Day 6 - Tonga - A Message from the Future - 18 39.26S 173 59.04W

Mike and Liz Downing
Tue 21 Sep 2010 08:55
Arrived in Neiafu on Vavau in Tonga at midday today, adding another 120.4 miles to the passage, giving a total distance of 634.9 miles. Actually we arrived tomorrow - Monday 20th September immediately became Tuesday 21st September and 1 hour earlier. So we lost Monday completely and are now in the future! We were 10 hours behind London and are now 13 hours ahead of London. Although geographically Tonga is west of Greenwich, it keeps the same time as Fiji and New Zealand which are east of Greenwich, so we have crossed the Dateline and time-wise will stay ahead of London from now on. It all takes a little bit of thinking through and getting used to, but from now on we will have birthdays, Christmas and other holidays before you back home.

Good steady winds gave good sailing for the last 24 hours while we stayed within about 5 miles from Troutbridge who arrived safely, with outer forestay still hanging on by the sail halyard. It was a leisurely sail keeping the speed down to an average of about 5kts, the speed Troutbridge could maintain on their smaller jib. It was almost full moon and so our path was well lit - it makes such a difference. The Vavau group of islands are limestone and the sea has eaten it's way through the rocks to create fiord-like channels of water. It's almost like a small inland sea and is so well protected. There are supposed to be something like 40 anchorages around this area, most within a few hours sailing. We hope to try a few!

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: