OLD FRONT PAGES 2009
 
 
Nai Harn , Phuket - 31. Dec 2009 - Pos 7°46 N 98°18 E - sailed from Oslo 36626nm

MERRY CHRISTMAS – AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We “landed” in Phuket in good time before Christmas Eve. Heidi's parents and brother with wife were welcomed onboard – with Empire safely moored in Boat Lagoon Marina.
Christmas Eve we invited to Christmas Porridge (at least a Scandinavian tradition...) onboard – 25 Scandinavians gathered around the bowls in the shadow on Empire’s deck. Even a little taste of Reindeer’s hart with “a little one” was served, thanks to the "guys from far north" from the Norwegian yacht Liberty.
The American yacht Bahati was the only one missing. They couldn’t make it in time and arrived in Phuket one day later, after crashing into a fishing boat the night before… Everything is well with the Bahati’s and the fishermen – but the bow is a bit shorter after the incident.
Between Christmas and New Years we have had "full ship", sailing to some of the islands near Phuket. Warm water with good visibility gave us nice snorkelling with a big Moray Eel in sight.
Anchored in Nai Harn, the south western most bay on Phuket island, we will be celebrating New Years Eve. Many of the yachts we have met during the voyage from Australia is also anchored in the bay.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING US ON THE WEB!

To see the whole Christmas
card you have to push on
the picture...










Christmas gløgg - the Swedish yacht Satuma (met in Buenos Aires 2006), Danish Chriann and Norwegian Pomona, Liberty, Fruen fra Havet and Manera plus Norwegian Frode (the baker in Boat Lagoon) was represented.

Family dinner Christmas
Day anchored in Nai
Harn, Phuket, Thailand.

Take a closer look at the picture... - He is driving!
Ao Chalong, Thailand - 16. Dec 2009 - Pos 7°49 N 98°21 E - sailed from Oslo 36548nm

CHRISTMAS-FEELING?

We have now sailed so far north that we entered the monsoon area, which at this time of the year means wind from the northeast. Finally we have had nice sailing conditions for several days in a row. Since we are on the western side of the land masses, that means we have had offshore breeze and almost flat sea. We almost forgot that this is what sailing can be…
Since we departed Langkawi (Malaysia) we anchored near some deserted islands outside the west coast of Thailand, before we arrived at the more known Phi Phi Islands. From there we headed towards Ao Chalong just south of Phuket.
Lucia was celebrated onboard the Swedish yacht Roxy with gloegg and Christmas biscuits, also together with the crew from (Swedish) Blue Marlin. Even though we haven’t noticed the Christmas feeling yet, we are realizing that Christmas is around the corner – our fifth Christmas underway…

Testing the childrens-floating-
chair we got as a present from
the Norwegian company Seaba -
they wanted us to have the correct
safety equipment onboard
.
Interesting scenery along the Thailand coast.

When Eirik gets in the water, he is hard to get out again.

Eirik the Sailor!
Ko Phetra in the back ground.
Langkawi, Malaysia - 3. Dec 2009 - Pos 6°22 N 99°41 E - sailed from Oslo 36302nm

FINALLY CLEAR WATER!!!

After one day`s long motor sail nortnortwest from Georgetown, we anchored in a bay south in the island group of Langkawi. Finally we could throw the anchor in clear water – and jump in afterwards without the risk of being “poisoned”.
The monkeys are hanging from the trees and several small islands give many nice places to anchor.
In the bay we anchored, we met Canadian Aries Tor and Danish Chriann. Both are yachts with nice people onboard that we have met earlier.
Langkawi is the last group of islands underway north in Malaysia, and we are able to sight some of the islands south in Thailand. We are looking forward to some days with swimming in tempered water (=30°C), climbing in nice small walls and real "yachting life" – before we head north across the border to Thailand.

With free fall right into the ocean there is no need for a rope...


Many nice anchorages around Langkawi.

HAPPY 97'TH BIRTHDAY TODAY, GRAND-
GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER GUDRUN!!!
and have a nice trip to the Canary islands!

Penang, Malaysia - 26. Nov 2009 - Pos 5°25 N 100°21 E - sailed from Oslo 36229nm

WHERE DO WE FIND CLEAR WATER FOR SWIMMING?

We departed from Port Klang without neither getting the seawater intake nor the propeller full of garbage. The river in Port Klang is the most garbage polluted river we have seen on our voyage. Sometimes it looked as if truckloads were dumped further up the river.
With a little bit cleaner water under the keel, we sailed – or more correctly motored – toward Penang Island. We anchored a couple of nights at the south side of the island, before we sailed north to Georgetown.
Georgetown is situated on the northern end of Penang and is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The place contains lots of history and has many different cultures. Chinese, Indian and Malaysian cultures are the most visible ones. The rainy weather that has accompanied us lately has taken a break. The last days we have even seen the sun – and then it gets VERY HOT!

The Sri Mahamariamman
Temple is one of the oldest
temples in Penang.


One of few moments when only a LITTLE BIT of garbage is floating pass the Royal Selangos Yacht Club, Port Klang.
While Empire was berthed in Port Klang we visited Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by train.

The Chinese Khoo clan Temple in Penang is on of the most ornamented temples ouside mainland China.

Port Klang, Malaysia - 17. Nov 2009 - Pos 3°00 N 101°23 E - sailed from Oslo 36045nm
WET IN MALACCA STRAIT

We had wet days from Puteri Harbour via Port Dickson to Port Klang. Most of this leg we have been propelling our way through the water. Luckily we have experienced sailing conditions now and then.
With Empire moored in Admiral Marina south of Port Dickson, we drove to Melaka. The centre of Melaka is listed on UNESCO’s "World Heritage Site" – and we saw some of the highlights of the city.
To be behind the wheel of a car in Malaysia was not as bad as feared. The local style of driving is just a bit different from what we are used to.
As Kuala Lumpur’s harbour, Port Klang is a busy harbour and city. Royal Selangor Yacht Club is situated in the centre of Port Klang and the river is passing, running with the tide. Not only water is passing by in the river…
 
Finally Eirik got the opportunity
to test his new (a little too
big) rainweather-suit...

A little bit for everybody in Melaka.
Chinatown, Melaka.

"Hello, are you Norwegian!?" Odd shouted in Norwegian, when he passed us onboard the NZ yacht "Full Metal Jacket" - on our way to Port Klang...

Malaysia - 10. November 2009 - Pos 1°25 N 103°39 E - sailed from Oslo 35856nm

"A FEW DAYS” PASS QUICKLY

Back in Puteri after the Singapore-“holydays” , the plan was to head north after a few days. But time flies…
On our way home from Singapore, we met Yong Kim on the bus. He offered to drive us from the bus-stop to Puteri Harbour. When we came to Puteri we invited him onboard. The day after Yong Kim and some friends took us on sightseeing around the southern tip of Malaysia, including a introduction to the local cuisine and a tour in the mangroves. Later we invited to dinner onboard Empire and Sunday we all when sailing onboard Empire in Jahor Strait.
None of our new crew had ever been onboard a sailboat , and the weather was perfect for a “beginner-course”.
It is very nice to meet the local people this, and we also believe that our friends have had interesting and nice days.
It is too bad that the days are passing so quickly – but one day we hope our courses will cross again!

Our Malaysian friends took
us to the southernmost
point of continental Asia.


Surpriseparty for Heidi at her birthday - onboard he Canadian yacht Nordic.
Empire with her new crew - Yong Kim, Geann, Ho Keat and Eng Jo.

Yan Jun, Yong Kim and Ho Keat showed us the mangrove island west of Kukup.

Malaysia - 1. November 2009 - Pos 1°25 N 103°39 E - sailed from Oslo 35848nm

"HOLYDAYS” IN SINGAPORE

Even though Malaysia is a fantastic country, we had to take a quick trip to Singapore. The battery in our Tron 40 GPS Epirb from Jotron was closing in on the due date. And who would be better for that job than Jotron Asia!
Singapore is a country of the technology and everything has to happen quickly. Even the escalators are running on high speed. That everything is very cheap in Singapore is not correct. PC prices was actually at the same level as in Norway…
During our 2 day long visit we managed to visit 2 of the biggest technology shopping centres. After a little bit of training we became really good at balancing Eirik and the stroller in the fast escalators.
All well back in Malaysia we are now ready for a relaxed and safe voyage heading north.

Jotron Asia took good care of us.
The battery was replaced and
the Epirb tested. We were served
lunch as we waited and then
driven to our next place!
Diesel fuelling in Puteri Harbour - many happy faces helping.
When we returned from Singapore, we were invited in a wedding. One of Puteri Harbour's employees was getting married.

Eirik is a popular man whereever we go.

Malaysia - 27. October 2009 - Pos 1°25 N 103°39 E - sailed from Oslo 35848nm

PUTERI - NEW COUNTRY, NEW POSSIBILITIES

Almost two days after leaving Indonesia we arrived in Puteri Harbour, Malaysia.
The voyage across the Strait of Singapore was “interesting”. The big ships were sailing eastwards in two “lanes” with only few minutes between. Also westwards the big ships sailed with about the same intervals, but only in one “lane”. We kept the sails lashed and used the engine on a little higher revs than normal during the crossing…
Well tied to the pier on the western side of Johor Strait, which divides Singapore from Malaysia, it looks like we have arrived in a world a little more modern than the one we left.
Now Singapore is waiting, but that visit will be with Empire left in Malaysia. It is said to be a bit complicated to check in and out of Singapore with a leisure craft.

Eirik is very satisfied with
his new swing.
Empire crossing Java Sea.
When we had anchored west on Batam Island, we were welcomed with coconuts and happy smiles.

Near Singapore a huge amount of big ships are anchored. Canadian Aries Tor in the front

Indonesia - 23. October 2009 - Pos 1°12 N 104°06 E - sailed from Oslo 35806nm

BATAM – LAST STOP IN INDONESIA

Our voyage in Indonesia is getting close to its end. We only arranged for one month visa when we arrived in Indonesia – and that is a little too short…
Anyway – we have seen a little bit of what this diverse country with 255 million people and 17000 islands have to offer.
The sailing from Bali to Batam has been in light winds and with much use of the “iron-genoa”. Java Sea is better known for its electrical storms than for its good winds. Luckily we only experienced the electrical storms from the distant.
We anchored at Kangean and Bawean Islands after Bali. After that the voyage only got longer and longer – the longest so far for our little sailor. We were either closing in on a planned anchorage too late in the evening to anchor when it was still some light left – or the wind was too good to stop, for a short while – so we decided to keep on going…
October 21. the GPS told us that we had crossed the magical circle – Equator. After 3 years and 5 months and 25997nautical miles in the southern hemisphere, we were back north of Equator.
When we arrived in Nongsa Point Marina at Batam Island we were happy to finally be able to stop the engine…

Empire's newest crew - Rudolph.



Three monkeys visiting Uluwatu Monastery, Bali.
The fish attraction rafts gave us some extra challenges at night. Canadian Aries Tor in the background.

With the net on the railing Eirik is able to explore more of Empire "on his own".

Indonesia - 8. October 2009 - Pos 8°43 S 115°14 E - sailed from Oslo 34813nm

BALI IS INDONESIA – IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW

Our geography knowledge is improving during the voyage. It’s not that long ago that we found out that Bali is a part of Indonesia… (maybe embarrassing, but still the truth!)
On our way from Kupang we anchored by the island of Rindja and by the island of Sumbawa. Anchored at Rindja we got the opportunity to watch a big Komodo Dragon eating a deer on the beach. Pretty exciting! Luckily the Komodo Dragon didn’t pay much attention to us…
When we were about to anchor in a bay south on Sumbawa Island, the Captain was really scared. The guards taking care of the Pearl farm in the bay we planned to anchor, was dressed in balaclavas as they approached Empire in their little boat. Luckily the guards turned out to be very friendly, and guided us to the next bay – without a pearl farm.
The current between the Indonesian islands are pretty strong, and do not necessarily change direction when the tide changes. To calculate the voyage so it will be with the tide is not possible. Tide rips and sudden waves make the sailing extra interesting.
We have not felt anything from the earthquakes that have been in the Indonesian area.

It took the Komodo Dragon
about one day to eat
the deer.





Eirik attends a good school - soon he will be
managing all alone
.

Friendly fishermen with
souvenir sale as an extra business.

Indonesia - 29. September 2009 - Pos 10°10 S 123°34 E - sailed from Oslo 34299nm

INDONESIA – A DIFFERENT WORLD

We arrived in Kupang on the island Timor (West Timor) in Indonesia Sunday after a nice voyage from Darwin, though almost without wind. When coming from Australia, this is like coming to another world…
It looks like Mr. Napa is managing all clearing in as an agent. To visit the Customs-, Quarantine- or Immigration authorities on our own to save the 250US$ the agent wants, is impossible. When that is said, it looks like Mr. Napa is taking care of everything in a quick and professional way. We will know for sure during this day.
Kupang is a city without many tourists. A total of 4 sailboats is anchored outside the town, but all of us are sailing on as soon as the clearance is done.
Every local girl – young and old - is charmed by Eirik. They all want to kiss and hug him, and even carry him around. Sometimes mum and dad look a bit sceptic.

Sea you later, Australia!!!


The yacht anchored next to Empire in Kupang has two kids onboard - 1 1/2 and 5 years old!

"A lot of wind" on our way to Indonesia.

The quarantine-inspection is done (the bribing) and the quarantine-inspector drives the Captain to the "check in"-agent.

Darwin, Aus. - 22. September 2009 - Pos 12°27 S 130°50 E - sailed from Oslo 33814nm

THE CELEBRATION OF THE CAPTAIN WILL BE AS WE THROW OFF

Tomorrow is the Captain’s birthday – twenty seven again he thinks. This time the celebration is in Darwin, Australia.
Eirik’s spots are almost gone, and the Captain’s birthday celebration will be as we throw off from Darwin. We are though sad to leave this beautiful country and continent, and one day we will be back… The course will be set for Bali, Indonesia.
With Empire moored in Tipperary Waters Marina, we have stocked up for the voyage. Empire is now well loaded with fuel and food.
The weather forecast promises almost no wind for the coming days, so worst case scenario is motoring all the way to Bali. We cross our fingers and hope that the Volvo Penta can rest as much as possible.

Regalvanizing made the chain
almost as new – but because
of a badly done job many of the
chainbits had to be forced apart.

Also Eirik had fun in the wave-pool...

This looong road trains is never seen in Norway!!!

The red spots are almoast gone, and Eirik is ready to throw off!

Darwin, Aus. - 18. September 2009 - Pos 12°27 S 130°50 E - sailed from Oslo 33814nm

THE DEPARTURE FROM DARWIN IS POSTPONED

After one week with VERY hot days in Darwin, the plan was to throw off from Darwin Saturday. Unfortunately we and the doctors have troubles finding the reason for all the read spots on Eirik’s body. We will await the situation a little, and most probably head off for Bali on Wednesday.
We know that it is hot in tropical areas, but Darwin is even warmer than we have experienced anywhere else. Even at night time the temperature down below is above 30°C.
When we notified the Customs before our intended departure, the immigration authorities discovered that Eirik did not have any visa for Australia. We were not surprised, since Eirik is born here. It was all just a little formality and Eirik do now have his first visa in his brand new Norwegian passport.
We do not know whether the red spots on Eirik’s body is caused by heat rush, an infection, allergy or sand flea bites (or something else). Eirik is anyway smiling, jumping and seems to be a happy boy, so we do not believe it can be anything serious…

Too bad that Eirik had fallen asleep when the Bearded Dragon was visiting - Crocosaurus Cove, Darwin.


Since we have only met one crocodile out in the wild when sailing around the northeastern corner of Australia - we "had to" visit Crocosaurus Cove.

The stars cover the
ceiling - Deckchair Cinema downtown Darwin.

Eirik's red spots -
hopefully they look
worse than they
really are

Darwin, Aus. - 12. September 2009 - Pos 12°27 S 130°50 E - sailed from Oslo 33814nm

LAST STOP IN AUSTRALIA

Light winds and a little bit of time-pressure for not leaving Australia too late because of the oncoming hurricane season, made us motor-sail the last stretch towards Darwin. Small winds, high temperatures, currents, good fishing and Customs helicopters/planes were the main ingredients of the last part of the voyage towards the outpost in the Northern Territorie.
After a couple of days anchored outside Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin, we sailed up the Sadgrove Creek and locked in to Tipperary Waters Marina. From the marina it is a (long) walk to town. We sadly have to realize that the preparations to leave this beautiful country is in progress.
We do not really want to leave Australia and all the nice people of different nationalities we have met here. But since we believe that we one day should sail in The Oslofjord – before the wallet is empty – we have no choice. One day we will be back on this wonderful continent…!!!
Eirik got his 6 months vaccinations in Darwin. With the vital measurements 71cm and 9,4kg, we realize that he has become a biiig boy since we sailed from Yamba in June.

"What about the teak around" some people say - really fun, we say ! This 12kg Blufin Tuna we turned in to salted/dried tuna, salt- cured tuna and nice tuna steaks.



We lost the counting about how many times we spoke with Customs on the VHF-radio....

When going in to one of the marinas in Darwin, the hull has to be inspected and the saltwater hoses treated, in case of dangerous animals... - on the government's expense.

To keep the water level steady in the marinas, the boats are sailing in and out through locks - when the tide is a bit up. At low tide it is completely dry outside the gate.

Arafura Sea, Aus-7. September 2009 - Pos 10°49 S 132°45 E - sailed from Oslo 33729nm

THE HOLE IN THE WALL

A few days in Gove suddenly turned in to a week. A friendlier place can be hard to find. We felt the good atmosphere already when we anchored, and later it got even better.
Anchored of Gove we got to know Australian/Swedish Frances and Ted, and their son Bjørn, in the steel yacht Kaylie. They grew both up in their parents yachts on long voyage, and since then they have sailed long also in their own yachts. Their last voyage was among other places to Patagonia, where also Empire sailed. Now they live onboard s/y Kaylie, waiting for Bjørn to finish school – before they head of for new sailing adventures.
We also met Kate and Rob – finally some people our age out sailing – on a long voyage with their sailboat Aries Tor – from Canada. They are heading in the same direction as us – Thailand for Christmas.
When we left Gove we sailed through The Hole in the Wall. The tide can set with 10 knots through the narrow passage. We were only given 5 knots of tide – our way – when we sailed through.
On our way to Darwin we hope for another couple of nice anchorages. In this writing moment the wind has eased of, and the iron-genoa is taking care of the forward movement of Empire.

Eirik helming through The Hole in the Wall - to lay still was totally out of the question...





Gove Yacht Club - the frendliest yacht club in Northern Territorie?

The Gurapari Rip - or The Hole in the Wall. A 1,5nm long and 50m wide short cut between two islands.

Eirik celebrated his 1/2 year birthday together with Kate celebrating her 24th - anchored of Wigram Island.

Gove, NT, Aus. - 28. August 2009 - Pos 12°12 S 136°42 E - sailed from Oslo 33480nm

EMPIRE AROUND CAPE YORK

23. of August we sailed around Cape York, Australia’s northernmost cape. After a night anchored in beautiful Simpson Bay inside Possession Island on the York peninsula’s western side, we headed west across the Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria is considered as Australia’s Bay of Biscay.
We had a very nice but slow sail across the bay, and after 291nm we arrived in Gove, our first anchorage in Northern Territory. Also here in the Aboriginal part of Australia, we are overwhelmed by the friendliness and nice people that meet us.
When we left New South Wales we thought it was a bit chilly. We don’t complain about any cold weather right now. The sun is getting closer for every day, and first when we sail north from Darwin (our last port in Australia), we can expect to find slightly cooler temperatures.
Eirik is having a good time at sea, but even he finds it a bit hot sometimes. As often as possible he “jumps” in his little cooling pool in the cockpit.

Not exactly what we ordered for dinner...



The workload is evenly distributed onboard !!!

Albany Passage - 4 knots of current gave us a quick ride towards Cape York.

Finally - from the 2. spreader Eivind sighted it - the "salty" in Margaret Bay.

Margaret Bay, Aus. - 18. Aug. 2009 - Pos 11°57 S 143°12 E - sailed from Oslo 33102nm

IT IS STILL PRETTY WINDY

Low Islets, Lizard, Flinders and Morris Islands, Lloyd and Margaret Bays are some of the places we have anchored since we threw off from Cairns. Most of these places are familiar places to (some of) the Australian sailors, but to us they are all new and interesting.
Since we lately have been reading about Captain Cook and his voyages, it gives us historical wibes to sail (also) in this area. Captain Cook also gave names to many of the places, and sometimes it is as we recognize places from the books…
We are now sailing in a deserted part of Australia. A few places have some houses close together, but mostly the wilderness rules on shore – and the Customs in the air.
Daily we are over flown by Customs or Coast Watch, but since it seems as we are the only Norwegian yacht in the area (and therefore easily recognizable) they don’t bother calling us on the VHF any more.
We are getting closer to the “top” of Australia. In a few days we will sail around Cape York.
Still no crocodiles seen…

Eivind learning about mangoove- and crocodile waters.



In the before this fishing boat Lady
Ren’e we met three nice guys on
tour – Eirik also found a good lap.

The luck of fishing is getting better. In
one day we caught 5 Scoll Mackrell
and one (6kg) Wahoo !

Flinders Island, Aus. - 9. Aug. 2009 - Pos 14°10 S 144°14 E - sailed from Oslo 32934nm

GALE FORCE WINDS EVERY DAY

Finally we could throw off from Marlin Marina and Cairns. We hope that our cait – the sailing permit for Indonesia - will be waiting for us when we arrive in Darwin – in about a month. We also hope that the aft freshwater tank the Captain repaired when in Cairns will stay without leaks… A leaking freshwater tank is no fun!
It seems as gale force winds is the minimum north of Cairns. Luckily the wind is coming out of southeast, so we are doing good speed when sailing. The anchorages are not always directly calm, but mostly we can find protection from the swell that manages to build up inside The Great Barrier Reef.
The Captain had a nice walk to “Cook’s lookout” – the top of Lizard Island where Captain Cook in 1770 got a good view of the Reef when he was anchored there with H.M.S. Endeavour.
We still haven’t met any crocodiles...

Tropical bath !


Lizard Island.

Cairns, Qld, Aus. - 28. July 2009 - Pos 16°55 S 145°47 E - sailed from Oslo 32735nm

BACK IN THE TROPICS

We haven’t seen any crocodiles yet, but probably we don’t have to wait long. Crocodiles are pretty common north of Townswille in the murky waters along the shoreline. Sometimes the crocodiles swim for an island trip, sometimes they can even be found further south… They definitively live in the river outside Marlin Marina in Cairns, but we haven’t seen them. But don’t worry – we do look around before we “go” in the water.
We have found beautiful anchorages inside The Great Barrier Reef also between Townswille and Cairns. We hoped to find “crocs” at the anchorage at Hinchinbrook Island. Probably we anchored in a too safe zone…
Cairns is a very touristy city. We hope to be leaving again soon, so that we can enjoy more of the nice anchorages. But – before we can leave we have to apply for the “cait”, the sailing permission for Indonesian waters. Unfortunately this process may be both time-consuming and expensive.

Townswille !







Terje Dahl sailed from Norway in the little yacht Coco Loco many years ago. Now he lives in Townswille...

We met Nat and Betsy from the American yacht Bahati at Galapagos in 2007. Since then we have met many times. Last was in Sydney befor Eirik was born - this time they visited us in Townswille, while Bahati was in Cairns.
Tanja and Gingerlily were our yacht-neigh-bours in Yamba. In Townswille they visited their
"Granpa" - and us.
Townswille, Aus. - 17. July 2009 - Pos 19°15 S 146°49 E - sailed from Oslo 32554nm

THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS

Townswille and Mackay is the door to The Whitsunday Islands, from north and south. Whitsunday Islands is where “all” Australians travel, if they first have the opportunity to be sailing for some weeks. We have heard about The Whitsundays since we arrived in Bundaberg in October last year – now we finally got the chance to experience the islands our selves.
Nice scenery, beautiful anchorages and many Australian tourists in chartered yachts are dominating the area, but also some sailors on a longer voyage. In one of the bays we sighted a French yacht. In another anchorage we met a Canadian yacht – her owners had moved to Australia 14 years ago. We also met a couple of yachts coming from south in Australia. The water temperature was 21°C and the visibility in the ocean was not too good – we sighted the bottom when the depth was between one to two meters.
We are definitely back in the warm temperature area, even though big depressions far south sometimes send cool air all the way up here. Surprisingly the air temperature can get down to 0°C even in these latitudes at this time of the year. Luckily it does not get that chilly along the coast!

Daddy's maternity leave - what is that?






It feels good to be sailing again - new territories and new experiences.
Mackay, Australia - 9. July 2009 - Pos 21°10 S 149°18 E - sailed from Oslo 32322nm

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF

We are now located inside the world’s biggest barrier reef. We haven’t seen anything of the reef itself - yet. The Great Barrier Reef is out there somewhere.
The anchorages we have seen, have been around so called continental islands, and even though The Great Barrier Reef takes away the swell from the Pacific Ocean, it can be pretty choppy on the inside too. At the most, the distance from shore to the outer edge of the reef is 230 kilometres.
The tide is becoming a serious factor to be taken into consideration. Near Mackay the tidal difference is up to 7 meters.
We are eating fruit all day, to use the fruit Margrete and Reidar gave us before it is too late. No one can say we are not living a healthy life these days.
Eirik got his 4 months vaccination shots in Mackay. He took the happening as a man – only a short scream, before he probably thought “it wasn’t that bad” and became the normal smiley boy he is.

Curlew Island.



We got lots of fruit onboard in Rosslyn Bay.
Soon he can swim ! It is a hard life onboard, all the time.
Sunset over the Australian continent.
Rosslyn Bay, Aus. - 30. June 2009 - Pos 23°09 S 150°47 E - sailed from Oslo 32138nm

THE SEATEMPERATURE IS 23° CELSIUS

Shorts are again a part of our daily dress-code and we are enjoying the warm temperatures.
After a quick stop in Scarborough, where Mr. Megapulse himself turned up onboard to inspect and upgrade our Megapulse instruments, we headed further north. After a calm 3 days sail, we anchored north of Curtis Island (north of Gladstone). With changing wind we stayed there for 2 nights, before proceeding to Rosslyn Bay.
About one year ago we met Norwegian Reidar in Noumea, New Caledonia. Now Reidar and his wife Margrete met us in Rosslyn Bay and invited us to their home in Byfield. Together we have had 3 beautiful days. Margrete and Reidar have showed us their world in Australia. They moved to Australia 22 years ago, after sailing from Norway 5 years earlier…
When we met Reidar (74) in Noumea, he was on his way – singlehanded - in a Jeanneau 38 from Mallorca to Australia!!

Eirik is not impressed by the boatspeed...



The last cold leg for some time.
Interesting catch... Reidar is boat builder, sailor, carpenter and gardener - and more - and is willingly sharing his knowledge!
Margrete is a potter and glass artist with her own studio and gallery in Byfield and Yeppon.
Manly, Qld, Aus. - 15. June 2009 - Pos 27 °27 S 153°11 E - sailed from Oslo 31746nm

EMPIRE GROUNDED

After a beautiful nights sail from Yamba to Southport, and after a couple of days at anchor in Southport, we headed north on the waterways towards Brisbane. The canal in the area where we went aground is mostly 6 meters deep. But not where the sandbank had built up...
With a speed of 5 knots we met the sand where two leads are crossing each other. Luckily enough, after thoroughly checks all over the boat, we can’t find any damages.
Eirik’ first sail on the Ocean was without any drama. The little boy slept safely through the night and was woken up early in the morning for some breastmilk-breakfast, before we sailed in the “Seaways” to Southport.
In Manly we are doing the last checks and the last provisioning, before we leave for slightly more remote places. Even though Empire was well prepared when we left Yamba, there are always some things that can be fixed or maintained, so that we are as prepared as possible for more deserted waters.

Eirik's first voyage in "Don
Tærst", our Zodiac dinghy.




The canals south of Moreton Bay has plenty of markers.
The cockpit is Eirik's playground.
Seaworld, Southport,
Queensland.
Yamba - 6. June 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31601nm

EMPIRE AGAIN UNDER WAY

After a long time in Yamba, we are ready to throw off. Eirik, our newest and youngest crew-member, is now ready for the ocean – we think. We will throw off from Yamba Sunday mid day, aiming north. Our first short stop will be Southport, before we slowly continue north. The plan is to be in Thailand via Darwin (Australia) for Christmas 2009. “Time will show”.
It is sad to leave Yamba after meeting so many nice people in Australia. Hopefully we will see some of them again onboard later in the voyage – or in Norway – or on our next trip to Australia… Our experiences with Madeleine and Bror on their farm in Cawongla are one of our highlights from Australia.
Empire is ship shape and ready for the ocean. The new mainsail by Ullman Sail is in place and the old sail with its more than 40.000nm have new tasks. A part of the sail will be sun-cover in front of the sauna at Beaver Creek Farm in Cawongla.
We are sad to leave, but at the same time we are ready to be under way again – Ship O’hoi !

A new mainsail on the boom is
one of several reasons to show
the big smile.


When we sold our Australia-car, the new owners were very interested in our way of living.
Eirik, 3 months - ready
for the voyage.
With the little one on  the
side, the last preparing
takes a little longer...

4 SALE - EX COND
Yamba - 27. May 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31601nm

EXTREME WEATHER IN AUSTRALIA

The last couple of months Australia have seen some extreme weather, fires in the south and floods up north. This week it was the Northern Rivers among them Yamba that was hit with flood.
From the sea a storm gave us high winds and rain, 6m swell and waves along the coast. The rain caused the rivers to flood. King tide have delayed the drift of from the river. Along the coast a huge amount of sand has been washed to sea and all the beaches along the Goldcoast have been closed.
Yamba, where Empire is, have been cut of from the world for about a week and the road is still under water. In the neighbour towns several 1000 people have been evacuated. There are severe damages on bridges, roads and buildings.
In the supermarket in Yamba the selves with fresh food are almost empty. Luckily Empire has stores for a month or two onboard. Choppers are flying back and forth with necessities to needing people in the region.
When we soon set sail it will be interesting and sad to see what the weather has done to the beaches and bars along the coast.

Kids "play" in the huge surf after
the storm at Angouire, NSW.

abc news - flood pictures

dailyexaminer - flood pictures

Stranden i Yamba.
Blue Pool Angouire. Bil er byttet ut med kajakk.
Yamba - 17. May 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31601nm

HAPPY NATIONAL DAY, NORWAY !

We wish all of you in Norway and Norwegians all over, all the best for today.
When Norway wakes up to celebrate the national day, The 17.th of May, we have already sung ”Ja, vi elsker” (the Norwegian National anthem) and had a good breakfast in Australia. There is no children in the streets nor any School band playing, but Eivind have been playing the trumpet.
In Yamba today we have typical Norwegian spring temperatures and sun. With today’s maximum at 25 degrees C, we lengthen for the warmer climate.
The Captain has packed his ”suitcase” and is ready for a little trip overseas… but as soon as he has returned, we are heading north as soon as possible. Our sailor legs are ready to throw off, after 6 months in Yamba.

We wish you a Happy 17.th of May celebration !!!

Eirik heard for the first time about
the Norwegian Constitution and
our National Day, the 17.th of May.
This year 17.th of May was celebrated with a walk on the beach, cleaning of Empire's propeller and a little bit of traditional celebration on deck. We are the only Norwegians in the area, so our 17.th of May parade consisted of only three people.
Yamba - 7. May 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31601nm

EIRIK IS SOON NORWEGIAN !

We assume that it is only formalities and maybe 4-6 weeks before Eirik officially is Norwegian. We had hoped that he also could get an Australian passport, but that was not possible.
We plan to head north from Yamba in the end of May. By that time we hope that our new mainsail is ready and that we have menaged to get Empire ready for further sailing. Empire have been in Yamba for about 6 months, and we are now looking forward to be under way again.

Thank you for all the greetings that we have received from far and near friends to Eirik's birth and Christening.

 

Eirik got his first contact with Norwegian authorities through
their prolonged arm - The
Norwegian Consulate in
Brisbane.
2 months old and the first encounter with one of the locals - and soon ready for sailing.
Madeleine, Bror and Empire's crew taking in the Australian atmosphere at the show "The Australian Outback".
Eirik on his first "bush- walk" in Border Ranges National Park.
Yamba - 14. April 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31601nm

CHRISTENING IN AUSTRALIA !

Easter Monday we were ready for Eirik’s christening onboard Empire. The priest came from the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Sydney to perform the sacred ceremony.
Empire was decorated with Big Flags when the guests arrived. Empire and Rome, one of our Australian friends’ boat, hauled a couple of nautical miles up the Clarence River. Torgeir Vea set an excellent frame around the ceremony. With the boats anchored and to the accompaniment from the running river he performed a beautiful christening ceremony. Peder (Eivind’s son) was responsible for removing Eirik’s baptism-hat, and Janne was representing herself and the other God-parents. Eirik was baptised in saltwater, sampled from the Pacific Ocean the day before, with Australian friends and Norwegian family on deck. After the ceremony we all gathered on shore for Norwegian fish soup and a little party.
Thank you very much to you all for making Eirik’s day into a memorable and great day.

Madeleine and Bror lent us the
silver bowl, both their children is
baptised with this bowl - and as
a seamens priest Torgeir is
used to improvise.


13. April 2009 - Eirik Våge Bogerud's Christening Day - Clarence River, New South Wales, Australia.
Empire is soon
ready to continue
the sailing - with
one more crew.
Full "house" and
many guests...
Janne represented herself and the three other god-parents from Norway - Anne, Marius and Bjørnar.
Yamba - 1. April 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31596nm

PACKED BOAT IN YAMBA !

It has not been much sailing after Eirik’s arrival. There will be many opportunities for sailing later on…
Last Sunday Peder (Eivind’s son), Vigdis and Tore (Heidi’s parents) and Irene (Eivind’s mother) signed onboard for a three week long stay with us in Yamba. On top of their wish-list for the stay, they all have "being together with Eirik" – and with 1. Mate and Captain.
Our guests early got to know the Australian hospitality and friendliness – On our way from Brisbane to Yamba the car broke down. Everybody passing stopped to see if they could give us a helping hand. We Norwegians have a lot to learn!
From friends back in Norway, our visitors brought many nice presents for Eirik – Thank you very much!
Our guests also got to know a little bit of the Australian weather. Last 24 hours we had 160mm of rain. Many rivers around Yamba is flooding, but so far we are safe. Empire is safely tied up in Yamba Marina.

Finally - a little bit more than three
weeks after their grandchild was
born, the grandparents could have
their first "chat" with the little one.

Heidi will be seated like this the comming 6 - 7 months - but Empire are not going to be moored in Yamba that long...
Empire with sailor-Eirik onboard.
Peder was just out of customs at the airport in Brisbane when he announced - "tomorrow you are going to cut my hair, dad".
Peder refreshing his memory from his previous voyages with Empire - along the European coast in 2005, in the Carebean in 2006 and in the Pacific in 2007.
Yamba - 20. March 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31596nm

THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA !

When Heidi “got out” from Grafton Base Hospital, we headed directly for Cawongla and Madeleine and Bror. Our common sailor-friend Lennart was waiting there.
It was when we sailed in the surroundings of the southern tip of South America more than two years ago, that we met both Bror and Lennart. Bror was crewing onboard Swedish Sawubona and Lennart was singlehanded Captain on his own ship, Cabo de Hornos. Last time we met Lennart was when he visited us in Antofagasta, Chile.
Sailors on a long voyage often grow tense relationships all around the world. Good friendships form, but often our courses split after short time – and you never know if or when you will meet again. That is why meeting good friends again is "extra very much" appreciated. We had great days together in Cawongla – four Cape Horners gathered.
Finally Eirik got to see his yacht - Empire. He was carried onboard Monday the 16.th of March – and it seems as he is enjoying the Ship.
There is no doubt that we are having exiting times ahead of us…

Eirik Våge Bogerud has signed
on.



>>> See what the local
newspaper writes...
Cognac and cigar according tradition with a baby-boy (the alternative was cognac and donuts).
Heidi, Eivind and the
new sailor.
Three Captains, three Cape Horners - on rodeo-show in Kyogle. The 4.th Cape Horner still in hospital...
Yamba - 7. March 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31596nm

THE LITTLE ONE HAS ARRIVED !

Eirik announced his arrival the 4.th of March. After many hours with hard work, our new Sailor saw the daylight kl 1420 NSW-time.
The vital measurements are 3215gram and 51cm. Everything is very well with the mother, the little one and the father !!!
At the time Eirik warned about his arrival we were in Cawongla, at our friends Madeleine and Bror 's place. Originally the plan was to drive to Brisbane Airport early Wednesday morning to meet our common sailor-friend Lennart, from the Swedish yacht Cabo de Hornos . At 0200 we got in the car and headed for Grafton Base Hospital , a 2 hour drive away. Madeleine and Bror had to meet Lennart on their own.
The TEAM at the Maternity Unit is fantastic. It is incredible to experience professional and brilliant people like this. They are not only working there, they are TAKING CARE OF and CARING FOR !

Thank you very much to you all at GBH Maternity Unit !

EIRIK VÅGE BOGERUD
3 days...




Yamba - 25. February 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31596nm
WE ARE SORRY - that our web pages have not been working the last two weeks.
Hackers had broken in to our web hotell. - We are now on a new server...!!
THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW CREW-MEMBER IS GETTING CLOSER –
THE BUSHFIRES IS PRESENTING NO THREAT TO US

Heidi is growing and still getting bigger. One night every week has the last weeks been set aside for pre parent-course. The breathing technique is no longer a part of such a course, but we have achieved a lot of other interesting information. Yes, WE – the Captain is of course also attending the pre parent-course.
There are still three more course-evenings to come, so it remains to see if the little one is planning to participate the last course-evenings from the inside or from the outside…

The news all over the world has headlines from the big bush-fires on the east coast of Australia. At this point the fires are not presenting any threat to us – and hopefully the fire-fighters will have them under control before the fires will be able to head towards Yamba.
Yamba - not close to any of the
bush-fire areas.

THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!!

We have applied for ”the best job in the world” in Australia – Have a look at our video-application

- feel free to give us many stars (on ”rating”) when you have seen the video.

You can see the video on http://www.islandreefjob.com/#/applicants/watch/pK48Zb90mic
THE VIDEO IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT YOUTUBE !

Practice makes
perfect...
Midwife Robert - with comming mothers -
and fathers.
I am glad it is not
me !
Heidi -
3 ½ week to go?
Yamba - 28. January 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31596nm

CAWONGLA YACHT CLUB ON THE OCEAN!

The last weeks the members of Cawongla Yacht Club have been exercising hard. Every Thursday afternoon the members gather in and around the sauna at Bror’s and Madeleine’s farm. The recent Thursdays the yachts even got in the water…
Last Sunday it was time for some sailing for real. The CYC-members left their yachts at home, and signed on onboard Empire for a day’s sail at the Pacific Ocean.
The weather prognose was good and predicted just a little wind and calm seas. Even though, when the CYC-members embarked in the morning, the wind was screaming around all the rigs in Yamba Marina. The CYC-members experience varied from Atlantic crossing to no experience at all…
During the day we experienced “good” winds, mostly around 30knots. For some of the CYC-members that was a little bit too much, and their face-colour quickly disappeared ! Luckily the colour came back, as soon as we again were inside the training-walls. 20nm of sailed distance was what the members of Cawongla Yacht Club noted in their diaries when we tied up back in the marina.
The day was rounded off with lunch onboard, and maybe a small sailor-beer or two. Thank you for the sail.

From top left; Heidi, Madeleine,
Bill, Bror, Merve, Michael and
the Captain - Cawongla Yacht
Club on tour with Empire.







Cawongla Yacht Club Comodore in blue t-shirt (left picture).
The other club-members also tested different roles onboard...
Yamba - 20. January 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31576nm

MARIANN PALMBORG’S LAST VOYAGE !

We received the message that Mariann has passed away with great sorrow. Mariann was a great person and a rallying point, especially for Scandinavian sailors on a long voyage in Caribbean. For more than 15 years Mariann gathered several hundred sailors in her garden every Christmas Eve on Bequia, for Christmas celebration.

When we threw off from Norway in 2005, Mariann waved us “Good Voyage” from the dock, and handed over “the great chocolate cake”.
Mariann passed away at Aker Hospital in Norway the 15. of January.

We are very thankful and very proud that we got the opportunity to get to know Mariann. Our thoughts go to her family and friends.
We wish Mariann a good voyage…

Mariann Palmborg's funeral will take place at Vestre Krematorium, Nye kapell, Oslo, Norway, Wednesday 28. January kl. 12.30.

Mariann, Bequia, Christmas 2005.






The wiev from Mariann's house - Why Knot - Mariann.
Yamba - 20. January 2009 - Pos 33°50 S 150°40 E - sailed dist. from Oslo 31576nm
BELATED WISHES
- AND HAPPY NEW YEAR !

It is some time since last Captain Eivind celebrated Christmas and New Years Eve far inland. That was before we threw off fromthe Oslo-summer 2005.
Together with Madeleine and Bror on their farm in Cawongla, we have enjoyed nice days with Scandinavian traditions. Still the “ribbe” and pinnekjøtt” have to wait until maybe sometime January…
Eivind got a lot of cowboy-exercise together with Bror during the last 2 weeks. It now looks like Eivind has been riding for a long time (at least that is what he thinks himself). Maybe the farming-life in Australia is the way to settle, if we one day decide to settle?
Heidi has also enjoyed life during Christmas, taking it easy and enjoying the still growing belly.
We have measured more than 38°C (yes, in the shade) many of the days between Christmas and New Years Eve. With such temperatures it is actually a bit hard to do some productive work… Of course we haven’t seen anything to the winter storms. Instead we have seen huge and strong hail storms passing by. By luck we got no direct hits, but neighbours got roofs blown off and hail big as tennis balls. We parked the car in the garage before the storms arrived, but luckily only small (Norwegian-size) hail found its way to Bever Creek Farm.
Quiet after the storm
- just before sunset.









Two pregnant ones.
Farming in Bever Creek.
PS: Bill (right), Brors son - not Eivind...
 
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