Buffalo Nickel is an FPB 64, the seventh of an innovative range of power boats designed to make both long distance passages and leisurely intervals at anchor in safety and comfort. There are only eleven of them on the water. Since her initial splash in 2013, she has taken us from New Zealand to Thailand, […]Read More Buffalo Nickel on the Market
It’s not new-news, because it’s a choice we made last spring, while we were aboard our boat in Thailand. But the decision did cause us to jettison our plan of making our way to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, via Japan’s inland sea followed by a passage to the Aleutians. Instead, we turned about, scooted […]Read More Our Big News
We’ve had quite a few requests over these several years, both public and private, to talk about power management aboard Buffalo Nickel. Every boat has its own inherent logic in this area. Between the goals of its systems designers and the capacities and limitations of the component hardware, there emerges a pathway where, if we […]Read More Power Management
That’s what we heard shouted in our direction, in every town and village, in every anchorage in Indonesia. By grinning kids canoeing up to Buffalo Nickel in their outriggers, by adults walking, or zipping by on motorbikes in the busy market streets. Once in awhile someone with better English would wave and say “Hello Missus” to […]Read More Hello Mister!
The 1,300-mile passage from Vanuatu to Cairns, Australia took us nearly six days, but was one of our most comfortable and uneventful crossings to date. Seas were 2.5 meters for the first couple of days, but all well aft of our beam, making for decent surfing conditions. We hit 15 knots with regularity, and had […]Read More Australia – The Short Version
Our first week was spent in Port Vila, making reconnaissance and loading up. The three of us (Brian and Sue of British sailboat Darramy, Brian and Sandie of American sailboat Persephone, and ourselves) were impatient to get out to the islands, but the groundwork was important. We met with what seemed like everybody: World Health Organization (WHO,) […]Read More Buffalo Nickel in Vanuatu
In this second of three posts about our time spent helping with cyclone relief efforts in the Shepherd Islands of Vanuatu, I’m going to get on a bit of a soapbox about offering assistance in the event of a large-scale disaster: specifically, things one can do to be most, and least, helpful to a disaster […]Read More On Giving Well
The second week of March this year found us avidly following developing weather in the South Pacific from the comfort of our cozy Seattle digs. For the cyclone season, we had left Buffalo Nickel once again hauled out into a protective ‘pit’ in Vuda Point Marina, Fiji, while we visited the States. An intense tropical […]Read More Steaming West from Fiji. But Not Without the Persian Fetta!
Down to just the two of us, having left Jeff and Julie in Vanua Balavu in the northern Lau to make their gradual way back to the States. The passage to Fulaga (foo-LONG-ah) in the southern Lau was a short overnight. When entering and exiting via reef passes, as this trip entailed at both ends, […]Read More Fulaga, and the Little Dive Compressor that Couldn’t
Our last anchorage before bidding Jeff and Julie a sad farewell was the small island and village of Susui. Though we spent only 4 or 5 nights here, we all fell rapidly in love with the place. We really clicked with Jacob, the kind, quiet man who met us when we came ashore and escorted […]Read More Susui Island, the Color Pink, and Hemingway
From Viani Bay, we made our way southeast to the island of Vanua Balavu (VAH-noo-ah bah-LAH-voo) in the northern Lau group. The Lau group is the easternmost group of islands in Fiji, reportedly the least visited islands in the South Pacific. This is in large part because (as related to us by one of the […]Read More Vanua Balavu, and Thoughts on Cruising Under Power in Various Boats
While underway on the calm inter island passage between Suva and Savusavu, Jeff encouraged Stan to fiddle with our speed and interrogate its effect on fuel consumption, engine load, etc. We have lots of data at our fingertips from our Maretron monitoring system, which can be displayed any which way we want, so it was […]Read More Savusavu and Viani Bay
Our cruising season is well underway by now, but we’ve been remote for so much of that time, without internet access, that we haven’t had a chance to publish any blog posts. Now that we’re back for a quick stop in Suva, capital and largest city in Fiji, for some provisioning and picking up of […]Read More 2014 Season. It’s ON.
Now don’t jump to any conclusions, there be no divorcing going on here. It’s just that we are, in fact, in Seattle. And the Loveless is a scrumptious Seattle cocktail named for the Loveless building down the street from us. While mostly we just want to share our thoughts with you regarding our boat and […]Read More Loveless in Seattle
I know many of our followers are boat geeks like we are. If you are not one of those, you might want to skip this read, it’s all about the electronics we use for piloting and navigation. What, you ask? No more pics of Fiji?? Well, now I feel bad. Okay, here:Read More Geek Stuff: The Helm
Our last visitors this season were daughter Kristy and her boyfriend Josh from Hollywood, CA. We packed a lot of activity into their time with us… a week after their departure Stan is still hitting the Advil. This is largely due to a new watersport we added to our repertoire: water skiing. Josh brought us […]Read More Kristy, Josh, Nemo and the Whiskey Smash
As we alluded to in an earlier post, we hold the opinion that no single tender can serve every purpose well. You’ve met Plug Nickel, our big bad tinny. Here’s little Penny, our 125 lb aluminum bottomed RIB.Read More A Tender Moment: Introducing Penny
by Val Well, long time no blog! It’s been a very unusual cruising season for us, in that we found ourselves entertaining a parade of family and friends here in Fiji. It’s nearly impossible to curate photos and compose a blog entry while guests are aboard; much too busy having fun. Now that we’ve been […]Read More A Visit from Julie and Brooke
by Stan Once we were settled into navigating Fijian reefs, it was time for visitors and our daughter Kari and son-in-law Bret were the first to come to the South Pacific. The goal was to wear them out and send them home tired after doing all they could in the short period of time they […]Read More Kari and Bret Come to Visit in Fiji
Check out our custom aluminum tender, and the very unique place she took us today. Given that our goal is to spend a minimum amount of time tied to a dock where we can step from boat to shore, and the maximum amount of time at anchor, dinghies are essential elements of the cruising life. […]Read More Meet our dinghy, Plug Nickel, who took us to Cloud 9
We made our landfall in Lautoka, on Fiji’s Island of Viti Levu, on Wednesday afternoon, a bit less than 48 hours ago. All my wave pictures from the passage turned out to be rubbish. No surprise I suppose; I only took 250 of them, and my ratio of ‘deletes’ to ‘keepers’ is more like 500:1, […]Read More Bula! Welcome to Fiji
Here she is. Finally. That makes it sound like our boat’s completion was delayed, which it wasn’t. We moved aboard and had our owner’s training during the first half of March 2013, right on schedule. It’s this blog that’s late. There is a volume of stuff to learn, test, explore, customize and yes, tweak, repair […]Read More Introducing Buffalo Nickel
A tad over two years in gestation, but it looks to us like she is worth every moment of the wait. Less than a week ago, FPB 70-1 finally splashed! It seems like forever ago that the pic above of Stan was taken with our skeletal calf. I know many of you have been waiting, […]Read More Introducing Buffalo Nickel the Younger
I’m so excited about our new favorite summer cocktail, it wouldn’t do to just snap a pic and post it on social media with a “Yum!” comment and a fun emoji. I have to actually make a blog post about it, because you need the recipe. You should get out there while there are good […]Read More The Red and The Black
Some of the rally sailboats opted out of the passage north across the Banda Sea to the Spice Islands, a cluster of about half a dozen small islands in eastern Indonesia. This was primarily because it would necessitate beating back south later, with no help from the tradewinds blowing from the southeast. We didn’t have […]Read More The Spice Islands! And Buffalo Soldier Goes AWOL.