Monday 28 May 2018

Volvo Ocean Race - Pictures from on the water

With Fluenta anchored right off the race course, we were perfectly positioned to watch the in-port races and then the start of leg 7.  Liz and Benjamin mostly watched from Fluenta while the big kids and I were in the RHIB.

Most of the close up shots were taken by Johnathan or Victoria with the SLR.

Yikes, perhaps parked in the wrong spot.
Busy around Fluenta as the Volvo boats prepare for the start of leg 7.  We are the green boat.  The screen do not show the masses of spectator boats big and small.  You can see some of the race boats (Donfeng in red plus Mapfre and Scallywag).  You can see that even in our protected spot the winds are over 14 kts already.

Johnathan trying to get a clear shot of Dongeng during one of the in-port races.
Light air day

a tight race.
Turn the Tide on Plastic with the Sky Tower in the background.

Some of the races were in very light air.  Amazing how well these boats go in with only the slightest light winds.

Heartening to see even the pros miss things too.  MAPFRE won the inshore race and then just about hit this buoy when they were swarmed by the spectator boats.  They missed it after a shout from onboard and a lot of reverse thrust.
There were lots of spectator boats of all sizes.  This was one of the quiet days
I think they mean me.  These guys did a good job with the crazy crowds.

and the police were there to back up the marshall boats.

This was a cool spectator boat.  Note it has wheels too.  A bit big unfortunately for Fluenta
The late Sir Peter Blake's Steinlager II. An interesting boat from which to watch the race
Up the mast to fix the batten (we think)
We were pretty close so Johnathan got some photos that made it look like we were onboard.

Our friend and legend Marie-Laure onboard AkzoNobel for the Pro-Am race.
Mapfre on the start of leg 7.  Next stop Brazil.
It was bouncy for the departure with a bit of wind chop and the crazy wakes from all the spectator boats.

Scallywag heading out of the harbour heading for Brazil.  It was bouncy for the departure with a bit of wind chop and the crazy wakes from all the spectator boats

Friday 25 May 2018

Volvo Ocean Race Visit and a Tour of Scallywag

It was not a coincidence that we anchored off Auckland again in time to visit the Volvo Ocean Race Village.  We intended to only drop in a couple of times, but ended up visiting the Village so often the staff started to recognize the "Canadians from the yacht".

One of the highlights of the week was a chance to have a tour of one of the Volvo 65 race boats - Scallywag hosted a rare 'open boat' event for the public, and we made sure we were first in line!  We were fortunate to receive a detailed tour from John Fisher, one of the senior members of the crew, who gave us a great tour of the boat and patiently answered our many, many questions. 

It was heartbreaking to hear only two weeks later that John had been lost at sea in the Southern Ocean, mere days after the excitement of watching the start of the Auckland-Itajai leg.  We feel honoured to have met John, and we are reminded by the suddenness of his passing that we must all live our lives to the fullest.

The late John Fisher answering our many questions (Photo from the Scallyway Facebook Page)
The late John Fisher answering our many questions.
The kids checking out Scallywag
A tour below on Scallywag.  Not a lot of room for Lego, kite boards, spearfishing equipment, school supplies, etc so I think we will stick to Fluenta.
Benjamin is a bit small yet for the coffee grinder.  This photo was taken the day before they closed this exhibit to small children as too many bonked their heads with the handles ...
Maybe we should have coffee grinders onboard Fluenta.
Hmmm ... cleaner than our old Perkins ....

Kind of just like on Fluenta
Benjamin on the other hand was more interested in playing with the cars.
The fleet at the dock
Just like all boats, lots of work going on.  This is about when security suggested we were rather too close with our tender.
Bowline training.  Victoria ended up teaching one of the Volvo PR team members how to do bowlines at their bowline exhibit.
You never know who you will meet in Auckland !  Here is our friend and favourite legend Marie-Laure.  We had met her and her husband, Benoit, in New Caledonia a few months ago and crossed paths a few times since.  We asked about her special entry pass and that is when we found out she is a "race legend". She did the race on Export 33 in 1978 around Cape Horn.
We signed up to attend a talk by some of the woman racers.  It turned out that the talk was cancelled but instead we had a lovely morning talking to our own favourite race legend.

To Auckland and an anchorage with view

In March we worked our way south to Auckland to visit with family and see the Volvo Ocean Race village.  As with previous visits, we anchored just off downtown.

Approaching Auckland

A bit busier than some of our previous anchorages.

Decent views at night

And interesting boats sailing past.

Oh.  The police coming to chat.  I hope we are okay to anchor here.

Whew. it is cousin Jamie coming over to say hi.

Great visit to the police station.  Benjamin checking out the helm of Deodar III.

A tour of the helicopters.

Deodar III's chartplotter showing Fluenta's location.

Thanks Jamie !

Nice sunsets from Fluenta

Thursday 17 May 2018

Whangarei Heads - Camping for kids, Hiking for Adults and Yoga for Liz

After leaving Whangaroa we had a lovely passage down to Mcleod Bay near Whangarei Heads.  Liz had heard great things about the yoga retreat at Why Retreat Yoga while the kids had been cooking up a plan with the Honey kids for a camping expedition.

Victoria and Ella had been planning the camping expedition for weeks.  The plan was to head out without tents or a set destination and roam for a few days.   Sounds like they had fun.

Liz enjoyed the workshops and classes at Why Retreat.  Thank you Greer from SV Tika for the recommendation.

It was a perfect little interlude for the Fluenta before heading up the river to Whangerei for a few days to fix the fridge/freezer and the vented loop for the engine.

The campers heading out for their three day expedition.  No routes or campsites figured out ahead of time to add to the adventure.
"I think the big kids are over there".  Benjamin pointing to the peak that the big kids hiked too.

Liz, Benjamin and I did our own hike.  Benjamin did four hours of the hike himself including the ascent and descent.   I carried him for the fifth hour.

Looking out towards Marden.

Nice views towards Urquarts Bay.
Sunrise yoga on Ocean Beach with Why Retreat Yoga.