Showing posts from July, 2010

The Captain's blog

At last, to finally be given the position in society I so richly deserve. After an interesting 3 day voyage from Darwin to Banda which involved a perfect reach out of Darwin in 15 knots with kite up passing everything in sight including all but 2 of the Darwin to Ambon yacht race entrants we settled in beside Convergence, a 22m cat rigged mono owned by Randy the owner of Westmarine, the biggest chandlery in the USA. If I was to turn to the dark side and go back to monos this would be the boat. We sailed due north up the side of the Tiwi islands for around 95 miles then out into the Arafura Sea. Around midnight which is always a great time for the wind to build to 30 /35 knots and the swell to increase to 3 to 4 m with a 2m sea on top and on the beam . We had 3 reefs in the main and about 5 square metres of headsail out and were struggling to keep the speed below 10 kn. Waves were coming over the top and straight through the cockpit so the only option was to drop the main

Salam from Banda

28 July 2010 Have you ever stepped into a place and feel like you have landed on another planet? - a planet far more colourful and friendlier than the one you left? Arriving in Banda Naira has been like that for us the past few days. A magical, beautiful island dominated by the Gunung Api volcano. Our passage from Darwin took 3 days and nights, with us arriving in Banda early in the morning of 27 July. We were escorted in by the harbourmaster and showed where to anchor. Then followed a few hours of paperwork, with various officials boarding the boat – immigration, quarantine, customs and the harbourmaster who all brought their entourage and folders of forms. Everything was well-organised and courteous. The men in uniforms all cuddled the boys and took photos of them; a couple of them accepted coffee and were all smiles even when we said we had no whiskey or cigarettes for them. The town of Naira is delightful – much more to tell than in this brief blog.

The night before

Well, the boat cannot accommodate a single other thing. We are stocked, set up, provisioned to excess! There is food stashed in every available space. There are bottles of wine next to our bed; there is a chocolate cache and I am not telling anyone where it is... Scott has pointed out that people do actually eat in Indonesia and I guess we will soon find out that we could probably have lived without that large jar of Vegemite or that extra sack of flour. Darwin has been great, but really hectic (thank you Lyn and Rudy!!) and the boat ramp has been a constant stream of people loading up their dinghies and taxis reversing down to get as close as possible to the water. We have seen dugongs and dolphins around the boat every day. Tomorrow we are set, with 103 other yachts of all shapes and sizes, to head North - half of us are heading to Kupang and half (us incuded) are going to Banda. We'll take a few days and nights to get there. Banda sounds like an amazingly beautiful place. Onc

Darwin in the dry

We've been in Darwin for a few days now, anchored in Fannie Bay with a hundred other boats, most of which will be leaving en masse on 24 July. Today is Finn's 5th birthday! We had a great day with our friend Lynette who took us the the wave pool and were then reunited with the Hardman clan who arrived in the top end for a holiday. There are lots of jobs to be done here. Our reacher is at the sail-makers being repaired, we've had to run around everywhere getting spares and bits and pieces; we are getting a technician in to look at the HF radio. Every other boat here seems to be doing much the same thing - there are dinghies whizzing around from dawn til dusk and the provisioning hasn't even started yet. We are working out ways of storing as much food as possible, including nets for fruit under the cockpit roof. The markets in Darwin are fantastic with amazing Asian vegetables and food stalls. We can walk for miles in any direction. From what we've been told by ou

Finn's first blog

Hello it is Finn here I saw a big brown crab with snippers on the beach the other day and lots of other crabs running around. I played on the sand hills too and falled down the hill. I am telling mummy what to write. Today we did painting. I painted a garden. We are going to be in Darwin soon and it will be my birthday - I will be 5. Finn

In the middle of Arnhem land

Hi, it's Seth here We are at North Goulburn Island, which is in North West Arnhem Land. We sailed overnight to get here. Yesterday when we went on the beach we played on the sand dunes and saw these really strange birds. One of them was small and one of them was tall. The big one had a duck-like tail and the small one had skinny little legs. We also saw crocodile tracks where they had slid out of the water with their tail trailing behind, made a nest and then slid back into the water. We were there at high tide so they wouldn't make the big journey across the sand flats when we were there because the water was about 20m away. So we played on the sand dunes, I fell down the sand dune, landed on my bum and slid down more. The photo at the top is of me and Finn fishing at about 5.30 a few days ago and the other one is of us reading. We'll be in Darwin in a few days time and we might go to a crocodile show. PS If there is anybody reading this in 5H, say hi to