sailing polynesia blog travel on the horizon line brianna randall and rob roberts

Heading West on Compass Rose(y)

Posted on Posted in Sailing

sailing polynesia blog travel on the horizon line brianna randall and rob roberts

And…we’re on another new boat! Are you dizzy yet, keeping up with our moves? We are.

That’s why we plan to stay put for a bit, right here on Compass Rose(y). Why the parenthesis, you wonder? Because in many countries, especially British-related ones, no two boats can be registered with the same name. When the previous owner bought Compass Rose, a 43-foot Polaris, he registered her in England where a Compass Rose was already plying the world’s oceans…so he just added a “y” and called it good. Our sail cover still says Compass Rose, but the name painted on the side has a faded “y” hanging out as an afterthought. It gives her character. (To be clear, I’m the only one that adds the parenthesis.)

We first laid eyes on Rose(y) in Taiohae Bay in the Marquesas. The owners have since decided to head home by air, and hired our friend, Mark, to sail the boat to Australia. In the small world of Pacific sailing, we met Mark in Taiohae, as well, when he was still crewing on Wizard, the sailboat we spent a few weeks on in the Tuamotus and Tahiti. When Mark learned he had a few thousand more miles to sail aboard Rose(y), he emailed us from Raiatea to ask for some help.

sailing in polynesia on the horizon line travel blog brianna randall and rob roberts

Back in Papeete, we promptly said “hell, yes” and bid fond adieu to Wizard. Two hours later, we’d packed up and hitched a ride with our friend Paul aboard Thankful for the 100 mile, 24-hour sail from Tahiti to Huahine to meet up with Rose(y). Paul was conveniently anchored 50 feet from Wizard. He was also the first person we met in Shelter Bay, and we crossed the Panama Canal with him aboard Maunie. Told you it was a small world.

sailing in polynesia on the horizon line travel blog brianna randall and rob roberts

Fast forward to the present: Mark, Rob and I are sailing Compass Rose(y) into the rose-colored sunset without any owners aboard. It kinda feels like when your parents left you alone for the weekend in high school (minus the beer kegs). We plan to hit up a few more of the Society Islands in the next couple of weeks, and then slowly hop our way the 1,300 miles to Tonga. The goal is to stop in at Palmerston in the Cook Islands, and Niue, an island all alone in the middle of nowhere.

Rob and I are pretty excited to settle into our berths for a couple of months, and stow the giant bags rather than live out of them. Rose(y) is super comfy, meeting all our requirements for a stellar sailboat: she has wide, flat teak decks that are perfect for yoga, lots of cockpit cushions for our bony butts, and enough headroom in the cockpit to keep Rob’s scalp scar-free. Oh, and she can sail, too!

sailing polynesia blog travel on the horizon line brianna randall and rob roberts

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4 thoughts on “Heading West on Compass Rose(y)

  1. Deborah!
    We loved reading this post. Thanks so much for the beautiful description of our home, and the creatures that live nearby. We both smiled big upon reading it.

    Rob, however, is incredulous that you discovered baby hummingbirds. It’s been his goal each spring that the male we see finds a mate. He searches for a nest each year to no avail. How special you get to watch the family from the porch.

    Meanwhile, we’re still searching for a kingfisher here. We bring the binos on our walks, and have identified about four dozen new species (new to us!) on the islands and out at sea. Can’t wait to see one of the vibrant kingfishers, though!

    We’re sorry to hear about your injury. Sending good wishes it heals quickly, so you can explore the hills and creeks and ridges of Missoula. Thanks for taking good care of our home. So great to hear you and Ian are enjoying it!

    Lots of love.
    Bri and Rob

  2. Hi Bri and Rob
    I read your posts and feel like quite the armchair traveler here in your 2805 Highland perch on the hill. I thought as you sail the world’s blue seas you might like a quick report! First off, I spend A LOT of time here, because I injured my quadriceps muscle so really can’t do much but be grateful to be plunked down in the middle of hummingbird paradise. A calliope hummer family now hovers, zips and sips among the garden–three young ones and the still vigilant mom, and sometimes I see at least 6 or 7 hummingbirds at a time–I never tire of their breathless flights and bravado. I have two feeders just by the kitchen window and if there wasn’t a screen in the way I could touch them.

    The garden is doing quite well I think–in part to Steve (Bri’s Dad) installing a great micro-sprinkler system and a timer. The bush green beans are about ready to eat, a zuke plant is prolific already, tomatoes are happy, cukes and more–love the nasturtiums that are blooming wildly and add a tasty zest to salads.

    I delight, too, in the rhythm of the days here in summer–the morning coolness, awakening to chickadees, finches, magpies, waxwings,chipping sparrows and I think a flycatcher giving its subtle slip of a two-note call. The morning light filters onto the front balcony, illuminating the leafy trees of the valley. Every window and sliding door I keep open to the sounds and scents–like the lavender in full bloom drifting up from that patch by the front door. And meanwhile, the patio in the back with the wild hillside of plums and serviceberries and more is its own little oasis–the metal washtub planter is overflowing with blooming pink monkey flowers I bought from the native plant society in spring, mixed with domestic pansies, and I’ve added several more planters with flowers. I can sit out at the table under the umbrella and work with my laptop there among the hummingbirds. As the day goes on, the heat becomes a bit of a challenge inside, despite curtains…but downstairs it’s cool and my son Ian is so content with his own pad and the piano down there. It’s all good and I want you to know how much we treasure this place and are doing our best to be good stewards for you in your absence–tending the fruit trees, noting the birdlife, enjoying the feel of being one with the birds in a perch on the hill.

    So sail on, keep sending your beautiful writing and adventures on the sea and islands—and know all is well here. And–I have a request! Look for kingfishers when you’re on land! Let me know what you find–well you are heading to the home of the kookaburra–but that will take a bit of inland travel in Australia. Take care–
    your hobbing armchair steward of 2805 Highland–Deborah

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