Yes we are still in Tonga, at "Big Mammas Yacht
Club" Pangaimoto Island Nuku'alofa bay Tonga , at anchor .
Its been a mixture of boat maintenance, first
the hydraulic panel blew an "O" seal and it had to be taken apart to replace a
seal , the second time that this has happened, once on commissioning where it
had been assembled badly and now again basically because the design that holds
it in is rather flawed, anyway its fixed, another of my b/d has been the second
echo sounder, the first one we looked at and it appears to be that the control
head is blown, the second only now reads to six Metre which will be enough to
get us into NZ , after a frustrating morning with the cockpit binnacle in bits I
am still none the wiser.
Rob has completed the winch servicing
and battery checks in the mean while, so we only have the hull to clean and to
check the engine mounts and that will be us in a A one condition for the start
line on Monday or Tuesday.
Its quite a sight here outside this little Island
only one NM from Nuku'alofa the floating village is gathering for the
last time before we depart in dribs and drabs to New Zealand, the club held a
Halloween night for all the kids and Adults so it was another time to renew old
acquaintances of the Panama Yacht club veterans and to meet a few more of the
yachts that we have either heard on the radio or seen in the many anchorage's we
have visited ,I think it will be about forty so Rob informs me, he's been
keeping count and that's the magic number !
One yacht returned after there first attempt,
they were held over in a squall on there side for what seemed like an hr so the
story goes the squall hit the spinnaker was ripped from its lashings went round
the rudder and prop,they could only move the rudder to port so could not
bring the vessel round back into the wind , shipped loads of water down the
Dorado and other openings " Vessels name was Meridian" a US vessel out of
California, a lot of the boats here have so much gear on deck , winssurfurs ,
canoes and all other sorts of rubbish so there windage is increased by
about 1/3 crazy but they haven't gone back to basics and the potential to meet
bad weather on this next leg is at least 50% probability so Id be ditching the
gear on deck I'm afraid ..
The number of yachts is increasing daily ,
there must be at least 35 in the anchorage so far , there is a farewell party
tonight for all the yachts as the tradition of the commencement of vessels going
south is Nov the !1 st the official start of the Cyclone season, all the ones in
our little clump , "Summer Wine",Trenelly,Seabright,Odity and Slipnies II, are
gathered only Ike Becky and Dan are missing, they have reached Neafu in the
Vavau group and are visiting the Islands around that area .
We are picking up our fifth member tonight ,
Trevor , so we have a strong crew for most eventuality which includes auto pilot
A number of yachts we know have already trickled
off and are at Minerva reef , these include Sam on "Rampersat , and
We are off to do a last minute shop and get
fuel today ,looking at going either Monday or Tuesday down South , the fleet
will thence fanning out for either Opua,Whungria ,or Auckland , with some going
to Tungara the other side of the Coramandal peninsular ..
A pensive crew