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Mico 11-17-2012 04:07 AM

Greetings from Oz
A big hello from tropical Oz.

We're the proud but unintentional owners of two yachts - An Alajuela 33' cutter based in Cairns and our new vessel, an Antigua 44 Walkthrough Ketch based up in Borneo - and no this is not a brag:p Once more we've done what we always swore we'd never do again, buy a new yacht before selling the first:p

Sometimes we're our own worst enemies! :laugher but I'm sure we're not alone!

We had only just finished outfitting Mico, our Alajuela 33 in readiness for our next blue water. Previously we've sailed her out to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and up to Papua New Guinea and were looking at heading out to Fiji, down to New Zealand and then across the Tasman and up the Queensland coast.

Over the last few years we're totally refitted her with new engine, tanks, wiring, electronics and deck gear. The latest was a new Raymarine Grand Prix Auto helm and wireless remote steering and a brand new full battened main just a couple of months ago.

With holidays all booked and the garden looking less like a jungle and a house sitter all organised, we got an unexpected call from a couple we had sailed with in company from Cairns up to the Louisiades PNG a year earlier. They had sailed their Antigua 44 ketch out from the States on a 5 year circumnavigation and after sailing with us, got as far as Borneo before deciding that they had had enough and wanted to be able to walk across the lounge without a safety line!

Before we knew it we'd said yes - and flew up to take possession, all plans of sailing to Fiji now on hold and our beautiful Mico all dressed up with nowhere to go :(

So long story short, we now spend our time flying back and forth between them both but it's looking like Borneo and the South China Sea is going to be our cruising ground for the next couple of years.

Our Mico has already done a circumnavigation and has anchored in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and all points in-between and now with a new hull and deck respray and new gear, she needs some new owners to take her on her next adventure as we are finding we are sailing her less and less. She's not a marina vessel - she's a blue water cruiser and with this in mind we've launched a little website to tell her story :)

Just google Alajuela 33' Mico

Check her out and as they say down here in Oz, you never know your luck in a big city!:p

Meanwhile we look forward to sharing some of our yacht projects and experiences afloat - both here in Oz and up in Borneo and getting to know some more fellow yachties.

Fair winds,


mikel1 11-17-2012 06:46 AM

Re: Greetings from Oz
Welcome aboard! We have some OZ mates around here somewhere . . .nice boat btw

skimbo 11-18-2012 12:51 AM

Re: Greetings from Oz
hi guys im based in onslow west oz...heading nth july next year...going accross the top and on to png and the solomans have done heaps of research on both areas and always on for more info particularly on png and solomans...any info or links much appreciated

Mico 11-25-2012 10:28 PM

Re: Greetings from Oz

Originally Posted by mikel1 (Post 949579)
Welcome aboard! We have some OZ mates around here somewhere . . .nice boat btw

Thanks Mike - good to be here. You can never get too many Aussies!:laugher

Mico 11-25-2012 10:39 PM

Re: Greetings from Oz

Originally Posted by skimbo (Post 949923)
hi guys im based in onslow west oz...heading nth july next year...going accross the top and on to png and the solomans have done heaps of research on both areas and always on for more info particularly on png and solomans...any info or links much appreciated

Hi Skimbo,

We did the trip around the top from Perth to Cairns in a small 23' sloop we fitted out from a bare shell. Best trip we ever did! If you can, get hold of a book called 'King of the Australian Coast by Marsden Horden. It traces the three voyages of Phillip Parker King through that area and many of the current maps still in use are his. It's a fantastic read and we literally anchored in exactly the same spot he did when we went across the top - even using his journal entries to locate water holes and navigate tricky tidal races and reef areas. We published some blogs of that trip and if you like - I'll email them to you. If your heading up to PNG - spend some time in the Louisiades. Safe, friendly and simply magical. We're just about to upload some vision from our last trip up there on our website. :)

Fair winds,


tdw 11-26-2012 03:44 PM

Re: Greetings from Oz
Let us know when you upload that stuff will you ?

Regarding Perth to Cairns .... I'd always thought that up the west coast of Oz was the wrong direction. How were the winds ?

Oh yes thanks for the book tip ...

Anyone with info on PNG, Louisiades and/or the Solomons should post in the destinations thread btw. Makes it easier for others to find at a later date.

I'm thinking that in particular the Louisiades and the Solomons will become increasingly popular as they are still considered a bit off the beaten track (especially the Solomons) and so remain relatively unspoiled/uncrowded.

ps - Mico ... you need ten posts before you can post a link to your website .... message the link to me and I'll put it up for you.


Andrew B

Mico 11-26-2012 04:42 PM

Re: Greetings from Oz
Hi Andrew,

We left a bit late in the season going through Exmouth late August and arriving in Cairns late December. However, in saying that we had a perfect run with 15 - 20kts pretty constant until we hit Bonaparte Gulf where we had 6 days of glass off and with our 10hp Yanmar sail drive pottered on our way to Darwin at 3kts to conserve fuel. We arrived in Darwin the day after their first major storm of the season and sat in the marina there doing the 'will we?..won't we?' shuffle trying to decide whether to sit out the wet season in Darwin or chance a trip across the top to Gove and then onto Thursday Island, Cape York and down the Queensland coast which as you know is around the start of the cyclone season.

It wasn't until a commercial charter operator said 'look - you'll either get a cyclone or perfect sailing conditions' that we decided to chance it and had a dream run across the top and down the Queensland Coast.

We like the Louisiades because its only 4 days sail from Cairns, safe and friendly where as the PNG mainland is not quiet so welcoming. Most people avoid the east coast of the mainland like the plague due to yacht boardings and theft and head up instead on the outside to Woodlark Island, then onto New Ireland and Rabul or straight out to the Solomons. We have friends who were boarded in Madang and another in Wewak off the mainland and it was not a pleasant experience having a machete held at your throat while your yacht was systematically stripped of everything.

I'll send you the link.

Fair winds,


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