Author Archives: lars

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.

Opua – New Zealand

Minerve reef to Opua, Bay of Islands, NZ

Time used 7 days 9h, Distant 859 NM, SOG 5.4 avg, 9 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max.

11/11-17/11 Sailing to New Zealand

Day 1, 11/11

Upwind sailing with, clouds but sunny in the afternoon. During night wind 10-11 knots and 5.6 knots of speed. Moon is up but hidden behind of clouds half of the time. We went out of the pass just after Alma but lost contact after some ours.

Day 2, 12/11

Motor sailing for several hours then Main and jib on Jemmas watch. Maria continue now 15-19 knots of wind sailing 6.4 knots. Jemma makes wonderful sprouts.

Day 3, 13/11 Lars sat mainsail after a front past by with 45 knots and a lot of rain. Jemma and Maria baked pancakes with banana in rom. Maria bake rye bread.

Day 4, 14/11 Maria have the watch in the morning with blue sky but cold so hat on, upwind 17 knots of wind, speed 7.4, Lars talk to Golf harbor and Polymagnet this morning like the other mornings. Nice sunshine but very cold. Jemma and Maria bake white breads.

Day 5, 15/11 Bright moon, very cold so fleece clothes, socks and hat. Then running the motor for loading batteries and the pressure goes down quickly after 1.5 hour! Maria baked rye bread and Gemma delicious garlic bread. Taste good with bacon, open face eggs and beans.

Day 6 16/11 Main with 3 reef and motor with course sat for Opua directly. Upwind sailing with high swells and the last days with a lot of wind. We had to hand steer and Jemma and Lars chaired the task. Sail as fast as you can David from Golf Harbor and Met Bob said so you can reach Opua before the storm and we did so.

Day 7 17/11 We so dolphins on the way into Bay of Islands. At 17 hour we reached Q bridge Opua New Zealand, just an our to late for a visit of customs. We had to stay over night there and could here the other sailors having a party in the tent. That was the all points rally.

18/11 Custom came at 9 o’clock. They took to bags of kidney beans and one bag of chick pea and all our sorted waist. Lars had to file a lot of papers even if they got all the information about us and Alexandra from scanned paper from Tonga. In the afternoon we attend seminar about diesel maintenance and epoxy and fiberglass. Afterwards we got pizza slices and Comedy show. We herd Irish music and several family´s with kids had made funny play etc.. That was a good start on our stay in Opua.

For a week we enjoyed the all points rally and met a lot of sailors we new before and of cause others we had not met. Jonas came in with Alma three days later and it had been a tough sailing the last days because of the high winds. Also the other single handed boats from Minerve we were together with came in a few days and had managed the stormy condition. 28 sailing boats were still on Minerve or French Caledonia and they came in several weeks later because they had waited for a good weather window. It was nice to see Confidence with Betty-Ann and David on our bridge.

Alexandra repairs

Rig

Two new steering wire.

Aft part of the life line exchanged for a new one.

Rig check; two sheaves in the top of the mast for the to main halyard shall be shifted out with new once. Toggle on SB lower shroud (undervandt) will be shifted out with a new one.

Boom goose neck shall be repaired.

Running backstage will be shifted with dynema backstage.

10 new blocks.

B&G Autopilot

Autopilot computer, log, depths sounder and temperature was exchanged for new once on the warranty.

Minerva reef – Tonga

Port Morel to Minerva reef

Time used 4 days 45min, Distant 413 NM, SOG 4.4 avg, 7.3 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max

5/11-8/11 2016 Sailing south to Minerve reef for a short stop went good. It took three days. Lars mounted the extra autopilot and it worked well to use for navigation.

On Minerve we met Alma with the swede Jonas that we last time met in the Spanish Water on Curacao. Also Roberto with Yvonne in Hildegaard Hansen, John in Sparrow and Matthew in Polo Flat. Lars an Gemma were invited to come with Roberto and John to ketch lobsters. They did not catch any but got two lobsters from the other two. Thank you so much for two delicious meal. There had bean seen white shark so we did not go into the water at the place we anchored.

 

Tonga Vavau Group

Tonga Vavau group 28/10-5/11 2016

Saling from Apia Samoa to Neiafu Tonga Vavau

Time used 4 days 4h, Distant 428.3 NM, SOG 4.4 avg, 7.3 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max

24/10 Stay sail, motor and jib with main sail

25/10 Dolphins on Maria´s watch

26/10 Main down, main with a reef, reef out, run motor for power, reef out again

27/10 Tack to BB. Broken steering cable. Lars set up a new with kevlar cable and wire clamps from Hans Boserup, thank you so much Hans! Start motor and took sail down. A lot of swells and very uncomfortable to sail. Sat stay sail with motor so now little better.

28/10 Stay sail down and for motor threw the sound and in to Neiafu, Vavau. We docket on the concrete key close to check in. The quarantine man came and gave us some papers to fill in and we were allowed to take the Yellow Flag down. We got a very good advice, from Sandie on the US catamaran Gipsey Hart, to check in on The Golf Harbor Radio, when sailing down to New Zealand. Thank you so much for good information. Now we could go and fine a yellow boy that belongs to one of the diving clubs, but should clear ind with immigration, custom and health the next day.

29/10 Beautiful morning in the cockpit overlooking the bay, with a can of tea and fresh baked bread, enjoying the site of land. After another deal with the custom, immigration and a not showing up health we could hit the WiFi cafe Trokumara in the small town Neiafu. Also enjoy and shop at the fruit market and checking out the souvenir market for the cruising ship.

From now we had until 5/11 to enjoy Tonga Vavau and get thinks done. We hope that filling up with hydraulic oil to the autopilot will solve the problem. Lars made a smart filling system and got the autopilot to run. We took the dingy to the close by bay were the wharf was situated and had a talk with the mechanic, Kevin, who later on came by, with a local assistant, and looked at our Yanmar. He shift one of the feeding pumps and, lucky us, we had two extra. It turned out later that I did not solve the problem with diesel in the motor oil. The assistant took Lars for a ride in his car to a motor oil dealer who was much cheaper than the one in Neiafu. Lars changed oil before we left Tonga. We had to get a formula scanned and sent to custom in New Zealand and that could be done on Trokumara.

It was very special to walk around the little town with pigs and hens moving around on the street. Provisioning for the passage to NZ was not easy because of the supply in the chine’s supermarkets. Meat was frozen chicken and bacon and that was it. No goat and sheep cheese for Lars, only cow but that we have been used too after FP. We could get good food at the restaurant though and taco evening with Marguerite was great at Tropicana.

 

 

Samoa

Samoa 18/10-23/10-2016 previously called western Samoa

Time used 4 days 20.5h, Distant 516 NM, SOG 4.9 avg, 7.2 max, TWA 198, TWS in knots 12.6 avg, 25.8 max

13/10-18/12 Sailing to Samoa, also called Kingdom of Samoa

Time used 6 days and 20.5 h, Distance 516 NM, SOG 4.9 avg, 7.2 max, TWA 198, TWS in knots 12.6 avg, 25.8 max

Day 1-13/10

10:30, after checking out of Cook Islands with the nice rangers and happy to be able to give them a pack of rice, we sailed out of the reef, sat jib and stopped motor, change the bed sheets, bake bread, Lars on Poly-magnet (Andrew, Jeff and Rodger) and West Poly-magnet (Amanda and Marc) cruisers net and we are well on our way to Samoa. We had a beautiful evening and night watch with a full moon on a clear sky.

Day 2-14/10

8-10 knots of wind sail 3.3 knots, sat main sail, bake cookies, rainbow snapper from Suwarrow for dinner.

Day 3 -15/10

Maria baked rye bread and run motor for power. In the evening on Maria’s watch, with15 knots and high swells, the autopilot did not work so hand-steering. Lars slept in the cockpit.

Day 4 -16/10

Lars rinsed the hose for the salt water cooling of fridge and freezer. Lamb-shops for dinner. Beautiful orange moon.

Day 5 -17/10

Nice with Pancakes today. The autopilot did not work well during the whole night so hand-steering.

Day 6 -18/10

Six in the morning we sail in to Apia on the north coast of Upolu island, after great difficulty to wake somebody up to give us permission to enter the harbor.

At noon we got visit of the quarantine man in skirt and we could take the yellow flag down. Short time after came two custom men also in skirt and the young man started to go threw every cupboard and drawer under neath. Off cause there were forms to bee field out by Lars. We had to take a taxi to the immigration office in town and we arrived in the last minute before closing. At the tourist office in the traditional park close to the big state administration building were immigration was we got the advice to meat in the park at noon next day and join the tourist information and show for the cruising ship tourists.

Wednesday we took a taxi in to the city at noon. The show for the big Cruising ship was amusing and also good information on Samoan culture like how to make a Tapa from a tree branch (see pictures), traditional dancing and cooking in a whole in the ground with hot stones.

Thursday we had to check out from Samoa because immigration was looked during weekends and we wanted to sail on Sunday. Also provisioning was important to do and we finally find a taxi-driver that could drive us to a big supermarket.

Friday disappear in Samoa time because of the Date Line!

Saturday we hired a Taxi with a driver to go around the island for a whole day. First stop on the tour was at a convent for education of priests. We had a swim in a cave with fresh water and there was a hidden tunnel we dared not use. Upolu island is a very green Island with very beautiful sandy beaches in the south. On the way south we passed a lot of villages with the traditional Fale, that is buildings without walls. A Fale could be small, just for the family or bigger for all village people to use. Beach Fale is very popular for backpackers to rent and quit inexpensive. Lars had to drive the last part of the drive down south because the driver was close to falling a sleep. After a nice meal at the beach he could drive us back to Apia. We past by the grave of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s tomb with the famous epic poem.