Excerpts from the Captain's Log
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
My Opa (Grandfather) loves to read stories from the age of exploration. So I've set about compiling a set of stories from our adventures in the same tone and sending them off to him.
February 15th - 2018
Position: Laying at Anchor - 36.26 206S 175.42 703E
Weather: Light rain
It feel like it’s been to long since I last wrote you. I am going to write more often. My mom was visiting with her friend Lynne and we sailed from the Bay of Islands down to the Poor Knight Islands and then onto Great Barrier Island.
My mom and Lynne left us at Great Barrier Island and flew back to Vancouver. We spent an amazing couple of weeks anchored around Great Barrier and I managed to catch a few Crayfish and a couple big Kingfish. We had Kingfish Sashimi and Kingfish Sushi two nights in a row!
After Great Barrier we sailed a downwind run into Auckland. It was a fast passage with 20 - 25knots of wind directly behind us. We saw speeds up to 11.5 knots!
The view sailing into Auckland harbor was absolutely stunning. What an incredible experience. I had to pinch myself and tell myself I was not dreaming, that I was actually sailing into Auckland harbor on our own boat!
We spent a few days in Auckland. It was the first time I had been in a major western city in almost 8 months. I think I’ve started to get used to a more relaxed and slower pace of life and being in the City felt a little overwhelming. We only stayed three days, enough time to get some much needed supplies and finish up some engine maintenance.
And I even got in a kiteboard session on the beach just down the street from the marina!
We were happy to leave after three days even though it meant motoring out to Waiheke Island which is ten nautical miles off the coast of Auckland. Waiheke is a beautiful island with a small community that reminded me a lot of Salt Spring Island.
The weather the last week was absolutely dismal. It has rained almost everyday, sometimes very heavily at times. We had thunderstorms a couple of days ago. It gets very tiresome being on the boat in the rain all the time. Everything gets wet and damp and the mold starts to breed. Sometimes it seems like it will never stop raining and nothing will ever dry out.
On our next stop over in port we are planning to buy a dehumidifier to turn on when it rains. Hopefully that will help to keep the boat a bit dryer.
Yesterday the rain stopped and we had a wonderful sail from Waiheke Island, just off the coast of Auckland, back to Great Barrier. The wind was blowing NNW at 13 knots and the sea state was quite calm. It was an amazing day and felt so great to be back out on the water.
We cruised a little slower because we were beating up wind to get back to Great Barrier but we were able to sail the whole way at an average of 5.5knots.
Today we are planning to weigh anchor soon and head back to our favourite fishing spot in the hopes of catching some more Kingfish to eat.
I hope you are well. Me and the Family miss visiting with you and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
February 16th, 2018
Position - Laying at Anchor - Great Barrier Island - Broken Island Group
SOG - 0 Knots
Wind - Calm
Seas - Glass
Weather - Clear and Sunny
Hi Opa, today I woke up to a beautiful sunny day. In my experience there is nothing quite as wonderful as waking up on a boat to a beautiful calm and sunny day outside. The crickets are chirping on shore and there is a gentle swell lapping at the rocks on the beach.
The sunny weather started yesterday and it’s been awesome being able to get all of our wet stuff out of the boat to dry!
We are traveling with some friends right now. Our good friends Thomas and Gaylyn who we met in Fiji are with us on their boat, “Qi”. And our new friends Tom, Emily and their three kids are on another Catamaran very similar to ours called “Aquillon”.
Yesterday I went out spearfishing with most of the crew off Qi and Quillon. We found a pinnacle about half a mile from the boat and I got a 75cm Kingfish within 10 minutes of jumping in the water. It took me another 2.5 hours of swimming around and diving before I finally decided to give up the hunt and got a big snapper. Just then a big kingfish swam right underneath the dinghy!
I quickly reloaded my spear and managed to get a shot off. He was a big one, about 95cm and put up a fight. At one point he looked like he was about to get off the spear and escape so I swam down to him gave him a big bear hug and swam with him to the surface. Once I had him in the bear hug it was a lot easier to subdue him and get him in the boat.
We fileted the Kingfish and the snapper back on the boat and used one filet for Kingfish sashimi and sushi last night. Sayo made the proper Japanese sushi rice, I cut up the fish into sashimi size and we made up a couple dishes of wasabi mayo. It was delicious.
Today I plan to go crayfish hunting with Emily from Aquillon and then we are planning to sail to Smokehouse Bay this afternoon where there is a wood smokehouse. We want to smoke the rest of the Kingfish and boil up the Crayfish for another feast.
Love you lots,
February 19th. 2018
Position - Laying at Anchor - Smokehouse Bay, Great Barrier Island
SOG - 0 Knots
Wind - Calm
Seas - Glass
Weather - Low hanging cloud
Hi Opa, today we are in a gorgeous little bay tucked away on Great Barrier Island in New Zealand. There is a wood smokehouse on shore as well as a bath house with a wood fired hot-water heater. It’s an excellent place to take a nice long hot shower.
There are also a plethora of swings on shore which is fantastic for the kids (and some of the adults).
We smoked most of the Kingfish we caught the other day in the smoker and it was delicious.
It turns out the amenities in the bay were donated and built by a family many year ago. In 2006 there was a big storm here that caused a landslide and most of the buildings were washed away. The boating community rallied and they rebuilt the facilities even better than they were built before.
Yesterday we went for a swim around the boat and tried to take Miya in the water. She is still not happy about being taken for a swim and most of the time only lasts 2-3 seconds before screaming bloody murder to be taken out of the water.
Aya on the other hand LOVES the water. She is really getting into freediving and can swim under one hull of the boat and up.
I spent a good couple of hours yesterday attempting to diagnose a battery problem. We continue to be plagued by boat problems. Which, in talking to other long-term cruisers, is quite normal for at least the first two years of sailing. It looks like we may have to replace our battery bank.
The good news about constantly having to fix things is I am getting much better, and more confident at diagnosing and repairing most of the systems on the boat on my own.
There is a mild storm coming our way on Tuesday evening so we are planning to head to a more protected anchorage at some point today. The storm is what’s left over of a tropical cyclone that just hit the South Pacific. It has shifted direction over the last couple of days and the forecast is more mild now than was originally anticipated.
I hope you are well.
Lots of love,