ende

2023
24
Dec

Happy holidays to all our readers!!

2023 was a tough year for us with lots of pain and worries since our severe accident in February. Now it looks like we’re finally over that stretch and we’re looking forward to some fun and adventures in 2024!
We wish you all a happy holidays and a healthy, joyful and exciting year 2024!!

2023
24
Dec

We want to share our Christmas present with you!

Look what mother nature put under the Christmas palm trees here on Ono ;-)

Sculpture beach on Ono

Going for a beach walk just before Christmas we found an array of sculptures done by mother nature in all shades of purple!

(22 photos)

2023
20
Dec

Warm welcome in Ono!

Last week we finally finished our errands in Suva and we really wanted to get out of the harbour again and into clear water. But where to go? The weather forecast showed strong east-south-east winds until the end of time (meaning 10 days ahead in our model) and that’s not south enough to make it to the northern Lau islands, but also not east enough for a comfy ride southwards to Kadavu… We set out anyway and ended up bashing close-hauled into high, steep waves.
Fortunately it’s only 45 nm to the first protected anchorage there and we reached Nabouwalu bay on the island of Ono in the early afternoon already.

The next day we went ashore to introduce ourselves and bring the traditional gift of kava (sevusevu). We got a super-warm welcome, and a tour of the spruced up village (they just won a prize for having the tidiest village of the district :-) ). It seems incredible that Ono lies so close to Suva and still remains undeveloped: no roads, just one resort on the other island and lots and lots of nature! We were invited to have kava in the afternoon with the young headman, his pretty wife and the rest of the village “youth club”. For now it’s still blowing hard and we’re pinned down in a bay, but I think we’ll spend a while here and explore this beautiful island!

2023
13
Dec

Still looking for a Christmas present?

Check out our books on amazon.com!
“Sailing towards the Horizon” about our first 5 years as newbie cruisers as paperback and ebook
“On Velvet Paws towards the Horizon”: an homage to ship’s cat Leeloo
Cruising Know-How“: a compilation of the best articles we’ve published in 12 years available as ebook, paperback and hardcover in inexpensive black-and-white or in a shiny colour version!

2023
10
Dec

Download our brochure about sustainable fishing

Are you tired of watching helplessly as mother earth gets worse every day? If you’re out here in the Pacific area and you encounter empty reefs, then download our brochure, print it out and take it with you when you visit villages here in Fiji (or other parts of the Pacific). Weakened reefs need herbivore fish to clean them, if not enough parrot fish, surgeons, etc. remain, the coral cannot recover. Get active and persuade the fishermen and women to leave enough fish for tomorrow…

Click here to download our brochure as a pdf file.

2023
08
Dec

Colour pics for our German travelbook

The German version of our travelbook is now available on amazon with 177 colour photos :-)
Richtung Horizont” sparkling in all colours between the dark indigo of the ocean, via the sparkling turquoise of lagoons to the dazzling greens of the islands…

2023
14
Nov

Fortunately only category 2

Fortunately cyclone Mal is remaining only cat 2 and passing without directly hitting islands. Even though it’s a small and rather weak system, the wave forecast on windy looks scary enough (see below).

The western side of Viti Levu will get some wind and there’s already flooding from the heavy rain ashore… Here in Suva no strong winds are predicted and the rain has passed, so we went to town to do some shopping today–business as usual everywhere.
The people on the islands in the Lau were waiting for rain with their water tanks almost empty, so it’s good news for them that the rain has finally arrived!
Let’s hope we won’t get anything worse than Mal this season (“mal” means bad in Spanish, linguistic pun intended ;-) )

2023
12
Nov

Strong winds warning

The European forecast model (ECMWF) quite often forecasts the opposite of the American model (GFS) for a week or so ahead, but sometimes even until the last day. Comparing we have found that the European model is often more accurate (at least for our area here). Today they agree for a change that something will hit Fiji on Tuesday–just where exactly and how strong remains to be seen:
ECMWF left, GFS on the right side.

We’re safely tugged in on a cyclone mooring in the sheltered bay of Lami located within the harbour of Suva and busy with indoor projects as the rain has already started (the Fiji met station has issued warnings for floods to come…). Today we’re fixing our water tank: Pitufa’s aluminium water tanks were leaking when we bought her, we fixed one of them with epoxy and simply put a rubber blade into the other one. This rubber has now chafed through on a corner, so we’re trying to glue the hole–not easy in that tricky area.

2023
11
Nov

Fast passage to Suva

There is some nasty weather coming up, so we left Matuku to sail 100 nm to Suva. With winds around 25 knots from the SE the waves were quickly building up–slate grey, white-capped peaks towering over Pitufa’s stern before rushing through with a WHOOSH letting her surf down with up to 9 knots before lifting her yet again. We left Matuku early in the morning and arrived in Suva at midnight–it takes quite some stress out of passage planning when you know you can arrive during the night without tricky passes or obstacles and we’ve been to Suva often enough to know our way around. We picked up a mooring in Lami Bay and have settled in for some boat–project days while it’s grey and rainy outside.

2023
05
Nov

Photos: no-fishing zone (tabu) in Matuku

Marine Reserve in Matuku

When we started discussing the problem of overfishing with the people of Matuku last year we found open ears: they were already concerned and considering options. Ratu Niu (the chief of Yaroi) and Roko Tuni (the headman of Yaroi) as well as Cama (the headman of Lomati) and Tui (the conservation representative) are eager to protect the resources of their island for future generations! We started a fundraiser to help the islanders (thanks for all donations!!) and Tony and David Philp of Trade Winds Marine sponsored and fabricated the material for the markers. The project will go on over the next years, let's hope it will help Matuku's reefs to stay healthy and the fishermen to have sustainable resources. Please keep supporting Matuku!

(26 photos)



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2023
05
Nov

The Tabu in Matuku is now official!

Yesterday the big no-fishing zone between the villages of Yaroi and Lomati just north of Matuku’s main pass was officially inaugurated by Chief Ratu Niu and the minister of Yaroi! Hopefully the ban on spearfishing and netfishing in the Tabu area will help the reefs of Matuku to regain a healthy eco-system and to guarantee sustainable fishing in the rest of the lagoon for the future!

The Tabu committee inspecting the material for the marker buoys. They were sponsored and fabricated by Tony and David Philp of Trade Winds Marine, thanks a lot!

Roko Tuni made the cement weights for the buoys.

Last week we brought out the buoys marking the no-fishing zone with Tuni and Maikeli.

We visited the schools in Makadru and Yaroi village to raise awareness for sustainable use of resources.

On November 3 the minister blessed the zone: “We were put on this earth to cultivate and guard all that God gave to us…”

We’ll keep supporting the Tabu, so the villages can maintain and patrol it. A big thank you goes out to all our friends and supporters who helped this project with donations!!!


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2023
22
Oct

Passing ships

Our nomadic life-style means that we meet many other cruisers briefly in one place, before our paths go in different directions again. Meeting up with old friends is therefore more precious to us than to other people I suppose. Revisiting the Lau group again with Soraya and Thomas of SY Garulfo we enjoyed our favourite places even more than before–shared joy is twice the joy!

They’ll be off to NZ after a brief visit to Fiji–fair winds and stay safe!

2023
19
Oct

Fijian translation of our brochure

I met Liti on facebook (of all places), we got chatting about Fiji, the beautiful islands of the Lau group, the wonderful underwater world and the need to protect it. Liti volunteered to translate our brochure about sustainable fishing into Itaukei (Fijian) and did a great job! Thanks a lot for all your help–vinaka vaka levu!!

2023
17
Oct

Our new book: Cruising Know-How

Over the years we have written tons of articles about sailing, DIY, life-style topics, etc. for different magazines. Now I have put 54 of them together in a book, basically a “best of Pitufa” ;-)
It’s simply called “Cruising Know-How” and it’s available on Amazon as a black-and-white paperback and in colour as an e-book, paperback and even hard-cover! Prices range from 9,90 USD to 40 USD for the hard-cover, but rest assured, I only get 5 bucks each, no matter which one you buy ;-)

2023
16
Oct

Article in the Ahoy magazine

If you’ve participated in the Musket Cove Regatta this year, check out our article in this month’s Ahoy magazine on the Downunder Rally page! You might be on the pics ;-)

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