any of you who are following this blog will know that this is my first
entry, so please be gentle with me. Sadly, Janice will not be on board
again until Fiji so Darryl has flown in from Florida to join me for the
rest of the trip.
miss her so much already. These were taken shortly before she had to
left Rarotonga on the 4th August, two days later than originally
planned as we were delayed by a combination of weather one day and the Cook
Island's Brewery and nearby Raziz Indian restaurant on the other. I met a really
nice fellow at the brewery bar who used to sail a 140' schooners
around the Pacific in the '50s. Turns out he was the uncle of Gaynor, the
brewery owner's wife and colleague. He was visiting Rarotonga for
the Constitutional celebrations having flown from New Zealand, where he now
lives, probably on the same flight on which Darryl came in.
is this not a fine example of an ancient mariner?
meant the one on the RIGHT!
had a really good laugh and he presented us with $3 note each. That's right
$3! The Cook Islands actually have a $3 note and a $5 coin.
Now that’s what I call a Number
had to put on extra lines in the middle of the night when the wind got up from a
different direction and we were going to bear down on our neighbour "Callisto".
Anyway, they left early in the morning leaving a nice big gap next to
us so it would be a doddle to leave. We went for breakfast at Maria's
and were joined by a really nice Belgian family Eric, Cecille and their three
very well behaved children off a Cat, and Marcus and Tina off "Blue Callalou".
They told us that they just had to help fend off another boat that would
otherwise have hit us when trying to get into the huge space left by Callisto.
No problems there then.
we are ready to leave. Now, remember that all the
boats are moored 'med' style or stern-to the quay. That means the
boats are at right angles to the quay with stern and midship lines to
bollards on the quayside and an anchor way out in front to hold the
boat in place. Now, when we were ready for the off, I explained
to our friend Sven from Solar Planet who was on the quayside to help and Darryl,
exactly what we were going to do as the wind was now blowing quite strongly from
the starboard side and we had to be careful not to be blown onto the other boat
on our port side. So we brought the long starboard midship line to the
stern, slipped the two stern lines and port midship line and slid
beautifully out of our slot as I took up the anchor. When the last 20 metres
needed to come up, the windlass started to struggle big time. The problem
soon became apparent. The boat that had come in earlier had dropped his
anchor right across ours and so I was lifting his anchor and chain as
well as mine. This would probably mean donning the scuba gear and
diving to clear the mess but we were really lucky. The windlass is strong and I
eventually got both anchors and chain right out of the water, I then
managed to unhook theirs from ours and drop it back into the sea. Sven said
he would let them know "when the came back from the pub"
first day out was really good sailing and it continued right through the first
night. We made good speed in moderate seas with a 3m swell but all still a
bit confused after the Frontal passage of the the previous few days. But
come morning of Day 2, the winds dropped and motor sailing became the
propulsion method for the next 24 hours. Eventually morning came, the wind
built and the engine went off - aaah, how lovely for the senses.
boat leaning gently to the wind in the sails, less rocking and peace,
broken only by the sound of the water swishing along the hull, We were
sailing again! Ok,
Darryl takes the helm
blue, clear ocean
5 and we had to motor sail the last few hours but now we were at Beveridge
imagine if you will, the South Pacific ocean, 5,000m deep 100,000 sq. miles
of water and rising out of the depths, a 4,999.5m high volcanic atoll. It
is incorrectly marked on the charts and the only visual indication is the
breaking surf on the reef. The single pass through the reef is not too
difficult to find, is wide and has 7.5m water so no problems there.
Once inside, the atoll, which is a little more than a mile in diameter, the
water is incredibly clear; we could see the Sea Cucumbers on the seabed
quite plainly at a depth of 12m. As the water shallowed towards the rim, the
deep blues changed to brilliant turquoise and on to be pale, clear and
colourless at the shallowest. For 360 degrees, all we could see was the surf
breaking and the Pacific beyond. How cool to be anchored in 5 metres of water,
on top of a mountain in the middle of the ocean! The following high level photos
were taken by Ann who went up Callisto's mast to take
Beaujolais at anchor in Beveridge Reef, South Pacific
The only visual indication of land
Taken from the deck in 12m of water
Crystal clear water and a tame fish no more than 25cm from the
Thousands or beautifully coloured
second day, it rained all day but we had met up with Michael, Ann and Jennifer
from Callisto and James and Isabelle from Dagmar. We had two very enjoyable
evenings, the first on Callisto and the second on
Ann, Jennifer, Isabelle, James & Darryl on Beaujolais
the next day it was onwards to Niue on a really miserable cool rainy day
with..... you guessed it, a steady 9 knots of wind, gusting to 12 from dead
bright moment when the sun tries but sadly the rain and squalls
tried the spinnaker but the wind was just not quite enough to keep it full and
as I do not want to damage the ever collapsing sail on the rigging it
was stowed and the engine turned on. If all goes well, we should be in Niue