Hammock time on a private peninsula above Whangaroa Harbour

Happy Thanksgiving from New Zealand! We’re Hauled Out! + Pictures

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.  Thank you to our amazing resident Mermaid for an incredible amount of hard work, determination, drive, and for putting up with all my crap; I don’t know how she does it!  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.  We have dropped her rudders for a full inspection and found that one will need to be replaced due to a slight bend in the shaft that was most likely from the cyclone.  We are also drying out and re-glassing a couple areas where the Fijian worksmanship was just not up to par.  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.

Lewis & Alyssa

24 November 2017

Norsand Boatyard, Whangarei, New Zealand

At the peak of St. Pauls rock
At the peak of St. Pauls rock
Hammock time on a private peninsula above Whangaroa Harbour
Hammock time on a private peninsula above Whangaroa Harbour
Check out this cool leaf insect!
Check out this cool leaf insect!
Thanks again Simon for lending us your very fun M1!
Thanks again Simon for lending us your very fun M1!
Falls on the Kerikeri river
Falls on the Kerikeri river
Fresh oysters at the Old Packhouse Farmers Market, Kerikeri
Fresh oysters at the Old Packhouse Farmers Market, Kerikeri
Happy girl on the Kerikeri river
Happy girl on the Kerikeri river
Fun with friends Jose and Owen in the Bay of Islands
Fun with friends Jose and Owen in the Bay of Islands
Sunset over Whangaruru Bay
Sunset over Whangaruru Bay
It was really nice to finally have a competent boat yard in charge of the haul out!
It was really nice to finally have a competent boat yard in charge of the haul out!
And she's out!
And she’s out!
FINALLY - Someone else gets to clean the hull!
FINALLY – Someone else gets to clean the hull!
They lifted her up high enough to drop both rudders out.  They said they were the best supported rudders of any catamaran they have ever seen!
They lifted her up high enough to drop both rudders out. They said they were the best supported rudders of any catamaran they have ever seen!
Where we are now. A quiet nice little corner with a view of the mountains and the river. It even has a nice little picnic table in the grass nearby.
Where we are now. A quiet nice little corner with a view of the mountains and the river. It even has a nice little picnic table in the grass nearby.
I was determined to find a tiny leak that was finding its way in.  We used a vacuum pump and green food coloring in fresh water to find it and it's now dry and will be re-glassed when we return. 100% dry hull again!
I was determined to find a tiny leak that was finding its way in. We used a vacuum pump and green food coloring in fresh water to find it and it’s now dry and will be re-glassed when we return. 100% dry hull again!
Mermaid in her riding gear. Vacuum pump on the skeg in the background.
Mermaid in her riding gear. Vacuum pump on the skeg in the background.
We bought a scooter!  "Traded the van for it, straight up" - We have been making a lot of dumb and dumber jokes. But it's great for getting to the gym and back!
We bought a scooter! “Traded the van for it, straight up” – We have been making a lot of dumb and dumber jokes. But it’s great for getting to the gym and back!
Q blasting her way south for the summer!

Fiji to New Zealand Passage Summary 2017 – Catamaran Surfing!!

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!

Cheers,

Lewis & Alyssa

31 October, 2017

-Pomare Bay, Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand

 

Fiji to New Zealand 2017 Passage Summary:

Departed:

Waitui Kelekele Marina, Savusavu, Fiji

16 46.618 S, 179 19.755 E

23/10/2017

10:30 local

 

Arrived:

Bay of Islands Marina, Opua, New Zealand

30/10/2017

07:00 local

 

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: 1.07

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

 

Breakages: None

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

 

Burrrrrr!
Burrrrrr!
IMG_4483
The Mermaid was getting into it!
Watching breaking seas becomes a sailors TV
Watching breaking seas becomes a sailors TV
Q blasting her way south for the summer!
Q blasting her way south for the summer!
Q battling the conditions
Q battling the conditions
Mermaid down!  It got rough and bumpy for 36 hours. Check out the angle on the horizon!
Mermaid down! It got rough and bumpy for 36 hours. Check out the angle on the horizon!
A day out of NZ we came up on an American yacht, s/v Windrose from SF Bay
A day out of NZ we came up on an American yacht, s/v Windrose from SF Bay
Surfing is an amazing feeling on an offshore catamaran!
Surfing is an amazing feeling on an offshore catamaran!
A shot of Quixotic on a pile mooring tucked WAY up the peaceful and protected Kerikeri river for some much deserved R&R
A shot of Quixotic on a pile mooring tucked WAY up the peaceful and protected Kerikeri river for some much deserved R&R