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2010 Logs

July 2010

July 4, 2010 – Happy Independence Day from Louganville, Vanuatu

After three weeks, seeing the incredible sights of Vanuatu, the crew of Imagine took to the high seas on July 4 for the sail to Australia.  When we have multi- day passages we update our family and some friends on our progress via Satellite phone & thought you might enjoy the attached.

July 5, 2010 – On the high seas!

Hi All,

Happy Independence Day!!!  The crew of Imagine left Vanuatu on July 4th to sail toward Australia.  We really enjoyed our time in Vanuatu especially seeing the active volcano.  Awesome was the only way to describe it.  We also enjoyed seeing some very primitive villages, swimming in a crystal clear fresh water blue pool, and watching some barely clothed men perform an ancient dance (we all had to suppress a few giggles on that one).  During WWII Vanuatu was home to a huge military base.  In fact, it was the base where James Michener was stationed which prompted his writing of, "South Pacific".  Because of this there was much military wreckage to explore.  Marc and I dove on the SS Coolidge, which at 654ft is one of the largest accessible WWII wrecks. We all snorkeled on million dollar point which is where the US deposited equipment in the ocean when they left.  The kids enjoyed seeing the sunken treasures, such as, cannons, tanks, forklifts, etc. 

But as always, it's time to move on and the Land of Oz is calling.  From Vanuatu, it is approximately 1700 miles (10 day sail) to Thursday Island which is at the NE tip of Australia and our check in point.   In about 720 miles, we will be passing close to the Lousiades, which is a small island group that is the most SE part of Papua New Guinea.  Right now, we are planning to stop in at the Lousiades for a little rest before pressing on to Aus.  But if the wind and seas are favorable and the crew is doing well we may press on to OZ. 

We are checking in on a couple of informal nets with some boats that are making similar passages.  We will keep you all posted on our progress along the way. 

We hope that you enjoyed your July 4th holiday.  Although, ours was a little subdued this year we did enjoy a flag cake that Caroline baked and some great discussions about our government and independence.   

Have a great week!

Jane, Marc, Caroline, Grant, and Noah

S14 degrees 55 minutes

E163 degrees 59 minutes

July 8, 2010 – Still Sailing

Good Morning Everyone,

Just sending a note to let you know that we are still out here sailing.   All is well on board and we've had a fairly smooth ride so far.  The wind has been a little fickle so we had to motor most of the day yesterday but it picked up last night and we're sailing along at about 7 knots right now. 

Since it's been calm we've been doing quite a bit of school along the way.  All the kids finished their math chapter tests yesterday and we finished our discussions on early American History up to the Civil War.  We used our Scrabble game to practice grammar yesterday.  Every time the kids added a word they had to use it in a sentence and then tell how the word is used (noun, verb, adj, adv, etc).  It definitely beat mom drilling them on adverbs another day. 

We've also been reading a lot.  Noah now loves the Magic Tree House books, Grant is digging Percy Jackson, and Caroline has calculated that she has read over 1000 pages so far in this passage.  Marc and I are also enjoying reading our new books that I brought back from the US, thanks to some of you. It's nice to have a new selection on board. 

We have enjoyed (?) some visitors to Imagine.  For the last two nights we have had a sea bird stop on Imagine and rest for the night.  The first night it camped out on the dinghy which we put on the front deck on passages.  This was pretty cute and we were glad to provide a bed.  But last night, he decided to land on the top of the mast.  We didn't mind him hitching a ride but we have our wind Australia/IMG_2383.JPGinstruments and VHF antennae on the top of the mast so we were worried that he might break something or try to eat some wires.   Luckily he flew away this AM and everything seems to be working fine.  The bird did provide some comic relief last night as we spent an hour trying to get him off by spraying him with the fire hose, changing course to rock back and forth, and shining a big spotlight on him.  Nothing worked; I guess he was determined to get some rest. 

If we stop in the Lousiades, PNG we should be there tomorrow morning.  If we don't stop it will be about 5 days until we reach Aus.  We are going to download weather reports today and then make the call. 

We hope that you are all having a good week. 

Love to all,

Jane, Marc, Caroline, Grant, and Noah

S 12 degrees 24 minutes

E 154 degrees 27 minutes


July 11, 2010

Hi all,

Just letting you know that we are still out here on our way to Oz.  We decided not to stop in Papua New Guinea.  We have had pretty good wind and small seas so we decided to take advantage of it and go all of the way.  So we have about 450 miles to go and plan to arrive at Thursday Island on Wednesday.  Thursday Island is an island at the very NE tip of Australia where the Torres Strait begins.  This will be our last sail in the Pacific Ocean, next the Indian - Wow. 

We are still doing well and enjoying ourselves.  We've been able to continue with school and reading, of course.  We have also been occupying our time watching movies.  We've found that some of the older movies are great family flicks; Back to the Future movies, Sister Act, The Rocky movies, etc.  Knock on wood; none of us have gotten seasick this trip so we have been eating like kings.  We can not bring any meat, fruit, veggies, or popcorn into Australia so we have been trying to eat it all before we get there.  No waste on Imagine.   

We hope that you all had a great July 4th weekend and happy big 40 to Philippe!

Love to all,

Jane, Marc, and the kids

S11 degrees 03 minutes

E148 degrees 58 minutes

July 14, 2010 – Thursday Island, Australia

We're here!  After a couple of days of rolly seas, we arrived at Thursday Island, Australia at 5:00 AM this morning.  The last 130 miles were spent carefully maneuvering around the reefs of the Torres Strait, so needless to say Marc and I were exhausted when we arrived.  After 2 hours of sleep we were up at 7:00 AM cleaning the boat and preparing for our inspection by Australian customs and quarantine officers.  Checking in procedures in most countries are no big deal but Australia is known for strict regulations and stiff enforcement.  But our worry was unwarranted because the four officials were very nice, professional, and it was actually quite easy.  They didn't even take our popcorn to Marc's delight. 

At 1700 miles this was our second longest passage, so far.  All in all it went well.  The winds and seas did increase quite a bit the last couple of days with 30 knot gusts today.  So we're happy that we are set at anchor and that we didn't stop in PNG. 

Unfortunately Thursday Island is just a quick stop for to rest up and provision.  Our destination in Australia is Darwin which is still 600+ miles away.  This is a big country.  Depending on weather, we plan to stay here for 3 nights and then start day hopping over to Darwin so we can start really enjoying Australia.

I think that it will be a movie and an early bedtime for all of us tonight. 

We hope that you are all having a great week. 

Love to all,

Jane, Marc, and the kids

S 10 degrees 35 minutes

E 142 degrees 13 minutes

July 17, 2010 – Thursday Island, Australia


As planned, we spent very little time in the area of Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.  There wasn’t much to do in the area and we were ready to reach Darwin where we could relax and enjoy ourselves.  We spent a couple days relaxing, catching up on sleep after a long passage, and restocking with groceries.  After four days, we were all ready to go.  Attached is the satellite email correspondence for the 750 mile passage to Darwin.


July 17, 2010

Hi all,

After a few days of rest we are back out sailing.  We left Thursday Island this morning and are headed toward Darwin.  It is a total of 750 miles or 5 days to Darwin.  We will be sailing along the northern coast so we can stop along the way if we want. For now, our plan is to sail straight through but we're flexible. We'll see how we are all feeling but we'd like to get Darwin as soon as possible and relax.  We have heard that it is a nice spot and we're excited to do some exploring.  The kids are excited for the pool and the playground by the sailing club. 

We hope that all of you have a nice weekend.


Relax and Enjoy,

Jane, Marc, Caroline, Grant, and Noah

S 10 degrees 48 minutes

E 142 degrees 08 minutes


July 19, 2010

Hey all,

We're still out here sailing along.  We just passed the Wessel Islands which if you are looking at a map are the little islands that are at the Western edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  The wind has been in the perfect direction for us and with a current running with us we have been making great speed.  We averaged 7.25 knots yesterday!  It's been a fairly smooth ride so far and all is going well. 

Right now, we are planning to sail straight through to Darwin.  There isn't much to do in this area if we stop.  We can't go up to shore due to protected aboriginal lands and we can't swim due to the crocs.  Yikes! So we think that our best option is to keep sailing and if we're lucky we may get in to Darwin on the evening of the 21st.  But, the tides and currents are crazy around here so we may have to anchor near Darwin a night to time it all correctly.  We really don't want to fight a 5 knot current going into the anchorage. 


We hope that you are all doing well and enjoying the week.  We'll continue to keep you posted.

Love to all,


S 10 degrees 54 minutes

E136 degrees 15 minutes


July 22, 2010 – Darwin, Australia


G’day Mate!  We dropped the anchor in Darwin last night at around 10:00 pm.  We covered the 748 miles in approximately 110 hours which averaged almost 7 knots.  Again, Imagine performed incredibly well, as she sailed well above our average of 6.5 knots.  If we keep this up, we may need to up our average for our passage calculations.  It was a relatively easy passage but the last day proved stressful as we needed to constantly calculate tides, currents, and speed in order to reach the anchorage under favorable conditions.  As we were approaching Cape Don, which lies 100 miles outside of Darwin we saw a large motor vessel on our AIS (similar to radar) slow from 15 knots to 5 knots as it hit a counter current trying to enter the Cape.  We did not want to face anything like that.  But we timed it right and had either a favorable or slack current the whole way in.  It was an open, well lit approach and comfortable dropping anchor in the dark. 

As we were approaching Darwin last night we spoke to our friends on Orono 1 on the VHF.  Peter, Donna, PJ, and Heidi are an Australian family that we met in Guadaloupe in the Caribbean.  They had returned back to their home in Queensland at the end of last season in November 2009 and then decided to get back out cruising so they are now off to Indonesia – just like us.  They invited us over for a huge breakfast this AM.  It was exactly what we all needed – the kids played and the adults chatted and relaxed.  After spending 14 of the last 17 days on passage it was great to just talk to some other people. 

We are here in Darwin with over 100 other boats.  The Sail Indonesia rally will is currently anchored here in Fannie Bay and will departing for Indo in a few days.  We had originally thought that we’d participate in the rally but made the decision not to so that we wouldn’t be rushed in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Australia.  We also weren’t sure that we wanted to enter every anchorage in Indo with 100 other boats.  Although, we are very happy to have made it Darwin to meet up with Orono, Pegasus, and many other boats (especially kid boats), we’re happy that we can relax a little before pressing on to Indo.  We hope to catch up with some of the rally boats in a month or so in Bali.

We plan to stay in Darwin for 2 to 3 weeks; stocking up on provisions again (it’s like feeding an army), tackling some boat projects, and exploring the area.  We’re all excited to see some crocs, roos, and enjoy the outback.


Aboriginal Rock Art