Quick Fix: 36° 37.2 S / 174° 47.4 E
March 29th, 2015 (day 2,859)
Conditions:  Berthed. Wind: 10/SW  Sky: M. Clear.

Tropical Treatment
We've just returned from hospital - in the Cook Islands! We had an appointment to see a doctor, but not just any doctor, rather a Dr. Jonathan Jackson, our nephew and recent graduate from medical school in England (well done, dude!) who chose Rarotonga for his elective. Dr. J., who is no stranger to the South Pacific, has settled in to island time with ease. He gave us a tour of the island on matching scooters, demonstrated that he still knows how to open a coconut using just a stick, and even caught some fish (don't let the photo fool you - Dr J. caught them all!) Rarotonga is lucky to have him, and spending a little time with him in the tropics, was a real treat for us, too! Enjoy the rest of your stay, Doctor, and try to leave a few fish for the locals!



The Cook Islands     Looking southwest across Rarotonga's lagoon


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Day 2,855 - Waiheke Island (36° 46S 175° 00E)
17:39hrs - March 25th 2015
The Bowl Story - From Start to Finish

I am a big tree person always have been, the older and bigger the tree the more twists and bumps the better, so when we got to New Zealand I wanted to meet the legendary ancient giant Kauri trees ‘Te Matua Ngahere’ and ‘Tane Mahuta’ in person. They are approximately 3,000 and 2,000 years old respectively so definitely old, and as big as any tree could wish to be, and because there are hardly any left because they were almost all cut down in a feverish building frenzy in the 1800’s, they are now cherished and loved and cared for like precious family members saved from the edge of a precipice. They are so protected now that unless you are going to give one a hug, and I'm not sure that's encouraged, you are not allowed to touch them, so chopping one down to make something nice is not going to make you any friends here and as a result finding something made out of kauri is a very special thing. You are not allowed to harm live trees but you can, if you can find it, use swamp or ancient kauri which is kauri that's been buried in peat swamps since around the ice age. It's a beautiful version of the wood as its kind of fermented underground and takes on beautiful colors and marbling that you won't see in any other wood, and since we first came here we have been looking for our special piece. And it happened for us finally in Waiheke!

We met John Freeman a local artist and sculptor while exploring Waiheke island and quickly became friends. Before we knew it we were in his studio selecting and learning how to turn wood on a lathe and after searching for exactly the right piece of kauri we found a battered old grey piece that didn't look like much to us but John could see beyond the old grey exterior and convinced us to get going on it. He started us off cutting back the wild edges and after two days of taking turns shaping and sanding it, it revealed itself to us as the beautiful shimmery kauri treasure we have today, and here it is, our own piece of prehistoric New Zealand from a wise old tree buried quietly underground for so long, now part of our Dream Time story.

To learn more about John Freeman, click here to visit his website and to view some of his remarkable sculptures >



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Port Vila, Vanuata, took a direct hit from Pam

Quick Fix: 36° 25.4 S / 174° 50.7 E
March 16th, 2015 (day 2,846)
Conditions:  Anchored. Wind: 25/SW  Sky: Overcast.

Blow by Blow
Our barometer that plummeted to 987 millibars is rising, the heavy canopy of clouds is lifting, and the wind has swung southwest, easing to 20 knots. Cyclone Pam, the Pacific's second largest in recorded history, has moved south to the cooler waters to her demise. It's astonishing that air can become so physical, compressed and terrifying, only to dissolve, to disappear back into our atmosphere, reduced to just a whisper. By tomorrow cyclone Pam will no longer exist, but sadly the damage she left in her path will take years to repair. We sail to Port Vila, Vanuatu, in just 8 weeks, where reportedly 80% of the buildings we're damaged or destroyed. Dream Time is too small to carry any measurable supplies, but time we have plenty of, so we'll help in any way we can.


Cyclone Pam heading south towards New Zealand

Quick Fix: 36° 25.4 S / 174° 50.7 E
March 15th, 2015 (day 2,845)
Conditions:  Anchored. Wind: 35/E  Sky: Overcast.

Here She Comes!
You know it must be pretty serious when the Volvo Ocean Race, the 'Everest of Sailing', an elite fleet of professional seafarers, decide that it's too windy to leave the dock. Scheduled to depart Auckland today to continue their around-the-world race, officials announced the fifth leg to Brazil has been rescheduled to begin Tuesday, at the earliest. After hammering Vanuatu with 168 mph winds, Cyclone Pam is now building record-breaking surf on New Zealand's north shore and is expected to scream down our eastern coast late tonight - why does it always have to be 'a dark and stormy night'? Dream Time is secure at anchor: a 10:1 scope - 175 feet of 9mm chain, a 60lb anchor buried deep in firm mud, and two snubbers to help take the strain. We're ready.


Pam's forecast path

Quick Fix: 36° 25.6 S / 174° 49.1 E
March 12th, 2015 (day 2,842)
Conditions:  Anchored. Wind: 10/E  Sky: Cloudy.

It's been seven years since we've had to drop two anchors to secure Dream Time in a blow. Our last experience was in 2008, anchored in Belize, when tropical storm Arthur visited us in San Pedro. Local newspapers reported that sixty-five boats sank around the island as a result. Today we're watching cyclone Pam gain momentum in the tropics and head in our direction. She's currently skipping down the eastern side of Vanuatu and is forecast to strengthen into a category 5 cyclone before reaching the eastern coast of New Zealand. The seas are expected to build to a staggering sixty feet in height - unimaginable! Unfortunately, Pam's arrival this Sunday coincides with the departure of the Volvo racing fleet. Stay tuned for more excitement.


Catamaran or coconut, what will you bid on?

Quick Fix: 46° 7.3 S / 175° 00.8 E
March 1st, 2015 (day 2,831)
Conditions:  Anchored. Wind: 6/N  Sky: Clear.

Let The Bidding War Begin!
In a private Californian villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with special guest Leonardo DiCaprio, is this year's high-profile SeaChange Summer Party - a live charity auction dedicated to helping raise money and awareness for Oceana. A variety of exclusive items have been generously donated for the event: jewelry, Hampton beach houses, tropical resorts, a week's charter on Hemisphere - the world's largest sailing catamaran... Additionally, we're excited to report that a Dream Time coconut carving will be among the exclusive items to be auctioned. We're sharing an anchorage today with Hemisphere (what are the odds?!) and it looks like we have some big competition. But whatever you decide to bid on, please give generously, it's for a really good cause.