we?re in New Caledonia!! Following a really bad passage from Port Vila Vanuatu, sailing to a deadline which is just what you shouldn?t do. We cleared customs in the loyalty islands with the pacific rally fleet hence our itinerary, as customs are in Noumea but in these islands for this morning only. A great opportunity to see the loyalties without doubling back.
Anyway it was 2 nights at sea hard on the wind the whole way at times in the 20s gusting 30s with about 12 hours of tacking into the bay as to finish the passage in style.
Currently anchored at Lifou island. Very nice with amazing water clarity, white sand and a small kayak village on the shore.
Been Checking out Nguna, Pele and Kakula Islands. Awesome snorkeling, hiking, cool villages. A good place to spend a few days.
Moved north to EPI island. Nice sailing with about 23 knots from behind for about 30 miles. Caught a tuna on the way and then a second one that was stolen by a shark. Will hang out here for a bit. Some crappy weather coming through over the weekend. Wind and rain.
Emae Island after a windy beam reach from Mele Bay which is very close to Port Vila. 54 miles sailed today. Amazing clear water here!
Arrived in Port Vila Vanuatu after an overnight sail from Erromango. Good wind for the trip, 16 to 22 knots broad reach but a really confused lumpy sea, so didn’t sleep that well. The night was so dark there were more stars than I have ever seen. Think I saw the whole universe.
Arrived to gusty conditions in the anchorage causing a few boats to drag, one missed us by a few meters. Will stay here a few days, do a service on the engine and a few other boat jobs. Think there is a bit to do around the town too.
Had a really good sail today from Tanna to Erromango island, Vanuatu. About 50 miles just under the gennaker. Anchored in Polenia bay. Just before sunset. Haven’t been ashore yet but the island seems to be black sand volcanic beaches with high jungle covered hills. I see kids on the beach who look like they’re waiting for us to come in. And a man in a hollowed out log paddling out to get his dinner.
Just arrived at Tanna. Had a dead downwind rolly sail up from Aneityum, glad it wasn’t overnight. Will do the volcano trip tomorrow, but even from here in the anchorage there is a plume or smoke above us and apparently at night we will be able to see the red glow of the lava.
arrived in Vanuatu about an hour ago. Currently anchored at Aneityum island which is the southern most of the Vanuatu islands, waiting for customs to arrive before we can get off the boat.
Had a good passage, 3 nights at sea. A lot of motoring the first day, nice reaching the second, then last night a front came through which we knew was coming. With it came rain and gusts of close to 30 knots with a confused sloppy sea. But it passed through pretty quick and the passage was finished off with an 18 knot broad reach since early this morning. No fish this time unfortunately, we both slept better than we had on any other passage. I suffer the effects of boredom though, not good at doing nothing. I thought this would get better the more nights we spent at sea but it seems to be getting worse.
We will hang out here for a few days, good hiking, very mountanous, also good fishing and diving. Then make our way north in the Vanuatu chain.
hi guys, we?re on our way to Vanuatu. Fiji is fading into the distance behind us now. We almost didn?t make it though...
We went to the fuel jetty at Denerau to get diesel but someone was using it. So I opened the diesel filler cap and waited. Then the water hose came free, so I took that, walked it to the front of the boat spraying it everywhere and put it in the water tank filler. Anyway water ran back down the boat and into the open diesel inlet. We started the boat, got part way out of the narrow channel then the motor died. Got the jib up and sailed in the light wind until the current took over and we went sideways. Luckily a local came past and we waved him down. He towed us to the anchorage off the bay. I then spent half the day yesterday getting water out of the tank, injection pump and replacing fuel filters.
Should be a 3 day passage to Aneityum, the southern most island in Vanuatu. A lot of motoring to start with then quite strong winds for the 3rd day.
Anchored at Sawini Bay. A short walk from Vuda Marina which we did yesterday evening. A nice spot here although we seem to be among solo full time cruisers who all look like they have a story to tell.
Getting ready for departure to Vanuatu in about a week, will make another grocery run, repairs to dinghy today and just about to go up the mast to do an inspection.
Been spending a few days in the Blue Lagoon Yasawa Islands. Weather been good.
We caught a Walu on the way here so had fish and real meat from nz which was brought up by friends Daniel and lily. Haven’t eaten this well since we had Mum and dad in Tonga. Will probably start making our way south toward mainland Fiji again today although now quite windy and stronger wing to come in the next few days.
Reprovisioned in Denerau, had 2 nights on a berth. What a luxury! Felt like normal people. Caught the bus to Nadi twice in two days and came back with backpacks full and carrying boxes of food.
Had a code 0 sail in light winds yesterday to Lukiluki on Malolo island. Today visited where they filmed the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks. Then downwind gennaker sail to Navadra Island. An amazing place that looks like is would have 1000 years ago. Towering rock formations, pure white sand, palm trees and some resident goats. Heading north into the yasawas tomorrow.
Anchored at Musket Cove. Nice being back in civilisation again they even have a shop here.
I think the novelty of anchoring off the resort Islands could wear off soon though.
A lot of people we know here and boats we recognise form NZ.
Will head over to Denerau soon as need to do some real shopping. Then we can start to see yasawas and mamanuka Islands.
Did a 56mi day sail from Beqa to Likuri island. Interesting pass to get in here, huge waves breaking either side of us on the reef as we surfed in on the swell arriving in a calm harbour. Did the dinner and a show last night, was a good deal with a buffet which suited me. Good to eat meat again! Will probably leave here soon. Heading for Musket cove, not far away.
Arrived at Beqa yesterday evening after a day sail. Nice downwind all the way, wing and wing with a poled out jib.
Caught a big wahoo as we were coming through the reef but he got off as we were netting him, way too big for the net, should have used the gaf.
Checked out the resort in the harbour here and stole some of their taro leaves to cook with dinner.
Day sail from Kadavu to beqa today
Hi guys, Now at Kadavu island Fiji.had overnight sail from Matuku in about 22 knots all downwind. Pretty good.
Did our sevu sevu (offering of kava to the chief) at smaller Dravuni island, and today going looking for manta Rays around the Astrolabe reef.
Like Malcom?s comment about bananas, even we couldn?t handle 100 of them! Iridium go still broken but have some ph reception now, first time in a while!
made it to Matuku island. A good sail from vulaga overnight, all the way on just the jib downwind in about 22 knots. Unfortunately the iridium go broke on the way. This is our contact with the outside world, weather, ph, email and tracking. I?ve had conformation that the unit is dead and I?m working on getting another. Currently using a unit on another boat. I can still check emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org when with another boat, but no texts.
Matuku is really high with rugged mountain peaks. We?re anchored below them, because of this, the night after we arrived a huge gust came down the mountain at about 50 knots and flipped the dinghy which was tied on bow and stern to the back of the big boat. I came out and saw the prop sticking out of the water. Managed to fix it yesterday, water was right through the engine. The chief of the village even came out to help when he heard.
The village took us on a walk to a mountain peak yesterday, awesome view. Then gave us so much fruit we have to regift some! About 100 bananas on a stem. Coconuts, papaya, and other fruit we?ve never had before. A couple of the boys are taking us spearfishing today.
anchored at vulaga island in southern Lau group Fiji. Pretty amazing here.
Had an interesting passage down with the wind forward of the beam the whole way and at about 35 degrees apparent since about 3am. So not ideal conditions but very typical for this passage which is why a lot of cruising boats don?t make it here.
About to go ashore to find the chief of the village and do sevu sevu. We have kava for him.
Heading south to vulaga island in southern part of the Lau group. Bit bumpy with wind close to our nose. Should arrive tomorrow morning. Currently 15 knots ese.
anchored at loma loma on Vanuabelavu Fiji. Crossed through the passage just on daylight. 318 nautical miles in 49 hours. Caught a fish in the early hours of this morning that i couldn?t hold it on the big hand line and it ended up braking the 200lb trace to the lure. 2nd one that?s done that in 2 days.
Currently waiting for customs to come and clear us in, then we have to move anchorages because the wind and waves are coming into here. Pretty keen to get off the boat and have a look around!
took main down, rest of way just on jib. Timing arrival for 7 to 8 am now for daylight. Right now doing about 6.2 knots downwind in about 20 knots. Caught a massive fish earlier but it got off. Egg burritos for dinner. That?s pretty much what?s happened today. Hopefully an uneventful night too!
Wind came around and we jibed at about midnight, so we were able to lay our course which was good. Right now just cruising along keeping speed down. Just on double reefed main. If we average more than 6 knots we will be arriving at the reef in the dark tomorrow morning. We want to go through in daylight. So trying to time arrival for around 8 or 9 am. After coming through the reef it?s about a 10nm trip through shallows and coral heads to the anchorage and customs at Lomolomo. So daylight is quite important.
Sailing along with poled out jib and double reefed main. Just put in the second reef for the night. Until then doing good speed averaging about 7 knots. Slower now and unfortunately not heading quite in the direction of our destination due to the wind being from directly behind us. Will probably try sailing wing and wing tomorrow morning if the wind doesn?t come around and go dead downwind to Fiji. Otherwise all good, bit of a rolly Polly sea, not the best for sleeping, but currently have a steady 15 knot se wind.
On way to Lau group Fiji. Should be a 2 day passage but looks like it will be dead downwind so may take a little longer. Next stop Vanuabelavu.
Cruising the Islands of vavau Tonga still, very nice, white sandy beaches, bush to the shore and a lot to see. Mum and dad her now, caught 2 fish yesterday. About to move this afternoon to another island which is supposed to have good coral snorkeling.
Arrived in Vava?u a few hours ago. About a 24h trip. Trip up was good except for at about 5 am this morning the wind went on to our nose, we had to bash straight into it for a few hours before it came back nearer our beam and rose to 20 kn. Now anchored at Port Maurelle. It?s just how you?d imagine tropical cruising. Blue water, white sand and palm trees down to the sand.
Sailing north to Vava?u, northern Tonga. Should arrive tomorrow morning. Currently going nicely under double reefed main and jib for the night, doing about 7 knots in about 15 knots of wind. I?m doing my shift from the cabin, monitoring display & reading about captain cook, while going above regularly. Anne in aft cabin. Comfortable in there but not quiet, with rushing water noise and near the auto pilot motor and the whining of the wind generator.
Will update tomorrow on arrival.
we?re here, Pangimotu Island Tonga. just dropped the anchor after about an 8 mile motor from the pass the reef. It?s dark so we haven?t seen much, at this stage we could just be at waiheke, but it?s warm!
so close now! It?s midnight and we?re making our way up through Tonga?s numerous southern sea mounts. Had breeze all night but just starting to get a bit light, think its almost 3 days since we started the motor. Weather is suddenly warm, just T-shirt in the cockpit at midnight (and pants). still the squalls late afternoon which seem pretty dangerous if you get caught out.
Caught a tuna yesterday afternoon, don?t know what kind but I?m guessing yellow fin since it had bright yellow fins. Had some raw for dinner last night. Anne caught a flying fish in the cockpit where it landed, but threw it back.
Hoping to make the gap in the reef before dark tonight. May need a bit more wind for that.
heading north running downwind in 15 knots sw with 2.5 m swell on quarter. Waiting for wind to come around later today to get more northwest.
Bumpy night again last night but we both slept better. This morning I implemented a temporary repair on the lazyjacks. Threw an orange in a sock tied to a rope over the lower spreader. Made up makeshift lazy jacks and hoisted them from the spreader.
Looks like we will make Tonga tomorrow evening. Just the question as to whether we slow down and pass through the reef first thing Wednesday morning rather than in the dark. Haven?t decided yet.
making good progress towards Tonga. Similar conditions all day with 20 knots southwest. Big lumpy sea and big swell making it a bit uncomfortable and rolly. Squalls appearing on the horizon now, fun!
Awesome day of sailing today, made good ground in the right direction averaging around 8 knots speed.
Hit a squally patch this afternoon, more heavy rain and stronger winds with a nw windshift. I was reefing the main for overnight when one the lazy jacks broke. This holds the sail bag up, from the spreaders. the sail collapsed all over the deck so due to the squally conditions we have decided to go with the 3rd reef for the night as reefing is now a massively difficult task. So we are under powered currently but not worth the hassle of attempting to reef in the night without the assistance of the lazy jacks. Will loose some of the gains we made unfortunately.
Repairs will be made in Tonga, have to go up the mast for that.
rough and bumpy ride all day yesterday getting pushed off to the east with northerlies. In 20s gusting 30s a lot of the day with squalls and sloppy sea. Last night front went through, wind backed to w and now we are making way north as fast as we can to get ahead of the big low coming up from nz. Currently doing between 7 and 9 knots heading north east. Weather models are saying that we stay ahead of the worst of it but will get more winds in the 20 to 30 knots range and a 3.8 m swell.
very placid day of motoring today with very light winds on the nose, nothing to report other than an awesome frozen pie for lunch and a dead flying fish in the cockpit ( I didn?t eat that). The topside of the bow is covered in big black splotches, the only thin I can think of is that at some point. Squid landed up there and made a huge mess.
crazy night last night as our first night at sea. Had winds in the 30s gusting 40s. That?s why there was no post from us. Slower day today, motoring now.
There is a weather thing hanging around well north which has the potential to turn bad, tropical storm kind of bad. So right now we are just waiting to make sure nothing like that is going to cross our path while on transit to Tonga. Hopefully we will be out of here in the next few days. In the meantime, plenty to do in the bay of Islands. We will head out tomorrow for the night.
Other news... the wind generator broke. Which we rely on, especially in winter. However we were saved by mum and dad who brought the warranty one up which is now installed and running well.
testing posting from the satellite ph tonight. Came for a sail today to one of the islands and ran the perimeter track. Anne started the day with a bread baking class at 5am. Crazy.
Tucked up in a little cove tonight out of the wind with 2 other boats. Will head back to opua tomorrow and still planning on leaving New Zealand on Monday.
Arrived at opua this morning with over 30 knots. Sailing at 10 knots downwind with a small piece of job out. Since we’ve been here the wind has increased and it’s raining but still managed a quick run. Otherwise baby sitting the boat today. Supposed to improve this evening. Hopefully more exciting activities tomorrow!
At smugglers bay Whangarei heads for the night. Bit of a mixture today. Probably sailed about half of it.
Finally heading north towards Opua. Unfortunately into a northerly but going well. Not sure of tonight’s destination. Whangarei if we have the wind.
Big day of motoring today. We were hoping for a light norwester but it never came.
We did catch a little albacore tuna, currently eating that raw with soy sauce.
Anyway we’re here in the bay of islands and awaiting the big blow, forecast for 30 gusting 40 here tomorrow. We will probably make our way up to opua in the morning sometime.
Gear testing weekend in preparation for pacific trip.
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