Thursday, April 30, 2009

survived the storm!!

good morning and what a good one it is!! we survived yesterday - wind finally started to subside around 2:30pm and we are now away from the yucky storm. we had 45 knot winds and 5 meter seas and major down pours! do not want to repeat that ever!!! last night we had nice seas, motoring into light head winds and lightening storms all around way off in the distance. just to be safe Steve disconnected the ham radio antenna . and our main sail has a 6 ft rip near the top!! hoping we can fix it ourselves in Tubuai, otherwise its a sail maker in Papeete. Tillicum do you have a sewing machine that can sew sails on board? mine is to small for the main.

we have a few things to repair once we anchor . this has been a hell of a trip! we have 326 nm to go...... motor sailing 6.6 knots waiting for the wind to turn some more. Genoa out and staysail too. heaps of laundry to do and I live in the dream that I will find some one in Tubuai to do it really cheap!!!! send me lots of luck on that one please! otherwise, we all get to do it by hand! and all my cruiser pals out there now how much fun that is! I still have sore hands from wringing it all last time.

our position is 27* 46 S 153* 03 W

well time for a shower! and do some boat cleaning on the inside. the cockpit is slowly drying out after all the saltwater from yesterday. we took waves right up to the backstay on the port side about 8-10 times and then heaps and heaps of rain. the waves even bent and broke one of the welds in the canvas door port side. Steve has bent it back into place , but will need to fix where the weld broke. he has a plan! like always.

orca III standing by

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

orca 3 and the big blue sea

orca 3 current position 31* 27S 152* 45W doing a whopping almost 4 knots....................

yes boys and girls we have round 3 of the big winds! at 7pm last night winds were 30 knots gusting to 34. at 2am mine and Marg's Malachi watch ( we have the same watch so we can chat) winds were 32 knots and we had some gusts!! this is supposed to stay with us all day and into the evening then winds are 35-40! so that makes what 3 gales!! orca 3 is riding the waves and winds well! this is good. we all are very tired , sore muscles and using ones never even knew we had! its a challenge walking up hill while the boat rocks I tell ya! salt spray everywhere, including coming in my galley hatch cause I left it oh so slightly open, lesson learned, we sure took a lot of water in that one., I was wiping it up all over the counter, floor, wall ,ceiling - even got a bit on my bread, but hey now the galley is all clean!! thats the upside..... hahaha
so what does that telll ya when the wind eases to 25 knots and it fells like 6! we be seasoned sailors then I guess

lots of sleeping going on here, and we are all anxious to get to land, this has been a very tiring crossing, not as long as from mexico to marqueses although same distance in miles but we've sailed faster of course. Just talked to Malachi and we all can't wait to go swimming! we have 500 miles to go! getting there.

Well not much else to say, to rocky down here anyway, gotta get outside! hope you all are enjoying where you are, take care and this will be Orca 3 clear from this station

April 29,2009
hello hello,
this sucks!We all feel this way, steady 35 knots , waves 3-4 meters. rain rain rain, salt everywhere and even have found a few leaks never had before. have had a few more dumps of water through the solar vent. we got the cap out but never got it capped off in time. We are under staysail alone and doing 4-5 knots the up side is it should all be calming sometime between 6 am and noon today ( its 4 am now)
we are all feeling not to well, seasicky, Malachi is finally back in VHF range - lost them for about 7 hrs. they have been hand steering the last few hours as the autopilot has decided to take a break. both of us are running our main engines to charge batteries as the generators are getting airlocks , lots of heal on the port side,

this has been one tough passage - boat doing okay - we buried the top handrail about half a dozen times during the day- scared me it did!! I don't like that. we've had some good breaking waves too. sounds like we hit something each time. but we didn't.

429 miles to go and counting! looking forward to being anchored and not moving!

orca 3 over and out

Friday, April 24, 2009

another sea update from orca

April 23,2009
I take back this being an alright passage! we have had a very tough night- wind behind us , seas behind us all day ,not bad during the day, a little rocky and rolly but around 5:30 pm winds picked up to a steady 35 knots and gusted to 44- things flying, can't really sleep - and looks like we bent our pole!
we only have the staysail out right now, just to keep us moving as the waves behind us are big. have taken a few up the gunnel right to the cockpit and soaked the cockpit! that was on my and maya's watch around 345am.. everything soaked.
this is not fun!!
have been talking to malachi as well , we are all ready to be at the australs.

oh yeah, happy birthday to steve. hopefully it calms down some for his special day,

that it for now

April 24,2009

well without jinxing myself again, I will say that we had a better day and night, the seas and wind have subsided - thank god! we are still rollling a bit, but nothing like before . the sunrise this morning was beautiful! Steve and Graeme will go on deck later to pull down the bent pole so we can set our genoa again. we are currently motor sailing under staysail alone. engine is running to charge batteries. seems we keep getting a air block in the generator. Steve will bleed it later - Steve had a great birthday - except his mp3 player took a slide off the cockpit table right into the gunnel has it filled with a very big wave. got saltwater in it!! all his music that he loves may be gone. he has taken it apart and dried it all out and will try to fix it. but, we think it's not so good. time will tell. otherwise, it will be Hawaii before he can find another one. Bummer for him!

aside from that , Malachi bunch made up a song to the tune of puff the magic dragon, titled "Steve the mechanic sailor , sailed the big blue seas , playing his harmonica aboard the orca 3" it was very good and will get a copy from them! sure is good to have them in vfh range. and to see them on the horizon! keeps our spirits high.

Graeme is loving my homemade yogurt. this is good. I have been making a batch for the last 3 days in a row. its going fast! the kids love it too, but they are used to having it.
winlink is working again!! I am getting gribs , yeah! this has been an experience to say the least , up and down that system has been,

well, the sun is shining and we are getting closer! just under 1000 miles to go!

all on board are doing great! I found my St Christopher Medalian from Denis and Helen ( thanks guys!) and it is back in its hanging spot. this is good. we missed having him there, right next to the rosary we got from the family in Mag Bay Mexico. this will bring us home safely !

hugs to all,

the crew of Orca III

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

orca 3 update from sea april 22

April 18,2009
good morning all,
am sitting here on my watch - 2-6am, trying to get weather! we are motor sailing right now trying to get easterly - quite the challenge with the wind going the wrong way, but it is turning so that is good. the other night when we hove-to we had a steady 35 knot wind with gusts to 42!! that was not the most fun we've had! the seas were huge too. not a comfortable night to say the least so Steve decided to go further south, Malachi is also doing the same. we will be turning _- wholly cow ,just had a huge wave hit us and soak the inside of my galley through that same dam solar vent - salt water everywhere!

anyway, will keep this short now as i have a mess to clean up, all are well on board and have managed to get more sleep. We will be in VHF range with malachi soon again, hopefully! have been talking a few times on the ham, and ssb.

must go and wipe up the water.


April 21,2009
Sandra asked about the chickidees here's the answer no we lost one to the ocean, poor thing just couldn't make it back to the boat, me and the kids cried to steve to turn the boat around to rescue him, steve almost did, and then said no - he was right, but poor Emma was so upset!!! we had lots of talks about that, then the next day the other one showed up - but he to is gone,not sure what happened to him, but I think the same thing, lucky for us we didn't see that one happen. we were so far away from land, they couldn't possibly make it back. I got to hold the other one, we tried to warm him and feed him, but no luck. very sad time on orca 3

we are now in this sloppy rocking back and forth sea with the wind still going the right way. malachi is still with us just a mile of our starboard. we talk all the time. today the girls played hangman and did brain teasers with the malachi girls via VHF - that was fun.

Poor graeme is still working on his sea legs, during breakfast lost his balance and "ran" into maya knocking her oatmeal everywhere. funny it was! we have settled into our nightly watches well. steve 6pm-10 graeme 10pm-2am Kyle 9pm-1130pm maya 130am-4am dionne 2am-6am Emma whenever she gets up in the morning, usually around 6am and has also come up with Maya's shift to see Graeme. during the day we all take turns getting naps. i do most of the cooking and have now got everyone to wash their own bowls most of the time. forgot what it was like during a long crossing, hasn't been to bad this time. guess we are seasoned offshorers - still love being anchored better. I am looking forward to the Australs, and also Hawaii, and for sure coming home. its time for me! this has been good for us as a family - glad we did this, will miss it too once back and will and do miss all of our other cruising buddies we left in NZ. we talk on the ham and email though so that is good.

love ya and miss you lots


April 22,2009
good morning everyone!

we are doing great here. have had a fantastic couple of days sail and now we are motor sailing - not much wind and fairly calm seas with the odd big swell. Tomorrow is Steves birthday!!! making him is favorite dinner.

We have watched the pirates of C - all three over the last 4 days! We be pirates now!!! Steve and Graeme had to go on deck and Steve had to fix our main sail. one of the sail cars at the mast came apart . so there was steve sitting on the boom in the sail cover fixing her up. He is so good at that. the boys also transfered all but 60 litres of the fuel that was in jerry cans on deck to the tanks. do it while its calm!! all in all this has been a pretty good passage once we got out of that 42 knot gale! have been baking up a storm , and eating prettty good , I think. not much else going on here, lots of sleeping ,reading, yacking with Malachi on VHF. we love that.

We are at 40* 30s 162* 52 W

getting there ..............


Thursday, April 16, 2009

update from orca 3

April 14,2009
still sailing! had the wind come up and the waves to last night, so we were reefing in everything ! no one slept well,the boat jaring around so much, the sea was like a washing machine! We were sailing so fast we not only caught up to Malachi ( they were just over 4 miles ahead) we passed them. we are all battling sore throats and stuffed noses - I have both and its not fun! Malachi also has been doing the same and they didn't sleep well last night either. the wind has died way down and we are slowly sailing along. we caught another albacore - in the freezer it goes, now we want mahi mahi.
Everyone has been catching up on sleep today.............. not much else going on



April 16,2009
Hey all,
Orca III and Malachi have chosen to heave-to, hove-to ( whatever its called)
our current position is 41* 03.49 S 174* 09.12 W
we are waiting for this system north of us to pass and don't want to go any further south! besides we all need a rest! the wind has been anywhere from 18-27 knots ( with it mostly being 25-27 and the odd 30 gust) big seas - we had a wave hit us that had stacked up and when it hit our canvas window door, ripped the canvas window part and bent the stainless frame. so we have some sewing to do and some bending back. thankfully , nothing else was damaged. sure soaked the cockpit though!! I even had salt water come through my solar vent in the galley, first time for that as well.

we are still out here with Malachi ( usually in visual but at the moment not - big seas and we are hove-to on the opposite tack so we don't run into each other) and Candine who is slightly more south than us. But they figure they will be in our area tomorrow. we talk on the ham and ssb and with Malachi on VHF - nice to feel not alone! lots of gribs being downloaded and weather discussions on the radio - not as bad as the weather chats in Tonga !!!!

We have been hove-to since 12 noon and will stay this way until 4pm for sure and maybe even over night, we will be talking about that at the 0400 UTC check in.

Everyone on board is doing well, colds seem to be getting better - have been eating lots of soup and ichiban noodles - tonight : homemade stew!! ( Glen and Marylin remember that - I froze some just for this occassion)

Kyle is re reading everything - he finished the twighlight seriers in 2.5 days!! Just can't keep enough books around! Maya also has read all the new books she bought and is starting on re reading the Twighlight series cause she can read them one after the other without having to wait! She helps alot with the galley stuff and is like me , so sea sicky! Poor miss Emma , everytime she get sick! But she is a good sport about it! Emma has been reading the archie comics
( both Kyle and Maya already finished those!) and is doing well with that. Graeme is adjusting to sea life ( silly boy says bring on the wind - ya thanks buddy! cause we got some!) he has only felt seasick once but didn't actually get sick, he too has been fighting of a cold. He is learning lots about sailing, the weather, and we even had him use the VHF -
Graeme also had the fun experience making coffee and a wave coming , over the coffee, wet beans and all, all over the counter and into mu fridge - this happened on his night watch, oh the fun at sea we have.

Steve and I both have been struggling with a cold otherwise are doing well,
Have just been informed that Graeme and Emma are craving nachos! ya, like I'm gonna cook that in this weather! oh, look Emma found the candy canes - this is what she wants now.
well time to sign off, take care

Monday, April 13, 2009

orca 3 sailing along just great!!

Hey everyone!
we are having a great sail! doing between 5-6 knots , very little swell - hoping we get this the whole way ! Malachi and us are within sight of each other, they being just ahead as we drifted while Steve fixed a leak in the steering pump. We have caught 6 albacore tuna ( smallies) in the morning, one had its tail eaten off so we through him back . we gave 2 to Malachi , this morning , and that was fun- pulling up to their boat and throwing a rope with fish tied to the end to them!! they were very
happy to get that . then as we were eating our nice bbqed tuna for lunch we caught 2 more but threw them back, they were small and we still have fish! Its a good thing we have a lot of fish,we gotta keep that Graeme boy full!

we also had over 20 dolphins swimming around our boat! way cool- Graeme took some video of that, they were swimming so fast!! Not sure if I mentioned this but we also have 2 stowaways! 2 little chickadee birdies ( definitely land birds not sea) we thought they flew away yesterday, but we saw them again and we are know out of sight of land! I hope they will be okay!!

other than me having a stuffed nose and I keep sneezing all are well, Kyle is also under the weather a little, and it looks like we have a good watch system set up. At least it worked for last night - we will keep it going until it doesn't work. so far so good.

our position currently at 0112 utc is 37* 16'S 179* 26'E

cheers for now

the crew of orca III all 6 of us!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Orce III leaves Town Basin and NZ

Here we go!! and our wonderful friends send us off with hugs, tears and homebaked goodies ( oh and apples of the tree too!!) we will miss our cruising buddies ! We stayed the night at Marsden Cove with Malachi and will be checking out on Saturday - the custom man comes around 8-8:30 am and then its off to the big blue sea!!

the wave!! we will miss them all............ thanks you guys for a great cruising adventure..........

and now an new adventure begins!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

leaving NZ tomorrow

we are busily getting ready to pull out. we go down the river to Marsden Point - and then check out of NZ tomorrow!! we are excited and nervous at the same time. please send us lots

of good energy! nice seas and nice winds - we have been touring Graeme around and he and Steve got to jam together - have video and will upload that soon. ( probalbly in French Polynesia) tiime to go! watch for updates here via the ham

Drummer Boy - they had fun that night!!

our Kiwi friends! Wesly and Jacquie came out to hear them play1

Alice and Peter _"Yamana" one of the many stopping by to say good bye!

Here is a Kiwi - we took Graeme bird watching yesterday!

this one is for Bob Cook (Gambit in Spruce Harbor Marina) - tell him his friends made it to NZ and found us!!! they too sailed here! how cool is that!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Graeme arrives with Neall and Andrea!! Auckland Airport- April 7, 2009 6:15 am!!

He arrives!! of course he was the last one out , customs search the poor boys luggage! Even took the two bags away with the barbie doll ( shh don't tell Emma its her b'day present) and x-rayed them seperately.................. all was fine! Emma jumped the fence and attacked him first! She was so excited!!
The happy Orca III group !! Thrilled to have Graeme!
The McLeod Clan!! glad to have them here! jsut off the airplane , they beat Graeme off!
Old buddies!!! wonderful to see the McLeod clan!!! Neall and Steve - big hugs!!
Me and my buddie Andrea!! so glad to have had a visit with them! A very nice treat
Tremblay Troup and McLeod Claln- Family photo in New Zealand!! Who'd a thought it?!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fuel time in Whangarei - almost ready to leave NZ

Eiton,Kyle, Jocelyn, Maya, Jenny and Jaryd! ( Tin Soldier came back to the dock yesterday afternoon!)
the boys filling 'er up! This be Malachi first

Well we fueled up! took almost 1000 ltrs of fuel . Malachi rafted to us on the fishermans dock and also fueled up. We are ready to leave ( except for stowing a few more things) Lots more goodbyes! as the kids newest friend Eiton leaves tomorrow for the states. Tonight is their last night together cause we leave so very early in the morning to pick up Graeme from the airport! His plane lands at 5:45 am ( this means we leave at 2:30 am - oh my!!) We are excited! Have been watching the weather and it looks like Saturday is the big day - of course that could change! Seems to be a few systems coming through. But have the paperwork already to go . Had to send in our Advanced Departure Notice ( this is required at least 72 hrs before we leave) which was strange to do seeing as Graeme is listed as leaving before he even arrives!!!! of course we added a little foot note saying that he was arriving April 7 - You wouldn't believe the amount of forms we have to fill in just to leave!! hand is getting a cramp.
Last night we went over to Wesley and Jacqui's for a farewell "snag" BBQ ( prize if you can figure out what a snag is!) -we had a lovely time , they are wonderful people and feel like family! they surprised us with all kinds of gifts! what a treat!! Will miss them for sure - hoping to get one more visit in before we leave!
After that we had another wonderful treat......... our cruising friends on Destiny popped in from Opua for dinner and saw us here. so we got a quick visit and hugs in!! so good to see them. May get a chance to see them just before we leave. who knows!
Sure gonna miss all the cruisers we have met that are continuing onto Fiji -

Until tomorrow this is the original Orca III crew signing off - after that we be 6!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jamming and Hauling

notice Steve way up front making sure we get in okay - they had a hard time lining up the wheels, we are so heavy they had to keep adjusting them. We are the max weight for the lift!!
Glen and Steve had a great night jamming!! they sound so good together. We may have one more time with them ( and Graeme playing drums) We had such a blast , and Sally and me laughed a lot that night . Seems I had both a man and women coming on to me!! No joke! they were in their mid twenties I guess, the girl kept cuddling up to me and putting her arm around me, and the guy kept rubbing my knee ......... oh so funny , Steve was watching this while playing and having a laugh!! oh well, what can I say.. I'm just hot stuff!! We laughed so hard....
and we got home so late! 2:30am - haven't been up that late since my last watch at sea!

The next day , yesterday, we lifted the boat to get the barnacles off and check the bottom. It was a lift and splash - out for only an hour. She looks good - although a little bare spots - we will fix that once home. Steve was happy with what he saw. We took of 2 zincs- seems we over zinced by just a bit. But now we have a clean bottom for the trip to Tahiti. We will have to swim on her there and in Hawaii , but that's okay!

I also made more beads the other day - turn out not bad considering I thought they would look ugly, I was using up my glass , rushing and uninspired - which was dumb of me to do beads that day, but like I said they turned out good! just imagine if I was in the right frame of mind - they could have been amazing!! lesson learned.
Me and the cruiser girls around here did a girls night out last night for Thai food and social. great time , but I was tired from the night before.

Laundry today, shopping again too! organizing boat and oiling the teak toe rail - lots to get done and only a few more days.........................

checking the prop - giving a lesson on how to tell if it is left or right turn - Can you tell which way our prop turns?
I always hate this part, but she lifted well! no problems. We didn't have a picture with us of how she looks for the haul out guy - had to go to the disk of photos when we were out 62 days - remember that!!!!!!??? well , that was our longest and this be out shortest - 1hr and no fighting between Steve and I - amazing , we have come along way!!!!
Blow baby blow!!! ( all night long..................)
the jamming duo - they do sound good together!! I have Steve playing and once I figure out how to get it off the camera and on here I will put it under the last video on the side of blog.





'Lil' putt putt

'Lil' putt putt
Christmas at Snug Cove