Monday, December 29, 2014

End of the Year Wishes from Irie

Mark and I wish all of our family, friends and readers of the blog happy holidays and a satisfying wrap-up of 2014. We hope you all had a pleasant time over Christmas, surrounded by family, loved ones and heaps of exciting gifts… For the New Year, we wish you nothing but good things, from positive experiences and great health to caring friends and a wee bit of adventure.

Mark and I are finishing up a tough year, what with him being diagnosed with cancer, almost losing Irie when her mooring broke in Marina Taina and putting all our time, energy and focus into The Wirie and the upcoming new products. As many of our friends have suggested: 2015 can only be better! Our beloved catamaran Irie is for sale, the business still has high priority and new adventures await. Plans, always vague in the past, are non-existent this time. Who knows where we will be and what will happen to us the coming year; very exciting! :-)

As for the final days of this year, Mark and I sat out some weather systems in a hurricane hole in Taha’a (Haamene Bay), which offered all the protection we needed. The first storm was a bit tricky with strong wind gusts and boats dragging in the bay, but the second one (briefly declared a tropical cyclone), passed far enough away from us and only brought some rain and light winds. We never deployed our second anchor, which sat on deck, ready to be launched.

Christmas was spent on Irie – which seems to become a yearly tradition. Around 4pm, our friends Patrick and Rachel from SV Namaste (who were also present last year) and Garth and Monique from SV Heartbeat joined us for a delicious feast after hours of preparation by all. Appetizers consisted of sushi, tuna cakes, brie and apple, and Deviled eggs, while the main course included roasted garlic chicken, roasted potatoes, rice salad, Greek salad, and shrimp cooked two ways (broiled with herbs and pan fried, Cajun style). For dessert, we had a choice of rum balls (thought to be “rumbles” by the non-native English speaker), Bahamian rum cake, macaroons and two kinds of “pudding” (cake in NZ) with custard. An abundance of beer and red wine accompanied the yummy dishes.

On December 27th, Mark and I cut our time in one of the nicest anchorages in French Polynesia (on the eastern reef in Taha’a) short, to use a favorable forecast and head back east to Huahine. In light NNE winds - which we knew were present this time, being anchored in the open and close to the ocean - we managed to sail all the way to Fare, Huahine’s capital. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies, great visibility, and no squalls. The conditions were so mellow that Mark could do work inside, while we sailed close hauled (upwind). At the moment, Irie is tied to one of the new (free) mooring balls, as are Namaste and Heartbeat. We will celebrate New Year’s Eve here and hope to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of Huahine over the coming weeks.

Christmas on Irie with Patrick, Garth, Mark, Monique, me and Rachel

And then, more rain arrived and we moved back inside

A plethora of delicious dishes

And, back outside to eat dinner

Leaving Taha'a and Raiatea - Will we ever be back?

Time for some pesto and vegetarian pizza with fresh spinach?

Mark works 12 hour days - even underway!

There is SV Heartbeat (and Huahine); we almost caught up with them

Irie slowly overtaking Heartbeat

The "race" to Huahine continues in 10 knots of wind

Rainbow over Fare, capital of Huahine

Raiatea and Taha'a, 21 miles west of Fare's anchorage


Lisa Dorenfest said...

Happy New Year! I hope our paths cross in 2015. Love that picture of the rainbow over Fare!


Liesbet said...

Thanks, Lisa! We hope you had an amazing start of the year in NZ, and we will do our utmost best to meet again this year. We have a whole year to figure out how. :-)