Leaving for Tonga

Bill and Caroline
Tue 27 Aug 2013 20:31
17:41.10S 158:16.08W

The journey to Vava'u, the most northern group of islands in the Kingdom of Tonga has begun. An early start at first light and farewell to Bora Bora. Perfect sailing conditions and an average speed of 8 knots over the day before reefing the sails at sunset. No green flash, but a beautiful end to the day.

The watch system, as ever, causes some debate. The options are: 3 hours on and off - is it long enough for a 'proper' sleep; 4 hours on and off - someone gets two watches in the dark and someone only gets one; 6 hours on and off - time to sleep off watch but also long enough that someone 'might 'fall asleep on watch.

Starting off with option one, 3 hours on and 3 hours off and two nights into the journey all was good although the system was upset by the unexpected arrival of a large 6m, light coloured whale off the port hull. He, or she, stayed with us for over an hour swimming alongside, between the hulls, in front and behind us. The tail fluke barely moving as we sailed at 5 knots. Plumes of spray giving a fishy aroma as the whale exhaled and flying fish landing on deck to escape. Swimming sometimes only a metre away from Juffa then moving away to breach and land with an immense splash, the whale seemed to come towards the torch light (flashlight) and appeared in no rush to leave us.

Now sailing under spinnaker to make the most of the light winds while hoping that our visitor might return.