Pete and Donna
We first met Pete and Donna in Rozelle Bay towards the end of 2004. We spent many Happy Hours on Meridian or Two Up over the next 9 months or so. Over a few drinks we planned our next cruise. We were keen to return to Vanuatu, and Pete was interested in visiting the Solomons. The plan developed so that we would get up to the Solomons before the end of the year and stay there for the summer season. The Solomons are generally above 8 deg S, so out of the path of cyclones.
We left from Newcastle in June 2006, a bit ahead of Two Up. We were to meet up in Port Vila for Donna's birthday. It was a significant one, with family and friends flying into Vila for the party. See pictures at . We had Larry and Alison join us so we split up for a while, rejoining at Waterfall Bay. We then travelled together to Ranon for the Rom Dance, continuing on to Santo.
We had a great time in Vureus Bay and even more fun in another Waterfall Bay with the official opening of the Waterfall Bay Yacht Club. This was followed by clearing out at Sola, travelling on through the Torres and Banks islands to Santa Cruz in the eastern Solomons.
They stuck by us when Paul scalded his ankle and couldn't travel for more than a week. After we left Santa Cruz we had our dismasting - once again Pete and Donna helped us out, and stuck with us as we motored our way through Honiara to Liapari. We arrived in early December and set about ordering a new mast.
When it finally arrived, Pete helped Paul rig the mast - a new experience for both of us. Later, Meridian started leaking around the shaft seal so had to be hauled out. Once again, Peter helped out in the task of fitting new drive belts.
They joined us 2009 for the Indonesia Rally. We had a few groundings on the way to Darwin, and 'Two Up' was there to help us get free. We marked the arrival at Cape York with drinks.
Unfortunately, they had some problems in Indonesia, hitting a reef. They were able to patch the hole and continue up to Langkawi where they made repairs. Some time after, more misfortune as they were struck by lightning which damaged a lot of the electronics on board.
Lots of photos at Flickr