Category Archives: Fun

All stories about journeys, traveling, beaches

Rapa Nui

Rapa Nui, also known as Isla de Pascua, Paaseiland, or Easter Island, was discovered by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Sunday in 1722.

History

Early In the 17th century, the tradition of Moai, enormous stone statues, emerged on Rapa Nui. These statues were erected to honor ancestors, local tribe leaders, and to protect villages. They all face inland, towards their communities.
Despite their advanced society with a written language and strong social systems, Rapa Nui fell into decline. Due to an obsession with these statues, leading to depletion of natural resources and internal conflicts. The eventual contact with Europeans, bringing diseases and further hardship was the end of this culture.

In the 19th century, Rapa Nui saw a resurgence in popularity due to cattle farming, leading to further deforestation.

Today

This small, green island, with a population of about 7,000, is now known for its super friendly inhabitants and pristine cleanliness and off course the Moai.

Kiskadee and crew visits in Autumn (April) and because Rapa Nui maintains a subtropical climate, temperatures are still above 20⁰C. The occasional rain and winds add to the charm of the island.

Surfers like my crew, Angus and Declan, enjoy the big waves, while navigating the small panga harbor proves to be an adventure with our trusty 3.4 meters dinghy and 15hp outboard.

Exploring the island, we rented a car to see its sights, including the iconic statues. Dining out, finding a bakery, and browsing hardware stores are essential, especially for boat owners like us. All info is on NoForeignLand

Stocking up on diesel, groceries, and doing laundry are priorities after a long crossing, all easily done on the island. We rented a car for a day and did shopping as well as site seeing.

As we prepare for our next stops at Pitcairn and Gambier, we appreciate the opportunity to restock on supplies, respecting the harmony of these small island communities. Rapa Nui may be off the beaten track to French Polynesia, but it’s a beautiful stop for sailors seeking relaxation and refueling.

Bahia in Baja California (Sur)

Our trip into Mexico is one big adventure of beautiful bays and beaches, the Bahia ‘s. Kiskadee is doing super. Low draft, 4 feet, double engines, anchor bridle and a good anchor alarm (Vesper Cortex) Our sailing dates were 11 November to 13 December, after the Bajahaha rally. So most of these huge anchorages where empty or with one or two other boats.

Itinerary

For those of you intending to sail this bahia route, this is our itinerary: Puerto Santo Tomas – Bahia de San Quintin – Bahia Tortugas – Bahia Santa Maria – Cabo San Lucas bay – Marina San Jose de Cabo – Los Frailes – Bahia de los Muertos – Isla Partida – Isla Espiritu Santo – El Merito Cove – La Paz Channel – Punta Gaviotas.

Our itinerary down south through Baja California (Sur)

Most bahia’s are fine anchorages with shelter in the winter season . The dominant wind direction is North to North-West. We have many favorites and a few disappointments, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de Cabo are to expensive and offers little. I don’t know why La Paz is called the cruisers paradise, anchorage in the channel is wind against current, filthy and noisy. We did some groceries and bought new zinc and left. Back to the coves and inlets just south of it. So much better and almost empty.

Nautical Information on spots

I have been searching for quite some time what the right site/app is to share nautical Information on spots and decided to use Noforeignland. Its not restricted, open. As an active sailor do register (follow SV Kiskadee and become a supporter) As a spectator follow us at https://www.noforeignland.com/boat/5287247765045248 So our electronic presence is on Facebook, this website and on Noforeignland. No more no less.

Bahia

So sailing south is fine and the promise of better temperatures, 20 Celsius and going up, helps. Remember, from October on every 1.000 NM south of B.C. Canada you gain 3 degrees Celsius. We are now close to 30.

High Lights

The islands of Partida and Espiritu Santo are incredible. We spent not enough time in the different bays. This is by far the spot with the clearest water, everywhere rocks, reefs and fish to snorkel too. Good anchorage and well protected. From bay to bay takes 1 or 2 hours of motor sailing.

Our next stop is Mazatlan on the main land.

Going South into Mexico

Coming from BC Canada, passing the Pacific Coast of US, we are now in Mexico. And every 1.000 NM the temperature, air and sea, is getting warmer. We do like it. Although I don’t know if it’s cultural or just the temperature, but people are outspoken, friendly and Spanish is a beautiful language. Cuando se habla rápido, es difícil entender.

Viva la Mexico

Ensenada

We first docked at Hotel Coral Marina in in Ensenada. It came with a pool and whirl-tub, nice restaurant, fuel dock. And across the street of the Marina a big grocery/supermarket, Soriana. We like the Mexican supermarkets for there one stop shopping, from groceries to my beloved yogurts, milk, meat, cleaning products, pasta, cans, frozen foods, wine and even booz, a good rum, gin or tequila. Because we are a dry boat, we enjoy a nice cocktail at anchor or in the marina.

The marina offers us a payed service to help us check-in into Mexico and we gladly accepted it. A typical Mexican thing is the TIP, a temporary, 10 years, import permit for your boat. The other thing are the Aviso de Arribo and de Salida, with you need in every port with a Port Captain.

On the first turn into the docks, no propulsion on my Port engine. My folding prop was needle rapped, ergo closed, with kelp.

Follow Sailors

In every marina you meet new people on boats, friendly, most experienced. Always with a word of advise and a strong story of high seas and strong winds just around the corner. And the numbers are really getting big as its all in feet.

The ongoing feet-meters, liters-US gallons, phantoms and fl-oz. confusion continues. Even the thread of bolts and nuts is different. And indeed SV Kiskadee is a metric boat. Hilarious, when my crew member looking at the Navionics chart in disbelief because he interrupted my 2 meters depth as 2 feet… So approaching a dock, it makes a lot of difference 3 feet or 3 meters… Conversion is easy, with the exception of F to C. So we know below 65 is cold and above 73F is nice. Enjoy

The first pictures of Mexico.

Cruising in B.C. Canada

At the end of this beautiful summer we are cruising in the B.C. area, East coast of Vancouver Island. The first two months of our journey where special, as in not moving around. So after arriving at the Victoria Customs Dock, we docked in Maple Bay Marina and took a 12 days break to the NL. There after we moved to Van Isle Marina where we spend 5 weeks at the dock of the Philbrooks Boatyard.

And now we are cruising for 6 weeks in B.C. until our visa expires at the end of September 2023. An overview of our route and some impressions. In general we had lovely warm weather, with little wind and less rain. The temperatures at night are slowly dropping to 10C. Winter is coming.

  • Jacobs ladder at Nanaimo
  • View on Nanaimo
  • Anchored at Newcastle, Mark Bay
  • Heavy equipement on it's way too an island
  • Lighttower at Entrance Island
  • All alone in an inlet on Prevost Island
  • Bus to Humingbird Restaurant, Galiano Island
  • Montaque Harbor marine park
  • Anchorge at Montaque Harbor
  • Winter Cove at Saturna Island
  • Church Cove, Saturna
  • Kelp
  • Clean your panels or your capacity decreases
  • Port Browing North Pender
  • Otter Bay Harbor North Pender
  • Stern Tie 25 mtr from shore, Royal Cove Portland Island

Royal Cove

It’s on the North, more isolated, side of Portland Island. Uninhabited and completely a National Park. I went for a hike. Pretty easy an a sunny day. But It would be partly intermediate on a wet day. I discovered the Parks Canada App, useful.

  • Royal Cove at Portland Island B.C.
  • Stern Tie 25 mtr from shore, Royal Cove Portland Island

Butchart Gardens

Lovely garden and with a dedicated mooring in Butchart Cove. Tod’s Inlet is around the corner and a popular anchor place with a soft muddy bottom. The inlet was crowded and I could not use enough chain so our anchor keeps dragging. We see a lot of people arriving late, grep a private mooring and leave early in the morning. In Angler’s Anchorage Marina their is Blue’s Bayou Cafe, nice for drinks and a meal. Park your dinghy at the public dinghy dock, left off the marina.

  • Back enterance of Butchart Garden
  • Angler's Anchorage Marina at Brentwood Bay
  • Mooring in Butchart Cove
  • Blue's Bayou Cafe

Van Isle Marina

We had a very lay back time at Van Isle, did one chore a day at most, biked multiple times to Sidney town for a little bit of shopping, groceries, a fair, the Vancouver distillery etc. In the weekend multiple visits, by public bus, to Victoria. And off course a lot of visits to All Bay Marine, Vector Yacht Services Ltd (Yanmar dealer) and Canada Tire and Co-op McDonald Park Road Gas Centre for propane/lpg. And a lot of afternoon tea, early drinks, diners and other leisure activities.

  • New J-mount for StarLink
  • New bracket for Outboard. Much easier to handle now
  • Vigs, Blue Cheese and Rosé. Life is hard during the summer in Sidney B.C.
  • Sound dempers for our fresh water pump
  • Very Oelala
  • Heating up the Starboard engine prior to an oil change
  • Heating up the Port engine prior to an oil change
  • 250 hrs maintenance, all filters and oil
  • Cleaning inlets and free the speed paddle after 6 weeks of doing nothing.

It giet oan

A famous frysian saying to indicate the 210 kilometers skating match on natural ice, “It is going on”. So we did. Finally our SV Kiskadee, a Seawind1260, was launched and we were part of the factory sail to commission her in Nha Trang.

Ho Chi Ming City – Nha Trang

A three day, 2 night sail from the Saigon Delta to the Northern city of Nha Trang. First serious sea trail for SV Kiskadee and part of the commission protocol from the factory. Skipper mr. Phil Harper and Mr. T, both from the factory and our self as crew.

A beautiful and difficult sail because of an overwhelming number of fishing vessels. The first full day, bumpy with 20 knots of wind. Reefed against the current. We alternated a two man watch, 3 hours up, 3 hours down. The second part was with less and less wind, motor sailing for at least a whole day. Arriving at night at 20 hours.

Commissioning in Nha Trang

We needed a complete 4 day hand over. Checking six pages of items. For most of the items out of our chairs into a compartment, bildge or behind the coach. Fixing things like getting all coms and navigation integrated, on the professional accounts. Checking software versions, all latest, 🙂 Putting the parasailor up for the first time, we had the turn the boat.

A few repairs, installing a new B&G Trition, adjust the first block on the main sheet. Instructions on Spectra watermaker, heater, washing machine etc. And the first oil change on the Yanmar engines and Saildrive.

And doing motor maneuvering for Therese, I listen carefully and got a lot of tips to. On Tuesday we had a handover and now we are the owner, in charge and responsible .

Kiskadee profile

Nha Trang – Sub Bay Philippines

With our crew, Jon, Will, Therésè and Eddie we departed on our first journey, a 900 NM partly upwind course to Subic Bay in the Philippines. We prepared as much as possible, combined our experiences with a new yacht, in a new area, with a lot of fishing boats and big fast running cargo ships. Not scary but some time indeed excited.

Half way our journey we enabled our track and trace page based on our Iridium Go.

Living in HCM city

Our first week in HCM (Ho Chi Minh) City has come to an end. The departure and the flight went well, Schiphol Airport was not chaotic for a change. To reclaim VAT, Customs in departure hal stamped 2 large invoices without any objections.
And Emirates is an efficient airline. Baggage immediately labeled to HCM, you only have to walk km in Dubai from one side of the terminal to the other end. We flew a B777 and an A380, lots of legroom. That makes me happy.

A lot of luggage
A lot of Luggage

The queue for immigration in HCM City was long. 2, 3 classes of American teenagers were called to order. They had to line up behind each other and shut up. They were indeed joking around and tired of waiting. In Vietnam, a green uniform with epaulettes and stars on it, means that you have to listen with respect and do what they say.

All of our luggage was there, undamaged. We walked to “Declare Goods” with an English / Vietnamese letter with an explanation etc.
Customs kindly helped to put the items on the scanner belt and without any action we passed. Taxi, hotel, sleep.

We used the first week for a combination of sleeping in, factory visit and shopping. From crockery to cushions, to pots and pans. A bit of walking around, eating out, etc. Life is relatively cheap, if you eat locally and you don’t drink cocktails or wine, you will pay € 20 per diner. Prices can range, a pair of Skechers costs € 60, a pair of Bitis €12. I think they are made in the same factory.
We have a cold from the air conditioning, they are turned on everywhere. Outside it is 32 degrees. According to an old Surinamese custom, you don’t walk directly in the sun and in the afternoon you just have to rest instead of … In Vietnam, also on the northern hemisphere, it is ‘winter’. On a cloudy, windy day you see people with an extra hoodie for the cold (25 degrees)

Delayed

We have been to the factory and had a conversation with the owner of Seawind. He is very interested in our adventure and the North Pacific crossing. And he has pledged to help find solutions if we experience further delays.
There is a delay on SV Kiskadee, as we learned from our second conversation, with the Line Manager and Customer Services,.
We discussed the daily schedule and concrete dates. But also seen that ~ 10 parts are still missing, 9 of which are due to arrive on the 28 of February and one part of the watermaker even a week later.

There is no slack in terms of planning for favorable sailing weather and my wish to visit Gabriella’s graduation ceremony.
Our two crew members also have to rescheduled their journey. We are now waiting for 28 February for a conformation of the planning, before we start re-planning again.

Weather and Current Pilot Chart for the month May
Weather and Current Pilot Chart for the month May

Our next serious date with the factory is the 20 and 21th of March to do an technical inspection of SV Kiskadee. On 24 of March they launch & rigging started. And from the 27 of March we start sailing from HCM to Nha Trang, a 270 NM journey together with the factory people. Formal delivery in Nha Trang around the 2 of April and then departure, provided the weather forecast is good.

In the week of March 2 – March 8 we will go up the Mekong river and via via to Phnom Penh and then Angkor Wat, both in Cambodia. A real holiday trip and the easiest way to activate a new eVisa for Vietnam.