Minerva

September 12, 2016

23 39.395S 178 53.958E

https://maps.google.com/maps/place/@23.39395,-178.53958,12z

Posting by Barb:

We have been in Savu Savu, Fiji for a week. We have been catching up on emails, phone calls and dining out with friends.  We are now getting ready to make our move to the next anchorage on Rabi Island about 70 miles away. It is a little more isolated and we will not have internet so we will be emailing and posting via SSB. But before we go I wanted to post our Minerva pictures.

dsc_9594-2We both loved Minerva. There are many stories of shipwrecks and seeing the reefs on the navigational charts, it was a little daunting to think we would have to safely navigate through a pass in the reef  but once there I realized there was nothing to fear. Denny of course had no fear.

We had a couple of relaxing days there. I managed to try out my Oru Kayak for the first time and loved it. We explored some of the shipwrecks and walked on the reef at low tide. But the highlight for me was the Crayfish feast we had. Denny and I headed to the edge of the reef during low tide and scouted some pools where there may be Crayfish. I will never forget Denny’s face of utter astonishment when he went for his first dip in a pool to come up 30 seconds later exclaiming there were 50 or more BIG crayfish below him. But they disappeared pretty quickly in the overhang crevices. In the meantime the waves were crashing in and dsc_6343Denny took a beating as you can see by the numerous scratches on his legs (and it was worse than what the pictures can show). We quickly learned that there were pools around with Crayfish but far enough away from the edge of the reef so that the waves weren’t washing in. Catching the crayfish was a simple of matter of catching them as they swam to the safety of a rock crevice or hole. And when they latched on to the rocks with their claws there was no getting them off. In one particular ledge overhang there were 5 lobsters hanging out but when Denny had a closer look he spotted a large Moray eel giving him the evil eye. From that point forward Denny was a little more cautious about sticking his hand in the crevices searching for the Crayfish. We came home with 5 large ones and had a fine feast.dsc_9576-1dsc_9589

 

 

 

 

 

For more Minerva Photos click here

 

Savu Savu

Sunday September 4, 2016 Posting by Dennis: 16 45.239S 179 21.058E http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:16%2045.239S%20179%2021.058E We have made it to Savu Savu. Had a pretty quick trip,at least for Landfall. It was a bouncy ride with the waves slamming into the rear quarter. Makes doing anything a real chore. Just moving around is a lot of work. Tomorrow we will go into the marina and do customs. We managed to catch a nice Dorado it was about five feet long. Cleaning it while you are rolling around is not the most fun either, but now we have fresh fish and lobsters tails in the freezer. We should have internet in a couple of days so we may be able to do a posting then. Until then hope you all are doing well.

North Minerva

Tuesday August 30, 2016 Posting by Dennis: 23 39.394S 178 53.962W http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:23%2039.394S%20178%2053.962W Hello Just letting you know that we are doing well. We will have some stories to tell of our adventures here but that will follow when we get real internet, not SSB radio and the magic of radio waves sent to a relay station in Hawaii, 4,000 miles from here. Love to all Dennis & Barb S/V Landfall ————————————————- Do not push the “reply” button to respond to this message if that includes the text of this original message in your response. Messages are sent over a very low-speed radio link. The most concise way to reply is to send a NEW message If you DO use your reply button, be sure to delete the original message text and these instructions from your reply. Replies should not contain attachments and should be less than 5 kBytes (2 text pages) in length. This email was delivered by an HF private coast station in the Maritime Mobile Radio Service, operated by the SailMail Association, a non-profit association of yacht owners. For more information on this service or on the SailMail Association, please see the web site at: http://www.sailmail.com

Passage from NZ to Minerva

Friday August 25, 2016 Posting by Barb: 25 56.635S 179 06.703W http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:25%2056.635S%20179%2006.703W We apologize for taking so long to post an update of our passage. Once we left NZ we realized that SSB was not working. That was on our ‘To Do’ list to check prior to leaving but we ran out of time as a very nice weather window became available. Luckily our Watermaker worked as that was on our ‘Check List’ as well. And it was a great passage. Getting out of NZ was a little rough but once we were away from the coastline we started our passage using our Spinnaker. Its the first time we used our newly fixed Spinnaker since we blew it out on our passage from Chile to the Marquesa. For our seven day passage to Minerva we had a gamut of wind speeds and directions so we were able to use all of our sailing options. So we sailed with the 160, the 160 poled out, the yankee, the main reefed, and the spinnaker. Nice way to get back to cruising and getting our sea legs back. We didn’t catch any fish so far but we did snag a piece of an octopus tentacle. Those suckers have super suction!! We arrived in Minerva very early on a beautiful, sunny day. The plan is to stay here until the Monday pending a weather window. Then three days to Fiji! While here in Minerva we plan to test the outboard motor, maybe use the Kayak if we can get the outboard going, search for some Crayfish to eat and basically hang out and relax in a beautiful, clean, isolated, pristine anchorage.

Safe and Sound

Hello everyone, We are sitting in South Minerva Reef, 23 56.673’S 179 06.905’W We had a wonderful passage so far to here. Would have sent out reports along the way but our SSB antenna was broke, fixed it yesterday once we were anchored. It is so wonderful to be out on the water again. I have forgotten just how great it is, and then to come to such a wonderful place as Minerva reef. We were greeted by a big manta ray as we were putting down the anchor. More on all that a little later, Barbs job you know. Love to you all! ————————————————- Do not push the “reply” button to respond to this message if that includes the text of this original message in your response. Messages are sent over a very low-speed radio link. The most concise way to reply is to send a NEW message If you DO use your reply button, be sure to delete the original message text and these instructions from your reply. Replies should not contain attachments and should be less than 5 kBytes (2 text pages) in length. This email was delivered by an HF private coast station in the Maritime Mobile Radio Service, operated by the SailMail Association, a non-profit association of yacht owners. For more information on this service or on the SailMail Association, please see the web site at: http://www.sailmail.com

2016 Adapting to Circumstances

January 1 – August 17

Posting By Barb:

I love to have good Chinese Takeout. We always make a point of finishing off with the Fortune Cookies. We would each take our turn reading out loud the “fortune” but we would begin with ‘When in bed….’ And finish with the fortune cookie prophecy. It usually created some fun after dinner conversations. But a recent Fortune Cookie gave me an ‘A-Ha’ life moment. It read ‘A wise man adapts himself to circumstances as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it’.

A HA!! That’s what living and sailing our little boat is all about to us. Adapting and shaping to circumstances. Maybe we are wiser than we thought we were!! So circumstances have taken us to in many directions for the first half of 2016 and plans have been continually changing.

IMG_0743In January we were back together again on Landfall in NZ. FirstIMG_0650 - Copy time as an old married couple. We travelled back with full ‘boat supply’ suitcases, including a box with our new ‘Oru’ kayak. (comment by Denny – I hope Barb is good at origami or it could fold up and down she will go).  DSC_9406 - Copy (2)The month was a whirlwind of visits with our new and old ‘cruising friends and local friends. We also managed to complete a short list of boat maintenance and did a little leisurely sightseeing. We weren’t very diligent capturing on camera the moments with our friends or our touristy adventures but we had some great memorable times together. And this moment I did capture; Denis unable to be a menace!!IMG_0648

 

DSC_6241 - Copy - CopyIn February we were back in South Dakota, USA. We worked hard on our cabin (the cabin is owned by Dennis and his 2 cousins). We finished the basement to include a bathroom, bedrooms, storage space and laundry room. We managed to do the rough work and contracted out the visually finishing work. It wasn’t all work; we did manage to spend fun times with Dennis’s daughter, Jenny and her husband Tyler and with his cousin Steve and wife Andrea.  The plan had been to work in South Dakota for a year but we were happy that circumstances changed and we were headed back to NZ to continue sailing.

But before heading back we decided to have some more family and friend fun time. Road trip with Denny’s Dad to my sister’s condo in Florida!! Denny did all the driving and Eugene and I took turns navigating or sometimes we both navigated at the same time with Eugene saying turn Right and me saying turn left and Denny going straight until we could agree to a route.

Franklin, Tennessee

Franklin, Tennessee

Along the way we made a couple of stops. First stop Franklin, Tennessee to visit the site where 10,000 died during the civil war. It was a must see place for me after reading the book ‘Widow of the South’. Next stop, Alabama to visit with Eugene’s and our friends Bernie and Randi. We stayed the night and had a great, late night discussion. It all started with a round table question to each of us ‘Are you happy’? IMG_0923It’s amazing how often people don’t stop to think whether they are truly happy or not! Denny has a knack of getting people into some deep, soul searching discussions. Last stop Florida Condo. While there we had a visit from Denny’s daughter Becky and her friend Rachel, my sister Caroline and husband Vic and finally we spent some time with my other sister Karen and George, owners of the beautiful condo. As we were there for Easter we decided to drop in and visit our friends Brad and Gloria from ‘Kindred Spirits’ who also have a condo in Florida. We danced the night away and enjoyed being Easter Bunnies as we traded chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday. We did a lot of tourist stuff including a tour of the Yuengling Beer brewery and a few other beer watering holes. What fun we all had!!DSC_9488 - CopyIMG_0925 IMG_0699 IMG_0133 - Copy

 

IMG_0704IMG_0826From Florida I headed back to Canada for a quick visit with family again while Dennis did the road trip back to Minneapolis by himself. He managed a quick stop to visit friends he met while in NL. They have since moved to Florida.

We flew back to NZ together to start our sailing plans when circumstances again changed our plans and I headed back to Canada for a family emergency. I stayed in Canada to help my parents while Dad recovered from major  surgery. So fortunate to have the freedom to stay and help my parents, to have been able to be there and spend precious family quality time  to have Denny  be so understanding while he continued working alone on Landfall in the NZ rainy winter.

But we are both back on Landfall now, docked at Marsden Cove and in the morning after a visit from Customs we are finally sailing again.

First stop Fiji, then New Caledonia and then back to NZ unless circumstances happen and like the water shaping itself around our boat we will shape ourselves to whatever the new day will bring.NZ to Fiji

2015 – A Year of Family Time

Some very special and important family events made us realize that 2015 would be a year away from our home on ‘Landfall’, away from the sea and the cruising life and closer to family in the U.SA and Canada.

DSC_7578We spent the first quarter of 2015 in New Zealand. Pat came for a visit and each morning we enjoyed our morning ‘Flat White’ coffees and harassing Denny. Denny enjoyed his morning Diet Coke and put up a brave defense to the harassment but to no avail. We worked hard on the boat and  Landfall now has beautiful varnished Teak, a new transmission and other new  mechanical ‘Denny’ projects.

Mount Doom
Mount Doom

 

Dylan came for a visit and we did some fantastic road trips which I already posted. But I  have to say visiting some of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ filming locations was special to both of us as we are both huge J.R.Tolkien fans. Dylan seemed to fit in quite well in Hobbiton despite his height. Tongariro – Land of Mordor hike was spectacular. My only regret was not able to have the physique to scale Mordor although Dylan tried hard to convince me that I could do it!!

With such famous Tolkien quotes, which exemplify our lifestyle “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” and “Not all those who wander are lost”. How can you not be a huge fan of J.R. Tolkien!!

DSC_8486IMG_0303In May we left our little home high and dry on Dockland 5 and headed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for our first important family event. We wanted to attend my daughter Allison and her partner, Mike’s University Convocations. We were so proud to watch them both walk up on stage to receive their Bachelor of Science degrees. So congratulations to Allison the Dietician and Mike the Kinesiologist.

lobster in Maine

 

 

While we were on the Eastern Coast we decided to do a few road trips. Denny and I explored the Nova Scotia coast line and made a stop in Peggy’s Cove, the touristy, quaint little fishing village. We took the opportunity to do a 4 day road trip with Allison to Maine. The highlight would be the lobster meal and our hike in Acadia National Park.

 

 

DSC_8893 By June Denny was back in Minneapolis and I went on a fishing trip with my best friends in the world, my two sisters, Caroline and Karen, and of course Karen’s husband George.fishing trip As they would say in Newfoundland ‘We were havin’ a time’!! What more could a girl ask for but ‘Good fishing, Good food, Good drinks and Good company’. I, of course, would ask that Denny could be there too, maybe next time!DSC_5678

DSC_5717From fishing in Missinabi it was off to Cornucopia, Minnesota, for the Corny marina 30th anniversary celebrations. This was Landfall’s home port and where Dennis started his sailing adventures. DSC_8981I traveled there in style in Caroline and Vic’s massive RV. Dennis was waiting there for us and he arrived in his new BMW motorcycle. It was a special time for me to meet all of the local Corny boaters and see Landfall’s home base.  We did a great motorcycle ride to Madelyn Island with Caroline and Vic on their red, hot spider and us on our BMW. DSC_9000Our time there was also an opportunity to be with more family. Caroline’s daughters Leanne and Kaitland made an appearance and together we did a few short hikes around the coastline of Lake Superior. DSC_9014Denny’s daughter Becky and her friend Peter also made it to Corny and we took them for a boat ride to the well known Caves on Pat’s little Power boat. We let Pete and Becky drive and navigate the power boat. So it was a full throttle ride around quite an impressive coastline..

We wish we could have more time to  play with family and friends in Corny but everybody had everyday lives to go back to.DSC_9021a

DSC_5740We hung around for the July 4th holiday and celebrated it on Gay and Dan’s boat ‘Anthem. ‘Dan and his crew of children took us on some gentle day tours on Lake DSC_5755Superior. Gay was the perfect hostess and kept us fed and happy. The day ended with spectacular fireworks which we watched while anchored off Madelyn Island.

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After a couple of weeks of some great motorcycle day trips around Minneapolis and to Pat’s beautiful cabin nearby Cornucopia  it was back to Canada for me and off to South Dakota for Dennis.

 

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Allison came to visit my parents and me in Ontario and we spent some quality time together. My mom and dad chauffeured us around and showed us some nearby sites and stuffed us with good food.

 

 

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Meanwhile, in the U.S. , Denny bought his Dad’s cabin in South Dakota and started new landscaping and cabin renovations. Busy hands, happy heart!! Well it wasn’t all work. It was some quality family time as well

 

 

DSC_5944I joined Denny in Minneapolis and we hopped on an Alaskan bound cruise with our friends Yuki, Eric, Jane and Carl . We danced the nights away, ate to our hearts content and made a few day trips. One specific shore stop took us on another little boat trip to watch Humpback Whales ‘bubble’ feed. What a spectacular sight to see these large mammals burst out of the water to feed on the herring that they rounded into a group using air bubbles. We also witnessed the salmon run up the river to spawn, learned a lot about the history of the ‘Alaskan Gold Rush’ and hiked to the glaciers. We both agreed that it would be something to be able to sail ‘Landfall ‘to the less populated, isolated beauty that Alaska has to offer.

In September we celebrated the second important life event, the wedding of Denny’s daughter Jenny and Tyler. It was a memorable occasion and we cried, laughed and enjoyed every moment of the special day. Tyler was handsome and calm, Jenny was breathtakingly beautiful, and Denny was a proud papa!jenny and tyler

DSC_9258DSC_9276While in Minneapolis we took advantage of the great dance instructors at the twin cities Cinema Ballroom. I just enjoyed the lessons but Denny took it to a higher level and participated in the yearly, well known Cinema Production show. So he became Woody from Toy Story and then morphed to Luke from Star Wars. It was a memorable show!

On October 10th we celebrated 2015’s third important life event, our own Wedding. Yes we finally decided to get married. We love each other  and e have fun together so we made that big, huge, mammoth, colossal next step. We were married at Tempest Landing on the shores of Lake Superior. We chose to only have our children present. We wanted our new family to be there all together. So to introduce the new McIsaac – Ommen family. Starting from the left Denny’s daughter’s Becky and Jenny and then my children Dylan, Allison and Mike (Allison’s partner). Missing from the picture was Jenny’s husband Tyler who could not make it due to work commitments.

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For Christmas I was back in Ontario with my family and Denny was in Minneapolis with his. We are both looking forward to being back in New Zealand on January 1st, at least for a month or so

We would like to wish our friends and families healthy, happy, fun 2016.

 

 

 

Road trip with Dylan, River Rafting

March 11 – 15

35 44.393S 174 20.339E

https://maps.google.com/maps/place/@35.44393,-174.20339,12z

Posting by Barb:

Last day of the road trip and it was Dylan’s day. After doing the fantasy, high in the sky, volcanic , and below ground adventures the last quest would be in the water, river rafting to be more exact. Dylan booked in for an afternoon of river rafting. I was going to take it easy for the day and let my muscles absorb the pain of the Tongariro Alpine crossing. Dylan managed to negotiate for a free 3 hour mountain bike rental to go with the rafting experience. DSC_8045So the plan was for us to pick up the bike and then for me to relax in the sun until he was done. Well, when we got to the bike rental the lady working there did a fantastic sales job and convinced me to do the bike and river rafting tour.

We were given directions on how to get to the mountain bike trail which meandered along the Tongariro river.DSC_8039 It was a beautiful trail and it gave us a chance to see the river that we would later raft on. Dylan has been mountain biking in Newfoundland so he was off and racing down the track which would be rated as ‘easy’ for any Mountain biker. I had not been on a bike for years and years. After an hour or so I was feeling pretty comfortable and managed to stay on the bike and on the trail with a little exception of a nose dive into the bushes to avoid the tree. Just walked away with a scratch and my pride was a little hurt. But what hurt the most was the leg muscle burn. As if the Alpine crossing wasn’t enough?

We made a stop at the Turangi Trout farm and watched some anglers fishing and catching some pretty impressive trout. It was a catch and release program as they try to rebuild the fish stock.

We made our way back to the River rafting hut and got suited up for our next adventure. I was given an extra little fleece sweater as they were aware of my dislike for cold water. And so we were off! IMG_1802This wasn’t a gentle float down a river it was a hard paddle in rapids with the guide yelling ‘harder, harder, paddle harder, ok we made it again. Thank you folks!!’.

IMG_1784It was 3 hours of intense paddling and some floating with a couple of swim spots. For the swim we were given the option to get off and climb up a rock outcrop to jump into the river. I declined but Dylan did an impressive Topsy Turvy jump into the cold water. DSCN3750We did one more stop where people could jump into the water in a spot where the water was gentle and calm. Three hours of rafting and we arrived safely back. Although being with Dylan made me feel young as he challenged me to do things I may not have ordinarily done all I can say is that every muscle ached after the last 24 hours of hiking, cycling and paddling.IMG_1812

That was the end of a truly exceptional bonding experience with Dylan but it was time for me to head back to the boat. Cyclone ‘Pam’ was heading to NZ after devastating Vanuatu and I wanted to be back to help Denny in case the weather got really bad. Dylan continued his NZ travels. We did hope  to get together for one more road trip before he headed back home to another island, Newfoundland!

Road trip with Dylan, Tongariro Alpine Crossing

March 11 – 15

35 44.393S 174 20.339E

https://maps.google.com/maps/place/@35.44393,-174.20339,12z

Posting by Barb:

Tongariro Elevation chart

Tongariro Elevation chart

DSC_7981My turn and I of course would pick a hike. Tongariro crossing is something I wanted to do since I arrived in New Zealand. It wasn’t something Denny was keen on doing with the trouble he has been having with his knee. The hike is just short of 20 km and it traversed over a glacially carved out valley and quickly started ascending to the highest point called the Red Crater before starting the long descent to the car park.

Mount Doom

Mount Doom

The day started at 6 am and we had to drive to the end point of the hike where we took a 20 minute shuttle bus to the beginning of the track. I did feel like an ant climbing the ant hill as hundreds of people were being dropped of by shuttle buses and we all walked single file through a well groomed and stepped trail. Regardless of the vast number of people it was a stunning hike! We could see Mount Ngauruhoe in the distance and this was the site for Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings!

Let's go to the top Mom

Let’s go to the top Mom

There was a side trip we could take to climb to the top and Dylan was very excited about doing that. I was adamant about not doing it as I knew we still had quite a long hike back to the car and my knees were feeling a little shaky already.

As we approached the

At the top on Red Crater

At the top on Red Crater

Red Crater we could smell the sulphur and saw pockets of steam rising from the ground. I found it invigorating to be walking in an active volcanic area. There had actually been a small eruption in 2012 so there were lots of warnings to be vigilant and to obey all warnings! They did have red flashing lights installed which waned people to quickly exit the track if flashing. The track continued from the red undulating red ridge to brilliant emerald lakes. It was a feast of

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

 

colours but there were long lines for the best picture spots. From there it was all downhill and I felt the stress on the leg muscles. We practically sprinted down the hill to catch the 3:30 shuttle bus and save us another kilometer walk to the car. We arrived at 3:35 and decided to finish the walk versus waiting and hour for the next shuttle. Spectacular hike that I could tick off my ‘to do’ list.

Road trip with Dylan, Waitomo

March 11 – 15

35 44.393S 174 20.339E

https://maps.google.com/maps/place/@35.44393,-174.20339,12z

Posting by Barb:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next stop was Dylan’s pick, a Waitomo caving adventure. Back to the world of Glow Worms but with some heart thumping action. The first Waitomo quest was called Black Odyssey. It was a couple of hours in the cave with emphasis on different caving techniques (zip lines, rope work, swings, heights) over glowworms. Before being able to participate we would have to pass a test where we had to squeeze ourselves in OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa tight box and move through a narrow cardboard tunnel to come out at another opening. I didn’t even attempt that test as I am slightly Claustrophobic.  Dylan would have to do that escapade all by himself. All I can say about that adventure was that when I saw him again he was grinning from ear to ear. As I looked at the pictures I almost wished I had muddled through the test because I think I may have enjoyed the thrill of climbing and swinging above the Glow Worms.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second Waitomo quest was black water rafting, the Black Labyrinth. It was another couple of hours in a cave but this time we were dressed in wet suits and given a large rubber tube so that we could weave, jump and float our way through the glowworm flecked underworld.  It was dark, cold, wet and we floated and jumped off some ledges to the next pool, rear end first! We even floated by a nice size,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA fresh water eel, which we took a picture of. Although I have a dislike for cold water, I actually did enjoy the tube ride. Lucky for us it was only a 3 hours experience whereas  the Glow Worms live their entire lives underground in the cold, wet caves eating other bugs or each other. Quite a miserable life but they provided such beauty for us!

 

 

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