Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 20 Nov 2013 23:57
To Pangai, Lifuka Island, Ha’apai Group, Kingdom of Tonga
At four o’clock, Bear hoisted the main and let go the ropes on the buoy. We left the lovely bay of Port Maurelle behind and set off.
On our way out to sea we passed several islands.....
................we still cannot get over the rugged coastlines.
Suddenly to our left a conference was mid session.
We passed a small resort with waves crashing over reef.
The last islands of the Vava’u group.
One last farewell.
As I pass the last island I report this to the captain, for many miles yet, the sea is only three hundred feet deep so the swell is a lot of fun – the old fashioned up and down motion I love so much. Oh on the IPad there is another one to look out for on the left.........it’s called........hang on a minute, Late (he pronounced it very professionally latte like the coffee drink). I couldn’t see anything, so once again the IPad came out. Oh, I had it on a big scale. It’s a little way away.
I checked on Beez chart plotter, now concerned that I couldn’t see anything nearby. Try thirty miles away you numpty, I think I can miss it....... Oh.
Have you ever seen anyone duck as a cockpit chair was held aloft in such a threatening stance.
Run Bear, Run
Tuck your little IPad up with you, close your eyes, don’t snore and sleep for four hours.
A bright sunset began the evenings anticipated excitement......
Bear woke up (ready for his shift at ten) and we both sat eagerly waiting for Beez to complete 28.9 nautical miles. This event happened at 21:54 and 46 seconds – marking twenty thousand nautical miles and nearly half way around the world. YeeHa. Out in deep water, things smoothed and we flew along. Keep this up and we’ll get in too soon and we need bright sun in case we have to spot for coral heads.
Our first look at the incredibly flat Likufa Island.
Away to our left we could see a JCB at work on the causeway.
To our right we could see a freighter making her way slowly in in the western entrance.
A big, fat marker shows the reef.
This one we kept to the right.
Not the other side. The water here gentle shelved from fifty feet to fifteen, just sand below us.
Our three mile zig to hold off an hour for the sun to come out and to get the right heading in, timed just right for our planned nine o’clock arrival after seventy eight miles. Anchored with twelve feet below us between Rachel Patch and Pauline Patch. The maps here, funnily enough (in comparison to Vava’u where Beez went constantly over the hard stuff) have been spot on accurate.
Otuan’ofa was settled..............
..........great excitement on the quayside, all over in less than an hour and off she went......
We went ashore and asked in a shop where Customs and Immigration was and where we could drop our small rubbish bag. The lovely lady took the rubbish and pointed down the road. I sat outside with Jenny whilst the captain did the brief Customs paperwork. We had last seen Seats and Jenny (Waka Irie) in La Playita, Panama and heard them on the radio en route to the Galapagos. Just then, Bear rushed out for the camera to take a picture of the office, when the official stepped out for a minute. His excitement was a whole in the floor, beautifully danced over every time the official moved around the room. Silly, but it kept Bear amused. Time for a cold one. Just around the corner is the Mariners Café. Owned by a Polish couple who sailed here and bought the business seven years ago. Finally a signal strong enough to post some blogs. The strange thing is the island has a block on Facebook ??? I only managed to get on for a couple of minutes (after many attempts) just to say we had arrived here and congratulate Scott–Free for their safe arrival in New Zealand. Well done to Chris and Steve, Sheer Tenacity, Salsa and all the other boats who left Nuku’alofa last Monday. In the corner slept Sunday, who has taken a strange shaped affair as his bed (there when the place had been bought), he kicked the dust until it was just so and snored soundly. We will hire the café bikes on the morrow to explore this small, flat island.
ALL IN ALL WHAT A MILESTONE
GOOD PRACTICE IN WINDS FROM EVERY DIRECTION