All Waypoints

LatLonBoat nameNoteCreated at
35º 36.96' S174º 32.13' EAlcyoneG'day mates, moved on down the coast after several days in Bay of Islands. Weather has improved with lots of sunshine. Yesterday we left the BOI and around Cape Brett with basically no wind, and moved down to Tutukaka Harbor, about 35 miles total. Was a beautiful day, though the wind was all over the place, from zero to 25 knots and all directions. We finally just moved in close to shore and motored the last bit as it ended up on the nose. We anchored in Tutukaka, a small but well protected harbor in about 15 feet of mud/gravel, but wind was still blowing about 15 plus inside. We're off this morning to Urquats Bay, just inside the Whangarei Bay, and we'll spend the night, then head into Town Basin Marina in Whangarei at high tide, around mid day. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 2 days  agoShow

35º 15.312' S174º 11.85' EAlcyoneG'day mates, well we finally escaped the sucking black hole of the marina and moved out a few miles into the Bay of Islands, a world away in just about an hour. We just wanted to get back on the water, do some fishing and see how things were working on the boat. We had both the main and head sails recut, to take out the stretch from age, make them flatter and more efficient and especially for the main, easier to get rolled back up into the mast. Just like a tummy tuck... Also resolved the age old issue of refrigeration. Finally had to break down and have the local expert come over and help - another set of eyes and brains, turns out he/we resolved four separate issues contributing to the low voltage/amperage at the units, causing them to not come on when voltage got a bit low. Major issue was the wire run distance from batteries to units, causing too much resistance and subsequent failure to start - the install went from batteries to main system on/off breakers (port side), aft to stern across to starboard side, forward to breaker panel (starboard side), back to stern, across to midship, forward to units. We basically cut two thirds off that by building a relay panel and going straight from main breaker to relay panel at the units, then using the original wiring to send a low voltage signal from breaker panel to relays, turning them on or off. Bottom line is we have a real freezer now, and a fridge that can get too cold. <BR/>We stopped out at Roberton Island, a very nice cove that's a favorite with the locals, however the wind was southwest and straight into the anchorage. So we had lunch then picked up and went southeast across to Orakawa Bay near Assassination Cove to get more protection from mainland. We are out front of 5-6 houses on a private beach with no access road. Well protected, though the wind has been swirling around from north through west to southish with some rain showers mixing in with bright warm sun. We'll stay another night, then make a move somewhere else close by, making our way down to Whangarei by mid next week. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 days  agoShow

35º 18.84' S174º 7.29' EAlcyoneG'day mates, we made it to NZ, and if following you'll note that I did not send out any underway reports - just lazy. It was an uneventful but quick trip. We checked out at Denerau Marina in Fiji on Wednesday, and moved out to Momi Bay for the night. The weather reports indicated we'd have a little less rough ride by waiting for 12 hours. Not sure that was true. There were about 8 boats all doing the same thing, and everyone left within an hour of each other Thursday morning. Winds came up to 20-25 knots with rough seas, and stayed that way for 3 days. We were moving quickly, but it was somewhere in the "not fun but not miserable" category. Day 4 calmed down, sun came out for the first time, and we continued to move along with smoother seas and 15-20 knots of wind, all on the beam, putting us in the "fun" category. Last two days wind died, and we motored the last 36 hours, putting us in the "getting there" category. Door to door it was 1053 nautical miles in just over six days (148 hours), averaging 7.1 knots. Not bad, considering... OBTW, the SFR (stoopid fish ratio) remains very high, as we didn't catch anything on the way. Have to say though we only had the lines out for a little while as catching something in the first few days would have been problematic considering wind and seastate. <BR/>We're in a berth in the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua. They had 28 boats all arrive with us on Wednesday, coming down from Tonga and Fiji, which tells you that it was a really good weather window for making the trip. Will spend a week or so here, getting things cleaned up then move out into the surrounding area to see what we missed during our short visit here in the fall before going to Fiji. We're trying to figure out our next trip back to the states, working around the holidays, but no plan yet. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 2 months  agoShow

17º 55.038' S177º 16.002' EAlcyoneBula, been moving around for a couple days, getting ready to leave back to NZ. Left Musket Cove after several days of surfing and cleaning the bottom of the boat. NZ is a bit cranky about European Fan Worm, which I don't think they have in Fiji, but when you show up they inspect the bottom of the boat for unwanted flora and fauna (bottom crud). If it's not clean, they make you haul out within 24 hours. So more money for the industry... Went over to Denerau Marina, stayed in a berth for one night, checked out with customs/immigration, got fueled up, and moved out to Momi Bay, same place we stayed on the way in. There are about 8 of us here, all leaving for NZ in the morning, as there is a BFH (big fat high) dominating the south pacific between here and NZ, so a rare opportunity for good conditions all the way there. Lots of folks left today, but it's a bit windy outside right now (out in open ocean) so waiting drops it about 5 knots and makes it a bit less heeled over for us. We'll get there at the same time anyway. Heading for Opua, same place we left from on the way up, will spend some time around there in the Bay of Islands before the Christmas onslaught of holiday sailors show up. Not sure what the plan is after that. <BR/>OBTW, if this shows up with a Google Earth picture that says "error...", just click on it and it goes to the right picture. Not sure why it's happening, but it's a Farkwar error not processing properly on the email. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 2 months  agoShow

17º 45.84' S177º 21.882' EAlcyoneBula, finally escaped Musket Cove again and went out to Namotu Island for the morning to go surfing, then made our way to Denerau for a "music festival" on Saturday night. Surfing was good, but very crowded and lots of rude folks. Disappointing. The festival was 9 local bands, ranging from OK to very good. Lots to eat and drink and a good crowd. We dinghied in to the Westin Hotel and walked through out to the golf course and the event. <BR/>We're anchored in sort of a pass between the mainland and a small island, very shallow but protected. It's been raining since Sunday afternoon, with a gully washer downpour, some lightning and winds taking us in a 360 anchor dance. Heavy overcast today with more rain, which we're waiting for a break so we can go in and look around the marina. It will probably turn into rainy day schedule with alternating movies and naps. Rain expected for next couple days, but that doesn't impact playing in the water. At least the boat gets a nice wash. <BR/>Many folks getting ready to start transit back to New Zealand and Australia. We're looking at the end of the month, and just probably staying local until then. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 2 months  agoShow

17º 46.23' S177º 11.22' EAlcyoneBula, we left Blue Lagoon several days ago as the wind was predicted to come up significantly, so we started making our way back to Musket Cove. Stopped at Drawaqa island for a night to try and swim with the manta rays. They have a resort aptly called Manta Ray resort at the adjacent island, which we didn't visit, but it's a short dinghy ride over to Tokatokauna Pass at high tide to see the rays. Went early the next morning along with a bunch of other folks, jump in the water on the east side and drift through. The water wasn't that clear but we saw 3 or 4 large mantas as they feed through the channel. It was just on the outgoing tide, so the ride starts slow, you see the rays in the deeper water as they go back and forth, then you hit the shallower "trough" and really accelerate, especially holding on to the dinghy and getting blown by the wind as well. <BR/>Back to the boat and anchor up back toward Octopus Resort, where I thought we'd have some protection. Came around the point and it's blowing really hard in the bay, so kept on going to Yalobi Bay, where we had stopped on the way up. At the top of the bay it's well protected, but the wind was 180 deg from the prevailing wind outside - really a mixing bowl. Spent a lazy afternoon there, then picked up the next morning to make the 25 miles to Musket. The wind of course is coming from exactly where we want to go, so instead of sailing and tacking and taking all day, we just motored and made it as fast as we could. Reminded us a bit of the "Baja Bash", the trip up the pacific along the Baja that tends to be very similar - straight into the wind and swell, and not very pleasant. Any way, cheated death again and made it into Musket in time for happy hour, which is the real enticement. Met up with folks we hadn't seen in a while, and will stay here for a week or so. Lots of folks had the same idea as us, get here to wait out the wind. Supposed to have some significant rain as well, but it hasn't shown up yet. Most of the islands, especially out west in the Yasawas are in a drought situation, where the government has a water barge servicing many of the islands where they haven't had any rain in quite a while, and many don't have enough well water to serve even the small community. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 2 months  agoShow

16º 56.7' S177º 22.02' EAlcyoneBula, moved a couple days ago heading north up the Yasawa chain, stopped overnight in Somosomo, very nice anchorage with one other boat, little wind and good water. Picked up the next morning and moved about 12 miles further to Nanuya-sewa island, or Blue Lagoon. I have charts that show three blue lagoon locations, which I believe were used for the Brooke Shields movie, and I think this is the primary location. The beach is beautiful, with several small resorts around. Lots of good snorkeling and paddling, happy hour at the cruiser friendly resort with about 10 other boats anchored here. <BR/>Navigating up in this area getting more sporty, as there are extensive reefs that are poorly charted except for some older hand drawn charts called "Plans". They are very accurate but on paper. All the electronic charts have some level of inaccuracy, and you have to pick and use any program that incorporates satellite photos with GPS location, so you can see your real time location relative to obstacles. If you look at this location on google earth, you'll see how extensive the reef systems are, and many times we've navigated over dirt on Navionics that is mischarted. <BR/>We're here for probably a couple more days; the wind is up today but we want to go snorkeling around the corner, apparently there are some giant "cabbage" corals and giant clams worth chasing. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 3 months  agoShow

17º 16.59' S177º 6.222' EAlcyoneBula, we left Musket Cove along with the mass exodus after the end of the regatta, and made our way up to Waya island, roughly 25 miles to the southern bay. Went in and anchored with several other boats, but there was not much going on there relative to beach or snorkeling, so moved around to the northeast corner of Waya Island to Likuliku Bay and Octopus Resort. We're anchored in about 30 feet in sand with various reefs all around. The island catamaran comes twice a day, morning and afternoon, changing out passengers, along with the seaplane that comes when he wants to do the same. Yesterday the seaplane made the people transfer by panga about 500 yards from shore, today he came in and drove up to the beach and dumped them out. Went snorkeling yesterday, the water is pretty good visibility (maybe 50 ft +) and the coral is in really good shape - we say types and colors we haven't seen anywhere else. <BR/>Went in for happy hour today to Octopus - they have about 70 guests at the moment, but are very cruiser/boater friendly. The beach is a long, curved sandy beach, but very steep. Had a good view straight out into the bay and the sunset, wind was dying down, beautiful water and clear sky, so someplace where you want to stay awhile. We may... <BR/>Leaving here, it's probably up to the next island to Somosomo Bay, then start heading back to Lakota to provision some, then back up here. There are a thousand little spots to stay, just have to find the ones that provide shelter from prevailing wind. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 3 months  agoShow

17º 46.062' S177º 10.86' EAlcyoneBula, made our way over to Musket Cove, just about 10 miles north of Momi Bay. Went past Cloudbreak on the way, famous surfing spot once owned and controlled by the Tavarua Island Resort, but subsequently opened up by the government. Musket Cove is on Malolo Island, along with a couple other resorts, all catering to different type clients from family to very exclusive. We're here with at least a hundred plus of our best boat buddies from all over, mostly New Zealand and Australia. They have a mooring field as well as marina spots, but as we were a late arrival we're anchored out in the suburbs in about 50+ feet. Had a tough time getting anchored as most of the bottom is mud, and the anchor was just plowing through and not digging down. As the satellite photo shows there are lots of shallow reefs around, and the tidal range here is over 2 meters, and the wind will jump up to 20 knots, so you have to keep vigilant about boats moving around unintentionally. Lots of fun and games with the regatta, we're going in this afternoon to watch the Hobie Cat races. Lots of carnage on the first day with high winds - collisions, blown jibs, loss of steering with subsequent stoppage by the bulkhead... I guess it's ok when it's not your boat. Back in this afternoon to watch the finals, along with Taco night. We long for Mexico, as it's hard to find good Mexican food and tequila around here. <BR/>We're here a couple more days, then over to main island to provision a bit, then off to the Yasawas, the barrier islands in the Great Sea Reef that rings around the northwest side of the island. There may be less stoopid fish in that area... <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 3 months  agoShow

17º 54.972' S177º 16.038' EAlcyoneBula, we weighed anchor early this morning, getting up with the sun. Made the transit across the Beqqa lagoon (7+miles from our anchorage, it's a big lagoon) and then the 55 miles up to the Navula Pass and into Momi Bay for an overnight. Started off with no wind, and ended up with 20+, all downwind except for the reach through the pass and into the anchorage. There is a fairly new Marriott resort a mile or so away, but we are out in the mangroves in the mud, just hanging out til tomorrow morning and a move to Musket Cove. We have reasonable protection here, but it's not anywhere you'd want to spend time. <BR/>The sail today was "nice", once we got sailing, though we didn't get any hits on the fishing. Higher authority has noticed that the trolling miles per pounds of captured fish is pretty high, so I'll have to put some extra effort into that. Not sure what that means, maybe put some more lines out... we did have a nice hit on the way to Beqqa though, the reel went off and stopped, I glanced back and just saw the fish (not sure what, just saw the track through the water!) making a second attack on the lure from the side. Stoopid fish missed that one as well. I can't help it if the fish are stoopid and don't know how to feed... maybe higher authority can help with that. <BR/>A leisurely get up tomorrow morning and head to Musket Cove - it's about 10 miles into the anchorage so a couple easy hours to find a spot. Winds have continued from the south (at opposed to something easterly) as a trough south of us and a huge low in New Zealand keep bringing cooler air up here - it's down to 77 at the moment, so we'll have to rough it. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 3 months  agoShow

18º 24.018' S178º 6.018' EAlcyoneBula, back in Fiji after our three week visit to states, covering LA, Denver and Virginia. We provisioned and left tuesday afternoon, moving out of Savusavu's Coprashed marina and moving west to anchor off the Cousteau resort just inside the reef at the mouth of the bay. Then left the next morning for an overnight sail to the Beqqa Dive resort on Beqqa island, about 125 miles to the entrance to the reef. We had a good sail, though the weather prediction was about 90 degrees off on the wind causing us to beat into it most of the way south (wind supposed to be from east). Pretty uneventful transit, though lots of fishing boats off the coast at Suva, we passed outside them as they made their last sweep before going back to Suva with their catch. Hit the pass at sunrise - it is a pretty wide pass, no markings but the electronic charts are good and using sat photos make for an easy event. Wind was at our back by this time, and continued to build. We ducked into Malumu bay, a nice deep bay running north/south, got the anchor down but with building wind and a mud on coral bottom dragged slowly for about an hour. Was going to reposition, then senior authority changed it's mind and we left for the west side of the island, theoretically more sheltered. Got over to Vaga Bay with the wind at 20 plus knots now, going both directions (east and west) inside the bay, so we dropped anchor in the middle of that on the north side. Have been here for three days now, toured the village, met up with friends from New Zealand, and waiting for the Cal Yacht Club group to show up saturday. The dive resort is just a mile away, and they have a mooring, but doesn't have an eye on the end of the mooring line which makes it problematic for tying up - we have few options if we had to leave the mooring in a hurry. <BR/>Heading off to Musket Cove, on the west side of the main island, on Sunday morning. They have a rally going on this week, lots of events and typical sailor buffonery. We'll be there til next weekend, then start exploring the west side islands. They are supposed to be more of the "white sandy beach" variety, so we'll see. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 3 months  agoShow

16º 46.5' S179º 19.698' EAlcyoneBula, made it back to Savusavu after, as Bob would say, a rip roaring sail. Beautiful beam to slightly aft wind, 16-18 knots, sunny and a nice swell behind us. Did the 45 miles from Paradise in 5.5 hours, so it was a fun ride. We got here and had to wait around for a mooring, then moved into a slip, where I'll leave the boat as we travel home on Friday. We finally got rid of the black sand grit from the Vanuatu volcano and the haze cleared up, but we're still waiting for some rain to get a good wash off. The marina has water, but first you have to find a fitting that connects to the faucet (not a US size faucet bib), then a hose that doesn't have holes in it, and is long enough, then wait for the washing machines to stop to get enough pressure... So rain would be welcomed. Even the locals are rationing their water, as the rain expected on Sunday may not be enough to fill things up. <BR/>We'll be off the net for about 3 weeks as we see family, will be back here Sep 1, then it's down to Benga to meet up with Cal Yacht Club Commodore's Cruise folks, then to Musket Cove for their annual rally and party fest. That gets us over to the west side of the islands, where we'll stay until end of season. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 4 months  agoShow

16º 56.052' S179º 53.988' EAlcyoneBula, I've been pretty lazy with reporting lately so have to get back on it. We left Albert Cove as the winds were turning south and wanted to get back to Kioa, so moved down there for a couple nights, then over to Buca Bay (pronounced Butha), which was forgettable, then back to Viani Bay. The weather has been dominated by haze and dust/ash/grit from the volcanoe that erupted a week or so ago in Vanuatu. It sent a huge plume up into atmosphere which drifted east over us and covered us and boat with a fine layer of black grit. I was able to sweep up quite a bit of it, but finally broke down and washed everything off with salt water. We haven't had any rain since just before that happened, so looking for a real rinse off soon. It's been clearing up slowly, we can see across the channel today to the big island, so hopefully no more eruptions. <BR/>Stayed in Viani for several days, then moved across the channel to the southwest end of Taveuni, to the Paradise Dive Resort, where they have put in free moorings for the cruisers and are very friendly. It's rated five of five resorts on Taveuni in Trip Advisor, so nothing but the best for us. Got here yesterday afternoon, moored up with two other boats from Australia who we've seen in several other anchorages - we seem to be on same schedule. Water here seems clearer than at Viani and we're in a hundred feet within a hundred yards of shore, so it's a nice drop for snorkeling. The divers all went out last night right next to us for a night dive - could watch all the underwater lights in a trail moving along. Today is exploring day, and we'll probably stay here til later in the week, then start heading back to Savusavu. We fly out on the 10th for visit to states, so need to get the boat tied up and secured in the marina. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 4 months  agoShow

16º 26.76' S179º 56.328' WAlcyoneBula, made the transit up to Albert Cove from Kioa Bay north. A pretty straight forward motor sail, although the reefs always look larger on the charts, and it's disconcerting to NOT see anything when the chart says there is supposed to be something. Also, the navigation markers don't always match. Some places have the old ones, and some have a new one in addition to the old one, and some have none...<BR/>Electronic navigation capability is virtually required, and you still need a good lookout especially winding your way into some of these anchorages. Coming in to Albert got interesting. As you come up the Georgia Channel between Rabi Island and the big island of Vanua Levu, roughly a north northeast heading, you cross the international dateline just before you get to the turn through the reefs at Albert. The Navionics on the Raymarine chartplotter continues to run fine, but we've found it's not accurate enough in a lot of places out here. And the trusty iPad decides that it liked today better than yesterday and doesn't know where it is anymore. I've got the approach route coordinates on the iPad (two programs, one with satellite imagery and route, other with route and chart) and not on the Navionics, of course, so big scramble to insert five new coordinates in and make a route we can follow. The approach turns out to really not be as bad as it initially looked, we had good light, waves breaking and clear water so could have done it visually, but the electronics is nice (the locals do it in the dark with no lights!). When we got in, talked to some folks who had same experience, so just a warning to anyone who sails around the dateline. We'll be crossing several more times in the next few weeks.<BR/>This turned out to be a really nice anchorage though a little deep, but good clear water, snorkeling on extensive reef system just a few hundred yards away (coral looks very healthy) and very nice local folks who work the area. They are Kiribati Pacific Islanders (not Fijian) who were relocated here some generations ago because of the devastation from phosphate mining up there. Apparently they received a huge financial settlement and were extremely wealthy for a short period of time, until outsiders came and managed to separate most of them from most of the money. There is a very nice town here, two huge churches, extensive infrastructure but it doesn't work (generators for electricity for instance are broken, don't have enough fuel). It's a typical story.<BR/>Anyway, I mentioned previously the noisy birds back at Kioa Bay. Turns out I'm clearly not a birder. Picking up the binoculars just before we left, it became clear that all my "birds" were hanging upside down in the trees, and were relatively huge (for upside down birds), at least two foot wingspan. Again, talking to folks here the fruit bats are quite extensive and you see clouds of them flying early morning or late afternoon. I just never knew they talked so much and were so cranky. I remember them from the Philippines, as we didn't fly just before sunset. The swarms were so extensive the air traffic controllers could see them on radar.<BR/><BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy5 months  agoShow

16º 37.728' S179º 56.04' EAlcyoneBula, moved yesterday over to north Kioa bay on Kioa Island, about 10 miles through the extensive reef. They do have markers up here, but you can't wander too far off course. Harry at Nasau Bay, which we just left, told us to be sure and not cut the corner on departure, there was a reef about 300 yards off the point. The charts show it as an x, meaning a rock, but the sat photo shows a large roundish reef. Harry said the RoRo ship (the local car ferry) came out one day and ran right up on it, so even the locals get it wrong. It also does not have an above water navigation marker. Where we are now is surprisingly nice, regardless of the disparity between the description in our guide and reality. The guide said to anchor near the sandy beach with palm trees. Well, that beach only shows up at low tide, and the palm trees are ubiquitous. Even so, the water is very clear and green, not blue, it's very quiet except for sunrise and sunset, when the local bird population goes into a 30 minute harangue, and we had a beautiful sunset. We had zero boat traffic until last night when the night fishermen come out. One came over to work the long thin reef that sticks out just to the east of us. There were a bazillion stars last night, and even with just the new moon there was lots of light, and with no wind, it was like a mountain lake with the stars, moon and clouds all reflecting off the water. <BR/>We really stopped here because I did not have any satellite imagery of Albert Cove, our destination today. We had cell coverage on the way here, but then it got cut off in the anchorage. So we took the cell phone and iPad out in the dinghy to the middle of the channel by the reef markers where we had line of sight to the antennas and sat there for a half hour while I downloaded the imagery and higher authority got her Facebook fix. So today we're off before noon, head about 13 miles northeast to Rabo Island and find this Albert Cove, which is supposed to be one of the better spots in this part of the country. We'll see...<BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy5 months  agoShow

16º 45.09' S179º 53.958' EAlcyoneBula, anchored in Viani Bay behind Rainbow Reef across from Taveuni. It was a short motorsail up here from Fawn Harbor, uneventful, which includes fishing. There is a southern entrance which we avoided, as I didn't have good enough satellite imagery (the google earth was too dark, and Bing had clouds). So we went up to the northern pass, where we had better imagery and appears to be wider. It's still disconcerting as you point diectly at a very large reef with another on the left, where the waves build up in the shallow but don't break - you just see the back rapidly increase in size. You make a left turn around that buildup - we give it plenty of standoff, however one of the local dive boats just went right over and stopped there, so not as bad as us whoosies make it out to be. Then it's about 3 plus miles into a/the anchorage. The navigation is a bit spotty - the paper and electronic charts don't have enough fidelity to trust them, waypoints are all second hand (and just because someone else missed something doesn't mean you won't find it) and satellite imagery, if you have it, as I said can be difficult to make out at times. So anyway, this is a very nice location, well protected, with a few small "resorts" and small villages. We went into the beach yesterday and talked to the local dive "resort", a very nice young lady named Marina from Germany. They have been in business about a year, had property on Taveuni that got wiped out by the cyclone last year, so they found this property and went to work. It's very rustic but nice and clean. They are the closest ones to the reef, and this is one of the premier dive spots in the world apparently, with Rainbow Reef and the White Wall, apparently a big drop off (haven't gone out to see it). <BR/>The generator has been acting up, and I think I've narrowed it down (again) to a faulty electronic fuel pump. I say again because it will either overheat slowly or shutoff, and after some magic touching (that's troubleshooting and random jiggling of wires and "repairing" that miraculously fixes the problem without you really knowing that was the problem) it works ok, for a while. So I'm looking for a fuel pump, that I could find in any auto parts place in the states, but they don't have any auto parts stores here, or fuel pumps. So it's just another exercise of doing repairs in exotic places, which is one definition of "cruising". <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 5 months  agoShow

16º 43.482' S179º 43.98' EAlcyoneBula, we finally succeeded in escaping the black hole sucking force that seems to keep you in a marina - left Suvasuva about 7 in the morning with beautiful sunshine and wind from the west (unusual) to start out. Our plan was to go east and spend 3-4 weeks to the east of Savusavu around the east end of the big island and also around Taveuni, the third largest island, which is just a few miles beyond. It's about a 150 deg turn as you leave Savusavu bay and head back along the reef that borders the south side of the island, and the wind shifted around to the southeast, as expected, but sea state was all mixed up so it meant pounding into it for about an hour to clear the reef and give us enough room to turn to our destination. Wind started to die down till we were in glassy seas, no swell, lots of sunshine and motoring toward Fawn Harbor, about 25 miles from the exit of Savusavu. It's also called Nakobo (small village on Hibiscus Highway), and you enter through a pass in Rainbow Reef, part of the extensive reef system along here. This pass was pretty wide, sort of marked, and reasonably easy to enter, as I had also downloaded the satellite imagery with a route on it that really helps with the navigation. It's about 1.5nm from our anchorage to the outside of the reef, and I could safely move maybe 300 feet more toward the shallow reef water, so the reef is quite extensive and very shallow, with a lot exposed at low tide. We are going to pick up this morning and head a couple hours more east to Viani Bay, another protected anchorage at the south east end of Vanua Levu island. Weather/wind will be nice again today, then wind will pick up again this weekend so we want to be in the lee of Taveuni for protection. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 5 months  agoShow

16º 46.698' S179º 19.932' EAlcyoneBula, this is a catch up from departing Tonga and arriving Fiji. We checked out and departed Monday from Neiafu just after lunch with lots of sun and not much wind. The forecast was for 15 knots increasing to 20-25, we were just in the top of the wind line and barely had over 10. Not much to push you along when going downwind. We actually ended up motoring for about 12 hours because the wind completely died. Then we got the forecasted wind, along with the rolly ride, salt spray and rain. Oh joy. We were moving along quite nicely and on the second day, after trailing a lure for a hundred plus miles, landed a very nice Wahoo. Really good eating, and we especially like it Sashimi. Threw the lure back in (the Wahoo had taken a big hunk of the strands off, nice sharp teeth), and hooked up a REALLY nice Dorado (Mahi Mahi). Got that sucker up to the swim step, just about to put the gaff in and he spit the lure. That was disappointing, to say the least. So back goes the lure, and a bit later we pulled in a very nice big eye tuna. All three off same lure, so I'm not sure fish are that discriminating in the big scheme of things. If your life is about one thing, eating, then most anything within reach will do. <BR/>Spent the next two nights rolling around, made a sea berth on the floor of the salon jammed between the booze locker and navigation station. Because most everything else in the salon had ended up on the floor anyway, it was pretty easy to just build a nest and get some sleep. <BR/>Arrived at the entrance to the fairly large bay at Savusavu before sunrise, we tried to slow down some but there was so much wind we just kept moving smartly. Sort of hove to and got behind the ferry that comes up from Suva and went in at first light. What a relief to get behind the reef and then the headland, smooth water, no bouncing and rolling around. We tied up to the floating dock at the marina, the customs/immigration/health officials all came aboard quickly and we were checked in quite expeditiously. We did a little exploring in town, had to run out and hit the ATM, pay the customs folks their fees, get the phone/internet squared away and then back here for Wahoo for dinner with a little wine, watch the sunset, and try to stop moving. There really is truth to the "what do you do with a drunken sailor" - takes a day or so to get the motion out of your head. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon 6 months  agoShow

18º 41.82' S173º 59.892' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, left Neiafu around noon today, Saturday, after some shopping in town (the ferry showed up so fresh stuff available). Moved about 2 miles by the crow but a couple hours motoring, to a nice deserted cove called Malafakalava, or Aisea's, Lisa's Beach. It's still on Pangaimotu Island, which is the large northern island in the Vava'u group, but just takes a while to weave your way around to get here. It was a beautiful day, lots of sun, light winds from the south southeast, and enough cloud so that it wasn't blazing hot. This cove was apparently a pearl farm in recent years but only an abandoned building sits on the beach now. No sign of any other activity, other than we can hear the horses and cows up on the bluff from the local farmers. Tomorrow is Sunday, so everyone goes to church. We may take a dinghy ride across the bay to the Japanese Gardens, which we think is a snorkeling spot in the large reef between the islands. There is also a restaurant over there that we heard about, so may check that out. Bottled another batch of beer today, will start a new batch to brew tomorrow. So far the results have been excellent. Very simple brewing - a kilo of malt syrup, a kilo of brewing sugar, a bunch of water, a little yeast and let her rip. Cook for a week, then bottle for two weeks, and you have 30 750ml bottles of very nice beer. Also got the refrigerator running properly again - spent about 6 hours pulling it out, cleaning out the fan and heat exchanger filled with dust and crud, checked all the electrical thinking I wasn't getting enough voltage to the unit, but it was fine. Found the small black wire from the Control Unit to the compressor loose - one part of the connector needed to be crimped a bit to ensure a tight fitting, and all is well. Both freezer and fridge now working properly, we actually made ice today! Always the hard problems have simple solutions. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 6 months  agoShow

18º 39.42' S173º 59.01' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, made it back to Neiafu and onto the same mooring we previously had. The weather has been beautiful the last couple days, and this morning is the same; sunny, some light clouds and a light breeze out of the south east. Neiafu is in a large bay that is three times as long as wide, with deep clear water, and a gazillion jelly fish. These guys are about 10-12 inches across, translucent white, don't seem to have long tentacles (haven't tested that yet), and move back and forth past us with the tide. I can feel them as I bump them with the dinghy motor transiting to the beach. Really puts a damper on jumping into the water. Everywhere else we maybe see one or two, but not like in here. <BR/>Our crew left yesterday, flying back to Nuku'alofa then Fiji and home. The original flight was rescheduled for an hour later, then at the airport after boarding someone had to run back to town to get a part so they could pump fuel, so another hour delay, then Nuku'alofa was delayed an hour or so... all normal, just running on Tonga time. While here, they did manage to get most of their cruiser merit badges, including star gazing and identifying the Southern Cross, snorkeling, dice, dominoes, electrical conservation, radio comms on SSB and VHF, SUP, shell collecting (including dinner plate size clam shell, going to start a garden display) and almost unknown in southern CA, a night passage/night watch while wearing a PFD, reading navigation charts, interpreting weather charts and !!! anchoring in many strange places. Higher authority did not reward them, however, with the cruiser's most coveted badge, water conservation. Remedial training is warranted. We'll miss having crew with us, and higher authority will especially as it was an opportunity for her to get all her words out. <BR/>We are here for probably one more night, then off to the eastern side of the island. I have to work on the refrigeration and we're waiting for, hopefully, the friday ferry which should bring in fresh supplies. Haven't seen it yet, and it usually arrives early in the morning, so we may be out of luck.<BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy6 months  agoShow

18º 43.38' S174º 6.048' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, departed Nuapapu Island after a short walk in the village of Matamaka. Not much there. No cars, so walking paths throughout, lots of dogs, not much activity and zero commercial infrastructure except for a small "resort". The houses range from corrugated steel sided shacks to two story reasonable structures, but each one has a cyclone proof solar panel out front donated by Japan. Went to the school that has 13 students, and met a young man working for Peace Corp from Las Vegas. <BR/>Back to the boat and moved a couple miles over to the cove at Vakaeitu Island, an anchorage we'd visited last year. The house ashore here where we enjoyed the Tongan Feast with five or six other boats is still here, and they have expanded their operation. They have put up a more permanent roofed structure under some very large trees, brought in lots of chairs and put up strings of triangular flags. Looks pretty nice now though we won't be able to stay for dinner. Higher authority wanted me to report that we did go ashore over by the reef for a bocce ball tournament, and for complete reporting the captain was the winner of both games. Back to the boat for a couple rounds of Farkle and sundowners, then dinner and a game of dominoes. It got late real fast.<BR/>It's a beautiful morning, no clouds, already getting warm, with a light breeze to keep it somewhat cool. Going to move back to Neiafu later today as our temporary crew has to catch an early cab to the airport tomorrow. We'll be sorry to see them leave but they have to fly home, have a four hour turnaround and catch up with another cruise group in southern California out of Cal Yacht Club.<BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon6 months  agoShow

18º 42.588' S174º 4.128' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, left Port Maurelle this morning and motored into Neiafu for a couple hours. Had to find the pharmacy for one of the crew members to get some antibiotics for an infection, picked up some fruit and vegetables, then departed on a nice sail out to south eastern anchorage at Nuapapu Island, about an hour sail out of Neiafu. The day is sunny with typical clouds running through to keep it a little cooler rather than roasting, we're in a very nice anchorage on a mooring ball just out front of a nice little village. We'll go ashore tomorrow morning early and see what they have to trade, sometimes lobster. Snorkeling looks to be good though the water is not as clear as other areas. We should have a beautiful sunset and lots of stars tonight.<BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon6 months  agoShow

18º 42.012' S174º 1.788' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, left the Blue Lagoon yesterday and took a short motor over to Port Maurelle. We were here last year and it's still a great spot. They have four moorings you take if they are open, but can anchor though it gets deep very fast. It's well protected in almost all winds, has a nice beach and good snorkeling. We jumped in the dinghy yesterday and motored about a mile over to Swallow Cave. It's a large natural cave on a point, much like the Painted Cave on Santa Cruz, about as large once you get inside though the opening is not as large as Painted Cave. What's disappointing is the amount of grafitti inside. You come to what you expect to be a pristine place and find the idiots have beat you to it. <BR/>We are going to stay here today, Sunday, as it will be sunny and warm (about 26deg C) then move to Neiafu, the "capital" of the Vava'u group, about an hour motor. Today is the modified executive training program, which includes SUP paddling, some snorkeling, probably a round of Mexican Train dominoes, some cocktails sprinkled in along with a nap, or two... <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon6 months  agoShow

18º 42.732' S174º 8.382' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, left Uoleva yesterday and went to Pangai for a quick check in/check out and a bit of provisioning. Found some ice and had a late lunch at the Mariner's Cafe, run by a Polish lady, Magda, who sailed here over 10 years ago, married a Tongan and knows everyone. The food is good too. Back to the boat for a sunset departure, heading to Vavau. Wind was stronger and more northerly than predicted but we had 12 hours to go 65 miles, so not a big deal. We are now anchored in the Blue Lagoon, between the islands of Foelifuka, Foeata, Hunga and Vasivasi. We had to arrive when the sun was behind us as it's an east to west entrance through some skinny gaps between the reefs. You really need to look at this place on Google Earth to get the effect. It's very well protected from most winds except west, and the islands in Vavau are higher than those in Hapai or Tongatapu so you feel more closed in. There is a German run small resort here, but we haven't seen any life over there so far. We got out of the southern islands on time and avoided some flash flooding and serious downpours in the Tongatapu area, so we're staying with the reasonable to good weather. Probably another afternoon of executive exercise after a nap.<BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon6 months  agoShow

19º 50.94' S174º 24.978' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, moved again yesterday as the wind shifted to the east, and stopped at Uoleva, a very nice bay with a long sandy beach and eco resort to hang out. They cater to whale watchers, but we are too early for that right now - they may show up later this month, but best in Sep and Oct, when the calves are a little older and the mothers a little calmer - swimming with them is supposed to be spectacular. <BR/>Weather yesterday was beautiful with lots of sun, the water is in the high 70s and very clear. The anchorage here has lots of sand but the occasional coral and rock sticking up where you need to be mindful. This is where we hang the chain with some bouys, depending on how much obstruction. As you swing, you have less chain on the bottom to damage the rock and coral. That's the good side. It decreases holding power because not as much chain on the bottom, but we're well protected from the prevailing wind and can let more out. Today is probably the executive exercise program, jump off and swim around the boat, bocce ball on the beach, shell collecting, etc. Then up to Pangai, do our quick check in and out, stop at the market and the mariner's cafe, and get set for an overnight passage up to Vavau, about 65 miles. That's a leisurely 5 or so knots from sunset to sunrise to arrive at the southwest anchorages up there. Wind should be from the right direction, but is predicted to be variable, going from east to northwest, so it may turn into a motoring event part of the way. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard,<BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon6 months  agoShow

19º 52.428' S174º 25.212' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, moved yesterday and arrived at Tatafa Island, a very small piece of sand and rock next to the pass at Ava Auhanga Mea, which is just south of Uoleva island, where we will go this afternoon. This is a very good anchorage for the prevailing wind, which had shifted around to almost north or a while, and is back to northeast and will continue to clock around further south. Water is very warm and very clear, good anchoring in sand with just a few rocks. <BR/>Had some rain last night that cleaned everything off, and woke up to clear sky and sunshine, a beautiful day. Just a light breeze at the moment, drying everything off. Probably take a dinghy ride over to the adjacent populated island, Uhia, try to find some ice, then head out. It's just a short jaunt through a narrow gap into the pass, around the reef and drop the anchor less than two miles away. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon 6 months  agoShow

19º 56.322' S174º 43.032' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, arrived at Haafeva yesterday after a nice sail under somewhat cloudy sky. This was supposed to be a good hideout for the prevailing wind, but we've had a rockin and rollin overnight even though we're tucked in behind the reef. Wind has moved around to northeast so we're losing some of the island protection, but the swell is wrapping around the reef and making it an uncomfortable anchorage. We are about to pull up and move to the east toward Haapai south, where there are a couple spots that provide better protection from the northerly winds. The sun is trying to peek out but I think it will be somewhat cloudy for the rest of the day, but tomorrow and for a few days the winds should die and the sun should be out. Water has been warming up, probably about 78 right now (my temp gauges are unreliable), so time to get in the water for swimming and drift snorkeling. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon 6 months  agoShow

20º 16.272' S174º 48.288' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, left Pangaimotu this morning just after 0700 and had a ripping sail in the rain up to a place called Nomuka, most of the way to the Hapai's. Made the 60 miles anchor to anchor in 8 hours, so it was a fun day, regardless of the rain. Nomuka is actually two islands, the large one has a village and a prison, which apparently is not currently in use. We're anchored over by the small one to the south, has a little better protection for the wind, as weather upon arrival was still 18 knots and showers, so we'll see what happens tomorrow and maybe go explore some if it clears up. <BR/>We broke into the beer last Thursday night, and I'm glad to say it was a hit. We put the second batch up to brew last friday, so I'll have to check it here to see if it's ready for bottling. <BR/>From here we'll move towards about 10 miles to a nice place at the end of a long barrier reef, and hopefully do some fishing along the way. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon 6 months  agoShow

21º 7.47' S175º 9.762' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, We finally moved out of the harbor and across the bay to a small island called Pangaimotu where Big Mama's bar and restaurant used to be, before the cyclone a couple months ago. They are working to get the place up and running again, but we just took the opportunity to walk around the island and look for shells. Didn't find any great shells, but did find a new fish thumper as I left my oak handle in the car in New Zealand. Long story. This is a nice piece of heavy something, nicely smoothed by the ocean and sand, ready to meet the noggin of the next thing we can bring aboard. <BR/>Our guests showed up on time Thursday evening after their flight from Fiji to Tonga. We did some final provisioning friday morning, checked out with customs and paid our use fees, then drove the two miles over to the small island to hang for an evening before heading north. Good protection from the prevailing wind, a beautiful evening with not too much wind. We'll get up early and head out north for a day sail to the Nomuka group, and park at Nomuka island for the evening before heading to Hapai. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy, Doug and Sharon 6 months  agoShow

21º 8.28' S175º 10.968' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, made it to Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga on the island of Tongatapu, the large southern island in the southern archipelago. We had a good transit from Minerva, sailing most of the way with good winds behind us. Last night Betsy saw some kind of either meteor shower or space debris burning up, that she initially thought was a helicopter with spotlights coming after us through the clouds. Got her all excited... <BR/>Tying up in the marina here is a challenge. It's med mooring, which means you put the stern in toward a seawall or bulkhead or in our case just the jetty rocks with bollards at the top. You drop your anchor then try and back down and get some lines from the stern to the bollards to hold you in position. Well, it looked like the keystone cops here with the wind about 15 knots on the beam, drop the anchor and try to get it set, jump in the dinghy and try to get the lines to shore before the boat moves too far sideways. Anchor dragged twice, stuck the rudder in the mud once next to the jetty, etc, etc, luckily it wasn't like Marina del Rey with a big audience watching. Finally redropped the anchor much farther out, pushed the boat with the dinghy 90 degrees up into the wind, then raced ashore with three docklines tied together and got it tied off before it moved too far out of position. Success! <BR/>Going into town to the saturday market tomorrow, then move out to some of the local anchorages, waiting for guests arriving next week. Supposed to be windy and rainy Sunday for a day or so, but then should be nicer. Today was beautiful, sunny about 85 deg, low humidity, unfortunately the water inside the harbor isn't anything I want to get into. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

23º 37.062' S178º 54.858' WAlcyoneMalo e Lelei, we're in the Tongaverse now and did our time machine trick and had a second sunday yesterday after crossing the international dateline. Arrived at Minerva Reef north at 0700 this morning, after slowing down last night to avoid a night arrival. We could have maybe made it yesterday just at sunset, but would have meant really motoring fast, and we had used up enough diesel already. Just easier to muddle along at a slow pace and not screw up the arrival. <BR/>Really nice to stop moving for a little while and not worry about sail trim and such. We'll probably stay here tonight and tomorrow night, then Wednesday with some predicted very favorable winds we'll head to the Tonga capital in the southern archipelago. Plan is to hang in the vicinity and wait for our new crew to show up next Thursday. <BR/>The transit here was really a mix of everything - heavy winds, light winds, no wind, lumpy bumpy washing machine and flat calm. Wind abruptly dropping off from astern, then coming back up on the nose. As I said, we spent much more time motoring than anticipated as the wind just died for two days, and at other times was so light and variable that we motored as well. <BR/>Checked the beer today, it's cleared up nicely and seems to be carbonating well. Test date is the 30th... <BR/>Oh, and someone just got on the VHF radio and notified the other six boats here to probably not swim right now, they saw a 4 meter tiger shark. I told Betsy to go check it out. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

31º 29.988' S176º 42.288' EAlcyoneG'day, departed Opua Wednesday about 1400 along with about 7 or 8 other boats. We waited for the rainshowers to blow through the anchorage then proceeded down river to the south pacific, and open ocean again. It turned out to be an eventful first day. <BR/>Winds were favorable and not too strong, but sea was lumpy which made for a queasy ride. We were both out of practice, so while not sea sick, you just feel sort of yucky for a couple days. All was going fine until late afternoon, when the top drawer of the refrigerator exploded. I actually had a brace on it, which was obviously inadequate. Remember I said it was lumpy. So we got the drawer all the way out and on the floor, put some perishables into the ice chest, and continued on. It would wait until tomorrow and calmer water. So later in the evening, Betsy was on watch and started getting nervous about a cruise ship coming in to Opua - we were crossing with a very close CPA. Also, one of those boats that had left around the same time started turning up into us - he had been on our starboard, the cruise ship is to port, so he's turning directly into it. We're both up now, and we had to turn hard starboard to pass behind this solo sailor on his way to Fiji. Don't think he ever saw us, and I'm now convinced he was asleep and had wind vane steering which would account for the course changes with the fluky winds. Anyway, he's out of the way, we contacted the cruise ship who was very nice trying to not run over all these sailboats out in front of him. <BR/>Seas remained lumpy/bumpy all night and next day, then started smoothing out a bit with dying winds in the evening. Last night was much better than previous, and early this morning we gybed (turned) to starboard tack with the wind continuing to back to the south. Today is a beautiful day with lots of sun, wind from the South about 16-18 knots, and we're making reasonable time to Minerva reef even though we're on a deep downwind course. <BR/>Refrigerator is back together - had to take one rail off and jam back together, and I have a handy old wooden handle sticking into the drawer handle to keep it closed, just in case. <BR/>We're just over 500 miles from Minerva this morning, should take us three more sleeps and a later afternoon arrival if winds stay favorable. Total to southern Tonga is about a 1000 miles from Opua, about 7-8 days depending. We basically go 6 on and 6 off for watches, starting at noon, and both get up if anything exciting happens. The first couple days are difficult, trying to get into a different sleep pattern, but by day 3 it smooths out and the headache goes away. The anchor down beer in Minerva will be great! <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 18.45' S174º 7.308' EAlcyoneG'day, stayed a night at Roberton, then moved into Opua for friday night. They had organized an information talk at the cruising club, much like they did before the Puddle Jump from Panama. We anchored just outside the mooring field adjacent the marina - we're on the river at a junction, so shades of El Salvador with the daily flushing during tidal changes. Weather has been as forecast, lots of rain but we're somewhat protected all the way in here so winds were not nearly what was going on outside, though we've had some periods of gusts to 30 knots, which just makes things sort of vibrate. Always makes you a bit anxious, especially at night, cause if we start dragging with the prevailing wind, we're going right through all the boats behind us like a bowling ball... <BR/>We've been watching the weather and the low is moving off, with subsequent high behind it and the winds shifting around to Northwest and finally westish. Not perfect, but lets us get out of town. Lots of cruisers here seem to forget that the boat does go upwind, as they won't leave until they have a good steady wind from behind. For us, heading to Tonga is roughly 030 deg, so a northwest wind gets us going mostly in the right direction. As we move north the wind will continue to move counterclockwise on us, which generally will improve sailing conditions. We're going to be on the lookout for one of those giant waves they found on the other side of New Zealand - NOT... So, that means tomorrow Wednesday (down here) we will take off and start reporting from underway. We are both anxious to be moving again and get to some warm water. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 14.082' S174º 10.212' EAlcyoneG'day, left Oke Bay this morning with sunshine and a few high clouds, no wind. Motored toward Opua and stopped at Motuarohia Island, or Roberton Island, depending on which side you're on...It's a wildlife sanctuary with a nice little bay and good protection from the coming north winds. Got a few chores done today, got the dinghy in the water and worked on a book. Big day at the office! <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 13.65' S174º 16.032' EAlcyoneG'day, left Bland Bay yesterday mid morning and headed for Cape Brett and then Bay of Islands. Ten miles up to Cape Brett with mild winds to port and nice sailing under headsail only, tho I got skunked on the fishing. Got to the cape, passing through the 1500 foot gap between the tip of land with an old lighthouse to port and a large monument rock to starboard - pretty dramatic entrance, especially with the fine weather. The wind died completely on the west side, so it was a relatively quick motor down to Oke Bay for an overnight. Relatively clear water though still a chilly 65 deg. Told Betsy it was just like Catalina and she should go in - not buying it. We both are waiting for the 80/80 plan in Tonga. <BR/>Picking up around mid morning today to move around closer to Opua, waiting for the tide to come up. It's another beautiful day here, clear and sunny, and I think we are really lucking out on the weather. Though it will get windy and wet this weekend before we move out. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 20.478' S174º 21.702' EAlcyoneG'day, we left Marsden Cove Sunday, drove across the channel and anchored at Urquharts Bay, a nice jumping off place for heading north. Picked up Monday morning headed out under gray skies that soon cleared. We had a wonderful sail all the way with winds 10-15 knots off the port beam (directly off land). Arrived here at Bland Bay in the early afternoon meeting up with friends and having a great dinner onboard. Managed to catch a couple fish on the way up, which is a good omen for the trip - got fish, didn't give away any lures. <BR/>The coast coming up has an abundance of small coves that offer protection from all kinds of winds, and we're told Bay of Islands is much better with lots of places to go and not many people this time of year. Cruisers will converge at Opua (the port) because it's the northern checkout point for customs/immigration and a good place to wait for a weather window before heading north. Ours is looking like next Sunday/Monday - winds will pick up from the north around Thursday (30+ knots) then slowly rotate around back to the southeast. Heading to Bay of Islands today, planning to stop at Oke Bay, a few miles after you make the turn around Cape Brett and head back west southwest after going north northwest. Our knowledgeable friends say Cape Brett has significant land effects on the wind and it seems to be on the nose no matter what you want to do. They advised motoring, so we'll see what happens. <BR/>We have started into the onboard brewing business like so many cruisers down here. Put up a batch of Ale last Thursday and have been babying it with hot water bottles because it's so cold and will stop the fermentation. Will check progress in a week, then into bottles for about two weeks. So Dougley, you get to test it out when you show up. <BR/> <BR/>All well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 50.208' S174º 28.11' EAlcyoneG'day, we left Marsden Cove Sunday, drove across the channel and anchored at Urquharts Bay, a nice jumping off place for heading north. Picked up Monday morning headed out under gray skies that soon cleared. We had a wonderful sail all the way with winds 10-15 knots off the port beam (directly off land). Arrived here at Bland Bay in the early afternoon meeting up with friends and having a great dinner onboard. Managed to catch a couple fish on the way up, which is a good omen for the trip - got fish, didn't give away any lures. <BR/>The coast coming up has an abundance of small coves that offer protection from all kinds of winds, and we're told Bay of Islands is much better with lots of places to go and not many people this time of year. Cruisers will converge at Opua (the port) because it's the northern checkout point for customs/immigration and a good place to wait for a weather window before heading north. Ours is looking like next Sunday/Monday - winds will pick up from the north around Thursday (30+ knots) then slowly rotate around back to the southeast. Heading to Bay of Islands today, planning to stop at Oke Bay, a few miles after you make the turn around Cape Brett and head back west southwest after going north northwest. Our knowledgeable friends say Cape Brett has significant land effects on the wind and it seems to be on the nose no matter what you want to do. They advised motoring, so we'll see what happens. <BR/>We have started into the onboard brewing business like so many cruisers down here. Put up a batch of Ale last Thursday and have been babying it with hot water bottles because it's so cold and will stop the fermentation. Will check progress in a week, then into bottles for about two weeks. So Dougley, you get to test it out when you show up. <BR/> <BR/>All well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy 7 months  agoShow

35º 50.118' S174º 28.05' EAlcyonelife is hard when you're stupid. let's see what this does... Just in case, I'm looking at 35 50 12 south 174 28 05 east7 months  agoShow

42º 31.56' S172º 49.77' EAlcyone G’day mates, We managed to get out of Wellington before Gita roared through. Jumped on the ferry to Picton on the South Island Monday morning and enjoyed a 3.5 hour trip in good conditions. Thought it would be much windier and rougher than we experienced, though the currents and wind fight each other and make for some interesting water conditions. The ferry company had our best interests in mind because they don’t serve alcohol between 2 and 8, AM that is. South Island seems very different from north - fewer people, more sheep, less humidity, and more dramatic scenery. The whole point of blasting south so fast was to get ahead of Gita, so we drove straight to the east coast. The trip down was first like getting dropped off in San Luis Obispo, then long drive through Paso Robles and the grape vines in semi-arid conditions, then hitting the coast and driving Highway 1 (its highway 1 here also) up through Big Sur. We had it complete with landslides, road repairs and one lane diverts. Makes us homesick. We stopped and camped at a beach site called Kaikoura Paketa Holiday beach campground. Nice spot, very clean, nice surf spot right in front though no waves today. Pitched the tent, had cocktails and PB&J for dinner (campers delight) and hit the sack. Intention was to get up early, beat the rain and get to Christchurch the next day. It started raining somewhere after midnight (nice forecast) and got serious just about sunrise which is 0700 or so this far south. Our trusty tent stayed dry all night disregarding we were in a puddle by morning, but no worries as they say, just packed and moved off - back north. Turns out the south road is already closed, and by the time we backtracked 5 miles to town to the info center the north road is closed, so only way out is southwest into the mountains...and the rain and wind. But never fear, Betsy managed to find a town with hot springs and spas (imagine that) and here we are in Hanmer Springs. It’s still raining and everyone is going home early from work. We found a dry place, have an agenda for the next two days and all is well. Kenny and Betsy 10 months  agoShow

42º 31.56' S172º 49.77' EAlcyoneG’day mates, We managed to get out of Wellington before Gita roared through. Jumped on the ferry to Picton on the South Island Monday morning and enjoyed a 3.5 hour trip in good conditions. Thought it would be much windier and rougher than we experienced, though the currents and wind fight each other and make for some interesting water conditions. The ferry company had our best interests in mind because they don’t serve alcohol between 2 and 8, AM that is. South Island seems very different from north - fewer people, more sheep, less humidity, and more dramatic scenery. The whole point of blasting south so fast was to get ahead of Gita, so we drove straight to the east coast. The trip down was first like getting dropped off in San Luis Obispo, then long drive through Paso Robles and the grape vines in semi-arid conditions, then hitting the coast and driving Highway 1 (its highway 1 here also) up through Big Sur. We had it complete with landslides, road repairs and one lane diverts. Makes us homesick. We stopped and camped at a beach site called Kaikoura Paketa Holiday beach campground. Nice spot, very clean, nice surf spot right in front though no waves today. Pitched the tent, had cocktails and PB&J for dinner (campers delight) and hit the sack. Intention was to get up early, beat the rain and get to Christchurch the next day. It started raining somewhere after midnight (nice forecast) and got serious just about sunrise which is 0700 or so this far south. Our trusty tent stayed dry all night disregarding we were in a puddle by morning, but no worries as they say, just packed and moved off - back north. Turns out the south road is already closed, and by the time we backtracked 5 miles to town to the info center the north road is closed, so only way out is southwest into the mountains...and the rain and wind. But never fear, Betsy managed to find a town with hot springs and spas (imagine that) and here we are in Hanmer Springs. It’s still raining and everyone is going home early from work. We found a dry place, have an agenda for the next two days and all is well. Kenny and Betsy 10 months  agoShow

42º 31.326' S172º 49.794' EAlcyoneTest of Facebook cconnnection10 months  agoShow

41º 15.612' S174º 46.584' EAlcyoneOne more time, or just look up Wellington...10 months  agoShow

41º 15.612' N174º 46.584' EAlcyoneCorrecting coordinates, I’m out of practice...10 months  agoShow

41º 15.6' N174º 46.524' EAlcyoneG’day mates Well I was instructed by higher headquarters to begin position reporting again from New Zealand. We repositioned from Town Basin marina in Whangerei on the north island on Saturday morning, and are in our recently acquired land yacht now in Wellington at the southern end of north island. Tomorrow morning we catch a ride on the ferry that takes us across the Cook Straits to the South Island where we will continue on south to the end. Of the island... our only challenge at the moment is Tropical Cyclone Gita is moving this way and will arrive sometime Tuesday afternoon. Our plan was to be camping our way along, but now we will just move rapidly southeast to try and stay out of the way of the rain and wind, heading to Christchurch or farther if necessary. The track shows it hitting somewhere around the northern end of South Island, but as with all that stuff there is a lot of variability. We’ll see, and for now the Air BnB route is a good deal. We left Alcyone securely at her berth in Whangarei, and acquired our new land yacht, a silver 2004 Mitsubishi Delica 4x4 van. Stripped out the two back seats and left them onboard and loaded it up. Looked like the Clampetts leaving the dock. Higher headquarters insists on christening it, though I don’t necessarily agree, however giving it considerable thought and some good rum I thought “Silver Flipper” was sufficiently obnoxious to qualify (license FLP131). I may be over ruled. All is well, Kenny and Betsy10 months  agoShow

35º 50.208' S174º 28.11' EAlcyoneCorrecting lat/long of current location. about 1 year  agoShow

34º 19.122' S174º 56.922' EAlcyoneG'day, reporting our arrival in New Zealand, and it's cold cold cold here (relatively speaking). After 8315 miles from Panama, we checked in at Marsden Cove in Whangarei, just south of Bay of Islands and northeast of Auckland. The transit from Tonga had everything, wind, no wind, squalls, waves, chop...but was not unpleasant until the last 36 hours. We were bashing directly upwind into a very short chop, so the boat was pounding hard, to the point where you get a little concerned. I haven't gone up into the bow storage garage yet, as I know it will be a mess - it takes the brunt of it. But at least they have good water pressure here, as the boat needs a good rinse, and good internet. You can actually download short videos and watch them! We're cleaning today, then out tomorrow to explore towards downtown where there is another marina and where we have reservations for the next couple months when we fly home. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

28º 27.0' S176º 7.002' EAlcyoneG'day, quick update on transit to NZ. In the middle of big high pressure system, so motoring at the moment. There is a low coming up from Tasman Sea so trying to beat that into port. It brings south to southwest winds and makes it miserable going south into NZ, and we'll miss most of it I think. Just have to see. Beautiful day out here though, lots of sun, and the ambient temp is going down as we go south. So long 80/80... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

23º 32.16' S178º 45.72' WAlcyoneG'day, guess I have to start practicing Kiwi, since we've left Tonga. And I lied this morning. Checked the weather and got the sunday update from Bob McDavitt, and decided we needed to be on the road so as to get ahead of a front passing through northern NZ starting Monday. Not much wind, but we put Big Red up and were making 5 knots with 8-9 knots behind us, so not bad. Late in the afternoon we crossed a squall line so Big Red came down and the engine came on, the wind switched from on our tail to on our nose, and we're just getting to the other side now. Wind looks like we may get a starboard tack out of it and be heading in the right direction, so that's a plus. Caught a nice rainbow runner going by Minerva south, so we had a nice filet for dinner. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

23º 32.16' S178º 45.72' WAlcyoneHowdy, we made it into Minerva Reef last night just before sunset after a 350 mile transit from Pangai, Tonga. This is not what we expected. We are at the north reef (another one about 17 miles south), it's almost a perfect circle and has excellent protection, although there is no beach or trees or anything like that. It's about 2.75 miles across the inside of the lagoon (navigable area), and the reef is about 2000 to 3000 feet wide all the way around. There is one other boat here, a large motor yacht, haven't seen a flag yet so don't know where they come from. <BR/>As we get farther south the tides are getting larger again, so we have about a 4-5 ft tide here, exposing the reef at low tide and almost covering it completely at high tide. There is good anchorage in sand, we dropped in about 25 feet at the north end just inside the pass. The sun is out this morning, though a few rain squalls in the vicinity. We would appreciate one to give us a good washdown. We'll probably throw the dinghy in and take a look around, do some snorkeling and check out the neighbors. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

19º 53.1' S174º 45.54' WAlcyoneHowdy, picked up and left Uoleva this afternoon, picking our way through the extensive reef system out to the west. We will turn about 40 degrees further southwest in about 3 miles, heading to Minerva reef, about 325 miles from here. Conditions are very nice, about 12 knots out of the southeast, we're making 7+ knots, and will speed up after we make the turn. <BR/>There are actually two Minerva reefs, about 14 miles apart, but apparently the best/easiest is the north reef, it has a better pass and more anchorage area. Weather looks to be mild for the trip south to Whangarei, but that could change quickly out her. <BR/>Tonga was really a great place, plenty of places to explore, cheaper than French Polynesia and they speak english, so we want to come back next year and not be so rushed. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 43.35' S174º 5.952' WAlcyoneHowdy, made it to Pangai this morning, very early in fact. We had great sailing conditions from Vava'u, so went faster than anticipated and had to heave to for several hours til sunup. The approach to town here is a little tricky in the dark or if you haven't been here, lots of very shallow areas from a mile or so out. On the way in just after sunrise, we had a large humpback do a full breach about 200 yards off the port beam, then another about a mile away did at least 30 tail slaps in a row, a major display. We saw additional groups as we went in, so a pretty good way to start the day. <BR/>Anyway, we got anchored in about 20 feet with sandy bottom right off the small marina, and went in to check in and look around. Another very poor country, devastated by a recent cyclone, and trying to get rebuilt. Checked in with customs/immigration and as previously reported, they won't check us out on same day and let us continue to move around the islands. So we will have to come back to them and get our check out papers in a few days. Not a big deal, we moved to a local beach about 4 miles away with good protection and a beautiful crescent beach and good snorkeling reefs. Called Uoleva island, it has three small "resorts" on it, one primarily for kitesurfers. There is a sandbar between this island and the one where is Pangai is, and the wind funnels through making for good kiting conditions. <BR/>We'll stay here for a few days, and get back to pick up my papers on or before friday. If you want anything done on saturday, costs extra, and sunday you can forget about it. They all go to church and will not do any work. <BR/>Oh, I guess there is an active volcano in the Vanuatu group, but that is way west on the otherside of Fiji, so should be no impact to this area. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 43.35' S174º 5.952' WAlcyoneHowdy, moved from Port Maurelle on saturday and moved about an hour southwest to a little island called Vaka'eitu. Good protection from easterlies, a nice cove and a good beach for shelling and just walking around. We went ashore for dinner last night with a local family - they put out a big "tonga feast" with lots of chicken, fish, pork, and all the local "vegetables". Then the three youngest girls do some songs and dances for the entertainment. Turns out David (dad) has 11 kids, so he's been working hard. We pick up sunday afternoon and will head out for a quick overnight, about 65 miles, down to Pangai, the capital city of the middle group of islands, Ha'apai. It's like mexico, have to check in to the next place even though you haven't left the country. This group was devastated by a cyclone a few years ago and apparently has not regrouped much. Tonga is probably the only country out here that was not colonized in any way in the past, so now it does not have the benefit of a mother country to help out economically. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 42.042' S174º 1.8' WAlcyoneHowdy, we checked out of Neiafu yesterday and left this morning, moving about an hour southwest to a little bay called Port Maurelle. The water color here is very different from French Polynesia, much bluer for some reason, and it seems clearer. This little bay has a few moorings so we pounced on one that opened up as we came in, and we're here with about six other boats. There is a little village just down the way, so we may reposition over there tomorrow. We went to the beach this afternoon, walking the beach for shells, and heard this weird sound which got louder and moving toward us. Sort of a rumbling which turned out to be four horses running down a path hidden just off the beach. Kind of unusual as we haven't seen any other horses anywhere around. The only other livestock we've seen were pigs, which seem to have the run of the town in Neiafu. In fact I saw a local walking a little piglet on a leash through town. <BR/>Got the fishing pole rerigged with new top mono and bimini twist leader, so will start giving away lures again as we continue south. I haven't calculated the dollars per pound for this trip, but it's up there... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 39.492' S173º 59.01' WAlcyoneHowdy, we're on a mooring in Neiafu, in the Vava'u group, northern Tonga. We made it in here early in the morning, and they were pretty expedient with our check in, and it didn't cost much, only about $60 total. Told you I lost a lure on the way in. That was the first one. Just about sunset, got a hard hit, the booger took out about 250 yards of the top mono, all the way down to the spectra. Didn't even slow down, and I couldn't get the pole out of the holder. About the time things were slowing down and I did get the pole out, "it" broke the spectra. This is 100+ pound braided line. As Betsy said, what would we do if we got it to the swim step... <BR/>It's a bustling town with lots of activity. They have a Moorings charter group here, lots of whale watching/swimming tours and lots of fishing charters and dive charters. The locals are very nice, friendly and large. Obesity is a big issue, and the government is trying to help - each friday afternoon is sports day, the offices all close and "everyone" goes and plays at something. <BR/>They have a great market on Saturday morning, lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, but not a lot of fish - at least we didn't find them. Their crafty stuff is typical polynesian, with lots of woven stuff, carved shells, carved bone, and tapa. <BR/>Lots of Kiwis here, and lots of boats. There are probably 40 on moorings/at anchor here, and a ton of other places to go - the charter business is pretty good here, as there are so many different places to go from here within a reasonably close distance, and all inside the archipelago, so it's very protected for sailing - a nice breeze with no waves or chop, so moving along quite nicely. It's also a hurricane hole here, though I'm not sure I'd want to try it. <BR/>We're going to get our intra-island clearance tomorrow (monday) and then head out tuesday, moving south into the Ha'apai group (the middle group), then check out of there and head for NZ. This is definitely a place where I'd like to spend considerable time, since there are so many places to go and its well protected. Even though there are lots of boats, you can find those isolated places and be alone... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 51.24' S170º 56.34' WAlcyoneHowdy, about 50 miles out of Vava'u, the northern group in Tonga. Will be a slow night to get there at daylight tomorrow morning. Today was pretty uneventful, the wind died and we motored until late in the afternoon, when it picked up enough from the south to give us about 4.5 knots, which is fine for the distance we're going. We'll get in the lee of the atoll and will have to start motoring again. The entry from the north is apparently pretty straight forward, but the charting is not real great and like the other areas, movement near the atolls is advised only in the daytime unless you are a local. Gave away a very nice lure today, whoever took it (I think Mr Wahoo) only put two very small tugs on the pole, not even enough to take out any line, but it was sheared off just like I cut it off. Oh well, more lip jewelry... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 51.24' S170º 56.34' WAlcyoneHowdy, dropped off the mooring in Niue this morning and headed off west to Tonga. We're going to the northern Vava'u group, then work our way south and make the departure for NZ in October. <BR/>Niue was really an unexpected plus. The island has some height to it, unlike the other atolls that are literally the palm tree and sand islands. They do a lot of farming, with a very high percentage of the island under cultivation. The water is extremely clear, 100 ft not unusual at all, very blue as it gets deep. Lots of limestone with the resultant caves, and along the shore with the barrier reef very close to the land there are a large number of protected pools, coves and swimming holes. You walk in anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes, and find some post card locations with caves, arches, tide pools and great snorkeling. Very spectacular. The island has put in information signs, walkways, restrooms, trash, etc to promote these locations, and they are used extensively by the locals as well. <BR/>The whales really work the west coast, especially between the two points that form the shallow bay of Alofi, the main town. The water has a shallow shelf just outside the reef down to maybe 100ft, then it drops off steeply to really deep. The mothers bring their calves in, an you can get very close either in boats or in the water. They swim right past the boats at their moorings day and night. It's another place to come back to - we met some Kiwi's who have come back 4 times. It's very laid back, but lots to do. It's also a major fishing destination, with lots of dorado, wahoo and tuna. <BR/>We'll be in sight of Tonga tomorrow, will probably have to slow down to make port in the daytime. Winds were supposed to be light and from the south today (unusual), ended up at 20+ so we're going much faster than expected. A good problem to have... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

19º 3.018' S169º 55.29' WAlcyoneHowdy, we're on a mooring in Niue, one of the smallest independent nations in the world. They have a special relationship with NZ, use NZ dollars and government, and carry NZ passports, having open access to Australia and NZ. This is a very large island with a surrounding coral barrier which is not wide at all, so you have island, reef, a small shelf and then it drops off into the abyss. The water is extremely clear, and I guess some of the best in the world for diving. We're going to do a car tour of the island tomorrow with friends and do some snorkeling, caving and hiking. <BR/>Yesterday was a fast sailing day. We rolled up Big Red the night before at sunset in anticipation of heavier winds. We didn't get them that night, but by noon yesterday it was up to 15 knots and veering to the south. By sunset we had at least 20 (others around us reported at least 25, my Raymarine is getting funky), and by midnight we were reefed up to no main and half a genoa, moving along somewhere between 7 and 8.5. The seas decided to be confused, as we had windswell from SSE and primary swell from SSW, but fortunately our heading was such that we weren't rolling around too much. We made good time and got in about 4 hours ahead of expectation, picked up a mooring and got checked in with customs and immigration. More to report tomorrow after our expedition. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

17º 26.262' S166º 1.272' WAlcyoneHowdy, another day on the water enroute Niue, with a building wind (now about 16 knots SSE) but lumpy seas. We're rolling around with the cross swell, but at least we're on a good heading direct Niue. Wind should stay up through tonight and tomorrow morning. Saw one other boat this morning but they didn't answer on VHF, and they disappeared to the north before noon. Finished up another book (we're running out), and we may continue our video binging (we're on Justify), two episodes a night out here, though we're moving enough it may be difficult to keep laptop and speaker on the cockpit table. I do have lashing material though... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

17º 26.262' S166º 1.272' WAlcyoneHowdy, had a good overnight sail and through today, the wind a favorable direction and not too much. We've had interesting seas, with a predominant 2m swell from the SSW, and a 1.5m wind swell from the ENE. The ride has been good, not rolling, just going up and down with the additive swells. We just gybed to a west southwest heading and have a direct shot to Niue if the wind holds, which it should. We have two obstacles in the way, though they are very far apart and on the charts. It seems folks still have the ability to screw it up and end up on the reef. The northern one is a shallow area, about 30 feet in the middle of nowhere, and if the swell is any size you should see rough water or breaking waves. You just give it a wide berth. The other is called Beveridge Reef, a small rock in the other middle of nowhere. It's well marked on paper and electronic charts, but most charts say it's 2 miles away from the charted position. A British cat went aground several weeks ago in the middle of the night, and there happened to be a NZ Ketch there, who managed to rescue the couple and their two kids. It's a dive spot, so not sure if they were trying to anchor at night or what, but obviously messed up, and just lucky the NZ boat was there to pick them up. No one hurt, but boat and most of their stuff was lost. So another one you give a wide berth, and certainly don't approach at night. <BR/>It should be another beautiful night sailing, the moon is less than half but still lights up everything. We've been lucky with no rain squalls or abnormal winds, and should arrive Niue Friday afternoon. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

17º 56.28' S163º 39.078' WAlcyoneHowdy, well it was a quick stay at Palmerston. A really interesting place, very kind people but their demographics don't bode well for them, as they only have about 7 kids in school on the island, and the overall population is aging out. The younger ones just want to leave and not come back. You can have as good a lifestyle as you want there, depends how much fish you want to catch and how resourceful you are. They are all on one Motu in the atoll, and you used to be allowed to bring your boat into the atoll, but cruisers opened their tanks and left their trash on the beaches/motus, so they just closed it to boats and dinghies. Now, they do have quite a few moorings though they charge $10 a day (a bargain), take you ashore and host you, feed you ashore and show you around. While on the mooring, the whales came by - about 4 hump backs were working the west side of the atoll. The moorings are VERY close to the barrier reef on a shelf, then it drops to a couple thousand feet. These whales swam back and forth the whole time we were there within a 100 yards of our boat. A few folks jumped in and got some good pics of them going by underwater. Very cool. <BR/>Because the supply ship only shows up about 3 times a year, they like to bargain for items in short supply, but no one is starving. Lots to eat, no one pushes away from the table, you just have to like palm trees, clear water, sandy beaches and fish. Oh, and lobster as big as your lower arm. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy about 1 year  agoShow

18º 2.928' S163º 11.652' WAlcyoneHowdy, arrived Palmerston this morning, had lunch with our host Bob and toured the island. We will probably depart tomorrow so we can arrive at Niue on Friday in time to check in, otherwise we spend the weekend on the boat waiting for them to start work again on Monday. Palmerston is beautiful, had three whales drive by about a boat length away going north, then they turned around and came back south as we sat on the mooring. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 8.928' S162º 4.23' WAlcyoneHowdy, made some good miles last night and this morning, the wind though kept backing to the north, and then died back to 7 knots and from the east, so we pulled everything in, pointed at the barn and are converting dinosaurs into smoke and noise... we should be on a mooring in Palmerston well before noon tomorrow morning (Monday), will probably spend two nights and then head off to Niue. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 12.732' S160º 14.1' WAlcyoneHowdy, another nice day in the open ocean, no one else around. Continued light winds, Big Red continues to pull us along, though we're not going very fast and have to keep gybing to get where we want to go. Should be in Palmerston Monday before noon if we make some miles tonight. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 7.152' S158º 28.038' WAlcyoneHowdy, another groundhog day, light winds, sunny skies and continuing to move slowly toward Palmerston. Only making about 105 miles to the good, the winds continue to be light, variable and fluky, although Big Red is keeping us moving. The halyard is not chafing so that's good, and I put a sleeve on the tack line to help it up at the bow sprit with just a little chafe from that bow block. Had a tanker come right up behind and pass us early this morning, he was on his way to Australia. He's the only boat we've really seen since Bora Bora. About 275 miles to go to Palmerston, and <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 0.87' S156º 38.952' WAlcyoneHowdy, forgot we're not in the French area any more, think we're heading toward english. <BR/>Day 3, another beautiful day with organized sea and lots of sun, but not much wind. We've had Big Red up now for over 24 hours, and seem to have resolved the halyard chafing issues. It really helps having the big sail up with such light winds as well, and we can point a bit better at our destination. Movie night tonight, Betsy made a pineapple upside down surprise cake thing, and then I expect tomorrow to be another today. We're 375 miles out of Palmerston, not making great speed but at least we're sailing and moving and not motoring. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 30.582' S154º 25.248' WAlcyoneBonjour, day 2 enroute Palmerston Island. The winds have steadied out about 12-14 knots, lots of puffy clouds and sun, and the sea has organized making for a great ride. We have had Big Red (the gennaker) out since about noon, so making good time now under very pleasant conditions, including a full moon coming up for tonight. Skirting around an atoll called Manuae then making a bit of a turn for the long shot to Palmerston. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 45.228' S152º 16.182' WAlcyoneBonjour, we left Bora Bora today around noon and headed out to Palmerston Island, about 650 miles west. Should take us 4 days, the wind is pretty good at the moment, reasonable speed and direction. It's been a nice day overall, a little rain and some clouds. Should be a good night, will check in tomorrow. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 29.52' S151º 45.708' WAlcyoneBonjour, moved from Tahaa over to Bora Bora today. The wind in the slot between Tahaa and Raiatea was 30+ knots, at first in our face as we moved toward the west pass, then behind us. The pass is wide so not a lot of excitement. In the open the wind was about 20 kts, seas about 2-3 meters, with one patch where you come around the corner of the reef where it gets steeper and rougher. Got pointed toward Bora Bora and had a rolly downwind ride until we got into the lee of the island, where the swell organized itself to a nice long period swell. Caught another small marlin on the way, they aren't that good for eating and they are a pain to bring aboard. I rigged up a new lure to go after Wahoo with wire leader, so that also ensures you will probably get the billfish to the stern cause their bill can't shred the wire like they do mono, and you don't lose a lure. This guy had the hook through the top bill, so I had to grab and slide the lure up the leader, then cut the leader and pull the lure off the line. I only lost the stainless hook. So, not that I like it, but there's another bill fish out there with a new lip ornament... <BR/>Bora Bora is very quiet, nice anchorage but very deep water (we're in about 80 feet), and at least the wind is a lot less than over at Tahaa. We'll stay through the weekend, check out probably Monday and leave either in the afternoon or Tuesday morning. Palmerston Island is one of the Cook Islands, about 650 miles which means four sleeps and a wakeup if we leave in the afternoon...Look it up on the internet - very interesting place in the middle of NOwhere! <BR/>Have to go pick out a movie for tonight's entertainment. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 36.918' S151º 32.688' WAlcyoneBonjour, we've been on the west side of Tahaa all week, waiting out the wind and rain. It's been non-stop since we moved, but rain seems to be dissipating today. We will move over to Bora Bora for the weekend, get checked out and leave for Palmerston Island on the way to Tonga. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 38.508' S151º 25.818' WAlcyoneBonjour, picked up this morning (Saturday) and moved 21 miles west over to Tahaa, dropping anchor just inside the southeastern pass. Tahaa is just north of Raiatea in the Societies, and just southeast of Bora Bora. Very deceiving islands as you approach, tall mountains in the background then you come up to the large barrier reefs and various motus (small islands in the barrier reef). The inner waters are very large, a mile or more of navigable water before the island. There are lots of other boats around, mostly catamarans from the charter companies located here at Raiatea, and Betsy noted they seem to multiply around you like rabbits... <BR/>We are here with Pangaea, friends from Mexico/Colorado, and will explore around here for a few days. <BR/> <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 42.768' S151º 2.328' WAlcyoneposition correction over 1 year  agoShow

16º 42.768' S151º 2.328' WAlcyoneBonjour, we left Monday afternoon from Moorea and came over to Huahine. The crossing was a bit sporty, winds a solid 20-22 gusting well above that at times, lumpy seas but downwind the whole way. Wasn't til we got to the south point at Huahine that it smoothed out with a long period swell behind us and a steady 18-20 knots making for a very nice final few hours. We came up on the northwest side to the small town of Fare. It's all inside a reef with two passes about a mile apart. They have free moorings at the north end, and as we showed up several boats left so we were able to jump on one. We're about 200 yards from shore in about 35 ft of clear water. This island has a whole different vibe than Moorea or Tahiti, very quiet but very clean and organized. We went ashore Tuesday night to the "yacht club" to listen to the band, a cruiser who puts a band together and plays at various island locations. Music was good and the restaurant was surprisingly good, and we ran into other friends that we've met or haven't seen since Panama. We'll go exploring today, get some bikes and ride around the north end and hike up to a lookout. We'll stay here a few days then need to get moving toward Tonga. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 29.52' S149º 51.15' WAlcyoneBonjour, a little catching up to do on our travels. Since last report, Michael and family departed, Betsy got back and we've been back and forth between Papeete and Moorea. We were last in Lagon Arue just east of downtown Papeete, trying to fix an autopilot problem. I reached my troubleshooting limits and called in an "expert". He determined that the computer module (this is a Raymarine S3G)was not talking to the actuator motor so while it said it was engaged, it was not holding a heading. Everything else worked. Got on EBay and found one, had it FedEx'd to friends who were coming down to another boat, and it arrived in about 4 days. Not bad... Installed it and it all worked. Shutdown the system that afternoon, and got ready to leave the next morning for Moorea. Turned on the system in the morning and got a SeaTalk Fail message (computer not talking to autopilot controller). Found that there was no signal coming off computer to controller (inadequate voltage). Tried my old computer and I had good voltage and good comms with controller, so decided to see if it might work now. Hooked it back up and voila, miraculously I have my old system working as it should. The only thing I had done different than original was to isolate the control head from the other instruments, so as to eliminate any errors that they might be introducing. Bottom line is old computer now works again, new one doesn't. When we get down the road I'll plug in new one again and see if it's corrected itself... I love electricity! <BR/>We got back over to Moorea after a sporty ride across the channel. It's only about 20 miles total, 15 across the channel, but the wind had kicked up to 25-30 knots so made for a rolly downwind ride. Got into the northern anchorage in Apunohu Bay and it was still about 20 plus, so we decided to go down to the south end of the bay where it is much quieter and calmer. Spent a nice night by ourselves. Weather has really cooled off at night, we have broken out the blanket and actually use sheet and blanket. <BR/>Tomorrow we will move over to Cook's Bay just to the east, get some fuel and go to the store then head off about sunset for Huahine, about 90 miles west. It's a quick overnight, and the wind is a steady 15-20 downwind for a nice sail. We'll plan on getting to Fare on the west coast and catch up with friends, one of whom has a 3 piece band and is playing a gig tuesday night. So it's another party on another island... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 28.482' S149º 51.12' WAlcyoneBonjour, left Papeete downtown marina with son Michael and family this morning, moved over to Moorea at Opunohu Bay east anchorage. They were on the early morning arrival from LAX, then we did some last minute provisioning in town, showed them the big downtown market, then took off. We actually sailed over most of the way, but as usual the wind effects are such that it's the greatest right out of the harbor at Papeete, then it dies down as you get farther out into the open. The anchorage here is very nice, not too many boats, shallow clean water and a nice beach. Tomorrow it's off to the Tiki anchorage and dive/snorkle on the tikis in the shallow water, then we'll go down and feed the stingrays and sharks farther down/west. It's a beautiful evening, cooling off with the wind shifting to the cool island breeze. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny, Michael, Jessica and Porter over 1 year  agoShow

17º 31.362' S149º 31.812' WAlcyoneBonjour, just left Papeete downtown marina after a week of cleaning the boat. Betsy flew back to US for three weeks to visit family, so I'm goofing off as el solo hombre...Moved up to the so-called yacht club anchorage just east of downtown Papeete, just west of Point Venus. Will stay here a couple days, then probably move up to the point. There is supposed to be some big wind in the next week, and there is a big venturi between Tahiti and Moorea, so I'll probably just stay put for a few days, then move back over to Moorea. Weather remains very nice, not much rain at all though I'd rather have some more to keep boat clean. Need to go out and give away some more lures as well... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Just Kenny over 1 year  agoShow

17º 29.448' S149º 52.272' WAlcyoneBonjour, we moved from Cook's Bay yesterday afternoon with the intention of moving out of the bay and just behind the reef at the entrance to the bay. There is a nice anchorage with access to store and shops right on the road. We motored through and didn't like the water condition and anchoring spots available, so moved to next destination a couple miles west to Apunohu Bay, very similar in shape and size to Cook's, still on the north side of Moorea. There is one primary anchorage on the east side coming through the pass, and a shallower secondary one to the west, so to avoid 30 or so of our best sailing friends we went west and found a nice spot right in front of a local marina. This marina is right next to a large church, has a nice breakwater and boat ramp, with one power boat inside...Yesterday being Sunday there were lots of families using the church and marina facilities, and we just hung out and finished up our books, the weather continuing to be high thin overcast and pleasantly cool with very light winds. <BR/>Today we'll explore the reef and look for the tiki snorkle spot - there are large stone tiki's in just a few feet of water, I just have to find them. Then we also have to go troll the outside of the reef in the dingy - the locals run back and forth for game fish, or anchor for reef fish. I gave away another lure on the way here from Fakarava, so it's about time we caught something else. <BR/>We'll be messing around Moorea until Betsy flies out on the 12th - we'll go back to Papeete and drop her off, then I'll figure out where I'm going for a few weeks. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

17º 30.24' S149º 49.248' WAlcyoneBonjour, skipped a report when we got to Papeete. Went to the downtown marina which was full, so moved back about 4 miles to anchorage off the Tahiti Yacht Club. Saw some Kiwi friends there, explored a bit, then moved the next morning back to the downtown marina, as we heard there were now some openings - first come first served. Got a good spot away from the road and noise - some of the inner slips are right on the malacon with the busy city road right behind, so they get all the tourists, locals and noise. We were away from that and it was a pretty nice spot. Our friends from the east coast were on a Wind Jammer cruise around the islands and arriving the next morning, so we cleaned up (a bit) and picked them up the next day. Then for Fri-Sun Latitude 38 sponsors the Tahiti-Moorea Rally, which included a "race" from Papeete to Moorea, finishing at Cook's Bay and the Bali Hai resort. Wind for the race was less than optimum, with no defined or consistent direction or speed. The winner was determined by the only boat to actually sail the entire way - everyone else bailed out and motored for a good anchoring spot. <BR/>They had a dinner last night for all participants and a day of fun and games today. We caught up with folks we've been talking to on the SSB radio all the way across the Pacific but had not met yet. The bay is beautiful, the resort isn't (rustic would be a good description), but plenty to do and explore. We will probably stay here a few days, then start moving around the island. Betsy flies out of Papeete for the US on the 12th, so will stay within range until then. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 4.908' S145º 44.85' WAlcyoneBonjour, we picked up this afternoon and headed out the pass at Fakarava enroute Papeete. The wind is very light so we're motoring right now. Will be light for today and maybe tomorrow as well, but need to get there before wind event on 22-23. Fakarava is very nice place, well protected and very clean. Would like to get back here to explore more. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 3.948' S145º 37.14' WAlcyoneBonjour, we moved this morning from the southeast corner to the northeast corner of Fakarava to the "town". There is an airport here, that I believe has daily flights to Papeete, and they also bring in lots of supplies, food and vegetables. We were late getting to the store, so they only had the ubiquitous potatoes, onions and garlic. Someone told us to bring garlic and trade it - wrong. They have plenty. Now so do we. <BR/>We went in and walked around, it's a nice place, very clean, lots of friendly people. We found a grill on the water (lagoon side) so we're going back after 1800 when it opens for the evening. This may be the place where they are supposed to have great burgers. Speaking of, we had dinner at Liza's at the southeast end, that was Mike's birthday party. $20, we had parrot fish in some creamy something on crackers (really good), bbq chicken, grilled tuna, grilled beef (all excellent), poisson cru (raw tuna in a cabbage salad with coconut milk), sashimi, and of course the vegetable, pomme frittes... All was outstanding, we brought home the left overs, which included the pomme frites which Betsy reheated/sauted in coconut oil the next day - a homerun... <BR/>Tomorrow is clean up and gear up for the run to Papeete (reminds me of CSNY song), we'll leave just before sunset and time the exit out the north pass with the tide. It will take us two sleeps and a wakeup to get there, along with a hundred of our friends. The Puddle Jump rally meets up for a 3 day event and we have a couple friends joining us there for three days. Alcyone is ready for guests, so make your plans and let us know. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 24.822' S145º 21.918' WAlcyoneBonjour, kicked off the mooring ball this morning from Fakarava south at the pass and moved to the southeast corner of the atoll, to a motu called Harifa. There is a lady out here, one of two families, and give her a little notice and she puts on a great dinner for you. So since it's Mike on Pangaea's birthday, we're all going in for dinner and birthday celebration. They are literally on the corner of the atoll, lots of trees blocking the northeast wind, with what looks to be a very substantial house on white sand beach. The anchorage here is shallow and sandy, with only a few scattered coral bommies to watch for, but we dropped in about 25 feet about 300 yards out. The protection is great, the water clear and warm. It was blowing about 24 knots on the way up here, but in the lee we have about 7-8 knots to keep it cool. <BR/>Yesterday we drifted the pass for the second time and saw all the sharks and grouper. This pass is right up there with Tahanea, and an order of magnitude more sharks. There is a French dive group here making a documentary about the sharks, and last year made one about the grouper (Grouper Mystery, look in UTube). That's when they discovered all the sharks (LOTS), so they came back to film them this year. They use rebreathers to stay down for a long time - the lead diver last year stayed down for 24 hours and made some discoveries about blood saturation that were counter to the prevailing thinking (their blood saturation capped out for one thing). We say big eagle rays at the front of the herd in there, and quite a few of the, I believe grays, were sleeping on the bottom. I think we've all heard the story that sharks never stop swimming, but these just so plunk on the bottom and go to sleep. We've gotten a little numb to all of them, as there are so many around, even in the shallows. <BR/>OK, gotta do event 3 for today, nap, then get ready to party. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 30.39' S145º 27.402' WAlcyoneBonjour, we spent a great eight days in Tahanea, moving the last day and a half back to the anchorage near the western pass. We snorkeled it on the afternoon we got there on the slack tide, running outside in the dinghy and then drifting back into the lagoon. Did that once on each side of the channel. Then had group over to Alcyone for cocktails and poopoos, and found out there was a great fish ball on the east side of the channel. So we went out the next day and our friends took us to "the spot". Probably 30-40 ft deep, visibility somewhere over a hundred feet, and just layers of fish. Several thousand black reef fish down at the bottom, just hanging around. Lots of grouper, parrot fish, two dogtooth tuna (probably 100 lbs, and the only tuna that come into the reef) we called the Nascar twins cause they just hung around at mid level under us going in left turns and not doing much else. Then there are Napoleon's, look like a big grouper, but they are attackers - we watched a couple assaults at the bottom - they jump someone and make a mess, and then the sharks follow up. And the sharks - lots of black tip, white tip, and grey reef sharks and large lemon sharks. Now I'm a woosey and Betsy is worse, but they just don't care too much about snorkelers or divers - they are curious, but not threatening in any way. So bottom line is there is a lot going on in the passes of these atolls, and this was pretty spectacular. <BR/>We got up early and pulled anchor at 0600 next day and headed off to Fakarava, about 50 miles pass to pass. It was a great sailing day, beam reach the whole way. The wind petered out the last hour or so, but we made it into the pass in benign conditions and picked up a mooring. They apparently have just put these moorings in recently, they are gratis for the cruisers, and make it especially nice in areas where the coral can be easily damaged by anchors and chains. Fakarava is the main atoll of 7 that are in a UNESCO heritage area, so more rules here about where you can go and not go. We are at the south end of the atoll, and will spend a few days here, then move up to the north end and try to pick up a few provisions. They do have some internet here, and I can try to satisfy my IPad that keeps telling me it hasn't been backed up in ten weeks... <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy <BR/>Alcyone over 1 year  agoShow

16º 57.702' S144º 39.87' WAlcyoneBonjour, <BR/>Had a great day yesterday, moved to the west pass at Makemo and did a couple drift dives on the pass. It's really deep and steep, lots of color, fish and sharks - white tip, black tip and one other kind I haven't identified yet. They are curious but also not bothersome, they just go about their business. We stayed until late afternoon, picked up anchor and went out the pass, at a nice clip of about 9.5 knots with the outgoing tide, on the way to Tahanea. It's a 45 mile jaunt, so we had to try and stay at 4 knots to get there at the tide change, basically a 12 hour trip. Well, it's difficult to just go 4 knots, even with only just a little head sail out, so we were a little early, actually hove to for a while, then came in to a nice anchorage with good wind protection. We are here with our buddies on Shindig, and will probably check out the passes here, there are three close together. Staying here for a few days, then on to Fakarava. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 31.212' S143º 49.35' WAlcyoneBonjour, <BR/>We picked up and moved again, but didn't leave Makemo. We really like it here. Left the village and motored about 18 miles west, back toward the west pass where we came in, however there is a little point with a large reef that gives a lot of protection, and the land and trees provide a wind break. The reef is very long and skinny, with deep water on the windward side and shallow on the leeward, and it runs perpendicular to the beach. Today has been cloudy with lots of threatening rain showers, but they have all missed us. Tomorrow is snorkeling and beach exploring, reading, napping, the usual strenous agenda here at Camp Makemo. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy over 1 year  agoShow

16º 39.348' S143º 23.7' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, we picked up and moved from the village area at the northeast pass on Makemo to the far northeast end of the atoll, in anticipation of a wind event this weekend. Four of us made the move this morning, leaving around 1000 and getting here around 1230, about 9 miles. We moved to an area where the fetch is very short and we have some good wind blockage by the trees on shore, unless it clocks around to the south and then we'll have a bit more exposure. But we are in a great spot - steady breeze, no chop, no whitecaps (yet), very clear warm water and nice beaches to go explore. <BR/>Really picture postcard anchorage. As you know, these are all coral atolls, so anchoring can at times be a challenge, not putting the thing down, but getting it up. The coral grows vertically and as the boat moves around with the wind you may get wrapped around various vertical obstructions. One strategy people use here is to put floats/bouys/fenders on their anchor chain at various intervals to hold it off the bottom and minimize the opportunity for snagging the coral. Of course that reduces the effective scope, but saves on a big hassle when it's time to leave. So, to the point, leaving this morning as I pulled the anchor up the final 30 feet I noticed it was going slowly, even though I knew it was off the bottom. As it broke the surface my keen eyes saw a piece of coral about 3 1/2 feet in diameter skewered on the anchor tip. Wow, now what? Ran back and got the boat hook, hoping it would easily remove it self, which luckily it did after a few pulls and tugs. Ok, disaster averted again!<BR/>We dinghied to a sandbar (really a coral debris bar) for sundowners tonight, watched a beautiful sunset, and decided this is a pretty cool place.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

16º 26.58' S143º 56.97' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, spent a very nice night and next day at the west end all by ourselves. Had a chance to clean up, had some nice rain showers come through most of the day, got the boat rinsed off and sat in the cockpit and did laundry. It's amazing how caked the salt gets with blowing spray, and then the sun bakes it on. Opened up all the hatches after the rain stopped and got the insides sort of dried out as well. Yesterday morning then we picked up and moved to the east end up by the village, where about 7 other boats are anchored. The transit was uneventful but it takes all your attention to navigate through the lagoon. Although 25 miles from one anchor to the other, and with an average depth about 100-125 ft, there are the "bommies" that are just coral pillars sticking up from the bottom to the surface. You can go by them very close because it's all vertical. Most, I say most, are charted, depending what you are using, but not all, so someone is on the bow looking out. We went at low tide and high sun so were able to easily see everything with enough time to move around them.<BR/>Today we will probably go for a drift snorkle in the pass (the entrance through the atoll to the lagoon), or maybe a quick walk through town. It's blowing pretty hard right now so may just stay onboard and do chores. Decisions decisions. <BR/><BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

16º 26.58' S143º 56.97' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, made it to Makemo, anchor down and a couple beers farther on. Last night was a big change, the seas evened out, the wind was on the beam and the stars were out. <BR/>This is a large atoll with two passes, one east and one west. We came in the west one, which is essentially the deserted end of the atoll. Going through the pass is much like going over a bar, just have to time it right and avoid the strong currents by going at slack tide. Good news is the tide range here is very small, a couple feet, but the currents at this particular spot can run up to 8 knots, so you definitely want to wait.We got inside and anchored about a mile from the entrance, with beautiful clear water. Jumped in and rinsed off a few days worth of salt and stink - its really nice to just sit still and stop moving. For the guys, you can actually go to the toilet and not worry about how much gravity is affecting your aim...<BR/>We may stay here another day, don't know yet, but will move over to the east end where there is a small village and some friend boats. <BR/><BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

13º 31.188' S142º 45.24' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, well there is nice and there is not... We picked up anchor from Oa Pou about 2030 and headed off to Makemo in the Tuamotus. Out around the island, then calm in the lee, turn on the engine for about an hour and get into the wind, then we're off. Somewhere in there it was that time when it blows and sucks at the same time. We weren't having fun, but we were going fast. The rest of that night and the next day it was really mixed up, big seas, squalls (35 knots and horizontal rain). Finally started organizing itself around sunset, and we had a good night last night and today. Sun is now out and we're trying to dry stuff off. Everything is wet and salty, and I'd like to find one of those squalls to wash off. The salty stuff never dries. We should make the island in time tomorrow to go through the pass at slack tide, otherwise we'll have to wait until the next morning. Keeping the sails full and speed up. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

9º 21.48' S140º 2.85' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, celebrated our boat buddy's 50th birthday last night, then promptly pulled up anchor this morning and took off for Oa Pou again, for last minute provisions. It's about 24 miles in the right direction, fewer people and some good stores. Plus reasonable wifi. Also caught a nice fat tuna on the way over, so not a bad day. The winds were typical 15 plus knots, but they slowly turned to the nose and made it a motor sail finish. We just got back from town and the wind has almost completely died down, unfortunately we are on the northeast corner of the island and the sunset is blocked by mountains. We're getting up early tomorrow morning and heading for Makemo in the Tuamotus, about 500 miles on a beam reach. Should be nice. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

8º 56.652' S140º 9.642' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, we left Taiohe bay and moved a short distance to Daniel's Bay, still on Nuka Hiva. Apparently he and his wife Antoinette lived here for 40 years. It's only about 5 miles to Taiohe, but no roads, only boat access. It's a very narrow opening with lots of swell but opens up to a nice bay and anchorage. There is a hike to a waterfall, the locals will sell fruit and invite you to dinner, and we celebrated Rob on Shindig's 50th birthday last night. We are going to leave this morning and head back to Oa Pou for some last minute provisioning, then continue on to the Tuomotus. It's about 500 miles to our target of Makemo, so should be about 3 days or so. Winds have been in the 15-20 knot range this week, with lots of clouds and some rain. We want to get out of the rainy stuff and into some clearer water. We met a kid boat last night who was coming up from down there, heading to Hawaii and on to Oregon. He said it was all 150 ft visibility and lots of sun. Looking forward to it. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

8º 54.912' S140º 6.048' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, I realized I did not send out a position report for Taiohe Bay, Nuka Hiva. We left Ua Pou and came across the 24 miles in light easterly winds, arriving to join the 50 other boats in the anchorage. The Oyster Rally was congregating for an event on Saturday, so we had to contend with all those folks. We ended up staying there for a week, getting some reasonable internet connections and trying to catch up. This is one of those funky locations where you are 30 minutes off everyone else. We reserved a space on a driving tour, and managed to miss it as we were of course 30 minutes late. The yacht services guy on the beach suggested we just rent a car and do it ourselves, which we did. Ended up being well worth it and cheaper. The island only has a couple roads, they are well maintained, but very windy and steep - this place has a lot of verticality. Anyway, it's a pretty spectacular place, we had lunch at a very good restaurant on the other side of the island, and we didn't have to contend with sitting with a bunch of the oyster crowd.<BR/>Eric escaped us, getting a flight out to Papeete, then on to Maui. We'll miss all his help around the boat, though he won't miss having to move his stuff and turn on the generator every day.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

9º 21.498' S140º 2.892' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, we left Hamamoenoa Bay on Tahuato yesterday night and made the overnight passage to Hakahau on Ua Pou (Wa Poo), about 65 miles in a straight line. But of course you can't go straight, dodging squall cells and sailing as much as possible. The town is very pleasant, we managed to get supplies at several stores, and Betsy and Eric got on internet at the biblioteque. It's a pleasant enough anchorage somewhat inside a breakwater, but getting crowded and with wind changes gets a bit rolly. We've seen this, so will move out early tomorrow morning and head up to Nuka Hiva. It wasn't a fair trade from Tahuato, which was a great island, great anchorage, nice town, and we'd go back if we can.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

9º 54.522' S139º 6.372' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, we finally got checked in after some painful paperwork foul ups, but you just have to relax and go slower. It all seems to work out at their speed. We finished up about 1430 and got the anchor up about 1530 and moved off to Tahuatu, a smaller island just a couple miles south of Hiva Oa. We're in a beautiful anchorage with three other boats, all spread out so it's nice cockpit separation - not listening to what's going on next door. Will stay here for a day or two, then up to Hua Poa, a smaller island on the way to Nuku Hiva that supposedly has a surf spot. The Oyster Rally boats are all showing up there, so we have to beat them in to get a spot - there are about 25 doing a round the world rally, and they pretty much dominate the locale, wherever that may be. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

9º 48.372' S139º 1.368' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, spent a few nice quiet days in Fatu Hiva, a really beautiful place. Explored, slept, cleaned up the boat, napped, read, slept, ate, napped... as boats came in it was amazing to see the condition of the bottom. Filthy! There was a brown slime stuff growing up the sides and on the stern where it got the most sun, and there were these horse neck barnacle things about 1.5inches long that were stuck on. We had new bottom paint which did it's job, so only had a few of those things, and really not much of the slime except on the stern, but a few boats were completely covered at the stern area all the way under, solid, with these little barnacle things. And they really stick.<BR/>Pulled up anchor Wednesday morning early and made a slow crossing to Hiva Oa. We've determined that we needed to slow down to catch any fish, as during the Puddle Jump we only caught one tuna, the rest were bill fish. So we came over at about 6 knots, landed two nice tuna at the same time, one the reel and one on the meat line. Then just before getting into Atuona (the town at Hiva Oa) we had a huge strike but he spit the hook after a few minutes. Our friends here made the same transit, and he fishes with long meat lines. He had one out, 100 meters of 100 lb test line, with a huge stainless attach clip to the boat and a large shock bungee. Something took it and ripped it off the boat - everything gone! So now someone out there has a nice lip ornament...<BR/>The anchorage here is rolly, but acceptable. We'll track down our agent today and get checked in, then I have to work on the starter for the generator. It decided it's not getting enough juice to start the generator. One boat buddy here is an electrician, so I'll use him to help if necessary. He's going to be spending the day helping another boat however who got hit by lightning about 300 miles out. Came in the mast, exited the bow thruster, fried virtually everything that was plugged in. He had just gotten a new autopilot and instruments in the Galapagos, so only got 15 days of use out of them. They will put together the minimum to get him to Pape'ete where he can get a real fix. It's always interesting.<BR/>We'll stay here a day or two, then move up toward Nuku Hiva. Eric plans to fly out from there to Pape'ete and catch a flight to Maui on Sunday 13 May. So we'll jam in as much as we can til then. Supposed to be a couple surf spots on the way there, so will try for those. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

10º 27.828' S138º 40.14' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 26 down, yesterday was a long, lumpy day/night. We gybed our way toward Fatu Hiva, but it was slow going. Finally got around the corner and dropped anchor just before 1000 (local boat time), so it was 26 days 1 hour from Panama City to cover 4043 miles. We are glad to be stopped, still and quiet for a few hours. <BR/>We'll go ashore probably tomorrow and explore. We are anchored in the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva, a pretty spectacular location out in the middle of nowhere. Probably stay here a day or two, then up to Hiva Oa to do our check in and official stuff. The word is to get it done and get out, as the anchorage is very rolly and crowded. Plenty of other islands to explore, so that's the plan. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

10º 36.81' S136º 16.77' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 25 down, winds picked up this morning after a very light yesterday and night. Managed to blow out another halyard for the gennaker, thought we had it solved but something else going on. It lasted for 10 hours, which is good, but then rescuing a wet sail in the dark is a pain. We're running pretty well right now with about a day left, should be close to anchoring by sunrise tomorrow morning.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

11º 33.708' S134º 18.27' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 24 down, we took a turn to the north to get back up, will stay this heading for about 20 hours, then should be on a nice tack to finish at Fatu Hiva. Wind has decreased a bit, but still blowing steadily from the east. We're all pretty bored at the moment, reading all our books and snoozing a lot. All those jobs I was going to attack have sort of gone by the wayside. But as of this morning, we should be anchored on Sunday morning. Anchor-down-beer for breakfast...<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

11º 21.06' S131º 40.272' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 23 down, wind is back up but still east instead of a bit southeast. Very uncomfortable with the conflicting dominant south swell and a significant wind swell at our back. Beautiful sunny day though.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

11º 3.012' S128º 25.602' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 22 down, we slowed down a bit as the wind shifted and died. Slow going last night with some good rain early morning. Today is cloudy and we shifted tacks to head northwest, and try to keep from going too far south.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

10º 17.988' S126º 25.002' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 21 down, another 184 miles, surprisingly consistent progress.<BR/>We seem to have left most of the squalls behind - we can see at night lightning far off, but nothing to bother us here. Had one bit of rain a couple nights ago, but really nothing since around Galapagos. Sea has a regular rhythm to it, smooths out and quiets down between 0400 and 0600, then starts to ramp up during the day, until around 1500 it's at full speed, then a bit of smooth off at sunset til about 2000, then picks up again, then... only complaint is conflict of wind swell from east and dominant swell from south, and we want to go just south of west, so it means finding a heading where we're not doing the agitator cycle of the washing machine. It's not really that uncomfortable on the body, it's just that stuff starts flying around the boat...<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

9º 29.22' S123º 25.488' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 20 down, made over 180nm yesterday, if that continues we get to Fatu Hiva in five more days. Wind is supposed to die down a bit tho.<BR/>We also caught a fish yesterday, Eric did the honors, though at miles trolled per pound of fish, it's about a Thousand... It's also not a really great tuna, but we'll doctor it up and have it for lunch. Backup plan is use it for bait. Not sure if we have enough doctoring to keep it from being sacrificed.<BR/>We also got the main sail unstuck from the mast - didn't tell you about that one. Seems that if you want to reef it and go down wind and let it bag enough as you wind it into the mast, it will wrap in on itself and double up, jamming inside the mast. Whoops... Leave it alone long enough and let the sail flap, and it will fix itself. Yes! Won't have to make another sacrifice and cut it out/down. Just another minor challenge on the way to paradise.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

8º 43.92' S120º 25.488' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 19 down, wind continues to blow steadily and hard, and it shifted last night back down to the east southeast, which gives us a better tack toward Fatu Hiva. If this continues, we can go straight there, instead of getting south and then having to tack back up to the northwest.<BR/>Lost another lure to a bill fish this morning, they just wear through the leader with the bill. Will either have to increase the size of the leader or go to wire. We really don't want the bill fish, they are too hard to handle at the boat, especially moving as fast as we are, but if I don't put anything out then it's giving in, and we can't do that, can we... <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

8º 7.248' S117º 25.968' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 18 down, wind is still blowing in the right direction, made 181nm yesterday, so moving quite nicely. Eric continues with his arts and crafts classes, I did a little sewing on the bimini canvas, and of course Betsy made us something to eat! We all have books and will get in the shade for the hottest part of the day. <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

7º 32.688' S114º 24.972' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 17 down, another groundhog beautiful victory at sea day, and we made a whopping 189 miles yesterday. That makes up for the wallowing we did the first week.<BR/>The current plan is to go to Fatu Hiva first, the southeastern most island in the Marquesas. It's not a check in port, but it apparently has a must see bay and because they don't have an airport and it's upwind, they get fewer visitors. So even though there is a gendarme there, he looks the other way if you don't overstay your visit.<BR/>We'll then move up to Hiva Oa, which is a check in port, do all our official paperwork and see who is around. We know there is a big armada of boats ahead of us, and the Oyster Rally boats (about 25) are behind us. So there will be plenty of company.<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

7º 10.548' S111º 18.972' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 16 down, and another beautiful day. Wind picked up in the right direction, so we have about 18 knots at our back pushing us West. Everyone has a book out and has assumed the position...<BR/>Finally had a fish strike today, but the line broke so nothing to brag about. Threw another few bucks overboard and hope something else comes along. Hope is a strategy, right?<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

6º 30.108' S108º 51.228' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 15 down, and we have sunshine. We appear to be moving into a higher pressure area so clouds are mostly remaining to the north. However the wind is not what the weather guessers said, continues to come out of the east northeast rather than east southeast. And it's not enough to help us sail downwind very well, so we're mucking along but at least pointed in right direction. Boat looks like the Clampetts are coming to town, everything is hanging on the rail or laid out in a hot flat spot to dry out. Next major problem to solve is fishing - we haven't had a hit since the marlin jumped on the line, so getting hungry for something fresh. Will try out another lure...I wonder what the dollar per pound of fish turns out to be in the end??<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

5º 12.108' S107º 35.232' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 14 down, again with rain, rain, rain. We thought we'd have a half way party, but now it's just trying to deal with our pruned up fingers and toes. Everything is wet, and it doesn't dry out fast, or maybe at all. We found a front and are traveling with it, it seems. Winds have been very shifty, and with every passing cell we have significant increases in wind speed and big changes in direction. Gets pretty sporty at times. Seems we have to get a little further south to get out of the cloud cover, but we're still making good ground. yesterday was 176 miles, though not all of it was in the most advantageous direction... <BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

4º 29.832' S104º 48.528' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 13 down, with rain, rain, rain. Wind generally from the east, but moves around with the squall lines. We bear off when the squall approaches, accelerate with the increasing wind, let the rain go by, the wind shifts back and we resume course. Ten times a day...closing up the boat makes for sauna like conditions, especially when I have the generator running. We have an electrical deficit with little to no solar power due to the cloud cover, good argument for wind generator. <BR/>Tomorrow should be about the half way point, had a pretty decent day yesterday with 164 miles. We're in visual contact with our buddy boat from Italy, nice to have someone around. For anyone who may be trying to contact us via Airmail/Winlink on the KK6FHZ email, I'm having problems with the modem and haven't been able to connect for quite a few days. Working on it, just part of the list...<BR/>All is well onboard, <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

3º 41.37' N102º 12.87' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 12 down, sawed through another halyard for the gennaker yesterday, so that's the last of that til I figure out the issue. <BR/>Rainy today, looks like a victory at sea episode. We're making good time, the wind has moved a bit farther south so we're on a broad reach to destination.<BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

2º 55.44' N99º 39.978' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 101 down, last night we saw winds up to about 25 knots, blasting along (surfing) at 10 knots or so, but it was pretty rolly and the boat is noisy...we made 182 miles for the day.<BR/>Blew out a small block (pully) for the tack line that holds the front corner of the gennaker down - when that went it allowed the line to move over and chafe against the fitting below the head sail furler (a kind of sharp edge). That didn't last long, so another repair job. <BR/>We are in that period where almost all of the fresh green stuff is gone, bananas are finished, mangos done, still have oranges, limes, so it just gets a bit more creative at meal time. Weather has been good for us, we have gotten some rain but no major squalls with lightning.<BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

0º 22.752' N94º 26.13' WAlcyone<BR/>Bonjour, day 10 down, groundhog day...winds from east at 15ish, sunny, chafed through another line...<BR/>We saw two sail boats on the horizon about 5 days ago, which were the first since leaving the Panama area, and haven't seen any since, even after going past Galapagos. It's amazing that so many boats are going this way, but doesn't take much to get out of sight of everyone.<BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

0º 22.752' N94º 26.13' WAlcyone<BR/>Hola Amigos, Day 9 down, went past the Galapagos on the north side and then turned southish,and we CROSSED THE EQUATOR. Got rid of those two slimy polly wogs and found two worthy ShellBacks! Gave an obligatory offering to King Neptune under a rising moon just after sunset, and then we were off again.<BR/>We also had a rider for a day, a red footed blue billed boobie. We've seen the blue footed at Isla Isabella up in Mexico, and they are prevalent in Galapagos, but we couldn't find anything on a blue billed boobie. He/she hung out on the bow pulpit rail for about 24 hours, though it did fall off once into the water, then came back for a do over. Betsy went out to talk and take pics in the morning, it must have been feeling better cause it just took off and kept on going.<BR/>Realized we are out of the Americas now and will have to switch from Spanglish to Fraanch...it won't be Hola anymore.<BR/><BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using a low band width satellite link.<BR/>Please be kind and do not hit reply, or strip off the previous email before sending.<BR/>Thanks. over 1 year  agoShow

0º 23.952' N92º 22.932' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, Day 8 down, and it was another nice mileage day, making about 151 miles even with some cranky morning winds. Also, we broke the gennaker halyard (chafed right through at the bullseye at top of mas)t, so we had to send Eric up to get his mast qual. Involved sending a fishing line and sinker back down the inside of the mast, grabbing it down at deck level, tying the (now shorter) halyard to it and sending it back up and through. Got that all done, put some chafe guard material on the halyard and snugged it up tight to the bullseye to minimize the moving around at/through that fitting. We know you have to keep moving and checking lines for chafe, this one got away.<BR/>Hooked another small marlin this morning, however he spit the hook after a minute or so. Oh well, at least there are fish out there, even though they continue to taunt us...<BR/><BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Marine Networks, LLC's XGate software.<BR/>Please be kind and keep your replies short.over 1 year  agoShow

1º 15.228' N90º 18.258' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, Day 7 down, and we had another good sailing day. Moving nicely along and will pass north of the Galapagos on a current heading of about 230. We should cross the equator on Wednesday around noon or so, and the pollywogs (Eric and Betsy) are getting nervous... King Neptune will be whipping those wogs into shape to ensure a safe passage across the line, and if they qualify they become honorable shellbacks! We'll see how they do. <BR/>Had a man overboard yesterday - Betsy was sitting at the stern reading and started to get up for something. The boat rolled one way and she went the other, put her right hand down to the deck to stop momentum, and her left hand out in the opposite direction for balance. Well, just like Bob Davis, that left hand launched that book right off the fantail. It floated for a few minutes, we did our drill to get back to it, but all we found was the page marker. A sad day indeed!<BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Marine Networks, LLC's XGate software.<BR/>Please be kind and keep your replies short.over 1 year  agoShow

2º 22.878' N88º 4.668' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, Day 65 down, and it was like moving of Kon Tiki and getting on the Cannonball express. We had really nice winds all day and all night, and made a whopping 171nm overnight! After the days of wallowing, that really made us all feel much better. We also managed to catch a nice marlin, about 6ft, and made for interesting maneuvering trying to get it to the boat in about 16-18 knots of wind. Eric managed to get a nice video of it, and I got my lure back too - not the size fish (or type) we want to bring aboard. Winds continue today, but they haven't picked up as strong as yesterday, maybe this afternoon towards sunset.<BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Marine Networks, LLC's XGate software.<BR/>Please be kind and keep your replies short.over 1 year  agoShow

3º 34.878' N85º 32.67' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, Day 5 down, another night with shifting light winds and squalls. Finally got moving this morning around 4 and have had a good day moving toward Galapagos. <BR/>All is well onboard.<BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric<BR/>----<BR/>This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Marine Networks, LLC's XGate software.<BR/>Please be kind and keep your replies short.over 1 year  agoShow

6º 43.788' N81º 9.708' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, moved along nicely yesterday, made 158 miles even with spotty winds. Put up Big Red (our gennaker or asymmetrical spinnaker) for a while and had a nice ride, but even then the winds died out. While in a couple no wind zones, saw two sharks come by on the surface, big dorsal and big tail. Betsy was going to jump in and rinse off... <BR/>We had a nice run just before sunset but then that died as well, so now we are wallowing along at 2.5 knots, mostly with current. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric over 1 year  agoShow

8º 7.908' N79º 49.578' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, well it's a mirakul - got the computer up and running after some painful troubleshooting, turned out to be a relatively easy fix to get Airmail going again, so now we have access to weather and mail and such from both SSB and SAT phone. We pulled the plug at 1300 local from Panama City, and were not sorry to leave the city scape behind. We motored down past Taboga island and got into some nice wind, and have been sailing since, making nice speed. We thought we might stop at Venao just to the west of Punta Mala, and will make that decision tomorrow morning, depending on winds. Everything seems to be working properly, so it's a good start. <BR/>All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric over 1 year  agoShow

8º 56.34' N79º 33.552' WAlcyoneWell, not so fast. Aside from the fact that there is no appreciable wind, I had a computer melt down the other morning in Contadora. We were just getting ready to get a weather update and head out, and my trusty laptop (with EVERYTHING on it) would not even power up. We did all the normal and abnormal stufff, and nothing. Came back to Panama City as our techie friend had just come through the canal and was available at Balboa. Well he confirmed that it would not power up, so off to Price Smart (local Costco) and one boat unit$ later we had a new computer. Now its time to download all those programs over the world's slowest internet connection, so it's been a painful 36 hours... I think we're back to somewhat normal, and I'll have a long time to work things out, I think. Another report tomorrow. All is well. Cheers, Kenny, Betsy and nephew Ericover 1 year  agoShow

8º 37.248' N79º 2.1' WAlcyoneHola Amigos, we made our reposition from Balboa to Contadora in Las Perlas, about 38 miles southeast of Panama City. A beautiful day for motoring as there was no wind. Insult to injury, we got skunked in the fishing department as well. It's just nice to get away from the "marina", lights and noise and out onto the pond. Tonight is beautiful and clear, a gazillion stars and light breeze. We found our favorite free mooring, met some friends from Shelter Bay, got the internet password are are all set. Tomorrow will be some minor maintenance, probably jump in and check out the bottom (of the boat) condition, and get ready to leave, though the winds are sketchy enough (meaning light and variable) that we may consider waiting another day before heading west. All is well onboard. <BR/>Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric over 1 year  agoShow

8º 56.34' N79º 33.552' WAlcyoneWe cleared the docks of Shelter Bay marina on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal and made it through the northern locks on Monday. Everything was uneventful, other than the scheduled time slipped by a bit over an hour, which in Panama is on time. There was no yelling and screaming, and actually the easiest of our four trips through the canal so far. We rafted up with another boat in Gatun Lake and were picked up by another advisor tuesday morning to complete the trip through. That second segment was almost uneventful, the last chamber tie up getting somewhat exciting as we were rafted together with a catamaran and got a little sideways, but all is well, no one hurt and nothing broken. We are currently at Balboa "Yacht Club", doing final provisioning, spending a couple nights, and heading out tomorrow morning to head to Las Perlas to spend at least one night, maybe two depending on weather, then head west. <BR/>All is well onboard, will try to keep up daily reports for position reporting if nothing else. Looking forward to getting to the Marquesas. Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric over 1 year  agoShow

8º 56.202' N79º 33.312' WAlcyoneWe cleared the docks of Shelter Bay marina on the Caribbean side of the Panama Canal and made it through the northern locks on Monday. Everything was uneventful, other than the scheduled time slipped by a bit over an hour, which in Panama is on time. There was no yelling and screaming, and actually the easiest of our four trips through the canal so far. We rafted up with another boat in Gatun Lake and were picked up by another advisor tuesday morning to complete the trip through. That second segment was almost uneventful, the last chamber tie up getting somewhat exciting as we were rafted together with a catamaran and got a little sideways, but all is well, no one hurt and nothing broken. We are currently at Balboa "Yacht Club", doing final provisioning, spending a couple nights, and heading out tomorrow morning to Las Perlas to spend at least one night, maybe two depending on weather, then head west. All is well onboard, will try to keep up daily reports for position reporting if nothing else. Looking forward to getting to the Marquesas. Kenny and Betsy and nephew Eric over 1 year  agoShow

9º 21.0' N79º 55.998' WAlcyoneWe've been enjoying the north side of Panama with trips to the San Blas Islands, Linton Island, Portobello, and even a quick trip up to the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Presently we are in Shelter Bay Marina on the north side of the Panama Canal awaiting our Long Stay Visas for French Polynesia and preparing the boat for the canal transit (again) and the long Pacific crossing to the Marquesas Islands! We've joined the Latitude 38 magazine annual Puddle Jump so you can find more info and pics there!almost 2 years  agoShow

9º 22.098' N79º 57.042' WAlcyonetest message for Alcyone position reporting over 2 years  agoShow

9º 36.75' N34º 46.2' WAlcyoneHola amigos, spent a couple weeks out in the San Blas islands. Very nice place, lots of small, flat palm islands with very large shoals and reefs surrounding and protecting. Clear water, lots of boats, with the rainy season starting so squalls moving through most every day. Moved back to Linton, hanging around here and exploring for a few days, then will move back to Shelter Bay marina to clean the boat up and put it away for the rainy summer. We fly back to states 01 June to the east coast, see Betsy's parents and meet up with the family in Norfolk. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

9º 22.152' N57º 8.4' WAlcyoneHola amigos, escaped the marina once again and are out exploring on the other side - it's amazing that one day you are in the Pacific and the next you're in the Atlantic. We left Shelter Bay on Thursday, went to a nice anchorage called Linton, about 3 hours from exiting the breakwater at Colon, then picked up early and headed off to the San Blas islands to meet up with a couple other boats. Stopped at Holandes Cay for the night, bypassing Chichime where there were a ton of other boats - it's significantly less crowded here. A backpacker catamaran came in early this morning, crowded with kids they charge upwards of $500 each just to move them around the islands for a week or two. Don't provide them anything else. Water is very clear, will explore reef today. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

9º 22.152' N79º 57.138' WAlcyoneHola amigos, made the canal transit with an overnight in Gatun Lake, arriving in Shelter Bay marina Friday. The marina sits just inside the very large breakwater that guards the northern access to the canal at Colon. The transit was uneventful, rafting up with a Canadian Catalina 42 for each of the chamber (locks) transitions both up and down. Staying here for a few days, then off to the San Blas islands to the east for several weeks, then back here, secure the boat and fly home June 1. <BR/>Still working an issue with Farkwar where the lat/long I enter on the computer is not the one that comes out the other side. So if we show up in Africa, we're not really there... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 37.398' N79º 10.8' WAlcyoneHola amigos, have been here at Contadora for about a week now. The weather has been good, lots of sun, light but consistent winds, free moorings, internet, bar and restaurant right in front of us on the beach... <BR/>Moving back to Panama City Sunday in prep to do a canal transit. Going to spend a month or so in the San Blas islands on the other side, then leave the boat at Shelter Bay for a few months and make the trek back to the states to see the family. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 37.422' N79º 1.8' WAlcyoneHola amigos, a quick overnight at Viveros, then back up to Contadora to get an internet fix. Water is a bit clearer than we've seen, so again into the water to clean the hull. We'll probably stay a night or two. <BR/>I have to correct a previous report when we went to Casaya - the Farkwar dropped the first two digits of longitude when it read it off the bottom of the email report, which put us somewhere is Africa. We really were still in the Perlas, regardless of the technical wizardry... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 27.0' N79º 0.0' EAlcyoneHola amigos, spent a nice overnight on Casaya, then picked up and started out for Isla Viveros about 1030. Just as we were getting underway, we got called by a woman (Donna) who is doing a single handed circumnavigation on a 28 foot sailboat (engineless). We have been tracking her for a few days as she was supposed to go around South America but got knocked down several times, lost all her antennas and instruments, so diverted north and is now going through the canal. She has no charts, no GPS, receive only on SSB, windvane is broke, but does have VHF. So we ran down about 20 miles, met up with her, gave her a GPS and some charts, and most important a couple cold beers and a turkey sandwich. Remotivated, she's on her way up to the canal area and will get there sometime tomorrow. All in all a good Easter - we got our brownie points. The wind came up and we had a great sail back to Viveros, just in time for another happy hour with our current buddy boaters, and anchored by the 79 foot catamaran Wildberry that decided to encroach on our area. <BR/>Tomorrow will probably be another day under the boat - the stuff down here grows fast. Our bow thruster was completely clogged, the two props were welded to the tunnel walls with "stuff", so I spent about an hour yesterday giving it the first cleaning, and it will take another hour at least to finish it. Yuck. <BR/>Hope everyone had a great weekend, where ever you spent it. Lots of stars tonight, and a waning moon, but at least we're outside. Tomorrow will be another challenge to figure out which little island to go investigate. Always a problem... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 29.52' N79º 1.89' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Isla Chapera this morning, after our neighbors started moving south and said that happy hour would be on their boat at 1700, and don't bring anything... they had plenty of rum, etc. I can take a hint, so we picked up and left our powerboat friends at Chapera and headed south about 8 miles to Casaya. Moving around at low tide is somewhat easier than higher tides, because you can see the rocks and reefs. We dropped with about 6 feet under the keel about an hour after low tide, so with swinging around at lowest tide we might see 3-4 under the keel. Then it's another 15 feet up, the beach and reefs disappear, and it's a whole new world. Getting out of Chapera was probably the right move, as our Panamanian friends tend to drive full speed everywhere, anchor up close and personal, play their music really loud, and act like obnoxious Gringos. <BR/>It's Easter weekend, so we're trying to find places where there aren't too many other boats. We'll keep moving around to stay hidden. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 35.82' N78º 59.61' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we finally escaped Panama City and made our way back to the islands. Panama City is large, busy, crowded, and looks like Los Angeles from the water, with lots of high rise buildings. I got the windlass motor fixed, so now I don't have to hand pull the 70lb Delta with 3/8 inch chain - Betsy liked the workout but I got tired... Anyway, we're back to a normal, all systems work, and like I said we escaped. <BR/>Spent a couple nights at Taboga, an island 8 miles south of Panama City. It was where they put the sanitarium for Malaria and Yellow Fever patients during construction of the Panama Canal. It's a nice little community, and an expat called Chuy from Ventura has a mooring field which he keeps full during the rainy season when folks leave their boats and travel elsewhere. Trouble right now is the prevailing wind is onshore and it's a bit lumpy and bumpy. <BR/>Left there this morning and headed straight back to the Perlas, about 40 miles. The wind was from the north and the heading was to the east, so a nice beam reach just like going to Catalina, and avoiding the big boats in the traffic separation scheme going up to the canal. We are back at Isla Chapera, next to Mogo Mogo, which apparently is where they did some of the Survivor series. It's a sweet little spot, lots of reefs for snorkeling, and some nice beaches that uncover at lower tides. Oh, that's one of the things to pay attention to down here, the 17+ foot tidal range. Means you put out lots of scope when achoring. Also means you don't leave things on the beach for very long, cause the tides still work on 6 hour centers and the up and down goes really fast. <BR/>We'll be moving around in the Perlas for a couple weeks, then back to Panama City to check out, provision, and then head down the road to Ecuador. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone over 2 years  agoShow

8º 53.85' N79º 30.852' WAlcyoneHola amigos, made our way from Isla Chapera today to Panama City, and are in the free anchorage called La Playita, at the end of the causeway south of Panama City. There are quite a few cruiser boats here, many staging to go through the canal to the Caribbean side, and some staging to make the jump to the Marquesas and South Pacific. The past several days have been quite hazy, a lot like LA with a high pressure overhead and no wind - just seems to hold everything in. <BR/>We have provisioning to do, and I need to get the windlass motor refurbished, which is the biggest item. Hand anchoring up and down the 70lb Delta and all 3/8 inch chain gets very old. So I found a Gringo here who can do the repair work, we'll just have to see if it really gets repaired. <BR/>We'll be here through the weekend, and try and get away next week as soon as possible, and back down to the Perlas. It's about 37 miles to the northern most island, and then you have about 30 miles of islands to explore. Tides are very interesting, with today's range going from -2 ft to +17 feet (new moon). Anchoring close to shore gets tricky, as you have to do big math to make sure you don't hit the bottom at low tide. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 35.058' N79º 1.158' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Ensenada Grande this morning to make our way to Panama City, intending to stop at Isla Contadora for a night. Had a great sail all the way up, and as we were approaching the anchorage we saw a sailboat leave but could not make out the name. Going over to the anchorage we found Rapskallion, who was just pulling up anchor, and they said that our friends on Windrose had just left and were moving over to the next island in a nice little anchorage. So we followed suit and all of us ended up at Isla Chapera, just a couple miles away. Had a nice get together tonight, got some parts that Windrose had been carrying around for us, and decided that we will probably stay here for a day and then continue to Panama City. Rapskallion has a lot of knowledge on the town so I'll need to get as much info as possible before going up there. We also need to get there and be done before Semana Santa (the holiday before Easter) as most stuff shuts down and nothing gets done. So snorkeling tomorrow, then up early the next day and head to Panama City. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 15.12' N79º 5.91' WAlcyoneHola amigos, anchored in Ensenada Grande, Isla San Jose, Las Perlas Archipeligo, Panama. That's a mouth full. We made the night transit yesterday and got in this morning, dropped anchor about 0745. The crossing was interesting, with a full cycle of wind around the clock and from zero to 20+ knots. Getting across the traffic separation scheme for the big ships going to/coming from Panama is a challenge, especially at night. Both Nirvana and Alcyone made requests of several different ships, and they were very professional and accomodating, however you have to be very specific about what you ask. I wanted one guy to slow down for a few minutes, instead he said he would remain clear and sped up - so I ended up coming up into the wind and letting him pass along our starboard side - then a quick jink and back on course. At least they stay in their lanes. It's kind of like crossing a highway as a pedestrian, in the dark, in dark clothes... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

7º 25.638' N80º 11.592' WAlcyoneHola amigos, well we left Bahia Naranjo yesterday at 0700 and headed off to Bahia Benao, It was one of those days, started off overcast and dead calm, and then rounding Punta Puercos the wind came up as expected so we spent several hours bashing into 20 plus knots to get around and up to Benao. The wind never quite calmed down and it was right on the nose, so the tacking got boring after a while and the three of us (Klickitat, Nirvana and Alcyone) all ended up putting on the iron jenny and heading straight into anchorage. We'll wait here a day until the wind dies a bit, it blew all night and is still going. The good news is it's a nice beach, the wind is offshore and it's flat with just a mild swell behind us. Tomorrow we'll head off to the Perlas, the archipelago south of Panama City - it's about 80 miles, so we'll either have to get up really early or make it an overnight. The only challenge will be crossing the Traffic Separation scheme, which runs north/south directly across our path into the Canal Zone. Oh well, they all have AIS, right? <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

7º 16.398' N80º 55.62' WAlcyoneHola amigos, left Cebaco this morning to move over to Bahia Naranjo, just about due east and on the mainland. It's tucked in quite nicely for the prevailing winds, with good holding. Had a nice sail over here, it's only 21 miles, with the wind starting from the northeast and shifting halfway across to southeast. Caught our throwback bonita, read and basically made it a lazy day. There are several small houses here on the beach, cows moving along in the sand, and in general a nice place to stay one night. Off tomorrow to Ensenada Benao, about 45 miles or so, which is supposedly a popular surf spot and waiting area to get around Punta Mala, and on to Panama City. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

7º 29.598' N81º 13.398' WAlcyoneHola amigos, had a couple nice days in Bahia Honda, drank a bunch of beer with the locals on the island, and then headed off this morning aimed for Isla Catalina. However our boat buddies plans changed and they went to Coiba, and the wind was basically on the nose of where we wanted to go, so we changed and went to Isla Cebaco. We're in Ensenada Naranja, in the southwest corner of the southern island. They have a fuel barge here, with at least four sport fishers moored. Apparently they bring guests out here and then go fishing. There is some building on the beach, which we may investigate tomorrow morning. Caught our share of throw back bonita today, sailed quite a bit and saved some fuel, and are now enjoying a cold beer for surviving the grueling passage. And OBTW, my working windlass is not, so we're hand pulling the 70 pound Delta on chain in order to get the anchor up. I guess the motor needs a real cleaning and new brushes, so we're going to head to Panama City, get things in order, then go to the Perlas. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

7º 45.792' N81º 32.07' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we made the one Catalina Unit (28-30 miles) transit from Islas Secas to Bahia Honda yesterday after shaving the fur and barnacles off the bottom of the boat. You get a whole different kind of growth on the bottom, a hard white crusty layer of stuff plus the green fur, loaded with little krill type critters that like to latch on whatever you are wearing that has some texture to grip. <BR/>Bahia Honda is a very protected bay with a reasonable size island inside. The rich folks own all the property around the bay, and the locals all live on the island. Apparently there are no paved roads into this place, most everything comes by boat. Gasoline is $8-9 per gallon, diesel is around $4-5 a gallon. When you anchor all the pangas come out with the kids looking to sell or barter for goods - fishing gear, t-shirts, hats, candy, batteries, etc. And just like in the guidebook, Domingo showed up and wanted help with his diesel generator that is not working. <BR/>We'll do a tour today and check out the countryside. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

7º 59.592' N82º 2.868' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we came back to Boca Chica to resolve continuing maintenance issues. Wind died down to a reasonable level and made it a pretty nice stay. Finally resolved major electrical issues with new batteries (expensive) front shower pump (tracing down electrical connection) and windlass failure (seal between motor and gear box failed, contaminating motor). All seems to be back as it should be, however windlass motor will need a good cleaning and new brushes when we get to Panama City. <BR/>This location has very clear water and more fish than we are used to, so some bottom cleaning this morning then off to Bahia Hondo. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 5.208' N82º 21.3' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Boca Chica after a windy four days and anchor hell, and moved back down to Isla Parida and met up with Nirvana and Klickitat. Nice anchorage at Ensenada del Veradero, with several houses on the beach with nice occupants who don't mind us wandering around. Still working electrical issues, can't seem to get a break. Have some more help here with Bob and Bill, so will try and get some troubleshooting done and maybe resolve some things. <BR/>Wind continues to blow hard down in the Gulf of Panama, which means we will wait for a window to get around aptly named Punto Malo. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 11.31' N82º 11.088' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Ensenada Catalina de los Negros in Isla Parida yesterday around noon and headed for the mainland, specifically going to Boca Chica. It's a narrow, shallow course behind some islands to get here, with the wind blowing like snot generally on the no matter what direction we were going. We got here around 1500 thinking there would be some protection from the wind but no luck, and it's been blowing basically all night. Took us over an hour to get anchored as the holding is not great and there are a bunch of reefs and a wreck to avoid. The anchorage is flat water, but the current runs quite swiftly - we are in a spot where it sort of eddies around us, so we try to face the wind and watch the current go perpendicular to us - however we are spinning around in the spot at times. We even managed to get the anchor rode (line) wrapped around the keel just before sunset. It looked like it was wrapped in one direction, so I jumped in the dinghy and pushed the boat stern first around in the opposite direction - I thought. Betsy was watching and said it came loose then got tighter. So plan B was tie a small bouy to the end of the rode and let her go. Wind was still blowing hard so we move away quickly, but it still took a couple anxious moments for the bouy to reappear, which it did. Moved back in place, picked up the "mooring" and tied back up. Fun... <BR/>Will investigate the small town today and see how to get to David, the second largest town in Panama, for some necessary repair and provisioning stuff, but the wind is such that I don't want to leave the boat completely unattended for any period of time. More fun... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 7.338' N82º 19.638' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Ensenada Catalina de los Negros this morning in search of the elusive restaurant on the other side of the island. Found it an hour later in Ensenada Sepulcro, a nice little cove in the northeast quadrant of the island. Went ashore and met the manager, Benny, who speaks excellent english, and he let us know that the generator is not working so he doesn't have any fresh fish or other food, the internet is not working, but he does have some beer. I said we'll probably come back in for a sundowner with them. Back out to the boat, it's now blowing 24 knots in the anchorage, so not sure if we'll jump in the dinghy for that ride into the beach. If it dies down we may test it. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 7.308' N82º 20.832' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left our first little anchorage at Isla Parida and moved around the corner about a mile or so to the next cove, called Ensenada Catalina de los Negros. Much larger than the previous anchorage, with a very solid pier and about a dozen heavy duty moorings out front. We've watched the parade of pangas and delivery boats today, bringing provisions and people. The guide book says it's some sort of resort, so we'll go in tomorrow morning and see what we can find out. Weather remains pretty special, a bit cooler than Costa Rica, very clear and not very windy, just a nice breeze blowing most all day long, which starts out from the northeast and rotates around to the west, so pointing directly into the sunset for sundowners, then clockwise back around to north through the night. We're still looking for a Super Bowl location... <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 6.012' N82º 22.02' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we got up early and left Golfito at 0430 Saturday morning, made the all day passage to Isla Parida, Panama. Weather was calm and flat the whole way, with the wind only coming up a bit at the very end of the day. Isla Parida is the first big island you hit coming west to east in Panama, it' well described in the guide books, has a few houses on it with some sort of resort we'll check out (may have wifi). Water is several degrees cooler than we had up in Costa Rica at Drakes or Quepos and the humidity seems to be lower as well, the overall effect to make it a bit more pleasant. We'll hang around here for a few days and explore, then keep heading toward Panama City. Our major challenge in the next week will be to find somewhere to watch Super Bowl next sunday. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 37.332' N83º 9.198' WAlcyoneHola amigos, left Drake's Bay yesterday and came around to Golfito, the last port in Costa Rica going to Panama. It's a 65 mile trek, about 30 miles as the crow flies. as you go back out to open ocean and around the Corcovado peninsula and Cabo Matopalo, then up Golfo Dulce to Golfito. We had a great transit though motoring most of the way, watched the water change color to that tropical blue. We stopped at the Land and Sea Marina (generous description) with Tim and Katie the hosts. They have been here 21 years, and are very knowledgeable and helpful. Golfito looks nothing like we expected (better) and we'll go explore the town today. I have an electrician coming tomorrow to troubleshoot overcharging alternator, then we'll check out on Friday and leave this weekend - our visa lapses Saturday. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

8º 42.318' N83º 40.83' WAlcyoneHola amigos, spent the night in Bahia Drake, a nice stop with a large bay and a National Geographic ship. Got underway at 0630 this morning, headed to Golfito to check out of Costa Rica and then head on to Panama. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

9º 13.5' N83º 50.7' WAlcyoneHola amigos, Spent a couple days in Quepos, then moved down the coast to Bahia Dominicalito, stopping for a while in Manuel Antonio. We intended to stay at Antonio for a night, and were anchored in the public area to the west of the park itself, but the coast guard came by and said that the islands were the boundary of the park and we had to get a permit. So rather than fight the weekend crowds, we moved south and ended up at Dominicalito. It's a nice anchorage with a huge protective reef, but a bit lumpy and rolly at times. Went ashore to Dominical, about 2 miles back west and watched the Bronco/Patriot game. Headed out this morning for Bahia Drake, a supposedly very nice place about 35 miles east, and then will be on to Golfito to check out of Panama. Weather has been good, not much wind for sailing, had one evening of rain which gave the boat a good rinse and cooled things off. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

9º 38.502' N84º 39.498' WAlcyoneHola amigos, left Bahia Ballena yesterday, sailed across the Gulf of Nicoya and landed at Bahia Herradura. It's about 22 miles across, and we had about 22-23 knots for most of the first half out of the north (Papagayo's are blowing). Half way across, the wind just stops then shifts 180 degrees out of the south at about 12-14 knots for the rest of the way. Very crazy. <BR/>Anchored in Herradura near friends from Ohana, spent a quiet afternoon and night. The bay is very nice, and even though there is a swell rolling in, the boat is steady and the wind favorable. We ventured in today, checked out the Marriott golf resort and had a very expensive beer to use the internet (a really nice place though). Caught a cab up to the Automercado and got a few groceries, then back for a sporty dinghy launch through a steep beach break. Heading out to Quepos tomorrow, will take us all day, not expecting much if any wind so will at best be a motor sail. <BR/>All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

9º 43.062' N85º 0.612' WAlcyoneHola amigos, spent the night in Bahia Samara, a nice anchorage (when there is no swell). We did not investigate the town as we needed to keep moving southeast because we have to check out of the country by Jan 30 (they only let you stay 90 days with the boat, and after that it gets very onerous and expensive to stay). There is lots to see between here and there. <BR/>Left this morning about 0630 and arrived in Bahia Ballena around 1330. It reminds me of Tenacatita, not much here but very nice and quiet, a good flat bottom anchorage, with just a couple other boats. Will be looking for someplace to watch football tomorrow. All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

9º 51.978' N85º 30.732' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we're back from the holidays in the US and continue the journey south. We launched this morning from Marina Papagayo in northwest Costa Rica at 0600 and motor sailed for 10 hours and traveled about 70 miles south to a nice bay, Bahia Samara. The guide books paint a pretty nasty picture about the approach, but it's bigger than you think, and lots of room between the extensive reefs and one small island. It does get shallow fast, so we're anchored several hundred yards outside the mooring field for the locals. We had typical minor Papagayo winds blowing coming out of the marina until we got past Tamarindo (most we saw was about 18 knots), then it died, came back up on the nose, then swung to the starboard beam for a few hours, then died again. Seas were calm the entire way, caught several throwback fish, saw 3-4 whales just as we got to open ocean out of Papagayo, and several large turtles along the way to round it out. Will probably investigate the local establishments tomorrow, then continue south, most likely to Bahia Ballena. All is well. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone almost 3 years  agoShow

10º 27.3' N85º 46.488' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we continue to move around in the Papagayo area in northwestern Costa Rica. Finally met up with the group coming down from El Salvador. The rain machine turned off just before Thanksgiving, and the wind machine turned on, with Papagayo winds (much like Santa Ana's) blowing in this area. We are currently in Bahia Potrero, just south of Cocos, where there used to be a marina but it went defunct some time ago and the CR Navy seems to use it now as an anchorage. We moved in here because the wind and swell combo was making it uncomfortable in some of the other anchorages. Another beautiful day with 80 degrees at 0700 and a light breeze off the land. Will be moving back toward Marina Papagayo later this week to stay for a month as we head back north for a short holiday with the kids. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 38.262' N85º 40.74' WAlcyoneHola amigos, spent Thanksgiving in Playa Panama, at one of the hotels on the beach. Got tired of the sun, breeze and warm water so moved around the corner, northwest, to Playa Heuvos, just down from Witch's Rock. It's a very pretty bay, well protected with good holding and only one other boat. There are several nice beaches, the water is clear and we'll take a trip up the estuary tomorrow at high tide. All is well, and the rain machine just turned off about 4 days ago. We were having daily afternoon/evening showers with sometimes squalls, but it has turned sunny and clear with a prevailing northwesterly wind. The papagayo's are still blowing just northwest of us, and we're waiting for the El Salvador refugees who left after we did - they are waiting out the wind at several locations. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 33.468' N85º 41.862' WAlcyoneHola amigos, we left Conchal this morning and headed back to Cocos, just a couple hours up the coast. We need to make a run to the market, get an extension on our national zarpe, and probably do some laundry. The wind has piped up here in the anchorage, blowing out of the northeast at about 15 knots. We'll keep an eye on the forecasts as the Papagayo's are supposed to be strong north of us, but we want to get back toward the Punta Elena area later this week to meet the folks moving down from El Salvador. We'll look for a nice place to hang out for thanksgiving, then start moving that way. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 24.21' N85º 48.9' WAlcyoneHola amigos, got tired of Tamarindo so came back around Cabo Vela to the north and dropped into Bahia Brasilito. It has two playas, and we're currently anchored in Playa Conchal, the southern most beachcove - very nice, clear water, no other boats. Heavy Metal said they would show up today, so we'll head into the beach and check out the small town. There is a very large Westin resort here, and if you look at Google maps, they have a huge complex with golf course. <BR/>The rest of the El Salvador gang left Bahia del Sol today, Wednesday, so we'll be looking for them here in a few days - we'll move back up north toward Santa Elena to meet up with them. A low developing off the coast and moving west northwest, appears to include some Papagayo winds, so we'll be watching that. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 18.21' N85º 50.772' WAlcyoneHello all, left the Papagayo area for a weekend down in Tamarindo, about 18 miles south of Cocos. Came down with Heavy Metal on a nice day and actually had the sails out for a while. The Tamarindo approach is interesting, with "reefs" at the north and south end, and a large uncharted rock at the northwest end. You come down the coast, hang a left and aim at the beach, then get to about 30 feet, turn right and follow it down to the anchorage/mooring area. All my paper and electronic charts are really inadequate to inaccurate, so if you come this way take it slow. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 34.41' N85º 41.172' WAlcyoneWe picked up anchor this morning and moved right around the corner to Playa Hermosa, a very nice little bay closer to Papagayo marina. It took all of an hour from up to down (had to go slow to make an hour), and had a beautiful sunset cruise along the beach. Got back just after sunset, battened everything down and are sitting in a typical afternoon downpour - I'm estimating easy a couple inches an hour. We just close up and sit in the cockpit, amazed at how much water comes down. Visibility goes down to about a couple hundred yards at best, but the fishing pangas show up after dark, no lights, somehow making it home. This is very different from Cocos, doesn't seem to have the nightlife atmosphere, much smaller and laid back. There is one restaurant that was recommended, so we'll have to try it tomorrow. In the endless quest for bandwidth, we got lucky in Cocos with a very strong open wifi (I know it's dangerous but we don't do any password stuff) and the same here, with an open wifi from a very large condo complex that comes right down to the beach. There is also an encrypted wifi with a very strong signal from a restaurant on the beach, so we'll have to go tomorrow, have a beer, get the password, then come back and geek the afternoon away. <BR/>There are a couple very nice little beaches that are close by but isolated, get there by dinghy, take a couple chairs and but our toes in the water and butts in the sand...water is pretty clear, so some snorkeling is in order. <BR/>Probably stay here a day or so, then move another couple miles to the next little bay, Playa Panama, and check it out. Same game, different day/place. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy <BR/>S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 33.48' N85º 41.832' WAlcyoneWe're anchored now in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica, about 3 hours from Potrero Grande. We rendezvoused with Heavy Metal and caught some surf yesterday, then picked up this morning to move south west to Cocos to do our check in. We did a quick drive by at Witch's Rock, a local surf spot that wasn't much to look at today in the way of surf but is a very nice wide open bay just north of Papagayo. We got some good afternoon sailing in on the way here, kind of like Santa Monica bay coming back from Point Dume, with a broad starboard reach into the bay. It's a nice bay, very crowded, clean water, lots of very nice houses on the hills overlooking the bay and facing west, and a small town that we'll explore tomorrow along with getting checked in. Water has been consistently in the low 80's, very salty, but reasonably clean since leaving Nicaragua. We'll stay here a day or two, then back out on the road to check out some more local surf spots. Cheers, Kenny and Betsy S/V Alcyone about 3 years  agoShow

10º 50.37' N85º 47.442' WAlcyoneWe anchored at Bahia Potrero Grande (Ollie's Point) along with Heavy Metal and caught a day of surfing. Left sunday and headed for Cocos to finally check in.about 3 years  agoShow

10º 55.368' N85º 47.52' WAlcyoneWe're anchored in Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica, just southeast of the border with Nicaragua. We had an uneventful 19 hour overnight transit from Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua. Leaving here tomorrow, meeting up with Heavy Metal and heading to Cocos to check in. about 3 years  agoShow

12º 37.512' N87º 20.508' WAlcyoneAlcyone departed Bahia del Sol, El Salvador Wednesday morning and <BR/>headed to the Gulfo de Fonseca, the border between El Salvador, <BR/>Honduras and Nicaragua. After a very eventful departure crossing the <BR/>bar out of Bahia del Sol (we lost our anchor just inside the bar, <BR/>could not retrieve it so dumped it with some bouys - later retrieved <BR/>by our friendly panga dudes) we made it to Fonseca after dark. Fonseca <BR/>is very shallow, so getting in close after dark is tough, so we just <BR/>parked it out in the middle in 30 feet and spent a quiet night. <BR/>Departed the next morning as now I'm having anchor windlass issues <BR/>(batteries don't seem to be charging so getting anchor up is <BR/>problematic) and headed to Puesta del Sol, Nicaragua. It's a little <BR/>over 30 miles east of Fonseca up an estuary, a very nice hotel and <BR/>marina where we'll hang out a few days and I'll see what I have to fix <BR/>with the windlass. <BR/>Cheers, Kenny and Betsy about 3 years  agoShow

13º 18.072' N88º 53.532' WAlcyoneTied up in Bahia del Sol marina, El Salvador. This is the location for the El Salvador Rally, or just another reason to have a party. The two day passage was very quiet, though fishing was good - caught a 60in sailfish, couple crevalle jacks (good fighting, bad meat), Sierra (good eating) and many bonita (lost count). We'll stay here for a few days and figure out what our schedule is going to be, though we do want to go to San Salvador.over 3 years  agoShow

14º 41.91' N92º 23.472' WAlcyoneTied up in Chiapas marina, last port in Mexico going south on the Pacific side. Will stay here probably through the weekend (everything closes over the Easter holiday and we can't check out without paying double) then head to El Salvador.over 3 years  agoShow

15º 45.822' N96º 7.332' WAlcyoneAnchored in Chahue marina, Huatulco.over 3 years  agoShow

16º 49.452' N99º 54.372' WAlcyoneAnchored in Acapulco after transit from Papanoa. At Isla La Roqueta in Acapulco Bay.over 3 years  agoShow

17º 16.05' N101º 3.42' WAlcyoneAnchored in Papanoa after transit from Zihuatanejo. Will depart early Sunday for Acapulco.over 3 years  agoShow

17º 38.172' N101º 33.21' WAlcyoneAnchored in Zihuatanejo after transit from Barra de Navidad.almost 4 years  agoShow

19º 6.0' N104º 22.998' WAlcyoneAlcyone departed Cuestecomate about 1050 and headed south to Bahia Santiago in Manzanillo Bay. We had a good downwind sail with winds starting off about 10kts and building to about 20-22 by arrival. almost 4 years  agoShow

19º 13.788' N104º 43.902' WAlcyoneAlcyone departed Barra de Navidad marina Monday about 1150 and headed several miles northwest to a neat little harbor called Cuastecomate. Very secluded, quiet, and only two other boats along with us.almost 4 years  agoShow

19º 11.712' N104º 40.986' WAlcyoneBarra de Navidad marinaalmost 4 years  agoShow


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