position S018 41.200 W174 01.450

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Fri 15 Jun 2018 09:16
FRIDAY 14th June.  Vavau Tonga .

We decided to move on from Neiafu and do some exploring of the Vavau islands. Unfortunately the customs  discourage any official movement at the weekend by charging heavily for overtime, so there is a bit of a rush to do your clear out paperwork on friday. You are then supposed to leave Tongan waters without stopping but it  does seem fairly common practice to meander through the islands before setting out for Fiji. The clear out forms repeat the same information as the entry forms, but do thankfuly slash the number of A4 sheets by a couple of pages.

Hence we had a pleasant day in Neiafu picking up laundry,  provisioning for the next week or so, filling in another set of forms for the customs (requiring us to move the boat to the wharf again, even though no-one checked where the boat actually was), filling our diesel gerry cans and filling the forward tank with water. I think (hope) I have discoverd a leak in a connection to the aft tank so hopefully we won't need to remove the tank for

There was a clutch of boats at the wharf waiting to take on duty free diesel from a road tanker but you have to organise this in advance and take a min of 200 litres. As we only hold 150 if completely empty ( we have 1/4 tank left) and hadn't arranged to share a load with someone else we were stuck with duty paid diesel from the garage. 

All our manouveres would have passed smoothly if I hadn't happened to pop my smart phone in my shirt pocket when returning from customs and moving to the pontoon for water. I had arranged a time for this with the owner but the pontoon wasn't clear enough to dock. So I picked up a nearby mooring for which I leant over the side with the boat hook and you've guessed- phone slipped out into the briny. It is a waterproof phone and has a nice leather wallet with cash and cards so I was keen to retrieve it even though the water guarantee is a couple of metres and we were in about 10m.  Pulling myself down the mooring rope I thought I could see the phone in the unusually silty water, but couldn't manage the depth of dive. So I rowed over to the pontoon hoping to find a diver and amazingly as I reached it there was a burst of bubbles and 5 divers appeared magically beside the dinghy.  It was the owner of the pontoon completing a dive lesson and he kindly swam over to the boat and retrieved my phone without any fuss. Evidently waterproof phones are not designed to be taken apart and I have pretty much destroyed the back cover trying to get to the battery so I am not hopeful but I have put it in with some rice and will see in the morning if it springs to life.

We are now anchored a few miles form Neiafu in a bay with 3 other yachts. There is talk of a feast at a village somewhere tomorrow and there are a couple of caves mentioned in the guide that should be within dinghy range of the anchorage. The view is the last of the sun as we anchored. One yacht has obeyed the rules and can just be seen on the horizon leaving for Fiji.