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Victory Cat Adventures

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Magical Bora Bora (July 2009)

Posted by Tim Henning on August 11, 2009 at 1:24 AM Comments comments (0)

July 2009 (Ruth) - see associated pictures in the FP Bora Bora photo album. We arrived in Bora Bora the 26th of June just in time to spend our 28th wedding anniversary on June 27th. We got a mooring ball at the Bora Bora Yacht Club, adopted the owners Teiva and Jessica and became Bora Bora Yacht club members with burgee and ID cards … OH LA LA.. Our stay there was by far the best time in French Polynesia. We started off the night of the 27th with a big anniversary dinner and dancing. At our table were our friends from Tender Spirit, Tarahumara and Kena, 12 people all together, and we all had a awesome time. Saturday was the 4th of July BBQ. Everything you can imagine including grilled corn on the cob!!! Tim could not get enough..

 

On Sunday night we had a big blow out birthday Party for Sally from Kena. During the next few days we took Victory Cat and crews to swim with the Sharks and feed the fish. On board were the crew from Tender Spirit, Kena and Tarahumara, same 12 people all together. The next day we got up early to go to the other side of Bora Bora for snorkeling again and Joanie and Chuckles from Tender Spirit made us all breakfast on Victory Cat including bacon, sourdough and blueberry pancakes topped off with jelly or maple syrup. A couple days later it was time to say good-by to our new friends from Tarahumara Krista and Jenny who were visiting from Canada, so that night we shut the bar down, but we still keep in touch via facebook…

 

From then on, all the dates are a blurrr. Next, we went to the magical southeast lagoon of Bora Bora. The weather and sunsets were magical and we fell in love all over again. We continued to relax and snorkel in absolutely clear warm ocean water. I could not snorkel or swim, however, because I had just gotten at awesome tattoo around my right ankle. Jessica from the yacht club translated for me to a Marquesas tattoo artist about the death of my brother and how that inspired us to leave when we did. So, on the outside I have the Victory symbol and on the inside are the Polynesian symbols for voyage, protection, then a large man figure that represents my brother then family, earthly spirit. I just love it.. Then it was back to the yacht club for a couple of nights, then back to Taravana yacht club in Tahaa.

 

Tuesday the Taravana Yacht Club has a Polynesian dancing family and regular (disco) dancing after the show.. There were so many friends there that night that I was out till past 1AM.. soooo much fun.. While we were there we had another dinner on Victory Cat, it was a stirfry-chowmein night. There were Ines, Kirk and their guest Luellen from Pilot, Mendy and Tristian from Aita`pa apa, Tane, Sally and Rodger from Kena along with Tim and I… with plenty of room for everyone!!! I love my party boat… We had to go back to Raiatea for a couple of days to restock and get a couple of things done at the shipyard. While we were there we celebrated Cheryl's birthday from Thumbs Up. We had snacks on our boat with the four of them, Cheryl, Ivan, Devon and Carlee and new friends from the boat Son Of The Son with Franz (German ) and Kerry (Scottish) onboard. After snacks we went to the fair grounds to watch the dancing competition then eat and came back to our boat for Birthday Cake… The next day we said good by to Pilot, Kirk and Ines set sail for Hawaii and send us radio email updates nightly… We went to the shipyard and got are few little repairs done and said see ya to Thumbs Up as they set sail for Rorotonga as well did Julia Max and Kena. We got fixed up and went back to Tahaa with Aita for another Tuesday night party. Whitney arrived that day from the US. She is staying a week then her husband will join them.. Ok so that ment a lot of dancing and parting with them, and then the next day it was back to BORA BORA..

 

On Wednesday night we went to the Bora Bora yacht club to see our friends Bobby Jo and Roger from Hipnatuical sing and play music. Bobby Jo plays the harp and flute. Rodger plays the guitar and sings as well does Bobby Jo. We meet up with Seth and Elizabeth on Honeymoon and all from Aita at the Infamous Bloody Mary's and had a great time. On the 25th we all went to the yacht club for one last hurahhhh.

 

The next day on the 26th we set sail along with HoneyMoon and La Palapa bound for Tonga. Our first stop will be a 5 day journey to the isolated Suwarrow Island for 3-4 days, then the Island of Niue for 5 days, then Tonga.. So Far the Highlight of this journey has been the 80 pound Spearfish Tim caught yesterday (see next blog for more details).. Thank god I have freezer that was able to accommodate over 5 gallons of FISH fillet (approx. 50 lbs) that melts in your mouth.. Sea Ya.. ;-)

Tahiti and Moorea

Posted by Tim Henning on July 26, 2009 at 5:06 PM Comments comments (0)

TAHITI and MOOREA (2009 French Polynesia Rendezvous)

 

See photos associated photos in the FP Tahiti and Moorea photo album (upper right)

 

Friday June 19th. The Tahiti Moorea sailing rendezvous kickoff was checking in and getting your welcome bag that contained pamphlets from local sponsors and a t-shirt. There was a basket weaving demonstration, and some locals dressed up for photo ops. That night we went to the free social happy hour and talked with other cruisers we had not seen in a while (since Mexico or the Baja Ha Ha). After drinks several people went to eat at the “roadies” in a large parking lot was about 15-20 vans that had converted into mobile kitchens. Each van had tables for customers. We ate at the one that had a lamb roasting out front. The food was amazing.

 

Saturday, June 20th, the race or rally began. There were three classes, mono-hulls then larger Mono-hulls, then catamarans all sailing for the island of Moorea. It was fun but not much wind made for a slow race. We placed 12th out of around a field of 30 and we beat all of the Lagoons our size. The anchorage was the best so far clear water with great snorkeling about 25-30 feet away. That night most of us went to the Hilton for dinner to relax and socialize. Sunday was snorkeling in the morning then a Polynesian style lunch followed by music and a dance demonstration.

 

Monday was a bit of a drag. We were on our way over to Cooks bay to get fuel and provisions when some how the line that holds up our dingy fell down and got into the prop which pulled the dingy off the mount and our motor pulled off and fell into 505 feet of water…bye bye $2300.00 one year old motor…. (Note: we picked up a $750 six month old engine from another boat when we got to Bora Bora). Well as they say shit happens… so we continued over to Cook’s bay and got gas and groceries. That evening I made dinner and invited Tender Spirit and Hypnatucial. After dinner we played Mexican Train dominoes. Tuesday the 23rd the weather window was just right to get to Taha’a for a couple of days while trying to get a new dingy motor from Raiatea. We were not able to buy a new motor, but Pilot and Aita arrived in the anchorage and Pilot let us borrow their extra. Now it’s on to BORA BORA.

 

(Tim)  See pictures of Bora Bora in the Bora Bora photo album (upper right web page button). For us, Bora Bora was the best stop so far. Swimming with several black tip sharks and a 12 ft lemon shark in crystal clear water was an incredible experiance. Again, see the pictures.Ruth will add the blogs during our passage to Suwarrow (deserted island park located at 13-14 S / 163-06 W - use Google Earth).  We will be on a 6-7 day passage from Bora Bora to Suwarrow starting 7-26-09. We may not have internet until SEP when we reach Tonga and will once again be relying on our wonderful sin to update our blog. Bora Bora was just too much fun to keep the web site updated.

Tahiti bound

Posted by Tim Henning on July 17, 2009 at 9:19 PM Comments comments (0)

 

We left the boatyard aka the Raiatea Care`nage Tuesday June 16th about 3:30 p.m. and went directly to dock in the local town about 4:45 so we could get to the pharmacy before 5:00 to get ear spray for Tims almost always infected ear. Also, so that we can leave the narrow passage while there was still daylight because it was an overnight sail. We arrived in Papeete (pronounced pap pa et` A), Tahiti on Wednesday the 17th of June. As we arrived many of my friends from Mexico and the Marquesas were already there and the party started. We got to Papeete especially on Wednesday for my friend Devons 25th birthday. As soon as we were tied up Devon and Carlee were there. The drinks started flowing. I introduced them to a couple of other young people and we all set off for the local downtown microbrewery to celebrate. Next day we dropped laundry off where the cost was 450 cfp per kilo.. We dropped off 24 kilos. yea do the math?it equaled about 100 US dollars.. What ever, it was better then doing it myself.. Then, we cleaned the boat and got ready for the Young People Party or what I like to call the YPP. (yes my son I do realize the result. ) I made Sushi for all the youngsters. All the youngsters were below the age of 35. Had a wonderful time.. I kind of considered these like my kids, mostly because they act like them and I dont get so home sick for my kids.. anyway the night was AWESOME!!!! After sushi Tane played his guitar and sang several of the songs that he wrote? How Cool!!! Then we broke out the Karaoke machine and that lasted until about 11-12 then we told jokes until about 2 AM. OK. going to end here and start the next blog with the events of the Papeete ceremonies.

 

See the FP Tahiti and Moorea photo album.

Raiatea and Victory Cat going on the hard

Posted by Tim Henning on June 16, 2009 at 4:58 PM Comments comments (1)

From June 1 to June 16th 2009. During the last 16 days while we were waiting for our new prop in the mail, we have been having a blast. We had quite the happy hour celebration on Pilot when she came out of the water.

Aboard Pilot for happy hour off of Raiatea

 

One night we had an awesome dinner at the hotel where Kirk and Ines were staying. Kurt recently retired off the bench as a  California Superior Court Judge. Ines speaks several languages fluently. This is their 6th voyage to French Polynesia. They built Pilot, which is a schooner, by hand over a 2.5 yrs period. We met Pilot (and their son's boat) when we came out of the ITCZ during our Pacific crossing (more than a thousand miles from land). See our Pacific crossing blog. 

 

One day we went to the north side of the atoll to the island of Tahaa. We went to the Hibiscus restaurant for lunch. The owner asked us if we wanted to eat, and when we said yes he said -OK I bring you meat. We had a really great meal of roast beef and steak-frys.

 

Sunday lunch at the Hisbiscus

 

 Pearl Farm village map of Taha'a (North is to the left)

 

 

 Pearl Farm Village from our mooring

 

 Vahine Island Resort beach bar

 

View from Vahine Island Resort with Victory Cat moored in the background 

 

Then, we went to the Taravana Yacht Club on the south end of Taha'a for lunch with Pilot and Aita pe` ape`a and then that night we stayed for the Polynesian music and dance show preformed by a local family. Awesome show..

Polynesian show  

 

On

Apu bay view from our mooring at the Taravan Yacht club

 

Taravana Yacht Club, Taha'a with storm clouds above Raiatea

 

On Friday night the 12th were all were going to go to a local pizza restaurant, but it was full so we ate at a road side van eatery. They call them roadies (Rotti). The chow main was almost as good as mine.

 

Saturday morning we said good by to Pilot and see ya later to Aita and we went into the shipyard on dry dock and today Tuesday afternoon we will head for TAHITI!!!!!!

Going on the hard with Admiral Ruth overseeing

 

Coming up on the track

 

Maintaining your boat is a large part of cruising. You usually dry dock at least once a year. The following lists is of all the major work we completed during our time on the hard:

 

Replaced the missing STBD Gori propeller

Removed, inspected (minor repair), and re-installed the PORT propeller

Removed, repaired (by sail loft) and reinstalled the main sail and sail bag

Replaced a main sail reefing line, a lazy jack line and the traveler line

Complete bottom sanding and several coats of bottom ablative paint (3 gal. at $150 per gal.)

Comolete bottom inspection including cleaning of all thru hull valves and external devices

Removed the anchor chain and painted color coded scope markings

Cleaned and waxed both outer sides of the boat

Minor gel coat repairs and metal polishing

Changed out the lube oil in both inboard sail drives (engine to propeller transmission)

Changed the oil and filter in both engines

Changed out the fuel pre-filter

Completed the 250 hrs engine maintenance checks

Inspected and replaced zincs (if <50%)

Completed dinhy alumium weld repairsg

Replaced the water maker pre-filters and performed both types of chemical cleaning

Replaced the water maker electrical distribution connector (damaged by small SW leak)

 

To enjoy cruising you must also enjoy repairing and maintaining your boat in exotic locations.

 

Nine days at the Manihi atoll

Posted by Tim Henning on May 30, 2009 at 10:39 PM Comments comments (0)

Part Trois (Ruth). We did lose the propeller, Ok now what? Tim gets on the email radio and starts the ball rolling with questions and requested advice. The kind of silver lining is that Friday night Fernando was hosting a buffet diner complete with show. Prior to the boat picking us up, the crew from Thumbs up and Julia Max came to Victory Cat for happy hour. Cheryl brought the rum so I made Pain Killers.. I really needed it tooo. The meal was awesome and the company delightful. After the meal we were entertained with a hat weaving demonstration, a sarong wrapping model show and a 60 year old fire dancer. The performance got really hot when the dancer lit his costume on fire and the bag when they tried to put out the baton. All n all not a bad ending to a shitty day.

Trying on the Palm Frond hat (Sue from Julia Max)

60 yrs old fire dancers reliving his younger years

 

On the 16th Thumbs up desides to leave so Fernando escorts them out and tells he will be back to help us to the other side of the island because the wind is coming up and it will be safer over there. Two days go by and no Fernando, luckly Tim had two anchors out so we did not drag or slam into the rocks behind us.

Manihi coral reef right behind Victory Cat

 

On the 18th our friends from Pilot and Ida`oka pua had arrived on the island and were out looking for a better anchorage when they saw us. When they came back to help us move to the other side Tim was diving the anchor and reinjured his eardrum blowing a hole thru it. When Pilot was coming into the island they hit a coral mound and broke their rudder. When we got to the other side Joan from Tender Spirit came over to tell us that when she arrived the day before her water pump on her engine went out but that morning the captain on the boat next to hers changed it out for her. (this is why we have spar parts and back up, just didn’t think we would need a spar prop). That night Lightheart realized they had a broken shift cable. Sounds like the bad news bears. Haha. The good news is that we are now anchored in a beautiful spot just outside the Manihi Pearl Resort. Henry the manager is a yachtsman and was very friendly to us all and extremely helpful. He called the Dr. and set Tim up for the next day. Once we got there we discovered that Tim’s ear had gotten infected. Henry was our translator via phone. Tim got some antibiotics and pain meds and we were happy.

Manihi Doctor's office and waiting room

 

Henry also helped us by contacting the boat yard in Raiatea. They sent a used prop to the hotel. In the mean time our boat broker and friend Kurt was working on getting us a new one which will be in Raiatea in about 7-10 days. After a couple of fun in the sun days the three boats leave Manihi together heading to Raiatea, but we peal off and head for Rangiroa for a couple of days first.

Manihi Pearl Resort pool and bar with overwater bungelows in the background

 

Manihi Sunset

Arriving in Manihi with a lost propeller

Posted by Tim Henning on May 30, 2009 at 9:17 PM Comments comments (0)

Part Deux (Ruth). Ok I left off May 12. Most of the day was fine. The wind and sea state slowly started to climb throughout the day. From 5-11 knots but the swells were getting bigger and bigger. Rock, roll, up, down. I managed to get another load of laundry done and maybe fix us a sandwich by midnight. About 0130 the wind started gusting up over 16 knots so we put the main sail to the 3rd reef and hung on for dear life. At about 11:00 pm or 2300 on the 13th the wind was sooo strong (20 + knots) that our screecher came unraveled and we had to pull it into the cockpit. ( I got to do the “I told you so” dance). My log entry for 0600 on the 14th is, sailing, sailing, sailing-rolling, bouncing, swaying, Rocking!. It was like that until 0300 May 15th when we reached the shore of Manihi and we stopped and Hove To (Tim will explain details ). What we thought was going to be a 6 day trip, we did in 3.5 days. We waited until sunrise to meet Fernando who would guide us to the anchorage. A little after 0800 Ivan from Thumbs Up, arrived in the boat with Elma (Fernando’s assistant). The entrance into the Atoll is very narrow and mostly very shallow. Manihi is one of the largest pearl farms in the south pacific. Wherever you look, you see a building or house or hut just sitting out in the middle of the water as part of a pearl farm. Just about ¼ mile inside the pass we had to make a sharp right turn to go to the anchorage, but as Tim slowed and attempted to turn, the boat did not react. No matter what he did the boat was drifting toward a coral island. Tim assuming that Fernando the well experienced boat handler was next to us, yelled for him to come up beside us and push us straight. Elma the know nothing pea brain neak-conpuke, started bashing and scratching the shit out of the side of my boat including spidering my large galley window. Ya, that was fun. Tim had me hand them a fender and told him to use his boat along side ours as a tug to keep us straight. Ok so we limp to the anchor spot, and Tim looks down and into the clear water and said “ I think our starboard prop (propeller) is missing” WHAT? Tim donned the fins and mask and dove under the boat and sure enough somewhere outside the entrance our starboard (right side) prop came off. TO BE CONTINUUED.