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Leg 7, 2013 Noumea, New Caledonia to Auckland, New Zealand

Update 1

Oct. 15, 2013, 0300 hrs, 30.41 S, 167.56 E, Log: 168,981 miles
Baro: 1012.5, Cabin Temp: 72F, cockpit: 73F, seawater: 71F
Broad reaching under triple-reefed main and headsail in W winds of 35-48 kts

SERIOUS FRONTAL PASSAGE!

Leg 7 started off with perfect timing! Wednesday, the day our crew attended their two hour safety orientation aboard at 4PM, an afternoon blustery cold frontal passage with a ½ hour of torrential rain at 3PM that caused streets in downtown Noumea to flood quickly passed. Thankfully by 4PM the sun was out and the skies were clear. This is the ideal scenario for departing from New Caledonia, Fiji or Tonga; wait until just after a frontal passage as there should be “settled” trade winds for the longest possible period.

Click HERE to read Commanders’ Weather initial passage forecast.

Immediately after Leg 7 crew came aboard at noon Thursday we dropped lines and headed to the fuel dock to top up with duty free fuel. Setting sail for the open ocean Thursday was out of the question as the winds following the frontal passage were still out of the SSE, the direction we wanted to go so we instead chose a very short trip. Located 3.5 miles south Ilot Maitre provided sheltered moorings allowing us to complete unpacking, orientation and have a delightful snorkel and sunset beach walk on the small islet.

New Caledonia’s customs and Port Captain are uniquely generous with departure clearance explaining that the clearance is good for three days, and that stopping to anchor for a better weather window is totally acceptable.


Dave, Ivana, Jim, Georgii, Alex and Eugene say farewell to Amedee Lighthouse and New Caledonia
Friday morning several of our crew joined us ashore on our sunrise beach run leaving us in the dust before everyone dived in for a snorkel, surprised at seeing many remoras, turtles, rays and a huge trevally. After breakfast and engine room orientation we got underway, completed our first Lifesling overboard rescue drill and then motorsailed hard on the blustery wind to Amedee Lighthouse where we picked up another mooring and enjoyed the relatively calm location for lunch.

Our planned first passage was the 400 mile passage to Norfolk Island, home of the Mutiny on the Bounty descendants where we would wait two days for what looked to be a fairly vigorous frontal passage before continuing to NZ. As our crew had already had one slightly rolly night at anchor and had started pre-medicating with seasickness meds, we were hoping they wouldn’t be seasick in the moderately choppy conditions we encountered once we cleared the lagoon pass. It worked!

With excellent sailing conditions we covered the 400 miles in just 2.5 days and Monday morning had the outline of rugged Norfolk Island in sight. On analyzing the weather, it looked like the strongest winds (gusts to 50 kts) should be from almost directly astern if we were to carry on to NZ, then slowly coming forward to a close reach which was forecasted to hold nearly to NZ’s North Cape.


Georgii and Ivana practice reefing

A welcome mid-ocean swim

Removing pesky broken water impeller vanes (a two hour task) that caused the engine to overheat

Should we now wait 2+ days at anchor off a very interesting island, not knowing if we would end up with strong headwinds following the frontal passage, or should we put to sea with the pedal down? If so we would gain as much southing (westing from our direct course line) as possible along with crew experiencing valuable storm conditions; surfing in 30-40kts with gusts to 50, seas forecasted to 5.1 meters, and possible intense rain squalls.

I printed Commanders Weather’s detailed forecast (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THAT FORECAST) and left the decision making up to our crew. Alex and Georgii, our Russians, said that it would be nice to at least see the island, so crew decided to do a fly-past and then keep going. We got a good view of the former convict settlement of Kingston, and then kept going. Just as we passed uninhabited Phillip Island, a few miles south, two dog tooth tuna grabbed our lures as a treat for dinner.


Jim Eugene, Georgii and a freshly showed Ivana enjoy a sunny sail along the scenic coast of Norfolk Island

Our little dog tooth tuna...Did Amanda really chuck the big guy back thinking he’d be too dark blooded and fleshy to eat? This guy was tasty!

I spent part of the afternoon going over our options for storm tactics, checking rigging with our crew, pulling our storm staysail out of storage under the v-berth and generally checking and re-checking everything above and below decks.

I also emailed professional weather router Bob McDavitt, formerly of MetService NZ, asking whether we should stop. Following is his reply which I didn’t receive until six hours later when we were already well committed on heading to NZ:

Apologies for slow reply, yes it has been a busy day--running errands and now catching up with emails--
You've probably already decided to stay safe in harbour and wait out this front. Anyway that's my suggestion becauseit is a developing feature and has access to a vigorous jetstream aloft. It is bring these super-winds to the ground over eastern parts of NZ at present (downslope winds), with lots of wind damage. At sea it will not be as strong, but strong enough, and a Cb can bring the wind aloft to ground level in squalls, so best to avoid. Anyway SW swells after the front are likely to be 3 to 4 significant metres, or 4 to 6 occasional metres for a day or so, not comfortable.

The next day when Bob learned we’d chosen to continue on, these were his comments:

Not much rain here in Auckland with front, but on the other side of the jetstream, roads into new Plymouth are all closed by slips. (landslides)

Yes, there is a wet side and a dry side for the Jetstream. I'm glad the swells are OK , looking good for you on way to NZ , but may have to motor in light winds in a few days.

Commanders forecasted the frontal passage for 0300, and it arrived two hours early early with wind speeds pumping, and seas that quickly built. We had some moderate rain squalls, but nothing intense however the seas continued building and easily reached their forecasted height of 17’. Our keen crew were loving every minute, even if a little bit scared, and when they noticed the barometer had stopped its free-fall plunge and was inching upward, a cheer went up. However, as forecasted, the seas started to really build, requiring close helming attention as, even with three reefs in the main and only a scrap of headsail out, Eugene had MT surfing to a max speed of 11.2 kts after winds had peaked at 48 kts.


Alex on watch during our dark stormy night

Jim relishing our storm surfing conditions while Dave adjusts the preventer trim

Yesterday the sun rose clear and bright and the frothy crests flashing by looked beautiful. A less-powerful forecasted second front roared by with solid 28-34 kt winds at noon, but by sunset winds were down into the 20-24 kt range and seas were diminishing. The great news was that the winds and seas were not on our bow. Taking a cue from Commanders Weather, we had been sailing due south from Norfolk, instead of on the ESE direct course line. This meant that after the frontal passage we never had the rough seas forward of the beam and could really sail fast.


Time to shake out a reef

Ivana takes a walk around the deck on a rig and chafe check

Georgii takes a noon site

This morning at 0900 Ivana plotted our position and announced that we were just 140 miles from North Cape, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. Winds are now down 13-14 kts out of the SW which is giving us a very smooth beam reach, even with the still substantial SW swell, and are forecasted to slowly diminish as we close on the coastline.

Oct. 17, 2013, 0430 hrs, 33.47, 167.56 E, Log: 169,285 miles
Baro: 1028.0 (WOW!), Cabin Temp: 67F, cockpit: 64F, seawater: 63.5F (seriously colder than yesterday)
Broad reaching at 7.9 kts under full main and headsail in WSW winds of 13-16kts


Ivana and Jim plot our course into Opua
Yesterday was an amazing day, with beam to broad reaching conditions all day. We took advantage of the improved sea conditions to catch up on teaching and testing and when we were just completing review of the first of five pages of testing covering terminology, safety systems and storm tactics, Jim shouted, “FISH ON!” With help from many of our crew we managed to quickly land a 20+lb tuna, a small part of which Amanda grilled with dukkah seasoning for dinner. She says we’ve sashimi and poisson cru (Tahitian marinated raw fish in coconut sauce) to look forward at lunch.

With a full moon, fairly flat seas and only 128 miles to the quarantine dock in Opua Marina (www.opuamarina.co.nz) excitement is running high! Ivana is talking about renting a Harley and taking off to explore the country, Alex’s wife is flying in from Moscow to meet him and Georgii for a planned two-week personally guided trip around NZ, David and Jim are working on plans and Eugene is looking forward to returning to his monumental task of shifting his entire 260 head dairy operation 300 km north to a new location just south of Auckland.


Update 2

PARADISE, HOW COULD WE ASK FOR MORE?

Oct. 23, 2013, 2130 hrs, 36.25, 174.49 E, Log: 169,529 miles
Baro: 1024.3, Cabin Temp: 72F, cockpit: 64F, seawater: 70F
At Anchor, Mansion House Bay, Kawau Island, New Zealand

Mahina Tiare fairly flew the last 128 miles to Opua, with a fresh breeze abaft the beam, flat seas and a full moon. We started hearing radio chatter between a fleet of 150’-170’ square-rigged sail-training ships which we learned were part of a race from Sydney, Australia to Opua, the same port of entry we were headed for. In the modest (for square riggers) winds we were able to leave the square-riggers in our wake.

Ivana:
Our offshore passage came to an end at 11 pm Thursday October 17th, when we set foot on the quarantine dock at Opua. While we all may have felt a twinge of sadness as we tightened the dock lines, we were comforted by the knowledge that we still had nine days of adventure left. And what an adventure the last few days have been! After a brief overnight on Q dock, we settled into slip F8 in the Opua Marina, (www.opuamarina.co.nz). Amanda and John gave us a quick orientation and several of the crew made a bee line for showers, laundry and internet access. Others, finding the opportunity to walk further than 46 feet too tempting to pass up, opted to remain in our offshore state a little longer and headed for a walk towards Paihia, about 1.5 hours on foot. The road to Paihia, or the “coastal walk”, starts off at the road by the general store and quickly winds its way down to a boardwalk along the harbor.

The boardwalk soon disappeared and we found ourselves following a narrow goat path all the way into town. Dave, Eugene and I arrived shortly after 4pm and I was in the mood for ice cream! I couldn’t decide between macadamia and candied hazelnut or feijoa, so I did the only reasonable thing, and ordered a scoop of each. I met up with the boys a while later at the bar next door. The bar must have been sending out a homing beacon because Jim had found his way there as well and so did Georgy and Alex. Jim headed back to the boat and Eugene, Dave and I looked for a place for dinner. Although it was getting late, our plan was to eat in town and hitch a ride back to the boat. Our plan half worked. Dinner was great, but our half-hearted attempts at finding a ride were met with the expected outcome: we hoofed it back the same way we came, except this time we were negotiating the goat path at night. Of course none of us had thought to bring a flashlight or jacket so our leisurely walk quickly turned into a cold nighttime tramp through areas eerily reminiscent of Jurassic Park. Dave spotted “eyes” in the bush which Eugene quickly pointed out were not killer possums but rather glowworms. Neat!

The good luck we experienced with the weather extended to our travel companions, as our route coincided with that of five tall ships in a race from Australia to New Zealand. The next day we were headed to Russell to watch a traditional Maori welcome of the tall ships’ crew. Russell is an old whaling town which previously had a somewhat dubious reputation - so much so that several Lonely Planet books refer to it as having been the “hellhole of the Pacific” and Charles Darwin himself proclaimed that it was full of the “refuse of society”. Not so these days. Russell has cleaned itself up, and is now full of quaint boutique shops and cafes, with a rich history of Maori culture. We all set out on foot while John and Amanda moved the boat. We had a rendezvous around 3pm by the wharf. Jim, Eugene, Dave and I started walking but soon realized that we wouldn’t make the 2 hour trip in time. No worries, there’s a ferry. Mind you, we had no way of getting from the ferry to Russell but decided we’d figure things out as we went along. Well it turns out hitch hiking is my strong suit as I managed to get the 4 of us a ride into town with a lovely Australian couple in their rented holiday camper. Good thing too, because it would have been another 8 km by foot.

We arrived in Russell in time to see the town and hike up what I am convinced was a 35% grade hill 3 km long, to see the flagpole. (The hill was so steep that there was a warning for cars to use a low gear going up!) The huffing and puffing was definitely worth it. The view of Paihia, Opua and Waitangi in the distance and the tall ships anchored in the harbour was spectacular! Soon after, hundreds lined the main boardwalk as the Maori community put on an authentic presentation and welcome the tall ships’ crew with a haka. Quite something to see.


Tall Ships R.Tucker Thompson and Tecla berthed at the Russell Pier

Maori welcome for the tall ships

We have traded our two hour offshore watches for one hour shifts which saw us safely to Roberton Island. We arrived shortly before dinner but managed to squeeze in a quick visit ashore to climb to the highest point of the little island and watch the sunset. There is a beautiful blue lagoon on Roberton, bounded by towering volcanic boulders. It reminded me of the bubbling pools on Jost van Dyk, but the boulders are sharp jagged volcanic rock. We returned ashore the next day for some more exploration. I ran up to the mountain again and then explored the lagoon. The rocks were easy to climb and it was simply too tempting not too! The tide was coming in and the waves were pounding against the boulders on the seaward side. So beautiful!


Ivana, John, Jim, Eugene, Dave and Amanda on the lookout peak of Roberton Isalnd

We sailed off to Whangamumu under a blue sky, 18 knots of wind and a beam reach pausing at the famous Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett for a crew photo op.

John dropped the lot of us ashore at Whangamumu to walk around and told us he’ll pick us up an hour later, at 6pm. Well, for the sake of space and brevity, let’s just say that our one hour walk turned into what I nicknamed the “Whangamumu Wander”. We ended up good Lord knows where, on a track that was supposed to take 5 hours to complete which we tore off in 3 hours! Everyone did great, but by the time we got back we were soaked with sweat, exhausted and famished. I thought I was in shape but there is nothing like a little New Zealand backcountry bush tramping to give you a reality check!


Yipee it’s time for a wee wander

WOW! What an awesome beach... too bad there’s no time to explore...we’ve got to push on up yet another hill

This country is beautiful and rugged. The hiking trails are narrow and well maintain but STEEP. They snake through lush forest with huge overhanging kauri trees and ferns. Interestingly, I noticed that there are no animals darting through the forest. No rustling in the bushes. No squirrels or rabbits scurrying about. Only the occasional “twooo-weeee” pierces the air and interrupts the sound of our footsteps and heavy breathing. Given our unintended (mis)adventure and resulting exhaustion, we were hopeful that John may postpone the diesel engine class until tomorrow morning, but no such luck. We settled in for class while Amanda (who was equally as exhausted as the rest of us) prepared dinner. She finally called it at 9pm and we sat down to another delicious one-pot creation.

As we didn’t stop at Norfolk Island on the way from Noumea, we had a few extra days and John suggested we could sail to Great Barrier Island, to the south east of Whagamumu. Great Barrier Island (Aotea meaning “white cloud”) sits at the edge of the Hauraki Gulf and is only 88 km from Auckland. John and Amanda hadn’t had the opportunity to stop there in the last decade so we were all very excited to explore together. We had about 70 nm from Whagamumu which meant an early start. The anchor was up at 0400 and we were off again with my first official one hour coastal watch at the helm at 0500 with which I was rewarded with an incredible sunrise.

Our sail to Great Barrier was fantastic with Amanda even teaching sail repair and shortly after 1700 we’d anchored at Port Fitzroy.


I’m guessing the beers and snacks the store sold us was worth their while although I did a short hike up to “Steep Lookout Point” while the boys enjoyed their refreshments.
There are many hiking trails on the island and we went ashore briefly to see if we could find information or trail maps. The only store on this side of the island had just closed, but the boys must have looked desperate and they reopened just for us.

I had climbed to the highest rock. Not a soul was around me, just the wind blowing through the trees and a few birds flying overhead. Mahina Tiare was anchored in the bay below, patiently waiting our return. A few moments of silence to take it all in and recharge the batteries. Priceless.


Jim takes a solitary moment to enjoy life
The next day we had the Big Hike planned. Given our Whangamumu debacle, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was up for anything. Amanda’s great grandfather George Tonks was involved in building the Kauri dams on Great Barrier and she used to vacation here with her family as a young child. It’s tradition for her to hike the trails but due to our timing John says we likely won’t have the time to get all the way to Mt Hobson. No matter, we’ll get as far as we can.

John, Amanda, Eugene, Jim, Dave and I head out and make it to the lower Kauri dams with 45 mins to spare before we had to turn around. Amanda and I are both anxious to keep going - we may not make the top but we still had 45 mins before we needed to turn back - so we pressed on while the boys have lunch. About 30 minutes later we hit the upper dam.


Crossing the first of the many new swing bridges that span the dams river

Amanda at the lower dam at Port Fitzroy.

By now I’m convinced we can make the top in about an hour with the realization we’d then just have to really hurry to make it back on time. It’s always faster downhill, isn’t it?? We meet several of the tall ships trainees on route who cheer us on but as the going becomes tougher after the second dam Amanda has the good sense to stop. But I think she can see I’m determined to get to the top and encourages me to continue. I pass her my knapsack with water, snacks, a jacket and headlamp (this time I brought all the gear I could possibly need but I leave it with Amanda - what was I thinking ?? ) and I take off running. The trainees I meet think I’m nuts (which I probably am) but I am determined to make the top and not be late getting back. There must be a thousand steps, but I’m getting closer. Finally the trees part and I can see a brilliant blue sky.


I made it!! I take in the view - glorious. I have only a few moments and soon turn to descend.
I was so concentrated on my footing that I didn’t see the sign on the trail which pointed to the correct route back. Thankfully it only (only ??) took me 10 minutes to realize I was completely on the wrong track, but those 10 minutes of descent took 20 minutes of ascent to correct. Incredibly Amanda was still patiently waiting for me at the upper dam and the two of us ran the entire way back, (1 hour) hoping not to be too late. The boys were long since back on the boat but John quickly dinghied over to pick us up.

We ended the evening with a beach barbeque at Smokehouse Bay where we enjoyed the last of our southern ocean tuna and snarlers. We met up again with the tall ships’ crew and trainees and Amanda and I spent a while talking with a few of them. Amanda designed the galley on The Spirit of New Zealand (a 146’ square-rigged sail-training ship, www.spiritofadventure.org.nz) years ago so it was a nice walk down memory lane for her. I crawl into bed exhausted, fully expecting to be sidelined with a bad case of the Hobson hobble the next day.


Tall Ships anchored in a SmokehouseBay

BBQ time ashore

I enjoyed chatting with Hugh who was crew on Spirit and meeting Amanda’s friend Tessa Duder who is chairman of the Spirit Board and an accomplished author. Tessa has written 11 books, her first book Night Race to Kauai was earlier recommended to me by Amanda as a book for my girls.

Today we had a fantastic sail to Kawau Island, 30 nm southwest of Great Barrier. Two dolphins danced ahead of our bow and led us past Maori Rock. The sky was cloudy for the first time in almost two weeks and a light drizzle fell as we dropped the anchor at Mansion House. After Amanda pulled out their Sailrite sewing machine and had us make some sewing repairs it was time for “Knot Competition” and I’m happy to report that the 2013 Leg 7 Expedition Crew holds two first place records in the ongoing Mahina Tiare Knot Tying Competition. As Jim put it, “We own the reef knot and the bowline”.

After a delicious seafood pasta dinner (recipe courtesy of ex-expedition member Kitty) we crowded around to watch “Wayfinders, A Pacific Odyssey” which recounts the history of Polynesian voyaging and navigation. To think that these people sailed 80’ catamarans 2,500 miles across the Pacific without the use of any tools. No charts, compasses, sextants. Nothing but the sun, moon, stars, the swell of the ocean and cues from the natural world around them. An incredible art which, I was happy to learn, has been revived and preserved.

Tomorrow we have the promise (or threat, depending on your point of view) of going aloft. Sixty four feet straight up. Then we’re off to Rangitoto for our second last night on the boat. Friday morning will see us doing the Rangi Ramble up the mountain for breakfast. A few more classes and we’re back in Auckland on Friday afternoon. Our good luck continues as we’ve confirmed another rendezvous with the tall ships. They’ll be arriving to the same marina shortly after us on Friday; there is the promise of a big shin-dig down at the docks that evening and we’re invited! You never know how things will work out, but with the way things have been going so far, we might get a tour of one of those ships yet.

Oct. 27, 2013, 2130 hrs, 36.50, 174.45 E, Log: 169,565 miles
Baro: 1018.5, Cabin Temp: 72F, cockpit:71F, seawater: 70F
(getting warmer by the day, hooray!)
Side-tied, Pier 21 Marina, Auckland, New Zealand

Wow, I can’t believe our 2013 season is completed!

We all enjoyed a lovely early morning run or walk on Kawau Island before going aloft for rig check class, anchoring tactics PowerPoint and then setting sail 25 miles south for Rangitoto.


Ivana’s view of Manson House from Mahina’s masthead

Eugene a’swimmin’ during live man overboard rescue with Ivana as spotter

Georgii did an excellent job getting the Lifesling alongside Eugene just as MT came to a peaceful stop, hove-to in 18kts.

The forecast called for NW winds increasing to 30 kts, so our crew got some more excellent reefing practice as the winds coming off the land and influenced by land contours was frequently up and down in velocity.

Just before reaching Rangi, we called for Lifesling overboard rescue practice and the minute everyone had “rescued” a newspaper head in 18+ kt winds, Eugene quickly stripped down to his running shorts and asked if we minded if he dove in for a real rescue attempt.

After dinner Thursday night our crew asked if I could present our new, “Selecting an Offshore Cruising Boat” PowerPoint show that Amanda that has proved to be one of our most popular free boat show seminars, as all but Jim are actively searching for cruising boats.

Friday morning was our “Rangi Ramble”, an hour long hike to the top of a fairly recent volcano for breakfast, which we carried in our knapsacks. Unlike 2012 when it was raining and blowing we had calm and sunny weather and were rewarded of the view of several of the tall ships sailing toward Auckland Harbour under square sails.


Here’s our first-class Leg 7 crew: Alex, Georgii, Eugene, Dave Jim and Ivana
Alex, 52 from Moscow, Russia
Over five years I became a fan of sailing. I took part of some long-term expeditions such as ARC 2009 (Atlantic crossing), Cuba in 2008 & 2013. Also I took part in some rally and regattas in the Med. But mainly I am interested in long-term cruising. Certainly I dream now about an around the world cruise, but I understand that to organize it is necessary to prepare a lot of items, from a boat to my own mind. I began to look where I can receive all information about world cruising in one place, and here I am!

Georgii,53 from Republic of Georgia (formerly part of USSR)
Georgii is a very keen sailor and adventurer who with Alex and another friend hope to buy a 40’ boat to gain coastal and North Sea experience on before buying a larger boat in three years for extended ocean voyaging. He owns a holiday hotel in Georgia: www.premierpalace.ge.

Eugene, 41 from near Wellington, NZ, but moving to near Auckland shortly
I have had a fascination with sailing and the sea since I was a kid, always dreaming of sailing off to exotic destinations. I came on this trip to see if the reality matched my dreams. I will leave this expedition with an understanding of what is required of a boat, its equipment and most importantly to me, in the planning and execution of a safe passage. (Eugene is a dairy farmer and Air NZ pilot who enjoys racing Starlings with his 11 year old son, Ryan. Once he completes moving his family dairy farm to the South Auckland area, he is looking forward to finding a boat to sail local waters on.

Dave, 52 from Bonny Lake, near Seattle
As a teenager dreamed of sailing around the world. I am the proud father of three daughters and a native of Washington State. For the last 29 years I have worked as an air traffic controller in the Seattle area. Participating on a MT expedition was a long term goal I shared with my late wife JoLynn. Every day with John and Amanda has been a great adventure. This expedition has given me the confidence to sail the world. I am leaving MT with a renewed sense of adventure!

Jim, 49 from Seattle
Presently I am managing director of a real estate investment and development firm. My wife Amy (Leg 2-2013) and I first learned to sail together in 2009 with the goal of someday enjoying an extended worked cruise. In 2011 we took another step towards this goal when we purchased Millie J, a Ted Brewer designed custom 36’ custom aluminum cutter which we keep moored in Friday Harbor, WA. We are looking forward to sailing to the Caribbean (Amy is from Puerto Rico), the Med and then the South Pacific.

Ivana, 40
I work as a global study manager for a pharmaceutical company in Toronto. When I first stepped aboard a sailboat four years ago, the seed of a dream was planted. I’ve been following MT for some time and decided to join the final leg of their South Pacific expeditions. My goals were to gain confidence in my skills, experience an offshore passage and get a realistic sense of what the cruising life entails. This has been an incredible experience of personal growth and lasting memories. I hope one day to get my own boat and share similar adventures with my daughters, Katherine and Kristin. (Ivana is our first Croatian expedition member)

We made our final nine mile dash up Auckland Harbour under power against 18-20 kt headwinds, a brisk chop and an ebb tide. After our final fueling of the season we found our berth at Pier 21, a small private marina in the shadow of huge Westhaven Marina which had no vacant berths at all.

Many time expedition crews are hot to hit the road, but not this crew! They helped packing up Friday night before we enjoyed an excellent graduation dinner at our favorite Turkish café and Saturday morning, once the winds had died down, they eagerly helped us remove, fold and stow the main and genoa, as well as cleaning their cabins.

Bingo! Another very successful season. Huge thanks to our excellent 2013 expedition members, to Tracy, our stalwart office manager, to Melonie, our web design whiz, to Carol Hasse and her crew at Port Townsend Sails (Hasse - we LOVE the new sails, they are your best yet!) and of course to the keen Swedish boatbuilders at Hallberg-Rassy who built and launched Mahina Tiare 170,000 miles ago!

Our 2014 schedule is filling up early, with legs 2 & 3 (Tahiti to Rarotonga, Rarotonga to Hawaii) already filled. Drop us a line at sailing@mahina.com if you’re considering applying for any future expedition.

 


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