Sunday, August 23, 2015

Niue: It's not the size that matters...

One of the amazing shots taken
by Marie-Claude Osterrath of Amelie IV
Niue is a tiny country that I had never heard of until we reached the Pacific. In fact, they claim it's the smallest sovereign nation in the world.  The week we spent there was one we'll never forget. The area is a breeding and migration area for humpback whales and we saw more whales than we have ever seen before and will probably see again. They would swim through the anchorage daily and at night we heard their songs through the hulls of the boat.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Palmerston Atoll (Cook Islands)

Mark and Conrad with "Bacon". There are no dogs on Palmerston
but Bacon is the next best things. He loves being petted.

Coming into an unfamiliar anchorage at night is one of the top three "don'ts" if you like keeping your boat in one piece (not certain what the other two are, but probably something like "don't sail into a hurricane while repairing leaking propane lines using a match as a light source" or something similar). So as we approached Palmerston at 11:30 p.m. we considered drifting in the lee of the island until daylight. After talking to our friends on Seabbatical, who had arrived several hours earlier, we decided to try anchoring, especially since the moon was scheduled to be up as we arrived. After five days at sea, a relatively good night's rest was too tempting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


These manta rays in Bora Bora were about 14' from wingtip
to wingtip.
One evening at dinner, we were discussing the relative poverty levels of much of the world compared to the U.S. and other first-world countries. This, of course, was a rarity since most dinnertime topics seem to be either the boys discussing "strategy" about how to kill zombies in their one iPad game or us trying to explain why putting a piece of food the size of a baseball onto your fork is not considered to be good manners.  But I digress...back to world poverty. Mark chimed in with, "Well, we're poor, because we don't have a lot."

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It just goes to show, you can always find something to complain about

Snorkeling in Bora Bora.
One of our guidebooks quips that the best kept secret about French Polynesia is the lousy weather. We tend to agree with that (although everything is relative--we're not talking snow and freezing temperatures). Even when it's not raining, we have had to run our generator more than we have anywhere else during our two and a half years of cruising because of the cloudiness. We actually had to use jackets during a couple of passages for the first time since the Bahamas and sheets while sleeping. And yes, I am well aware that we are now complete babies when it comes to weather (what? it's not sunny and 80 F every day?!).  Luckily we have had plenty of postcard perfect days along the way too, but we did feel bad for the guests of a buddy boat of ours who unfortunately hit a really ugly streak of rainy weather during their 2 weeks here.  They still had a great time, as have we, since the beauty of the islands and the friendliness of the people transcends whatever the weather is serving up.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Amazing experiences, all the time--um, no

'To our tormentors'
Conrad and Mark wrote the note above during the recent several-hour passage from Huahine to Raiatea. Inside, the note reads, 'Subject: Don't be lame and torture us.' The body reads, 'I will not be able to live without touching Mark for the rest of the passage.' There are very detailed pictures of how we are torturing them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hanging out in Tahiti

We have a ton of great shots of Mark being mauled by the very tame stingrays in Moorea. He was remarkably unphased by having stingrays all over him (there's a great shot of one on his face on our Facebook page). Conrad, on the other hand, was having none of it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Perry with our Dreamsicle-colored spinnaker.
Photo courtesy of Marie-Claude Osterrath.
The other day, one of the 'kid' boats that we hang around with celebrated their son's birthday on the wrong day (they thought Saturday was Sunday) . Although that's an extreme example, we are often forgetting the day of the week. It's one of the things about cruising that makes it seem like we mostly sit around drinking cocktails in exotic locations, watching the sunset. We do a lot of that, along with diving/snorkeling with hundreds of sharks, having beach bonfires, and exploring remote islands.