Welcome aboard the sailboat “Astarte” (pronounced ah-STAR-tay). She’s a Moody 422, built in England in 1987 and sailed across the pond by the original owners. We are Michael and Barbara, the current captains and owners of this great boat. We are the third owners and hope to continue to sail her for many years. We began our latest adventure on February 6, 2009, leaving from St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. We hope we can stretch our cruising kitty to make this trip last as long as possible (sponsorship and donations accepted (REALLY!!!).
After leaving Florida, the first part of this trip had us retracing some previously cruised areas in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico then down the Leeward and Windward chain, across the top of South America through the Venezuelan out islands, The ABCs, then down the coast of Colombian. From Colombia we cruised into new territory for us in Kuna Yala (San Blas islands of Panama) stopping at many of the eastern islands. After some time enjoying "Kuna Yala" (San Blas) and mainland Panama, we headed up the western Caribbean into Providencia and Honduras. As hurricane season approached we worked our way back down the western Caribbean and back to Panama. We've gone back and forth between Colombia, Panama and Honduras over the first few years finding new spots and visiting favorite haunts.
We transited the Panama Canal at the end of 2011 and are now in the Pacific Ocean. We are officially "shellbacks" having transited the equator in 2012. After crossing "the line" we made it to the beautiful and exotic Galapagos. Our first big ocean passage across the Pacific from the Galapagos to the Marquesas was long and trying, with little wind and a big roll. We traveled three of the island groups of French Polynesia - the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands. From Bora Bora, we made it to Suwarrow Island in the Cook Island Group, then on to Nuie, the smallest independent island nation in the world. From there we headed to the Kingdom of Tonga where we visited both the Vava'u and Ha'apai Groups - loving this island nation. The crossing from Tonga to New Zealand was the most "boisterous" yet of our sailing adventures - putting us in the biggest seas and winds. The long passage ended with us clearing into New Zealand in November 2012 where we spent the next six months avoiding the cyclone season in the islands.
In 2013, we left NZ and headed to Fiji and enjoyed four months exploring many of the island groups including the Lau Group. From Fiji we decided to take a path less traveled, heading north to Tuvalu, the Kiribati Islands and ending in the Marshall Islands for a cyclone season north of the equator. This meant crossing the equator again...earning more frequent crossing points! We enjoyed the outer islands of the Marshall's and loved Tuvalu. As cyclone season neared its end we headed back south across the equator and to the island nation of Vanuatu. This was a long and trying passage with too much wind or no wind or wind and currents in the wrong direction. We made it to Vanuatu and fell in love with this country and its beautiful, happy people. From there we crossed to New Caledonia and then back to New Zealand for yet another cyclone season and more boat work. We did a repeat visit to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in 2014-15 seeing more places and revisiting some favorites.
The site is designed to keep family and friends up to date on our whereabouts and activities. A few classrooms are also using the site for some real life lessons. The log is updated often from the boat via the SSB (single-side band radio). Photos are added when we have internet access. The "where are we" is just that...a position report. It is quite cool.
We check "contact us" whenever we have access to internet - so if you don't get a response quickly- we apologize.
You can read some of the articles we have written for various US and international publications. And if you want to be part of our virtual crew, feel free to read the logs, browse the pictures and contribute to the cruising kitty if you so desire!
We enjoy doing the site - we hope you enjoy following the adventures of S/V Astarte.
Designed by Bill Dixon and built in the shipyards of Marine Projects, Plymouth, England. She displaces 23,000 lbs. Her hull is solid fiberglass, the decks are balso cored fiberglass. She is 40.8 feet in length and has a beam of 13 feet. Our Moody 422 is a centerboard boat so she draws 4 1/2 feet with the board up and seven with the board down. A center-cockpit configuration allows for a nice sized cockpit and a large aft cabin. She has pretty lines atop and that makes the cabin below a little deep.
Let’s take a tour...as you climb down the seven steps, you land between the navigation station on the starboard side (that’s right if your facing forward) and the galley on the port (you can figure that one out!). The “nav” station is fully equipped with all the electronics for communication, navigation and collision avoidance! That means a VHF radio and a high frequency single side-band radio with a new Pactor Dragon HF modem. Michael has his Ham operators license so he can use both ham and single side band frequencies. Ray Marine radar/chart plotter with integrated AIS.
The galley has a two burner Force 10 stove with oven and broiler and it works great. A refrigerator and freezer, a double sink, and some storage make this u-shaped galley very functional.
Step forward and you’re in the main salon. There is a table that folds out to comfortably seat six – which is great for dinners and domino matches. Folded down there is plenty of room to get to the two settees, one on each side. Perfect for his and hers reading.
Forward to starboard is a head and forward of that is the V-berth – comfortable for two. That makes this a great boat for having guests – they have their privacy which is unusual on boats. As you head to the back of the boat, the aft cabin has a center line bed – almost queen sized. No need to crawl over each other to get in or out which is a real luxury.
There is also a large head with a shower.
The engine has easy access from three sides, under the ladder, in the walkway and from the aft cabin. This makes maintenance and repairs much easier.