It's been a long time since I updated these pages. Sorry! I rarely get feedback, so lost interest I suppose. Facebook is much more immediate and less hassle in editing and uploading pages. So, to recap (in reverse order). After reading this, how about an email to meridian (at) rodenhuis.com.au to let me know someone is reading this?
Meridian is for sale - please look here for pictures and information.
March Its been a busy time since Hobart. Been back to Strathfield before going off to stay with Wal and Robbie at Yandaran, out of Bundaberg. After a relaxing 10 days, we returned to Brisbane to stay with Pete and Donna on "Two Up". Back to Strathfield, then on to Bathurst. We are now (20th) staying on Lyn and Rob's acreage in Forest Grove, looking after 6 chooks, 4 goats, 3 fish, 2 cats, 1 sheep.
Today (20th) we put down a holding deposit on a rental property in Bathurst. We hope to move in soon.
Meanwhile Paul has been booking flights for the delivery crew to get to Wakayama in order to bring Meridian back to Bundaberg. He will go up on 5th April to get Meridian ready for them, then return to Bathurst.
Friday 27th. Today we signed the lease on the house, we begin moving in tomorrow. The last week has been busy buying everything needed in a house, from teaspoons to doonas. The autumn is lovely here right now, but the cold of winter will be another matter. We will be only 10 minutes away from our son Ian, his wife Kellie and their 2 children Tom and Mia.
February We are now in Strathfield, Sydney staying with our daughter Meridith. Meridian is in Wakayama, Japan. we have just spent a lovely 10 days in Hobart visitung friends Colleen and Derek, Alison and Peter, Rae and Ian. One of the attractions was the Wooden Boat Festival, where we met more friends Bruce and Thelma Morley, and Jim and Ann Cate. It was a great event, more than 200,000 attended.
January We visited our son Ian and his family Kellie, Tom and Mia in Bathurst. THey have recently bought a house there and are very happy to be in the country and away from Sydney.
December We arrived in Wakayama a week before we were booked to fly back to Sydney. The broker was coming with his clients to inspect Meridian. They were very interested, but in the end, the length was a problem. It was too long to fit in their marina, which has strict rules on maximaum length. So we are now deciding about getting her back to Australia to sell.
We returned to Sydney for various medical appointments and Christmas of course. It was great being back with the family. The warm weather was welcome after the very cold days in Japan.
November The weather was getting colder as winter approached. We were travelling through the Inland Sea (Setonaikai), island hopping, staying in small fishing ports, but also larger ports like Hiroshima and Kobe. Of course we had to go to Miyajima, the famour site with the red torii in the water outside the shrine.
We had a call from the broker saying that he had someone interested in Meridian, and wanted to see her in Wakayama.
October Finally got away from Odo Marina after a couple of typhoons went through. Went through the Kanmon Straits at Shimonseki without any drama, currents can reach 8 knots in Spring tides.
August - September Making our way through the Okinawa and Nagasaki islands. The stop in Nagasaki was very pleasant, although the visit to the A-Bomb memorial was sobering.
July Weathered a Super Typhoon! Typhoon #8, Neoguri wa forecast to reach 150 knots! Not much can survive that. With a lot of help we attached 16 lines from every corner of Meridian to concrete walls either side. In the event, the peak winds were only 80 knots, and no damage done.
June Departed Hualien, Taiwan after a very pleasant 3 weeks, and checked in to Japan at Ishigaki. Had to battle the infamous paperwork, but all settled soon. Not so easy the purchasing of 4 phones and pocket wifi. Luckily Greg and Janise's daughter-in-law flew down and spent many hours in the phone shops.
May Left the Philippines at San Fernando after about a week moving along the Luzon coast from Subic Bay. It took about 3 nights to get to Green Island, at the south-eastern tip of Taiwan.
January - May Hauled out in Watercraft for stripping back and repainting the hull, new shaft seal fitted. Preparing for departure to Japan.
September - December Left Zeke's and did some cruising! While in Cebu Harbour, we felt the tremors of an earthquake. It was quite severe, mainly in the island of Bohol. We visited shortly after the event and the destruction was saddening. Churches more than 400 years old were completely destroyed, and many people were killed.
Further south in Bonbonom, we experienced Super Typhoon Haiyan. We were 100 NM south, away from the path of terrible destruction. It is estiimated that more than 7000 people died. Lack of preparation and inadequate restoration after the event meant that many died unnecessarily.
August. Antifouling finished, Meridian anchored outside Zeke's Yard! Not for long though! Paul caught dengue fever and spent 6 days in Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu. On admission they detected that Paul had a heart condition, AF.
July. Paul's 70th Birthday, celebrated at "Rume Store and Picnic" with many friends.
June. Work coming to an end.
May. We needed to renew our visas as did Peter and Donna so we decided to go to Hong Kong! It was a first for us and a very exciting time it was too.
April. Because of the work in progress, we moved out to a small hotel/restaurant called "Rume Store and Picnic". It is a very pleasant place, with friendly staff and great food. Our air-conditioned room has an ensuite, cable TV, and wifi. What more could you want? I know, a fridge to keep the beer in.
March 14 Ian's birthday followed by Mia's on the 15th. We arrived in Zeke's boatyard in Port Carmen after suffering from food poisoning for the previous week. We were both quite debilitated and took some time to recover. We were helped immensely by fellow cruisers Pete and Judith from "Camille" who shopped and prepared food for us.
Then the work started.
Jan - Feb. After spending Christmas and New Year with family in Sydney, we returned to Meridian in Puerto Galera. This is a very pleasant place to stay, particularly because of the Puerto Galera Yacht Club. It is a very friendly club, with a great restaurant. PG is also a very popular spot for diving, so there are always tourists around.
We had been waiting for mail (again!) which finally arrived so we headed off to Cebu via Romblon, Borocay, Roxas.
How time flies when you are having fun. Some belated updates below.
A review of our activities in 2012 is here
December: Now in Sydney for Christmas to catch up with family and friends, and get a few medical checks performed. We also stock up on medications which we can't find in Asia.
November: More day hops along the east coast of Palawan, then up through Coron to Puerta Galera where we were leaving Meridian. We had fairly good weather but not good for sailing. Our last day to Puerta Galera was one of our worst. The Verde Is Strait is infamous. We left Paluan Bay at 6am in calm conditions; all was well until we rounded Cape Calavites and it was 20-25kts on the nose, with wind over tide - terrible! We had green water over the dodger! Never before. In one of those incidents, the anchor locker lid was pushed open and copious amounts of green water then proceeded to make its way through the storage lockers into the bilge.
Puerta Galera Yacht Club is very welcoming, has a nice restaurant and bar. They also have moorings, one of which is keeping Meridian in place. We have one of the club's boat boys keeping an eys on her. In fact, before we left there were predictions of a typhoon heading towards our area. In the event, it went further south but still brought much death and destruction to Mindanao.
October: Finally got away from Kudat, at least two weeks later than planned. Had a pretty uneventful trip to the Philippines, landing at Balabac. About a week of day hops brought us to Puerto Princesa, quite a large town, with thousands of tricycles. A good place to refuel and provision, and noticeably cleaner than Malaysia.
September: Finally left Miri headed further north via Labuan (duty free!) to Kota Kinabalu. A short stop then onto Kudat, near the very tip of Borneo. Here we hauled Meridian out for new shaft bearings, a scrape down and repaint with antifoul paint. We had problems with our diesel generator which held us up a bit.
August: Mostly spent in Miri, getting a few jobs done with the assistance of the ever-useful Simon the taxi driver. We had to do a visa run to Brunei where we spent 3 days. Not a very interesting place, and being very Muslin, dry!
July: On our way to Kuching in Borneo, via Tioman Island with Greg and Janise on Windchimes. Kuching (or actually Santubong) is the site of the RainForest World Music Festival. We had been there two years before, so we determined to go back. Besides, it was Paul's and Greg's birthday on the 15th, the last day so we had to go!
After the festival we ventured up the Rajang River. Quite an interesting experience, seeing lots of logging ships and barges and stockpiles along the river. Spent a night anchored outside a village, visited the school next day.
From the Rajang we continued north to Miri Marina where we had been two years before.
June: Some time spent back in Puteri Harbour Marina, with a couple of shopping trips to Singapore - always enjoy that.
May: We left Langkawi, heading south towards Johor, stopping in Penang for a few days.
April: Returned to Rebak Marina, Langkawi for a couple of weeks for a few jobs. Installed a water maker, had front shaft bearings replaced, installed Astro Satellite TV, fixed Kubota muffler.
March: In Thailand, went up to Surin and Similan Islands near the Burma border with friends Dave and Melinda on "Sassoon". Had an unusual noise coming from the drive train, not sure what it was. Had gearbox overhauled, still there so it's the shaft bearings.
February: Returned from Sydney to Meridian in Yacht Haven Marina. Spent time in Ao Chalong, Patong and other anchorages on the west coast of Phuket.
December: Cruising around Phuket. Soon we will go to Yacht Haven Marina to leave Meridian for 2 months while we return to Sydney for Christmas with the family.
November: Went to Penang on WIndchimes, met Wal and Robyn, got our Thai visas. Provisioned Meridian and took off to Thailand
October: Returned to Rebak marina. Hauled Meridian out for much-needed clean and anti-foul. 10 days later she went back inb the water.
September: Arrived in Amsterdam, spent 11 days on canal boat with Alison and Peter. Then hired car and drove to northern part of Holland to meet family and sightseeing. Visited Belgium (Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels) and France (Lille) before returning to Holland for family gathering. See Travels Elsewhere/Holland.
August: Installed air-conditioning, sat inside and enjoyed it! Searching for family history in preparation for our trip to Holland.
July: Went to Vietnam for a wonderful trip.
June: Having work done on Meridian, then returned to Rebak Marina, Langkawi.
May: Sailing around te Phuket area, Phang Nga Bay
April: In Langkawi, restocking then off to Thailand with Windchimes.
March: Meridian on way to Langkawi. Arrived after 22 days.
February: We returned to Meridian in Miri. Judy had operation on her shoulder, then flew to Langkawi to recuperate with friends. Greg came up to help bring Meridian to Langkawi.
January: Time spent with family, and a quick trip to Hobart to visit Alison, Peter, Derek and Colleen.
September: Returned to Miri marina from France.
August: Spent the remaining 2 weeks driving to Strasbourg, then a few days in Paris before returning to Meridian.
August: Spent 2 weeks on a barge in France
July: The Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, then came up to Miri. Took part in the Borneo International Yacht Challenge on "Truest Passion", friends' catamaran.
June: East Coast of Malaysia and Tioman Island.
May: Started Sail Malaysia's Passage to the east Rally
April: In Sydney while Judy recovered from knee injury
March: Ian and Kellie's wedding in Sydney
Feb: In Langkawi, Malaysia
Jan: Travelling up west coast of Malaysia
December: After engine repaired, headed north. Christmas and New Year in Port Dickson.
November: Having engine repaired while in Puteri Harbour marina, Johor.
October: Indonesia, see our trip details here. Finished up in Malaysia with a broken engine.
September: Yes its been a while! Now in Labuan Bajo, west Flores Island and takeoff point for the Komodo National Park. We've seen Komodo Dragons in many locations, most on Rincha Island where we did the long walk with a Ranger to protect us.
Its been a long time since we left Darwin and had a lot of adventures, mostly pleasant. The locals have been very friendly and helpful. The Rally is falling apart. Of the original 130 boats that left Darwin on 18th July, there are about 25 in Labuan Bajo now for the official events over the next two days. The rest are scattered all points west, some in Bali, others in Kalimantan, others have left Indonesia. Quite a few boats have had problems of one sort or another, us included.
Some of the highlights have been Banda (the Spice Islands) and Wakatobi (southeast Sulawesi) with fantastic snorkelling, Komodo for the dragons. Ambon is the filthiest town we've seen with unbelievable traffic. Highlights we are looking forward to are Bali and Kumai (Kalimantan) where the orangutans live.
April/May: With a need to get to Cairns quickly for hauling out, we left Bundaberg and quickly headed north via Great Kepple, Scawfell, Whitsunday and Gloucester Islands before arriving in Townsville. After 3 days rest, it was another overnighter to Cairns.
Now in the Big Boat Shed, waiting for the weather to clear so that new antifouling can be applied.
March/April: As soon as we arrived at MidTown Marina in Bundaberg, Wal and Robyncame to take us to stay at the country residence at Yandaran. While there, Paul was able to help Wal with a bit of work on the massive shed that he is building.
Later, Wal did a few jobs on Meridian, including helping install the new wind generator. No, it doesn't generate wind! It converts the energy of the wind inot electricity.
Feb/March: After finally leaving Brisbane, we headed for Mooloolaba, intending to stay for a couple of days. The bad weather (remember the Pacific Adventurer and the oil spill?) kept us in port for more than two weeks. Finally a break came that allowed us to cross the infamous Wide bay Bar. From there we went via Kingfisher Resort, Hervey Bay to Bundaberg.
Jan: Returned from Christmas and New Year in Sydney and visiting Alison, Derek, Colleen, Jackie in Hobart. While back on Meridian in Aquatic Paradise, Judy lost vision in one eye temporarily. This necessitated various visits to eye specialists, heart scans and cardiologist, over the course of Jan and Feb. All clear in the end, but a bit of a worry at the time. During this time we were on the pile moorings on the Brisbane River, near the Botanic Gardens.
December 2008 We finally untied from the marina, crossed Hervey Bay to Kingfisher Resort for a day, then down through the Great Sandy Straits to Tin Can Bay. Met by Bob and Julia, and visited their stunning new house for dinner.
After a couple of days in TCB, it was off over the Wide Bay Bar down to Moreton Bay. Stopped in Rivergate Marina for a night to catch up with Peter and Donna on "Two Up", then up the Brisbane River to anchor off the Botanical Gardens. It's a lovely spot, right in the heart of the CBD and it's free!
After a week there, we took Meridian down to Aquatic Paradise in Birkdale to tie up on a private pontoon while we fly to Sydney for Christmas/New Year with family, then to Hobart in the New Year.
November 2008 We left Meridian in MidTown Marina while we flew to Sydney. First event was Tom's 4th birthday which was great fun spread over a couple of days. The following week we attended the Memorial Service for Larry, held at the Royal Motor Yacht Club, Newport. While it was a sad occasion, many people turned up for what was a memorable event.
On our return to Meridian, we started the major job of relining the engine room with new insulation. Also had the belt-drive system checked out with new bearings and belts ordered. Danny the Dirty Detroit Deisel had his first checkup in 8 years, getting two new injectors and minor adjustments.
October 2008 Our first trip down 'The Narrows'! then into Gladstone Marina for a week. Stayed in Pancake Creek, meeting Alan and Patricia Lucas. From there to Bundaberg MidTown Marina, another first. Visits to Wal and Robyn at their country residence at Yandaran were most relaxing.
Most sad news received - our great friend Larry Turnure died from a heart attack while visiting family in the US.
September 2008 Finally left Airlie and made our way down the coast, via Goldsmith, Brampton, Scawfell, Digby, Middle Percy, Marble, Hexham, Island Head Crk, Port Clinton, Great Keppel Island, Rosslyn Bay.
August 2008 Tony and Sandra Harris joined us in Airlie Beach for a fortnight. Visited Stonehaven, Cid Hbr, Bait Reef, Gloucester Island, Bowen before returning to Airlie.
July 2008 Ian, Kellie, Tom and Mia came to stay with us for a week. Picked them up at Hamilton Island, went around Whitsunday Island before delivering them back to Hammo. Paul reached a significant age.
June 2008 Work has finished, so we are now relaxing with Wal and Robbie at their new house at Yandaran, outside of Bundaberg. We will then return to Meridian and hang around the Whitsundays for a while.
May 2008 Paul was working in Werris Creek and Boggabri NSW, logging coal bore cores. Judy was on Meridian in Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach until just before Mothers Day. She then flew down to Sydney to spend some time with the grandchildren.
April 2008 Arrived in Airlie Beach
March 2008 In Townsville, Judy ill with Ross River Fever.
February 2008 In Cairns Blue Waters Marina.
January 2008 Finally launched Meridian in Cairns after major work including new freezer and new floor.
December 2007 To Sydney for Christmas and New Year with the family
November 2007 Meridian having new galley built and re-paint.
October 2007 In the Big Boat Shed, Cairns for repairs.
September 2007 Waiting in Marlin Marina, Cairns for insurance approval
August 2007 Run aground on reef at Panasia Island in the Louisiades, PNG. Refloated and sailed back to Cairns.
July 2007 In the Louisiades, PNG with Two Up, Lode-Star and Bella Via.