Woh Woh Woh – Where have you been Lily!?

Wow, sorry guys. I kinda went AWOL there didn’t I?

But guess what? I have SO much to tell you!

When I left you last, oh so many months ago, I was in the Mediterranean, working on a 70ft classic sailing yacht. Remember the one?

image11Right. So, Marc and I are still working on the same boat, but a lot has happened in the meantime! For starters, we bought a boat together !!!!!!!! Yes, we bought a boat together. That’s sort of like marriage isn’t it? It felt just as serious and stressful and fun and heart-racing as marriage anyway.

Ladies and Gentlemen… Introducing… our new darling lady… the one and only…

Sailing Vessel PROJECTION – a Stevens 47:

IMG_0578 IMG_0805 IMG_0880

Wow, right? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (**NB: I’m thinking: DAMN, that’s a big boat!!**)

Yes, we bought a big boat. She’s 47 ft long! That may come as a surprise to those of you that know me as the “smaller is better” “go small go now” “who needs a fridge anyway” philosophical sailor… but there is rhyme to our reason, don’t you worry.

Here’s the thing. It’s not just our boat. It’s your boat too!

The story is, we’re launching our very own business. It’s called Projection Travel and it’s officially a company so you can go ahead and put PTY LTD at the end of that 😉 We will be offering sailing and cycling charters throughout the Pacific, starting in January 2016. Think gourmet food, kayak expeditions, tropical bike tours, turquoise anchorages, yoga mornings etc, etc…        So, can I get a HELL YEAH?

More info on all that exciting stuff will come over the next few weeks as we get our website launched – watch this space for an opportunity to join us for some sailing and cycling adventures!

But by now you might be thinking… what about baby Portal?

Yes, baby Portal.


My first love… my beautiful, darling Portal. This little lady will always hold a very special place in my heart. She taught me so much of everything. And she made it easy. Portal was a wonderful First Boat, and our journeys together… all the way from the smog of LA, through the clear waters of the Pacific, and into the tidal belly of the Brisbane River… will never be forgotten! 

What? Portal’s GONE!?

Yes, ’tis true. Well, she’s “moved on” let’s say. She has found herself an abundantly suitable new caretaker, who I trust will love and care for her twice as well as I did. She will mosey her way along the Northern NSW coasts, and be grateful to have the wind in her sails once more.


… So that’s about it for the BIG NEWS items. A summary, for those of you that skip to the bottom:

  • I left my job in the Med for a 3 month crazy-head-spinning trip to Australia, where I scrubbed my lovely boat Portal within an inch of her life and sold her to a delightful man named John.
  • Marc then came to snatch me back. It was a joyful reunion after 2 months too long!
  • Then, we signed some big documents with scribbles at the bottom to say we just bought a NEW boat – Projection.
  • We are now back at work in the Med. But only for a few months – in September we jump ship, and start the real project – Projection Travel: Sailing and Cycling Adventures.

Stay tuned for more 🙂




February’s Endings

As the second month of the year draws to a close, it feels unusually overdue. Time has been moving quite slowly in my world, due mostly to my recent hermiting tendencies and self-focus.
I’ve been living off Portal for the last month, house sitting a friends apartment and the calendar tends to flip slower when I’m not on the water. It’s part of the ‘deal’ Charlie and I have had to work on – how to divide our one tangible joint asset: the boat. As any ending relationship is, it has been a difficult and emotional process. I owe you, my community, for the heartfelt support and non-judgement you have offered us. If I haven’t personally said it yet, Thank You.
We have finally settled on a deal – he has Portal to himself for February, I move back in, alone, in March and buy out his share of her value. We now both feel significantly better and some of the tense frustrations have dissipated.
I also started a pretty hectic, time-demanding job at the start of the year, workshop manager at Reid Cycles. It has been challenging but rewarding and despite working massive hours, I’m glad to be playing with bikes again.
You know how they say don’t make more than one big life change at a time? Home, Work, Love. Oops.
I’m accustomed to change though and the obvious truth is, it sits well with me. My reaction has been to take a time-out for myself, focusing on meditation, health and diet. It’s liberating to be sleeping 8 uninterrupted hours a night, to be filling my body with green smoothies and veggie/raw-rich meals, to spend my precious free-time cycling around my city or going to the cinema alone or shopping and cafe hopping, a good book always at hand. A part of myself that had been long neglected is developing again, and yes that’s partly due to a change in my love life, but it also has a lot to do with being back in my ‘hometown’, in a challenging new job, and for the first time in a long time, not thinking about boats or projects or travel plans (much).
After two months of lone-living though, I’m starting to emerge again, make more plans with friends, stay out past 10 occasionally and even consider inviting others to join me at the movies! Sometimes I worry this will get harder again, but maybe it’s all been too hard for too long, and maybe all (at least most) of the tears have fallen. Maybe it’s time to just let love flow it’s flow, to sit in fields of green grass, sun on my face, smile on my lips, and just say “be here now”.






What I havn’t told you

Why do I write this blog?

Is it to simply share my travel experiences? To inspire, to encourage, to reflect? To give a voyeur-view into my life, as a young woman on the road? Or maybe just to self-indulge? I always said it was a platform for me to practice my writing, to keep me writing. And to share in this human-experience, to explore ‘the meaning of life’ together, as part of a community, all searching relentlessly for answers to questions or questions to answers.

I believe strongly in the value of transparency, of openness, so that we might all learn more, grow faster and understand one another better. I write because it’s a way to share life, to connect with people both known and unknown and explore ideas as part of the bigger picture.

But it’s not always easy. Sometimes I find myself slipping into the tedium of “I went here, I did this”, or glossing over my experiences so they all sound like passionate, fulfilling adventures. And when I am living my dream (to sail my own boat across the Pacific) it’s all too easy to leave out the rawness of it, the tears and grit that are inevitably involved in risking yourself while following your heart.


Charlie and I have always questioned the institution of marriage, challenged the assumptions made by society, by couples in love. It’s why we had a commitment ceremony and not a wedding, it’s why we tried open relationships, it’s why we’ve travelled apart for months at a time and it’s why now, after 5 years of being together, we’ve decided to separate.

I shared very little of our slowly disconnecting relationship, even with closest family and friends. I felt embarrassed at our failure to make it work, felt other people’s disappointment, those who love us both dearly and think of us as a team, felt that so soon after our heartfelt and powerful Union Ceremony, we should be doing better.

But then we sailed into Brisbane, and the time came to share our lives with others. It came as a shock to most, as it might to readers of this blog, because (through my own fault) what they didn’t see was the fighting, the misunderstandings, and the differences we found in each other. Our relationship has always been a balancing act, a hard won passionate battle of communication and empathy – always talking, working or moving our way through big impossible issues. We haven’t made it easy on ourselves, and maybe this is just what happens when you live through so much together in such a short time. I don’t know. Thankfully, what Charlie and I do know, is that we don’t want to go on with the struggle – we need to go our separate ways, to follow our dreams in different directions.

What I feel in my heart is that we are no longer meant for each other. We have growing opposing opinions about some fundamental philosophies, and despite still loving Charlie as the beautiful man he is, I recognize that’s not the man that helps me be the best woman I can be. Our vows to each other were clear: we would make our independent selves our first priority, always love the other, and live life together as a team so long as our happiness benefited.

Our roads have forked, our lives are separating, but we have stayed true to that commitment.







Portal’s Pacific Complete!

                       pacific track1


At 165 million square kilometers in area, the Pacific Ocean covers about 46% of the Earth’s water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of the Earth’s land area combined.

Translation: Crossing the Pacific Ocean on a 30ft sailing boat, often going no faster than a brisk walk, takes a really, really long time. It’s big. Really big. Big enough to contain thousands of paradisaical islands, a whole bunch of curious whales, dozens of delicious Dorado, miles and miles of treacherous waves, kilometers of tranquil still seas, squalls, thunderstorms, pelting rain, rainbows, turtles, sunshine, parades of fast moving ships, communities of slow moving sailors, black people, white people, weavers and carvers and builders, and a whole bunch more of COMPLETE UNKNOWN.

But, all crests are conquerable, and after 9 months of sailing, Portal has made it to Australia. We are tired, dirty and hungry, but we’re here!

photo 2

                       image6  image0     image7 image8

Waiting for the Weather

After our spot in Tanna’s town of Lenakel turned nasty, we decided it was time to leave. Despite getting a migraine, not having an autopilot and it being dusk, the building swell and increasingly uncomfortable anchorage meant we had to go.

And a good thing we did! In complete contrast to our previous sail, this one was the best of the trip yet! It would have been perfect if not for the hand-stearing, but with a light breeze beam on and flat seas, it came close anyway. Our two day trip to New Caledonia passed quickly, but we were quite exhausted once inside the protecting reef. We found a small bay close to the pass, and anchored for the night, again with our friends on Alliance.

The next day we picked up the hook and continued on to Noumea, city of lights. Some hiccups with Pixel meant she had to be quarantined while we waited for our newly ordered auto-pilot, but soon both were back on the boat and Portal cleaned and ready for Australia’s harsh regulations. We were ready to go.

Neptune however, has had other plans. We are still here, still waiting. The weather for the last 2 weeks has been less that savory for a passage to Australia. We rest in wait for it to change, along with a dozen other sailboats all chafing to get to their final destinations.

We have made the most of it though; Jess, Duncan and I rented a little red car, ‘cherry’, and visited a national park near by. I loved it so much that I returned the follow day by bike, and explored it on two wheels. I was brought almost to tears by the largest living Kauri tree, and the cute Cagous, a native and endangered bird that is close to my heart. Boat projects have also been getting done, and Luckey’s sailing rig officially complete – more details on that to follow!

May there be fair winds and following seas soon!

IMG_0003 IMG_0006 IMG_0009 IMG_0020 IMG_0028 IMG_0036 IMG_0044 IMG_0052 IMG_0063 IMG_0071 IMG_0076 IMG_0081 IMG_0083 IMG_0094 IMG_0096 IMG_0098 IMG_0100 IMG_0102 IMG_0105 IMG_0106 IMG_0116

Tanna and The Mighty Yasur

“Never go to windward!!” Jess of Alliance had warned us, several weeks earlier about the perils of moving the boat into the wind. But with the island of Tanna and it’s unmissable live volcano lying south of Port Vila, we had little choice. Besides, the wind was light and from the East, how bad could it be?

Our new friend Cam would be joining us on this leg, continuing on until Noumea. We were excited to have him aboard, and spent a lovely calm evening aboard Portal in Havannah Harbor before setting off the next morning. What followed was easily this trip’s worst passage. 50nm became two days of constant slamming, beating and grinding as we tried to aim for the west coast of Tanna. Getting swept off the shore by West setting currents, a fierce SE wind and decently sized swells, Portal bravely pushed on. Our tiller-pilot broken, our engine over-heating and our batteries too low for comfort, the trip seemed to drag on endlessly. Unable to point up at all, we followed the coast south, getting soaked and tired through squall after squall. A new plan was set for the East coast anchorage at Lenakel, and finally, on the third morning, we were 5nm away.

Then the wind died. Typical. With our engine out of action, Charlie and I started getting creative. We rigged our 8ft oars up on either side of Portal and tried to make way in the now calm but rolly seas. Surprisingly, this didn’t really work. Our exhausted bodies ached for rest, and the now chaotic cabin cried out for a clean. At last, after 2 hours, a squall came through with winds from the NE and we were able to coast into the somewhat protected anchorage at Lenakel.

This exciting adventure was about all the sailing Cam could handle, so he jumped a flight back to Vila the next morning. We tried to convince him it wasn’t usually so bad, but with a deadline to get back for, the verdict was made. He treated us to an absolutely divine meal at The Tanna Lodge – a haven for three weary sailors.

With Cam gone and our friends Alliance over on the other side of the island, we began our mission to join them at the Volcano. What began as a hitchhiking journey through the heart of Tanna, became a 5 hour hiking escapade, often taking us in circles; but with the mighty Yasur booming close by, we were in good company and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. By nightfall we were reunited with our good friends, and recounting our horrendous sail over tea and cookies. We slept a sweet slumber in their spare cabin, ready to take on Yasur the following day.

This live, spitting volcano is best seen at night, and in it’s current Category 3 state (there are only 4), we were treated to a seriously awe-inspiring event. I won’t even try to describe what it’s like to stand precariously on the edge of a lava filled crater that’s shooting red-hot boulders high into the sky… suffice it to say that I’ll never appreciate fireworks again.

IMG_9791 IMG_9793 IMG_9796 IMG_9808 IMG_9814 IMG_9815 IMG_9820 IMG_9822 IMG_9827 IMG_9832 IMG_9837 IMG_9841 IMG_9850 IMG_9854 IMG_9856 IMG_9857 IMG_9860 IMG_9861 IMG_9868 IMG_9872 IMG_9887 IMG_9935 IMG_9941 IMG_9949 IMG_9959 IMG_9990

Re-united with Friends at Last!

Jess and Duncan, of Alliance, finally sailed into town, and then the fun really started! We gave them a warm welcome of cappucinos and pastries, along with an assortment of Vanuatu tourist info! We are so glad they are back in our lives!

Our friends Cam and Ros took us around the island again (in a car this time) and we had lots of fun being silly and getting massages from their son Oscar:

IMG_9311 IMG_9312 IMG_9315 IMG_9317 IMG_9319 IMG_9320


We even treated ourselves to a paid adventure – Horse riding! Charlie and Duncan had never ridden, so we made it a priority. It was loads of fun, and most of the horses were well behaved. Charlie’s “Rocky” didn’t like to be told what to do – but no matter, Charlie was loving it!:IMG_9324 IMG_9332 IMG_9333 IMG_9347 IMG_9348 IMG_9350 IMG_9357 IMG_9363 IMG_9369 IMG_9374 IMG_9373 IMG_9372 IMG_9383 IMG_9385 IMG_9388

We went camping on the small block of land my Mum still owns. (We love our homes, but it’s nice to stop the moving occasionally). And built an awesome mosquito free palace!:  IMG_9391 IMG_9402 IMG_9393 IMG_9403 IMG_9411 IMG_9442 IMG_9437 IMG_9445

We took hikes, and went to checkout my old favourite water fall… unfortunately it’s been taken over by a huge oily water pump, and the ambiance wasn’t quite the same…:IMG_9660 IMG_9672 IMG_9667 IMG_9690 IMG_9678 IMG_9693

And at the end of the day – there’s always Happy Hour and the good-ol’ Water Front Bar and Grill:IMG_9698



Keepin’ it Sticky

What have we been doing!? Not writing blog posts, that’s obvious. Actually, despite barely moving the boat, we’ve been quite busy! After umming and ahing about moving further north or not, we decided to focus our time here on Efate, Vanuatu’s main island, and enjoy ‘staying put’ for a while. Actually, ‘staying put’ is the name of a good anchoring guide, and it’s not exactly accurate to say that’s what we’ve been doing. The holding in Port Vila is terrible, and we’ve re-anchored a handful of times, hoping to finally get her to dig in. Not to worry though, dragging into other boats (almost!) is what keeps cruising exciting, right?

Here’s an easier way to get you up to date:

We took the bikes on a cycling adventure, around the island (140km), which including the longest, steepest hill we’ve ever encountered… (yes, including the alps and the rocky mountains!) and a lovely evening camping OFF the boat. It was a hot sticky ride, and tons of fun:

IMG_9115 IMG_9128 IMG_9143 IMG_9166 IMG_9170 IMG_9189 IMG_9191 IMG_9193 IMG_9201 IMG_9203 IMG_9208 IMG_9213 IMG_9217

IMG_9231  IMG_9235 IMG_9238 IMG_9243

Occasionally we even moved the boat, with our new friends Cam and Ros. It was a bit of a blustery day, and somehow we didn’t catch ANY fish, but fun was had, and Cam got to show us his sailing prowess:

IMG_9252 IMG_9255

We wanted to bug bomb the boat before getting to Australia, so we loaded up the dinghy, covered the cockpit, chucked pixel in for an adventure, and set off rowing for two hours:

IMG_9269IMG_9258 IMG_9266  IMG_9274

By the way, on our return, she made a final leap from the dinghy to the mother-ship – quite a substantial bound!

We had a lovely dinner with laplap up at my ni-vanuatu family’s property – Gladys, Samuel, Mothy and Mark really treated us to a feast:IMG_9281 IMG_9285

Pixel still loves lettuce, and Luckey is looking better than ever, after a full repaint, fibreglass repair, and new gunnel rope bumper:

IMG_9291 IMG_9302

At Home in Vanuatu

In a faraway land, surrounded by volcanoes, palm trees and water-life, a child was born. The year was 1987, and her world was an isolated series of islands, their location barely known to the rest of Earth, and each one ripe for exploration. As the years went by, her family, both white and black, would snorkel amongst starfish, fish from trees dangling over lagoons, and sometimes… go sailing. A little boat, full in the belly and with a witch painted at the bow, “Magic Moon”, would carry this little girl, safely in her mothers arms, out to the horizon. The first time she drifted away from land, out, out, out, into the bay and slowly out to sea, was on-board this magic carpet, and as the people, then the trees, then the buildings grew smaller and smaller, her mind was imprinted forever.

Twenty Six years later, an even smaller little boat left the Kingdom of Tonga, bound for Vanuatu. This one was named “Portal” and had traveled across many miles and many nations to finally begin this important journey. On board was the little girl (not so little anymore), her co-captain Charlie (not little at all), her beloved big sister Carolyn, and their cat Pixel (she at least, was quite small).


The day they all set out, began with flat seas, calm winds and pleasant sailing. The forecast looked good for their 10day push past Fiji and onto Vanuatu. But perhaps that never really matters – A first day sail is still a first day sail, and that usually means bad weather. Sure enough, by afternoon it was blowing 35knots from the South and little Portal and her crew were being thrown about. Carolyn, freezing even in her rain-gear, lay sprawled out in the cockpit, vomiting periodically over the side. Charlie stayed down below, clutching a bucket. Pixel snuggled tightly into her corner and tried to forget where she was. Our youngest sailor tried to make food and keep morale up, but mostly that meant making bruises and keeping things right-side up. Into the night they went on, all very thankful for the trusty self-steering gear “Gramps” who kept the small ship on course. By morning the worst was over, and the seas again were calming down.


The journey was to be a tough one though – no sooner had they settled down, that our roaming crew were back to work: Old Gramps, Mr Grumpy, Auto-Helm 2000, had decided enough was enough – he had conked out. Could this be it, could he really be dead? Charlie, the vessels smartest engineer, spent hours trying to breath life back into the old robot, while the others took the helm, but to no avail. Just when they thought it fixed, he would beep erratically and sway wildly off course. It was no use, Gramps was dead. R.I.P.

Even with a crew of Three, hand-steering the rest of the way was a dismal prospect. Thankfully, most of the hard work had already been done on an ingenious self-steering mechanism for Portal, called “Sheet-to-Tiller”. With just a few ropes, some blocks and some bungee chord, our little ship would steer herself!


Well, as with most ingenious ideas, this one took a LOT of finessing, and was never quite perfect. Hourly, her crew would re-adjust this and tweak that, zig-zagging their way towards their destination. Then, for three days the wind played a mean trick, blowing straight out of the SW, forcing our heroes to live at a 45 degree angle as they close-hauled their way forward.

Finally though, after a long Ten days, smelly, salty and exhausted, the crew spotted land.

And imagine what joy was felt, when the little girl aboard Portal, drifted into the bay, closer to the people, the trees, the buildings, closer and closer to her old home: that dream-land full of islands and volcanoes. Imagine her heart beating as she raised the national flag, sister by her side, from her little ship brought from so far away… her national flag, the flag of Vanuatu.


Hand in hand, the two sisters explored their old home. Charlie, now the camera-man, followed close behind. Into their old houses, past familiar streets, cafes and markets, along well-known beaches and into previously explored lagoons. Into the arms of old friends, old family, not seen for years but as familiar as if it were yesterday. They filled their bellies with food they had long dreamed of, and nourished they souls with memories of days gone by.




One day, as they were walking along the water front, our little-girl-sailor stopped dead in her tracks. Tears began to flow as she stood transfixed at the sight in front of her. There, just two meters away and plump as ever, lay her first ever magic-carpet: “Magic Moon”.



Charlie drinking his first Kava and climbing a Paw Paw tree:


Portal Anchored at home at last:IMG_8890  IMG_8905 IMG_8907

Mmmm, Pawpaw from Mum’s land:


L’Houstalet, a Vanuatu institution, with delicious pizzas:IMG_8943   IMG_8955

Exploring our old homes; Lily in the ‘Pink House’:IMG_8967 IMG_8969                Carolyn’s friend Tony Tasavi, chief of Njuna Island:IMG_8998

A trip to Erakor Island, an old childhood hangout:

IMG_9013 IMG_9003 IMG_9004 IMG_9011  Bumping into an old friend, Georgie:IMG_9026

Gladys, my surrogate mother:IMG_9034

A swim at Hideaway, another old hangout, and where my parents were married. It’s also home to the only Underwater Post Office!IMG_9039

A tour of Dad’s old Soap Factory, and old friends, all grown up!IMG_9044 IMG_9051 IMG_9052

Sunset on the waterfront with dorky family:IMG_9069 IMG_9073

Vanuatu family and friends onboard Portal:   IMG_9097 IMG_9103 IMG_9106

A month in the Society Islands

When we said goodbye to our crew-mate Lydia, on the 25th of June, the plan was to spend another week or so in Tahiti, then continue West. Somehow, today is the 4th of August, and we still find ourselves in French Polynesia. Time, time, time… it moves on and we have learnt to let it flow. Weeks easily slipped by as we poked and prodded at Portal, finding ways to improve her simple mechanics and lady-like appearance. Perhaps we would have hustled more, stopped adding to the list, if our dear friends Jess and Duncan of “Alliance” hadn’t been by our side, also content to relax a while. But they were there, and the water was clear and the shared moments were sweet. We spend several weeks in Moorea, amongst majestic mountains and white sandy beaches. We found friends in the owners of Lilikoi Garden Cafe, a French/Japanese/American family who’s generosity and adorable children didn’t make leaving any easier.

IMG_8109 IMG_8118


One depressing week slipped by with a dark cloud over Portal, when our bikes were stolen from the beach. Jess and Duncan kept our spirits up and together we searched hi and low for our trusty steeds. We placed posters around town, made reports at the Gendarmerie, spoke with hundreds of locals. Both Charlie and Jess got sick with the flu and our energies dissipated rapidly. At a loss, we’d decided to leave within a few days, unable to stomach the hopeless search any longer. Then, 6 days after they were stolen, our efforts were rewarded and the bikes returned. There they were, leaning against a tree, not far from the one they’d been taken from. My u-lock had held strong – they had tried to pry it open to no avail. Perhaps they’d given up on it, had a change of heart and brought them back. Maybe someone saw the bikes, abandoned in a back-yard, and demanded they return them. We’ll never know, but we didn’t care! Our loves were back! Oh what luck! Moorea’s paradise was restored. In the same way they had shared our pain, Jess and Duncan shared our joy, and it was another few days before the thought of moving came again…




An easy, but very valid excuse for the sailor to stay in port is of course, the weather, and we too, could say the winds kept us in. The month we spent between Tahiti and Moorea was a tumultuous one at sea. Several days of stronger than usual winds saw boats dragging onto reefs, pan-pans and maydays lighting up the radio. Alliance saw 68knots while crossing to Moorea one wild morning, and Portal managed a narrow escape by blowing down the channel at 4knots (with no sail and engine in neutral) into the protected quay. We have therefore been keeping a keen eye on the forecasts, and hesitating when anything but perfect seems predicted.

IMG_8243Slowly though, we made our way back to Papeete, ready for some final provisions and a check-out with the yacht-master. Over a week meandered by as we lay stern to on the docks, finishing projects and enjoying bikes and hikes. Alliance, closer than ever (right next door), were waiting for a package, and every day we prayed it would arrive to set them free. After some serious tramping around, more efforts paid off and they had it in their hands. Now nothing was holding us back – it was time to move!


IMG_8180The weather was clearing up within a few days, so the overnight sail to Huahine was put into action. Barbara, our second crew-mate had jumped onto a speedy catamaran (arriving in Australia just a few weeks after leaving Papeete!) so this passage would be our first without extra hands. Just Charlie, me and Pixel. And Gramps, thank goodness for Gramps, our tiller-pilot. He handled the big messy seas better than ever, and the 25knot winds seemed easy now they were behind us again. We did 6hr night watches, managing some sleep and preparing us for the longer voyage ahead. Huahine was a short stay, just two nights in a blustery anchorage, then onto Tahaa. We left our friends Alliance behind for 2 nights, with final farewells planned for the last island. Tahaa was truly beautiful. Spectacular mountain scapes as usual, but a calmer presence ashore and many cute coves and harbors. Charlie and I did a bike around the perimeter, in awe of the scenery – my favourite so far. Alliance joined us as planned, and we had two final dinners together. Jess and Duncan have really made this trip more meaningful, in many ways, and it was a sad parting when at last we left in different directions.

IMG_8177 IMG_8312 IMG_8310The next morning I woke up with a cracking migraine AND the flu (the one I thought I had escaped), unable to do anything but sleep, vomit and moan. Charlie became a brave single-hander though, hauling up the anchor in a stiff breeze and motoring us on through the harbor to our next and final port in French Polynesia – Raitea. He docked us expertly against the wall here, despite the freshening breeze and pushing seas, and by 9pm I was getting over the second migraine (2 in a row!), finally able to hold water down – it had been a hellish day.

IMG_8411 IMG_8391We’ll rest here another day or two, waiting for the best weather window – then it’s off to Niue. An 11 day sail lies ahead, so we plan on being well rested, healed and provisioned up. That surely couldn’t take more than two days, could it?

More photos… IMG_8246

Another Hike up a mountain with friends, this time a cool drink at the top!IMG_8387

Charlie tries his hand at Polynesian palm mats.IMG_8414Pixel’s taking it easy…  IMG_8401

Our favourite spot in TahaaIMG_8388

Walking around the tiny ‘Motu’ in TahaaIMG_8380

Portal in the distanceIMG_8376

Is this not where Luckey was meant to be?!IMG_8370

Biking around Tahaa… IMG_8360 IMG_8350

THIS is where I’d like to live someday… cutest homes!IMG_8346

Charlie says: “HI MOM!”IMG_8337 IMG_8334 IMG_8332 IMG_8326

This was at the top of our epic bike climbIMG_8319

Rowing the bikes to shoreIMG_8295

Charlie catches a huge Dorado with his homemade lure!


Pixel stays cool on the cabin floorIMG_8221

Papeete and it’s beautiful surroundsIMG_8220

IMG_8209 IMG_8200 IMG_8116

A big hike in Moorea overlooking the bays…IMG_8101

And let’s end with Pixel being VERY cute!