22 Jul 2018

22/7/18 : Chagford, UK

Some information about places we'll be visiting ....

Santa Marta, Columbia

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We should also be able to visit Cartagena, Columbia

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The San Blas Islands

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Through the Canal ...

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... and onwards to the Galapagos islands

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where we hope to see  lots of ...

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but not too many ...

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We're also hoping to see ...

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Then it's the loooooong leg to the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands (including Tahiti and Bora Bora)

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The Marquesas, where the dress sense is relaxed ...

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the anchorages are pretty spectacular

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and it's bound to leave its mark on us!

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Then it's on to Tahiti and Bora Bora

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where the crystal clear waters are full of

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Next come the Cook Islands ....

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to see lots more atolls and coral islands, and sample the local way of life

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Then Niue Island

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Not so keen on the sea snakes!

And Tonga

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where we might get close to

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and where we might see some

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Onwards to Fiji, our last destination with the World ARC before joining the Pacific Island Rally to explore the Fijian islands in depth.

21 Jul 2018

21/7/18 : World ARC Itinerary

We thought it might be interesting to post our itinerary for the Pacific. Our current plan is to remain with the World ARC as far as Fiji and then leave it to spend more time exploring French Polynesia with the Pacific Islands rally, returning to New Zealand with them in October. Exciting!

WORLD ARC 2019-20 Itinerary

Leg                                                                        Miles     Days       Start                
Saint Lucia – Santa Marta, Colombia                     815        4-6        Sat 12 Jan    
Santa Marta – San Blas Islands, Panama                280        2-3        Wed 23 Jan
Sail independently to Colon, Panama                       80           1
Transit Panama Canal                                                                         3-7 Feb
Sail independently to Las Perlas Islands, Panama    45
Las Perlas Rendezvous                                                                       Thu 14 Feb
Las Perlas – San Cristobal Island (Galapagos)       850       6-8          Fri 15 Feb
Sail independently to Santa Cruz (Galapagos)         45
Santa Cruz Island - Hiva Oa (Marquesas)            2980    15-24         Wed 6 Mar
Cruise Marquesas to Nuka Hiva
Nuka Hiva rendezvous                                                                        Wed 3 Apr
Cruise Tuamotus and Society Islands                   1000
Bora Bora rendezvous                                                                         Thu 16 May
Bora Bora - Suwarrow (Cook Islands)                   690                       Sun 19 May
Suwarrow - Niue                                                    540
Niue - Vava'u (Tonga)                                            230                                        
Cruise Tonga and Fiji                                             580                       Thu 13 Jun
Musket Cove rendezvous                                                                    Wed 10 Jul

And then the Pacific Islands Rally

Explore Lau Islands (Fiji) and Western districts (Fiji is divided administratively into four divisions which are further subdivided into fourteen provinces). 
Depart Lautoka, Fiji for Anatom, Vanuatu                                      Tue   13 Aug
Arrive Anelghowhat, Anatom                                                          Fri    16 Aug 
Then explore southern Vanuatu Port Vila, Efate 
Explore northern Vanuatu                                                                                            
Depart Port Vila, Vanuatu for Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
                                                                                                         Mon  16 Sep
Clearance into Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia                  Thu    19 Sep                 
Welcome feast and local weaving demonstrations                          Fri     20 Sep
Explore Loyalty Islands and eastern Le Grand Terre Isle de Pins Explore Southern Lagoon and southern Le Grand Terre                                                                                                           
Muster Noumea for farewell party 

Depart Noumea for Opua, New Zealand Arrival party - Opua 


18 Jul 2018

18/7/18 : Chagford, UK

Amazingly half of our 7 months at home this summer has now gone and the balance will pass in no time. So, with that in mind, I decided to get around to a job I've been putting off: Making new covers for the saloon seating. The ones I made 4 years ago have done a great job of protecting the cushions from seawater, sweaty bodies (yuk!) and suntan lotion but are in need of the replacing. Three made, another three to go. At least I'm halfway!

14/7/18 : Chagford, UK

Back in early March we visited Mustique, a beautiful and exclusive island in the Grenadines but renowned within the sailing community as being a very rolly anchorage. That was the case this year when a large swell surged into the bay rocking all the boats and making it difficult to go ashore, not that we let that stop us! Unfortunately when we returned to the dinghy tied up to the dock, the swell had forced it underneath the jetty and it was well and truly trapped. Not good at all. In his attempts to free it Paul pushed down with his feet, simultaneously pushing up against a cleat on the dock with his arms. Whilst doing this he heard/felt something in his shoulder give.

Over the months since his shoulder has gradually got worse to the point where he can't raise his arm above his head, reach round behind his back and is in quite a lot of discomfort, waking him up if he rolls onto it when he's sleeping. Something needed to be done so this week he finally got appointments to see an orthopaedic surgeon and also have an ultrasound scan to find out what the problem was. It was a big relief to discover that nothing was torn and so surgery wasn't necessary. Instead he had a steroid injection into the shoulder and was advised it would be another 6 months before it's back to full strength.

This has rather put our plans to join the OCC rally from Bonaire in mid-November up in the air but shouldn't impact the World ARC which doesn't depart St Lucia until mid-January. No final decision yet ... watch this space.

9/7/18 : Chagford, UK

We stayed with friends last week who asked us why we weren't continuing with our blog as they would be interested in hearing about our preparations for the World ARC. Well, to be perfectly honest, we simply hadn't thought to do so but thinking about it we've decided it's a great idea so here goes! Obviously there's a bit of a catch up needed but we'll try to post regular updates from here on in.

When we left Grenada in late March we left our project manager, Chris from Caribbean Boat Services, with a list of work we wanted undertaking over the summer. Some of this was routine maintenance (sail repairs, engine/generator servicing, gelcoat chip repairs etc) but there were also one or two jobs to ready Tumi for her Pacific adventure:-
1. Replace the current AIS receiver with a transponder. All commercial vessels transmit a signal (speed, direction, identification, destination) and we previously had a receiver so we could monitor shipping in our vicinity and avoid collision. All good stuff, but for the ARC we are also  required to transmit our details to help with tracking of us by the organisers.
2. Replace the rudder bearings, worn by wear and tear over the last four years. As Chris pointed out, there was some slight movement in the rudder which we can't afford to undertake such a big adventure with. Whilst the boat is out of the water a hole will be dug into the boatyard beneath the rudder so that it can be lowered into it and the bearings therefore exposed and replaced.
3. Upgrade the battery charging system. Tumi has three banks of batteries on board, one to start the engine/generator, another to power the bowthruster and windlass, and a third (the domestic bank) to operate the fridge/freezer, lights, water pumps and other domestic systems. All of these are charged every day by us either running the generator or via the alternator when the engine is running. When we returned last November we discovered the domestic bank was no longer holding a charge so we had to replace the existing wet cell lead acid batteries with new AGM batteries. These more modern batteries have a more sophisticated charging requirement and whilst the battery chargers linked to the generator could be reset for AGM batteries, the output from the engine alternator is not optimum. Chris undertook to get a marine electrician on board to recommend the changes we needed to makeep.
4. Add an extra battery to the domestic bank for additional AH capacity.
5. Fit an ampmeter so we can monitor charge into and out of the batteries and hence know when they are nearing full charge.
6. Potentially add two more solar panels to the existing arch.

Chris was able to come back to us with a quote for the electrical work, excluding parts and the work on the solar panels, which was way more than we expected so we had to have a rethink about essentials versus nice to haves, and also undertake some research of our own to better understand what is needed.

So much of June was spent reading articles on battery charges and charging systems, and speaking to specialist manufacturers to determine the best solution. We know think we have it and are just waiting another marine electrician in Grenada to ratify it. Fingers crossed the charging topic is now put to bed!

We have decided against adding the extra solar panels as we now believe that the new charging system modifications will improve the efficiency of the battery banks. Fingers crossed.