13:49S, 171:46W

Richard and Rachel Caswell
Sun 13 Sep 2009 23:49
Hi Everyone !
Not quite in Tonga yet - weather too nasty with on the nose sailing stuff
which we don't like to do anymore, so we're in Apia, Samoa at present.  We
had a boisterous sail from Suwarrow, leaving there with six other boats as
the wind had picked up and the fetch coming across the anchorage made
conditions quite uncomfortable. All seven of us arrived on the same day, so
close sailing all round. With wind mainly on the port aft quarter, the first
24 hours we did 150 NMiles, second 24 hours 173 NM, and the third 24 hours
180 NMs, then we only had a couple of  hours to go to the harbour, arriving
late Sat afternoon. We managed to stay within sight of another yacht the
whole way, sometimes converging quite close before bearing away again, but
it was really amazing how we just stuck side by side with each other for
520-odd miles.

Quite a busy place too- a laden down local container ship went on the
entrance reef just before we came in, Port Authorities very busy with that,
so they just anchored us in the harbour and brought us into the marina the
next day. It's compulsory now to be in the marina, but the fees are very
reasonable, for us $NZ35 a day. Haven't been on a dock since Grenada in
October last year, so it'll give us a chance to catch up on some dockside

There's a NZ Frigate at the port dropping off the NZ army with supplies as
they're changing the side they're driving on from the right to the left on
the 7th Sept - i.e. from American to NZ way, and  they're expecting riots of
all things !! Have to go into town and have a looksie at that ! How exciting

 It's also festival time with 2 weeks partying, singing, waka races, and
free Umus - bake-ups of food. So should be a fun time. Did look at hiring a
car, but because of the changes on the roads the car hire places are closing
for a week during the changeover. Taxis sound cheap, so there's talk with
the other yachts here to all hire a van and driver and tour round the island
for a day. From the very small part of what we've seen, it looks very clean
and tidy.

Not sure how long we'll stay - at least a week or so, then start looking at
the weather again.  The Health Authorities have been around, but we've yet
to see, Customs, Immigration and Agriculture peoples so, may take all of
Monday to clear in. Then we'll be able to get out of the marina and have a
good walk around.

All from us for now,
Rachel & Richard.