Author Archives: lars

Lifou Loyalty Islands New Caledonia

16/9-18/9-2017 Crossing to the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia with the ICA Pacific Circle Rally.

We started, early in the morning but after most of the others. When sailing out of the bay we met Lisa and Sven-Gösta coming in to Port Villa in there sailingboat Randivåg. We started out with two reef and jib and not like most of the rally boats that went for motor and full sail. The swells were up to 3.5 meter. It was not a comfortable upwind sailing and the speed was low (sometimes only 3.5) but a short distant so we did not care. Sometimes we changed the jib with staysail and during night we had only main with two reef. Once we had a sudden wind change from east to west. In shorter periods we had to use the motor.

Going with the rally meant that we could clear in to New Cal at Lifou on the 19/9 and that was a great advantage. Now we had a lot of the westerly island close by. The clearance took 3.45 min per boat and we were 30 boats so very good.

Sailing in New Cal 20/9-10/10 2017

Big bus arranged by the rally to village with post office for buying net and supermarket with nice French food like baguette and goat (chèvre) cheese.

Lifou minibus tour 21/9 with Mike and Glenda on Manuhaea, Jim and Linaire on Panthera and Russ Jane on Vivacious. The south island is beautiful with the sandy beaches, stone formations, cliffs, flowers etc. We had expected to see caves and finally Glenda managed to convince the driver to get a hold of a guide for to see a cave. An interesting old man had knowledge about the cave and showed us the way whiled packet in the trunk. Al of us had clip-clappers on and when we saw the cave we realised that at least the women could not go deep down into the cave. We enjoyed talking with the old man while waiting for our men to turn up from the deep. Lars got beautiful pictures of the inside of the cave.

 

Sailing with Kirsten and Bjarne in Fiji, crossing to Vanuatu, and sailing in Vanuatu. 11/7-2/8 2017

We had great time with the two sailors from Denmark for almost a month. The Hindu Tempel in Nadi had to be seen and get an Indian snack after woods was good. Shopping at the fruit and vegetable market and also fish market was great.

Blue Lagoon Yasawa group: Snorkelling on reef and having an enjoyable evening at the resort

Manta Ray Yasawa group: Snorkelling

Lautoka, Viti Levu: Provisioning

Outside Vuda, Viti Levu and Vuda marina: Clear out Fiji with custom and meeting and having lunch with Sangui and Dominique from SYVIVA. So happy to met them there.

Momi Bay waiting for a passage window. Beautiful bay were we got time to relax before the crossing.

22-26/7 Crossing to Vanuatu

Kirsten and Bjarne got an early swim and I made tea and coffee. We sailed out of the reef at 8:30, on a coarse to Port Villa Vanuatu, for motor because there were no wind. At 16 hour we pas a chines fishing boat 5 NM south of us.

First night we had 20 knots and powerful swells on my watch 24-03 so when Lars came up we took the main down and sailed with jib alone 03-06. On Kirsten and Bjarnes watch, 06-09, Lars helped setting staysail instead of jib. On Maria’s watch

09-12 all are up and we sat main with one reef. It was cloudy, 16 knots of wind and we sail 6.2 knots. (24 hour 145 NM). I got an hours sleep and Kirsten cut pineapple for us. For dinner we had the tuna Kirsten caught with Kirsten’s home made cucumber salad and rise.

Second night Maria on watch 03-06. 16-19 knots sail 5.7-6.4 knots, clouded with a few stars, water temperature 25.2°C. Made coffee and run the generator 40 minutes when freezer alarm. It is cold so long trousers and fleece sweatshirt. Time for gymnastic in the cockpit. At 06 twilight and red sky at 6:30 when Lars get a wake up call. Make two bred dough rye and wheat, toilet and rest. Fishing boat from Fiji with a boy after came very close by and Lars talk to them on VHF. They say that we can passe by and there is no problem. Also a fishing-boat from Vanuatu passes by and I can see the boy close to Alexandra. Kirsten navigate 20 degrees to BB. The bred was good and I get sum lunch before my watch 12-15. the other three sailors are asleep at 14 hour. We have nice left over dinner, lam, sausages and noodles. Kirsten makes risotto.

Third night Maria watch 21-24 the Dutch boat Sponky came closer from behind and at the same time we meet a fishing boat without AIS. Lars took over at 24 hour the third night. I wake up at 04 on K &B watch because of the freezer alarm. I sta

rt the gen-set and run it for one hour. Stop it and sleep again. At 6:30 sunrise with Bjarne is not so fine because it is cloudy. Later on sunshine and nice blue sky. We sail good no with less powerful swells. At 15 hour nice papaya. Water temperature 24.9.

Sailing Vanuatu

26-28/7 Port Villa the capital of Vanuatu situated on the island Efate. Lars cleared in with custom and we all cleared in with immigration and biosecurity at an office in town. The latter had been recently moved so we had to have help from locals to find it. The atmosphere in town was nice and friendly. We find digicel and net and then on to the large fruit and vegetable market.

29/7 Havana Bay reef snorkelling also on huge mussels, visit amazing sand stone cave and passing the guides village close by in his “banana boat”.

30/7 We sailed early in the morning to Port Villa so we could take part in the National Day celebration at the stadium in Port Villa. A happy day for the locals with live music constantly, except for when there were speeches from some of the people sitting in the celebrity tent. Also a lot of shops with home made food to by.

31/7 Taxi tour to Blue lagoon, Turtle sanctuary also with small reef sharks. Here we got quite alright local food for lunch. Afterwords we came to a National park with a beautiful waterfall were we bathed in the sweet water. Kirsten jumped into the water with a rope swing.

1/8 Taxi and shuttle ferry to Hideaway Island.There all of us were snorkeling on beautiful reef and Lars dived down to the underwater mailbox and posted a postcard to our grandchild Oskar. We find our self in deck chair on the stony beach enjoying the sun. years wedding day. We were then invited for lunch by Kirsten and Bjarne to celebrate their 30 years wedding-day.

Sailing to the west coast of Viti Levu Fiji – 24/6 – 10/7

Provisioning fuel, gasoline, gas, laundry and checking out the westerly islands for later tour with guests from Denmark. 

The next day the 24/6, in rain and fog, at high tide, we sailed out of the little harbour with help from the nice “kava” lady from last night. We continued west finding OK anchorage in Waivunu Bay, outside a village with a church, a few NM away. Lars had to shunt the anchor winch so we could launch the anchor on 10 meter. It was a corroded electric cord that had to be fixed later on. Although irritating swells, humid air that made it difficult to get the laundry dry and affected our sleep, we had a nice stay seeing children playing on the sand bank at low tide.

The next morning 25/6, after Lars have fixed the corroded cord, we sail of for motor to Sovi Bay. Not much wind so motor sailing. We had to be careful getting out and also getting in to the new bay because of he reefs. Glad to have Sea Map and Google earth but also Navionic on my iPad mini. We went for motor in 7 hours before dropping anchor in a nice bay close to “the island highway”.

Early start next day, 26/6, to sail to Tuveriki Bay (south of Momi Bay) on the west coast of Viti Levu. Most of the day strong swells so inconvenient sailing. Nice relaxing evening in the cockpit.

Maria swam in the warm, 26.2, green water and dryed in the sun, now only 25% cloud cover. We run the water maker for an hour. So of to famous anchorage at Musket Cove resort on Malolo Island. Nice sailing downwind with only jib out. At 14:30 we drop anchor in the bay. The swells are strong here so not satisfied with the anchorage. We took the dingy in to check out the dive centre, little supermarket, café and resort. Nice sandy roads and expensive restaurant by the pool. We enjoyed the evening on board.

We expect strong winds the next days so in the morning on the 28/6, after setting a bred dough, we sailed back to the west coast of Viti Levu that is one of the two largest island in Fiji and in to Port Denarau Nadi (Nandi). We anchor outside the port because it is not enough water, on law tide, were the mooring boys are situated inside the harbour.

The next day, 29/6 we are of in the dingy to Denarau and the harbour office were we got a tally card after giving 25 FJD in deposition. Now we have access to the harbour at any time and can get rid of garbage, wash cloves (bye token) use the toilets and shower. The yellow one dollar bus to Nadi took us to the fabulous vegetable and fish market, supermarket and of cause Indian inspired lunch. Lars took the curry with fish and there were more bone than fish in it but the taste were good. No fish and curry for me. I had it in Suva so grilled chicken bone. We left two gas tanks outside the harbour office the next day and they were field up in the afternoon and we just had to pay at the office. So easy. Enjoyed the afternoon on Alexandra having, what is not easy to get out here, guacamole and shrimp for sundowner.

The next day we sailed into the harbour with Alexandra for to fill up diesel and gasoline before we sail up north to, the well protected against swells, Saweni Bay for motor. We went into the water and washed the hall and the next day too, with Lars having diving equipment on. That was very needed!!!

3/7 Sunny day, water temperature 26.5. No wind so going for motor passing the island Waya in the Yasawa group. Anchor dropped at Manta Rey island and jump into the turquoise water and snorkel over the reef close by. Beautiful corals and reef fish. The next day we also tried to snorkel, were the Manta Rey was supposed to bee, but the swells were to strong for me.

5/7-7/7 We sail for motor, having the wind on the nose, to the Blue lagoon between the islands Nanuyva and Sese. Water temperature 25.8 and 60% cloud cover. We take the dingy in to check out the resort. The next day we test the two good snorkelling places. Very good with a lot nice reef fish of the beach, so easy to get to. They have been fed. In the other end of the bay we had the dingy with us and the reef there was very nice but on deeper water and you have to get up in the dingy afterwards. With help from Lars it was fine.

7/7 We sail to the island Waya and a northern anchor bay for motor because 10 knots wind in the nose. When for anchor Lars put a newly fixed anchor snubber to the anchor. It worked fine. 3 motor boats and three sailing boats were there when we came so almost field up.

8/7-10/7 We sail to Denarau and on the way out of the bay we enjoy the beautiful view of the island so many pictures was taken. The wind is in the nose so motor sailing again. Later on we can set stay sail and it gives us one knot of speed and more enjoyable sailing. Drop anchor 14:30 outside Port Denarau. During the next days we had a lot to fix before guests from Denmark arrive on the 11/7. Laundry, cleaning SB cabin, provisioning etc. Most important though is to get our davits repaired. Lars made repair on davits by using carbon fibre and epoxy in Bora Bora. We knew it would not hold for ever but good in a crisis situation. Also the new dingy is much heavier than the old one so good to strengthen the davits. We manage to get it delivered to a metal workshop in Denarau the 11/7 and could get it back two days later repaired and supported by to new triangles.

Pacific Harbour and Pearl Resort Marina Viti Levu 19/6-24/6

Pacific Harbour for anchor 19/6

Close to the reef but very quiet evening having crayfish from Minerve with white wine. The next morning we sailed in to the little harbour at Pearl Resort. We had 4 enjoyable nights here. In the afternoon we had a mechanic from Suva to look at the generator. It was the capacitor that failed so a new was installed and we got an extra in case it would fail again. Good service!

Lars got to dive twice with Aqua Trek. Soft coral and wreck dive one day and two shark dives the other day and he thought it was awesome.

Also we were invited to see traditional Fijian walking on hot stones and afterwards taking part in a “Kava” drinking ceremony together with a couple from NZ. It was the 23/6 and “Midsummer Eve” so afterwords we had herring, egg, potatoes, mayonnaise and rye bread with beer and snaps.

Beqa, Viti Levu Fiji 14/6-19/6

Beqa (pronounced Benga) island was the next stop. There we had the experience with being presented for the village chief and giving him kava for letting us anchor and snorkel on his premises. We got invited to come to the church on Sunday and so we did. Afterwords we were invited for lunch at the house of the oldest man in the village. To of the grandchildren had 3 years birthday so we got birthday cake also. With a little help they should cut the first piece themselves.

We snorkel at the reef in the entrance to the bay and it was beautiful with a lot of soft corals. Also a tour with the dingy to get a closer look at the mangrove. We could here only one bird singing in this special, quiet terrain.

 

Suva, Fiji 09-06-17

9/6 The next day we had to go to the capital of Fiji Suva town with taxi for no cost cruising permit and another taxi to pay Health and from there Bio-security because we did not have Fiji $. NZ bank would not let us bye FJD$ because we did not have a bank account in NZ.

A walk downhill to the center of the city and got some rice and curry was nice. Fiji has to large population groups iTaukei indigenous (56.8%) and Indians (37.5%). We bought a solo (Fiji skirt) each for later use. Bio-security was located at Quins Port a very busy container harbor.

Showing our KDY member card we got a membership for free in Suva Royal Yacht Club. It was popular with the other sailor that we could get discount in the bar.

We enjoyed being inviting by Sven and Lisa onboard Randevåg and with Frideborg so we were six Scandinavian talking Swedish until late.

The next day Sven got to talk with a taxi-driver who wanted to take us to a Hindu, once in a year, celebration with fire walking, in a village, an hours drive a way from Suva. It was amazing.

Getting fuel was difficult but we could borrow jerrycans from Stuart and thanks for that.

Sailing to Suva Fiji 27/5 -8/6 2017

Opua to Minerve northern reef 27/5-3/6

Time used 7 days 21 h, Distant 818 NM, SOG 4.8 avg, 7.4 max, TWA 216, TWS in knots 9.4 avg, 29.1 max

Day1 27/5

Early morning tank tax free diesel, clear out with Gerry at Customs, payment at harbour office and finally lunch at the cafe for the last NZ$.

After leaving the Bay of Islands large swells met us out there on the South East Pacific Ocean. We sat optimistically mainsail and jib. Lars got a beautiful gold mackerel on the hook. We had it a couple of days later when we had gotten sea legs. At 21 hour the autopilot stop to work. We had to hand steer the rest of the night.

Day2 28/5

Water temperature 18.4. In the morning Lars could open the aft compartment and find out that a fuse to the auto computer was out of order. Luckily we had a couple of them on board so after installing one the autopilot worked again.

Beautiful day on the ocean with light clouds and only rain a short while when I could test my newly impregnated sailing gear. It was better but not good enough.

Lars had problems with small navigation computer and the modem. Electrical cord off.

Day3 29/5

Water temperature 19.2. First night watch 00:03, orange Strom rum hat on, thermal underwear, fleece trouser and jacket. A lot of wind up to 30 in the gusts early morning. During the day sufficient wind from SW.

Lars had problems with small navigation computer and the modem. Electrical cord off.

Lovely new moon. No wind so start motor at 20 hour.

Day4 30/5

Water temperature 20.0. The motor run good. Aft lantern went out and Lars change bulb during the day. Blue sky and a few clouds. Lars try to fix the connection to the modem but no held. God mackerel for dinner tasted good!

Day5 31/5

Water temperature 20.2. Foggy night with stars in the beginning of the night. Soon it is clouds all over the sky. Still on motor. 13.50 main and jib up.

Day6 1/6

Water temperature 21.9. Stars up and sailing on the beam with winds from NW. Start the motor 7:40 and furl the jib and continue with the main out. Light clouds and patches of blue sky.

Day7 2/6

Water temperature 24.0. At midnight the wind have turned and is right on the nose. Motor sailing. We can not reach Minerve south before dark so plan to reach Minerve north tomorrow instead. Time for baking rye and whole wheat bred. 13:30 one of the two diesel tanks are now empty. The rest of the day is tough sailing against the wind up to 30 knots in the gusts. Main sail goes up and down. We tried everything to sail good. We had a couple of strong reign showers also. Bred for dinner. Not much sleep.

Day8 3/6

After midnight we were lucky because the wind turned to westerly. Now we could point directly on Minerve north reef entrance and reach the entrance at 10:30 in the morning. We sail down to the south part and drop the anchor close to the light house. After cleaning up traditional chips and beer after landfall. Well deserved nap at 12:00. The water maker, that had not been running for a long time, was running for a few hours and the water was used for washing cloves. The next day it made excellent drinking water.

4/6

Second day at the reef. We took the dingy to the reef and walked on top of it at law tied. It was beautiful. We so no crayfish. On the way back we stopped at SY Lady and got invited on board for coffee/tea by Jenny and Charlie. Hope to see them in Fiji. We moved up to the north reef and in the evening we had an exiting cray fish hunt with Cran during evening. We learned that a sharp torch is very important when hunting crayfish. Thanks for the crayfish Cran. They were delishes.

Minerve reef north to Suva Fiji 5/6-8/6 2017

Time used 2 days 22 h, Distant 372 NM, SOG 5.4 avg, 8.7 max, TWA 145, TWS in knots 11.1 avg, 23.2 max.

5/6 Day1

Coffey on Lettin’go, snorkel at the reef in 23 degree water, shower on the platform and sailing out of the reef in the afternoon and we are on our way to Suva Viti Levu Fiji. Motor sailing, no wind. Cloudy but the moon can be seen once in a while.

6/6 Day2

Motor sailing, nice sunny morning. Launched main sail 9:30 wind 14-20 knots. Moon and stars can be seen once in a while.

7/6 Day3

Water temperature 25.2 wind lower in the gust. Beautiful yellow moon on the way down. The sun is coming up behind the clouds. Strong swells and 20 knots. We take two reef at 8 o’clock. Later on stay-sail and sailing on the beam 6.2 knots. Generator / water-maker, laundry in the bag. Moon is seen once in a while behind the clouds.

8/6 Day4

Water temperature 25.7. 100% cloud-cover. Pass the island Kadavu. In the massive cloud-cover a little bit off blue sky is seen. Lars prepare Fiji courtesy flag with a string for launching together with the yellow flag. Run generator and water-maker for an hour. At 14:30 we drop anchor outside Suva. Custom and quarantine came to Alexandra and soon we could take the yellow flag down. Health came afterwards and that was easy don too. They were all nice and friendly.