By popular demand!

By | September 19, 2017

Cats in the Rally … By popular demand … Neville’s “unoriginal musical score with original words” performed to the tune of Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats in the Cradle’.     Johnny Eyebrow planned a rally just the other day To sail to New Cal in the usual way But there were boats to prepare and bills… Read More »

Mt. Yasur … an active volcano!

By | September 16, 2017

Apart from the island of Tanna being one of the shortest passages to Vanuatu from New Caledonia, the main reason we chose Tanna as our destination, was its volcano, Mt. Yasur. Mt. Yasur is an active volcano and is accessible by 4WD followed by a short climb.  Many of our rally yachts had already visited,… Read More »

We have arrived in Vanuatu!

By | September 16, 2017

We have arrived in Vanuatu! After 31 hours at sea, we entered Port Resolution on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu at 7 am. Sunday.  Hearing the village roosters and seeing the steam rising from the cliffs, we knew we were in the right place. We had departed Ouvea at midnight on Friday so we… Read More »

Ouvea … Waow!

By | September 8, 2017

Ouvea … Loyalty Islands We departed Toupeti at 5 am one week ago for the Loyalty islands, leaving Grande Terre behind us for the last time.  It was a vigorous sail to Ouvea averaging 8.1 knots, arriving at midday, much earlier than we anticipated.  Nothing better than a quick passage! Waow!  Ouvea. Turquoise waters, 25… Read More »

Newcalademy Awards

By | August 29, 2017

After a few weeks of cruising with Easy Tiger, Sans Souci and Cruising Kitty, we all decided to share our New Cal photos.  This came about when we got together one night after one of our walks.  We ‘airdropped’ (a brilliant way to exchange photos thanks to Apple) each others photos to our various devices. … Read More »

Coral Gardens

By | August 23, 2017

I have found that every venture in to the clear blue water here in New Cal has offered something different.  But a few things have been constant, making the barrier reef here quite exciting. The Grand Terre (mainland) is surrounded by its barrier reef creating a large lagoon.  It’s the largest lagoon in the world… Read More »

Southern Lagoon

By | August 21, 2017

Every stopover here in New Cal has something to offer, above and below the water. We only had an overnighter at Ilot Brosse, an island not far from Kuto and we didn’t snorkel, but we had a lovely beach for a walk and enjoyed one of the best sunsets so far from the beach.  We… Read More »

Kuto … until next time!

By | August 11, 2017

We left Kuto on Ile des Pins this morning.  A bit sad really. Amazing what a bit of peer pressure can do … we walked up the mountainous Pic N’ga Track (262 m), the island’s highest point.  Fantastic views!  We chose the day well as a cruise ship was in port, along with its 4,000… Read More »

Clowning around?

By | August 7, 2017

I’ve learnt to spot my favourite clownfish now, by catching that flash of orange. Here at Gadji I’ve been lucky enough to see a variety of different species of clownfish.  But a few snorkels ago, I spotted another fish that I have not seen before. It has the most amazing colorful patterns. It’s called a… Read More »

Gadji

By | August 7, 2017

Gadji is such a beautiful spot!  Has to be one the best anchorages we have not only seen in New Cal, but anywhere! We are back at Ile des Pins, anchored at Gadji in the ‘inner’ anchorage, with Sans Souci and Easy Tiger.  It is times like these that we cats appreciate our shallow draft. … Read More »

Two Great Walks

By | August 1, 2017

We have spent the last few days in Baie de Prony – Ilot Casy and Anse Majic with Easy Tiger and Sans Souci.  We have visited Prony before. It’s a picturesque bay with multiple anchorages for any weather, about a five-hour sail from Noumea. It is also the site of a large nickel mine that… Read More »

Noumea … it grows on you!

By | July 31, 2017

Thought it was time to mention Noumea.  As my sister says, “Noumea strangely enough, grows on you”. Noumea has been our only port to restock, refuel and shop.  While we have been keen to get in and out of there as quickly as possible, because there’s so many better places to visit, Noumea has served… Read More »

Family Matters

By | July 21, 2017

I am writing this post while sitting out a blow in Baie Uere, just south of Noumea.  We have had a few glorious days of sunshine and calm waters, but we knew we needed a secure anchorage for last night as we had a forecast of 20-30 knots for today. Sure enough, it blew up,… Read More »

Feeling the love!

By | July 7, 2017

Ahhh … some good internet at last … What a difference the weather makes to a yachtie! Yes we like wind and we have had plenty of great sailing here.  Many days of 15-20 knots.  But this last week or so, we have also had what the brochure claims … South Pacific weather! Today was… Read More »

Underwater Adventures

By | July 7, 2017

We have just spent a few glorious days below the water.  Calm sunny weather and low tides in the middle of the day … perfect for snorkelling! We visited Ilot Signal and the Dumbea reef pass. Here’s a few pics, including captions. And also some photos of my ‘little’ fish.  I chase these around, watch… Read More »

New Friends …

By | July 7, 2017

When we thought about joining the Go East Rally to New Caledonia this year, the deciding factor was that we knew some of the boats who were going. So out of 23 Rally boats, we already knew six. We now know a lot more! We have spent the last week or so exploring the islands… Read More »

Finding Nemo!

By | June 27, 2017

I had all but decided I’d had enough snorkelling for the day, when we decided to try another reef nearby.  I’m glad I did. This family of Nemo’s was unusually friendly.  We weren’t in a tourist area so I’m sure they weren’t used to big bodied lugs like me, but a few of them didn’t… Read More »

New Caledonia’s lagoon …

By | June 27, 2017

We have had some sunny calm days lately.  Time for some snorkeling. After a night on a mooring at Ile Maitre and a walk around the resort island, we motored to Ilot Kouen.  A tiny little sandy islet surrounded by reef.  We stayed two nights. The False Pass on the outer reef was only 20… Read More »

A Touch of Paradise …

By | June 24, 2017

Ilot Casy is a tiny island in Baie du Prony, south of Noumea.  What a great little spot.  Sand, palm trees and clear water. After a few nights at Baie Ue (no these locations do not roll off the tongue) we looked at the weather (of course) and decided to drop in to Ilot Casy… Read More »

Situation Généra

By | June 18, 2017

We have spent the majority of our time here in New Cal’ around Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines).  We may have had more foresight than we realized.  Not only did we see a beautiful island but we did luck some reasonable weather. We did enjoy Baie Kuto, visiting twice.  The sand on this beach… Read More »

A few more Rally pics …

By | June 10, 2017

A few photos have been passed on to us … from our passage and our arrival party … Also, “congrats” to John Hembrow, our Downunder Go East Rally organiser.  He has just won a Marine Award for his efforts.

Ile des Pins

By | June 7, 2017

It seems like we have been in New Cal forever!  Not sure if that is a good thing.  The days do seem to blend in to each other. We left Noumea less than a week ago.  With a wind change our anchorage became quite lumpy to the point I was getting sea sick writing my… Read More »

Bonjour Noumea!

By | June 2, 2017

Bonjour Noumea! We left the Gold Coast Seaway at 7.30 am Tuesday 23rd May, 2017. We arrived at the Amadee Lighthouse entrance of New Caledonia Sunday at 8 am 28th May, 2017. Our crew John and Saxil arrived the day before departure, quickly got up to speed as well as joining us for the formalities… Read More »

Time to go!

By | May 22, 2017

It is Monday evening.  Our crew have arrived and after a 3.30 am start they are both in bed.  I am taking a moment to catch up on emails, texts and a few phone calls while we still have internet coverage.  And of course, complete one last post before we head out to sea. The… Read More »

Happy Mother’s Day mum!

By | May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day mum! I can’t remember not sharing Mother’s Day with family but this year we have returned to The Bossa a bit earlier due to the Rally requirements. We are missing our family on this special day but I know they are getting together to celebrate. It will be one to remember, with mum… Read More »

Time to … wait

By | May 14, 2017

It’s now a waiting game. We had to be ready to “go” by May 11.  Now its all about a weather window. We have to cover approximately 800 nautical miles (1,500 kms) and this depends on our route.  So, we need 5-7 days of a good forecast.  We are using the Rally’s Metbob (who is… Read More »

28 boxes of crackers!

By | May 8, 2017

We arrived here at The Boatworks on April 25 and I know its hard to believe, but it is only now that I’ve managed to find time to put ‘pen to paper’ and update my blog. Everyone here, particularly the Go Easters, is frantic.  We have never seen The Boatworks so busy.  Many of the… Read More »

bossa nova … 2016 – gold coast to dunk island

By | April 16, 2017

I have just put our 2016 book together.  It includes my blog posts and a selection of photos.  It’s always fun to revisit memories of favourite locations and the people we met along the way. The cover … Yellow Patch!  Bossa Nova and Chances anchored below. Click to read: bossa nova … 2016 – gold coast… Read More »

Queen of Lists I am!

By | April 10, 2017

It is just as well that I am the Queen of Lists! We have lists for – Jobs Here Jobs There Things to Take Buy Here Buy There January Jobs House Jobs Health Appointments Bill Payments We have New Lists, Old Lists and Revised Lists and if it wasn’t on the list, it’s added to… Read More »

6 weeks to go!

By | March 27, 2017

It has been a while since my last post and I normally revisit my blog when we return to bossa nova ready for next new ‘adventure’. But … this year the ‘adventure’ is somewhat more adventurous … we are sailing to New Caledonia and Vanuatu! So while we are home and our boat is in… Read More »

All over for another year!

By | November 20, 2016

We have hauled out Bossa Nova at Boatworks. The packup has started. It’s very comfortable and welcoming here at Boatworks.  A few friends are around too so the socialising continues.  We have also caught up with our friends from last year, Leanne and Steve on Easy Tiger, who are visiting for a few days and… Read More »

Time for some reflection …

By | November 15, 2016

Our 2016 northern journey is coming to an end. Like last year, we’ve had the most fantastic time and also like last year, we are actually ready to return to our lovely home, family and friends. Here’s a few favourite memories … We have met so many great people this year.  It has been very… Read More »

Let’s go fly a kite!

By | November 13, 2016

Today was our last sail!  Mooloolaba to Moreton Bay with Chances (Port Stephens) and Pas de Chat (Port Macquarie). We have really enjoyed cruising with our new friends – Gary and Annie, and Jim and Jan.  I’m sure we will see them again! 66 nautical miles.  Top speed 12.6k (Neville says the instruments don’t lie!).  Departure 4.15… Read More »

Bundy to Mooloo’loolaba!

By | November 9, 2016

We reluctantly departed our favourite Lady Musgrave for Bundaberg, once again at daybreak .  We are getting very used to waking at first light but these Queenslanders don’t know what they’re missing with no daylight saving. The weather does dictate our passages …BUT we also had a 60th birthday to attend! Last year on our… Read More »

Lady Musgrave – The Magic of Nature – Part 2

By | November 1, 2016

On our last night at Lady Musgrave, we joined Gary and Annie from Chances and went ashore for our sundowners.  We set up our own turtle watching station, out of the wind, on the western side of the island.  There was 14 knots of wind blowing so we knew we were going to get wet… Read More »

Lady Musgrave – Part 1

By | November 1, 2016

When we visited Lady Musgrave last year we knew we’d be back.  Lady Musgrave is a coral cay.  It has a tiny sand island at the end of its big blue lagoon with a coral reef surrounding the lagoon.  We have just enjoyed such a memorable three days there … again. We arrived at Pancake… Read More »

Yellow Patch

By | October 26, 2016

I’ve had a ‘bucket list’ of destinations for this year’s trip north.  One was Yellow Patch and it did not disappoint. Yellow Patch is an anchorage on Curtis Island and it is known for its huge dramatic patch of yellow sand.  A stunning sand hill is the backdrop in this sandy estuary.  It’s a possible… Read More »

Alphabet Soup!

By | October 21, 2016

We only have four more weeks! Time for some reflection … One thing stands out with this year’s northern journey … it’s the people we’ve met and the friendships we’ve formed. We do occasionally travel in company and this year it has been with Gary and Annie on Chances (who we met briefly right at… Read More »

Keswick Island … we now know it better!

By | October 16, 2016

Most of my blog posts do show the ‘up’ side of our trip north.  The idyllic, relaxing and picturesque lifestyle we lead for six months of the year is what sailing is all about for us. However it’s not always like this … but … we can usually find an ‘up’ side no matter what… Read More »

Our week with Tim

By | October 10, 2016

Timothy came up this same week last year and it blew a gale all week.  We rocked and rolled around the Whitsundays. This time we had blue skies, kinder winds and hot sunny days.  Lots of swimming and snorkeling.  We unfortunately didn’t get to the outer reef but we did get to some of the… Read More »

Reef Adventures … Part Two

By | September 24, 2016

Wow!  Hardy Lagoon. It was a tad scary entering the lagoon. We followed Chances (who had been there before) which did give us some comfort, but as we approached Hardy Reef we did seem to be heading straight for the reef?! Hardy Lagoon has an ‘entrance’, but, it is a very narrow break in the… Read More »

Reef Adventures … Part One

By | September 23, 2016

One of our (my) ‘must do’s’ this year was to spend more time at the outer reef.  But it really is all about the weather when it comes to the reef. We left Magnetic Island a week or so back (can’t quite remember, the days do blur in to each other).  And then the weather… Read More »

Snorkelling in the Whitsundays

By | September 22, 2016

Seems like a long time ago that I wrote my last post, but not really.  We have been out of phone range since then. After five glorious days at the outer reef we are now anchored at Stonehaven on Hook Island, near Hayman Island and its’ snorkelling mecca Blue Pearl Bay. After arriving at Gloucester… Read More »

One Perfect Day …

By | September 15, 2016

A great reaching sail in steady northerly winds on flat water Two fish caught … a Spanish Mackerel and a Northern Bluefin Tuna on our new rig Whales including a breaching whale off our port side Sunshine Drinks and a defrag with Chances Spanish Mackerel for dinner!

Magnetic Island

By | September 15, 2016

We have had a wonderful time at Magnetic Island. We anchored in Horseshoe Bay over week ago after a few days of provisioning, washing and cleaning in the Breakwater Marina in Townsville. So many boats at anchor.  We regularly counted over 50 yachts alone. We met up with familiar faces including a big night of… Read More »

Palm Islands

By | September 5, 2016

After our five days of socialising at Dunk it was time to depart.  Some boats went north, we went south.  We set sail (ha!  … lots of motoring) for the Palm Islands with Chances, Arkaydes and Rene. We weren’t quite sure how far north we were going to get this year.  Starting at the Gold… Read More »

Destination Dunk

By | August 28, 2016

We are all set to leave Dunk Island tomorrow, heading back south.  Our most northern destination for this year! We have had five very social days here at Dunk!  We have met up with several other yachts, some known, some new. Walks, lunches at the sand spit seafood cafe, sundowners and then finishing off our… Read More »

Otter Reef

By | August 26, 2016

Calm weather for few days!  Zoe Bay then Otter Reef. The outer reef is quite a bit closer this far north so after talking to a few boats and getting a calm forecast we decided to head out to Otter Reef.  We finally caught up with Chances too! I got to use my underwater Olympus TG4… Read More »

Hinchinbrook Magic

By | August 26, 2016

Hinchinbrook Island is such a majestic island with its misty high peaks.  It’s our largest island national park and known for its lush rainforest, long sandy beaches and mangrove filled channel.  And for Zoe Bay! We spent a few days with Aqualibrium in Gayundah Creek in the Hichinbrook channel and lucked it with some calm… Read More »

Townsville to Dunk

By | August 25, 2016

After a few days reminiscing in Townsville we left for Magnetic Island. We worked out it was 1987 when we first visited … in a 23’ trailer sailer called Southern Comfort.  No we didn’t sail it from Melbourne to Townsville!  We had three months long service leave, towing our TS up the east coast cruising… Read More »