New ZealandPosted: March 15, 2003
March 15, 2003
We returned to New Zealand to get the boat ready to go North after leaving CHEWINK in December to spend the winter at home. We have it right! Winter in the southern hemisphere and winter in the northern hemisphere: You have to be smart to accomplish that!
April 15, 2003
Phil and Jody Tomlinson, old friends from Stowe, joined us for a three week drive around the South Island. In another brilliant move I don't reserve car space on the ferry across the Cook Strait and we are told we have to wait two weeks. We made it alright after shipping the car as freight and flying over. It turns out Easter weekend is their biggest weekend and this year it coincided with Anzac Day and school vacations! The Kiwis were on the move!
May 10, 2003
We returned to Auckland after a great trip around the South Island. As usual we did not have enough time, but needed to return home (CHEWINK) and get her ready for the race to Fiji with the New Zealand Yacht squadron.
May 24, 2003
With John, Heather, and Kevin Lidgard aboard, we had over 600,000 miles of offshore experience amongst us and perhaps 60 trips to the islands from New Zealand. We were disappointed in the small turnout for the race (only 24 boats of which four were of the cruising variety), but any chance to sail with the Lidgards was well rewarded - John and Heather are the Deans of New Zealand sailing and yacht design. Heather paid CHEWINK the supreme compliment of saying perhaps she might not sail offshore again unless it was on CHEWINK. This is after a lifetime of sailing on John's boats which are known to be perhaps the finest offshore designs in New Zealand. With three days of light winds and three days of heavy winds in the 30 K range we finished in the middle of the fleet.
June 15, 2003
After waiting out a very late hurricane in Malolo Lailai (not exactly punishment at the Musket Cove Yacht Club!) we finally arrived in Tanna one of the southern islands of Vanuatu. We missed this island on the first trip since you could not clear in with the authorities back then, but this time we spent eight days here exploring the volcano and surrounding villages. Easily our favorite of Vanuatu, but not a secure harbor when the wind is from the north -usually not a problem at this time of the year. J
June 28, 2003
We flew home for the launching of ACADIA, a couple of family weddings, and six weeks of the Maine summer. This was a treat after missing summer for several years. This is also a dubious time in the South Pacific as the big winter highs push against the ICTZ and can create a lot of wind and lousy weather.
August 12, 2003
We returned to a boat that was in perfect shape from our son's roommate from NYC, Vip Guptal's, hard work. He lived aboard the boat as a vacation and really worked hard. Well above and beyond the call of duty. For the next seven weeks we cruised the islands in almost perfect weather. Almost made us forget the previous weather of the last two years. There is no doubt in my mind that September through November is the best time to cruise in the south Pacific.
September 20, 2003
Reaching New Caledonia from Vanuatu can be a hard upwind sail unless you wait for the wind to go more to the east from the usual SE trades. We had a nice sail from Port Vila and arrived into a total cultural shock. Noumea is a fantastic small European city with good marinas and anchorage and within a couple of blocks, fresh baguettes, croissants, and of course, French wine. It also may be the most expensive place on the planet, but quite a change from Fiji and Vanuatu. We spent two and a half weeks in the Isle of Pines, the southern most island of New Caledonia, a very different place than the main island with unbelievable beaches, beautiful anchorages and great hiking. Playing Petanque on the beach in the late afternoon, hiking to the remnants of prison colonies and old WWII ruins, attending local festivals, and generally acting like it was vacation time. I wouldn't want to give cruising a bad name! Rather than sail around the main island of New Caledonia we went back to Noumea and drove north seeing an island of great contrast - 100 years of strip mining with one of the largest deposits of nickel and the lush landscape further north.
October 31, 2003
We left New Cal for NZ with Dave Bridges aboard. A good friend who sailed out through the Pacific with us on his Valiant 40. He did not get his boat out of New Zealand this year because of commitments at home so we benefited from his need for an offshore "fix". We decided to leave with a forecast of two fronts crossing our path with westerly winds -something that is necessary for the SE'ly course to NZ. As a result we had the best trip of the five times we have done this leg. Except for the usual southerlies just north of NZ it couldn't have been better. Whenever we finish an offshore leg we have been reminded what a great all around boat the Hood designed CHEWINK is. She is now on the hard south of Auckland at Half Moon Bay getting fully painted after 54,840 miles. Still one of the great cruising boats. I think I can be objective enough.
Where to now?Previous Log Entry: Back to Chewink in Fiji
Next Log Entry: Back in New Zealand
Have questions or want to share experiences?
If you have questions about their voyaging, or would like to share similar experiences, email Cabot.
What is Cabot's Log?
The following log and pictures are from Cabot and Heidi aboard CHEWINK, their Lyman-Morse Seguin 49 which Cabot built in 1987 and has sailed more than 62,000 miles. The log follows them as they began their second circumnavigation in 2000 through their current adventures in the Caribbean.