Remember remember the 3rd and 4th July is the Paddle Round the Pier weekend. After all the time energy an love i've lavished on it (I usually have to take a holiday) you'll all be going I'm sure. Its Fabulous fun. Take your boards your liko's your boats and your canoes. Your SUP's your sit on tops. Hell tie water wings to a Mini Cooper full of elephants and take that! If not just take you kids and your swimmers and your surgical drinking support.
Please go, you'll have to (voluntarily and with good grace) give a pound or so to charity, while all my mates work round the clock to amuse you, I guarantee it will be the best £1 you ever spend.
Don't believe me? Check out The Photo's, this video and the BSC version there of. SIGH... Windows update,thnak you for Fucking up my web browsers ability to play WMV's I liked the VLC plugin - it worked. Windows media plugin does not. Roll on HTML5 video.
On route to Tonga, over the Tongan trench. Dropped a kidney bean tin in to rot last night. May not have hit bottom yet it it probably takes a can a long time to sink 5 kilometres. Today its going to reach 7km, and were not over the deep bit just south of here its 9km deep.
Anyway, parasailor is up. Its kind of a cross between a spinnaker and a kite. I'm not its greatest fan. Its expensive and complicated, I'm afraid I'm not a fan. It is working though. It really is reducing the roll on the boat. I can actually blog an code without having to hang on with one hand.
Last night however when the wind went light it hour-glassed is self in a way a normal kite wouldn't and with the hole the kite and the string wouldn't untangle. We de-messed it. Its snuffer jammed on the bundle of the kite part on the way up this morning. Bloodly thing.
The bloke that sells them claims they're easier to fly than a spinnaker. He's lying. It is a good sail. But to be used - in my book, with caution.
So I've been adding feature to this site. Some of the Photo Galleries now play atmospheric music at you. A'int that nice*. I've used HTML5 so internet explorer users are buggered till v9 comes out. Since apple and Microsoft are playing fail over open source codecs it might be while before I settle down to converting to HTML5 for the video's. Also I can't re upload all my videos till I get some where civilised.
I do, instantly, like HTML5. Even if bloody browser manufactures disagree its designed to work around it. I can specify an audio file to play. And put 2 versions up. An open source .ogg for firefox opeara and crome. And proprietary mp3 for safari. Sigh no I don't know what internet explorer will use. None of the above probably. M$ FAIL cretins.
Hopefully this will kill of flash video. When its sorted. Flash I like, for animations etc. But god its awful at handling video. Its also a bloated mass. Good by Flash!
Nuie Map, well used, so was
the camera it was taken with.
My camera, is now in the same state as the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Despite being defeated it is busy shouting, come back here I can still bite you off at the knees.
* if it ain't that nice and is actually bloody iritating you can set a cookie that turns it off on any of the photo galleries that have sound.
OK I've a normal English Driving Licence. No Motorbike entitlement.
I only wanted a scooter. Used the famous (and out of date) Cook Islands licence to get my Nuie driving licence with Motorbike entitlement. Can't ride a bike mind. means I've hired one of the 2 scooters on the island.
Tom: Can I hire a scooter
Alofi Rentals: I dunno, I'll see if it works.
Errrrm.... I think it may have done sterling service, in the Vietnam War. Or possibly the Norman Conquest.
Yeah here's the check-list:
* This has got worse since yesterday now says empty, or half full regardless of the actual level is.
Fun, I F**in think so! The whole island's surrounded by a limestone cliff, remember Quadraphenia? the classic 60's mod movie. I'm from Brighton I do and I wasn't even born. Only Nuie's better. Lets hope we don't repeat the Beachy Head scene, for starters the scooter's not got enough wing mirrors.
Any way enough about the scooter, I think I'm going to upgrade the Rock of Polynesia to "most Favour Island Status", when I said to a local that England was F**ked and I was intending to not go home, they said "come live here". Tempted. Sorely.
Pete of Bali Blue's response to today's emergency bludget was the same as mine capped with "last one out the country close the door" I said that's supposed to be "Last one out turn the lights out" then realised with England's obsolete power generation that'll happen anyway.
The scenery is amazing (were like the second last post, talking about someone who's seen a bit more than just his home town and Southend-on-Sea). The people are all fabulous. Its dangerous cos every car, pedestrian and workman waves at you and its hard to wave back on a Brunellian scooter with a dicky front wheel without falling off.
Yesterday we finished the last beer in the Yacht Club. Rumour has it the Indian Shop had 3 left yesterday, other restaurants are out. Washaway's out the posh hotel's out. Rumour has it the Matapa Bar (open Saturday's only) has some beer left, but no ones sure.
Errrr, I think I just drank another island dry, neigh a country. Fear no reader(I think the s is optimistic), Rum, Scotch, Gin, wine etc is plentiful.
Fear not lager lovers, the next ships due in in three weeks loaded down with Steinlager.
Genset dead again, burnt out belt on the alternator, due to seized alternator. Irony. Genset's main 220 volt output is primarily used to charge the batteries, alternator to errrr, charge the start battery. I.E. we don't even friggin need it. Oh yes we do cos its the same belt as drives the water pump that cools the engine, and the tension adjust, like a car its on the alternator. Plan is to get someone to weld a pulley to a lump of metal and use that instead of the alternator.
Why oh why is there no lovely pic of my new driving licence in this post. My long suffering, RS600 capsized, dropped, snorkelled and fish bitten camera leaked today so I can't photograph it. Look here for its swansong.
I think its a testament to me, that the engineers have designed and refined the Olympus µ range of camera's to be water shock and generally anything proof. Leaders in the go anywhere camera field. My lifestyle - rather than actual misuse* has killed 2 of them. I'm not proud. Or tired.
bugger the international date line. Rally time changes over tomorrow(Wednesday), Steve was I believe, going to go "All blue water rally Yachts, this is Island Kea you Net controller for today...I here by declare it Tomorrow(Thursday) sianara! Island Kea Out" Unfortunately enchantress who do Thursday's net sorted it out over VHF about half an our ago. We do the morning declare the change, and then they do the evening net cos then it will be Thursday.
A boat called Enchantress (no relation to the BWR boat) was missing, there only long ranch coms is an automatic position transmission system. They changed destination and stopped at the Beverage Reef. This is a tinny horseshoe of coral in the middle of nowhere, the only bit that sticks above water is a wreck. Its very hard to find on our charts unless you know where to look. Enchantress has no engine. So people were worried. Turns out there OK, they're here. Several of our boats where trying to find them. As was a boat called tar baby, a thirty two footer. Two days ago Tar Baby's EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon) went off. They've been dis-masted. They're now safe on a fishing vessel bound for Samoa. Noboby was available to tow them and it probably wasn't possible in the weather we've been having. I suspect they did the math. Old small boat, mid pacific, uninsured. Availability of mast here zero. So boat is not viable.
* OK so apart form the fish biting it indecent, that's probably not covered by the guarantee.
Non readers of Terry Pratchett may not have come across the term Dwarf Bread. I think he was taking the piss out of the Fantacy/Science fiction plot tool system. Probably Tolkien's The Hobbit primarily. Almost all sci fi shows have "replicators" which produce food, fantasy books have waybread, or the Dwarves in the Hobbit "cram". Special bread that doesn't go off weighs nothing and gives a fully balanced diet. Allowing the protagonists to go on massive, extended quests with out having to deal with the bugbear of logistics.
A review of Iraq or Afghanistan's military problems will unearth an astonishing array of problems that authors can use this plot tool to safely ignore.
Note for Americans and other Aliens:
A Pot Noodle is an British instant snack
A plastic pot with a lid in which some
noodle like substance some dried peas
and flavourings lurk. Into which boiling
water is poured. A choice of flavours is
available. To give an insight into the
quality, the Beef and Tomato flavour is
marked "Suitable for Vegetarians"
Could be anything in 'em, except Poodle
Terry Pratchett's rather clever take on Dwarf Bread is that you can walk for miles on it, mostly in the hope of finding something other than Dwarf Bread to eat. Kind of like a Not Poodle. Its amazing how much less hungry I feel if the only option is a Not Poodle. I'd be prepared to walk half way across middle earth rather than have to pot noodle.
Sauron's Kebab shop sounds attractive compared to a Not Poodle.
Remember many moons ago I said we had 400 beers on board. Nearly all gone now. Gone are the Balboas, the Sobernos(Sober? No!), all that's left is the one slab of the "King of Beers". Budweiser. Its piss. I mean I remember the comment from a Brewery tour in the UK "Its made from rice cos its cheaper and its crap" its true, it is made from rice, it tastes of nothing it is without doubt the worst slop I have ever tasted. It makes that bottle of peach schnapps with cigarette ends in it left over after a party seem an attractive bet. Its Dwarf Beer, it will slate your thirst across miles and miles of open ocean, in the hope that you can find something else. Sea water maybe?
When I say its the worst slop in the world, well nobody really listens to that line. The xxxx in the world. You've never seen the world, you've only been to Scunthorpe and the East End. OK So I haven't been to the whole world. But I've been to 45 countries (or autonomous colonies or similar) not counting Wales and Scotland, and I always try the local beer. Its the worst beer in a very significant portion of the world.
This is where the problem comes, Nuie's a small islands, the ships come in rarely, there's a bakery come pool hall, no brewery and the Yacht Clubs out of beer.
Thank God we've some Hinano left on board, not enough but some. They're a snip at about 5 times the price of the Budweiser.
That's not really part of the post, its just a header that makes this page friendlier to google and the like.
Dear Budweiser Lawyer's, this page is NOT defamatory it is truthful. Your beer is truly dreadful. Please by all means complain to my ISP he'll probably agree with me, he might even be able to drink your foul brew (beer's off his menu cos if gluten I think), or take me to court. I'm convinced having tried your miserable excuse for a beverage that I am right. I'm pretty sure I can convince a jury that I am an expert on beer drinking, I've certain diligently practised.
Man that would be a hell of a court case. A thousands of Lagers, 12 of my peers and some glasses. It would make a hell of a youtube video too, the fight between the Judges on who gets too hear the case. Might not be able to prove the 45 countries thing though, I didn't bother to tell some of them I was there saving them time and pasport stamp ink.
I AREN'T DEAD
Probably, going to be off-line for a while, till Nuie probably. more than a week.
Drawing by W. Bligh. The William Bligh
What is that knocking? Knocking at my cabin door?
out there darkness, nothing moor!
Oh its a bloody mooring buoy, Thunk, knocking on the hull THE SAME bloody mooring buoy thunk the Boring Boring YC.
The noise is quite annoying, last time I was here I was down the blunt end, and Alan had his cabin up the pointy end, near the thunking noise.
Still, looks like I'll have to get used to it. Were here, having put up with strong winds disrupting our visits to Raiatea, there's now nothing for days and we want to leave for Rarotonga soon. Sod's and Murphy's laws apply to sailing big time.
As Steve put it, being stuck in Bora Bora is hardly a strain or likely to instill sympathy in others. Its very hard to complain about really.
Looks like were going for a walk up to the WWII gun battery after some pan cakes. Hopefully there will be pictures. Yesterday's pictures have disappeared. More camera worries.
You know I said the water is always bluer on the other side of the reef. Well actually I didn't I said the other side of the Lagoon, but I've improved it since then. It is. We drove round Riatea and this is what we saw.
We went of yesterday, its still blowy here and the most sheltered spot is here, on a "booowee" off the Taravana YC in Tahaa. We like it here. Meal 2 nights ago was the best fish I've had since Jackie's cooking on Jackal 2 years ago. And That's high praise indeed. Jack can do stuff to a Mahi Mahi or a lobster that would make it glad to be caught.
Expensive though. We went off on a bit of a trip again, having been here at the YC for a few days, anchored three times out by a Motu on the leeward side of Tahaa. Three times I dropped it right in the middle of a patch of sand three times it dragged and tangled insecurely in a pile of coral. In the end we went elsewhere. Thankfully there are quite a few mooring buoy's around here. Our ground tackle isn't really up to the depths most places round here.
Motu's Ground tackle? Were getting behold the realms of the Ladybird book of boats here.
Terminology (both obscure sailing terms and seriously obscure)
|Aft||Backwards in a the boat, or the back of the boat.|
|Anchor||A big metal hook thing, used to attach the boat to the bottom of the sea, they come in several types.|
|Anchorage||A bay or shallow patch into which the wind is always blowing at the wrong strength and or angle in which it is supposed to be possible to put and anchor down without dragging into something unpleasant|
|Anchoring||Parking the boat at sea, can only be done in sheltered water, where it is shallow enough and holding is good. If you have chain you need to use 4 times as much chain as the depth of water, so we have 55m of chain on board. We get nervous if we have more than 15m of water.|
|Astern||Behind a boat|
|Atoll||A ring shaped islands, where the original volcanic island has eroded away and or sunk back beneath the waves, as its been happening the coral continues to grow around the edge till there is no island, just the ring of coral where it was. Most atolls will not survive global warming.|
|Autopilot||A Electronic/Electrical/Hydraulic/Mechanical system that steer the boat for your. See Unreliable.|
|Beacon||a navigation mark mounted on something solid, either on land or in shallow water.|
|Beating||Going up wind in a sailboat, ins a series of zigzags (slow and uncomfortable), not what is done to mutineers.|
|Berth||Either a bunk on a boat or a slot in a marina where you park a boat.|
|Bimini||A metal frame and fabric awning open at the sides over the cockpit to primarily keep the sun off, and some rain shelter.|
|Blunt End||Back of the boat (stern)|
|Boom||Metal pole attached to the bottom of a sail.|
|Bow||Front of the boat|
|Buoy||A floating thing tied to the bottom of the sea. These are either navigational marks, which are there to inform/confuse boats into avoiding rocks and shallows or for racing around (usually known as marks). Or are Mooring Buoys which are for tieing your boat too.|
|Cardinal Mark||A type of yellow and black marker used to indicate which side it is safe to go. Come in North, two black cones pointing up, South 2 pointing down, West pointing together, and east pointing apart.|
|Chinese Gybe||The act of gybing by mistake.|
|Choppy||Used primarily as an understatement, especially by the English especially in the past tense. If some ones says "looks a bit choppy out there" tie everything down, don full oilies, and check your life insurance policy. In reality it mean short steep seas, often seen in coastal waters. Not large, but annoying.|
|Close Hauled||Sailing as with the wind as close to the bow of the boat as possible usually about 45 degrees.|
|Cockpit||A recessed area on the deck of a yacht, where the crew usually hangs out, contains the tiller or wheel to steer the boat, and on most boats the winches and ropes to control the sails. The social centre of most boats in good weather.|
|Crew Flag||Unofficial, but almost universal practice of hoisting country flags up the port side of a yacht mast on mixed country crews. E.G. Ornen, swedish boat, flew a Red Ensign and a Auzzie flag on the port side for me and Roz. Island Kea doesn't fly a Icelandic flag at present due to the volcano thing.|
|Cruseing chute||A type of asymmetric spinnaker that is slightly easier to set than a conventional spinnaker|
|Courtesy Flag||When abroad it is considered respectfully to fly the flag of the country your are in up the right hand side of the mast. If no flag available. Paper cardboard etc can be substituted. Caution needs to be applied to this, in secessionist areas or independent areas you can cause offence by flying the mother land's flag.|
|Customs||People who never inspect your boat, for plutonium, crack cocaine, or automatic weapons so long as you fill out forms right.|
|Davits||Mini cranes on the back of the boat for hoisting in dinghies.|
|Dinghy||See tender for yachtie use, other wise it’s a small boat.|
|Dodger||England: A small piece of heavy cloth attached to the guar rail near the back of a boat to stop spray getting into the cockpit. American's use this term for a spray hood.|
Usually used to denote sailing with the wind generally behind you or-at-least-no-further- forward than the beam. Sometimes used instead of leeward
|Dragging||When your anchor doesn't bite into the bottom and slides along the sea floor.|
|Dropping the Hook||See anchoring.|
|El Nino||A weird and misunderstood weather phenomenon in the south pacific, which occurs (according to english people) 9 years in every ten and is responsible for the predictability of wet bank holiday weekends in northern europe.|
|Electricity||In boats this is either 12volt batteries or 24volt batteries. + some form of mains, either from shore, a genny or an inverter. Given the range of countries and boats, you need to know if you need 12v 24v DC, 110v 50hz, 110v60Hz 200(ish)v 50Hz or 200(ish)v 60Hz AC or various permutations of the above. No boats have enough of this (whatever it is)|
|Engine (auxiliary)||Converts large quantities of diesel fuel, filters, oil and impellers to slow forward motion through the water.|
|Finger Pontoon||Posh marina's have their docks like this, one boat each side of a finger off the main dock, like the teeth on a comb. Cheaper marinas have just strait dock that your go Stern Too on.|
|Flogging||The act of selling ones boat, oilies and nautical equipment when one has had enough of bloody sailing.|
a type of infernal combustion engine, which is complicated expensive, heavy, low emission and totally unsuited for say small simple applications like outboard motors or scooters. Therefore approved by the European minion.
|Furl(er)||Many modern boats have roller reefing/furling you pull a rope and it rolls (furls) up the thing that does it is a furler.|
|Galley||The Kitchen area of a boat.|
|Generator (marine)||An auxiliary, auxiliary, diesel engine used solely to generate electricity. See Unreliable.|
|Genny||See genoa, or generator, depending on context.|
|Green||a colour used to denote left. You leave green buoys to port, vessels display a green light on their starboard side etc.|
|Ground Tackle||The anchor and associated equipment, chain or warp.|
The act of moving the sails from one side of the boat to the other with the wind behind. Often quite violently.
|Halyards||a piece of rope for hauling a sail up the mast.|
|Harbour Master||Man who's in charge of a harbour. Collecting fees, allocating berths, making sure you don't get in the way of something important.|
|Heads||Toilet, usually manual pumped affairs with sea water piped in and waste piped out.|
|Headsail||A generic name for sails set on the front of the boat.|
|Holding||The condition of the bottom in which you are trying to anchor "good holding" means bottom is nice sand or thick mud where an anchor is likely to work well. "Poor holding" rock, or broken shale where you have hope your anchor will bite into a crevice…..|
|Immigration||People who stamp passports|
|Impeller||A rubber starfish thing used to pump water round marine engines to keep them cool|
|Inverter||Converts the ships batteries to main AC voltage, possibly at a murderous exchange rate.|
|Lagoon||This is the area of shallow water between an island and its fringing reef.|
|Leeward||Down wind from the observer. Usually the observers boat.|
|Mooring Buoy||A buoy, usually attached to a large lump of concrete - say an old chest freezer full of cement, with a piece of rope tied to a floating object. Used instead of anchoring.|
|Motu||A small low lying coral island part of a larger reef/island, but with water around.|
|Pointy End||Front of the boat (bow)|
|Oilies||Abbreviation of Oil Skins, now very expensive waterproofs, which no matter how much you spend can't actually keep you completely dry.|
|Osmosis||It turns out fiberglas isn't waterproof. This is a bit of a bugger since most yachts are made of it. Mostly a problem with older boats, water permeates the fibreglass, leeching out chemicals, symptom's include blistering on the hull. The problem is massively accelerated by placing a yacht in warm tropical waters. Its the biological process you, like me, learned about at school, which neither you nor I can remember.|
|Osmose||To keep you boat in the tropics for a long period (so causing osmosis) to be encouraged. Ok so I invented this one.|
|Pollywog||Someone's who's not crossed the Equator, by boat. See shellback|
|Reef||Under water or just exposed rocks. Or to reduce sail. (reefing = the act of reducing sail, not wandering around on rocks)|
|Reliable||In a marine context this means "only breaks occasionally".|
|Rolly||A description, frequently an understatement attached to conditions which cause the boat to roll from side to side and spill your drink. Often used in conjunction to the word anchorage.|
|Running||Sailing with the wind behind you (a bit more specific than downwind)|
|Sailing||The art of getting wet and becoming Ill whilst going nowhere at great expense. (Mike Pyton quote I think)|
|Saloon||The lounge/dinning room of a boat|
|Sheets||either a bit of rope used to control a sail or things that are supposed to catch the sweat of the tropics before they soak into the foam mattress (or mop up engine oil)|
|Shellback||Someone's who's crossed the Equator, by boat. See pollywog|
|Snuffer||A sort or bottom less bucket with a sock attached pulled over a spinnaker on a cruising boat to make it easier to hoist or drop|
|Solar Panels||These are the most reliable electrical generations system a boat can have, they are also the weakest. A 2ft by 2 ft panel will put out one amp at twelve volts for about 8 hours a day in the tropical sunshine|
|Spinnaker||A large colourful sail, set out of the front of the boat that is impossible to keep full in light wind, dangerous and impossible to get down in strong winds.|
|Spray hood.||A collapsible metal fame covered in fabric and transparent plastic, that is mounted on the front of the cockpit to keep rain and spray out.|
|SSB||Single sideband radio, a good set, coupled with a good antenna (usually the backstay) and good grounding I.E. a metal place on the bottom of the yacht, the right frequency, the right channels the right licence and the right time of day can be used to discus signal strengths and levels of noise of a up to half way around the world (though only in selected pockets) or a few hundred at practical frequencies.|
|Starboard||The right hand side of a boat as looking forward|
|Starboard Hand Marker||A green buoy or beacon, conical or with a conical top mark left to starboard on the way into a harbour in system A areas.|
|Stern||Back of a boat.|
|Stern Too||A practice, particularly common in the Mediterranean where you put the back of the boat to the dock and either put sunken lines on the bow to keep it off or your own anchor to keep the nose out to sea.|
|Swell||Long slow oceanic waves often traveling long distances from where they were formed. Wavelengths are huge so they're not a problem till they strike shallow water.|
|System A buoyage||Red buoys on the left on the way into a harbour, green on the right. Used every where but the Americas|
|System B buoyage||Red buoys on the right on the way into a harbour, green on the left. Used in the americas|
|Tack(ing)||To tack is the act of moving the sails from one side of the boat to the other with the wind coming from in front of the boat. Also the forward bottom corner of sail.|
|Tender||A small boat (dinghy) used to get from the big yacht to the shore.|
|Tide||The effects of the moon's gravitation, the sun's gravitation, the planetary tilt and the elliptical orbits of the earth and sun produce very predictable changes in the water level around the planet. Called tides. These vary the depth of water in any given point predictably, allowing for the flow of water to fill up or lower the water. This makes everything complicated. Even if you've got the tides predicted they're never quite right cos atmospheric pressure moves them up and down as does wind, large waves, especially breaking over reefs etc. Its the flows of water as much as the height that are a right bugger.|
|Towed Water Generator||A type of shark fishing equipment consisting of a metal weight with spinning blades tied by string to a small alternator on the back of the boat. Converts half an knot of boat speed to a small amount of electricity (until bitten off). Has 2 sets of blades, one small set for high speed, large set for slow speeds. Normal boat speed is where the little blades are slow and big blades skip out of the water due to excess speed.|
|Trade Wind||A large area of constant, and predictable wind over a long period and or large area. Caused by the Inter tropical convergence zone and areas of established high pressure in temperate latitudes. Or something. North East to East in the Northern Hemisphere, South East or east in the Southern.|
|Trades||See trade wind|
|Transit||Lining up of 2 objects, usually special lights or pole to allow you to stay on a line through say a harbour entrance. Also used laterally to determine whether the boats forward motion through the water is more or less than the tides motion the other way.|
a type of infernal combustion engine, which is simple cheap, easy to maintain, light and for a given value of reliable, reliable. Ideal for small marine applications like outboard motors Therefore banned by the European minion.
|Unreliable||Most things on a boat are unreliable, the sea on which the boat is on is unreliable, the wind is unreliable the weather forecasts are particularly unreliable. Even the (see reliable) reliable things on a boat are pretty unreliable.|
|VHF||Very High Frequency, marine radio, used in conjunction with a masthead antenna (that hasn't got salt water in the cables) gives a range of 25 miles|
|Water Maker||A machine for turning seawater into fresh water, using the principals of reverse osmosis. They consume large amounts of power, are very unreliable and expensive.|
|Wench||A woman on a boat used to pull ropes. As opposed to a woman on a boat solely to do the cooking/cleaning.|
|Winch||A winedy thing used to pull ropes. (Not to be confused with Wench|
|Wind Generator||A noisy spinning engine of death that generates small amounts of electricity per unit of noise or wind.|
|Wind Vane||A mechanical contraption attached to the back of the boat which uses the power of the wind and the direction of the wind to steer the boat an a pre-set angle to the wind. Vaguely|
|Windward||Up wind from the observer. Usually the observers boat.|
|Yellow Flag||Yachts entering a country must fly one of these up the right hand side of the mast till they have cleared customs, Immigration, quarantine etc. Usually left up permanently.|