This post falls under the full disclosure category. I figure it’s only fair that if I post all these stories about how much fun we are having and all the awesome stuff we are seeing and doing. I should also, from time to time tell you about the not so awesome stuff.

I’m just gonna give you the ending right up front. Bit of a spoiler, I know.

But the short story is that we ran aground a couple weeks ago. Oops!

The long story is:

We had been here in Bora Bora for about a week. Decided to head around the island and check out some of the anchorages on the North side of the island. It is very beautiful over there for sure.

We followed the charts and advice from other boaters and got to the spot we intended to go. But another, closer look at the charts and a read through some of our cruising guides showed another anchorage a little further up. Granted, the cruising guide said that unless you draw less than 6 feet, do not attempt to get in there. The pass through the coral is narrow and very shallow.

We draw just over 6 feet. So despite all the warnings, we thought we should give it a go.

As we were approaching the small pass in the coral, Tawn was on the bow giving me directions on which way to go. I was looking at the charts and thought I should be more to starboard, but Tawn was insistent that I go more to port and get as close to the channel marker as I possibly could.

There was a good current running through the little pass against us and the wind was on the nose, so as I was turning more to port we were being pushed a bit sideways and next thing I know…..Bump, bump, bump.

We stopped moving.

The wind and current pushed us abit more up on the coral. Tawn dropped the anchor to stop us moving in the bad direction.

I tried reversing off, but we were stuck hard.

Luckily we were towing the dinghy. We grabbed our stern anchor and put it in the dinghy and I ran it out to port into deeper water to use as a kedge to hopefully pull the bow around and off the reef. But the wind and current was just too much. We were stuck and stuck pretty good, and heeling over avbit.

A few tourist boats came by and waked us pretty good, which was shitty, but it’s what they do best.

As we were planning what to do next, another cruiser came over from the anchorage in his dinghy and offered to help.

We decided to pull up the kedge and re-run it off the back of the boat, which should pull us back the way we came and into deeper water. Tawn raised the first anchor we had down. Then ran back to the cockpit to crank in on the newly re-positioned kedge anchor.

The guy that came to help, used his dinghy to push the bow of Palarran into the wind and to prevent us from getting even more stuck now that the front anchor was up.

With him pushing on the bow, Tawn cranking the stern anchor in on the winch, I put the engine in full reverse and…..slowly…slowly we started backing up. Then poof, we were off the reef and in deep water.

We had to drop the anchor line in order to keep backing off the reef. The guy that was helping us retrieved our anchor for us,

We changed our minds in trying to get into that anchorage. :) We to another close by to dive on the boat and check for damage. Other than some scrapes in the bottom paint and a few very small chunks of fiberglass missing from the bottom of the keel there was no damage at all.

All told we spent about 20 minutes stuck. Maybe half an hour.

All is good and we were back to business as usual in a couple hours.

A couple days later we rented a couple bikes and rode around the island. It’s only 32km(which is Canadian for 19.8 miles) all the way around the island.

We stopped and took a picture of the spot we got stuck. No way in hell we were taking pictures at the time.


We were headed from left to right as you look at the picture, and any of my SoPac mates can probably clearly see where the channel is in that pic. Right were you see the channel end on the right is were it goes from 14 feet to 6.5. Which is fine, but I should have hooked it more left and hugged that marker, which would have kept me in 6.5 feet of water…instead I went more straight and ended up in 6 feet of water…which was no good.

Here is a pic to get us all back in the right frame of mind.


One of the things the Tuamotos are famous for are their black pearls. Way back in the day they used to grow white pearls naturally. Many years of harvesting, however, and the white pearls were gone. The Chinese realized that it was a perfect environment for pearl production and brought in pearl farming. These pearls would be black pearls and were manmade by artificially implanting a small plastic bead into the muscle of the oyster. It is still a lengthy process, as a good size pearl would have to be replanted into a larger oyster year after year to produce the perfect pearl. It could take up to 8 years to produce a high rated black pearl! But with thousands of farms most of the worlds supply of black pearls come from the Tuamotos. Farming is not as prevalent as it used to be, but there are still some massive oyster farm fields floating out in the atolls. Some friends and us got to visit one of these farms and see the process behind the scenes.

This particular farm was owned by a German and his wife who was local.

Pulling up a oyster basket to show how the implantation process works.

Instruments used to pry open the oyster to implant the graff that holds the implant. The pearlescent comes from inside the shell

The German guy who ran the place gave a very extensive, but interesting explanation of the process. He opened up an oyster and dissected it to showed all the parts involved in the implantation. By the end the poor oyster was just bits and pieces…then this happened…

This is our friend Darren of s/v Gratatouille, he likes to eat….anything. He seemed to be concerned about the oyster bits going to waste and asked the owner if it was okay to eat it. The owner was sort of slack jawed, but recovered and replied “well, I guess so, no one has ever asked before”. So, he showed Darren the edible part and down the hatch it went. While we all stood by in horror/amusement, Darren was declaring it “deeeelicious”. Hmmmm…

After that we all went up the the pearl shop where you could buy loose pearls or those turned into jewelry by the owner and his wife. Our friends bought loose pearls as gifts for family and to make jewelry. I found a really cool necklace for my mom.

Owning a pearl farm is a pretty lucrative business, and you can’t beat the view while you are working.

Maybe my next venture should be to become a pearl farmer?

The first part of July found Me and Tawn in Seattle. I had a job with Danno and so we took the opportunity to visit friends, pick up some boat parts, some new kite boarding gear, and some other bits we needed to bring back to the boat.

Tawn flew back through Hawaii so she could hangout with friends Dave and Jen for a few days and buy a new kite board. I flew back via L.A. and got back a day before Tawn did.

My baggage did not.

Half of all the stuff we bought and stuffed into our luggage was in my checked bag. The one the airline lost! Easily $1000 worth of boat parts and other goodies. Luckily it all showed up on Monday afternoon, but the welcome back to Tahiti was marred just a little.

Since we had a few days to kill waiting for my luggage we spent it putting the boat back together and ready to go cruising again and goofing off around town.

This does not mean the same thing in Tahiti as it does in Seattle. I was a little sad.

We left Papeete, Tahiti and sailed to the Island of Moorea about 25 miles away. Moorea here we come!

We were sailing in to Cooks Bay on Moorea island through the pass under headsail alone when the wind completely died. So we rolled up the jib and fired up the engine. That is when shitty reared it’s lumpy brown head.

We’ve had this reoccurring electrical issue that I have been unable to track down. Somewhere in our rat’s nest of an electrical system there is a short. Every now and again, it shows it’s self in the form of a burnt fuse. Which, once blown takes away our ability to charge the batteries with the alternator when the engine is running. Luckily we are in the South Pacific, so we have more than enough sun and wind to keep the batteries charged up.

Historically this issue shows up so infrequently that I sorta don’t give a shit about it. The fix has always been to look at and wiggle some wires, then replace the fuse and it works for another couple months. As a quick aside, if you need an electrician to work on your boat. Hit me up. My rates are reasonable and i’m pretty sure i’d rip you off WAY less than any other “Marine Electrician” you’ll end up hiring.

It is however, officially time to pay the piper. The issue seems to be permanent. As soon as I turn on the ignition, the fuse blows. No matter how vigorously I wiggle wires.

So we spent two days chasing and replacing wires and connections. Good news is I found two corroded wires and replaced them. Bad news is, there is at a minimum one more bad wire somewhere and I have not found it yet.

Honestly though this is not a bad place to work on your boat.


But the sun was shining and there was miles of coral reef to snorkel. So we said fuck it! Jury rigged it so we can at least start the engine and we’ll fix it properly when we haul the boat in Tonga in a couple months.

Right now the patch is to just start it, let it burn up the fuse and carry on. At this point in the story i’d like to take the time to apologize to the good people of Papeete, Tahiti and a couple small towns on Moorea. I’m pretty sure we bought all the 30 amp fuses on those two islands…..sorry if you needed some.

I bet if you made an offer this beauty it could be yours.

Anyway, here are some pictures of awesomeness that we are experiencing instead of fixing stupid wiring issues.



Ali Beth, the shorts you bought me give me awesome balancing powers.

And of course we can always find the bar for sunset drinks!


In the case you do not know us, we have been back in the states for about a month. CB got an opportunity to do a quick job out in Montana and I had to travel as well or my visa would have run out before he returned. So on July 10th CB flew out to Seattle and on the 11th I flew out to Hawaii to visit friends I had not seen for 5 years…thanks for the hospitality Dave & Jen. I stayed in Hawaii about a week then headed to Seattle on some travel passes a friend gave me…thanks again! A quick trip to Chicago was also managed to see family and my cousins new baby…u are a cutie Clay😄 After I returned to Seattle both CB and I were able to catch up with friends and spend time on more boats. We do miss the PNW, but are ready to return home to the boat for more adventures.

One change in plans is that we are not going to New Zeland this year. Instead we are going to haul the boat out in the Vava’u group in Tonga. The boat will spend the cyclone season hanging out in a custom cradle with 8 tie down points to cement. It is also stored in a quarry with 3 high sides. Feeling pretty secure about that and our insurance is happy. We will be looking for a place to stay locally near the boat…maybe some housesitting! We plan on just hanging out in Tonga and doing a lot of kite surfing during the cyclone season. Then in April or May we will head off for another season of cruising in Tonga and Fiji. This area is too amazing to cover in one cruising season. We are lucky enough to be able to spend one more season out there before heading back to work hopefully in NZ.

In the meantime, here are some rage inducing photos of what we have been seeing and doing in the past few months.

This is at a mother’s day feast we were invited to. These guys are professional Marquesian dancers who compete yearly in Papeete. They are bad asses and really get into it. Probably one of my most favorite photos.

This is supposedly one of the largest waterfalls in the world, dropping 900 feet into the valley. Trail access through Daniel’s Bay on Nuka Hiva island.

We hiked about an hour and then had to swim up through these caves to get to the actual waterfall. Since it had been raining for a week, the falls were raging and it was so windy from the water rushing down that we could barely open our eyes and didn’t get any photos of the actual falls.

Beautiful Catholic Church on Tahuata Island.

Daniel’s Bay on Nuka Hiva. A local lady living near this beach invited us in for kai kai (a meal). She served wild goat in coconut milk, rice and a bunch of delicious veggies and fruit.

The awe inspiring spires above Ua Pou, our last stop in the Marquesas. This was probably our favorite spot in the Marquesian islands.

Palarran anchored outside the village in Makemo Atoll.

Beach fire with the crew of Peregrine on an unmarked spot on Makemo Atoll.

South Fakarava paradise…favorite place EVER!


The shades of blue here are amazing. The water is so clear you can’t tell the difference between 60 feet and 6 feet.

Everyone has been asking what we do all day…well there is a lot of this…