Friday, 13 June 2014

Time to Reflect

I am back home now and find myself reflecting so much on the adventure I have been a part of..... unbelievable and so much more to look forward to.  I intend to keep up with the blog as much as I can with photos and information coming from Ron, so if you are following, there is more to come!
As Geoff mentioned, I would particularly like to thank Jim Poulsen and Benchawan from Lee Marine in Phuket.

Ron and I first met Jim in 2011 with Steph and Sam while on holiday in Phuket.  We arranged to meet for a viewing of Emotion 2 while she was up on the hard.  Several brokers had Emotion 2 listed and I have repeatedly thought how incredibly lucky we were to have chosen Jim to meet with.  From the beginning Jim went out of his way to accommodate our needs and kept in touch with us after we returned to New Zealand.  We were waiting for our business to sell and a pending sale fell through meaning we were unable to proceed with the purchase but Jim kept us appraised of the work being done and almost a year later we talked to him about making an offer.  The vendor is Italian, residing in Italy and Jim made what could have been a difficult process very smooth sailing indeed.  Benchawan, his assistant, is a wonderful person who so kindly sent through videos of inside cupboards, in the engine rooms and helped us with anything we asked.
With the agreement all signed and deposit paid, Jim organised a survey on our behalf, including photographing the haulout and being on board for the survey, sea trial.  
When the time came for us to come over, go for a sea trial and complete the purchase, Jim and Benchawan gave us so much support and local knowledge, from where to stay, where to shop to recommending insurance brokers.  Without this support we would not have known where to start.
When the sale went through, we had a few days to get a couple of things done before accompanying a crew to sail the boat to Langkawi, Malaysia.  Once again, Jim and Benchawan organised contractors to get this done within the short time frame.  
I would have expected that to be the end of Jim's obligations to us but he arranged our clear out from customs, arranged a broker in Langkawi to meet us and clear us in through customs, deregistered the boat from the previous owner and assisted with registering the boat in Langkawi.
It was almost a year later that we returned to Phuket for our daughter's wedding.  Marina berths were very difficult to find and it is only through Jim, we were able to secure a spot at Yachthaven Marina. This time, Jim organised to clear 8 people in through customs and after the wedding, 13 people out.  Benchawan greeted us with open arms.  It was like coming home.
I am sure there are other brokers who offer an amazing service, but for us, buying a boat overseas, from an absentee owner in countries where English is not their first language, Jim and Benchawan went far above and beyond.  We will not forget you or your kindness. Thank you! 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Crew Change


Annie, Geoff, and Mole make way for a new crew to join Emotion 2.....

Brent McLeod and Steve Taylor from Auckland, and Jeff Searle from Melbourne, join Ron and the boat at Freemantle for the next leg of the journey to the south of Australia.

Happy sailing guys and good fishing

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Thankyou


Just a big thank you to everyone whom has helped us along the way... I know Annie wants to specifically mention some people... but, to everyone we have come into contact with... we are so grateful to you, and it has been an absolute pleasure for us to have met you all... without exception.

Thanks also to all our followers on this website. We hope that you have enjoyed the dialogue, the pics and videos. It hasn't been easy because we only had internet for short periods of time, and it takes lots of time to upload pics and vids, and then the dialogue posts... (we are almost up to date there now).
We know that you have been following us because our website has now had 21,000 page views; and we are now #1 on Page 1 of Google, if someone searches Emotion2. That's really hard to do.

To fellow sailors, who are looking for information from our blog, I hope it is helpful to you. We know also that you are following us because the page views are coming from all around the globe, particularly lower USA and Alaska, so that is just fantastic. Please use the Contact Form on this Home Page if you need any further information.


Rottnest Island


May 31... Steph's birthday

Steph and Sam caught up with us as soon as we arrived at Mindarie, and very kindly dropped a car off for us to use while here.
June 2 is WA Day so a long weekend to celebrate Steph's birthday by getting them on the boat and cruise out to Rottnest Island, just off Perth.

Saturday is a very cold and grey day, and not far out from the marina the sea swell becomes huge. A few people were not feeling that great after a couple of hours. After about 4 hours we approach Rottnest Island,
and sight 2 whales frolicking close to shore. I think it was a mum and calf but the jury is out on that.
Whatever...we got an absolute cabaret show for half an hour, hovering some 150 metres away. It was just awesome. Coincidentally, everyone felt well again. We anchored some distance out at Thomson Bay because the bay was just littered with Riviera's and other similar craft. We reckon that bay was probably holding 50 million bucks!!! At least.

It is bitterly cold and we are literally rugged up like bears, so spend the rest of the day catching up, finishing with a wonderful birthday dinner. I'm not sure why we decided to eat alfresco???

June 1

Nicer morning and warmer, and after a superb breakfast again prepared by Steph and Sam, we head ashore for a tour walk. This is a really cool island, with hundreds of little holiday batches positioned all around the coastline, with magnificent beaches enclosed behind a myriad of reefs. Each bay has a narrow channel that boats can pass through and anchor. We walked quite a distance... maybe 4km by the time we returned to where they sell the best icecreams in the world, a Dome cafe, pub, and hotel. We had the icecream at the start, and returned to the pub for something a little stronger; and more delicious food Sammy just had to order!!! A lovely day on the island in much better, much warmer weather.

June 2

WA Day.. monday. And it is a beautiful morning. A few dolphin nonchalantly cruise about the moored boats.
After another stunning breakfast, we head off at 1030 to return to Mindarie. Steph takes the helm and never relinquished it.... we even cruised for a while sailing with main and jib, but as the day progressed the day got finer and the wind dropped away. It was back in shorts and no shirt again. Absolutely fabulous day.
We cruised into Mindarie at 1600 and Dome Cafe was chocker. Everyone was fascinated as we berthed alongside.
We finished the evening by having dinner at the Brewhaus and Grill where Sammy and I checked out some of the Indian Ocean Brewery beers.

Awesome weekend.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Geraldton, Jurien Bay, Perth


May 23

We had a good sleep, well protected from the westerly overnight, and woke to very cool but calm conditions, and not raining. In fact, we have had very little rain throughout the entire trip.
At 1330, Ron decides to follow the storm down the coast so we raise anchor and head for the exit out of Shark Bay in the SW corner.
As soon as we turn the corner to head out into the Indian Ocean we get a sense of what might lie ahead.
We are heading straight into a strong westerly wind and in the channel the seas are confused around a large swell.

Another night and day (24th) of getting pounded, and due to having to reduce speed we will be arriving late into Geraldton.

May 24

Fortunately, we arrive at the channel entrance just before dark, and even Ron commented as we negotiated the channel... "I wouldn't want to have done this in the dark". Geraldton is a large commercial port, also with a large fishing port, and then a marina with boat ramps.
The channel is well markered for the most part but it twists and turns and at times narrow, and for a good chunk of it we were side on to the huge swell rolling in, so it was good to do it with the last light of day.
Even entering the marina is tricky because as always there are shallow areas to avoid.
However just on dark, we tie up alongside a jetty berth and break out the rum.

I notice there is a Coles directly across the main road, so that's good for provisioning but it is late Saturday,
and nothing is open on Sundays so we will be here until at least Monday afternoon the 26th.

May 26

After provisioning all morning, we head to the fishing port to re-fuel. This is quite impressive with some large boats, haulouts, and shore infrastructure here. As soon as we have re-fueled we leave the lovely and very friendly Geraldton for an overnighter to Jurien Bay. The weather is still not that flash.... still some seas running and at times 20 knots plus but what is most noticeable is that suddenly it is so much colder!!!!

May 27

We arrive at Jurien Bay in the morning and are pleased to be able to tie up inside the marina, protected by the breakwater. There is not much here, but it is a northern getaway from Perth, so there is a lot of batches and holiday accommodation where the "Perthies" come for the long weekends with their boats and head out fishing off the reefs. We are just glad to be stationary.

May 28

After a familiar, not exciting, lumpy 80nm from Jurien Bay, at 1430 we finally pull into Mindarie Marina, Perth.
We are here!!!! Almost exactly 3 months later, from having left Phuket, and almost exactly half way home.

May 20 continued.. Yalobia Passage to Shark Bay... at least that was the plan!!!


We negotiated the 5 Finger reef with such ease that we all sort of relaxed and headed off in different directions about the boat, except Ron of course, still at the helm.
Suddenly, there are these huge waves breaking over the Ningaloo, just 50 metres either side of us as we exit the Yalobia Passage... everyone is rushing for camera's... but I think someone only got one shot.
The weather was glorious again, and watching these breakers so close on both sides was quite spectacular.

We use an IPad with Navionics software, plus the Platinum charts on our in-house nav system, and with the two of them (hopefully operating on a reliable GPS position) we can negotiate these channels and passages with confidence. In this case we passed straight through the Yalobia Passage and the Ningaloo reef and back into the Indian Ocean. There are, of course, markers on land to guide you as well.

It is another light wind day, and not a favourable direction to fully sail... we play with the headsail a bit and motor sail when it works. We are cruising around 6 knots, because that is a good speed to be trolling lures.
And Mole has everything he can trolling behind us....
1600.... Bingo!!!!!
Ziizzzzzzzz...goes the reel, as nylon pours off the reel.
Mole leaps into adrenalin, while I hit neutral (my watch).
Then a marlin does a big tail walk off the stern, and everyone is "YES!!!"

Moley landed the marlin after another good struggle... a blue marlin, not overly large, probably a youngster,
and while we had every intention of returning this beautiful fish to the sea, when we landed it we could see that it had been attacked by a shark on the way in, and would not have survived if we returned it.
So, on the menu, for the next month was blue marlin...
Thank you Moley.

1800 and the weather starts deteriorating rapidly.
Huge swell developing and getting very confused and lumpy. The boat is starting to get that pounding under the wing deck again, and aft on the inside of the hulls. The boat is fine with it. It just makes sleeping off watch very difficult; ok for myself until you get one that lifts you out of bed; but impossible for Annie.

2000 and dark; 20 plus knots on the nose, and getting hammered.
Down to just 3 knots Speed Over Ground (SOG)

Gets worse as the watches change through the night, but notice a shift in the wind to coming offshore now so decision is made to head for land to see if we can find some lee closer to shore.

May 21

0430.. we lay anchor 200 metres off the coast between Red Bluff point and Gantry.
Still in a swell, but much more comfortable, and considered safe here.

1000.. still rough out past the point, and still blowing 20+, so wait until noon to make decision to continue.
We need to decide by then, so as to leave at a time that will get us to next anchorage at Shark Bay in daylight the next day.

Noon.. the wind has dropped, and we decide to go. Still pretty lumpy, but ok.

1800.. 12-18 knots, still on the nose, lighter seas, fine weather approaching Shark Bay.

2030... winds increase again, gets much colder suddenly. We are so used to just shorts and singlet but now I am wearing thermals and full wet weather gear on my watch. The seas start to lump up again like the previous night, so we change course (from heading to Denham) to Cape Peron North.

May 22

0200... we anchor at Guichenault Point, on the inside of the Peron Peninsula, in calm seas, and a light very cold breeze.

I woke before sunrise and went out on deck to a beautiful pre-dawn morning to find swallows flying and landing all about the boat, and dolphins cruising nonchalantly about the bay. I took some pics here but missed the classic one with a dolphin surfacing under the rising sun.

0800... nice day, but still cool... we head once again for Denham. We want to re-fuel there and provision.
Unfortunately this decision meant we would miss Monkey Mia.

Late afternoon, as we enter the 16nm channel into Denham, and get phone reception, we are told that we will not be able to re-fuel there for 3 days, so we do a U-turn, and head for Geraldton.
Fortunately, Annie gets a glimpse of internet reception and gets a weather forecast..... a violent storm heading down the coast overnight.
We check the Navionics and find a place to sit overnight in the lee of a predicted strong westerly.
It was a nice spot, and actually a good rest after the past few nights hammering.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Remembering the Wedding


Steph and Sam have unveiled a few special shots of their very special day...

Click here to go to the Wedding Gallery page to see something truly wonderful

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Right. Time to bring you up to date


From Tantabiddi to Perth

As you now know, we are currently at Mindarie Keys Marina, North Perth, about one hours drive from Freemantle. This is a beautiful marina, and the whole area is reminiscent of Gulf Harbour Marina, Auckland, although much smaller. Also, as you have seen on the Voyage Gallery, we are parked right alongside the Dome Cafe, Waterfront Cafe, Marina Beauty, and also 2 pubs with excellent food (one of which brews its own beer... Indian Ocean Brewery... and it is excellent), an Indian Restaurant, and an icecream parlour. The facilities are just superb (good rubbish disposal, toilets/showers, but no laundry). They are smart here: they charge a low casual rate for 2 days for us to berth here so we make use of what's on offer here.... and that we have. Not only that, but Emotion2 has brought down heaps of wonderful locals whom just love to gaze at the boat, or take photos, some want to talk with us, and some we have invited on board.
There is all the shopping you could possibly want just less than 5 minutes drive away, including Coles and Woolworths.
Martin and all the team at the Marina Office are just sensational: they will do anything they can to help make your stay here as good as it can get. If you are coming to Perth, I highly recommend you stop in here for a couple of nights. It's magic.
I have put a link to the Mindarie Marina in the Links Menu, RHS this Home Page.

So we are at South 31 deg, 41 and East 115 deg, 42... just 6 degrees now north of Auckland.
The temperatures reflect that now. Since leaving Geraldton, it has suddenly got a lot colder, particularly at night, or in a wind. During the day, full sun, little wind... it is like a hot day in Auckland.

May 17 recall....

We were at Tantabiddi at the top of the Ningaloo reef after re-fuelling at Exmouth

May 18

We woke to an absolutely glorious morning, and at 0815 headed out through the reef for Norwegian Bay, about a 9 hour trip, through an area outside the reef popular for swimming with whale sharks. It was just a beautiful day but not enough wind to sail only. I think it was this day that I filmed "Come ride with Us". We made some diversions on the way looking for fish, and while we didn't land any today, we struck a marlin,
a huge mackerel just took the complete leader straight off Mole's rod (as I saw it leap through the air in full flight...magnificent!!!), and another huge hit we have no idea what might have been....

We anchored at Norwegian Bay at 1730.... a good passage entry, and anchorage, for all pleasure vessels.

May 19

0730, we raise anchor destined for Coral Bay..... another pearler day!!!
As we head south, we see a charter boat stationary some distance ahead, so assuming they were on a whale shark we divert slightly to sea toward the charter boat. As we near, we can see that the vessel is constantly dropping 10 people at a time into the water to swim with a whale shark.
Annie rushes down to her cabin and dons her swimsuit!!!
We have to hover nearby until the charter boat has finished before we can move in.
This takes a frustrating 30+ minutes for all of us, but especially Annie.
Finally, the charter boat collects the last of the swimmers and heads our way. The skipper was great... he told us exactly what to do with our engines to attract the whale shark to the boat, and a general good chat,
before he powered off back to base with about 40 very happy campers sitting in the back.
So, we headed to the spot.... but after searching for over half an hour... we could not find the whale shark.
We were all disappointed to have missed such a unique experience.

And so, we head for Coral Bay (and as I look at my diary, it was actually now I take the video "Come Ride with Us".. not yesterday).

We arrive at the entrance to Coral Bay about 1500 but it is a long, narrow, shallow, channel, into Mauds Landing. The markers are also very confusing, appearing to change starboard and ports as we go in.
Mole and I are sitting on the bows calling the depths back to Ron on the helm as we creep in at 2 knots.
The water is crystal clear, and it is difficult for Mole and I to call depths.... we just yell back... "looks shallow here Ron!!!!". We manage to negotiate the channel for about an hour (with just one little skim across some floral coral) and finally lay anchor at Mauds Landing at 1600. (see video "Channel into Mauds Landing" on Voyage Gallery or click Videos on Links Menu RHS this Home Page)

The day is far from over though.... it is a cracker evening, and there is a little town here not far from The Landing, so Ron, Annie and Mole jump in the tender and head for town, while I stay on board and take some more pics and vids as the sunset approaches. Once you have negotiated the channel, this is a beautful spot with plenty of anchoring room and depth. There are a lot of moorings securing charter boats of all shapes and sizes, and as I sit on board many fizzies come in on dusk to the breakwater and launching ramps, to take their catches back home for dinner. The township is only a 100 metre walk from the boat ramps, and has a pub, and good provisioning. Moley took some nice photos here as they returned just on sunset in the tender.

Apart from missing the whale shark, this was a cracker day!!!

May 20

Travelling into the township last evening, Mole, Annie and Ron passed over some beautiful floral coral and the plan was hatched that a snorkel was paramount before leaving Mauds Landing, so at 0830 the 3 of them jumped in the tender again for a coral snorkel. Again some excellent Moley photos on his underwater camera taken here.

At 1000, we raise anchor for a longer journey this time... a good day/night/day trip, back on watches, for Shark Bay... probably THE SPOT for whatever you want to do with the marine life here... whale sharks, turtles, dolphin, diving, snorkelling..............

Instead of going out the way we came in, and after Annie and Ron had spoken with the friendly locals yesterday evening in town, the decision was to pass through 5 finger reef (inside the Ningaloo reef) and exit the Ningaloo via the Yalobia Passage. This would save us hours. All the info says this should only be attempted by the experienced, but we were on high tide, the locals were confident (even with the boat our size) and we are feeling reasonably experienced now and felt confident this was the way to go.
Actually, while the 5 finger is tricky, we negotiated it with ease, and was in many ways easier than the channel into Mauds Landing from the North.
Through the 5 finger, and its hard to starboard and head for a narrow gap out the Yalobia Passage through the Ningaloo reef.