Astra Blog: Niue to Vava'u Group, Tonga 23.09.08 - 25.09 .08

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Wed 8 Oct 2008 09:08

Astra Blog: Niue to Vava’u Group, Tonga 23.09.08 – 25.09.08



Having allowed Zulu a three and a half hour head start Astra finally gave chase at 1120.  The pleasant 20 knots of wind soon became a less pleasant (well depends who you are asking!) 35 knots and Astra was hitting speeds of nearly 15 knots SOG!  Shortly after dark we decided enough was enough and put in two reefs for the night so that we could actually get some sleep.


At 0700 on Wednesday 24/09/08 Astra crossed the International Date Line.  This meant that we lost a whole 24 hours and skipped straight to 0700 on Thursday!  Oh well, we are never sure what day of the week it is anyway!  Unfortunately, due to the rather boisterous nature of the sailing conditions we decided to put off any celebrating until we were safely moored up in Niafu Harbour.  This was just as well, because on checking the radar overlay on our charts during the approach to Vava’u we discovered that they were more than 0.3Nm off north-south and 0.16Nm off east-west.  This may not sound like much but it could mean disaster.


Checking in was an interesting affair, three officials came aboard and between 1600 and 1700 they proceeded to drink our wine, smoke our cigarettes and generally have a bit of a party while Jeremy filled out their forms!  We finally found a mooring ball (the last one in the bay) at 1815 before collapsing in a heap!