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Tiama’s great Adventure Update 2 14 July Nome Alaska

Dear All The story continues, We arrived Honolulu 14 June, one day before the traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived back in Honolulu after a 3 year circumnavigation attracting 10,000 visitors and parked right in front of Tiama, a bit of a spectacle for us people starved sailors.

We stayed 5 days at the Hawaii Yacht club, situated just minutes walk from Waikiki beach, a sort of dreamland for tourist looking for the unique Hawaiian experience, which to this poor sailors eyes consisted out of endless rows of bars, hotels and shops full of junk, luckily the beach and the surf still looks good.

I had to change my perspective on American officialdom, customs and homeland security. They were super friendly and even laughed at some of our poor jokes, and, I did not get called into a little room and questioned about my chequered past in the US. A new experience for me! Tiama (being the good looking lady that she is) got a 12 month cruising permit. Good music, some dancing, restocking and an oil change and we went on our way, sailing further north towards Dutch Harbour Aleutian Islands.

First week at sea 15 to 25 knot easterly trade winds, shorts and sunshine then a week of Westerly 15 to 25 knots, long pants overcoats and time for the diesel heater. Fantastic sailing all the way to the Majestic Aleutian Island chain.

We arrived in Dutch Harbour on 4 July, American Independence day, again super friendly harbour master and customs who directed us to a picnic, put on by the local native affairs council where we were promptly invited to compete in a no hands free pie eating competition! So when in America do like the American’s, very funny and foolish, the perfect way to arrive and brake the ice with the locals who we met over the next few days and often greeted me in the nicest possible way- Mr Pie Face!

Dutch harbour is the second biggest fishing harbour in the US, it is one of those ports at the end of the world, snowy mountaintops, rough, windy, cold and endlessly fascinating. Tiama attracted a few people as she often does in this sort of latitude, the first person was a French high latitude sailor Joel Mark on his motor Yacht Jade, who yelled out, “I love NZ”, and next he says, “I know your boat”, this from a complete stranger. Turned out he had dinner at the vineyard across the road from our home on Waiheke island and saw Tiama in the creek by our house and, was so intrigued by her that he went over to take photo’s which after some searching he actually found on his laptop. First boat and first person we meet on the other side of the planet has some photo’s of Tiama in Awaawaroa creek, not to sure what to make of that !

Some good times with the local fisherman at the pup which has the best view of the world over a bay filled with spouting whales, and a massive fire in an old King Crab catching pot. Fuelled by full size wooden shipping pallets. When I wanted to stoke the fire a bit, lifting up one of the wooden pallets a local quickly came over and said, let me give you a hand “old timer”

And I also got a 10% pensioners discount in the Alaskan Ships Supply store, painting my hair grey has really paid off.



4 days later we left Dutch Harbour behind, feeling a bit worn out, and glad to go back to sea to catch up on sleep.

The famous Bering Sea has treated us very nicely with light winds and at times seas so smooth that the term “oily seas” becomes apt.

Hardly any swells, ghosting along with full sail on 12 knots of wind, which normally would not work as the ocean swells would knock the sails around loosing our drive forward. Now Nome at the mouth of the Snake river.


It is very exciting to be here, Nome famous for its gold rushing days has become the departure and gathering point for boats wanting to go through the North West Passage.

So far 8 boats will make an attempt to go through the NWP from West to East, and we have all met up in Nome getting last minute supplies and wait for the ice to clear around Point Barrow.

This normally happens around the end of July/ Early August. 2 more people will join us in Nome to bring the total up to 6 people onboard Tiama for our attempt on the NWP.

In mileage we have come half way, 6000 Nautical miles so far on our 12000-mile voyage to Amsterdam, departing Auckland on 14 May, arrived Nome 13 July, departing and arriving as per our original schedule for all the ports so far.

Maybe I should get out of that annoying Charter boat skipper’s habit of arriving and departing on the dates planned.

We have taken on some Arctic blend diesel fuel and 2 shotguns for Polar bear protection, readily available in the “land of the free and the friendly” and then begin the adventure of Sailing into icy waters.

All is well, Regards, Henk

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