Toucan's Travels Blog

This is the blog for Toucan’s Travels from the east coast of the US to the Caribbean, down to Panama and through the canal and then across the pacific back home to Australia. Hopefully, our blog will convey exactly as it is with both the highs and the lows.

Home Again – Pittwater, Australia

Reunited with our youngest son, Rob, on the dock at RPAYC

Reunited with our youngest son, Rob, on the dock at RPAYC

So here we are, back in our home port of Pittwater and back at The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht club, having completed “Part One” of our amazing adventure around the world – two and a half years and 19,000 NM from the East coast of USA to Australia. What an incredible journey it’s been. It feels very surreal – almost as if we’ve been time-travelling – as everything and everyone still look exactly the same as when we left! Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | 4 Comments

Border Force – Newcastle, Australia

Toucan clearing in at Newcastle

Toucan clearing in at Newcastle

Several international cruisers we met on our travels expressed reluctance to visit Australia because they’d heard horror stories of how difficult the clearance process is, and how expensive it is. Well, maybe the latter, especially if you break the rules….but if you follow the rules it’s really not that hard and in our case it’s been a relatively easy and pleasant experience. So for those of you who may be interested in how it all works, here’s our story of checking in and importing our boat into our home country… Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | Leave a comment

Great Southern Land – passage to Australia

IMG_5493What a mixed bag of sailing conditions we’ve had on this last leg home, which is probably apt given the mixed emotions we’re feeling. On the one hand we’re so looking forward to seeing our family and friends again, but on the other hand the thought of having to adjust to the ‘rat race’ fills us with dread, and there’s also a deep sense of loss at having to forego our freedom and travels and part ways with our cruising companions. So this is our challenge, to reconcile all these conflicting emotions and embrace the changes to come, all the while safely sailing the mighty Toucan to her new home port in Pittwater. Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | Leave a comment

Shredder – Huon Reef, New Caledonia

IMG_2581_2Remember Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie? He was the big bad villain and we suspect he’s alive and well and living at Huon Reef… Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | Leave a comment

Take A Walk On The Wild Side – Huon Reef, New Caledonia

IMG_5436_2Although perhaps not as geographically remote as the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia, this place is about as wild as you can get. Huon Reef is part of D’Entrecasteaux Reefs to the north-west of New Caledonia and is a dedicated marine reserve. We asked permission from the French Department of Environment (email dam-nc@gouv.nc) to visit both here and Chesterfield Reef, and all they require in return is for us to fill out some survey forms after our visit – how easy is that! Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | Leave a comment

Easy Living – Ratua Private Island, Vanuatu

IMG_2205We were keen to get out of Luganville in order to catch up with our cruising buddies on ‘Rehua’ who we hadn’t seen for a couple of months. They were anchored off Ratua island, just a few miles away, and what a stunning location it is for a rendezvous. Continue reading

Posted in SVToucan | Leave a comment