About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard the two BRAVO's; the first boat a Kelly Peterson 46 with homeport in Seattle, Washington. The second is a Boreal 52. We headed south in 2010, and have been voyaging in one form or another since. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Days 6, 7 - Tonga to New Zealand

Yeeeeee Hah!!! We've now cleared customs and quarantine, and are sitting at a dock in Marsden Cove, New Zealand, 1066 miles after leaving Tonga a week ago.

The trip had bits of everything...strong winds, no winds, big confused seas, and flat calms. All in all, a good voyage. Nothing broke, and no one got hurt!!! We spent the afternoon clearing in, with a visit first from immigration-customs, followed by a visit from the Quarantine Officer. She went through our food, primarily, to determine what could stay, and what must be surrendered to the almighty Black Garbage Bag of Doom....pork - into the bag.....chicken - ditto. Dairy products, not so cut and dry. If it's from Ecuador, and much of our foods are, it's a no-go. But wait, your list says Albania, and Belarus are OK, but not Ecuador?.....don't ask, just look at the list!

But all folks were extremely friendly, and no hard feelings all around. After we'd cleared in, we got together with friends on Mystic Moon, who arrived a few days ago, and Sea Whisper, who arrived a couple of hours ahead of us, for a celebration dinner that just wound down.

All in all, a terrific passage. As Bob McDavitt, our weather router meteorologist said: "On this passage, I try to limit the shitty times to 20% or less. You can't do much better for a 7-8 day crossing through an area with gales every 4-6 days" Amen, Bob.....ya done good!!! We're thrilled to have cleared into NZ before a significant low reaches here from the South Island in 2 days, with 30-40 knot winds. Happy to be at a dock for the first time in nearly 2 years, preparing for the boat projects to come.....Stay tuned, as we venture out into the wilds of New Zealand!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 5, Tonga to New Zealand

Well, the terrific breeze finally died last night. Been motoring for past 20 hours, and our weather map (GRIB files) show another 20 hours or so before it picks up a bit for the final push to Whangarei.

Wow, it's been cold!!! Around 60F at night, supposed to be down to low 50's by the time we reach NZ.....yikes!!! Worked on getting the heater working today. Finally got it to work while under engine power, while using engine heat for heat source. Will still need to work on getting it to fire at other times. After 3 years, no surprise!

Saw a couple of birds that we assume to be albatrosses today! Huge, perhaps 6' wingspan, and they glide for minutes without a flap of the wings. Beautiful, and a real indicator that we're digging deeper south with every passing mile.

Otherwise all good. Getting a lot of reading done, and the food fest continues.....burp!

Only 128 miles over past 24 hours, due to dying breeze. 255 miles to go!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 4, Tonga to New Zealand

The past 24 hours have been beautiful sailing. Winds a bit light at times, but we've kept moving, and have not had to motor yet. (Still expecting to lose the wind tonight, though).

We're getting very excited about reaching NZ in a couple of days, its been a dream to travel here for many years. But we still have to clear into NZ Customs! They're very strict about what can be brought into the country, especially food, as they don't want any bio contamination of their plant species. So we're been going through all of our stores aboard, and cooking and eating terrific meals, even better than usual! All the little treats that would otherwise be confiscated...eat 'em now!!! Prociutto grilled cheese sandwiches? Check....Crab omelet?, Sure, why not!......Gnochii with meatballs, sun dried tomatoes and capers?.....Wouldn't be sailing without it, would it now??? This'll be the first passage with major weight gain! But tasty business, that's for sure, and it beats tossing it into the customs incinerator!!!

Still boogeying along at 6.5 knots in 10 knots of breeze, with 390 miles to go! Yee hah!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 3, Tonga to New Zealand

Well, another day, another completely different report! (thankfully!!).

The winds have abated a bit, down to around 18 knots, but the big difference is the sea state. Swells are now down to around 5', making for a lovely past 12 hours or so of sailing. The forecast shows that it should start to die over the next day, and we may have a couple of days of motoring ahead of us. We have enough fuel for about 450 miles, so we hope the wind holds as long as possible before we have to start burning dinosaurs!

Just crossed a fun milestone, the official international dateline, at 180 degrees longitude. We're now in the eastern hemisphere, one day later than you readers to our east...(cue the eery music, plenty of reverb, and start up the theremin.....we're coming to you from THE FUTURE!!!) We've actually been broadcasting from the future since arrival in Niue, as Niue and Tonga jiggled the dateline to be included with the more futuristic nations, but crossing the dateline, we're now official!!!

Another milestone, we're at the 1/2 way mark for the passage, with 530 miles to go!!! (Saturday afternoon, 5pm)

Past 24 hour run, 171 miles

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 2, Tonga to New Zealand

Wow, what a difference a few hours can make. Shortly after writing the previous post, the barometer started to rise fast, as predicted. A high pressure ridge was approaching, and it brought with it "reinforced tradewinds", gotta love that phrase! Winds built to 25 or so, with gusts in the low 30's, and seas were around 12 feet. We're on a heading which has the apparent wind at about 50 degrees off our port bow, so the seas were continually smashing over us. Green water would cover the boat, at times all the way back to our solar panel arch at the stern!!! We discovered deck leaks below that we'd never seen before, and it bot pretty swampy down here!!! The spray dodger over the cockpit also had water squirting in through the zippers, snaps, anywhere it could find!!! We ran with a staysail and a double reefed main for the night, and by morning the winds and seas were down a bit, also per the forecast.

Now, Friday afternoon, the winds are around 20, with seas of 10'. Not too bad a ride, and we're making good time toward NZ. Should last another day or two, before the winds are predicted to die.

Had an interesting piece of deck flotsam come aboard in the seas...a ROCK! We've found some pumice floating in the water, from an underground eruption somewhere in the pacific. Hopefully it won't get thick, as it makes it tough to run the engine, genset, fridge, or watermaker without fouling the filters.

Fishing report: Who're ya kidding??? No way we feel like fishing in this sea, or even worse, cleaning the catch! (did have one good sized flying fish come aboard last night, but we're not THAT hungry!!!)

That's all from the good ship BRAVO. We're fine, the boat is fine, if a bit leaky on deck, and we're ready for another rock and roll night. Oh yeah, that includes foul weather gear....got down to the mid 60's last night.....brrrrrrr.......

Distance to go: 706 miles, we're nearly 1/3 of the way there!

Day 1, Tonga to New Zealand

Well, we have finally managed to pull ourselves away from Tonga one of our favorite countries. After leaving the Va'vau group behind, we made a quick tour of the next group south, Ha'apai. This area is a fantastic collection of coral reefs, small islands and villages. Unfortunately we were in a bit of a rush to get down to Tongatapu where we could do our check out and prepare for the passage to NZ. But the underwater exploits we did fit in were terrific, and we'll have more of a wrap up, inc. photos, when we next get internet (in NZ).

We checked out of Nuku'alofa a couple of days ago, after a scramble to ready BRAVO for the often challenging passage to NZ. This 1030 mile crossing is known for difficult forecasting, and frequent gales sweep through at any time of year. We are working with ace weather router Bob McDavitt out of NZ to help us with his expertise in the area. We received what sounded like a good weather window, so we finally left yesterday, after a final stop for fuel. (Proved to be a bit of a Charlie Foxtrot. The hose the dock guy passed down to us was full of diesel, and it poured all over a cockpit cushion, soaking it thoroughly! Also, when we had checked out, we had been asked how many liters of fuel we'd need to purchase on departure, duty free. Although we really had not checked for a while, we put down 150 liters. Didn't realize the significance being that that was ALL they could then sell, at what amounted to 1/2 price. Turned out we took 225 liters, the rest at full fare.....ughhhh)

At any rate, we're away at last, bound for New Zealand!!! The first day went very well, with some absolutely beautiful sailing on a close reach. Winds have been 12-15 knots, and our 1st 24 hours after leaving the Tongan reefs was 165 miles, avg of 6.875 knots.

Winds have now increased to 20, and seas are around 3 meters. Lots crash over the deck, and we've discovered several new leaks!!! But all is fine aboard, the sun is out, and we're still averaging 6.9 knots with a double reefed main and 1/2 reefed genoa.

As of Thurs afternoon (Wed on the other side of the dateline), we have 857 miles to go.