Alchemy II

Wed Oct 2 12:57 2019 NZDT
GPS: 22 23S 166 53E
Run: 29.1nm (52.7km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 141.1nm
Weather: 20kts SE (in non sheltered waters at the south of the mainland), 1m seas, 60% cloud cover, 1023 baro

Arrived safely in New Caledonian waters. Overall a reasonable trip from Denarau - first and last day were tough (mainly because of the sea state, but also strong winds), with a couple of good days in the middle. Thank you all for tracking us over the last few days. Sally & Matt.

Wed Oct 2 8:00 2019 NZDT
GPS: 22 18.26S 167 19.86E
Run: 138nm (249.8km)
Avg: 9.1knts
24hr: 218.6nm
Weather: 20knts 150 deg T, 2 m confused seas, 50% clouds, 1022 baro

At 6:40am Fiji/NZ time. Approx 14 n miles east of entrance to Havannah Pass. Very lively ride last night with strong winds mainly 20-25 Kts. Made for good boat speed though. All okay on board.

Tue Oct 1 16:51 2019 NZDT
8 knts
GPS: 21 57.73S 169 27.27E
Run: 75.1nm (135.9km)
Avg: 8.7knts
24hr: 209.6nm
Weather: 16knts from 145 T, slight seas, no clouds, 1019 baro

All well on board. Will continue on this heading until about 9pm when we have passed Durand Reef to starboard and then will bear away 20 degrees, aiming straight for the entrance to Havannah Pass.

Tue Oct 1 8:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 21 31.21S 170 31.36E
Run: 204nm (369.2km)
Avg: 9knts
24hr: 215.7nm
Weather: 0-155knts from 135T, 0.5m seas, 60% clouds, 1019 baro

As of 0700 Fiji time/UTC. All well on board. Good sailing conditions last 24 hours. Seas flattened out, and consistent trades. Planning to be at entrance to Havannah Pass on the incoming tide tomorrow (Wed) morning.

Mon Sep 30 9:33 2019 NZDT
GPS: 20 18S 173 24E
Run: 105.5nm (191km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 150.7nm
Weather: 18knts SE, 1.5m seas, 100% clouds, 1018 baro

All okay. Have continued to sail south of the rhumb line in anticipation of strong southerly quadrant winds arrive on Wednesday as we approach New Cal. (Gulf Harbour: Patricia, it was us, Alchemy II, trying to contact you near the end of your broadcast today. Lara was able to hear us, but ended up doing a relay for another boat. No issues, we had just wanted to log our position. Had had a few hassles through the night, and didn't get up early enough to email info through).

Sun Sep 29 16:45 2019 NZDT
GPS: 19 26.13S 174 44.28E
Run: 207.8nm (376.1km)
Avg: 7.5knts
24hr: 179.1nm
Weather: 18knts from 85 deg T, 2m seas, 100% cloud cover, 1015 baro

Wind and seas have settled. Sat overnight winds 20-30kts, 3m messy seas. Lot of east in the wind direction, so heading below our rhumb line in anticipation of relatively strong winds from the southern quadrant to arrive on Tuesday. All well on board.

Sat Sep 28 11:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 46.36S 177 22.92E
Run: 99nm (179.2km)
Weather: 8 kts @ 200 deg T, baro 1015

We are clearing Fiji Customs at 2pm today and are sailing from Denarau Marina directly to Noumea, New Caledonia. We intend to arrive at Noumea on the afternoon of Wed 2nd October.

Tue Aug 20 9:30 2019 NZST
Weather: 10-15knts from 14o deg true, (sheltered anchorage, can't see exterior sea state), 5% cloud cover, 1011 baro

At anchor at Nananu-i-Thake Island on the north coast of Viti Levu (Fiji). Very flat anchorage with good protection from the SE trades.

Mon Aug 19 8:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 55.29S 178 35.35E
Run: 50.2nm (90.9km)
Weather: 12knts at 145 true, 10% clouds, 1011 baro. (slight seas, but protected somewhat by reef complex)

Just departed Bua Bay (Lekubi Point) on Vanua Levu Fiji. Sailing to the Fiji mainland today, Nananu-i-ra. Should be there early to mid afternoon (19.08.19)

Tue Aug 13 12:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 46.69S 179 19.97E
Run: 105.9nm (191.7km)
Weather: 10 kts SE, 70% cloud cover, Bar 1014

At Copra Shed Marina in Savusavu Fiji.

Fri Aug 9 7:15 2019 NZST
motor sailing (waiting/hoping for breeze to build)
GPS: 17 09.36S 179 06.86W
Run: 75.1nm (135.9km)
Weather: 14knts fro 80 deg T, slight seas, 5-10% clouds, 1013 baro

Left BOI at Vanua Balavu around an hour ago (0600). Headed for Taveuni, hopefully Paradise Resort to pick up a moorning a nice meal this evening.

Sat Aug 3 15:42 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 12.65S 178 50.52W
Run: 35.2nm (63.7km)
Weather: 20knts 135T, 1-1.5m seas plus 2m S swell, 80% cloud cover, 1013 baro (conditions outside the anchorage). Weather conditions have been very consistent today.

Anchored at Lakemba in the Lau Group, Fiji. Sailed 32 miles north from Komo this morning. Komo was a really rolly anchorage in SE winds (seemed like the waves were wrapping around the whole island, but that may have been the southerly swell, which we didn't notice until we were outside the lagoon). Unfortunately the S swell is coming in to the anchorage at Lakemba. The anchorage is really close to reefs - will be fine as long as the wind stays SE (all weather predictions seem to have consistent SE for the next couple of days). Planning to keep watch on the boat overnight. Will head to Vanua Balavu at first light tomorrow. Should be at the Tongan Pass early afternoon.

Fri Aug 2 13:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 40.64S 178 37.49W
Run: 32.9nm (59.5km)
Weather: 20knts from 150 deg true (conditions outside the anchorage), slight to moderate seas, 100% cloud cover, 1014 baro

Anchored at Komo in the Lau Group, Fiji. Sailed 36 miles from Faluga this morning. Great sailing conditions. Were doing 8s and 9s most of the way. Mostly sunny up until around midday when it clouded over.

Sun Jul 21 12:57 2019 NZST
at anchor
GPS: 19 08.99S 178 33.894W
Run: 19.6nm (35.5km)
Avg: 3.5knts
24hr: 83.3nm
Weather: 8knts from 193 deg true, almost 100% cloud cover but sun sneaking through some of the time, 1010 baro

Very happy to be at anchor in Faluga. Bit of a battle from 6am - 10.30am, with winds in the 20s, sometimes over 30 knots, from the SW, and sometimes S. Beautifully protected spot in here.

Sun Jul 21 7:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 54.37S 178 43.02w
Run: 412.9nm (747.3km)
Avg: 34.1knts
24hr: 819nm
Weather: 28knts 145 deg true, 1.5 to 2m seas, 100% cloud cover, 1022 baro

Motorsailing. SW winds have kicked in earlier than we would have liked. Still nearly 20 miles from Faluga. Hoping conditions settle in the next couple of hours.

Sat Jul 20 19:12 2019 NZST
7knts (motorsailing. Would be okay to sail, but need to keep speed near 7 knots to reach Faluga in the morning around high tide0
GPS: 21 34.52S 175 35.18E
Run: 409.7nm (741.6km)
Avg: 29.2knts
24hr: 699.8nm
Weather: 10knts NE, slight seas plus 1m SW swell, 10 clouds, 1009 baro

Motorsailing. All well. Should arrive at Faluga around 10am tomorrow (21st). Hoping to get in before the winds pick up and go around to the SW.

Sat Jul 20 5:09 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 47S 179 17E
Run: 21.7nm (39.3km)
Weather: 5 kts NNE 100% cloud (hard to see, still dark). Sheltered, not into open water yet.

Just left the Copra Shed Marina at Savusavu. Heading for Faluga at the bottom of the Lau group.ETA approx 1pm Sunday 21st July. Expecting to have to motor or motor sail most of the way/

Mon Jul 15 4:15 2019 NZST
6knts motoring
GPS: 16 58.09S 179 32.87E
Run: 410.1nm (742.3km)
Avg: 8202knts
24hr: 196848nm
Weather: 5knts at 110 degrees, slight seas, no clouds, 1022 baro

Should be arriving in Savu Savu shortly after 8am (in about 4 hours). Really good sailing conditions yesterday (Sunday), but had to switch on the motor during Sunday evening when the winds were too light. Looking forward to enjoying a curry in Savu Savu.

Mon Jul 15 4:12 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 34.52S 175 35.18E
Run: 476.7nm (862.8km)
Avg: 23.5knts
24hr: 565nm
Weather: 14knts from 130 deg true, seas 1m, 20% cloud cover, 1009 baro

Sailing with reduced sail to time entry to Savu Savu in daylight. Much more comfortable sail today compared with yesterday. SV Fathom is about 1.5 miles behind us, also heading for Savu Savu.

Sun Jul 14 7:57 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 31.01S 178 29.64w
Run: 9933.9nm (17980.4km)
Avg: 235.1knts
24hr: 5642.9nm
Weather: 16knts from 130 deg True, 1.5m confused seas, sunny with 20% clouds, 1013 baro

Just approaching Vanua Balavu Pass in the Lau Group. Sailing, poled out. Winds lightened since yesterday. May have ended up in a trough for a few hours yesterday: winds 25-30 knots with rain from about 0730 to miday (NZ standard time). Should be able to time our entry to Savu Savu for daylight hours tomorrow if we keep the boat speed down.

Fri Jul 12 13:42 2019 NZST
Run: 9825nm (17783.3km)
Avg: 238.5knts
24hr: 5723.3nm

Departing Vava'u for Savu Savu around 4pm today (Fri 12/07). Intending to use the waypoints provided by the Cruising Tonga app, using the southern route that goes just south of Vanua Balavu, passing north of Mango Island. Hoping to time the trip to arrive in Savu Savu during business hours Monday morning (good winds forecast, so we'll probably be having to slow down quite a bit).

Wed Jul 10 20:30 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 39.49S 173 58.99W
Run: 9752.2nm (17651.5km)
Avg: 13.8knts
24hr: 331.2nm

On a mooring at Neiafu, Vava'a. Intending to leave for Fiji (Savu Savu) in the next couple of days.

Tue Jun 11 9:48 2019 NZST
at anchor
Run: 9649.2nm (17465.1km)
Avg: 97.4knts
24hr: 2338nm
Weather: 15knts ENE, 100% could cover

Anchored off Lifuka in the Hapa'ais,just north of Pangai (just out from Hapa'ai Beach Resort - good hamburgers!). Not the best of cruising weather at present, but the anchorage here is pretty good, relatively flat and protected. Hoping to get some windsurfing in before heading up to Vava'au. May have to wait until Sunday to get a good sail north.

Fri Jun 7 6:45 2019 NZST
GPS: 20 16.52S 174 47.07W
Run: 61.8nm (111.9km)
Weather: Calm, 0.5m sea, 20% cloud cover

Anchored at Nomuka Ika overnight. Originally went to Kelefesia Is, but 2.5m SW swell made it a pretty untenable anchorage (anchorage is on the W side). Blind rollers didn't look too inviting either. Just upped anchor, heading for Pangai today to do inter island clearance. Intending to stay in port this evening.

Wed Jun 5 5:24 2019 NZST
At anchor, about to depart Atata Island at Tongatapu for Kelefesia
GPS: 21 02.91S 175 15.81W
Run: 19.6nm (35.5km)
Weather: 15knts NE/ENE (about 60 deg true). Still dark (6.30am) so unsure re cloud cover

Planning to sail to Kelefesia today, based on forecast easterlies. Currently closer to NE than E. If too much bashing, may turn around and come back to Atata Island.

Fri May 31 6:39 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 17.79S 175 06.90W
Run: 289.8nm (524.5km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.1nm
Weather: 12kts SE, 1m E swell, 10% cloud cover

Approaching Tongatapu. One mile south of the SE corner. Hoping to clear Customs at Nuku'alofa by lunch today.

Wed May 29 7:03 2019 NZST
at anchor
GPS: 23 38S 178 53W
Run: 28.8nm (52.1km)
Weather: 5knts N, 50% cloud cover

planning to depart North Minerva for Tongatapu today, but will first listen in to Gulf Harbour Radio's info. Expecting to have to motor today, make some east, then hopfully get some sailing in tomorrow.

Thu May 23 6:57 2019 NZST
At anchor
Weather: 20 to 25 kts from NE (true)

Arrived at North Minerva around midday yesterday (Wed). Very rough night of sailing Tues night and Wed morning. Strong winds from the east, plus very difficult sea state - short steep messy waves. Will stay at Minerva until we get decent conditions to head on to Tongatapu.

Thu May 23 6:51 2019 NZST
At anchor
Weather: 20 to 25 kts from NE (true)

Arrived at North Minerva around midday yesterday (Wed). Very rough night of sailing Tues night and Wed morning. Strong winds from the east, plus very difficult sea state - short steep messy waves. Will stay at Minerva until we get decent conditions to head on to Tongatapu.

Wed May 22 8:45 2019 NZST
GPS: 24 02.60S 178 57.62W
Run: 116.9nm (211.6km)
Avg: 8.8knts
24hr: 210.2nm
Weather: 20-25 knts T from 80 deg T, 3m seas, 80% cloud cover

All okay. Very bumpy ride through the night, and ongoing. 3 reefs in main. About 35 miles south of North Minerva - should be there around midday.

Tue May 21 19:24 2019 NZST
GPS: 25 43.96S 179 03.40W
Run: 104.2nm (188.6km)
Avg: 9.1knts
24hr: 219.4nm
Weather: 15-20 knts True at 110 deg true. 2m SW swell. 30% cloud cover.

All okay. Plenty of wind through the afternoon, more than predicted. Should be at Minerva early afternoon tomorrow (Wed).

Tue May 21 8:00 2019 NZST
8 kts
GPS: 27 09.98S 179 34.68W
Run: 104.6nm (189.3km)
Avg: 8.2knts
24hr: 195.6nm
Weather: 17 knts @ 120 T, 1.5m S swell, 40% clouds

All okay

Tue May 21 1:57 2019 NZST
7.5 knts
Weather: 12knts 110 deg true, 1m SW swell, 10% clouds

Heading to Minerva, eta Wed afternoon. Had been motor sailing but just now switched the engine off. Heading east of the rhumb line to Minerva to get a better angle for Wed, when the winds are forecast to be from the east.

Mon May 20 19:10 2019 NZST
GPS: 28 36.71S 179 54.90E
Run: 83nm (150.2km)
Avg: 8.7knts
24hr: 208.2nm
Weather: 8 kts SE true, 1m SW swell, 20% cloud cover


Mon May 20 9:36 2019 NZST
6.8knts motoring
GPS: 29 47.37S 179 38.76E
Run: 11.7nm (21.2km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 130.6nm
Weather: 10knts T 175 T,

Now heading for Minerva Reef, instead of going directly to Tonga. ETA: afternoon of Wed 22nd May.

Mon May 20 7:27 2019 NZST
6knts motoring
GPS: 29 57S 179 35E
Run: 105.1nm (190.2km)
Avg: 7.1knts
24hr: 169.9nm
Weather: 11 knts SW, 1.5m SW swell seas, 20% cloud cover, 1028 baro

All okay. Good conditions so far, but looks like some strong winds heading into Tonga (ETA Thurs 23/Fri 25 - will need to slow the boat down to arrive on the Fri)

Sun May 19 16:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 31 15.38S 178 40.74E
Run: 70.8nm (128.1km)
Avg: 9.1knts
24hr: 217.8nm
Weather: 15-20knts T from 245T

Good breeze all through the day, so not having to motor at all. A bit stronger than the two tweaked Predict Wind models forecast (more like 20 kts for most of the day, rather than low to mid teens). Got hit with a couple of mid afternoon squalls. Other than that, a pretty good day's sailing, with sun most of the day.

Sun May 19 8:48 2019 NZST
7.5knts (optional)
GPS: 32 08.32S 178 04.02E
Run: 122.1nm (221km)
Avg: 7.4knts
24hr: 177.6nm
Weather: 13knts 280T, 1.5m seas SW swell, 20% clouds

Managed to sail through most of the night with good breeze from the west.

Sat May 18 16:18 2019 NZST
6 knts (motoring)
GPS: 33 33.47S 176 48.95E
Run: 58.1nm (105.2km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 167nm
Weather: 10-12knts from 210 true, slight seas, 10% cloud cover

All okay. Not quite enough wind to sail downwind. May have accidentally added the wrong position coords last message.

Sat May 18 7:57 2019 NZST
GPS: 34 04.02S 176 00.6E
Run: 137.8nm (249.4km)
Avg: 7.8knts
24hr: 186.3nm
Weather: 10-15knts from 230 (true), seas 1m SSW, 60% cloud cover

Good breeze all through the night, haven't had to use the motor. Just starting to drop out as this is written. Autopilot seems to be working well.

Fri May 17 14:12 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 19.0S 174 07.2E
Run: 0.1nm (0.2km)

Just cleared Customs in Opua for the second time this week! Autopilot problems all fixed - we hope... Casting off lines now to head to Tongatapu. Two POB. Will possibly divert to Minerva Reef if something nasty springs up further north. Will try to listen in to Gulf Harbour Radio on HF for morning weather updates.

Wed May 15 21:29 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 19.061s 174 7.206e
Run: 76.9nm (139.2km)
Avg: 5.5knts
24hr: 131.5nm

Back tied up at the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua. We took turns handsteered from 2:30am this morning until 8pm this evening. Turning back away from Tonga wasn’t much fun. Had to punch into 15-20kt headwinds most of the time. Bouncy rolly ride... It took 17 hours to cover 70 miles, averaging about 4kts motorsailing. A new “slowest trip” record for us. But of course it could have been much much worse.

Autohelm repairs planned for first thing tomorrow v

Wed May 15 7:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 34 29.14S 175 01.2E
Run: 74.7nm (135.2km)
Avg: 4.1knts
24hr: 99.6nm
Weather: 15knts SW

Having to return to NZ after developing autohelm problems in the early hours of the morning. Turned around at 0250. Had been heading to Tonga.

Tue May 14 13:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 15.62S 174 06.15E
Run: 4.1nm (7.4km)
Weather: 10kts SW, sunny, 30% cloud

Left Bay of Islands Marina at 1150, sailing directly to Tonga.

Mon May 13 19:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 19.06S 174 07.20E
Run: 0.3nm (0.5km)

at Opua marina, doing last minute preps for heading off for Tonga in the morning.

Mon Apr 29 10:09 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 18.9S 174 7.4E
Run: 1486.1nm (2689.8km)

In Opua NZ after sailing from Hobart Tasmania in Feb to Nelson NZ and up the east coast of NZ to the Bay of Islands. Planning to sail to Tonga in May.

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