Saturday, 09 June 2007

This blog is now closed.

Our latest blog covering 2007 sailing is at:
Best Regards,
Dave & Penny  

Thursday, 23 November 2006


Now that we are back and have unpacked the boat, we are reviewing the list of commitments we have made to people we met in Vanuatu and the Solomons.

There are some projects which we would like to undertake to help some of the people we visited. Here's the starter list. Just send us an email if you are interested in helping out in any way.

A. Portable solar lights for a clinic in Vanuatu. We will obtain three such lights and then get them to the clinic, hopefully by finding a yacht that is travelling there next year. You will remember that this clinic was built by AusAid but the water supply was never connected, there are no lights and no screens on windows or doors (to keep out mosquitoes and flies).

B. A HF radio, solar panel and battery for a very remote village in the Shortland Islands.

C. Printing of a hymn book in the Alu language for villagers from about 14 villages in the Shortland Islands. We'll be looking for a good printer who might assist "on the cheap" plus money for freight

We have other ideas as well. However, the above is quite a list in its own right.

Best Regards,

Dave & Penny

Wednesday, 01 November 2006

PASTIME, Penny & Dave are HOME!

Hi folks,

The time in Coffs Harbour went quickly. We purchased a replacement autopilot which took a day to install. The following day, our good friends Peter & Ruth took us to their new 255acre property on the Kalang river (about 90mins drive SW from Coffs Harbour). We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the new property and talking about it and many other things. Sunday, we performed the sea trials for the new autopilot in preparation for departure Monday. Ruth and Peter in Byamee also planned on sailing down to Pittwater on the Monday.

We had a good run down from Coffs harbour to Pittwater. Our plan to go well offshore (up to 35NM) did give us a push from the East Australia Current, but not enough to make up for the extra distance travelled.

Overall, we did 252NM is just under 40hrs which is an average of over 6kts- always pleasing. When we were about 8hrs out, we saw threatening and towering clouds behind. The wind got up to 45kts. We reefed and hung on. Then there was an announcement of severe hail and storm warnings from the weather Bureau. Oh dear, just our luck to be right in the path of it! Fortunately, even though the seas got up and the wind howled, we just rode it out and the whole thing fortunately fizzled out within an hour.

We got in to our mooring just before midnight and are now back home in Avalon trying to readjust to life ashore. The land will stop rocking in a few days but other adjustments will take longer.

Overall, we travelled just over 5,750 Nautical Miles which is almost 11,000Km.

We had a wonderful trip and this time our mast stayed up. Indeed, we had very few problems and even though it was a windy season, the boat and ourselves managed it all comfortably.

We are sad that this adventure of six months and 10 days has now come to a conclusion. However, we have plenty of follow-up activity as we promised lots of different things to different people- so plenty of things to keep us out of mischief.

All the best and thank you all for your interest. We never expected that there would be this many "hits" on our web pages when we put this blog together.

Penny & Dave Kerr

Cheryl Robertson: Hi Dave and Penny, Great to hear you are home safe and sound. What a wonderful adventure ! Cant wait to hear what's next ? Rgds Cheryl (11/06/06)

Sun- A Technological moment

Before this BLOG ends, I thought I would mention to all my friends at Sun Microsystems that our web site and this BLOG run on the Sun Solaris operating system on a PC. The mail software is Surgemail.

Everything went fine from April until September 12th when the server failed. A week later, Bernadette our daughter, who has been house-sitting, switched over to our backup server. This is a complete Sun system made up of of a Sun Ultra-5 that I bought on eBay for A$100! It runs SPARC Solaris 10 and has been running non-stop from April (when we left) until now. Being old, it is a bit slow, but at least it works

Per my usual experience in the past, Sun systems (even old ones) are much more reliable than PCs. The UNIX Sun Solaris operating system far outstrips Windows from Microsoft. After that free plug for my former employer, back to sailing....


Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Whales, dolphins, ships and waves

Hello from Coffs Harbour. We had a fast run down the coast, with excellent assistance from the current. Overall, we sailed 260NM across the ground in 40hrs. We had a lot of ships overtaking us and some the other way so this kept us on our toes. At least 15 ships which is a record for us in such short time.

One whale jumping and plenty of large dolphins.

We had one nasty spell of strong winds- nothing below 30kts for about 9 hours. This kicked up a nasty sea with the occasional large breaking wave (probably because of the current where we were). Vey "wet" making and it meant we became a little sleep deprived.

We made it to the Coffs harbour entrance just as the Southerly arrived- it was quite a few hours ahead of schedule so it was just as well we were also early.

We are anchored in the harbour, there being no room in the marina here. We do not mind because this is one of the "less good: marinas around.

We plan to head for Pittwater on Monday and arrive Wednesday.

Dave & Penny

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Pastime off to Coffs Harbour

The wind has eased a little quicker than expected, so we are off to Coffs harbour within the hour (i.e. about 1300). We should be there before noon on Thursday and want to try and beat the next Southerly change.

All the best,

Dave & Penny

Tess: Look forward to seeing you soon! Hope the winds are favourable enough so that I can see you before I return to Canberra. (10/26/06)

Monday, 23 October 2006

Marau Sound (Guadalcanal)

Friends at beautiful Marau Sound at the bottom of Guadalcanal in the Solomon ISlands.