Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spirit's refit begins

Ready for work to begin

Over the last few weeks Spirit has slowly been getting transformed from a 1990's designed two-handed racing formula 40 to a modern day fast cruising and racing trimaran.

Spirit sitting out in the sun

Over the next few months (we hope by April 2015) she will have a large amount of work done to her that will improve her sailing by making her lighter and simpler to sail and by also opening up her interior and exterior spaces we hope that will improver her cruising comfort.

Lombardini engine removed

Here will be the place to keep an eye on things as she progresses we will post photos and news and we will also update our facebook page daily with what's going on.

Old cockpit combing about to be removed

We're working with some great companies and in the near future will bring updates of how they are involved and how we will implement some great products into Spirit making her a top cruising trimaran.
Cover up over the boat to keep things cool

Some photos below of the refit so far and Spirit's rig removal yesterday.

STB side of the cockpit removed

Here we had just begun removing the cockpit

Getting there most of the cockpit out

Cockpit looking forward

Cockpit fully removed now just for the deck

Jim testing the outboard option

Claudia arrives from Italy

Dreaming of faraway places

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pacific pondering..........

Well it's coming close to the time when we'll be heading home to Spirit.  Over the last six months I've been thinking of what to do when we return.  There seems to be so many questions and it's only time that seems to answer most of them.  It's hard to stop planning everything, to let go and let time decide plans as it passes and like most people I do a lot of daydreaming, which doesn't help.

Daydreaming of the places we could visit of the places I've always dreamed about visiting since I was sailing as a child with my mother and father, those distant places you read about in magazines while a kid are always the first on my list as they seem so exotic and far away.

One thing were learnt when we crossed the Pacific in 2011-2012 was how vast and huge this body of water is.  There is so many small Island chains both north and south of the equator and they all seem to have there different qualities.

With all this in mind we have made a rough plan for the next few years.  and that's to sail back out into the Pacific.  But with the trade winds mostly from the north east to the south east how is one to do this comfortably on a little trimaran that get's incredibly wet once you have more than 15kts of wind forward of the beam?

The last few weeks have been spent studying the weather patterns for the different times of year.  And one of the benefits of Spirit is that she loves the light airs.  So the plan is simple..... find the lightest airs from any direction preferably forward of the beam to increase our apparent and head east!!

So far it seems the most enjoyable way to do this would be to head north from Australia through to Indonesia.  Maybe taking part in the Darwin ti Ambon yacht race next year and sailing up to Ambon. We always love a little race along the way as well and that's one race where the winds are normally on the quarter making for some seriously enjoyable sailing.

From there we would head up to Raja Ampat and then onto Palau for December when it's cyclone season in the southern hemisphere.  We'd pick our way east along the Pacific Island chains starting with the Caroline Islands, which is all part of Micronesia then onto the Marshall Islands and down into the Kiribati's and Samoa for the southern hemispheres winter season.  During that time we'd do Tonga again as last time we left most of it out due to time restraints and it was one place we promised ourselves to go back to.  We hang out around that area until the cyclone season again in November/December and head north again to Samoa.

From Samoa it would be north to the Line Islands and Kiribati.  Then down to the Marquases Islands and back down to Tahiti for the start of winter again.

It's way to hard to plan something like this and what will decide our final arrival point is always the weather.  Before we make for another Island we will watch the weather intently and depart with light winds from a favourable direction.  Should things change on passage we will adapt to them as they happen.  But one thing is we will always have plenty of other options with so many islands there will always be one that is in the correct direction for the weather we have.

So in the end this is all a dream.  It's a dream of places we'd love to go to and a direction we'd like to head.  In the end it will be mother nature that decides where we visit and when.  So in a few years it'll be great to look back and to see where that is compared to where we were aiming today.

Here's a bit of a route we've been working on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bora Bora to Tonga

Been busy with the video editing lately.  Have made another movie that I have been wanting to make for a long period of time.  We did this leg of the trip across the Pacific back in July 2012 and it was great.  Bit wet and wild at the beginning but it soon turned into a slow but smooth sail into Tonga.  We wanted to head direct to Fiji but with the winds going super light we thought we'd stop by Tonga or Vavau for a rest.  Ended up staying three weeks and having a ball.  Made some great friends there and then continued onto to Savu Savu in Fiji, leaving the same day as another nine yachts and then getting in 48 hrs before most of them arrived.  Was another trip that had very little wind, which is a great reason to have a boat that sails well in light airs.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Tahiti Pearl Regatta

Anyone that's been following the blog for a while will know that in July of 2012 we were lucky enough to be able to compete in the Tahiti Pearl Regatta.

It was an awesome time that was really made special by great friends being able to join us the friendliness of the locals and the perfect setting for a really well run regatta. 

The course was based around the Islands of Tahaa, Raiatea and Bora Bora.  Each year they change it and the year before it was around Huahine instead of Bora Bora.  With the flat turquoise water of the lagoons and steady trade winds it's a hard place to beat when it comes to perfect sailing conditions.  Coupled with the fact your in French Polynesia and Polynesians are some of the worlds most welcoming people, these all combine to make it the perfect recipy for an amazing week of sailing.

In the 2012 TPR Spirit hadn't been rated and we didn't have the time to weight and measure the boat for a handicap so the organisers allowed us to enter the "Real Time" class, which was pretty good fun as we have super light conditions, which suit Spirit down to the ground.  She was the first over the line in each race and that made for some extra drinking and relaxing time at the end of each day as it was well deserved by the crew.

After two years of promising myself to make a video we finally did it.  Below you'll find the video and if your in any doubts whether to ever try and make this regatta don't be it's a top place to sail and one of the best run regattas we've done.

We hope to head back through the Pacific along the equator next year and to head back as far East as French Polynesia.  That's a heck of a long way off in both miles and time so who knows what could happen.  If the winds blow in the right direction though you can be sure to see us there again!!


If anyone wants to read up about the Tahiti Pearl Regatta we did in 2012 follow the link below

And if you'd like to know more about it check out the great website, which is also in English at the link below