The Final Leg

  •  10/29/2009
  •   admin
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Noumea We had a rough finish to our passage from Vila, Vanuatu to New Caledonia.  On the line to Havannah Pass on the southern tip of Grand Terre (the main island) lies the Loyalty Group.  These are part of New Caledonia and unfortunately you are not allowed to call there before checking in at Noumea.  We have generally stuck to the rules during our passages but it seems not many others do.  We did overnight in a bay just inside the entrance to Havannah Pass as we were a bit knocked around afte...
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Vanuatu

  •  10/4/2009
  •   naso, George
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Fiji to Vanuatu Between dropping the Uebergang’s at Denerau and picking up Sim and Gayle Hall we had a couple of days to clean up the boat and do some minor provisioning.   We also took on fuel there in the marina.  This was the easiest refuelling we had done as it was piped down the marina fingers so did not have to move the boat.  That fill will be more than enough to get us back home.  The temptation to take on duty free fuel in Noumea might be too much!! We then took Sim and Gayle back t...
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Fiji

  •  9/11/2009
  •   naso, George
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Regatta Week Well this is one of the most demanding weeks I have had since a week at the Ekka in our prime.  As a motor boat we were not required to compete in any on water activities.  Pirate Day over on Beachcomber Island kicked off the week.  Entered yachts sailed there and then we had lunch ashore a fairly ‘bawdy’ resort aimed at the backpacker market.  Our marina neighbours Hans and Jose aboard ‘Pim’ a beautiful 53’ Amel sailboat took us there as guests.  Horrible day weather wise but fun...
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American Samoa to Fiji

  •  9/5/2009
  •   naso, George
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American Samoa We had a very rough overnight passage to American Samoa.  It was OK until we hit the straight between Samoa and Tutulia, the main island of American Samoa.  There were squalls with the usual accompanying high winds.  It was a relief to get into Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango) harbour.  This is the wettest harbour in the world.  You might be thinking yes that is what the Yanks say about a lot of things.  Well they had seven inches of rain here the morning we arrived.  Rainmake...
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French Polynesia to Samoa

  •  7/26/2009
  •   naso, George
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Raiatea We arrived in Raiatea after an easy passage from Huahine.  All is well with Venture after weeks of frustrating repairs and waiting for parts.  The water in the lagoon in Raiatea was absolutely beautiful.  We did a tour into the main town, Uturoa from our anchorage near the Raiatea Carenage (boat yard).  This is the main base for several bareboat charter companies.  Judging by the number of boats at the dock I would say the recession has really hit here.  We caught up with Georgio and...
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French Polynesia

  •  6/25/2009
  •   naso, George
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MOOREA I have included this (acknowledging Gary A. Warner a travel writer) as a way of describing Moorea.  It is an absolutely beautiful island.  Not as developed as some.  We were anchored right outside the Club Bali Hai in Cook’s Bay.  As I write this the tradition continues – it is 0300 Monday morning and the music is still going after a party.   Twilight of the Bali Hai Boys A small hotel on Moorea is all that remains of a resort empire built by three Newport Beach expatriatesThe stockb...
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Marquesas

  •  5/27/2009
  •   naso, George
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UPDATE on the flotsam recovered that I mentioned in the last post.  They found the yacht which was missing.  There was no sign of the dinghy that was known to be aboard or indeed the yachtsman who was operating single handed. Since my last post Jane has arrived to join me and Mack, my crew from Panama has left to go back to the USA.  It is good to have the Admiral back.  Naturally it is taking her awhile to get her sea legs as we cruise around the Northern Group of islands in the Marquesas. I ...
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Galapagos to Marquesas

  •  5/5/2009
  •   naso, George
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We left Santa Cruz, Galapagos at 1630 on the 10th April.  This gave us time to clear the very busy harbour in daylight.  I ended up in the ‘drink’ after returning to Venture from our last trip into town.  Apart from wounded pride my camera got a dunking as it was in my backpack.  To explain how they operate the water taxi noses in towards your swim platform and you step off the bow of the water taxi onto your boat as he pulls away to avoid hitting the hull.   Well he reversed and I jumped!!  The...
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Galapagos

  •  4/10/2009
  •   naso, George
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We had a frustrating first day on San Cristobal, Galapagos.  It took hours to do the formalities despite the fact that we employed an agent.  Bolivar from Naugala Agencies charged us USD$725 all up for our Autographa (allowing access by private boat to other areas) and assorted fees.  Included was the USD$100/head for park entry.  In his defence we did have the paperwork done in seven days instead of the normal 20 to 30 due to our crew change.  The weather apart from intermittent rain most days ...
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Panama to Galapagos

  •  4/1/2009
  •   naso, George
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We have arrived in the Galapagos Islands.  The trip of 815 nm was the best passage I have experienced.  The current at times was 1.5 knots with us.  We averaged 6 knots over 6 days at 1250 rpm.  One interesting moment was running through a patch of water that looked like rust.  There is a lot of subterranean disturbance here so am guessing it was a vent from the sea floor 6,500 ft down.  It did give me a start as it looked similar to brown coral heads not on the chart!!  The sunsets rivalled tho...
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Panama Canal Transit

  •  3/12/2009
  •   naso, George
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Well we are safely on the Pacific side.  I feel as though I am making progress towards Australia with that milestone being passed. We left Shelter Bay Marina in Colon on Sunday, 8th.  We followed the normal routine and went to an anchorage near Colon called the ‘Flats’.  This is where you are boarded by your Pilot.  For private yachts you actually get an Advisor.  These I was led to believe were Pilot’s in training.  Ours was Jose who in fact worked for the Canal Authority in security and was ...
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Providencia, Columbia to Colon, Panama

  •  3/7/2009
  •   naso, George
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We are safely tucked up in Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama.  This is the former Fort Sherman (named after a Civil War General) US Army base first established in 1912. It was handed back to Panama in June, 1999.  Its fortifications protected the Atlantic approach to the Canal and was also a jungle training camp.  The gun batteries are huge (16” guns were in place) and have now mostly been taken back by the jungle.   I had been told from a former US Army officer that this was a plum posting to...
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Utila, Honduras to Providencia, Columbia

  •  2/26/2009
  •   naso, George
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We left Utila on Friday, 13th.  It was a great place with lots happening.  One interesting fact is that there are still white people living on the island that are direct descendents of the original Scottish and English farmers that came there mostly from Jamaica.  The cays on the western end which we visited are unspoilt.  They are fishermen and sell mostly dried tuna to the mainland.  It hangs on fences and seems to be laid out wherever there is space.  After seeing a dog sniffing  the crew wer...
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Rio Dulce, Guatemala to Utila, Honduras

  •  2/11/2009
  •   naso, George
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Well I have had three months ‘off’.   Now happily back in the ‘saddle’ after leaving the Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  That has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.   See the latest pics in the Trip Gallery  coming down the Rio Dulce.  When we were here last it was very hot and humid now it is verging on mild with tropical rain.     For those of you that have been out of the ‘loop’ while I was home my father, Alex passed away after Christmas.  He was 90.  He had survived the Burma Rai...
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Going Home

  •  10/3/2008
  •   naso, George
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03/10/08 We have arrived back in Australia for a break.  I am going back to Guatemala in mid January to continue what we started in January 08.  Jane is undecided as to whether or not she will go back.  She like everyone else wants to pick the trip up in French Polynesia and miss the long legs!  Venture has been prepared for storage afloat.  The water in the Rio Dulce is fresh especially at this time of the year with rain falling regularly so that means it is kind (no nasty growth) to the b...
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Bay Islands, Honduras

  •  8/16/2008
  •   naso, George
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16/8/08 After writing of the death of an American boater we have had two more murders.  A women and her 15 year old son were shot in Backpackers Hotel.  The incident involved local people and I suspect drugs.  This is a bar that I frequent.  If you see a group of Guatemalans come into a bar armed then it is time to leave.  Unfortunately some of the tourists (mostly young backpackers) did not realise what was happening and witnessed the event.   My friend Bec was ‘shaken but not stirred’.  Un...
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Sam on the Rio

  •  7/24/2008
  •   naso, George
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24/7/08                My big news is that Sam (son) is here and Jane is coming back on the 9th August.  As mentioned in the last post Jim Ellis (Marios) and I took a trip down to Texan Bay Marina in ‘Venture’ for a night out.  I did say one night there was the equivalent of three elsewhere.  Well ain’t that the truth!  We gave a girl (40+ - that was her age by the way) a lap dance for her birthday as we had nothing else to offer – we are not in Jamie Durie’s ‘class’ but she seemed to enjoy ...
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Independence Day

  •  7/4/2008
  •   naso, George
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INDEPENDENCE DAY 4TH JULY 2008 It is also daughter Anna’s birthday, 24 today.  I rang her at 0715 her time and she had already had a call.  The last person to forget Princess’s birthday has never been seen again!  It is six months since I have seen the family and I do miss them.  It is my father, Alex’s 90th birthday tomorrow the 5th.  Not a bad effort considering what he went through.  I spent part of yesterday watching a pig being killed and prepared for a pit feast for Independence Day ce...
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Mexico

  •  6/29/2008
  •   naso, George
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29/06/08            MEXICO Since reporting in last I have been to Mexico with Bec my friend from Backpackers Hotel.  We started by heading to Puerto Barrios (which is the wrong way) so she could see her boyfriend, Paco.  Paco is in the Guatemalan Navy based in Santo Tomas just near Puerto Barrios and a very nice bloke.  I think he was wondering about my relationship with Bec (probably not the only one) despite her assurances – very funny actually.  We left the next morning on the 0300hrs bus...
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Antigua

  •  5/31/2008
  •   naso, George
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31/05/08              ANTIGUA We have had a wonderful week in both Guatemala City and Antigua.  This was, I fear was Jane’s send off from Guatemala if not Central America.  Before I forget I must tell you about the Admirals swim in the river near Bruno’s Marina.  This is pretty fetid as it is the drain for the town of Fronteras.  She was sitting on the dock ready to step into the dinghy.  Her shorts caught on a nail and as her feet were on the side of the dinghy she pushed that away as the...
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Comments

Rex King 2/7/2014
George A great read and a great adventure!
Bob Phelps 11/11/2009
George, Met you at Trawler Fest in Stuart Fl as you began your adventure. It has been an adventure following you along the route home. Your descriptions of events has been enlighting and entertaining to say the least. The small world we live came to light when one of my customers, from The River Dulce area, brought me a newspaper that showed Venture, right after the people were murdered. Our thoughts rode along with you as you motored west. The first thought that came to mind after hearing of the earthquake off American Samora was "Where's George". I was relieved to hear that all was well with Venture. Congrats on completion of your adventure, I will miss going to my computer and clicking on Ventures homepage. Rest means Rust so where will you be off to now? Motoring to the Antartic, to the Mediterrain, I hear the Greek Isle's are spectacular. Where evry the good ship Venture travels be safe,be well, and thank you for sharing your times with us.