Sailing Around The World

Archive for August, 2013

I answered your comments below

Thank you all for commenting on my blog post. Love to here your thought and feelings. I cannot answer your comments at sea but I try to catch up on them when I get Internet service, so realize I do read them all.

Jacques


Pictures of Suwarrow Island

As I promised I have taken some of my better photos of the Island Suwarrow in the North Cook Islands. Just a reminder that you can click on the photo for a larger shot.

Suwarrow Island is by far one of the most beautiful and breath taking Islands I have been on to date and is defiantly an all-time best snorkeling reefs in the world. I don’t like to claim a destination to be the best in the world but I have been too close to half of the world and the reefs in Suwarrow Islands are true virgins and have been un touched by man. The main reason is because you can only get there by sailing your own boat and that’s it. I have not edited any of my pictures with software and I do look forward to doing so someday but the following few photos are as real as the day I took them, enjoy.

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Sailing underway between Bora Bora and Suwarrow Island as the sun was setting somewhere 300 nautical miles off shore.
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Some evening I get to enjoy the most elegant offers of the ocean from the front row seat at the helm of Dragonsbane.
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Yup we made it to the Island of Suwarrow I guess we are few miles from home.
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Adam decided to take a break and have a nap under the palm trees.
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I felt like I earned a rum coconut juice cocktail and a nap as I watched the ocean on still land.
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Not a bad view?
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Woke up this morning to find tons of black tipped reef sharks circling the boat.
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Some of them are really big, lol.
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In the evening we had a cruisers pot luck and drank rum and listened to some guitar music, good stuff.
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I would like to introduce you to my good friend Charlie, this is his home and would ask that you be patient, relax. Charlie would say that line 100 times a hour and then tell you one more time. I guess I took his advice and just relaxed.
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Blue footed boobie pooping on my outboard
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Well this is Dans dinghy that he is fixing and the catamaran in the back ground is his ship wrecked boat. He has been on this island for 2 months. He lost his mast once, sank half the boat, out of money, out of fuel, but one of the most happy people I ever met. I definitely took some notes from his life that I shall reflect upon in the future.
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Well It’s a island with thousands of birds.
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A lot were nesting
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Look at these little guys!
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Ok well I guess I will back off little guy!
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Nice, you are looking real good bird!
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A few more shots
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Here are some good examples of the hermit crabs. At night when I was around the camp fire on the beach and the moon was bright the hermit crabs would come out from hiding and march to the water’s edge by the thousands. I would try and walk by without crunching them but I failed a few times.
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Meet the coconut crab, these guys are so odd looking and creped me out. There were like big spiders.

Not only was the ground covered with these crabs that could cut open coconuts with their claws but they claimed up into the trees. I was so worried about losing my heel to one.
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Ok, so Charlie said that we could take only one thing from the Island I wanted a Coconut tree. I could not get the dam thing out of the ground, well I almost did.
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From Seven Island were we looked at the seven kinds of coconut crab we dived into the coral reefs and swam through the coral forest and saw all the hidden things within. Enjoy the them.

Well I hope you enjoyed the pictures. We are now in America Soma which so far has been a good decision. I look forward to our hikes and adventures that we will start on Monday.

Cheers,
Jacques


Day 4 Passage to America Soma

The weather has been great for the last 4 days and the seas are less then 3 feet for a change. We are about 50 nautical miles from Pago Pago which is the city of America Soma Island. I have reduced sail to the size of a postage stamp so I can maintain a speed of 3 knots. That way I will arrive in the morning at the entrance of the harbor and continue onto the anchorage within. After we anchor and I clear customs I will hopefully find a good place to eat and have a beer. That is one of my favorite feelings when you make a passage is to have a beer and eat good food. For now we eat only what we cook and I am ready for someone else to do the cooking. On another note a fish bit my line today and took out most the line, then snapped it off. I guess I will not be eating fish tonight. I also lost my favorite lure and I will have to find a new one if I plan on catching more fish. I was not surprised to see my 80 pound line snap but I was a bit sad. Other then that we are doing well.

Current Position: 14deg 22.8min South, 169deg 56.3min West, COG 246deg, SOG 3 kts

Cheers,

Jacques


Day 3 From Surarrow to America Soma

I am not sure why or how but my chart plotter is working today, but I am not going to hold my breath. Based on our slow start with little wind we will have to slow down now in order to make landfall on Saturday morning. Right now if I could sail at 6 knots I would make America Soma at 6pm Friday evening which is no good. I cannot bring myself to navigate into a large harbor and anchor in America Soma because the anchorage is complicated. I have been told by other sailors that 2 years ago a tsunami had flooded the low lands of Pango Pango America Soma then receded back into the ocean. When the tsunami waters receded back into the harbor and ocean it dropped off cars, stoves, swing set, and all kinds of trash that now litters the anchorage bottom. To make it more complicated the anchorage bottom has a 2 foot layer of silt that covers a mud bottom that is laying on an old lava flow that is smooth like glass. So I have to locate a shelf on the north anchorage area that is about 40 feet deep and drop my anchor. But also keep an eye on the north reef that is only 2 feet deep and is all rock. I have been told to not power set the anchor with my engine but to just scope out a lot of anchor chain and let the anchor settle in the muck and mud. Then in the following morning back down on the anchor slowly to set it deeper into the mud bottom. The good news is that there is supposed to be little wind and swell over the weekend in America Soma Pango Pango so I should sleep well at night and not on anchor watch. This sure is a lot of work to get cheap beer and provisions; I hope that this passage is worth it, lol.

Current Position: 14deg 14.6min South, 168deg 14.4min West, COG 252deg, SOG 4.6 kts

I dream now of just beer and burger’s!

Thanks,

Jacques


One of Those Days

The weather out here is great, I have good wind and making 6kts. I guess the day was going to good for me and the chart plotter that I thought I had fixed is now broken again. Lets just say if I could punch Garmin I would. It seems now that both my chart plotter will only stay on for 10 to 20 seconds and then shut down. I checked voltage and it 12.7volts on my meter. I checked the breaker and that has good power. I powered one chart plotter up and watch ed voltage and it stayed steady and the plotter shut down. Accroding to my error list I have what’s called a “abnormal shut down error 7.50” well no shit! I am in the middle of the ocean with a abnormal shut down error and all I want to do is throw my less then 1 year old GARMIN P.O.S into the ocean. Knowing my luck it will floating and not sink, so I would have to go get it. Well anyway its not the end of the world because I have other back ups and a paper chart that I can navigate off of but its disappointing when shit breaks! Guess that is my rant for today! Busy out here in the ocean today!

Current Position 3:55utc; 13deg 45.6min South, 165deg 52.2min West, COG 247deg, SOG 6.5

Thanks and Good Luck,

Jacques


On The Ocean Again

Last night we joined in a pot luck and Charlie caught a Wahoo Tuna so we ate grill tune with all the fixings. We also enjoyed some coconut beer and told stories of our travels and listen to the adventures of others around the camp fire as we watched the sharks swim along the beach. We got early this morning and stow all our gar for this next 430 nautical mile passage to America Soma. We then spent another hour pulling our anchor chain out from coral heads and then we were off. I was hoping for 10 to 14 knot winds but we have 6 to 7 knot winds. I started out with running two head sails a drifter and a 150 jib on twin spinnaker poles and made good speed at 5.5 knots with 6 knots of wind. But like the old line goes “were ever you wont to go the wind doesn’t want you to” so I dropped my two poles, head sails, and put up the spinnaker and I am running with that right now making 4.5 knots. I sure hope the wind picks up a bit. Hope all is well back home.

current position: 04:00UTC, 13deg 17.7min south, 163deg 38.3min west, COG 247, SOG 4.5kts

Cheers,

Jacques


Getting Ready To Sail

Well another wonderful adventure under our belt and now where to go? I am kicking around the idea of sailing 540 nautical miles west to America Soma or south west to Niue Island. I have been told that America Soma Island is a good place to get provisions and they have lots of products made in America. The only draw back is that America Soma is not a very exciting place and should only be treated as a provisioning stop. So with that in mind I think I will sail 540 nautical miles to America Soma and then after a day or three in Soma I will sail 330 nautical miles to Niue Island. In Niue my plan is to spend time with the whales and explore the shoreline limestone caves. I am also hoping to run into some of our cruising friends and have a few beers with them. Then off to South Tonga were I will pick up Ben our new crew member and sail north into the heart of Tonga. I have been told that many cruisers spend lots of time getting lost in the beautiful Islands of Tonga. But to begin I will leave Surarrow Island On Tuesday after I bottle my coconut beer, you know you have to take care of the important things first. The weather looks good, wind is reported to between 10 to 15 knots and then by Friday the east trade winds will fill back in and blow 15 to 25 knots. It should be good fun.

Cheers,

Jacques