to anchor the dinghy.

 

 

 

 

steps right up to the Caves entrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

how cool is this place!?       ; )

 

 

Slowly, as we threaded our way through the Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia, and the Fijian Islands, I have been doing more Free Diving and loving it!  This cave was only 50′ deep but gave me another safe opportunity to explore.  As I approached the bottom, I found a CASIO Waveceptor watch.  The strap was broken, but I scooped it up and got the strap fixed for $10.  I now love wearing the watch as it reminds me of FIJI.

 

 

    Sawa-I-Lau Caves video from our FaceBook page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local  Sawa-I-Lau islander, and our cave guide for the day

 

 

 

 

Just before the sun started to set, I’d get the paddle board out and paddle around the island, which was full of intricate rock formations and shallow waters.  I could have spent a month in this one spot.

 

 

 

 

YASAWA ISLAND / 8-MONTH BEACH

 

From Sawa-I-Lau, we moved further up North to the tip of the Yasawas Island.  Apparently there are beaches there, (8-month-beach and Champagne beach), that are recognized as some of the worlds best – with silky white, powdery sand.  In fact, local folklore has it that “it will take you 8 months to wash the sand completely from your hair.”

Well, turns out we didn’t even get a sniff at the beach.  We arrived in cloudy unsettled weather and things did not improve once the hook was down.  As I was pondering the situation, I saw a trimaran entering the Bay.  It looked peculiar at first, and  it took me a few seconds to figure it out.  It was dismasted!

Once they were settled, they hailed INFINITY on VHF 16, and I paddle-boarded over to their vessel to see what assistance we could provide.  Jeff & Jose Allen told me how the dismasting events unfolded, and indeed, they were lucky to be alive.  Their Norman Cross designed trimaran suffered some serious damage.  We worked out a plan for the next morning.  I would provide them with our Satellite Phone and a few gallons of diesel.

Morning came, and over I paddled.  Julie and I had invited them over for lunch on INFINITY, but as the morning progressed, so did the weather, and it became increasingly obvious that no lunch-date was going to be had.  :  (

I wish I could tell you that was the only issue.  Not so.  While we were sitting there at anchor, a local weather system passed right over us.  Seas rose over 5m with breaking waves, sustained winds over 50 knots howled through the rigging.  It was getting ugly out there and my cavalier attitude was disappearing fast.  INFINITY was pitching up and down wildly and then BANG!  Anchor chain running out uncontrolled a-freaking-gain!  I ran out of the Pilothouse in terror, and grabbed some 1” nylon line.  The reef was only 30 meters behind us!  I bent on the 1” line with a rolling-hitch and secured it to our centre-cleat.  As more chain began to run out, it was halted by the line.  Thank you God.  Two more lines soon joined the chain, one to the Port cleat, and one to Stbd.  OK, now that that was in-hand, Julie and I went around the boat securing everything.  It was kind-of a disaster really.  The Flopper-stoppers were both deployed and there was no way we could recover them now.  They held strong for many hours but the 6mm stainless-steel wire harness eventually parted.  So there we were.  Connected to the seabed, pitching and rolling wildly for the 12 hours the Storm Force winds lasted.  By luck, I installed separate retrieval lines to the Flopper-stoppers, so we were able to recover them as conditions allowed.  It was an altogether horrible experience and probably the worst boating experience we’ve had to date.  It’s not all sunshine and Champagne you know.     ;  )

 

     The ‘Bad Day’ video from our You-Tube channel

 

 

Jeff & Jose’s Trimaran “STRAVAIG”

 

 

 

 

SAVUSAVU

savusavu-entrance-boat-copy

 

Savu Savu was a much, much better experience altogether.     :  )

After the storm force winds abated the the Yasawas, we picked up anchor and cruised on over to Fiji’s Northern Island of Vanua Levu.  Here, we were going to see our friends Mike & Cheryl who we met in Hawaii.  They have chosen to build a house and settle part-time in Fiji.  We were looking forward to see what the appeal was.

 

INFINITY anchored at the mouth of the Nakama Creek.  Still waters with plenty of clear blue depth, and swinging room.

 

 

 

John & Sandy’s FPB64 – TIGER, in the foreground.                                  (While I’m a Nordhavn aficionado, I do appreciate these very purposeful Dashew boats).

 

 

The weekly supply boat rolls on in, on schedule.

 

 

The Parade is on!  & the town stops.  I needed a break anyway, we grab a coffee and watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We felt quite charmed with Savusavu, so much in fact, that we found ourselves looking at property.  Yep, ‘wouldn’t it be great to own a slice of this heaven?’  Little did we know that this thought process was going to occupy us over a 6-month period.   A spending an enjoyable week in Savusavu (promising to return), we picked up anchor and cruised back to Nadi to make plans for our final transit to New Zealand.

 

The majestic faces of Savusavu,,, just another day in Paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once back in Nadi, we dropped anchor in Musket Cove again.  We have only been there twice before but somehow it felt like coming into a home anchorage.  From here, we organized our immigration and refueling to be done at Port Denarau.  The forecast was good and we’d soon be on our last leg to Auckland, New Zealand.  All-in-all, this Journey has been a wonderful, glorious 8 month period.  A lot of work, and a lot of challenges, but one so worthwhile!

 

Next Listing     >>  New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

More Information»
Cook Islands
September 32016

raro header

 

 

Rarotonga is the vibrant centre of the Cook Islands and is where government resides. Circular, and only 32 km in circumference, it is dominated by high mountain peaks from which lush rain forests provide a dramatic backdrop to a palm-fringed shore.

The island is almost completely encircled by a reef, however there is no navigable lagoon, or free anchoring here.  Avatiu Harbour underwent a huge harbour realignment and dredging project to straighten the east quay and dredge the basin to 10m. This project was completed at the end of 2012 and the harbour has now re-opened to visIting yachts.

The end result is a better arrangement for yachts, however locals warn (and I can confirm!) that the harbour is now even more exposed and open to the north winds and seas brought on by frontal passages, (luckily most of the weather comes from the ESE).     (Source:  noonsite.com)

 

TAHITI    RAROTONGA   (arrived Aug/02/2016)

Total trip time;  76 hours

Total trip distance;  622 nm

Total fuel used:  498 gals.  /  1.24 nm/gal

 

IMG_0039 (1)

 

“Motor Vessel INFINITY, INFINITY, INFINITY,,,,,HARBOR MASTER”

               Harbour Master, this is INFINITY on VHF 12 – go ahead.

“Harbor Master here Captain,,,, – Richard wants to say ‘Hello’

               “Hey Richard!    How you doing Dude?!”

Of course, Richard, is none other than Nordhavn Dreamer & esteemed Global Entrepreneur, RICHARD BARTON.

Richard has been a casual acquaintance of INFINITY, via the Nordhavn Dreamers website, and we have emailed each other from time to time.  Richard understood we were on our way to Rarotonga, reached-out and extended a warm welcome. 

He has shown us around the Island, and looked after our importation of our fuel pump.  And his wife Willy invited us over to dinner at their beautiful house on the west side of the Island.  We’ve also met & hung out with their daughter Trish for a few days.  What a great family!  It’s wonderful people like this who make our cruising so worthwhile.

 

 

IMG_0093

Richard Barton and Andy Nemier, on  INFINITY’s  upper aft-deck

 

 

IMG_0090

Julie, together with Willie, Richard, & Trish Barton

 

 

This morning, (Aug/09/2016) we installed the new fuel pump for our 20 KW Generator.  She’s a go!!  However, minor upset occurred trying to remove the stop solenoid.  As we unscrewed the solenoid, it came apart in our hands  :  (    Perhaps it can be rebuilt?  For now, I plugged it off and have to stop the Genny by using the manual ‘stop’  on the machine itself.  No biggy, apart from the fact that the “auto-shut-down” feature will no longer operate.  We’ll have to keep a closer and more frequent eye on the oil pressure and engine temperature.  UPDATE:  (18/AUG/2016)  The fuel-stop solenoid has been repaired, installed, and is working like a champ!)

 

 

IMG_0197

Our generator with the leaking fuel pump. You can see the blue gasket material we used to stem the diesel leak, and the funnel-&-cup arrangement to gather the overspill during operation. Crude, but effective.

 

 

IMG_0060

leaking fuel pump removed. Prepping faces for installation of new pump.

 

 

IMG_0065

New fuel pump installed! The fuel delivery lines are not-yet attached.    Shiney!

 

 

 

I have always been interested in the South Pacific Islands and the Polynesian / Melanesian / Micronesian cultures in general.  I think many of us have been at one time or another.  My own personal interest started in high-school geography class and the wonder blossomed through-out my twenties, and thirties.  I travelled internationally for a living, and my interest grew stronger.

But it wasn’t until Jay and I bought our Nordhavn, and we crossed the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, that my interest in this diverse culture began to be addressed.  We were welcomed into Hawaii with open arms and could actually feel the ALOHA spirit radiate through the Hawaiian people.  We loved the Bishop Museum and the local Luau’s, and basically any other opportunity which immersed us further into their culture.

But we had a whole world to explore and we were not getting any younger, so onwards we pushed – further south and further west – towards French Polynesia.  All through the Society Islands, their own unique culture was immediately evident – from the most open & accepted personal sexuality, to the most amazing display of Tattoo’s.  Almost everyone, it seemed, had a Tattoo prominent on their body.  This was a revelation to me.  I have always respected well intentioned Tattoo’s, especially one’s which told a story.  I even considered getting some sort of tribal Tattoo myself years ago, but simply could not justify it.

Once we reached Rarotonga, and I saw with my own eyes, that a major percentage off the population (young & old alike) were adorned with ink.  I stood in awe how every persons’ Tattoo was different from each others.

Jay & I were asked if we would mind being interviewed for the Cook Island News, and of course we said ’sure’.  It was during the interview, that I noticed Soloman’s Tattoo.  I remarked how striking it was, and he asked us if we wanted to hear of his Tattoo’s story.  I was enthralled to hear how each symbol represented a certain time or path in his life,,, it was truly unique to him.  At that moment, I knew that I was finally going to live-out a life-long dream of getting a Tattoo, one which told my own story.  Two days later, my personal canvas was done at Polynesian Tattoo, in Rarotonga.  I could not be happier with the results.  I will forever be reminded of the wonderful experience we’ve had in Polynesia and fulfilled another dream.

 

 

IMG_0117

 

 

Version 2

 

 

Infinite dreams,,, endless possibilities,,, without boundaries. 

 

 

My Tattoo is a traditional Polynesian interpretation of my own personal journey: the union of two people, traveling together to foreign lands by sea, guided by the sea-birds and the warrior spirit. Our family is close-by in our hearts.  We are all kept healthy from the fruits of the land, the sun, and positive energy.

 

 

IMG_0110

 

 

IMG_0109

 

 

IMG_0118

 

 

Tattoo.001

 

 

  • If I had to compare an Island the most like Rarotonga, MOOREA stands out as being the closest.  Lush green lands fringed with palm trees, surround high Jurrasic-like mountains.  The pride the Rarotongans the have in their Island is evident everywhere you turn, substantiated with well kept lots and manicured grasslands.

 

 

IMG_0192

 

 

  • A unique aspect of Rarotonga culture is the placement of loved-ones who have passed-on.  The tall gravestones, shrines & Slabs are placed in the front yard of many homes.  We’ve been told that they are positioned in this way so the family can be close; as they sit on the shrines and commune with those passed on.

 

 

IMG_0139

 

 

IMG_0135

 

 

  • We had several occasions to take our scooters around the Island.  We visited some Markets, the many beaches, and of-course the fine local hang-outs.

 

IMG_0204

Once our scooter had been offloaded, we kept it close by the boat for the two weeks we were in Rarotonga

 

 

IMG_0133

I often stopped so jay could hop off and take some photos. This was actually one of my favourite days.

 

 

IMG_0189

Everywhere so clean, clean, clean,,, (Singapore clean). This church was just one example of how I will remember the Island. Fond memories.

 

 

IMG_0149

Just one of the many beaches along the Islands’ Eastern side

 

 

IMG_0173

I could go on & on,,,,

 

 

IMG_0128

manicured lots surround many homestead. The Rarotongan’s are very Land Proud.

 

 

IMG_1669

we stop for some medicinal hydration

 

 

IMG_1668

,,,and enjoy the magical sunsets, night after night.        : )

 

 

As always on our travels, we’ve been  meeting lots of interesting cruisers.  One such couple was Riley and Elayna on s/v La Vagabonde.  They have a website and facebook page directing you to their set of You-Tube videos.  These guys started sailing completely new, and are now crossing oceans.  Talking to them was rewarding and satisfied my sailing fix for another few weeks !     ;  )

 

IMG_0211

 

 

Rarotonga has been the best Polynesian Island for me yet,,, But it’s all about the boat for me, and Rarotonga is unfortunately limited in the services and moorage it presently can offer passing cruisers.  The Port Authorities did the best for us, and we certainly appreciated the efforts they went to to accommodate us.  We would love to see a bonafide marina opened up to the cruising public which would surely augment the burgeoning tourist industry on the Island.

 

 

 

 

aitutaki cover

 

 

This morning (August 19th) we arrived Aitutaki after an overnight passage.  The forecast was somewhat favorable, but the reality was different.  Of course it was much worse, 20 knots of wind on-the-nose with an posing current made an uncomfortable ride.  But we got here safe and sound and we’re currently sitting here nicely at anchor (1030) – there is no way we can enter Aitutaki lagoon, as we draw too much,,, small boats only.  Our anchored position is about 750 meters North of the Arutanga Passage (which is the small-boat access into Aitutaki), and just 100 meters off the coral reef.  With 60 meters of chain out (in 15 meters of water), this only gives us a 40-meter buffer between us and the rocks.  Although we’ve encountered similar anchoring scenarios throughout the south pacific atolls, and we are confident in INFINITY’s ground tackle, this never really feels comfortable.  The ‘edge’ is there.

But what to do?  Be totally safe and blow off this destination,,, No, gotta do it, but I need to be constantly vigilant, and make peace with the edge.

 

 

Rarotonga – Aitutaki

time –  20 hours

miles –   146 nm

ave speed –  7.3 kts

Fuel –  128 gals

mpg    1.14 nmpg

 

 

We called Aitutaki Port Control on VHF 16, and informed them of our arrival.  They knew we were here, and I confirmed our anchor position.  We spoke to a local contact (Teina Bishop) and we’ll try to hook up with him tomorrow when we go ashore.  This afternoon, Julie and I are just lounging onboard INFINITY, reading, eating, relaxing, and watching how INFINITY handles the local weather.  Both Flopper Stoppers are deployed.

The next morning we dinghied into the Port, and I noted the 4’ depth in a few parts of the channel.  Looks as though it was a good call on anchoring outside the reef!  Trina Bishop is a dear friend & business colleague of Richard Barton’s, in Rarotonga.  Teina owns a few businesses on Aitutaki, and was a member of local Parliament for over 30 years.  He picked us up at the harbour and gave us a tour around the Island.

Aitutaki has been involved in a number of commercial activities, but the only sustainable one has turned out to be tourism.  The Island is a shining example of keeping local culture infused with an up-to-date lifestyle, and another great tribute to the Cook Islands.  Aitutaki is outstandingly beautiful and was a worthy stopover for us.  We probably would have never seen this Island if it wasn’t for INFINITY.

 

 

IMG_1720

Teina Bishop and Andy,,, INFINITY,, way, way, in the background.

 

 

IMG_1724

 

 

IMG_1682

a common sight,, goats roaming around the fields. This kid was on the Hospital grounds.

 

 

IMG_1737

I tried to get some photographs of the Island, by standing in the back of Teina’s pick-up truck as we slowly descended the hill.  This one, is the best shot!    Jay Nem!!

 

 

IMG_1691

typical back-road, Aitutaki

 

 

IMG_1727

Aitutaki,,, it’s all about the Lagoon,,, and it’s gorgeous!

 

 

IMG_1751

discussing the Island, over a few cool ones at Teina’s Hotel/Restaurant

 

 

IMG_1750

a room with a view!

 

 

During our stay in all of our destinations, we try to remain flexible and go with what Mother Nature has in store for us.  When I looked at the upcoming forecast, it showed days of rain & strong winds ahead.  Considering our vulnerable anchoring position, we decided to call it a day.  I got on the VHF radio, and canceled our Island Boat Tour we had planned for the next day with Teina, and made preparations to get out of there comfortably, while we could.

Well,,, during the recovery of our anchor, our hydraulic windless failed (perhaps shear pins?) and we had to recover it using plan B, (using the davit,,pulling up 9 inches at a time).  This operation took a few hours but we got there in the end.  However, now we were in a dilemma,,,our planned destination from Aitutaki was going to be Tonga, but we were unsure of the support we could get there.  A Trawlers anchoring capability is a major system which must be 100% fully operational and we needed to get the unit sorted soonest.  Next destination then??  Fiji!    1400 miles away!

 

More Information»
Tuamotus Islands
August 82016

 

We had just purchased some last-minute items ashore, and said good-by to Cindy (our agent) in Tahiti.  As we were making our way back to INFINITY, at Taina Anchorage, we both noticed the weather had increased significantly.  By the time we had hoisted the dinghy onboard, it was time to get out of the anchorage,,,Pronto.  The flopper-stoppers were still deployed but I didn’t have the luxury of time to stow them;  the big Catamaran behind us was getting closer by the minute as their moorings were sttetching out with the blow.

Julie asked me when she should come up on the anchor?

“Now” I said, “right now”

I flashed up the main & wing engine’s, and started the hydraulics.  As Jay was hoisting the anchor, I lifted the flopper-stoppers just clear of the water, leaving the poles still deployed.  We’d be OK for a bit like that.  The last look I had at the wind instruments, we were showing 30 Kts, gusting higher.

We managed through the anchorage, and meandered around the Island reef.  With Julie at the Wing-Station-Helm, and I stowing the flopper-stoppers, diving equipment and the rest of the cruising ensemble.  By the time we were leaving the Tahiti Port entrance I was beginning to think that the journey ahead may turn out to be a pleasant one.

About 2 hours later, I went down below to use the head;  and that’s when I noticed 2 ports had been left open,,,

(I’m not even going to go into the circus which followed, but just imagine an 8” hole in the side of your ship which goes underwater periodically). Yep, Cruising in Paradise is punctuated with punishment from time-to-time.  It seems we are unintentional disciples of universal balance, the Ying-&-Yang at play once more.     Roll-on Rangiroa!!

 

 

Rangiroa Header copy

 

 

TAHITI    RANGIROA (Northern Tuamotus Island)

Total trip time;  27 hours

Total trip distance;  208 nm

Total fuel used:  158 gals.  /  1.31 nm/gal

 

 

 

IMG_0190

entering AVATORU Pass, NE corner of Rangiroa

 

 

Rangiroa is 45 miles long and 15 miles wide, and is the largest Tuamotu, and the second largest atoll in the world.  There are two passes into Rangiroa (Avatoru pass and Tiputa pass) but the anchorage that yachts favor is near the Tiputa pass and the KIA ORA Hotel.

Rangiroa means  Vast Sky in Tuamotuan, and houses about 2500 people on almost 80 km2.   The chief town is Avatoru, located in the northwestern part of the atoll.

 

 

IMG_1446

at our chosen rest stop, anchored out in front of the KIA ORA Hotel / Rangiroa

 

 

IMG_1435

KIA ORA Hotel grounds.  Not a bad spot, eh?      INFINITY in the distance

 

 

IMG_1437

,,,just something about seeing your own Nordhavn out in the anchorage from the Hotel Terrace.    Pinch me now       ; )

 

 

IMG_0224

Julie contemplating life,,, We spent a few evenings at the Hotel Bar, watching the sharks

 

 

IMG_0202

 

 

IMG_1455

this has gotta-be my signature shot.   Azure waters, abundant sunshine, and your own Nordhavn faithfully waiting to carry you off to your next destination.                   I-AM-A-HAPPY-MAN!

 

 

ARANUI V    new ship in French Polynesia.    Passenger / Freighter

IMG_0269

ARANUI 5 anchored in Rangiroa

 

Aranui 5 is a new custom-built, dual-purpose passenger/freighter that sails from Tahiti to the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Society Islands in French Polynesia on a 14 day all-inclusive cruise. Designed to offer all of the comforts of a cruise liner, while operating as a supply ship, Aranui 5 is classified as a small vessel, accommodating approximately 254 passengers and 103 cabins.

 

 

TE MAO  TAPAS BAR

The TA MAEO Tapas Bar Bar is owned and operated by Patrick & Sophie.  I phoned patrick on our Satellite phone, and he came and picked us up from the Hotel dock.  Thanks Patrick!!

IMG_0274

our view for the night

 

 

IMG_0281

this beer was lovingly brewed at 12%. It Belgian, rare in these parts, and needs to be sipped from it’s own glass

 

 

IMG_0282

Oh yeah,,, it IS gooood!

 

 

IMG_0287

Jay playing peek-a-boo.   Or I think she is because of those Belgian 12%ers.

 

 

Island life:  So, this morning (July 12th), we dived the Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa – which was a ‘drift’ dive.  We saw schools of Barracuda, 100’s Black-tip sharks and a Hammerhead Bull shark.  The Hammerhead was BIG, looked well-fed, and was totally freakin’ awesome.  Later, we took our bikes ashore to explore.  We ended up in a small Tavern, met an Australian couple (Aurelio & Gary), and shared a few beers & pizza.  Fun afternoon!

IMG_0262

our view from the local Tavern. We were ‘holed-up’ here while a squall passed overhead.

 

 

One day, a few months ago,,, Julie started picking up random coconuts and shaking them, to check for milk.  Every now & then, we get Lucky!  If we have room in the Sub Zero, we’ll keep them for happy -hour.  It takes a few days for them to completely cool, but once they reach refrigerator temperature, the thick coconut husk keeps them perfectly chilled at 38º for hours.  I drill a half-inch hole into them and Jay pours in the rum.  It’s fun and decadent at the same time.     :  )

IMG_1466

 

 

IMG_1473

 

 

IMG_1477

 

 

This morning we woke up to a 50’ Beneteau “GOA” anchoring in front of Infinity this morning.  Last week, (while in Tahiti Taina anchorage) we had our hook down in front of them.  Made me smile seeing a familiar boat sharing a Far-away anchorage together.

The only background noise in this anchorage was small boat craft and children’s laughter (jumping off the pier)

IMG_0232

 

 

IMG_0024

 

 

THE BLUE LAGOON

Accessible only by boat, the Blue Lagoon resembles an immense natural swimming pool filled with marine life.   We spent a memorable afternoon of snorkeling and relaxing on the pristine beach.

IMG_0059

 

 

IMG_0034

 

 

IMG_0040

 

 

IMG_0064

 

 

A quick side story to the Blue Lagoon,,, towards the end of the afternoon, the winds started picking up, and virtually changed the landscape and mood in minutes.  We knew the forecast wasn’t pretty, but having SO wanted to see the Blue Lagoon, we decided some time there was better than no time there.  However, right now it was becoming increasingly obvious our time was rapidly running out.

We jumped into the dinghy and very carefully threaded our way out of the shoal waters, 60HP engine partially lifted to avoid another EPO (Equipment Purchase Opportunity).  By the time we got back to INFINITY, the winds were over 30 knots and the seas were building rapidly.  I have never seen the bow raise & fall so much in the last 4 years of our ownership.  What-to-do?  I briefly considered towing it behind but in these conditions I could foresee it turtling, and that would have been an insurance job,,,in the Tuamotus???  I had to go back to Plan A.

Our vessel’s davit is more-or-less centrally positioned, so we decide to go for it – lift the dinghy back to deck.  Julie clambered back onboard and positioned the davit to the recovery position, as I motored up to the hook.  The hook was rising and falling at least 3 feet, and I quickly realised this was going to be a one-time event.  I was inwardly stressing about a shock-load, so the timing had to be ‘just-right’.  Fortunately, it all worked out fine, but I have discovered the limits to our equipment.  You live & learn.  Recovering the anchor was also a memorable event.  The wind was howling over our boat at such speed that it was shrieking, making the most horrible noise.  I had no choice but to simply tune it out.  I couldn’t hear Julie on the bow and had to follow hand signals.  The thrusters were way overpowered in this situation, and were useless.  Luckily, I had been practising using the main engine and rudder for close quarter positioning over the last few weeks, and this is what got us out of there.  There was the very real danger of being pushed into the surrounding coral, as the anchor left bottom.  That time I looked back at the waterline and saw Black Smoke out of the exhaust, rudder hard-to-Stbd, wind howling,,, smiling to myself & thinking  – I love this stuff and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

 

 

IMG_0245

watching the sharks and Rays at Avatoru Pass.     Notice the kid’s rope swing??

 

 

Our diving in the Tiputa Pass was awesome and just wet our appetite for more.  We heard Fakarava is the place to go for diving, so we planned our exit from Rangiroa.

IMG_0089

exiting Tiputa pass at slack water. You would not be mistaken thinking the weather was rough. 3-5′ seas, winds 35 kts, normal day.

 

 

IMG_0088

this wasn’t for the feint of heart.   Tide tables said  “Go-now”      : (

 

 

Although we knew the weather for the transit to Fakarava would be ‘on-the-nose’, it actually proved to be one of the 4 worst (rough) passages we’ve ever had in INFINITY.  At one point, I posed the question to Jay, if we should bug-out of there and head back to Tahiti direct.  Fortunately we both decided to dig deep, and soldier on.  After all, his is what INFINITY was made to do.

 

 

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

Our move to Fakarava was all about the Diving.  There are North and South passes to dive and they both have great diving, although the sharks at the South Pass was one of the best dives of my life!

This was something that both of us really wanted to do, but I must admit to being a little apprehensive (sometimes I know too much!)  Turns out, coming here was one of the best cruising decisions we’ve made so far.

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

Fakarava is the second biggest atoll of the Tuamotus archipelago and is considered the Mecca of scuba diving in French Polynesia.  The shape of Fakarava Atoll is roughly rectangular and its length is 60 kilometres (37 miles) and its width 21 kilometres (13 miles).  This atoll was classified as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.  The diving at both passes is excellent.

Pass Garuae (north) is very wide and easy and is near the town of Rotaova, which has 855 inhabitants;

Pass Tumakohua (25nm further south) is a little more tricky to negotiate but well marked.

IMG_1646

 

 

 

12662010_206784906340674_2391112279913144300_n

La Paillote   Cafe · Rotoava – Fakarava North

We stopped off at this quaint cafe for some cold beer and wonderful French Panini’s for a few days running.  Their little pier was frequently busy with customers and fishermen.

IMG_1630

 

 

IMG_1616

 

 

IMG_1510

 

 

IMG_1526

 

 

IMG_1575

 

 

The walk back to our boat always brought a smile to my face.  I loved this Island.

IMG_1634

 

 

IMG_1638

 

 

IMG_1644

 

 

Another cool business we discovered in Fakarava North, was::  FAKARAVA YACHT SERVICES

Stephanie and Aldric have set up their Yacht Services business out of their home.  You are free to come & go during business hours, to lounge on their porch and surf the net.  They monitor  VHF 77.

We thought it was a cool idea, and a great resource for us; – our “go-to” couple for info on Fakarava.  They also offer laundry  /  internet access  /  airport pick-up  /  bike rental  /  and all services & requests.

 

 

FAKARAVA SOUTH

IMG_0170

our chosen anchorage in Fakatava South

 

 

IMG_0169

 

 

And now, what we came here for – Diving with the sharks!

DCIM110GOPRO

early morning, about 0600, sunlight just penetrating through the water, and yes, those are sharks above us.

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

the only underwater camera we have is the Go-Pro, which has a huge field-of-vision. You have to get quite close for an image to be clear enough underwater. This was about as close as I wanted to get.

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

,,, more sharks,,, there was actually hundreds of them!

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

Julie in her element

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

that Knobby was about 12′ away from Julie.

 

 

IMG_0159

back on INFINITY, after the dive. More sharks,,, they were everywhere, and I started to view them as just another fish.

 

 

IMG_0158

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

She looks like a natural at this.     :  )

 

 

DCIM110GOPRO

My parting memory of Fakarava.   Awesome.

 

 

All short videos can be viewed on INFINITY”s FaceBook page

 

 

What a wonderful journey back to Tahiti this was turning out to be.  The wind is a cooling 9.5 knots at our stern, assisting us along towards Tahiti.  The sky is clear and the stars are shining brilliantly.  It would be perfect, if not for a leaking Generator fuel pump which my mind is continually chewing over as we transit.  Always something negative going-on in the background, while you are immersed in blissful paradise.   I chuckle to myself at times contemplating the Grand-Scheme of things and how there’s an obvious sense-of-humor at play.  The Ying-&-Yang – God continues to keep me on my toes.

We’re on our way back to TAHITI, to close out our time in the Society Islands.  We need to:

  1. Officially check-out of French Polynesia
  2. Order a 20KW fuel pump from Hatton Marine, in Seattle.
  3. Top-up on diesel  &  Head to Rarotonga!

 

More Information»
Moorea
June 242016

Under Construction…  /  Visit #2 immanent

 

 

Visit #1

 

The transit over to Moorea is perhaps, 20 miles away.  It didn’t take long before we could see her lush mountains contrasted against the azure blue sea.  It was a perfect day.

 

 

IMG_0044

 

 

IMG_0050

approaching the entrance to Cook’s Bay

 

 

IMG_0048

I wonder if Chloë will remember this?

 

 

IMG_0047

my guess?     Probably for the rest of her life!

 

 

IMG_0056

from any angle,,,  the view is stunning

 

 

IMG_0063

Julie and Andy,   –  considering anchorage positions as we motor into Cook’s Bay

 

 

On this particular day, the Pilot House is climate controlled, Adele is heard playing in the background, over the gentle thrum of our engine, and all systems are ‘go’.  As we slde into Cook’s Bay, each one of us is secretly looking for King Kong.  It’s a surreal experience.

 

IMG_0071

 

 

IMG_0078

 

 

IMG_0100

Julie and I confer a bit, then decide this particular area looks good to drop the anchor for a few days.

 

 

IMG_0084

Anchor down.  Feels good.  Pinch me now

 

 

IMG_0111

 

 

IMG_0108

Our backyard for the weekend.

 

 

IMG_0089

 

 

Our day quickly ran into dusk,,, we opened a bottle of wine, played some cards, enjoyed some music, and contented ourselves with an early night.

 

Morning brought some clouds and a change of pace.  We unshipped our fast dinghy and made our way towards the Moorea Yacht Club.  We quickly got the lay-of-the-land from the YC staff, and continued our exploration by foot.

IMG_0163

Into the main street Moorea we go.

 

 

IMG_1175

as we’re walking along, we’re each taken with a sense of Jurassic Park.

 

 

IMG_0153

Baked goods and Baked Bread a’Plenty!

 

 

IMG_0155

Time for an Espresso & a treat. Jay & I have not had a worthy Vanilla Slice since we left England – until now!

 

 

IMG_0167

After our explorations, it was back to the Yacht Club. We indulged in the Pizza, which was awesome.

 

 

Now back at INFINITY, and all safe & sound.  Our night unfolded with some Hinano’s & popcorn as we watched a movie on the upper aft-deck.  It occurred to me how fortunate we were to be here, as a family, enjoying this prehistoric vista, on May 23rd, 2016.

IMG_0117

 

 

Next day, some water activities.

 

IMG_0184

Islanders practising

 

 

IMG_0226

Julie and Andy taking the paddle-boards out for a spin.

 

 

IMG_0144

INFINITY ∞ as I remember her in Moorea, May 2016. Moorea, we’re not done yet,,,, we shall return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information»
Tahiti
June 232016

 

On May 15th, 2016, we picked up anchor from Bora Bora Yacht Club at 12-noon, and made our way over to Tahiti.  The journey was rather unpleasant, as we had headwinds-&-head-seas throughout the entire journey.  Mercifully, the transit was a short one.

 

BORA BORA    TAHITI

Total trip time:  22 hours     

Total trip distance:  152 nm

Total fuel used:  128 gals  /  1.18 nm/gal

 

 

It’s always great to be heading to a new destination, but the feeling of anticipation was almost palpable with Chloë & Kal.  No doubt they appreciated Kiribati and Bora Bora, but Kal in particular was looking forward to the great ‘Metropolis’ of TAHITI.

 

IMG_0615

Chloë surveying the scene, as we enter the Channel towards Marina Taina, Tahiti.

 

 

IMG_0241

Finally, med-moored up to the marina quayside, Chloë & Kal stretching their legs

 

 

IMG_0627

Our first night at dock,,, Tell me what better way to celebrate than a family pizza & beer evening at the Dinghy Bar?    Let the good-times roll!    Update:: by the end of our time in Tahiti, I’d end up enjoying/devouring about 12 of these 4-cheese and pepperoni pizzas!!

 

 

IMG_0656

We were tied-up next to the marina entrance, so had lots of space, and always an opportunity to get the paddle-boards out.

 

 

IMG_0392

INFINITY ∞   secure on it’s med-moor – facing the Island of Moorea,,, typically always providing a great sunset.

 

 

 

The Marina Taina was home to some of the most beautiful and current boats in the world.

 

IMG_0622

 

 

IMG_0021

 

 

 

Though we were enjoying our time at Marina Taina, our time with Chloë & Kal was coming to an end.     :  (

Over breakfast, we etched-out our plan for the remaining week.

  1.  Take INFINITY to Papeete Marina in the City so the kids could enjoy the weekend nightlife
  2.  Then head to Moorea for a few days,,,
  3.  Head back to Tahiti, and rent a car for a couple of days to fully explore the Island.

 

 

IMG_0014

transiting towards Papeete Marina via the inner-causeway, (between the Island and the outer atoll reef).

 

 

IMG_0021

the scenery is always spectacular.

 

 

IMG_0025

entering Papeete Marina, directly situated in the middle of the town center – For two days,,,,, perfect!

 

 

IMG_0901

alongside Papeete Marina

 

 

 

Our son Kal loved the time in city of Papeete, remarking that this was his best time in the two months onboard INFINITY.  (I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret that, but we’re happy he found his bliss  ; )

After the weekend in Papeete, we departed Tahiti, and transited over to Moorea.    (Moorea was great & turned out to be better than expected).

With Moorea under our belts, we headed back to Tahiti to rent a car, and do some exploring!

 

IMG_0358

we got lucky, & were assigned this little red Peugeot to zip around the Island with.

 

 

IMG_0250

and our first stop was the Vaimahutu Falls, which is one of three Faarumai Waterfalls in the northeast part of Tahiti Nui.

 

 

IMG_0263

Kal and I bathed in the overspray for a while. The thundering cascade reminded me of Chatterbox Falls in British Columbia

 

 

IMG_0274

just gotta do the photo,,, but as they say, the photo does not do it justice

 

 

IMG_0311

10 minutes hike, another Falls, and time for lunch.

 

 

IMG_0379

taking the coast road around the Island, and enjoying the scenery

 

 

Intense, but magnificent weather as we get back to the boat at Marina Taina.  Moorea in the distance.

 

IMG_0236

 

 

IMG_0237

 

 

IMG_0632

back onboard INFINITY for family happy hour & games night. ‘Heads-Up’ seemed to provide the most laughs (as did the 15% alc/vol Red Wine),,, just sayin’

 

 

IMG_0397

last night with the kids, and Julie cooks up a storm,,, as always.

 

 

IMG_0402

The last meal? A full-on, roasted chicken dinner with all the trimmings. Yeah, the salon door was open, & sweat was pouring out of every pore,,, but immensely worthwhile

 

 

IMG_0411

May 27th  –  Bags packed,,, in just a few hours, our kids are leaving us,,,

 

 

 

With the kids now gone, it’s back to just Julie and I onboard INFINITY, once again.  One of the ‘take-aways’ from cruising with your Partner is that you are forced into growing as a couple.  We’ve been spending 24/7 together, living in close quarters, and often in strenuous physical and/or emotional conditions.  I’m happy to say we are thriving  :  )     We’ve learned to rely on each other more now (than perhaps we otherwise would), and this continues to build respect, love  & trust.  With 28 years of marriage behind us, I feel new wonderful horizon’s are in our future.

 

 

IMG_0090

Time to get busy again. Julie is making a Sunbrella cover for our paddle-boards

 

 

IMG_0094

cutting out the pattern   –   I wonder what it will look like?

 

 

IMG_0102

Tadah!!   It looks and fits perfect!  Over the next week, Jay also made covers for the shore-fed water filters, all the hatches, and repaired the Scooter and Dinghy covers.

 

 

About a week later, we got word through our agent that some poor weather was due to hit Marina Taina.  I checked it out and it looked ugly.  In fact, I had one of those gut premonitions that very morning.  Coincidence????  God is teaching me well, and Julie and I have agreed to never ignore a gut feeling.  30 minutes later we let the lines slip, & we were outta there.  Our exit was intense,,, seas were building quickly and I was seeing gusts of 40 kts, with the wind howling and cold rain sheeting down on both of us as we brought up the anchor. (which was amidst the multitude of bow lines zig-zagging from the rows of med-moored yachts).  We kept calm, but I mentioned to Jay how it does not really get any more hairy than that.  Over to the more protected Papeete marina we go!

 

 

IMG_0660

Good-bye Marina Taina  (sure wish it was like this when we had to leave)

 

 

With no real rush on our hands, Julie and I decided to stay put at Papeete Marina, and enjoy the convenience of the city.  Several times during our stay, we’d walk to the Bora-Bora Lounge, to enjoy a cold beer.  And other days we’d take our scooters around the Island.  It was great to have the freedom to do that, and we seem to appreciate the scooters more-&-more as time goes on.

 

 

market

Papeete Market

 

 

IMG_0027

Many events are held each month throughout the year.   This month (June) Tahiti hosted an ‘Around Island” Bike race.

 

 

IMG_0895

Anyone familiar with our blog, knows how in-love we are with Dogs. So far we have seen French Polynesia a very-much Dog friendly country.    [we miss you Harley]

 

 

 

We meet up with other cruisers and Nordhavn owners from time-to-time.  Imagine our pleasure when we pulled into Papeete Marina and saw Dick & Gail Branes from N57 – ICE DANCER II.  The last time we saw each other was in Ko Olina, Hawaii.

 

 

IMG_0032

N57   ICE DANCER II

 

 

dick & andy

Dick Barnes, owner of N57  ICE DANCER II.   Dick and Andy take Ice Dancer over to Marina Taina to fuel-up for Dick’s return to Hawaii.

 

 

REPAIRS;

For those of you who may frequent our blog, you’ve come to see our life at Sea is regularly interspersed with periods of repairing equipment.  ALL boats are the same, no matter if Power or Sail, mono / catamaran / or trimaran, Fiberglass, Aluminum, or Steel.  They all have issues from time to time, and this is just a fact of ocean-crossing boat ownership.

So which components needed attention this month?  Fortunately, only three.  (so far)

 Iridium Sat Phone;  this turned out to be just an Admin error from our Airtime Provider.  We had renewed our contract for another year, but the airtime credit had not been applied to our account.  Once we got to Tahiti, I was able to contact them by email, and once alerted to the issue, they quickly resolved it, and we are back in business.  All tested, all working great.

Sub Zero Refrigerator;  We had noticed our Fridge temperature rising from time to time and the Nordhavn Owners Group alerted me to the fact that the Condenser Fans have a limited lifespan.  We checked the fan, and sure enough it was occasionally stopping.  We accepted the fact we would need new ones, and ordered them through Hawaii.  Then the Fridge died all together.  Through several U-Tube videos, we learned that the failure of the condenser fan could put an additional load on the Start Relay, so we ordered that from Vancouver.  The parts should be here soon.     UPDATE;  Our refrigerator parts arrived about 10 days later, and we immediately got to it.

 

 

IMG_1415

Splicing-in the new Relays and fitting the new Condenser Fan motor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

component cost

 

 

Shore Power Cable;  During a torrential down pour one night, our cable connections had seen enough moisture to short, basically fusing the North-American MARINCO connections together.  Marinco spares are hard to find in Tahiti, so we were left with few options.  We chose to chop the fused connections out of the cable and join them together, thereby eliminating further connections and making one single shore-power cable, out of the two.  To this cable, we installed the 200 amp / 240v connector.  It’s a beast!  – made specifically for the SuperYacht vessels.  We then had a completely separate cable made up with a 32 amp / 220v connection with seems the most prevalent here in the South Pacific marinas.  No Marina? = no problem.  We use the generator.

 

connection fused

 

 

After a few weeks ‘free-time’, visiting restaurants and local Bars, we entered a maintenance period on INFINITY.  Time for a rub-down and some wax!

 

clean roof

As per usual routine, we start on the Pilot House roof and work our way down.

 

 

all you need

ALL – YOU – NEED ; )

 

 

J anchor

 

 

andy cleaning anchor

 

 

andy cleaning plate

 

 

andy in water

 

 

shiney boat

 

 

shiney boat 2

INFINITY ∞ looking great — about a week’s work!

 

 

Now back to the Fun!    5 short videos (from our Facebook page) of a diving trip we took with the owners of N62 – ‘WALKABOUT’,  (John & Veronica – who were tied-up alongside Marina Taina).  It is always a pleasure to meet other Nordhavn owners, and we quickly struck up a friendship.  They invited us to a BBQ onboard their N62, and the following day, we all went diving together.  Great times.     :  )

Our dive site featured 2 wrecks:  a sunken Catalina PBY (aka – ‘Flying Boat’)  & the ‘PAPEETE’ Schooner (built 1891)  /   75′ of water  /  Papeete inner reef.
dive 1

 

 

dive 2

 

 

dive 3

 

 

dive 4

 

 

dive 5

 

 

CDN infinity

 

CDN oblong

 

 

                Happy Canada Day !

 

DCIM110GOPRO

this is how we celebrate Canada Day on  INFINITY!  –  July 1st, 2016

 

 

The local diving wet our appetite for something more adventurous.  We had heard of the Tuamotos Islands and the great Diving offered there, but we’d have to backtrack several hundred miles to go there, and was it going to be worth it?  Of course it was!  We pack-up INFINITY ∞  and head for Rangiroa.

 

leaving Tahiti

Moorea in the distance, it’s time to depart Tahiti and head to the Tuamotus Islands for some Scuba Diving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information»
Bora Bora
June 12016

 

Our destination to Tahiti was changed to Bora Bora, when we realized just how close we would have to pass the Island, to land at Tahiti.  The decision was unanimous,,, Bora Bora here we come!

During the passage, a few “FIRST’s” were introduced.

  1. we navigated past the 10,000 mile mark, earning us the Nordhavn 10,000 mile pennant.
  2. our 1st equator crossing, in which we dutifully carried out a transient “Crossing-the-Line” ceremony.
  3. our 1st time in Southern Hemisphere with INFINITY

 

The transit to Bora Bora was coincidently more-or-less, the same milage as the Oahu-Kiribati leg, (around 1160 nautical miles each).  The weather for the Bora Bora run was much kinder to us this time, winds 15-20 kts and 2m seas.  However, the transit was not without incident.

4 days out, right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, we lost our Stabilizer belt.  The belt (which runs a hydraulic pump off the main engine) parted, and could no longer power the Stabilizers.  Of course the incident occurred in the early hours of darkness.  Chloë woke me up to say the Stabilizers alarmed, and indicated lost pressure.

So the usual Chinese-Fire-Drill ensues.  I jump out of bed and check out the hydraulic reservoir;  that’s OK.  So as I’m scratching my head on what to check next, I see the parted-belt hanging off the main engine.

I’ve done this before, so we commence the drill.

Turn on wing engine, put power to the wing-engine prop, and forge ahead at 3 kts.   Next, turn off the main engine (1000 miles from anywhere).  Then Chloë and I start dismantling the Belt-guard, and loosening the pump.  I had ordered brand new belts in Hawaii, so we were prepared.  The new belt went on easy enough, and we tightened it up in good time.  Now came a moment of prayer (I’ve got God on speed-dial these days), and we flashed up the main engine.  It jumped to Life!!  Thank you God.  We engage the clutch and resumed our normal 7.5 kts.  Once everything looked OK, we secured the wing engine.

The remainder of the transit was rather pleasant & uneventful     until we put the anchor down in Viatape, Bora Bora.

We had dropped the anchor manually, and set it.  A while later, we decided to reposition our boat, so we flashed up the hydraulic system only to find nothing operational.  Uh oh…

I pulled out our Iridium SAT phone, only to find that not making calls to the USA  (I’ll investigate that once we get to Tahiti).  The only external comms we had was the Iridium-Go text system.  So I text ABT (American Bow Thruster) on my iPad, and say “help!”  Perhaps two or three minutes later, I get text responses from both David Wright, and Darryl (from world wide Tech-Support) asking what’s up?

I continued answering texts, one-by-one, going through our system, and twenty minutes later we find the problem!!

It’s almost embarrassing for me to admit I’d missed the actual fault, but the point right here is the ABT TRAC support team are truly with you anywhere in the world.  Any trawler I own will have ABT stabilizers,,, the support is that good.  BRAVO.

Our fault?  The electric COIL had vibrated off the wing-engine clutch.  No control signals were getting to any hydraulic equipment.  It was a simple matter to slide the coil back onto it’s rod, and we were back in business.  This time, I used blue loctite to secure the single nut.  You live and you learn.  Ain’t boating great?!

 

 

The sunsets experienced enroute to Bora Bora were the usual ‘phenomenal’.

IMG_0149

 

 

IMG_0154

 

 

A few days before we left KIribati, we met a couple on a Catalina 42 (Bob & Marge) who mentioned a joint interest   — Palmyra Island—  and gifted us a book about the skullduggery that the Island is infamous for  [“AND-THE-SEA-WILL-TELL”].  Julie read the first few pages aloud,,, and we were hooked!  I took over as orator, and read a chapter aloud to my audience whenever the mood took us.  (perhaps 3-4 Chapters a day).  The story had us rapt, as we were cruising around the very Islands under discussion.  It turned out to be an intimate and fun family occasion.

IMG_0183

I read aloud in daylight,,,,

 

 

IMG_0188

Just a fine way to while-away the hours at Sea

 

 

IMG_0173

Many hours, many miles, many chapters,,, we find a nice breeze to get into the book.

 

 

IMG_0239

We have arrived!!  Dolphins escorting us into Bora Bora Harbor.. We never get tired of this,,, as it never fails to charge the boat with positive emotions.

 

 

IMG_0218

Once into the Bay, we start hunting for a suitable anchorage position.

 

 

IMG_0543

Anchor down! We take the Z-Boat out for a burn, and start exploring.

 

 

IMG_0547

What a fantastic view!! That mountain isn’t so bad either.

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the next series of photos,,, the scenery in Bora Bora was simply sublime!

 

IMG_0203

20m of deep clear water turns into 6m of perfection… Pinch me now.

 

 

IMG_0212

 

 

IMG_0824

 

 

IMG_0222

 

 

IMG_0243

a Bow with a view

 

 

IMG_0261

A Head with a view,,,

 

 

IMG_0309

GOD-IS-EVERYWHERE!

 

 

IMG_0857

 

 

 

 

So, once we found our bearings, we started to venture into town.  The main town is Viatape, which we ended up anchoring right in front of.  Perfect for excursions to shore by dinghy.

 

IMG_0782

1.5 minutes from the Dinghy, this is typical Main St, Bora Bora

 

 

IMG_0784

Bora Bora seemed to be very Dog-friendly, which suited us perfectly. This little guy was only a month old.

 

 

IMG_0795

A day-trippin’ we go!    Kal was the Bar-tender

 

 

IMG_0819

Life-is-Good!

 

 

IMG_0343

INFINITY in her element. 

 

 

IMG_0431

 

 

IMG_0470

Waking up to a fresh loaf, oodles of Island butter,,, I will certainly die a very happy man. Jay has nailed this bread making thing!

 

 

 

As we were painfully aware that Chloë & Kal would be with us, for which could be the last time, (in a long time,) we hit the Island in style and did not shy away from the local Restaurants.

 

IMG_0851

Dinghy-dock to Bloody Mary’s

 

 

IMG_0563

all looking good so far. To the left and right of the entrance, lists of the Patronage to Bloody Mary’s. No, we did not make the list!

 

 

IMG_0572

This may look like all cocktails & appetizers,,, but we’re all hard at work using the Bar’s internet.

 

 

IMG_0580

might as well grab one of those famous Bloody Mary’s hamburgers while we’re at it

 

 

IMG_0879

we left our ‘mark’ as many of the Cruisers do.

 

 

IMG_0880

Cool, eh?

 

 

IMG_0558

walking out of Bloody Mary’s, just before the sun sets was a surreal experience. Back to INFINITY for a game of ‘Heads-up’

 

 

IMG_0358

Mother’s Day today!!   So we celebrate in style at St. James Restaurant, and arrive by dinghy.

 

 

IMG_0200 (1)

Happy Mother’s Day, Jay Nem,,, you deserve it!!    : )

 

 

For a different vibe, we picked up anchor and moved to the Bora Bora Yacht Club  (had to do it!)  It turned out to be a great place, and the food was fantastic.

IMG_0189

Bora Bora Yacht Club anchorage

 

 

IMG_0406

Bora Bora Yacht Club

 

Looks like Paradise right?  Yes it was,,, but our time there also had a few mishaps.  I managed to polish some rocks with our Z-Boat’s prop (good thing we had a spare), and we lost of of our cockpit cushions during a squall outside the Yacht Club.  Julie and I spent a few hours looking for it at daybreak, but no luck.  Both incidents were totally avoidable, so we should have known better.  This yachting lifestyle is about constant learning and improvement, and never fails to teach us new lessons (and old lessons),,,

 

KIRIBATI – BORA BORA

Total trip time:  164 hours     (6 days, 20 hours)

Total trip distance:  1173.7 nm

Total fuel used:  920.4 gals  /  1.27 nm/gal

 

 

On to TAHITI!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information»

 

 

On April 12th, 2016, we finally left the Island of OAHU, which had become our home-away-from-home.  I was actually unsure if the time would ever come, so great was our time in the Hawaiian Islands.  We will remember the consistent warm weather, cooling trade winds, glorious sunsets & the wonderful ALOHA Spirit.  Until we meet again, Thank you Hawaii for the last 16 wonderful months.  MAHALO.

 

 

Ko Olina 2

We never got bored of the Ko Olina Sunsets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ko Olina 1

our back-yard for 16 months

 

 

clan

Our best friends in Hawaii — JoBeth & Scott Marihugh

 

 

Andy and scott

Andy & Scott,,, with just two beers

 

 

Jo Beth and jay

Jobeth & Jay lovin’ the camera

 

 

longboards

the Ko Olina Clan at LONGBOARDS,,, the night before we left for Kiribati

 

 

last supper

Chloë, Kal, Jay, Scott, Jobeth, Andy & Gary Tempstra, at Longboards.                                                     (if you want batteries in Oahu, Gary is your man!)

 

 

mohito

the INFINITY signature drink,,, the Mojito     One last time, the night before our transit.     (Thank you Mary & Larry – N57 ‘No Plans’  for the glasses!)

 

 

bye zuly

Julie and Zuly. (With Harley’s 4-legged friend, Calvin) Came by to say Bon Voyage.

 

 

bye job andy and jay

Jay, JoBeth & Andy,,, minutes before we pulled away from Oahu

 

 

final crew shot

the official INFINITY “Oahu Departure’ photo  –  Chloë, Julie, Kal, & Andy

 

 

fianal with james

no group of photo’s would be quite right, without James Ellingford in the frame. (James & Claire, –Pendana–, our N62 buddies).

 

 

unhooking

Julie corralling the kids into departure action

 

 

Pointing INFINITY South into the Pacific waters, we commenced our transit from OAHU to Christmas Island, KIRIBATI.

This trip is a family reunion with Julie, Andy, Chloë & Kal Nemier, all together again, just like the good ol’ times.  After our stay in French Polynesia, Chloë departs for Norway, to start her new life with her boyfriend Henrik.  And Kal starts his University education back in British Columbia.  When will we all meet up again?

As we exited the Barber’s Point channel, we encountered a plethora of shipping,  and a complete failure/shut-down of our primary Nav (Nobeltec) system,,, (we’re perhaps 20 minutes into our trip at this stage)  No drama.  We fired up the secondary Furuno plotter and restarted the Nobeltec again, (after checking all the connections were tight), and had no further issues with it.

The first day out was so rough that it was ‘every man for himself’.   Nourishment-wise, no one felt like eating anything anyway.  The second day we rallied together to re-heat some Thai leftovers.  The third day was better and we managed to bake a Lasagne.  We had our first coffee’s of the trip on Day 3.  That felt good, I loved that.

Day 4, the Nespresso coffee machine was re-installed in it’s rightful place.  For most of the voyage, the weather did not really improve much, with continual heavy head seas & winds.  But our sea sickness medication was working & we soldiered on.  Our last 24 hours, as closed in on Christmas Island, were thankfully peaceful with calm winds and seas.

After a shaky start, I’m now realizing that the boat & crew are actually pretty well sorted.  And it’s funny how it can take a rough transit to substantiate that.  I actually like these longer passages because they enable you to fine tune your vessel.  During the transit, the boat’s operation has primacy in my thoughts.  It allows me to capture what’s important to make the boat go; (what is really paramount, and what’s just fluff).  I have a totally revised TO DO list, now that another 1160 miles has passed under the keel.

As we are approaching Christmas Island, 24 miles out.  I’m sitting in the salon in total air conditioned comfort, my iPad mini beside me showing our present position, and it occurs to me that I have everything I could ever want right here.  My family is upstairs and we are all enjoying this wonderful experience of visiting the South Pacific together.  Next week, we’ll see Bora Bora, Raritea, and Tahiti.  I feel so very fortunate to be able to enjoy this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience as a family.  Who says God is not great?  Right now, I’m sitting in the awe and wonderment of it all.

 

 

transit sunset

sunrise as we approach Christmas Island – good Omen?

 

 

transit raibow

don’t like the clouds moving in,,, but we’ll take the rainbow

 

 

CI readying anchor

Jay & Kal preparing the anchor for our Customs Clearance into Kiribati

 

 

CI arrival clan

Julie, Kal & Chloë watching the dolphins escort us into the anchorage

 

 

CI arrival

Anchor down!! (we’re actually closer to shore than it looks) Sundowners next!

 

 

J watching

Jay on anchor-watch   ; )

 

 

CI beach wave 1

for a few days these rollers came in. We we anchored just outside of harm’s-reach

 

 

kawii stbd

Coaster / Trader, “KWAI” I met the crew, they were interested in hearing all about INFINITY, and I was more interested in their fantastic riveted/steel hulled beauty. They trade local goods amongst the South Pacific Islands.

 

 

kwaii stbd stern

when asked if they carry sail often, the Captain replied “when-ever we can”

 

 

CI chloe kal zodiac

Chloë & Kal taking it all in, as we make our first Christmas Island visit.

 

 

CI chloe kal beach

Outside “Timei’s” House (pronounced “SIMI”).  Much of Christmas Island looked like this

 

 

picnic beach

Our chosen Picnic spot

 

 

rental car

our rented Charabanc / from John Bryden. While we had the car, we toured around the towns of LONDON, BANANA, & POLAND

 

 

beach clean up

then, we set up camp here for the day

 

 

beach clean up 2

unfortunately, the area was littered with some plastic bottles, so we decided to remove what we could see.

 

 

beach bounty

126 plastic bottles rescsued in total, and delivered to John Bryden’s recycling bin.

 

 

simi

Chloë, Kal, Timei & Jay. Timei is the local “Go-To guy” in Christmas Island, and hooked us up with John Bryden.

 

 

Bob and Marje

Friends of James & Claire (N62 Pendana), BOB + MARGE were also anchored at Christmas Island, in their Catalina 42 sailboat. We spent a great day & evening together.

 

 

The day before we headed out, we decided to grab some diesel, basically to stem the generator use.  (During the transit and during much of our time at anchor, the generator was running 24/7 for Air Conditioning).  Well, that refueling event turned out to be a hairy adventure.  No photos, no time for that.  The surge was so great at the commercial dock, that we were ‘live-boating’, and actively repositioning the fenders for much of the time.  Don’t ever want to see a ‘next time’.

We had one other issue during our stay.  The plastic PEX fitting underneath our Hot-Water tank let go.  Chloë heard the mid-ship’s bilge pump running, and alerted me to the noise.  Naturally this took place at O’Dark thirty, as I pumped out the space and spent 20 mins rummaging around the engine room for spare fittings.  Luckily we had one, and we were back to “Fully-Operational” status inside 30 mins.

Our stay in Christmas Island stretched out to 7 days.  We chilled-out a few days, BBQ’ued and swam off the bustle.  The Island tour & picnic took a day.  And of course ‘Island Time’ played a role with our clearance, immigration, banking and diesel delivery.  It’s easy to account for the days clicking-on by.

 

 

OAHU – KIRIBATI

TOTAL TIME FOR JOURNEY:  168 hrs (7 days)

TOTAL MILAGE FOR JOURNEY:  1153.6 nm

TOTAL FUEL FOR JOURNEY:  979.6 gals     /     1.17 nm/gal

 

 

 

 

More Information»
HAWAII
December 262014

We crossed the Pacific Ocean to visit the Hawaiian Islands & our friends on the Big Island (Karen & Bob Moles – hi guys!).   The transit to Hawaii would break up an otherwise huge undertaking (voyage to New Zealand), and also provide a last stop for any spares & servicing that this intermediate journey would uncover.  Our initial research suggested that Oahu would offer a great Base and entry point to the Hawaiian Islands.

 

OAHU                      updates 2015/Feb           reunion 2015/May           Jan-&-Em 2015/May

KAUAI

BIG ISLAND           INFINITY / PENDANA Rendezvous 2015/Jul

 

 

We arrived Oahu, Ko Olina Marina on November 17th, 2014.  Thanks again to our crew Ron Okada & Frank Balm (you know you guys were awesome, don’t you?!).  On November 18th, we had guests arriving, flying in from Vancouver.

 

arrival steve and lynn

Steve & Lynn McEneany were first to arrive. (Julie’s sister)

 

 

arrival jo and steve

next in,  best friends Steve and Joanne Young

 

 

beach day KO OLINA

Strike up the band!!   Lynn, Julie, Andy, Joanne, Steve & Steve

 

 

We spent the first day a-walkin’ & a-talkin’ around the Marina grounds.  Jay and I have come to love Ko Olina.

arrival grounds

Harley is just going to LOVE it here!

 

 

arrival sunset 1

WE  are just going to love it here!

 

 

A DAY ON THE BEACH

beach day all

 

 

Bday andy on beach

wading through the various Lagoons near the Marina

 

 

beach day grass

this is our ‘home’ lagoon, perhaps 200 yards from the Marina.  It’s our favorite

 

 

beach day crashed on sand

 

For purely medicinal purposes, refreshments were in order.

beach day night drinks 1

 

 

beach day night drinks 2

 

 

The next day, was my 50th Birthday.  Awesome.  I received many cards, gifts and messages of good will.  Indeed, Jay and I are very lucky to be surrounded by such great people in our lives.

Bday cards

 

 

Bday boat Jo and steve

 

 

Bday boat lynn and steve

 

 

Bday boat andy and julie

 

 

Such great times tend to gravitate around my Birthday.   On November 19th, 2012, we received word from Transport Canada that ‘INFINITY’ had officially been registered to us.  In 2013, we were fortunate to celebrate in La Paz, Mexico (with the Fubar), and now in 2014, we celebrate with family and great friends in Hawaii.

Bday candles

Thank you God

 

 

Bday cake

Thanks Jay!!!   xxox!

 

 

Bday table chloe julie andy

 

 

Next morning, time to shake the cobwebs off, and take the boat out for a burn along the western shore.

boat burn andy driving

 

 

boat burn 1

 

 

boat burn 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

boat burn jay

that’s my girl soaking it in

 

 

boat burn 3

 

 

boat burn rainbow

that rainbow again,,, where is that damn pot?

 

 

boat burn house and palms

Cloudy morning, but the backdrop & view in general was just fantastic

 

 

boat burn chloe splits

Chloë doing her thang

 

 

boat burn chloe tada

,,,because she can

 

 

 

 

another day,  we went for a car ride on the eastern side of the Island

car scenery 1

 

 

car scenery 2

 

 

car scenery enough

I think they have a point,,,

 

 

Diamond Head  (had to,,,)   Diamond Head is one of those ‘gotta-do’ things in Oahu.   It’s basically an old Volcano crater which was turned into a Miltary Strategic Point.  Because of it’s uniqueness and the spectacular views it offers, it has become a bit of a tourist attraction.   A walk for tourists which is a series of many steep stairs and  has several lookout points across the island & coastline.

diamond head south

looking towards the west,  Waikiki Beach on the right

 

 

diamond head central

looking out to sea – south

 

 

diamond head crater

looking past the Diamond Head Crater – east

 

 

and back down to Waikiki

diamond head waikiki surf boards

 

 

PEARL HARBOR    We are all familiar with the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 by the Japanese, causing the beginning of World war two, but it was an emotional journey to visit the harbor where it all took place and see all the artifacts in the museums there.   It personalized the tragedy and gave us a whole new understanding of the event.

PH sub 1

 

 

PH sub 2

 

 

PH mark v and andy

I’ve got 50 hours in this gear. Its USN issue, Mark V equipment. Once you’re in the water, it’s quite comfortable.

 

 

PH 3

USS ARIZONA Memorial

 

 

On to our Luau.  We chose the Polynesian Cultural Center for this and we were not disappointed.  The show after the dinner was spectacular,,, really was.

lu au all table

 

 

lu au andy jlie lynn steve

 

 

lu au chloe jo steve

 

 

lu au pig

this guy was prepped and cooked in the traditional manner,, in the ground. Wasn’t tooo bad.

 

 

lu au all night

Steve, Joanne, Steve, Lynn, Chloë, Julie & Andy

 

 

Steve and Joanne have said their goodbyes, and Lynn & Steve remain for a few days more on the good ship INFINITY.  This is a shot of our last night together,,, good times!

last night all

 

 

last night lynn and julie

sisterly love,, it’s great to catch the vibe

 

 

wrap up

 

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

Updates:

Dec 26th, 2014  –  I went back to work (Middle East again), and Julie flew to Vancouver for Christmas with the family.

 

Feb 15th, 2015  –  Harley is back onboard INFINITY!   Click on the link HERE to see how it all transpired.

 

GOPR4826

Finally, I have arrived in Hawaii!   Where are the Dolphins at?

 

 

Walkies!

Walkies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 28th, 2015  –  INFINITY ∞  Haul-out.   ON THE HARD

Once we recovered from Harley’s import into Honolulu, we got busy on INFINITY ∞   We had 5 days to make it happen, before I had to get back to work.  After 2 1/2 years, it was great to get her out, and give her some attention.

 

the 5-day blitz

the 5-day blitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 1st, 2015

After a couple of months back at work, Julie and I were reunited once again, (perhaps for the 124th? time).  I go earn the cruising chips and Julie stays onboard and tends to INFINITY’s every need – a job she excels at.  Before our guests arrive, we immerse ourselves in the Hawaii we’ve grown to love.  Here is what was happening locally.

 

IMG_0439

INFINITY ∞  at home in her Ko Olina Slip,  I-20.

 

 

DSC00802

we never get tired of these beautiful Oahu sunsets

 

 

DSC00794

 

 

DSC00905

 

 

IMG_0599

Harley’s new bed. She loves it.

 

 

IMG_1420

John McVie (Bass player from Fleetwood Mac) and Julie, onboard John’s N43

 

 

Meet Kevin, Ko Olina’s local Puffer fish.  He surfaces every few hours to try his luck.  He’s rarely dissappointed.  He’s often thrown some fresh fish from a local catch.

DSCN6948

 

 

IMG_0527

 

 

IMG_0533

Harley and Kevin are friends

 

 

Another Charter boat brings home a prize.  This Yellow fin was actually typical,,,(honestly).  Kevin is going to be happy!

IMG_0119

205 lb yellow fin tuna. This particular time, one was being caught almost every day.

 

 

IMG_0546

 

 

IMG_0547

 

 

Occassionally, Julie and I would venture into Honolulu, visit West Marine and then go shopping,,,  I fell instantly in love with this bad-boy – the 2015 INDIAN ‘SCOUT’

IMG_1531

this WILL actually fit on INFINITY’s scooter mounts. Only for the love of the bike, I just couldn’t do it,,,

 

 

 

IMG_1529

Oh Yeah,,,, feels reel good though,,,

 

 

 

2015-Indian-Scout-Wall-of-Death-2

OK, this is the one!  Seroiusly, Ill be revisiting this one in the future,,,

 

 

 

2015-Indian-Scout-Wall-of-Death-3-590x393

Imagine this in metallic charcoal grey,,, (big sigh)

 

 

 

White Party at Ko Olina’s sea-side lawn area.   It was around 9pm, and Julie and I had just finished our new Battery Bank installation.  We took Harley for a walk and look what was happening on the grounds!  It was crazy and magical at the same time.  It sure looked like fun & everyone we spoke to was having a great time.

 

IMG_0312

 

 

 

IMG_0320

 

 

 

IMG_0387

 

 

 

IMG_0149 - Version 2

sorry, just had to,,,    Ending the evening with these imagines,,, is just wonderful.

 

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

Reunion!

This was no ordinary reunion, this one was special as it marked the first time my Dad & his wife Joan, had been onboard INFINITY.  We were fortunate to have my brother-in-law – Jean-Pierre Daspe, also join us.  We spent a week lazing around Oahu, before heading off to KAUAI

 

 

DSC00773

Kal, Joan, Chloë & Dad.       Dad & Joan stopped-over in Vancouver to visit Chloë & Kal

 

 

DSC00792

Dad & Joan’s first view from INFINITY’s upper aft deck, looking left,,,,

 

 

DSC00777

,,,and to the right.    Not bad views at all.

 

 

DSC00912

Dinner out at ROY’s,  the Ko Olina Golf Club

 

 

DSC00916

 

 

DSC00919

 

 

DSCN6668

What a sport!   Julie will hitch a ride on the scooter anytime.  

 

 

DSCN6669

another passenger disembarks the scooter Limo.

 

 

OK, another night at the Golf Club.  It’s local, it’s handy, and the views are easy on the eye.

DSCN6670

 

 

DSCN6672

 

 

DSCN6673

 

 

IMG_0263

 

 

JP, getting some water time in.

DSCN6690

JP snorkelling in Lagoon No.3

 

 

DSCN6702

I never get bored looking at INFINITY, sets my heart ‘a-flutter

 

 

DSCN6706

 

 

DSCN6722

 

 

A day out to Manoa Falls

DSCN6723

 

 

IMG_0291

 

 

IMG_0310

Harley is just lovin’ off-leash time!

 

 

IMG_0333

Dad & Joan at the top viewing area, Manoa Falls

 

 

IMG_0335

the 3-amigos

 

 

DSCN6713

 

 

DSC00793

Harley and my Dad share a moment,,,,,again.

 

 

DSC00790

the girls out & about in Ko Olina

 

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

Well, it’s been a busy month, and you’ll see it’s about to get busier   ;  )

 

Two days after our arrival back to Ko Olina, (from KAUAI), my Dad and Joan departed Oahu, heading back to Canada.  JP followed a few days later.  That left 4 clear days for Julie and I to prepare INFINITY for Jan & Emily’s arrival.

Jan Lacock, and her daughter Emily, are our dear friends from North Vancouver who came out to visit us on May 21st, 2015.

 

IMG_0016

another day at the office,   strolling around Ko Olina’s beautiful grounds

 

 

IMG_0603

That’s Emily, Jan & Jay.

 

 

IMG_0698

Yoga class for the girls,,, Harley walk for me

 

 

IMG_0736

the next few shots are taken around the garrison where Pearl Harbor was filmed

 

 

IMG_0738

my turn    ; )

 

 

IMG_0746

I like to fly the flag  ∞

 

 

IMG_0681

here’s the other flag we fly

 

 

IMG_0033

My Jay soaking up that wonderful Hawaii sunshine and looking as beautiful as always.

 

 

IMG_0035

 

 

IMG_0641

 

 

IMG_0019

this is the Clan,,, Emily, Jan, Scott, Jo-Beth, Julie & Andy

 

 

IMG_0029

 

 

IMG_0032

Not too sure what she’s saying here,,but I’m not scared   (well yeah, I may have managed a couple of beers by this time    ; )

 

 

IMG_0202

the scooters are out, Jan & Em get into the swing

 

 

IMG_0215

 

 

IMG_0217

Our last day together,,, so sad to see these guys go.

 

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

KAUAI

 

DSCN6800

JP getting all fired-up, taking an active interest in our pre-trip Pilot House preparations

 

 

 

IMG_0391

This was our first up-close view of the Island of KAUAI – entering Hanelei Bay early morning,                       May 8th, 2015

 

 

DSCN6822 - Version 2

anchor down, view up-closer. Beautiful.

 

 

We met this wonderful woman, who happened past our boat (paddle-boarding) just after anchoring in Hanelei Bay.  We invited her onboard for coffee and discussed many things local to the Island.  (Horror of horror’s, Kelly – I’ve misplaced your details – I’m so sorry)  In true Island spirit, she lent us her car for the weekend.  Just incredible,,, Island people are so good.

With some wheels, we got touring around the Island to see what we could see.

DSC00825

Joan & Dad. The backdrop is Kilauea Lighthouse

 

 

DSCN6827

 

 

DSC00816

 

 

DSC00820

 

 

DSC00878

 

 

DSC00875

birdman. or more appropriately, chicken-man. They kept pecking him for more grains

 

 

DSC00855

 

 

 

DSC00828

 

 

IMG_1427

apparently these falls were open to the public, until some Dude with a buck-or-two, bought the land and closed off the falls for pubic enjoyment.

 

 

DSC00851

 

 

IMG_0397

after a long day sight-seeing, it’s back to INFINITY for some Tapas & wine.

 

 

IMG_0373

 

 

DSCN6839

 

 

IMG_0429

 

 

IMG_0432

 

 

Do you remember the film “The Descendants”?  We recognised many places on the Island where different scenes were shot.  It was kind of cool to associate these places we were going to, with the Clooney movie.  We all liked the movie, and loved KAUAI.

IMG_1431

 

 

IMG_1436

 

 

A few days later, we had to pick up sticks, and head back to Oahu.  The forecast was poor, and guess what?  Bang-on this time  :  (      Bye-bye- KAUAI,  I shall see you again sometime.

 

IMG_0448

these views never get old

 

 

DSCN6889 - Version 2

 

 

DSC00892

,,,and out of the Bay we go

 

 

DSCN7000

we stopped-over in Port Allen for the night, to get out of the weather. It was good to have some escorts bring us into the Harbor.

 

 

DSC00806

Tucked-up safely in Port Allen, JP & Harley wait for the Beer & Pizza

 

 

DSCN6811

next morning we head out of KAUAI, bound for OAHU. Forecast is for much of the same,,, poor. : (

 

 

DSC00888

the Rod is out

 

 

IMG_0462

JP is litterally ‘willing’ a fish to the hook

 

 

DSC00898

Neptune has answered JP’s prayers,,, 30 lb Mahi Mahi

 

 

DSCN6974

yes JP, we will eat your fish,,, merci mon ami!

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

BIG ISLAND

 

 

KONA

IMG_0505

there is just no way to get away,,, from the ALOHA Spirit in Hawaii

 

 

IMG_1591

wheels we picked up to transport us to the KONA Marathon venue.  FIAT 500 – cute!

 

 

IMG_0488

 

 

IMG_1564

 the grounds around the Kona Hilton Waikoloa Beach Resort.  Nice place!  This was ‘registration morning’, the day before the event.

 

The day after registration, I ran my first Marathon.  You can read about it here

We spent the next few days relaxing arond Kailua Bay.

 

IMG_0464

dolphins came ’round the boat while we were at anchor in Kailua Bay. Harley was going nuts.

 

 

IMG_0474

Harley wanted a closer look. In the dinghy we go.

 

 

IMG_0499

Our view of INFINITY from the shore

 

 

IMG_0506

 

 

IMG_0507

stops me in my tracks whenever I see poeple looking at INFINITY. I always wonder what they’re thinking

 

 

IMG_0532

Julie picking up the anchor. Tonight we must go – we have a date with PENDANA

 

 

 

 

HILO

IMG_0409

the grounds near the anchorage in Hilo. special place

 

 

IMG_0090

the best way to see the Big Island & orientate yourself,,, – we take this Hughes 500 for a burn!

 

 

Flying over Kilauea, we saw live lava flows

IMG_0207

 

 

IMG_0236

 

 

IMG_0173

 

 

IMG_0255

 

 

the flight over the island took us over some beautiful pools & waterfalls

IMG_0305 - Version 2

 

 

IMG_0291 - Version 2

 

 

IMG_0324

flight path back to the airport – over HILO harbor.  What are those two powerboats?

 

 

IMG_0340 - Version 2

a fine pair of N62’s!   PENDANA on the left,   INFINITY on the right

 

 

IMG_0364 - Version 2

our Pilot was a pretty cool guy – living his Dream!

 

 

Another day, we went hiking around the Volcanoes National Park

IMG_0441

my one & only      : )

 

 

IMG_0444

 

 

IMG_0461

 

 

IMG_0464

 

 

wandering through the Thurston Lava Tube, kind-of cool.

IMG_0481

 

 

Views from the Thomas A Jagger Museum

IMG_0498

 

 

IMG_0500

 

 

IMG_0501

Yep,,, I’m lovin’ this breeze!

 

 

IMG_0503

 

 

 

 

INFINITY  /  PENDANA   Rendezvous

 

When we learned that N62 Pendana was passing through Hawaii during their Pacific transit, we thought it would be cool to hook-up, and finally meet up with the Ellingford’s.

IMG_3571

INFINITY cruising into Hilo

 

 

IMG_3579

settling into position near Pendana

 

 

IMG_3592

Jay lets-loose our 300 lb stainless bad-boy – We have arrived!

 

 

IMG_0534

one hour after dropping anchor in Hilo Harbor, we were onboard Pendana with the Ellingfords!

 

 

IMG11_1839

Jay & I sampling the Aussie white onboard Pendana,,, the hospitality was wonderful!

 

 

IMG_0024

well I’m afraid James & Claire made us too comfortable,,, we’re there for the night.

 

 

Two Ocean-crossing Thoroughbreds in Hawaii

IMG_0635

 

 

IMG_3625 (2) - Version 2

 

 

IMG_0631

 

 

IMG_0003

The Pendana Clan onboard INFINITY – JULY 4TH, 2015

 

 

IMG_0009

check-out Julies July-4th fruit-flag!   I particularly enjoyed the Mimosas ; )

 

 

IMG_0537

 

 

IMG_0519

 

 

IMG_0417

 

 

Hawaii – the Rainbow State  (you’re not kidding!)

IMG_0398

 

 

IMG_0404

 

 

IMG_0390

 

 

IMG_0381

 

 

Reflecting back, we ended up staying a couple of weeks in Hilo, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The anchorage was well protected, and access to the shore (by dinghy) was painless enough.  The next two photos of Infinity were taken by James, from Pendana.

IMG_3616

 

 

IMG_3612

 

 

Well, time to head back to Oahu.  This guy has to head back,,, to go to work.  Is it really that time already?

IMG_0594

Dolphins escort INFINITY out of Hilo Harbor

 

 

IMG_0579

Harley, in her usuall dophin-spotting-barking-her-head-off location

 

 

IMG_0561

 

 

IMG_0546

–Heaven–  a few moments spent reflecting on the last month, and our fortunate Journey so far.             Deep, deep Gratitude.

 

 

Our transit back to Ko Olina was blissfully calm, and highly unusual for the Alenuihaha Channel.

IMG_0557

Bring it on!

 

 

IMG_0552

days like this are what enjoyable cruising is all about.

 

 

IMG_0553

reading in my favourite spot, lovely cool breeze a’blowin’    Every moment savoured.

 

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Information»
Pacific Crossing
September 12014

Transit from San Diego to Hawaii

More Information»
Cabo San Lucas,  MX
August 212014

Good bye Mexico – we’ll miss you!

More Information»
Barra de Navidad,  MX
July 122014

Quaint, colourful & cool!

More Information»
Puerto Vallarta,  MX
December 52013

Crystal clear azure water, and dolphins!

More Information»
La Paz,  MX
November 192013

This is the last stop, the end of the road for the FUBAR 2013 Rally

More Information»
San Jose del Cabo,  MX
November 162013

thanking God for enabling this great experience for us

More Information»
Mag Bay,  MX
November 132013

As the morning progressed, so did the fog. We arrived Mag Bay by Radar

More Information»
Turtle Bay,  MX
November 112013

Margarita time onboard INFINITY!

More Information»
Ensenada, MX
November 52013

The crew of INFINITY arrive MEXICO!

More Information»
San Diego, USA
October 282013

Entering San Diego Harbor, we came within 500m of the US Military presence. They were everywhere,,, Cool!

More Information»
San Francisco, USA
October 202013

We made it!

More Information»
The Departure Plan
October 152013

Jay and I have decided to enter the FUBAR 2013 Rally!

More Information»
Home Port
June 172013

We sold our home to pursue dreams of traversing God’s blue earth by sea

More Information»
All Listing Types All Locations Any Rating

Listing Results