Friday, August 28, 2015

More Vava'u

Now we're anchored at
S 18°43.3'
W 174°06.1'
Good sailing inside the island group today. 20+ knots from the SE and minimal waves in here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Arrived in the Kingdom of Tonga

We arrived in Tonga after a 2 day passage that started with some good wind that died half-way across, so ended with a day of motoring. I'm happy to be here with calm anchorages, gorgeous islands and 30+ meter visibility underwater. We'll be here for 3-4 weeks sailing, diving and checking out the islands. There's a lovely fruit and vegetable market here along with migratory humpback whales that will keep me happily occupied.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A week on The Rock

We went fishing for parrot fish while we were on Palmerston Atoll. This is our host family and Mart reeling in the gill net. We harvested about 75 fish from the net, which they both eat and export to the Cook Islands. See pics below.
Diving on Niue, (AKA The Rock) is dramatic as there is no protected atoll, just a coral uplift island in the middle of the Pacific. The visibility is awesome, up to 100m regularly. I've never seen such clear, blue water.

There were several cave formations and caverns to swim through

Swim through at about 40 feet.

Humpback whales come from Antarctica each winter season to breed. This one was surfacing 50 feet from Pau Hana. Last night we were awakened several times by the blow hole action of nearby sleeping whales.

Gorgeous swimming holes all over the island

We got a Go Pro camera in Tahiti, yeah!

Parrot fish from Palmerston Atoll

Martin tried to spear a parrot fish with this handmade spear that weighed about 30 lbs.  He got an A for effort. 
We'll be heading for Tonga in a couple days, just waiting for some nasty weather to blow through. Hope everyone's well!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Arrived Niue

Moored off the town of Alofi, Niue.
Distance sailed 398 nm. 2 days 22 hours.
Three nights at sea. Lots of time around 20 knots of wind speed.
The town has no beach or harbor. We have to approach a ladder with the dinghy and lift the dinghy out with a crane. Wish us luck. At least we don't need to haul water jugs through this procedure.
There's internet here, so we should post some photos tomorrow.
S 19 03
W 169 55.5

All's well


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Monday, August 3, 2015

Day three underway to Niue

Strong winds and big waves here in the South Pacific.
Luckily we have a good boat and a good crew. Some other boats in our radio network are struggling with the conditions. We should arrive at Niue between 8am and noon tomorrow.
As of 12:40 local, 2340 UTC
S 18 35
W 167 47
Speed 6.5 knots
Course 250* magnetic
wind 20-25 knots
waves to 3m+
We have reduced the mainsail to the second reef point, and are rolling the jib in and out as conditions fluctuate. We have to have enough sail area to stabilize the boat from rolling, but not so much as to become overpowered. When the sails are well balanced the windvane steering works perfectly. We hand steer less than 5% of the time.
A 45 foot boat has caught, passed, and dropped us over the last few days. Alas.
We never saw them but heard their position reports on the HF radio.

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sunday August 2 Position Report

Pau Hana is underway from Palmerston Atoll to Niue.
We have 280 miles remaining and should arrive early on Tuesday morning.
S 18 14
W 164 57
Course 250 M
Speed 6 kts
Wind 15 kts SSE
Palmerston was one of the most memorable spots so far. We're glad we stopped.
I'll write more when we're anchored at Niue.
All is well aboard

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