Catamaran QUIXOTIC is now taking bookings for the upcoming 2017 and 2018 charter seasons. Come experience the sailing holiday of a lifetime in Fiji! Please contact us today to lock in your discounted rates. Be part of the adventure! To learn more and check out our new site please visit: www.quixoticcharters.com by clicking the link below. We look forward to hosting you aboard! Please spread the word and be sure to tell your friends about this unique charter opportunity!
This coastline is stunning! As beautiful and rugged as the Big Sur coast is back home, we both voted and this stretch of coastline beats it. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Great hike in the morning followed by and afternoon of boat projects. We have at least another few days of boat labor before we feel ready for the crossing up to Fiji. Watching weather closely to find a window to sail north. Fiji is getting drenched this week under the very active SPCZ with a few cyclones thrown in for fun. Hope everyone up there stays safe in the deluge!
After heading back into Whangarei to have a new floor welded on our stainless diesel tank, we managed to escape and headed back out for more exploration! A morning hike out to Bream Head was followed by an afternoon sail to Tutukaka for the night. The next morning we set sail for the Poor Knights Islands, a marine preserve located 12nm offshore. After sailing past what we have been told is the largest sea arch in the southern hemisphere we dropped anchor in the lee of Aorangi Island, within spitting distance of the rocky cliff face. Some future charter guests arrived and rafted to Quixotic. We all donned dive gear to explore the beautiful kelp forests and swim with the schools of fish that are lucky to call this place home. After the dive, and a delicious lunch on Quixotic, we all toured an enormous sea cave (we’ve been told it’s the largest in the world) that you could almost fit a small cruise ship inside!
The afternoon saw us sailing north to Whangamumu Harbour, where we are currently anchored. Looks like we will sail north in a day or two back into the Bay of Islands to finish passage prep for the sail north back to Fiji.
Hope everyone is having a nice long holiday weekend!
The title of this post just described the recipe for a perfect day on Great Barrier Island. A 7km hike up to the natural hot springs followed by a hike up a treacherous trail with very slippery mud and moss to reach the ultimate payoff: a secluded picturesque waterfall. Despite the freezing cold water, and the fact that we didn’t even get in the hot springs, we both jumped in for an invigorating dip under the falls. The afternoon came to a close with a stroll back to Great Barrier Lodge for an afternoon dessert on the patio overlooking Quixotic riding peacefully to her anchor. What an awesome day!
Reluctantly sailing back to Whangarei tomorrow for some last-minute repairs and to buy some additional spares before sailing north back to Fiji in a few weeks. It’s been amazing out here and it won’t be the last time we visit.
Stay tuned for an incredible video of dolphins riding our bow wake and for passage prep updates!
Lew & Lyss
Whangaparapara Bay, Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
We just witnessed one of the most amazing natural scenes. Tonight we turned on the blue underwater lights that usually draw fish to the boat. We knew this bay was extremely healthy and full of fish but we had no idea of the scale that would be drawn under the boat. We went outside around 10pm and hundreds of fish were schooling under the boat, There were smaller schools around the boat that were just outside the blue underwater lights but were illuminated by natural bioluminescence. We watched in awe as the schools danced a ballet and the smaller schools would blow apart and come back together as they were hunted by predator fish. We extinguished our lights and continued watching in awe as the captivating bioluminescence fanned out into ever smaller schools as the fish very slowly dispersed. One of the most magnificent natural events I have ever been fortunate enough to witness. And the icing was the glassy conditions, kiwis calling from the hills, the clear sky and thousands of stars, as Great Barrier Island is a dark sky sanctuary.
I think we will stay here a while longer. We summited Hirakimata (Mt. Hobson) yesterday with new friends Ben and Ashley (s/v Nahoa) and there are a few more trails to conquer. Oh, and those natural hot springs are calling our name..
22 March 2018
Port Fitzroy Harbour, Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
After months of hard work, late nights, stress, a pile of cash and heaps of sweat-equity, Quixotic is back in the water and ready to sail north back to the islands. She just spent the past four months in a specialized catamaran boatyard undergoing some repair and upgrades. We had our fair share of challenges, triumphs, setbacks and achievements but in the end more things went right than wrong and last Saturday we lowered her keels back into the Whangarei river in New Zealand and order was restored.
We are now enjoying our first night at anchor since lifting out in November; it feels amazing to be swinging on the hook again! Our view has been transformed from boatyard to lush green rolling hills set above glistening turquoise water framed by white sand beach. Tomorrow we sail for Great Barrier Island for some much-needed and well-deserved rest and exploration. We still have some items on the never-ending “to-do” list, but we can now chip away at a more relaxed pace than the unsustainable pace we set in the boatyard.
Quixotic is in the best condition she has ever been in. We completed an extensive refit and made some structural and safety upgrades to her hull and rudders. We also completely upgraded her charging and electrical system with help from Scott at Empower Electrical and his apprentice, non other than Laura Dekker – the world record holder for being the youngest person to sail solo around the world! It was really cool to have her aboard and get to know her. While the list of upgrades is extensive and would fill multiple blog entries, here are just a few I can recall off the top of my head:
Drop rudders, cut open and fully-inspect shaft and internal stainless, re-install and re-grease
Inspect and weld stainless skeg heel fittings, grease and re-install
Reinforce skegs with multiple layers of new epoxy and fiberglass
Clean, and rebuild props and change zincs
Install new stainless swim ladder
Upgrade block for boom crane
Replace all bearings in main traveller
Install new scoop intake thru-hull for watermaker
Seal access ports on swim step
Remove stainless water tank, weld new floor, re-install
New LPG regulator, pigtails and tanks
Epoxy seal and paint port engine bilge
Epoxy seal and paint around both rudder quadrants
Epoxy paint starboard engine room
Sand and apply five new coats ablative antifouling to bottom
Re-seal entire rub rail with 3M UV4000 sealant
Replace hose into starboard water heater
New port water heater
Re-bed liferaft hatch
Re-bed portlight in port forward head
Remove sails, take to loft, inspect and minor repairs, new bolt rope and new battens
New fresh water pump
Install new 300AH Lithium battery bank with BMS (Battery Management System) (Sinopoly Cells with Orion Jr. BMS)
Kia Ora! Coming to you live from New Zealand, 15 feet above sea level, aboard the good ship Quixotic: Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family!
We have so much to be thankful for this year. Thank you to all our amazing family and friends for all their love and support. Thank you to all our amazing guests who have helped make Quixotic Charters an amazing success in only the first year. We are thankful for our health and well-being. And lastly, we are thankful for the amazing vessel Quixotic, for taking care of us and seeing us safely through rough seas and across oceans and for being our luxurious private floating island.
After arriving in New Zealand almost a month ago, we spent some time exploring the North Island; hiking, glamping, exploring. Then we set sail down the coast and linked up with friends along the way exploring hidden bays and hiking some amazing terrain. Then we spent about five days docked downtown in the Whangarei town basin getting our fill of city life. Now we find ourselves hauled out at Norsand Boatyard, where Quixotic will be for the next few months as we travel back to the states for an overdue visit with family.
The haul out went well and we are now scrutinizing every inch of Quixotic for any sign of stress or fatigue after beating her up over the past year and a half since launching in Fiji. But all is going well and Quixotic will leave here in phenomenal condition once again and ready for the 2018 charter season!
Happy Thanksgiving to our family and amigos back in the states. See you guys soon.
We’re back in New Zealand for the summer! QUIXOTIC made a fast, successful passage from Savusavu, Fiji to Opua, New Zealand in 6 days, 21 hours and 30 minutes. The first day out was a fast sail with stiff trades on the beam; the second day out was a calm motor-sail south into rain and convection; the third day brought rough seas with 25-30 kt winds as we battled a stronger than forecast frontal system that we ended up having to run from for 6 hours before resuming our southbound progress; the fourth day we fought our way into the high pressure system and tried our best to put distance between us and the front as we bashed south; the fifth and sixth days brought sunshine and was spirited sailing with consistent wind on the beam and just enough seas to keep us on edge; and the final 21 hour stretch was some of the most exciting sailing we have ever had, with long high-speed surfs, topping out at a new record speed of 15.6 knots!
QUIXOTIC did an amazing job and completed the passage without any major breakage, the only casualty being a ripped window shade covering on the front of the salon. There was also a half dozen squid stuck all over her decks; oh, and Alyssa got nailed right in the chest by a flying fish while sitting at the helm!
By the way, as you will note below, we ran the engines almost the entire time. This allowed us to make the most speed, keep the batteries charged up, and also allowed us to sail with much reduced canvas allowing for care-free nighttime transiting of squalls and wind shifts. It was the lazy sailors approach but worked well for us as it put much less stress on the rig and on the crew. Diesel is cheap but rigs are expensive!
But what a difference a year makes as the last time we sailed her down she was just being tested and now she completes one of the most notorious passages in the world without breaking a sweat!
It’s great to be back in New Zealand. It’s cold, it’s beautiful, the grocery selection is amazing, and we can’t wait to go hiking this afternoon. We plan to cruise the Bay of Islands for a few weeks before sailing down to Whangarei to haul QUIXOTIC out of the water for some much-deserved rest and minor refitting and upgrades.
Here are some pictures and stats from the passage. Hope everyone is having a great day!
Lewis & Alyssa
31 October, 2017
-Pomare Bay, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand
Fiji to New Zealand 2017 Passage Summary:
Waitui Kelekele Marina, Savusavu, Fiji
16 46.618 S, 179 19.755 E
Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand
Total miles sailed: 1,290 NM
Rhumbline distance: 1,147 NM
Total elapsed time: 6 days, 21 hours, 30 minutes
Average speed: 7.8 Knots
Top Speed: 15.6 Knots
Average miles sailed per day: 187 NM
Average rhumbline distance per day: 166 NM
Total engine run time: 155 hours (94% of total passage time)
Average RPM: 1800
Fuel consumed: 145 gallons
GPH per engine: 0.54
Fuel remaining aboard at arrival: 55 gallons
Propellers used: Bruntons Autoprops
Water tankage at departure: 120 gallons
Water consumed on passage: 110 gallons
Water desalinated on passage: None
Water remaining at arrival: 10 gallons
Average wind speed: 18 knots
Lowest wind speed: 6 knots
Highest wind speed: 30 knots
Average swell wave height: 1.8m
Highest estimated swell height: 3.5m
Average wind wave height: 1.6m
Highest estimated wind wave height: 3.3m
Total (estimated) accumulated duration of squalls/rain: 36 hours
Small Issues: Torn window shade/cover from breaking/boarding seas
Air temp on departure: 88 F
Air temp on arrival: 62 F
Sea temp on departure: 83 F
Sea temp on arrival: 54 F
Total mutiny/arguments amongst crew: 0
Estimated number of times the bridgedeck slammed/bombed: a lot
Fish caught: Didn’t fish
Number of Squid we had to pry off the deck: 8
Number of Fish that flew into Alyssa while on watch: 1 suicide bomber flying fish
Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since our last update. All is great in the beautiful Fijian Islands! We are hiding out in a secret bay just off a black sand beach in the lee of beautiful Taveuni Island. It’s a gorgeous spot and only rarely visited by a few locals on horseback, who bring their steeds to the beach to cool them off. We are always improving the comfort aboard so today the Mermaid is tackling cockpit cushions. They are already amazingly comfortable! We thought we should share the scene. My particular favorite is the irony of her t-shirt slogan….. The second picture is the final product and the background is beautiful Paradise Taveuni Resort. Cheers! – L&A
It’s blowing the dogs off their chains out here in the Northern Yasawa Islands! The trades howling through the Bligh Passage between the two main islands had made for a tough bash north but excellent kiting and windsurfing conditions! We are patiently waiting for the wind to lay down so we can sail the 50NM upwind back to Vanua Levu and Savusavu; looks like we may get our chance tomorrow. In the meantime we can explore the incredible limestone geography at Sawa-I-Lau, where we are currently anchored.
Our friends, Ryan and Kristina, are visiting for a couple weeks. We have been having a blast – reeling in tuna and barracuda, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, doing some boat projects and kicking back.
Alyssa has spoiled us all with her amazing cooking and the sunset appetizer spread is a highlight of the day. The sunsets have been beautiful and the southern wind has kept the temps and humidity down, heralding the arrival of the southern hemisphere winter.
Thanks again to the Van Maanen family for gifting us an awesome inflatable windsurfing board! I was able to MacGyver a fix for the rudder with some zip ties so we’re back in action! Alyssa was able to sail upwind all the way back to the boat on her first day!