WE LOVE SCOTLAND’S SLATE ISLANDS!
During our week between Legs 2 & 3 we’ve enjoyed exploring the small islands that shipped roofing slate worldwide, first on sailing ships, and later on steam ships. In fact, we’re looking forward to making our first anchorage on Leg 3 tomorrow night off Cullipool, a very cool restored conservation village of 100-150 year old slate workers houses, artists studio and Atlantic Islands Centre Museum. We have a forecast of some very favorable NW, N and NE winds for our first long passage from Scotland to Donegal, Ireland.
ALL SET AND READY FOR LEG 1-2017 TWO DAYS EARLY (hopefully!)
After two weeks of early morning starts and late night finishes, Mahina Tiare is looking great, everything is working and all food is purchased and packed away. Our only remaining chores tomorrow are to go up the rig to check that all of the new rigging is properly secured and test run the outboard motor.
We returned on Easter weekend to find Mahina Tiare already polished and launched in a very quiet Broderna Martinssons boatyard. Easter Monday was a holiday, but boatyard owners Hakan Martinsson and Jens Gunnarsson were hard at work but paused to come aboard for tea and to discuss the few remaining projects which included adding hardware for a third reef to the new boom, mounting two new Andersen halyard winches, getting the recently-installed Frigoboat fridge and freezer compressors checked for efficiency and sea trialing and calibrating the new electronics including instruments, radar, autopilot, MFD’s. Our projects included bending on the new experimental Elvstrom genoa and our mainsail, scrubbing and resealing the decks with SEMCO, cleaning out every locker aboard and provisioning. We encountered surprisingly few hiccups along the way; sorting out a glitch that caused the depth to disappear when the boat was moving, replacing a leaky cockpit drain pipe and a corroded manual bilge pump. The last bit of kit we were waiting for, our shiny new 35kg/77lb Ultra anchor arrived from Turkey on Thursday, and, surprise! - it fits on the bow roller without modifications. Goodbye trusty old 75lb CQR anchor!
We're looking forward to greeting our crew Monday, May 1st at noon and setting off on grand learning adventures Tuesday morning.
We still have some berths open on Legs 2-6 with discounts from 20-50% available. Contact us at: email@example.com for details.
NIGEL CALDER, TOP BOAT TECH GURU IN THE WORLD JOINS US ATANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW OCT. 7 FOR AN EXCITING TWO-DAY SEMINAR SERIES: Saturday, Oct. 7, 9-5: Mahina Offshore Cruising Seminar #168. Co-presenters John & Amanda Neal, Nigel Calder and Andy Schell and Mia Carlsson.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 9-5: Understanding and Troubleshooting Boat Electrical Systems - Nigel Calder
Seminar to be held at the United States Naval Academy's Naval Academy Club adjacent to the boat show.
Registration is not yet set up, but as soon as it is, YOU'LL READ ABOUT IT HERE!
These on-line classes will allow you to brush up your skills and to gain a solid foundation of knowledge before joining us for an expedition and cover: rules of the road, sail trim, coastal and electronic navigation, marine weather, safety at sea, storm tactics, anchoring and much more. Click HERE to take their Rules of the Road and Sail Trim courses FREE!
EXCITING SUCCESS STORY FROM TASMANIAN BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION CLIENTS: CLICK HERE!
LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!
With the best winter for snow in many years on San Juan Island, we find ourselves thinking about buying skinny skis to use on the trails we normally run on!
EPIRBS RESULT IN 206 WATERBORNE RESCUES IN 2016
Maybe we’re a little overly cautious, but we have one 406 EPIRB and three 406 Personal Locator Beacons (PLB’s) aboard Mahina Tiare III:
One is packed in a watertight case inside our Viking liferaft, the EPIRB and one PLB in our main abandon ship Pelican case, and a second PLB is in our back-up abandon ship dry bag. We also have a waterproof Standard Horizon VHF-GPS in the Pelican case, plus an ICOM Aircraft VHF, and an ICOM Marine VHF in our back-up bag. Oh, don’t forget the two Iridium satphones! Maybe a little overkill, but we love the concept of multiple redundant emergency communication systems.
EXCITING NEW FREE SAILING FORUMS/PANELS OFFERED AT THE TORONTO, SEATTLE AND RICHMOND BOAT SHOWS!
Thanks to a ton of work and patience on the part of Sarah and Will Curry, registration is up and running. These forum are sure to prove an exciting way for YOU to get a ton of cruising questions answered! These forums are free, but interest has been running high, so please pre-register with Sarah which entitles you to an ever-growing swag bag of discounts and freebies, thanks to our sponsors, Blue Water Sailing/Cruising Compass, Hydrovane, Weems & Plath, Selden, Andersen Winches, and WRI Weather Routing.
Check out the cool registration pages that Sarah has developed for: SEATTLE OCEAN CRUISING FORUM
NEW PRICING OF $4800 ANNOUNCED FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY FOR LEGS 1, 2 & 3, 2017, A 20% SAVINGS!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE FROM POSEY ISLAND!
What better way to celebrate Christmas than kayaking to a tiny park island with friends and cooking seafood paella and smoked salmon chowder over a campfire?
VERY BUSY AND SUCCESSFUL MONTH FOR BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION CLIENTS!
Yesterday clients from Tasmania just completed survey and sea trial on a handsome Najad 42 in Cairns, Northern Queensland, Australia. They now have three weeks to get it home to Hobart and we wish them safe passages down that challenging coastline. A Polish client and former expedition member just found his dream boat, a Amel Super Maramu 53 in Turkey from an Amel dealer there who had a buyer for his current Amel Euros 41 in two days! The most international of all deals was agreed upon last week: a Canadian consultation client and former expedition member purchased a Russian-owned but US registered HR 40 that has spent much of it’s short life in heated sheds, in the same boatyard in Sweden where MT is receiving new instruments, rig and refrigeration. Additionally, clients with whom we checked out the Saga 43 they were considering during the Annapolis Boat Show completed survey, and closed the deal. Yet another couple of consultation clients whom attended our Annapolis Offshore Cruising Seminar purchased a very tidy HR 46 (sistership to MT) that we saw at Free State Yachts, completed the purchase and are now getting help sailing her to their home port near Chicago. The market for ready-to-go and tidy offshore capable boats is unusually hot for this time of year! It is always a joy and pleasure to have consultation clients complete purchases on quality boats, one of the major steps toward realizing their dreams of adventure. Hooray!
IT'S TURKEY TROT TIME!
Can we blame winds gusting to 30 kts for our slower time on our annual 5k run? Oh well, it didn't rain or snow, and we got to enjoy the run with many friends! It's nearly time for our our annual town Christmas tree lighting ceremony and caroling at the museum. We love small town life!
NEW GOOGLE MAPS DETAILING SAILING ROUTES NOW POSTED FOR ALL 2017 EXPEDITIONS
Click HERE to check out an example.
VANCOUVER OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINAR FEB. 25 MAY BE OUR SECOND SEMINAR TO SELL OUT!
With 22 our of 50 spots already filled, and our Bluewater Cruising-Mahina Expeditions seminar still FOUR MONTHS away, it looks like Vancouver will be our second seminar of the season (Annapolis seminar in Oct. was the first) to sell out. It should be an exciting seminar with co-presenters Norm & Beth Cooper, Pete McGonagle, an excellent waterfront location (Granville Island Hotel) and an always fun dinner following the seminar.
Click HERE to read about Mahina Tiares North Sea Adventures in November Blue Water Sailing.
NIGEL CALDER JOINS US FOR A SPECIAL THREE-DAY SEMINAR SCHEDULE AT THE TORONTO BOAT SHOW
January 20-22, 2017. Click HERE for details.
ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW While in Annapolis we got to check out the annual tent sail at Weems & Plath, sponsor of all of our Annapolis seminars.
Click HERE for two new 59-North Podcasts of John & Amanda
ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW SEMINARS ALL SOLD OUT! Not only were the seminars sold out, we also were able to meet with three consultation couples, go aboard to check out a Saga 43 one couple has an accepted offer AND!!! bid a fond BON VOYAGE to consultation client Alison (Leg 3-2015) and her very keen family who were enroute with rental van and U-Haul trailer to pick up the Outremer 55 Pete McGonagle has just helped them purchase! We also checked out the very compact Frigoboat refrigeration units we will be having installed on MT this winter and got to visit with Jonas, HR sales manager from Sweden aboard a very cool looking new HR 40 that was in the show. We also made a connection with Jeremy Davis, Operations Manager for Weather Routing Inc. who has promised all of our seminar grads a free $230 passage weather forecast. We’ve already been invited back next year and hope Bo
Alison and family with Pete McGonagle and John
Nifty small Frigoboat compressor we are having installed this winter
Jonas and John with a new HR 40
Jeremy Davis from Weather Routing Inc.
30,000 MILES AND THREE SEASONS AND MICRON 66 IS STILL, AMAZINGLY, WORKING!
Now we just have to find a compatible International Paint to last until we get to an island where Micron 66 is available!
1. March 2015: Canada and 10,000 miles 2. Nov 2015: Sweden and 20,000 miles 3. Oct. 2016: Sweden and 30,000 miles
WE'VE JUST COMPLETED OUR 27th AND BEST SEASON OF SAIL-TRAINING EVER!
We had our the keenest-ever students, enjoyed new countries (Jan Mayen, Iceland and Faroe Islands) and visiting our friends at Hallberg-Rassy yard and now Mahina Tiare is inside at Brod. Martinsson boatyard near Henan, Sweden for the last of her 20 year, 200,000 mile refit. It is exciting being back home on San Juan Island briefly before we head out to the Annapolis Boat Show for the seminars listed below.
Magnus Rassy welcoming J & A's return to the HR boatyard
Jens and Hakan, second and third generation owners of Brod. Martinssons
ANNAPOLIS OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINAR NOW SOLD OUT!
We still have space open in our Toronto, Seattle and Vancouver Seminars.
Oct. 6, 6:30 PM Free seminar onThe Atlantic Circle; East Coast to Europe and Return in One Summer at Free State Yachts 16th annual Hallberg-Rassy Rendezvous at Herrington Harbor North in Deale aprox. 25 miles south from downtown Annapolis.
Oct. 8, 9:00-11:30 AM Ocean Sailing Forum, a panel discussion led by Andy Schell which Amanda and John will be part of. Details here.
Oct. 11, 90 Minute Cruisers University Seminars, seminar descriptions HERE and purchase tickets HERE.
8:15 - 9:45 Amanda’s Diesel Engine Essentials
10:00 - 11:30 Ocean Voyage Preparation
12:30 - 2:00 Sailing the South Pacific
2:15 - 3:45 Galley Essentials
2:15 - 3:45 Choosing the Right Boat for Ocean Voyaging with John Neal and Pete McGonagle
We’ll be available to answer questions before, between and after seminars, so drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to meet us at the Annapolis show.
WE LOVE AND WILL MISS SVALBARD!
What an amazing, magical place. We are already considering sailing back with the goal of circumnavigating the entire island group, now that there is much less ice.
WE LOVE NORWAY!!!
We've just completed one of our best expeditions ever (details just posted: http://www.mahina.com/leg16/1.html#1) and are enjoying four quiet days of preparation while anchored off Finnkroken Village, 12 mi N. of busy Tromso. Highlights of the past couple days have been enjoying freshly-caught cod (Amanda is 3 for 3 in fishing success) and long runs and hikes when we've enjoyed meeting local residents.
Click HERE for our impressions of five voyages up or down the Norwegian coast dating back to 2001.
Tuesday morning we'll be returning to Tromso for final provisioning, safety orientation Wednesday from 4-6 with our Leg 2, Tromso to Spitsbergen expedition members and a Thursda noon departure for Spitsbergen where current ice reports look excellent and weather looks relatively normal.
Conditions permitting, we hope to visit Bear Island (halfway from Tromso to Longyearbyen) and hopefully, for the first time, Pyramiden, the semi-abandoned Russian coal mining settlement to meet Sasha, one of the caretaker/guides detailed HERE.
WE LOVE GETTING EMAILS LIKE THIS!
click HERE to read
Tracey and I attended your last seminar in Vancouver. We were intrigued when a Manta 40 was on your list of recommended boats when we were planning to look at one the following day. Tracey had been uncomfortable with the notion of a boat as stable upside down as right side up, but your comments at dinner were helpful.
We bought it! It surveyed great and it has been an absolute treat. We were thinking we might end up buying a boat in the Med or Florida, but it is so wonderful finding the right boat here in Vancouver and be able to enjoy and fix it for a couple of years where we have a land base. We'll probably cruise Alaska next summer and head south the following year. Our plan is to only plan a hurricane season ahead. If we go around the world, great. If we bounce around the South Pacific for a decade, great. If we never go farther than Mexico, OK. There are so many different ways to do this and almost all of them are more attractive than living on land and convincing ourselves that it is important to work hard and own more things.
We weren't sure if we were cat people. Now we can't imagine why we were thinking otherwise. Such luxury. Well, pragmatic luxury I guess. Built in fuel polishing system! Standard water maker. Sail handling built for one. An acre of solar on the bimini. 10 cu ft of heavily insulated coldness. The details in these boats are extraordinary. I've loaded my tools and my Sailrite. We're good to go'.
And we sold our Catalina 34 to an adventurous young couple who are pulling the plug and taking it back to Mexico and beyond.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Applying SEMCO teak sealer to our lovely new teak decks
Our talks in Norway on South Pacific cruising and Storm Tactics
were packed, thanks to great publicity from many sources and MT got a real
heavy-weather shakedown with winds to 39 kts and seas to 2.5 meters.
Dockside demonstration of storm trysail and staysail following our Saturday morning Storm Tactics seminar at Oslofjord Museum
moored back at MT's Swedish home base; the Hallberg-Rassy boatyard where she was
built and enjoying ever-lengthening sunny days as we complete our projects with
plans to rent a car to provision on Wednesday.
Mahina Tiare moored in Smogen, one of our favorite harbors in Sweden
WE LOVE OUR NEW ENGINE AND PROPELLER!
After over 14,000 flawless hours on our original Volvo TMD31L
engine, we decided to repower thanks to a trade-in incentive Volvo Penta was
running last fall. Our new engine, a Volvo D2-75 is 272 lbs lighter, runs 1,000
RPMS slower, is smoother, far quieter, never smokes - even at WOT and our top
speed which with the original 95 hp engine was 8.3 kts when new and 7.9 kts
after 20 years is now 8.67 kts. We expect fuel consumption to be better as well,
thanks in part to our new Flexofold propeller. The new, much smaller engine looks
lost in MT's cavernous engine room, so much so that we are thinking of naming it
"Dinky" or "Tiny"! We had wondered how it would perform in large headseas and
had an excellent trial on Tuesday, coming south from Norway in winds to 39 kts
and very steep, close head seas. Speed never dropped below 7.5 kts, even with
only 70% power, so that question was put to rest.
BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION CLIENTS HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL WEEK, WORLDWIDE!
A client from Oman has purchased an Amel in Australia, Vancouver clients just purchased a Morgan/Catalina in Mexico, other clients from Vancouver just purchased an
Antares 44i catamaran in Florida, and that’s just for starters! We also just heard from consultation clients whom we helped purchase a Caliber 40 eight years ago that they have just completed an excellent cruise to Alaska and Mexico and are about to offer their boat for sale. You'll see it listed on Boats for Sale on our Consultation page as soon as they've completed their webpage of the listing. Additionally, Norwegian clients who've we helped through the process of ordering a
Boreal 44 from France will be meeting us aboard Mahina Tiare once we reach Oslo to discuss their options list. That should be interesting, as this is our second set of consultation clients to order a new Boreal, a purpose-built high-latitude aluminum adventure machine! With our new T-Mobile mobile hotspot, we should have much faster connectivity for consultation than in past years, so don't let the fact that we are aboard Mahina Tiare delay you for signing up for a
Boat Selection Consultation!
COME TO THE OSLOFJORD MUSEUM IN NORWAY AND JOIN US FOR THREE FREE SEMINARS INCLUDING A HANDS-ON HEAVY WEATHER TACTICS DEMO ABOARD MAHINA TIARE APRIL 15 & 16!
Click here for details.
WE LOVE SKINNY SKIS!
Following our Vancouver BCA Offshore Cruising Seminar, we took Margy and Monty (Leg 2-2014) up an their offer of visiting them at Whistler. This was Amanda's first ever time on skinny skis and my third. It was quiet and beautiful as we glided around the frozen Lost Lake. Thank you, Margy, for being an awesome guide!
They are packing suitcases to return to their Antares 44 in Auckland and very excited about another year of adventure in the South Pacific. Here's their blog:
ALL 2016 LEGS AGAIN FILLED, BUT ONLY ONE PERSON WAIT-LISTED FOR LEG 5 - 2016
We nearly always been able to accommodate wait-listed people, so if there is a 2016 leg that you'd like to join us on, please send in an application WITHOUT DEPOSIT, and we'll notify you at once if we have a cancellation. For our 2017 expedition season, only Leg 7, our Atlantic Crossing is filled.
WORLD WEATHER OF 2015 IN REVIEW
MAHINA TIARE'S NEW TEAK DECKS LOOK GORGEOUS! With wider,
thicker planks and no fasteners thanks to Kjetil's excellent vacuum-bagging
techniques they should last at least 25 years!
TORONTO SEMINARS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS! We had a packed
house and Andy and Mia, Paul and Sheryl Shard and Ruth and Jeff as additional
presenters. Our optional, no-host dinner Sunday night following the seminar at
the Westin was a lot of fun and several folks were exchanging contact info for
crewing opportunities once things thaw out a bit. We already have the 2017
Toronto seminar date: Sat., Jan 21 and Nigel Calder plus Andy Schell and Mia
Karlsson will be co-presenters.
WAY TO GO, MARGY & MONTY!! They are living their dream!
It was only a short time after joining us for our Offshore Cruising Seminar in Vancouver that Margy and Monty signed up for a boat purchase consultation and joined us for an over-the-top
Leg 2-2014. Not long after they’d returned home they narrowed their boat search down to an Antares/PDQ 41, one of the very best quality cruising boats in the world. The wait list for new Antares is now into the next century, and of the two used ones on the market, they zeroed in on one in Whangarei, NZ, within sight of Amanda's parent's (Robert & Lesley Swan) house. Robert, a highly-qualified boat-builder and Cape Horner made a very thorough inspection sending images back to Margy and Monty who flew to NZ and purchased Samuri, renaming it Whistler (can you tell these two LOVE their skiing?) and heading up to Fiji for their shakedown. Check out their amazing site:
Here's what Margy says, "Our time with you was so valuable! We are thrilled with our boat and with your assistance in our purchase process, which was not, in the least bit, simple. I can't count the number of emails I sent you. Thanks for your patience!"
WISHING ALL OUR READERS & FRIENDS A WONDERFUL 2016 From a sunny and frosty San Juan Island!
HOW COOL IS THIS? GARY CLOSED HIS PRACTICE, PICKED UP HIS NEW ALLURES 45 IN
FRANCE, AND JUST SET SAIL ACROSS THE ATLANTIC!
The coolest thing is that
he invited 5 out of 6 of his shipmates on Leg 4-2014 to join him, and now
we're waiting to hear once they reach the Caribbean. Here’s the link:
EL NINO - A GREAT GRAPHIC DEMONSTRATION OF CAUSES AND EFFECTS FROM UK MET OFFICE
AFTER ONE YEAR IN THE WORKS,
A NEW BOOK "Selecting and Purchasing an Ocean Cruising
Sailboat" is now available FREE by
LAUGH SO HARD YOU'LL CRY! Check out this video with Reverend Bob Shipton, mountain climber, sailor, ex-British soldier and minister whom we met in Tahiti 20 years ago.
ANTIFOUL EXPERIMENT A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!
Mahina Tiare just came out of the water in Sweden, and have a look at
the Micron 66 bottom paint which is now two years and 20,000 miles old! We will go for a third year,
but re-coating the top 12” again isn't an option as Micron 66 is not legal or available in the EU.
Touching up MT's bottom paint after 10,000 miles, March 2015 - Nov. 2015 - Paint still in great condition after 20,000 miles and two seasons
BACK HOME ON SAN JUAN ISLAND AND LOVING EVERY MINUTE! Hard to
believe we've been back two weeks now, but we're training for our annual 5K
Turkey Trot, cycling, swimming, kayaking and preparing for boat shows and
seminars, AND consulting with Boat Purchase clients. The Toronto Boat Show is
co-sponsoring our Jan. 9 Offshore Cruising Seminar bringing the cost down to
$80CAN per person (normally $199/279) and the show has given us prime time
seminar slots which can be seen
HERE. Seattle Boat
Show has also just confirmed all of our requested prime time seminar slots
BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION HAS BEEN REWARDING AND VERY SUCCESSFUL
As an Alaskan client came down, checked out two boats, surveyed and purchased a
Prout cat, all within under one week! Irish consultation clients have closed on
a very tidy Contest yacht in Holland, English/American couple living in Norway
whom we met at the Crayfish Party in Sweden just closed on a nearly immaculate
HR 39 on Mallorca and a client from Thailand just closed on a Nauticat in
Victoria, Canada. Many more in the works.
WE LOVE MALTA! What a fascinating island with so much energy and rich history! A week of exploring, sailing, snorkeling and bicycling was just enough to let us know we want to return. A special thanks to Vickie and Roland for showing us around and the chance to sail aboard Bella Luna,
Valletta, an historic walled city
Enjoying the sail to Gozo Island aboard Bella Luna
Bella Luna, an HR 43 at anchor, Gozo
Vickie and Roland enjoying a sunny anchorage at Gozo Island
SWEDISH CONSULTATION CLIENT SETS ALL-TIME RECORD: 12 DAYS FROM FIRST CONTACT TO COMPLETION OF PURCHASE! Click HERE for details.
WE'RE HOME AGAIN IN ELLOS, SWEDEN! Mahina Tiare is moored a
few meters away from where she was first launched at the Hallberg-Rassy (http://www.hallberg-rassy.com)
yard and it really feels like a homecoming, especially catching up with Magnus
Rassy and several of our friends at the yard who built MT in 1996. Yesterday we
dried, dropped and folded our sails and today we've washed and dried (in the
rigging on a sunny day!) the bright Hawaiian slip covers and curtains.
Magnus Rassy welcoming John, Amanda and Mahina Tiare back to the boatyard where she was built
WE'RE OFF TO MALTA SOON TO CHECK OUT MEDITERRANEAN SAILING!
On Oct. 1st we fly to Malta to go sailing with Roland and Vickie aboard Bella
their HR 43. Vickie was an expedition member aboard MTI on a passage to Hawaii
and founded HR Parts (http://www.hr-parts.com)(going very strong and now part of
Hallberg-Rassy) and Roland was sales manager at HR for decades and helped us
selecting options for Mahina Tiare. This will be my first time sailing in the
Med and I can't wait! Amanda has sailed in the Med, but not to Malta so we are
both very excited.
WE REALLY LOVE SCOTLAND!
We based ourselves at Dunvegan Castle's Laundry Cottage for five days of exploring the magnificent Isle of Skye
with Amanda's parents, Robert and Lesley Swan.
John & Amanda enjoying exploring Scotland with Amanda's parents, Robert & Lesley Swan
Hiking Skye's Black Cullin mountains
WE LOVE THE BVI'S!
Wonderful people, gorgeous islands and beaches, great snorkeling, and great weather. What more could we ask for?
WE LOVE PANAMA!
The Smithsonian Tropical Institute located next door to La Playita Marina were Mahina Tiare is moored has a special exhibit on Panama's 300+
species of frogs and toads. We were amazed at how small and brightly colored some of frogs are.
We've nearly completed chores and provisioning and are looking forward to greeting Leg 4 crew tomorrow for safety orientation.
A FUN CONCLUSION TO LEG 2 AT CLUB DE YATES DE ACAPULCO!
Much more consistent winds than the two previous San Diego - Acapulco legs plus a very keen to sail crew meant that we motored 40% less this time than in 2006. I'm thinking that the moderate El Nino episode across the tropical Pacific may have something to do with this.
Click HERE to see Mahina Tiare's track and current location on Google Earth
JOIN US IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF CARIBBEAN SCHOOL CHILDREN!
Hands Across the Sea, founded by cruising sailors Harriet and Tom Linskey just finished shipping 39,000 books to 105+ school library projects in 6 countries, and if you check out our Facebook page, you'll see a lot of young smiling faces with new library books. Hands Across the Sea, Inc., www.handsacrossthesea.net phone: +1 617 320 3601Facebook "Dedicated to raising the literacy levels of Caribbean children”
Mahina Tiare's Micron 66 paint looks so good after the 10,000 mile sail from New Zealand that we only repainted the top 12" and leading edge of keel and rudder.
Amanda and Brent Jacobi from Blackline Marine Rigging disassembled, cleaned, checked lubricated our forestay end fitting and Furlex drum. Everything looked great!
BACK FROM THE BOATYARD AND MOVED ABOARD!!
Mahina Tiare is moored at beautiful Roche Harbor Resort and we're moving charts, parts and food aboard, excited about our departure for Victoria on March 14th!
VANCOUVER BCA OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINAR WAS AGAIN SOLD OUT, AND ANOTHER TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!
A very special thanks to seminar organizers (and previous MT expedition members and consultation clients) Norm and Beth Cooper and to Pete McGonagle from Swiftsure Yachts in Seattle for their excellent help as co-presenters. We have NEVER seen keener sailors than in our Bluewater Cruising Association seminars, and have already booked out 2016 seminar - same date, same location!
WE ARE SAILING TO SWEDEN FOR MAHINA TIARE'S 190,000 MILE, 19 YEAR REFIT AT ADAMS BOAT CARE!
Although we considered having MT's deck, rigging, engine and electronics replaced in New Zealand, in the end we chose to sail 21,000 miles and two years back to Sweden to have this work done by the same skilled craftsmen and women who were involved in building her in 1996. Carl Adams and Anna Friberg are moving into the premises of the former Regina of Vindo boatyard and have assembled a skilled team. who specialize in refitting Hallberg-Rassy yachts including several purchased by my Boat Purchase Consultation clients. From everything we've heard, their quality is tops and prices are fair.
NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO OF AMANDA'S WHITBREAD AROUND THE WORLD RACE ON MAIDEN
Tracy Edwards, Amanda's skipper on the groundbreaking 1989-90 Whitbread Race has just posted the full hour video of Maiden's world circumnavigation. Maiden was the first all-women Whitbread race boat, AND they won TWO Southern Ocean legs including the Cape Horn leg. Click here for the movie!
BLUE WATER SAILING
To check out interview of John & Amanda in December issue of Blue Water Sailing, click HERE.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE WHILE CRUISING Click HERE to read John & Amanda's article recently published in Yachting World (UK)
MAHINA TIARE NOW IN WINTER STORAGE IN CANADA
We've taken her Max Prop off for servicing, sent the INMARSAT-C to Trimble for repairs, removed the vang for a new tackle assembly done a general cleaning, put her full boat cover on and will head back to Sidney, BC to reinstall everything and for Amanda to fit new curtains and skylight covers. The Micron 66 bottom paint applied in New Zealand is in such excellent condition that for the first time ever, we will Interlux's their stated two year antifouling life claims.
REPACKING MAHINA TIARE'S VIKING LIFERAFTS: THE START OF OUR MINI-REFIT
Amanda checking out our liferaft and keeping keen watch. One of the reasons we chose to replace our original liferaft with a Viking three years ago was not only the excellent Practical Sailor reviews, but the fact that Viking maintains a huge global network of company-owned service facilities. At the Seattle Viking facility we learned that Trident Seafood, Foss and Crowley tugs plus many of the cruise ships that sail from Seattle to Alaska all summer long all use Viking.
On our list of refit items:
Replace forward Jabsco Quiet Flush Head that is no longer quiet
Sew all new curtains and skylight covers
Repair full boat cover
Replace o-ring in engine thermostat housing (sounds easy, but it's not!
Replace all four 8-D 255 amp, 166 lb house batteries with Lifeline AGM batteries
Replace two G24 Lifeline bow thruster batteries
Have fuel injectors serviced
Repair Trimble Galaxy INMARSAT-C
Replace all running rigging (nowhere in the world do we find higher quality and better priced line than at West Marine)
Take everything possible off MT and clean behind or underneath
Have fire extinguishers serviced
Have Katadyn emergency manual watermaker serviced
Just before hauling out I'll replace engine and transmission oil and filters and once we're in the boatyard, I'll flush the seawater side of our cooling system and drain and replace the coolant in the freshwater side. Fuel filters and water pump impeller replacement will be on my list once we relaunch in early March.
Surprisingly, re-coating the anti-foul paint is not on our list. The Micron 66 looks exactly like when it was sprayed on this April in New Zealand, even after sailing over 10,000 miles. Craig at BoatSpray kept saying that this is a 2-3 season paint, so we are only going to recoat the front of the keel and rudder that look fine, but we suspect are a little thinner on paint than the rest of the hull. On a similar subject, we are hoping the boatyard where we haul in Sidney, BC can apply PropSpeed, a NZ developed coating that really keeps our prop clear of growth, saving time (particularly in cold water) we need to spend scraping growth off to save fuel.
We have a forecast for SUN this Sunday, so we'll aim to get the main and genoa off, folded and stored in the forward shower. Both of these sails made by Carol Hasse's Port Townsend Sails are in excellent condition after 20,000 miles and don't need any restitching thanks to Hasse's covering all chafe-prone stitching with sewn-on sail repair tape. This makes the sail fractionally heavier, but saves carting a 100 lb sail off to be restitched.
WE'RE BACK HOME AND LOVING IT!
After a very successful 2014 expedition season we just celebrated Amanda's 50th and Mahina Tiare's 18th birthdays with many good friends and neighbors at the Port of Friday Harbor followed by a mini-holiday anchored off Stuart Island. Now it's time to get serious about unloading and thoroughly cleaning MT before hauling her out for the winter in Sidney, BC.
WE LOVE SE ALASKA!
We've enjoyed uncommonly warm (up to 70F) and dry weather. The real highlights of Alaska are her very friendly people, incredible vistas with glaciers nearly every where we look and the animals. We had a 50' humpback whale accidentally slap our kayak when she was trying to avoid running into MT and sat for hours, mesmerized by a sow and cub black bear feasting on salmon returning to spawn. Click HERE to read the details of Leg 5-2015 which we just completed.
MAHINA TIARE IS AGAIN A COVER GIRL!
We've lost track, but think this might be our 18th or 19th cover. A big thanks to Tor Johnson and to Amanda's father, Robert Swan who is on MT's helm.
A REAL SUCCESS STORY!
We love getting messages like this. Dave joined us on a South Pacific training expedition, then the following year he and his wife Donna joined us on a different leg. As a young FedEx captain on a budget, he found a hurricane-damaged Dutch-built Trintella in NJ, far from their home in Memphis that had spent some time underwater and over several months between flight assignments rebuilt it including totally stripping and rebuilding the Yanmar engine. Now they are on their way home, HOORAY!
Doing 24 hour watch across Lake Erie and the rest of the Great Lakes with Donna on the way home!!
She is having so much fun!! She really stole the show last night!! We had 25+ knot winds on the east end of the lake with huge steep quick waves. 10' ers. And she took more than her fair share of watch just having a ball!!
Thank you both!!
WE LOVE CANADA!!!
What a treat to have Mahina Tiare tied up at Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club; secure, quiet, with lots of interesting cruisers passing through, enjoying sunshine, sushi and meeting up with old friends. We are nearly caught up with projects and really looking forward to Leg 5 adventures up to the glaciers of Tracy Arm, Alaska.
SINGAPORE CLIENT SETS ALL TIME RECORD PURCHASING A HIGH QUALITY CONTEST 55CS!
Here's what he said: " Hi John, It was a hectic but efficient week in Europe searching for the right boat in 5 countries and 7 different locations and 13 boats viewed in just 5 days...
It seems to me that the Netherlands it a good place to look for a boat as many of the boat owners keep their boat in a covered warehouse during the winter. All the boats I saw in Netherlands where by far in better condition than the other boats." (The boat purchased was a very high quality one, a Contest 55CS. My client was also able to tour the Contest boat yard).
In the end he has an accepted offer $90,000 lower than asking price and $61K lower than a two year older sistership recently sold for.
Winter is an excellent time to buy a boat, and from this and other indications, it looks like European prices are VERY soft right now!
BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION CLIENTS ON A ROLL WORLDWIDE!
Prices on good, well-equipped offshore-capable boats are still low, which is really good if you are a buyer, not so hot if you are a seller. I'm not sure what is driving this rush, but I've not seen this level of activity in years!
Here's the amazing list:
1. Omani clients from Abu Dhabi just surveyed and purchased a basically unused Leopard 44 (the new, fwd cockpit design) in the Seychelle Islands at a huge price reduction over ordering a new one. They have crew lined up and are leaving shortly for the passage home to Abu Dhabi then a planned extensive cruise.
2. Canadian clients who attended our Vancouver BCA seminar purchased and are off to the Bahamas on a Leopard 43. Jon Howe, one of our top surveyors in FL did the survey, making the sellers nervous!
3. Stella Blue, a Tartan 37 sold to third consecutive consultation client from NY who is off on a world circumnavigation shortly
4. A client from Arizona is closing on a Dutch-built VanDam Nordia located in The Netherlands, a rock-solid unpainted aluminum expedition yacht that he plans to sail to Sweden and Norway shortly.
5. German clients are set to survey, sea trial and purchase an older HR 41 in Baltimore at a very reasonable price. They can't wait to sail to the South Pacific!
6. Indigo, a Hallberg-Rassy 46 (sistership to Mahina Tiare) is sold from one consultation couple who crossed the Atlantic, sailed nearly to the North Pole and lived aboard for several years after being transferred to Bergen, Norway to Russ, a consultation client from Virginia who joined us for our Oakland seminar and will sail with us on Leg 6-2014, Ketchikan, Alaska to Victoria, Canada. Never one to waste time, Russ and his wife have already hired an instructor to help them start cruising this summer.
7. Consultation clients who have just been transferred from Texas to London are closing on an HR 53 which they will live aboard in England while refitting.
8. A client on the East Coast just has an accepted on a very tidy, well-outfitted HR 39 that is just returning from cruising Maine.
9. Lee, a Chicago client who joined us for our Offshore Cruising Seminar at Strictly Sail Chicago just closed on a HR 42E, a sistership to MTII which he plans to refit and cruise extensively.
10. An East Coast family has purchased and is already off to the Caribbean cruising with their three kids aboard a Jeanneau 51.
11. Bob & Abbie from Maine who joined us for our Chicago seminar just got to sail the HR 40 they purchased in Wisconsin for the first time (the boat was in winter storage) and the boat is currently being delivered to Maine where they are looking forward to summer cruising.
12. San Diego clients from Sweden who joined us for our Oakland seminar just completed purchase of an exceptionally fine Sceptre 43 from Pete McGonagle one of our seminar co-presenters and co-owner of Swiftsure Yachts. I'm encouraging them to enjoy a bit of NW cruising in the San Juans before heading down the coast to California.
A huge thanks to our worldwide network of honest brokers (don't laugh, there are a few!), surveyors and documentation offices deserve many thanks for their tireless work. Special thanks to Pete McGonagle (Swiftsure Yachts) and Roger Johansson (Free State Yachts) who have spent many hours helping our clients and always going the extra mile and to surveyor Paul Anstey in FL whose dedication and service to clients is exceptional.
THIRD CONSULTATION CLIENT PURCHASES AND TO CRUISE STELLA BLUE, A WELL-LOVED TARTAN 37!
This is a record! I've helped several consultation clients sell the boat I helped them purchase to another consultation client (without any additional charge to either client) but Stella Blue is the first to have three consecutive clients purchase and cruise her.
Baxter & Molly, previous EM's and consultation clients were the first. They had so much fun cruising to the Bahamas and south that they decided to sell Stella Blue (after installing a new engine) and their house. They purchased a Valiant 47 and we are hoping to see them in Europe. Then newlyweds Logan and Gillian purchased her and set sail on an extended honeymoon to the Bahamas. Just recently, Ed, another client who plans a circumnavigation purchased her. Here's Logan's message that just arrived:
As of this morning the amazing and beautiful Stella Blue has a new captain. We are so happy to pass her on to another ambitious adventurous loving owner.
It's an emotional day for all of us but it couldn't be better for any one of us.
Thank you for all you have done for us and especially for connecting Ed Gillian Me and Stella Blue.
IAORANA FROM MOOREA!
After a long and challenging Leg 1 passage from New Zealand to Tahiti we couldn't be any happier anywhere in the world than anchored here in the shadow of Mt.Rotui in the exact anchorage Capt. Cook anchored a few years ago. We've had wonderful visits with friends ashore, met yachties just arriving from exotic ports and gotten caught up on maintenance and repairs.
We're heading over to Tahiti tomorrow morning to start reprovisioning and look forward to greeting our Leg 2 Tahiti-Rarotonga crew on Sunday. We still have a couple of berths open on Leg 5-2014 this summer, from Prince Rupert, BC to Ketchikan, AK with a $1000 discount available.
PRIMITIVE CRUISING ON THE EDGE, AT IT'S BEST!
John listens to former expedition member Jim Thomsen tell of his and Katie's recent adventures in Vanuatu. Watch the video here.
Paul & Sheryl Shard have produced an amazing series of television shows and DVDs of sailing DVDs. We're currently enjoying their latest one on sailing to Morocco! Order directly from them...
Mahina Tiare surfing through Paradise!
EL NINO HOLDING OFF A LITTLE LONGER!
Whew!!! The latest NOAA update suggests that we may enjoy yet another, unprecedented year with ENSO-neutral conditions. During El Nino years the tradewinds drop in the Pacific, SST (surface sea water temps) increase bringing a higher incidence of convection and squall activity plus longer and more destructive cyclone seasons. Not good for Pacific basin cruisers, but El Nino also means a much lower incidence of Caribbean and Atlantic hurricanes.
We have been blessed with three consecutive seasons of La Nina conditions in the South Pacific which have meant almost no tropical squalls, stronger, reinforced tradewinds (frequently 30-35 gusting 40-45) which frequently beats up lighter, smaller boats but which Mahina Tiare with her long waterline and 38,000 lbs displacement absolutely loves. I think we've had more surfing up to 10-11 kts boatspeed these past three years than ever!
Click here to view the entire year of 2013's weather as recorded by geostationary satellites and narrated by a UK meteorologist. This is VERY COOL and a great learning /teaching tool!
WE LOVE THE SEATTLE BOAT SHOW!
It was ALL good! Being able to run to the Pike Place Market mornings before the show for treats, the SRO seminar crowds and seeing so many friends and previous seminar or expedition students who have gone on or are about to now take off on their own cruises of a lifetime.
SUCCESSFUL AND RECORD-SETTING BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATIONS CULMINATE AT SEATTLE BOAT SHOW
Richard and Geri, both 52 and both just retired from London, England jobs contacted me Dec. 21 with the idea of purchasing a boat in Vancouver, enjoying a shakedown cruising in British Columbia this summer, then sailing south to Mexico Nov. 2014 before setting sail for the Galapagos and South Pacific in Feb. 2015. Sounded like an aggressive schedule, but it looks like they are pulling it off in style.
I suggested that there was a wider choice of boats at lower prices in Washington instead of Canada and in short time we zeroed in on a Nordic 44 in Bellingham, WA, just S of Vancouver. Allaban, a Robert Perry-designed modern and capable cruiser was well outfitted having carried her previous British owners from US New England to Japan and ending in Bellingham.
The listing broker was the builder who had made most of the repairs recommended in an earlier survey and Pete McGonagle, co-owner of Swiftsure Yachts in Seattle agreed to take photos and check the boat out and act as buyer's broker enroute to a family skiing holiday in BC. Pete's comments were very positive so we put Richard and Geri in touch with Matt Harris, one of the finest surveyors we've found anywhere and Matt juggled his schedule to perform the survey during the Seattle Boat Show. Richard and Geri arrived five days ago, Pete showed them two additional Nordic 44's on the market in Seattle, then they met in Bellingham the following day for survey and sea trial.
All went well and Steve Nordvedt, owner of Norstar, the builder of Nordic's said he had time in his schedule to take care of some cosmetic issues.
We arranged a dinner next to the Seattle Boat Show following our final seminar and then introduced Richard and Geri to Kris and Bob Ridenauer, riggers and outfitters who've helped many of our consultation clients, plus Karina and Gary, two former expedition members who live in Vancouver, are active in Bluewater Cruising Association and are getting ready to set sail for Chile this summer. Karina and Gary will give a rundown on charts and cruising BC waters. Sunday morning Richard and Geri flew home to England and by the time they return from renting their home out and packing up, work should be well along on Allaban. Additionally, they were able to meet Carol Hasse, owner of Port Townsend Sails during the boat show who agreed to measure their boat for a new genoa. What a successful consultation!
Kris and Bob have helped dozens of our consultation clients with repairs and offshore outfitting, even repeatedly flying to Mexico to install additional gear years later. They liveaboard their Taswell 43 and work out of a van so their rates are 40% less than boatyards and they encourage owners to do all the work they want to, themselves.
Richard and Geri (standing) and Bob and Kris Ridenour (sitting) Gary (end of table) and Karina (far right) Bluewater Cruising Assoc. members who have kindly offered to give Richard and Geri tips on dealing with 5 meter tides, strong currents, great anchorages and places to see whales, bears and sea lions in British Columbia. Between Karina and Kris is Brian Altman, another consultation client purchasing an HR 36 which Kris & Bob will help with outfitting.
WE LOVE CHICAGO!
The snow stopped, the temperature warmed up to 0 degrees and the sun came out for our seminars very busy seminars. By the time we left early Sunday morning the wind and snow machine were in high gear.
TORONTO BOAT SHOW SEMINARS PACKED!
Text: Toronto's challenging weather gave us a break with sunny skies and mild temperatures which meant the boat show was packed. West Marine has given us $25 gift certificates to give out at every one hour and full day seminar at all boat shows this year, so we had lots of fun with the drawings following each seminar.
With two new consultation clients on New Year's day, both ready to purchase boats now, our consultation business is off to a flying start. I've just spent a day researching the number of boats on the market, current listing and average selling prices for the "Featured Boats" sheet that we give out in our Offshore Cruising Seminar and our one hour Purchasing and Offshore Cruising Boat seminars. Unlike last year when the majority of average selling prices had gone down over 2012, this year, the majority of prices have increased. The effect of a strengthening economy and more people searching for offshore boats appears to be driving prices slowly higher, so now, before summer or spring is a wise time to start your search. Email me: email@example.com if I can help you find the best possible cruising boat within your budget.
LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!
We're home at Roche Harbor, San Juan Island and IT'S SNOWING!!!
VANCOUVER OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINAR, FEB. 22nd IS FIRST TO SELL OUT!
Sad, but true. The good news for all of our Canadian friends is that there is still room in our March 29 Seattle seminar held at the Seattle Airport Radisson!
MAJOR UPDATING TO OFFSHORE CRUISING COMPANION AND OFFSHORE EXPEDITION COMPANIONS IS COMPLETE. WHEW!!!!
After two weeks of intense work which involved updating or adding 22% of the Offshore Companion and 27% of the Expedition Companion, they are at the printers! Our goal is to have the information documenting our seminars and expeditions as up-to-date as possible.
If you're not able to attend one of our Offshore Cruising Seminars (for which the Offshore Companion is included) or you're considering about joining us on an expedition and want more information, both of these books are available as soon as we receive them from the printers.
Offshore Companion is $50 and Expedition Companion is $20. Please include $4 for shipping to US addresses.
Click HERE for a worldwide view of the weather, updated every three minutes
WE'RE HOME IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS ON SAN JUAN ISLAND!
We made it home for Thanksgiving this year - in time to join the annual Turkey Trot Fun Run. It's great to be home and enjoying our winter sports of kayaking, cycling, trail running, swimming and Yoga. It's also much easier to reply to questions than when we were hauled out in the boatyard!
LOVED LEG 5, HATED THE VEGEMITE! Richard on Leg 5-2013 just sent this: I am still savoring the great memories of our trip of Leg 5-2013. I can honestly say it was a perfect trip from the standpoint of location, experience, learning, and cuisine except for one small detail - that awful Australian creation, Vegemite. Vegemite's badness impressed me so much I have been doing a little research and found some interesting facts. I will put two links below you might find interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yA98MujNeM
FYI to future expedition members: the Vegemite is optional, unless you're a Kiwi or an Aussie!
LEG 5-2013 EXPEDITION MEMBER JASON HAWKINS LANDS A DREAM JOB ON A TRADITIONAL SAILING SCHOONER IN AUSTRALIA'S WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS!
We just received this update from Jason's very proud father and co-Leg 5 expedition member:
Just thought I'd let you know that Jason has had a great trip and is now working for a few months as crew on a sailboat in the Whitsundays. Apparently pays well and he's learning a lot. He got the job thanks in large part to your sailing certificate and his experience on our expedition. Thanks again.
Here's the site: http://www.tallshipadventures.com.au
VANCOUVER OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINAR ON FEB 22, HOSTED BY BLUE WATER CRUISING ASSOCIATION!
For only the second time ever (first was 30 years ago!) we will be presenting our full-day seminar at the very cool and swanky Granville Island Hotel, co-hosted by Blue Water Cruising Association. Guest co-presenters include Beth and Norm Cooper, Leg 5-2009 Mahina Expeditions members who recently completed a three-year Pacific circumnavigation aboard Sarah Jean, their Saga 43. Registration is available at http://www.bluewatercruising.org and there will be a discount for BCA members.
MAHINA TIARE IS HEADED ASHORE AND WE'RE BUSY WITH MAINTENANCE
We can't believe our 23rd season of sail-training expeditions is over, but MT is on the hard in our favorite boatyard and we're working on projects. Amanda is sewing new slip covers out of a gorgeous Hawaiian print we found in Fiji and I'm working on installing a new stereo and possibly new, much cooler LED engine room lights. Our trusty Volvo engine is all serviced and contentedly resting. We've sent our 16 year old Avon RIB dinghy off for retubing at Lancer Inflatables outside of Auckland and the list is getting shorter by the day. In less than a week we'll be on Hawaiian Airlines headed home to San Juan Island!
HOW CAN YOU TOP THIS ANTIFOULING PAINT PERFORMANCE?
Yesterday after completing a 9,000 mile series of passages through the South Pacific we had Mahina Tiare III hauled out in New Zealand and everyone from the Travelift operator to the boatyard workers said, "Why are you hauling out, your antifouling doesn't even need pressure washing, much less recoating!" Unlike some softer coatings we've previously used, Micron 66 doesn't slough off too fast and almost no paint comes off when we occasionally sponge it off after the first six months. This allows us to spend more time enjoying the islands and people of the South Pacific and less time sponging slime off the antifouling paint.
WHAT HAS WORKED AND WHAT WE'VE REPLACED IN THE PAST 160,000 MILES ABOARD MAHINA TIARE III
Blue Water Sailing arcticle, "In 1995, when we ordered Mahina Tiare III, our Hallberg-Rassy 46, we were in Patagonia, headed to Antarctica in the midst of our seventh year of leading sail-training expeditions aboard our 1983 Hallberg-Rassy 42." For the complete article, click here
OUR BOOK AND SCHOOL SUPPLY DELIVERY ON LEG 5 A TOTAL SUCCESS!
A big thanks from the schools on Anietyum, Tanna and Erromango Islands in Vanuatu to all of our 2013 expedition members who carried many boxes of school books and supplies when they flew to join us for their expedition legs. A special thanks to David and Karen Swan, Amanda's brother and sister-in-law for purchasing many boxes of books and to Dan Perrine of Leg 5 for purchashing and bringing yet more books. Also, a special thanks to Fiji Airlines's Jessica Simpson for waiving freight charges on the box of books that Dan brought down with him.
Our next project will be collecting school supplies and Spanish children's books for the library on Mormake Tupa in Panama's San Blas Islands on Leg 4-2015. In the meantime, we will continue to support and encourage you to also consider supporting handsacrossthesea.net which is doing an incredible job of getting much needed books to schools in five Caribbean island nations.
WE WILL SURE MISS THE SOUTH PACIFIC ISLAND NATIONS THAT WE SO LOVE
It is hard to think that we no longer have plans of returning to the islands and peoples of the South Pacific that have been such a huge part of our lives for the past 40 years. We are savoring every minute here and this morning, anchored off Iririki Island where we had our Leg 5 graduation dinner just two nights ago, we just feel so grateful for the amazing island people who have been our friends and welcomed us so many times to their islands. Of course we are excited to be returning to places like the Azores, Scotland, Norway, Sweden and Spitsbergen and even more excited to finally get to sail to Iceland, the Faroe Islands and St. Kilda, but it is a bittersweet time aboard Mahina Tiare...
HANDS ACROSS THE SEA MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN SEVERAL CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES PLUS HELPING OUR EFFORTS IN VANUATU
What a cool idea cruising sailors Harriet and Tom Linskey came up with: work with Peace Corps volunteers, island educators and governments and use cruising sailors and sailboats to deliver much needed school books and supplies to Caribbean island schools! Harriet helped us by giving us contacts at Scholastic Book that have allowed us to purchase substantial quantities of books at non-profit prices for the school libraries in Vanuatu that we support. We plan on doing a similar project when we return to Mormake Tupu in Panama's San Blas Islands in 2015. A big thanks to all of our 2013 expedition members who agreed to help by bring boxes of school books down with them when they joined us. For more on Hands Across the Sea, visit their website at: http://www.handsacrossthesea.net.
BOAT SELECTION CONSULTATION BUSINESS VERY BUSY AND VERY SUCCESSFUL NOW!
The following is exactly the type of message I enjoy receiving:
I am very happy to report that we closed on the 1981 Hallberg Rassy 38 on Friday! We still can't quite believe it, but will go out tonight to celebrate. :-)
Robert and I are so grateful to you for your very helpful, expert advice, guidance, and support during this journey. We appreciate how helpful you have been to us each step of the way.
In the coming weeks, we would love to correspond with you about the repairs and upgrades that we are considering to the boat to get your thoughts.
Very best wishes, and fair winds,
Nina and Robert
Nina & Robert had been outbid on two Tartan 37's and then I remembered a young couple who had spent two years refitting and repowering an HR 38, cruised Mexico but recently contacted me asking if any consultation clients would be interested in their 38 as they needed to return to work and the "real" world. I put both couples in touch with Ryan Hellling at Swiftsure, recommended the sellers sail the boat to San Diego to simplify the transaction, and the rest is history!
Yesterday I went through my consultation binder and was amazed how nearly all of my recent clients have successfully purchased boats around the world in the last few months. Here's the list:
A young couple from SF purchased a Tartan 37 from Baxter & Molly, previous consultation clients, got married and are off on their grand adventure!
Another young Bay-area couple used Pete McGonagle's help to purchase a very clean, low-hour Dean catamaran in FL
An Ontario couple purchased a very tidy Switch 51 cat in Denmark and Jim, an expedition member on our Panama-Hawaii leg helped them sail it across the Atlantic.
A very experience Australian couple purchased a Contest 43 in Spain and are excited about cruising the Med!
A Portland, OR client who attended our Seattle seminar purchased a Yamaha 33 at a very reasonable price in Friday Harbor, our hometown, and sailed it home to Oregon.
A Seattle couple whom we met at the Seattle Boat Show purchased Tabu, a famous Farr 44 built and sailed by Richard and Sherri Crowe, longtime skippers of the sail-training vessel Alaska Eagle. They will shortly be sailing their new boat home to Seattle and Michele is joining us on Leg 7.
Bucky, a single guy whom we met at the Seattle Boat Show after serious research purchased a Taswell 43 which he plans to sail to Mexico shortly. We were able to put him in touch with Chris and Bobbie Ridenauer who liveaboard a Taswell 43 and have helped dozens of our client repair, refit and outfit newly-purchased vessels for offshore voyaging.
Another Bay-area client found and purchased a very tidy cat in FL.
Yet another Bay-area client purchased a low-hour Beneteau to sail to Mexico on.
And yet another young Bay-area couple purchased an Island Packet 380 with only 400 engine hours, got married and flew to Croatia to charter for their honeymoon! What is it about our clients buying boats and getting married? Seems to be a real trend here!
A lovely couple from Vermont found a very tidy Beneteau for coastal cruising. They purchased the boat in FL, and Teresa Carey and Ben Ericson, also consultation clients, film makers and professional sail-training captains (http://simplequestionmovie.com) combined intensive (and very successful!) training with the delivery sail.
I may have missed one or two, but it is surprising how many clients have found their dream boats and are already out there cruising! The inventory of refitted, fairly recent-model offshore capable cruising yachts on the market continues to shrink, and prices are headed back up, so if you're planning on purchasing, now is certainly the time!
ALL 2013 MAHINA BERTHS FILLED AND 2014 IS NOW FILLING
We may have cancellations and in order to be first on the wait list for Legs 5, 6 or 7, simply email an application without deposit. If we have a cancellation, we will contact you at once.
John & Amanda are on the June 2013 cover of Sail Magazine, pick it up now at your local news stand!
FIRST LEG FINISHED
Leg 1-2013 Successfully Completed and Mahina Tiare is anchored off Moorea, 17 miles west of Tahiti. Click HERE to read the Leg 1 expedition updates.
We've added links to all of the exciting places we will sail to and are working at adding a Google Map that will outline the route. If you're up for high latitiude adventures - you're welcome to join us sailing to places we've only read and dreamed about! Click here to find out more!
WE'RE BACK HOME ON SAN JUAN ISLAND, WASHINGTON AND ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE!
There was a record turnout on Jan. 1st for the 27th Annual Committment Ride and we didn't freeze to death. Amanda has discovered ZUMBA exercise dance classes and we are enjoying kayaking, swimming, yoga and catching up with friends.
We're hard at work on some new show and seminars and off to the Toronto, Chicago and Seattle Boat Shows shortly. Hope to meet you at one of the shows, and we wish everyone SMOOTH SAILING AND FOLLOWING SEAS IN 2013!
AFTER A MARATHON WEEK OF WORK AND SOME SKILLFUL HELPERS, MAHINA TIARE IS LOOKING GREAT FOR OUR 2013 SEASON
We're at Auckland airport having just put MT's full boat cover on.
Here's what we've just completed:
Finalized options on our the new mainsail and genoa that Carol Hasse at Port Townsend Sails is just starting
Installed a shiny new Force 10 stove/oven
Replaced our worn-out Lofrans windlass with a more powerful Maxwell
Replaced our failed original Odelco 24 volt monitor with a Xantrex Link Lite which now matches our 12 volt monitor
Located and installed a LED 24 volt mast deck light
Replaced a cracked Lewmar genoa winch base
Added a 12 volt battery charger, separate from our house 24 volt charger/inverter
Located the short that prevented two of our 12 volt outlets from working
Galvanized chain and main anchor
Removed, machined down and reinstalled lower bronze rudder bearing
Removed caulking, re-grooved, re-caulked and sanded 1/3 of port side teak decks
Normal end-of-season maintenance: flushed holding tanks and head, changed engine and transmission oil, removed washed and rehung all curtains and hatch covers
It's a relief to be at the airport and to know that we won't have a huge project list waiting when we return in April.
We owe huge thanks to Half Moon Bay Marina Boatyard, our all-time favorite, and to Kelvin from Half Moon Bay Boat Builders and to Paul from Half Moon Bay Electrical.
Incidentally, we are paying the equivalent of US$50 per hour for a fully-qualified master boatbuilder whose services would earn $110-120 per hr in North Amercia, and the equivalent of $55 per hour for a top marine electrician. NZ is without question the most cost-effective country in the world for highest quality yacht repair work.
TWO MAGAZINE COVERS IN ONE MONTH!
November issues of Cruising Yachtsman (Australia) and Blue Water Sailing (USA) both feature Mahina Tiare and are her 12th & 13th cover girl shots.
MEET PJ BAKER, WHO IS NOW HANDLING REGISTRATIONS FOR MAHINA OFFSHORE CRUISING SEMINARS!
PJ, on the right just completed an exciting one year South Pacific cruise with her husband Brad and adventuresome boys, Bryce and Austin. They've recently sold CAPAZ, their custom Perry 48' ketch to one of our Seattle seminar grads and have moved back ashore where PJ runs Swiftsure Yachts office that Brad co-founded a few years ago with seminar co-presenter Pete McGongagle.
HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THREE ISOLATED ISLAND SCHOOLS IN VANUATU We're rarely seen parents, village elders and young, dedicated schoolteachers more involved than in the three villages on Aniytum, Tanna and Erromango we delivered books and school supplies to during LEG 5-2012.
The headmasters at Achawhat and Potnarvin both have asked if we could help them in their efforts to establish the first-ever school libraries in their isolated villages. In addition, they have asked for more simple school supplies including pens, pencils, exercise books, world atlas, dictionaries, crayons, marking pens, scissors - just any typical school supplies.
At their request, we are looking for donations of children's books from age 5-15. Used books are fine, and we will be asking each 2013 expedition member if they can help by bringing books that we will ship them on their flight to join us.
Special appreciation goes to anyone in New Zealand who can help supply books as these won't need to be carried down from the States. We have funds set aside for purchase if anyone finds particularly good sources.
John, Amanda and the teachers, children and parents of these villages.
WE'RE HEADED BACK TO ALASKA IN 2014 AND ARE SETTING SAIL BACK TO SWEDEN IN 2015!
As much as we've always loved the South Pacific, 2013 will be our last full season of South Pacific expeditions. Click HERE for our new 2014 schedule, starting in Auckland and ending in Victoria, Canada or click HERE for our exciting 2015 schedule, starting in Victoria and ending in Sweden. If you are interested in either year, click HERE for our 2005 Log updates (identical passages to 2014) or click HERE for our 2006 updates, similar to our 2015 schedule.
PREVIOUS EXPEDITION MEMBERS BETH AND NORM COOPER, Leg 6-2009 FROM VANCOUVER, BC CARRY ON OUR TRADITION OF DELIVERING MUCH NEEDED SCHOOL SUPPLIES TO ISOLATED VILLAGES IN VANUATU.
Click HERE for their story
Date: 04 Oct 2012 21:42:00 -0000
Hi John & Amanda,
We are now in Port Vila and wanted to give you an update on our visit to Port Narvin. We really enjoyed our time there. We told our friends we were going there to deliver school supplies so they followed us to Port Narvin from Port Resolution. 5 boats arrived together in the anchorage. There was already one boat there. Chief Joe and Chief Andre said that it was the most boats ever at Port Narvin! When Norm and I went ashore on arrival and the path and beach were lined with all the villagers (Sunday afternoon). The chiefs said they had all come to the waterfront to see the boats as it was such a big event.
All 6 boats visited the school the next day together and the children sang beautifully for us. The teachers were very appreciative of the school supplies. The chiefs then guided us on a hike to the top of the mountain where they are building a cell tower. The next day Norm & I visited the new Junior High School which they just opened this year. They are REALLY in need of books and supplies. We did some photocopying for them and promised to look into sending English and Science books on their syllabus. We'll look into this in NZ.
All in all a very memorable visit with lovely people so thank you for the suggestion to stop there. The biggest problem for yachts is the rolly anchorage. We set a stern anchor which helped.
We're enjoying PV now with baguettes and good grocery shopping. Hope all is well on MT.
CREW COMMENTS UPDATED
Click HERE for 2011 comments.
ONCE AGAIN, MAHINA TIARE IS A COVER GIRL ON AUGUST BLUE WATER SAILING
BOATS FOR SALE: NEW PAGE UNDER CONSULTATION!
We have no intention of brokering sailboats, but when expedition members or consultation clients are ready to sell their boats, we will list them on this page. Please contact sellers directly. www.mahina.com/boatsforsale.html
TWO GORGEOUS GIRLS GRACE THE COVER OF MAY CRUISING WORLD MAGAZINE!
Molly Gillespie, Leg 2-11 points the way through Huahine's reef aboard Mahina Tiare for our tenth magazine cover shot.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TWO WEEKS FOR MY CLIENTS IN 20 YEARS OF BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION!
Unbelievable, but here are two weeks of success stories:
Click here for the story of UK
consultation clients Ian and Ann's search which resulted in their
commissioning a new Allures 45 which is just starting construction in France
and which will be displayed in the Paris and Dusseldorf boat shows this
A client in Costa Rica gets a second chance on a nearly-new Najad 380 that he lost to a higher bidder two weeks ago.
STRICTLY SAIL MIAMI BOAT SHOW AND SURPRISE FT. LAUDERDALE VISIT VERY EXCITING!
The opportunity to watch and photograph the survey and go for a test sail with a consultation client on the Manta 42 cat that they had made an offer on, plus the chance to see the first day of the Strictly Sail Miami Boat Show proved irrespirable, so Amanda and I accompanied Pete McGonagle to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this week. We had the opportunity to interview and photograph several boatyards, make connection with a new buyer's broker whom we will be referring selected clients to and generally learn much more about resources available in South FL for our Boat Selection Consultation clients.
Also, very importantly, we had the chance to go aboard, photograph and speak with boatyard owners or reps of Antares, Catana, Seawind, Leopard, St. Francis and Knyssna catamarans, plus meet with the Jachney's and view the latest (and excellent) Hylas yachts. A real bonus was meeting Stan and Sylvia Dabney, founders of Valiant Yachts whom I had last seen in 1976 when they had just started Valiant Yachts.
NEW CARIBBEAN SECURITY INDEX RATES THE SAFETY IN PORT AND AT ANCHOR OF EACH COUNTRY IN THE CARIBBEAN, click HERE to review the ratings.
BAXTER, MOLLY AND KALA HAVING WAAAY TOO MUCH FUN IN THE BAHAMAS!!
Swimming pigs that come out to your boat for food scraps when you call them, snorkeling in sunken airliners; you gotta check this out!
Baxter and Molly were Boat Purchase Consultation clients (they ended up purchasing a very tidy and quite well equipped Tartan 37) and joined us on a very exciting Leg 2-11. Shortly after returning from Rarotonga, they set sail south from North Carolina and are now in the Bahamas seriously having too much fun! This is what it is all about - you don't have to sail around the world to get away and have an amazing adventure.
CHECK OUT www.DistantShores.ca FOR VERY COOL SAILING DVD'S AND TELEVISION PROGRAMS AIRING WORLDWIDE!
We had briefly met television producers Paul and Sheryl Shard at Strictly Sail Chicago, but the Jan. Toronto show gave us the opportunity to watch two of their seminars and learn more about their very successful and long-running sailing television series. If you can't get enough of sailing adventures on a snowy winter evening, watching their shows is like eating your favourite desert!
BOATS TO CONSIDER FOR OFFSHORE CRUISING JUST UPDATED! Click here to view John's latest list including several additions and deletions.
150,000 MILES AND STILL SAILING FAST AND STRONG!
Mahina Tiare's log just turned over 150,000 miles, the equivalent of SAILING SIX TIMES AROUND THE WORLD!
As she is structurally sound and still looks like a new boat, she is a huge testimony to the amazing quality of Hallberg-Rassy yachts. MT's original Volvo TMD 31L engine now has 11,400 hours but still doesn't use a drop of oil, doesn't smoke and comes up with annual oil analysis records identical to when new. Even so, we are booked in to repower once we reach Sweden and our favorite Marinssons Brother's boatyard in 2014. We will also once again have Martinssons replace all rigging including the Selden Furlex and lifelines as they did at 100,000 miles.
WE LOVE FIJI!!!
This has to be the best tropical cruising destination in the world, and we are delighted to be back, anchored in the same spot and walking on the exact same beach at Musket Cove, Malololailai Island where we were married by a sulu-wearing Fijian minister in 1998, between Legs 4 & 5. We scheduled 13 days off this year between Legs 4 & 5 and not only are we getting Mahina Tiare in top shape, we've had time for trail running, kayaking, swimming and visiting with our Fijian friends and cruisers. Life just doesn't get any better!
2011 13th Anniversary!
Click HERE to read STAYING SHIPSHAPE: Maintaining and Refitting a Coastal or Offshore Cruising Boat from Blue Water Sailing's April 2011 issue.
PIRACY, SECURITY AND CRUISERS
Click HERE for our just-updated article with an addition by Jimmy Cornell on how to avoid the Red Sea and Middle East completely while circumnavigating.
YET AGAIN, SHE'S A COVER GIRL!
Mahina Tiare graces the cover of the Feb. 2011 SAIL magazine!
CONSULTATION CLIENTS SET ALL TIME RECORD OF ONLY 27 DAYS FROM INITIAL CONTACT TO SURVEY AND PURCHASE OF THEIR DREAM BOAT! More...
I'VE FOUND COOL NEW TEVA SANDALS FOR TROPICAL EXPEDITION MEMBERS!
Perfect for hiking, trail running and even for wearing on the plane, these Tevas eliminate the need to bring shoes with you on the expedition. Click HERE to see them. http://www.rei.com/product/781265
THIS IS ONE OF OUR MANY REWARDS FOR LEADING SAIL-TRAINING EXPEDITIONS... what greater reward is there than helping our expedition members gather the tools, knowledge and experience to realize their own dreams of ocean cruising? Linda and Brad joined us about five years ago for the passage from Noumea to Auckland and now they sold up and sailed here on their own boat! Click here for the full story.
AMANDA'S WHITBREAD 'ROUND THE WORLD RACE Click here for a Youtube clip of Amanda's 1989-90 world circumnavigation as rigger aboard MAIDEN, the first all-woman Whitbread race boat.
THERE'S A NEW WEBSITE FOR WOMEN AND CRUISING Amanda was recently interviewed for their latest Galley Articleclick here for her answers and galley advice.
PIRACY AND SECURITY
So many seminar attendees asked about what we have done to avoid any piracy or security issues aboard our boats over the past 35 years, that we have written a new page which will be in next year's Offshore Companion books and is now posted under Resources-Links-Piracy and includes links to the sites we use to determine WHERE NOT TO SAIL!
WHAT WOMEN REALLY WANT AND HOW THEY MAKE IT HAPPEN:
READ AMANDA'S NEW FOUR-PART SERIES PUBLISHED IN CRUISING WORLD, click here
MEET MICHAEL HENRICHS, Mahina Expeditions DESIGNATED TRAVEL AGENT OF CHOICE
Michael is a sailor and manager of Doug Fox Travel North Seattle office which handles much of the international travel for University of Washington. Open six days a week, 8:30-6:00 weekdays, 10-3 Saturdays (Pacific time), Michael's toll free number is 1-877-429-5787 and his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. He has traveled to many of the countries we sail to and we are working closely with him to ensure smoothest possible airline and hotel bookings for expedition members.
We don't receive compensation from travel agents, but we have found it helpful having a dedicated agent who understands our specific needs (expedition members must be in port of joining at least 24 hours early, and must not book return tickets before 2PM on final day of expedition). Many times Michael will offer a lower price than available on the internet by using a travel wholesaler. An additional advantage is if your airline changes your return ticket while you are aboard, Michael will alert us via email.
ANOTHER SATISFIED BOAT PURCHASE CONSULTATION CLIENT FINDS HIS DREAM BOAT! Click here for the details!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR NEW NAUTICAL TERMINOLOGY TEST.
We welcome suggestions for additional terms to include on the test, and we invite expedition members to study this (the answers are in your Expedition Companion books sent out before you join us) in preparation for joining Mahina Tiare.
WE AREN'T LOOKING FOR EXPERT SAILORS, JUST INTERMIDIATE SAILORS WHO REALLY WANT TO GAIN OFFSHORE VOYAGING SKILLS!
Recently we've received emails from several people who didn't think they had enought experience to apply for an expedition, even though they have certainly had more than intermediate sailing skills.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAITS WE ARE LOOKING FOR IN AN APPLICANT ARE:
the ability to get along well with others in challenging environments
the willingness to give 100% in all situations
the desire to learn everything possible about offshore sailing
a personal committment to a healthy and active lifestyle
We find that if you are outgoing, enjoy making new friends and experiencing different cultures you will be a positive asset to our crew.
LINDA & MIKE DAWKINS, LEG 8, 2003 EXPEDITION MEMBERS ARE LIVING THEIR DREAM! read more!
Mahina Expeditions GETS STRONG REVIEWS FROM A CORPORATE CONSULTANT/TEAM BUILDER!
CAN TESTING MAKE YOU A BETTER SAILOR?
We think it can increase retention of valuable skills and information, at the least. Our expedition tests started with a single page covering the following:
*Overboard Rescue (including individual hands-on demonstration)
*Abandon Ship Equipment (including physically inventorying each our our three containers)
*Liferaft Deployment (including a video and physically lifting our raft out of it's cradle on deck)
*Bilge Pumps: location, operations and alarms
*Hoisting the main, reefing (including individual time trials), dropping the main, shaking out a reef
*Wind speeds for reefing, upwind and downwind
The first test proved so successful at getting expedition members focused on learning and retaining key information we have added the following individual tests, each given the morning following the presentation of the subject:
Marine Weather (includes drawing different key weather symbols)
Diesel Engines (following our engine class and video)
Anchoring (includes drawing diagrams of each technique discussed)
Storm Tactics (includes hands-on deployment of warp and drogue as well as drawing each tactic discussed)
Sails and Rigging (includes utilizing our Pfaff 130 machine to make a sail repair)
Mahina Expeditions REQUIRED BY TOP INSURANCE CARRIER FOR SOME CRUISERS APPLYING FOR OFFSHORE INSURANCE
Each of the major international insurance carriers (Lloyds, Pantaneius, Blue Water, IMIS) recognizes that completing one our our expeditions with intensive, focussed training makes you a much better risk,and we hear from previous expedition members of discounts as much as 40% on offshore insurance premiums. For the first time however, one of the very best insurers, Al Golden,owner of International Marine Services is specifically recommending Mahina Expeditions to clients with limited offshore experience who are hoping to be accepted into his very selective and most highly rated Jackline Insurance Program. Jackline is the first and only "A" rated US underwritten program that includes worldwide navigation for crews of two or more. www.IMIScorp.net.
CONCERNED ABOUT SEASICKNESS DURING HIGH SEAS EXPEDITIONS?
If so, click here for our latest addition, an overview of what really works for preventing and treating seasickness.
CAN COMPLETING A PASSAGE ABOARD MAHINA TIARE BE A CATALYST FOR CHANGE AND ADVENTURE? Read more here!
HOW TO ORDER AMANDA'S BOOK
"The Essential Galley Companion" Recipes and Provisioning Advice For Your Boating Adventures
Whether you're a weekend
boater or preparing for an extended voyage or perhaps traveling
by RV, this book presents essential and concise information on:
- Stowage, food preparation and cooking in a small space
- Adaptable and versatile recipes for worldwide travel
- Delicious, healthy and easy-to-prepare meals
- Catching, preparing and cooking fish
- Cooking in heavy weather and preventing seasickness
- International medical and health concerns
- Avoiding disasters and frustration in the galley
Amanda has included over 375 recipes drawn from her 125,000 boating miles, experience as a professional chef and overland journeys in 50 countries. The Essential Galley Companion
redefines the traditional concept of boating cuisine with an
intriguing collection of 375 international recipes and galley
advice interwoven with tales of personal adventure.
"The Essential Galley Companion is the most useful, authoritative
and entertaining galley book published in a long time."
-Dan Spurr, editor, Practical Sailor
"Everything you could
ever want to know about provisioning and cooking on a boat, a
seagoing Joy of Cooking. The Essential Galley Companion will
help you cut those dock lines and go cruising - for a week-end
or a year."
-Steve and Linda Dashew, author of Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia
$29.95 plus tax Credit cards or checks accepted
To order this
book Call or fax us with your Credit Card number:
tel. 360-378-6131 · fax 360-378-6331
or send a check to: P.O. Box 1596 · Friday Harbor ·
WA 98250 USA
Or email us at : email@example.com