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Date: 14 Jun 2015 06:36:04
Title: Tonga Arrival

18:39:0S 174:00:0W
Neiafu, Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga
We arrived at the entrance to the island group at 0100 hours. Fully intending to navigate the entrance in the dark. As we got closer to the passage through between the islands, within five minutes the wind had picked up to 50 knots , the current swept through against us. If we went straight against the wind we didn’t go forward, if we moved to port or starboard we were swept immediately through thirty degrees.  Our sails were down, “discretion is the greater part of valour,” they say, so we discreetly turned and headed back out of the passage. We were being pushed along at a phenomenal  speed, so used the engine to slow us. We back tracked for a couple of hours in the lee of the shore, then when we felt the wind may have abated we turned and tried again.
By this time it was 0500, the wind had dropped sufficiently and as we neared the main anchorage and the customs wharf, daylight had arrived, making the captain so much less anxious! We had sailed through the night, thirty six hours non-stop, taking turns at the wheel or dosing in the cockpit. Tired but with a sense of satisfaction, we set off in search of breakfast and a shower.

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