31 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -18.096983 LON: -154.503100
Timestamp: 2014-05-31 09:38 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-18.096983&lon=-154.503100
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.493583 LON: -151.789350
Timestamp: 2014-05-31 01:29 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.493583&lon=-151.789350
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.493583 LON: -151.789350
Timestamp: 2014-05-30 17:25 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.493583&lon=-151.789350
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

30 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.493583 LON: -151.789350
Timestamp: 2014-05-30 09:21 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.493583&lon=-151.789350
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.493583 LON: -151.789350
Timestamp: 2014-05-30 01:24 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.493583&lon=-151.789350
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

28 May 2014

Bora Bora

Arrived here at Bora Bora on Sunday late in the afternoon, after a few hours sailing and a few hours motoring from Tahaa, winds were fairly fickle and light.  Of course there is a lot written about Bora Bora in the various tourism guides,  some positive and some negative,  but overall it's a very pretty place. I'm not sure if it's the prettiest place in the South Pacific,  we've been to some remarkably attractive islands,  in particular I think that both Tahaa and Moorea are quite underrated.

Bora Bora does have the advantage of easy accessibility and of course the resorts if you are the sort of person who stays in ad resort every time you go on holidays. I've been quite enjoying cycling around the islands and seeing the sights first hand,  and in particular the area near the main township on Bora Bora is nowhere as pretty as either Tahaa or Moorea or Raivavae.

I don't have to stay in a resort of course,  I just drop an anchor or in this case pick up a mooring, this one outside the MaiKai marina just north of Vaitape.

The marina has the advantage of being close to the town and shops, such as the supermarket and the various pearl centres, but I was a bit disappointed with the facilities. "Toilets" in this case means one single cubicle,  BYO toilet paper,  and "showers" means some outside hose attachments with a spray nozzle. The sort of thing that, to be honest is starting to push my buttons a bit in French Polynesia (along with the inability of any French skipper to use a radio,  know where starboard is, know how fast 5 knots is, or have any clue about safe passing distances).

At least the food is good.

26 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.657183 LON: -151.446883
Timestamp: 2014-05-25 20:25 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.657183&lon=-151.446883
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

25 May 2014

Raiatea and Tahaa

We left Mo'orea for the overnight sail to Raiatea.  Despite originally deciding to skip Raiatea in favour of Taha'a, we instead spent a few pleasant days in the Marina Apooiti in Raiatea and exploring the nearby town of Uturoa.  Sailing there from Mo'orea was a pleasant overnight sail without a lot of traffic about, although we were passed by Orca 3, an Australian flagged catamaran (in fact on its way back to Australia from where it was built in France) during the night.

On the way in, in fact just before we were about to make our gybe to the entrance leads into the Raiatea lagoon, we caught this:

Very tasty indeed!  Flash fried with some soy sauce and garlic it was some of the best fish I've ever eaten, and look at the size of it!  Needless to say we still have a freezer full.

Uturoa is a sleepy little town although it has a nice fruit and vegie market and 3 small supermarkets carrying a range of different things.  We also found a guy (Richard) who assisted to get my outboard running again, as it had started playing up in Mo'orea.  The marina also had a laundry and showers which were very welcome.

Next stop is Taha'a. Things are all very close here:

Raiatea and Taha'a share the same lagoon, this was taken just after leaving Marina Apooiti on Raiatea.  Taha'a is to the left, and to the right in the distance is Bora Bora, which is about 5 hours sailing time away.

Taha'a is a very pretty island, lush and green almost to the extent of making Raivavae look barren.  The main export here appears to be vanilla so I went to visit a vanilla plantation today and bought some vanilla pods and powder direct from the farm.

Internet coverage has been spotty and expensive since we arrived in French Polynesia, but right now we're moored off the Hibiscus lodge/bar/restaurant in Haamene Bay which has free (and reasonably fast) wifi.  3G coverage has been fairly poor here although it was OK in Raiatea, but at about $30 for 400MB it's expensive.

Tomorrow we will leave Taha'a and head for Bora Bora for a few days.

21 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.773200 LON: -151.413200
Timestamp: 2014-05-20 22:31 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.773200&lon=-151.413200
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -16.930450 LON: -150.999566
Timestamp: 2014-05-20 14:31 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-16.930450&lon=-150.999566
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

20 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.171383 LON: -150.471333
Timestamp: 2014-05-20 06:31 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.171383&lon=-150.471333
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.484866 LON: -149.863983
Timestamp: 2014-05-19 22:35 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.484866&lon=-149.863983
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

19 May 2014

Moorea for a few days

I sort of skipped over Tahiti -- we stayed there 4 days mostly to refuel and restock.  I got the parts and things I needed -- fuel, gas, water, various bits of hardware, etc.  Other than that and eating at a few of the roulottes (aka snack shacks, roach coaches) and drinking probably a bit too much of the local beer there wasn't much touring about involved.

On Friday we made the 4 hour sail across to Mo'orea, which is a very pretty island.  We decided to stay a few days in Opunohu Bay, and take the dinghy most places we needed to go.  Yesterday we went ashore at the beach and walked around to the fruit distillery, and today we went to a motu off Hauru Point to eat at Coco Beach, which wouldn't actually serve us because we didn't have a reservation.  So instead we went back to the main island and ate at a beach restaurant.

View from the anchorage:

The obligatory beach-with-swaying-coconut-trees shot:
Tomorrow we're heading for Tahaa and then Bora Bora.


17 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.492583 LON: -149.852683
Timestamp: 2014-05-17 13:02 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.492583&lon=-149.852683
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.492816 LON: -149.853083
Timestamp: 2014-05-17 05:01 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.492816&lon=-149.853083
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Mo'orea

This morning we left Papeete, refuelled, and took the 4 hour motor/sail
across to Mo'orea, where we are now anchored off a small beach at
Opuhunu Bay. Water is 28.5 C so I'm about to dive in for another swim.

Tomorrow we plan to motor around into Cook's Bay and go to the tropical
fruit distillery. We'll probably stay at Mo'orea for a few more days
then head to Raiatea and Bora Bora.

Tough job but someone has to do it.

Internet is a bit up and down at the moment so I'll try to have a bit
more of a catch up later.

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.571633 LON: -149.654233
Timestamp: 2014-05-16 21:05 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.571633&lon=-149.654233
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

15 May 2014

Raivavae

Our first landfall after Lyttelton was Raivavae, in French Polynesia (Austral Islands).  Although we'd planned to be at sea for 3-4 weeks, we actually took a bit over 5 weeks to reach land!  This was mostly because of that stationary high I eluded to in my previous post, we went about 350 miles further south than I had originally planned, and then of course had to track north all of that distance again.  Then, on the northwards leg we had this odd mix of reasonable to good sailing weather combined with massive gales -- 45 knots and 8 + metre swells at one point.  I had planned to chew some fuel on that leg motoring into light contrary winds which often happens, but instead we were forced to heave to (stop the boat by backing the sails against each other) for about 3 or 4 days in total to survive the weather we encountered -- all of which was quite contrary to the forecast.

However we got there in the end, on the 1st of May our time.  It was certainly a sight for sore eyes, and sore other parts too as we had run completely out of water a couple of days previously (despite a spurt from the otherwise busted watermaker).

Anyway, Raivavae is a pretty little island, with much to recommend it:
There isn't much in the way of shops and supplies on the island but a few friendly locals offered us some grapefruit, bananas, coconuts and a few other bits and pieces.

We stopped by John and Linda and Chez Linda on the far side of the island, who ordered some baguettes for us from the only bakery on the island (where there is no shop, but you can phone through an order to be delivered the next day).  I spent an afternoon cycling around the island, unfortunately the road could be in better condition but it was a pretty enough ride.

We ended up staying a few days longer than originally planned due to some contrary winds, before leaving for Tahiti.

Tahiti was a bit under 4 days sailing, and along the way we caught this tasty fellow:
It's a wahoo!  Once we'd done the filleting job, a bit was fried in butter and garlic, another serve put into the fridge marinating in balsamic vinegar and honey for the next day's lunch, and we still have 2 serves to eat on the next leg of the journey (along with a couple of serves of the tuna we caught earlier).  I was thinking that the skirt flaps from the two fish would make a good soup -- does anyone have a good recipe for mulligatawny?



OK time for a photo

This was taken around 46 degrees south, on the track out of Lyttelton.  We had decided to swing south of the Chatham Islands to pick up the westerly winds around a high system that was stationary a bit east of the Chathams, and one night we ended up completely becalmed, and still becalmed well into the next day (we actually sat hove to overnight to motor the next day.

In the morning I was woken up by the on watch crew saying "come up and look at this, it's amazing".  There were 20 or so albatrosses sitting in the water all around us, some quite close and some further away.  This little fellow was quite inquisitive and swam up to the boat for a closer look:
Oh, and when I say "little", I don't really mean it.  I mean sort of about the size of a small family car, with wings.  Watching a few of them land and take off was pretty impressive, they spend about a minute folding and unfolding their wings.

This is a shot of a few of them around the back of Chiara Stella, swimming along quite curiously:
Clearly the word had gotten out that there was a large red bird sitting in the water, and so a few more arrived to enjoy the view:
Can't buy tickets to that.



13 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.540133 LON: -149.570716
Timestamp: 2014-05-13 01:50 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.540133&lon=-149.570716
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -17.826050 LON: -149.648033
Timestamp: 2014-05-12 17:44 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-17.826050&lon=-149.648033
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

12 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -18.184850 LON: -149.658683
Timestamp: 2014-05-12 09:42 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-18.184850&lon=-149.658683
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -19.355416 LON: -149.537150
Timestamp: 2014-05-12 01:40 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-19.355416&lon=-149.537150
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -19.355416 LON: -149.537150
Timestamp: 2014-05-11 17:35 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-19.355416&lon=-149.537150
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

11 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -19.891750 LON: -149.287149
Timestamp: 2014-05-11 10:45 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-19.891750&lon=-149.287149
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -20.550433 LON: -148.909150
Timestamp: 2014-05-11 02:44 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-20.550433&lon=-148.909150
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

lunch

We just caught (and ate) lunch -- a large fish that I think was a wahoo,
we have some photos so we'll check it against the guides when we arrive
in Papeete. Wind is a bit stronger than forecast, ranging between about
17 and 25 knots today so a bit strong for the spinnaker today. We flew
the spinnaker pretty much all day yesterday and overnight but had to
take it down this morning as the winds increases and there were some
squalls about. If the forecast holds true we should be in Papeete some
time on Monday our time (UTC - 10, so Tuesday for most of the rest of you).

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -21.090883 LON: -148.539500
Timestamp: 2014-05-10 18:42 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-21.090883&lon=-148.539500
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

10 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -21.746966 LON: -148.176433
Timestamp: 2014-05-10 10:41 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-21.746966&lon=-148.176433
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -22.573116 LON: -148.011850
Timestamp: 2014-05-10 02:39 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-22.573116&lon=-148.011850
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.140600 LON: -148.025650
Timestamp: 2014-05-09 18:37 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.140600&lon=-148.025650
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

09 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.438016 LON: -147.851933
Timestamp: 2014-05-09 10:33 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.438016&lon=-147.851933
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.865133 LON: -147.688283
Timestamp: 2014-05-09 02:29 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.865133&lon=-147.688283
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

and we're off again

Today should see us leaving Raivavae for the 3-5 day (depending on
winds) passage to Papeete in Tahiti. The original plan was to leave on
Tuesday but we've had contrary winds for the last couple of days so
we've had to wait for them to swing around southerly again.

There were two French catamarans here when we arrived, they left
yesterday in the direction of the Gambiers.

The islanders were very friendly, working within the constraints of the
language barriers (French and/or Polynesian). Supplies were quite
expensive on the island -- $3/litre for diesel -- so we stocked up with
only what we needed. Some things we weren't able to find here, eggs
have eluded us so far, but we are leaving with a good store of tropical
fruits including coconut, limes and pomelo (like a grapefruit but larger
and sweeter). Breakfast cereal was limited to coco pop like substance,
but we have baguettes and coconut bread. Last night's dinner was an
island/ships stores combination of fish cooked in lime and coconut juice
and sauteed bananas. So we're not suffering by any stretch of the
imagination.

Papeete will seem like an absolute metropolis by comparison.

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.865133 LON: -147.688283
Timestamp: 2014-05-08 18:25 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.865133&lon=-147.688283
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

08 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.865449 LON: -147.688366
Timestamp: 2014-05-07 17:13 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.865449&lon=-147.688366
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

07 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.865500 LON: -147.688916
Timestamp: 2014-05-06 17:14 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.865500&lon=-147.688916
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

06 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.864250 LON: -147.688866
Timestamp: 2014-05-05 17:20 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.864250&lon=-147.688866
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

05 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -23.864033 LON: -147.688683
Timestamp: 2014-05-04 20:25 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-23.864033&lon=-147.688683
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

02 May 2014

land ho

We're on final approach to Raivavae now, a few miles from the entrance.
We will try to fill the water tanks and start washing up tonight, with
a bit more exploration of the island and checking in with the
gendarmerie tomorrow. I'm very tired and dirty, a total of 36 days at
sea, somewhat longer than originally planned, but happy to be in sight
of land again.

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -24.277066 LON: -147.940433
Timestamp: 2014-05-01 18:26 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-24.277066&lon=-147.940433
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

01 May 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -26.229466 LON: -147.980200
Timestamp: 2014-04-30 18:20 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-26.229466&lon=-147.980200
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300