heading North Again

Wed 20 May 2009 20:12
Position  21.07S  175.09W
After a week of parties and some sightseeing we are now preparing to head north again to the central group of islands that are known as the Ha'apia Group. We've enjoyed our stay at Pangiamotu Island and the nearby town of Nuku'alofa although Monday evening provided us with more excitement that we really needed. At about 7pm in the evening a nasty storm struck the anchored fleet.The wind swung 180 degrees and gusted to 55kts. Lightening illuminated  the scene and showed us that a number of boats were dragging their anchors. While all this was going on a decrepit and seemingly out of control local inter island ferry approached the anchored fleet and for a while looked as though it might clean out some of the yachts. A visiting French navy patrol boat was pinned against the dock and was calling for assistance.It eventually drove itself off  stone quay and anchored nearby. By midnight the wind subsided and we were able to get some sleep. It was a good test for the two new anchors that we had installed in Auckland.
Ben left us yesterday and flew up to Vava'a yesterday where he will meet up with Tasi's family and some of his old mates for two days before flying back to Auckland. Sue and I were sorry to see him go. He was great company and his help with the boat was hugely valuable to me. I now feel more confident that we will be able to manage and maintain the systems on the boat. I am sure he enjoyed the time he spent with us although I sense that he was disappointed with my lack of enthusiasm for fishing.