Short history of ANTAIA and our voyages

We, Elke (born Hohnsbeen) and Werner Stumpe, modified a 40' steel hull (Scorpion II), built by the well-known boatyard Feltz in Hamburg, Germany, and built our sailing yacht ANTAIA in 18 month in Germany.

The stern was elongated; the cockpit was rebuilt in stainless steel with tiller steering. The companionway door, made out of stainless steel and wood, can be lowered down and pulled up in steps to make a bridge deck. The bow area is a watertight compartment with an opening on deck and good storage for sails, dinghy, fenders, jerry cans and much more. The salon settee has a u-shaped form and the table can be lowered to make a double bed. To port we built a cabin for toilet (head) and hand basin with shower, aft of it a cabin with double berth. To starboard the pantry, chart table and a walkthrough into the large aft cabin with double berth. One of the many safety features is also the strong all stainless steel tube sea rail and the deep middle cockpit with good seating and benches long enough to stretch out on. (See pictures and details).

In the beginning, we had a so-called Satellite Navigator (with Sextant as a backup), a VHF Radio, depth sounder and log and a HF-Receiver. The motor was a Mercedes Diesel with dry exhaust. A very good wind vane (Schwing-Pilot) and an Autohelm self-steering were helping with the steering of the boat.

Before leaving we became members of the German cruising club Trans-Ocean in Bremerhaven.

In May 1986 we launched the newly christened yacht in Münster, Germany and after motoring to Bremen, the Isomat mast was stepped by Hahnfeld, a mast builder of very good reputation, with double fore and aft stays, baby stay and five shrouds on each side. Mainsail, 2 genoas, jib, strom-jib and cruising shoot provided the propulsion power.

After a few trial sails on the North Sea we left Bremerhaven on June 11, 1986 and sailed with lots of stops into the Mediterranean Sea and in autumn to the Canary Islands.

From Las Palmas to Barbados we sailed with 207 other boats in the first ARC (Atlantic Race for Cruising Ships) and were after only 18 days the 40. ship reaching Barbados in the Caribbean. Sailing with daily runs of 180 to 185 nautical miles on more than five days fully loaded for the Caribbean !

One season sailing up and down in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, then 1987 East Coast of the United States, from Charleston through the Intracoastal Waterway to Wilmington in N.Carolina. With a camper van 3 month US tour to the Pacific Coast and back. In Wilmington work on the boat and construction of the hard dodger over the companionway.

Begin of December 1987 back to the Caribbean, two and a half days storm with 60 knots in the North Atlantic, salt water through the exhaust into the engine and with a broken engine to Barbados. Repair of the engine and on to other islands in the Caribbean, then Isla Margerita and Venezuela, where we travelled also all over the country.

Because the overhaul of the motor proved fruitless after a while, we did not transit the Panama Canal in 1988 and proceeded after a brief visit of Curacao, the San Blas Islands and Cristobal Colon in Panama to Florida, USA.

Had a hot summer in St. Petersburg and buit in a new yanmar motor, 44hp with all bells and whistles – in autumn via the Florida Keys back to the South.

Experienced our first hurricane on November, 26. ! with 74 knots in Isla Mujer, Mexico with the eye of the storm directly passing overhead, no damages on our boat.

Sailing on to Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and finally Panama again.

In March 1989 we transited the Panama Canal and ANTAIA was sailing in Pacific waters.

We visited Galapagos and explored French Polynesia for six month. Then, instead of taking a left turn and sailing to New Zealand, we took a right and went north: Penrhyn, Christmas Island, Fanning and begin of 1990 we crossed the equator again and came to Palmyra, at that time still totally uninhabited. Three month living like Robinson, then we planned to sail back to the South Pacific. But Hawaii beckoned a mere 1100 nm away and from there it was “North to Alaska”. Southeast Alaska, the panhandle, with its glaciers, whales, salmons, bears and great hiking trails (like famous Chilkoot Trail -Golden Steps- over the mountains into Canada) was one of the highlights of our travels.

During the winter the yacht stayed in Vancouver, Canada, while we made our first visit back home in Germany after four and a half years and we took that opportunity to get married.

In spring 1991 we explored British Columbia and Washington State. In Seattle we stayed a while in a nice boatyard and added more equipment to the boat.

We replaced the double forestays with two MK2 Harken rollerfurlings to make a easy to handle cutter rig. Against rain and sun we made a removable hard roof with window (to see the sails) and a canvas and clear plastic all- enclosure for the cockpit. New genoa and jib, a Furuno 24nm radar, water maker, 1200W inverter for 110/220 V and much more came aboard for the next season in the Pacific.

Then we proceeded down the U.S. coast with several stops, sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge into the Bay of San Francisco and Christmas saw us in San Diego as guests of the famous San Diego Yacht Club. New Years Eve 1991/92 was celebrated in Ensenada, Mexico. In Baja California we recovered some month from the expenses in the States and enjoyed the simple lifestyle of Mexico. From Acapulco via Clipperton Island to another six month in French Polynesia with an adventurous detour to Pitcairn. In Moorea we could buy a used ham radio and so, for the first time, were able to receive good weather reports out at sea and speak to other yachties.

In October 1992, after three years “detour”, we managed to take the „right“ turn to the left and after a stop in Rarotonga, Cook Islands we reached New Zealand. Because of strong headwinds not as planned in Opua, Bay of Islands but in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, south of Auckland. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Since 1992 Tauranga became our third homeport, but little did we know leaving Tauranga after one and a half years in New Zealand, having also visited Germany for a while. We had again made extensive maintenance work on the boat and stocked up on everything, new GPS, new genoa and mainsail, a stainless steel arch on the stern with solar panels, antennas and dinghy lift. New electrical Maxwell anchor winch and self-launching new “Bügel”anchor. End of May 1994 we left with the plan to sail to Tonga, Fiji, and other islands and to cross the equator to the Marshall Islands for the next hurricane season.

800 miles from NZ in the Southern Minerva Reef we were caught by one of the worst storms hitting the area between New Zealand and the islands while a lot of cruising yachts were on their way north. The “Queen's Birthday Storm” claimed 3 death, 7 abandoned ships with their crews rescued and many more with severe damage. For 12 fellow boats and us it was two days inside the reef (no land!) with more than 70 knots of wind, but thanks to our strong ship and excellent anchor gear, we had no damages.

In Tonga the fate of so many circumnavigators caught up with us, we found a nice place for our retirement and decided to stay for a while. In the Vava'u Islands in Northern Tonga, we leased a piece of land directly on the beach of one of the most beautiful lagoons with a safe hurricane anchorage for ANTAIA.

In the following years we visited Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia by boat and returned several times to Tauranga, New Zealand to maintain the boat and buy new sails and equipment.

We had more “little” hurricanes with about 70 knots and were the first to see the sun on January 2000. On New Years Eve 2001/2002 we experienced the worst cyclone (hurricane) that ever hit Tonga with 90 knots sustained winds and 135 KN in gusts. We survived it on ANTAIA on our own mooring in the Hunga Lagoon, Vava'u.

April 2003 until July 2004 we spent in Tauranga again (and a few month in Germany).

We did a complete overhaul of the boat, removed the teak decks with every work involved and also had the whole boat spray painted. The GPS was replaced with a GPS-chart plotter with connection to the Laptop and built in a new depth sounder.

In that time we had the opportunity to auction a smaller wooden boat that we want to rebuild as a motor sailor to use in the Tongan waters and maybe we can sail to Samoa or Fiji with it.

August until December 2004 we sailed North to Tonga with Antaia, to care for our property in Vava'u. End of December we were on our way back to Tauranga but changed course to Opua to visit our many friends there and in Whangarei.

January 2005 it was back to work in Tauranga to finish the little boat so that we could ship it to Tonga. Antaia received some maintenance and a new coat of antifouling before we started North again in October 2005 with a few days stop in Denham Bay on Raoul Islands in the Kermadec Islands (where just recently in March 2006 the volcano erupted again).

Until September 2007 we spent time in Tonga and a few months in Germany. See Bericht 2006. End of September we sailed to Fiji, visiting Vanua Levu, Viti Levu and some smaller islands in the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups.

Then we had a good sail to Vanuatu, where we spend arond 4 weeks on Efate Islands and Port Vila. The next sail was to New Caledonia, Ouvea Atoll, then Northeast coast of New Caledonia and Iles de Pines for a few days before coming to Noumea.

The last leg was from Noumea to Gladstone in Australia, where we spent the Christmas Holiday season before sailing to Bundaberg and then to Scarborough (Redcliffe Peninsula) near Brisbane.

There this ANTAIA story ends, because with the great help of broker Anita Farine she found new owners, who did start cruising the seven seas again in 2010. If you see them, please say HELLO.

We will now continue to live our island life in Tonga until health or fate decides against it.

Our new boat we named ANTAIA as well, so everybody who knows us will have no trouble with a new boatname. But that will be another story....

 

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