2019 – Plans Amended

Jan 22, 2019| 3 Comments

The plans that ocean-going cruisers make are like castles built in the sand at low tide. They wash away with each rising flow.

So many factors go into the final decision to sail forth to new lands. The weather, the boat, the timing, the people involved, the drive or desire – so much to consider and so much that can easily derail those plans. Last year, we shelved our plans to sail to French Polynesia mostly because of delays caused by a pro-longed storm season and by extensive work on the boat in preparation for such a lengthy and challenging voyage. We were not dismayed. Another year in Paradise! We happily altered plans and sailed to Fiji.

Again this year, we are not any more eager to begin the return to the States. When Lyn and John Martin, our sailing crew and friends for the voyage to French Polynesia, expressed a desire to delay the trip one more year, we readily agreed to the idea.  Another year in Paradise! We have happily altered our plans to sail to New Caledonia — and on to Australia! We are going to do another South Pacific Circuit: from New Zealand to the islands to Australia and back to New Zealand. Happy? We’re ecstatic!

Anchored off Mbe Kouen, New Caledonia

A further delaying factor, however, has loomed. The boat insurance industry is going through a major upheaval due to the number and severity of storms over the last several years. French Polynesia is at the edge of the cyclone belt.  Last year, our insurance carrier had agreed to allow us to leave Avante there over the cyclone season. This year, when we mentioned leaving Avante in Tahiti, eyes rolled.  Without being able to stay in French Polynesia over the cyclone season, we would have to shorten our cruising time in those beautiful islands in order to get the boat to Hawaii before December 1st when (according to insurance statistics) cyclone season starts. Shortening our time in French Polynesia is something we are not willing to do at the moment.  We will wait another year, and let the insurance business settle out.

Thus, another year in the South Pacific is fine with us, and what a year it is going to be! First to New Caledonia in May. On our way to Australia in October and with permission from New Caledonia, we will stop at amazing Chesterfield Reef. Clearing customs at Mackay, we will sail to the Whitsundays and then turn south to sail through a fabulous string of islands until we reach Brisbane where we will leave the boat to return to the States for the Holidays. 2020 is undecided, but that’s no problem. 2019 is decided, and how exciting to be circling around the South Pacific one more time!

View from the beach on Little Percy Island, Australia

    Comments (3)

  1. Yippee, we are very excited at the prospect that we will have the opportunity to see you both again. Will await your next plan and maybe the plan after that.
    Alison and Nick


  2. Georgiann Carroll

    New Zealand and Australia – my favorite place in the world to hike. Hope you are able to do some hiking. We especially enjoyed Tasmania staying with Aline Goodman’s sister.
    I drive to Telluride May 24. Look forward to seeing you this summer.


    • Marshall Whiting

      My favorite Captain and First Mate have moved into expert vagabond mode which qualifies you to go wherever you want as long as nature and the insurance gurus approve. Your flexibility is most admirable, Best of all, you still sound like 2 kids off on a an exciting new adventure !
      More power to you….and your sails!


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