Imagine

Sat Oct 26 23:12 2019 NZDT
GPS: 27 26.723S 153 05.906E
Run: 4.3nm (7.8km)

Saturday 26 October Last night after sending the blog, Brisbane put on a fireworks display (to farewell Cindy).

We all arose early and had our last breakfast with Cindy. Two hours later Cindy was packed and we headed to shore. We walked Cindy to the train station, to make sure she got on.

Returning to Imagine we hauled anchor and headed down river. It was a quiet ride with no-one vacuuming, cleaning up or screaching the words to songs no-one could recognise. Cindy, we miss you already.

By the time we reached the mouth of the river the wind was up to 25 knots and coming straight at us, so it was a slow trip into the bay. Once out we emptied the holding tank and started the watermaker. After an hour we had made enough water and headed back to the river.

1.5 hours up the river we found a place to anchor, but tomorrow we may look for somewhere else We heard on the port radio that P&O Pacific Dawn had a delayed departure due to high wind and that it was now due to leave at 7.00 pm. At about 7.30 she went past us, a tugboat in front and one behind. She went under the Gateway Bridge which we are anchored close to so we had a great view of her coming through, in fact at one point Sue thought they were coming over to grab a cuppa they looked so close. Several passengers were taking photos as were took ours. Picture from Botanical Gardens walk, there were several of these little bearded dragon lizards running around as we walked through the gardens.

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fireworks.
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bearded dragon.
Fri Oct 25 21:09 2019 NZDT
GPS: 27 28.041S 153 01.960E

Friday 25th October Well the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end" :-(( We are in Brisbane & have enjoyed fun wonderful days in the city!! Picnics at botanical gardens & streets beach between our wanderings.

Since Wolfgang left, we are back on the over 50yrs old pace.....

That is leisurely morns, city explorations then back to the boat for late afternoon naps or puzzle solving sessions & relaxing before dinner :-)) Today is my last night on Imagine, it has been an AMAZING adventure!! Seeing beautiful places, experiencing other cultures & learning a lot more about sailing were all great.....

BUT, the best part of the trip was getting to know Andrew & Sue!! They are fun experienced sailors, gracious & generous hosts!! "What a crew, what a boat" as Wolfgang had often said!! We all got along splendidly, laughed often (till we nearly wet our pants) & shared an off color sense of humor. Sue is great, she's honestly candid, caring & was thrilled to have someone on board that sings worse than her....and she got a break from nagging Andrew cause I took over that job too...

Andrew is very patient, gentle and a true renaissance man, he can do it all & do it well....sail, sew, cook, repair engines, incredible photographer & videographer. He takes his responsibilities VERY seriously & I felt safe & in the most competent of hands.

Now remember this is Miss Bossy Pants here at the helm, but Andrew & Sue are humble & probably wanna edit this, but they'll indulge me as it's my last night here......it's gonna be awfully quiet next week!! IMAGINE THAT!!!! ;-)) Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


last day1.
lastday2.
Mon Oct 21 20:48 2019 NZDT
GPS: 27 28.039S 153 01.959E
Run: 28.3nm (51.2km)

Monday 21st October We spent Saturday at Moreton Island, swam and Wolfgang and Cindy swam out to the wrecks. The current was very strong so Wolfgang swam back and Andrew took the dinghy out to Cindy. We decided to head back to Brisbane leaving Moreton about 11.30 am. The wind had already got up and we pounded through the waves and at some times 37 knot winds to top of Brisbane river. Once in the river we had a lot of protection from the winds and waves. As Wolfgang was leaving us Monday we went for a farewell dinner at the Victory pub in the city Sunday night. Huge meal which everyone consumed with gusto! Monday morning Wolfgang and Andrew went to collect Wolfgang's camper from Wicked Campers whilst Cindy went looking for a fruit market. After a couple of hours the boys got back with Wolfgang's colourful camper and returned to the boat. Andrew and Wolfgang returned to shore after picking up Wolfgang's bags and picked up Cindy who as she couldn't find a fruit market had decided to go for a Thai massage. Andrew, Sue and Cindy met up with daughterinlaw Amie and grandson Lachlan and went to lunch. After lunch we all went to the park for Lachlan and Cindy to play. Lachlan asked "Is that foreigner an adult or a child." Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Selfie
Imagine
Wolfgang and his hippy car
Sat Oct 19 0:18 2019 NZDT
GPS: 27 11.138S 153 22.082E
Run: 69.3nm (125.4km)

Image Image hitchhiker.

Friday 18th October Yes we have arrived. Sorry for not keeping you up to date.

On Monday afternoon we had a huge welcome from a pod of dolphins as we came down the coast to the Brisbane harbour channel. Then at sunset we had a hitchhiker. A bird sat on the bow railing for about 1/2 an hour.

Early Tuesday morning we negotiated our way through the Brisbane harbour channel, sharing it with mega tonne cargo boats. Wolfgang thought it was amusing that the SKS Doyle's container boat which is 820 feet long and 148 feet wide when it was about 500 metres away radioed us as we approached to ask if we had seen them!! 7 1/2 hours after entering the harbour channel we arrived at the customs dock at Rivergate Marina. The Customs entry went smoothly and we then waited for Bio Security. The officer came and did pratique on our food items etc which took about 30 minutes and cleared us for going ashore. However this was not the end of the biosecurity process as we then had to wait for the timber inspection that all boats have to have when entering Australia. Although Imagine is a fibreglass boat there is a lot of timber work on board so the biosecurity officer advised us that they wouldn't be able to do the inspection until the following day. The marina let us stay on the customs dock overnight as we couldn't be fully cleared that day. It was suggested we had as much as possible of the timberwork available for them to inspect . The rest of the afternoon until early evening was spent bagging up everything from the vberth cabin, port cabin and aft cabins along with moving items from the saloon . The 2 biosecurity officers came early and it took them just over an hour to do the inspection. Note the charge for entering Australia is $100 for our size boat plus the biosecurity charge is $50 per officer per 15minutes on board! Still they are only doing their job and they were very pleasent people. Wednesday 16th, once cleared by biosecurity we left the marina, went downriver 2 hours to Brisbane city. After trying to anchor in a couple of spots, we eventually found a great anchorage directly opposite Brisbane waterfront. We crossed the river to the dinghy dock and walked into the city to find data, pick up city info and stock up on some essential food items. Sue and Andrew took these back to the boat whilst Cindy and Wolfgang went for a walk around part of the city including the fruit market coming back with fresh raspberries, blueberries and avocados. They had picked up some info on things to see and do. One of which was to climb the Storey Bridge, one of the bridges we had sailed under to get to our anchorage. Cindy who is scared of heights was talked into getting out of her comfort zone, by Wolfgang.

Early Thursday morning they were off to the bridge, while Andrew and Sue went back into Brisbane to get their data set up. There was only two other people on the bridge climb so Cindy and Wolfgang got to ask lots of questions, have lots of pics taken and for some unfathomable reason the four of them decided to ask each other trivia questions at the top of the bridge! After the bridge climb they met Sue and Andrew at the waterfront and went for a picnic lunch at the Botanical Gardens. C and W then went on another walk taking in some more sights of Brisbane before lightening, thunder and heavy downpour stopped them in their tracks. It was over quickly then Andrew went across in the dinghy to bring them back to the boat. Today Friday 18th, we left Brisbane at 8:00am and headed downriver and across to Moreton Island where we arrived early afternoon. W and C went for a walk and to watch the dolphins being fed outside Tangalooma Resort. This is a big tourist attraction and is free to watch (charged if you want to feed the dolphins). Andrew and Sue saw this last time at Moreton Island so stayed on the boat to catch up with some video and photo editing and catch up on the blog.

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Wolfgang.
Mon Oct 14 22:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 26 10.999S 153 19.050E
Run: 115.7nm (209.4km)
Avg: 4.6knts
24hr: 111.1nm

Land ahoy! In the late morning we sighted the hills of the Sunshine Coast, Mt Boulder, Australia. But, one after the other...

During the night we still made only 1 knot good towards our destination Brisbane. High waves and winds from ahead held us frustratingly back. Everyone at the helm managed to navigate the slalom through the "highway" of big cargo ships and tankers. In the early hours the situation picked up: the waves and winds were moderate and a beautiful sunny day arose! Then, we spotted the first sights of our passage's target


Sun Oct 13 21:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 24 56.932S 154 34.247E
Run: 87.9nm (159.1km)
Avg: 3.7knts
24hr: 88.1nm

Sunday 13th October Today was an un-eventful day. Having no main sail we put up the trip sail and mizzen to stop the boat rocking from side to side as we motored 30 degrees to the wind and waves. We have been tacking back and forth all day under motor, with a couple of attempts to sail. Under sail the angle was so wide we were only making 1knot towards Brisbane dispite doing 4 or 5 knots boat speed.

Yesterdays events and today's wind direction mean we will not make it to Brisbane till Tuseday. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Oct 12 21:18 2019 NZDT
GPS: 23 59.059S 155 28.869E
Run: 170.4nm (308.4km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 167.6nm

Saturday 12th October An expensive day! This morning brought sunny skies, less than 1 metre swell and 12 knots of wind. Wolfgang who was on the helm was eager to unreef the mainsail and put out the headsail but had to wait until everybody had had their breakfast. Before we had chance to reset the sails it was Cindy's turn to helm and she noticed a large area of rain on the radar so we decided to leave the main reefed and run with the staysail.

As we approached the rain we could see sheet lightening in the clouds so we turned most of the electronics off, brought in the staysail and turned the motor on. We motored through the rain for about an hour with the wind at only about 12 knots when suddenly the wind changed direction by 180 degrees and within 2 minutes was over 40 knots. Andrew steered into the wind to take pressure off the sails but it was too late, the mainsail was shredded. About 10 minutes later the wind was back to 14 knots and the rain was easing.

With nothing else on the radar we put up the mizzen and staysail to help balance the boat. We left the motor running at lower revs until Sue at the helm noticed the wind getting high again up to 31 knots and called Andrew and Wolfgang to take in the sails and we were back to motoring. A couple of hours later with Wolfgang on the helm and very messy 2m waves we decided to try the staysail again half reefed to give the boat a bit more stability. It's now 2 hours later with Cindy back on the helm we are running full staysail and motor. The sea is slowly calming down so we'll see what the moonlit night brings (full moon).

We've just enjoyed a very tasty dinner cooked by Wolfgang of pork chops, potato and veggies. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Fri Oct 11 20:54 2019 NZDT
GPS: 21 53.307S 156 53.476E
Run: 167.5nm (303.2km)
Avg: 3.6knts
24hr: 87.2nm

Friday 11 October From hardly enough wind last night where we had all 4 sails up, during the night the squalls came meaning Andrew and Wolfgang had to go out in the early hours of the morning to reef the mainsail and take down the mizzen. Both were safely in their lifejackets, harnessed and tethered to the safety lines as Sue took Imagine into the wind. The swell was about 2 to 3 metres and the sea was quite messy. After they were safely back inside we went back on course. Cindy had been feeling good the last few days and hadn't taken any seasick tablets but with the messy sea she suddenly had to lifejacket/tether up and hung over the side to feed the fishes. She has since had some tablets and slept some and is currently on shift. We've been sailing with the mainsail and either the staysail or headsail for the rest of the day averaging 7 to 8 knots this afternoon. We've just reefed the mainsail and put the staysail out for the night which will slow us down but make it a better ride for the night as the wind has picked up again. It was predicted that we would get 2 or 3 days of no wind but fortunately we haven't struck that yet and are making good progress to Brisbane.

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Thu Oct 10 20:24 2019 NZDT
No position sent.

Thursday 10th October A delicious breakfast on the foredeck this morning, basking in the sun under a beautiful blue, sunny sky and taking in the wonderful view. After breakfast Andrew and Cindy cleaned the cockpit and windows whilst Sue cut Wolfgang's hair (glad he wasn't going to look in the mirror). After reviewing the latest weather report Andrew suggested we leave today to make the most of wind opportunities as to date it looks like we were going to get a few days with very light or no wind (no good for sailing! ). We had a last refreshing swim in beautiful blue, clear water. Leftovers were on the menu for lunch so another lot of kiwi hamburgers were devoured. After lunch Andrew put the go pro on a pole and took it round the boat so we could hull was clean. After final checks we departed this wonderful place, heading through the reef at this end with Andrew up the mast, Sue on the helm and Wolfgang and Cindy also looking out for any reefs or bommies. Not a lot of wind, we've tried various sail settings and at the moment we are running all 4, the main sail, headsail, staysail and mizzen up making a good 5.5 knots.

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reef1.
reef2.
Wed Oct 9 22:48 2019 NZDT
GPS: 19 51.606S 158 18.684E
Run: 143.1nm (259km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 133.9nm

Wednesday 9th October Another clear beautiful morning. With the winds dropping away we had to motor most of the night. But at daybreak we tried sailing again. We put up the genica but were not able to reach the same speeds as yesterday with such low winds. By lunch time we gave up and went back to motoring. We reached Chesterfield Reef by 3.30pm. With Wolfgang at the helm and Andrew & Cindy up the mast we navigated across this amazingly large reef. It took us over an hour from the eastern passage to the western side where we are anchored. Most of this reef is under water 1 or 2 meters with only 4 or 5 sand spits on 1 side of the rim and one large enough for palm trees to grow. This makes it a hard place to see if you don't have charts.

In the middle of the Pacific a giant reef and 5 other yachts arrived only a few hours before us. They are all anchored on the southern end. We opted to anchor away from them on the north western side.

Tonight Sue made Kiwi burgers for dinner. Meat paddy, egg, beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese. Cindy said it was the most amazing dinner she's had in her 3wks on board!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


lookout.
Wolfgang.
Tue Oct 8 21:09 2019 NZDT
GPS: 19 20.417S 160 26.357E
Run: 156.5nm (283.3km)
Avg: 6.3knts
24hr: 151.1nm

Tuesday 8th October This morning we were greeted with a nice sunrise developing into a warm, sunny, almost cloudless day leaving no signs of the excitement that happened during the night. Around 9.30 pm whilst Sue was at the helm she noticed a cargo ship appearing on the radar on a collision course with us. With the vessel being 23 minutes to collision, 10 nautical miles, Sue called Andrew to come upstairs. With 11 minutes to collision all the crew were called on deck for avoidance manoeuvres. We tacked behind the cargo ship and 10 minutes later tacked back on course. As today went on the wind slowly died to below 10 knots so we dropped all sails and put up the gennaker which surprisingly gave us a very good wind to speed ratio, sometimes achieving 6 knots from only 7.6 knots of wind. This evening wind direction has changed and has slightly increased so we have pulled down the gennaker and are running with just the headsail up averaging 6 knots. This afternoon another cargo ship passed us but with ample room no additional manouevering was required. Due to the low winds, expected arrival at the reef tomorrow is about lunchtime.

Today a bird tried to land on the wind generator breaking one of the blades. Again Wolfgang is preparing dinner for us tonight, a lovely chicken and vegetable soup.

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Genica.
speed.
chilling out.
Mon Oct 7 20:18 2019 NZDT
GPS: 18 49.826S 162 46.443E
Run: 173.6nm (314.2km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 167.7nm

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Photoshoot.
Mon Oct 7 20:12 2019 NZDT

Image This morning brought a beautiful blue sky with only a few clouds and not a soul in sight. Cindy and Wolfgang are still excited about being on a blue water crossing. We are keeping the routine of us all eating together at breakfast at daybreak, lunch at midday and dinner at sunset, no matter what time your shift finishes.

There is not much to do except do your shift, eat and sleep. After lunch with the autopilot on, we adjourned to the rear deck for a quick photoshoot. As we went through the coral reefs north of New Caledonia the sea was less than 1/2 metre swell. Wolfgang was at the helm pushing Imagine to 9.4 knots until we came out the other side and the swell increased to 1 metre. At this time we changed sails to slow the boat down to 6 knots. This is so we reach our next destination (Chesterfield reef) in 2 days time at 7am Wolfgang has been busy in the galley preparing devilled sausages with creamy mashed potatoes. Dinner in the cockpit as we sail into the sunset.

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Sun Oct 6 19:27 2019 NZDT
GPS: 18 16.043S 165 21.375E
Run: 151.2nm (273.7km)
Avg: 6.4knts
24hr: 153.8nm

Sunday 6th October Day 2 ... in transit to Brisbane This morning brought a grey, cloudy day. Been averaging about 7 knots. Everyone has got into the rhythm of the shifts.

Once again we've reefed the main for the evening shifts.

Wolfgang is in the galley preparing nachos for dinner Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Oct 5 19:51 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 53.087S 167 37.322E
Run: 46.2nm (83.6km)

Saturday 5th October In the wild blue yonder Rising early we had breakfast, then prepared Imagine for sail. Andrew and Wolfgang set up the drogue and storm sail, so if needed they can be deployed easily. Cindy and Sue made sure everything below deck was stowed away. We unhooked from the mooring and with Sue at the helm we made our way through the moored boats to the fuel dock. This entailed performing a 180 degree turn just before overhead powerlines to allow enough room to glide up to the fuel dock. "Shit shit shit" came from the cockpit then silence as the turn took us to about 5m from the powerlines. We nicely pulled up to the dock and took on 550 ltrs of desiel.

Cindy and Wolfgang were so excited about doing their first blue water crossing. Leaving Vanuatu we put up the main only and sailed a pleasant 6 to 7 knots till 4pm. Then at shift change we reefed the main and put out the staysail ready for the evening. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Oct 5 0:36 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 44.915S 168 18.604E

Friday 4th October So, Wolfgang is back on Imagine! Yesterday morning Cindy went for another Thai massage while Andrew and Sue went to the supermarket for the last few things to stock up Imagine. Back on the boat and after lunch Cindy cooked up some more food for the passage while Andrew and Sue went ashore. It was Andrew's turn for a massage while Sue took a long shower and collected the laundry. Not long after Wolfgang arrived back from Tanna. Andrew took his bags and laundry back to Imagine and picked up Cindy. Back on shore we all went out for a lovely Thai dinner and listened to Wolfgang's stories of Tanna.

Wolfgang went up the volcano (Mt Yasur) and afterwards slept in a thatched hut in the rainforest with an awesome view of the volcano from the porch and bedroom. Next day he moved to beachfront Rocky Ridge Resort on the other side of the island. He snorkled the famous blue holes 1 and 2 with beautiful coral and a black and white snake. After diving at Circus Reef and House Reef he visited the Blue Cave. To enter the Blue Cave you need to swim in the ocean, take a deep breath and boldly dive under the cliff surfacing at the other side. Once in the cave there is a beautiful blue light brought on by the sun beaming through the hole at the top of the cave. Today we cleared customs and immigration (as they are not open at the weekend) and we are leaving for Brisbane tomorrow morning after we have filled up with diesel. Cindy had one last massage, Andrew did some last minute shopping for bread and cereal and Wolfgang went to check out Mele Falls.

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Wolfgang
Wed Oct 2 20:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 44.915S 168 18.604E
Run: 4.9nm (8.9km)

Wednesday 2nd October Today's word is SERENDIPITOUS After a night with a slight roll coming in Mele Bay we awoke to an overcast day. We thought we might go ashore to check out the beach bar. But by the time we had checked our email and put the motor back on the dinghy, the wind had got up. That meant that we would have got very wet just to go check out the bar, so we lifted the motor back onto Imagine and towing the dinghy we headed back to Port Vila.

With Sue at the helm, she noticed a boat on the AIS sitting in the middle of the bay and right in our path. The boat seemed to be slowly heading for the reef we had just come around. As we got closer we saw it was Excel. We met Mark and Excel in Tonga several times, then again in Samoa, followed by Wallis. We pulled as close as we could alongside in 30knt winds and a 1m swell, to find he had fuel problems and the motor wouldn't start.

As Sue got Imagine circling Excel, Andrew and Cindy got out the ropes for the drogue, set up the bridle and attached a fender to the end of the 80m rope. Sue circled Excel closer this time as the rope was deployed off the stern. Unfortunately Excel was drifting at a faster rate than anticipated, and drifted over the fender as it went alongside for Mark to reach with his boat hook. Of course the fender went between the keel and the rudder, making it impossible to retrieve in these weather conditions. Mark hooked the rope as it went past the bow and tied it on. Then he hooked the fender from the other side of the boat and tied it off. Andrew then noticed that one of the bridle ropes had caught around Imagine's exhaust pipe. Much to Cindy's horror, Andrew climbed down the boarding ladder, hanging off the boat holding on with only one hand and was able to release the rope from the exhaust pipe.

Sue slowly moved forward to take up the slack, then pointed Imagine towards Port Vila. At a steady pace of 4.5knts Sue towed Excel into the port. Andrew contacted the marina to send a boat to meet us and take Excel to a mooring as it was too difficult for Imagine to be maneuvered amongst the moored boats with Excel in tow. When the marina boat was in position Mark released Imagine's rope and Cindy and Andrew hauled it onboard.

Sue was then able to manoeuvre Imagine between the the moored boats to find a vacant mooring ball. Cindy hooked the mooring rope allowing Andrew to thread Imagine's mooring line through the loop and we were safely moored.

After lunch, Cindy and Andrew went ashore, calling in on Mark on the way. Mark had had time to retrieve the fender from under the boat. He handed the fender back to Andrew and thanked them for their assistance.

SERENDIPITOUS - if the wind hadn't got up the Imagine crew would have gone ashore and Excel may not have got help before reaching the reef. If it had not been Excel we may not have gone closer to the boat (just thinking it was fishing).

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Excell
Sue at helm
Tue Oct 1 19:36 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 41.507S 168 15.857E
Run: 4.9nm (8.9km)

Tuesday 1st October Because Cindy can climb the mast and helm Imagine she thinks she is Wonderwoman.

This morning Andrew went ashore to pay up for being on the mooring, while Cindy was getting postcards & pastries.

Back at the boat Cindy took the helm as we left Port Villa and headed to Mele Bay for a couple of days. Mele Bay isn't as protected and has a little swell, but is nicer to swim in.

To kill a few hours Andrew with his body paint transformed Cindy into Wonderwoman. Cindy enjoyed watching the illusion take place but found it very hard standing still and not telling Andrew how to paint her. Afterwards Andrew took a couple of photos as she posed on deck. She hadn't thought that what goes on must come off. With a slight breeze blowing "This water is f.... freezing" rang out across the bay as Cindy lowered her bum into the sea while clinging onto the boarding ladder and lathering herself with soap. After removing most of the paint she quickly went below for a hot shower.

While all this was going off Sue prepared some meals to be frozen and reheated during the passage to Brisbane.

No news from Wolfgang since his arrival in Tanna and had sent a photo of the volcano he was planning to see last night.

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Mele Bay from waterfall.
Wonderwoman
Mon Sep 30 23:45 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 44.894S 168 18.583E

Monday September 30 Miss Bossy Pants here at the helm!! We had the best day ever today (at least I did)!! No, not because Wolfgang departed for a few days. We already miss him, his corny humor & good natured personality!! For starters, because we are in Port Vila, Andrew was able to get me onto wifi. I had a chance to check emails & touch base with a few dear loved ones. After Sue & Andrew waited patiently for me to peck at the keyboard we headed off to shore. As usual I was hungry again, so we got some good food then grabbed a bus to Mele bay & splurged on a tourist attraction, the waterfalls!! It was absolutely gorgeous, breathtakingly beautiful & well worth the entrance fee!! I swam more today than I have in the past 3wks. Water temperature was delightful & being freshwater there was no chance of jellyfish or anything else that could bite my bum! It was about a 30min hike up to the falls along the creek with refreshing swim holes, amazing flora & not too many tourists on a Monday. On the hike down we took a side trail & saw some beautiful views of Mele bay. Back in Port Vila Sue & Andrew stopped for cool milkshakes while Cindy looked for the perfect t-shirt for her sweet Beau who she misses along with her other DF favorites. The plan was to meet at the fruit market, Cindy waited over an hour then decided to walk to the dinghy dock where she found Sue looking as beautiful as ever after a refreshing shower. A few moments later Andrew appeared after getting a thai massage. They thought that's where I had disappeared to as that was my plan today. They both encouraged me to go indulge myself.....AND I'm so glad I did!! Got a fabulous authentic thai massage, was very strong & hit all the right pressure points. I was moaning in the perfect combination of pleasure & pain, the bruises will be well worth it!! Afterwards I took a long hot shower at the marina & hopped on a dinghy with some friendly folks, saving Andrew the trip back to pick me up. We had a delicious dinner, I had 2 shots of whiskey & was pretty tipsy, Sue & Andrew just kept laughing at me.....s o what's new?? Of course I moaned & groaned over dinner, they find my noises & atrocious table manners very endearing (well Sue says amusing)!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


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Sun Sep 29 21:09 2019 NZDT
GPS: 17 44.894S 168 18.583E
Run: 92.5nm (167.4km)

Sunday 29 September Back in the big smoke. We are all well rested & back on a normal schedule after leaving the Malakula islands Friday morning after breakfast. We sailed back to Port Vila for a few reasons. To restock, catch up on boat chores, refuel, prepare Imagine for Australian strict biosecurity entry requirements & so Wolfgang could catch a flight to Tanna on Monday to sightsee & do a volcano expedition that Sue and Andrew did upon arriving in Vanuatu. We had estimated a 20-24hr sail, winds were whipping & we did many sail changes to slow the boat down as at times we were doing over 8knts. Arriving in Port Vila at sunrise we ate & all took a good cat nap. Then we headed to shore, had good long showers, did a little shopping & enjoyed a nice big lunch out. Back on Imagine we all took naps again before a light dinner & a good movie. This morning there was no breeze so Andrew & Wolfgang worked on repairing the minor tear in the sails while Sue & Cindy cleaned a bit as they pulled themselves away from their books. Sue cooked another fabulous dinner & Cindy has been contributing by giving the crew mini massages. It's been so nice & we all get along splendidly, lots of laughing & good natured teasing.....

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sewing sail.
Thu Sep 26 22:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 29.950S 167 48.333E
Run: 3.4nm (6.2km)

Thursday 26 September After a night with a bit of rolling as the swell made it over the reef, Cindy took the helm and we headed out of the reef. As the wind was not yet in the right direction we found a more sheltered bay for the day/night. This is Sanko Island, also known as the garden island as this is where villagers from the area have their gardens. They paddle over in their canoes to tend the garden and pick fruit and veggies to take back to their village. Generally this island is uninhabited except when the villagers decide to stay the night so there are some living structures dotted around. We should have easterly winds tomorrow making it easier to get back to Port Vila.

We swam off the back of Imagine before lunch. After lunch Wolfgang and Cindy went ashore to check out the island. Great steak and veggie dinner tonight cooked by Cindy, Andrew and Sue with Wolfgang doing the dishes as he lost in the Pass the Pigs game before dinner.

Message from Sue and Andrew to their nephew Lachlan - Happy birthday young man, hope you've had the best of days. Many hugs and much love.

To anyone else reading the blog we love hearing your feedback. And to Cindy's fan club, where have you all been lately?? We all love getting your messages!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Imagine1.
Imagine2.
bananas.
Thu Sep 26 11:39 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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Philip's yacht club.
Yacht club.
Wed Sep 25 22:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 32.310S 167 50.181E
Run: 4.4nm (8km)

Image Wednesday 24th September The morning started with fresh grapefruit for breakfast that Jocelyn (Chief Soferan's wife) had given Cindy yesterday. Then it was time for boat chores. Andrew retrieved the pro dive from the black hole. A few minutes later it was set up ready for diving the hull. Wolfgang armed with a paint scraper attacked the growth on the bottom of the keel whilst Cindy floated around the boat in the dinghy cleaning the growth around the waterline. All this is in preparation for the trip to Australia as Australian biosecurity require us to have a clean hull. When that was done we hauled anchor and moved to Uliveo Island. With Wolfgang up the mast we navigated through the reef to a safe anchorage. Unfortunately it's not as protected as our previous bay so a little bit of rocking and rolling tonight. After lunch of more of Wolfgang's great freshly made bread rolls Andrew, Sue and Wolfgang headed ashore. They were greeted at the shore by Philip in his newly built yacht club. He organised for his nephew Kalkura to take us to swim with the Dugongs. Kalkoura dropped us over the side when we reached the spot where we were likely to see Dugongs. We drifted with the tide. On the edge of a beautiful coral reef we saw numerous fish and about 8 Dugongs. Upon returning to Imagine we discovered Cindy had not only finished reading her book but had vacuumed and made a wonderful meal. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Wolfgang cleaning hull 1.
Wolfgang cleaning hull 2.
Cindy cleaning hull.
Andrew checking anchor.
coral reef.
Tue Sep 24 22:30 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 31.980S 167 46.206E

Image Tuesday 24th September Another day in this secluded and lovely anchorage. During the night Andrew and Wolfgang observed Dugongs


Mon Sep 23 19:39 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 31.980S 167 46.208E

Monday 23 September Still sheltering from the high winds we just lazed around this morning. Wolfgang tried out his baking skills and made bread rolls (biscuits for Americans) for lunch. After lunch we all went ashore and were greeted by Chief Soferan who was so appreciative of Andrew and Wolfgang's help yesterday. He took us around to the other side of the island to his village. We met his wife and sister as we were shown around the village. We all noticed that the chief was limping. He told us that he had slipped and twisted his ankle a few months ago. So Cindy put her magic hands to work and manipulated his ankle and did some traction till it popped back into place. Sue and Cindy handed Jocelyn (his wife) two duvets they had brought from Imagine. Cindy helped Jocelyn fetch water from the well.

Cindy went off with Jocelyn and returned with an arm full of grapefruit. A few minutes later Cindy and Wolfgang were instructed by the chief to follow Jocelyn into the Bush. They all returned with a squash like vegetable. Jocelyn then introduced us to the nuts they grow on the island. They tasted a lot like almonds.

Laidened with the fruit and veggies we headed back to the boat to laze around for the rest of the day Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


carrying water from well.
magic hands.
grapefruit.
Wolfgang and cheif.
Cindy, chiefs wife and sister.
walk back.
Sun Sep 22 23:30 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 31.980S 167 46.206E

Sunday September 22 Blog today written by none other than MBP (Miss Bossy Pants)!! You all get only 1 guess who that might be, of course CindyG!! We are anchored in a beautiful bay waiting out the high winds.

Early this morning we saw the family of 15 natives on the nearest very small island of Awel get picked up on a little fiberglass boat to go to church. About an hour later 2 men returned to the island & we saw them bailing out buckets of water from the boat. A bit later they motored over to ask Andrew & Wolfgang to help them lift the boat out of the water. Being the kind generous man he is, Andrew realized this is the only motorized transport of these small islands!! So he grabbed tools, fiberglass, sandpaper and hopped on the dinghy with Wolfgang to head over. Numerous short trips back & forth, Andrew repaired several small leaks in the boat while Wolfgang documented the day with his camera. In between trips Sue cooked up a delicious hearty lunch for us all. Cindy and Sue played scrabble & read their books to pass the day. Cindy is feeling much better after 2days of a bad head cold, everyone was grossed out by her homemade remedy of raw garlic, ginger, sirache & lemon tea dri nk.

Only 1 other boat, Sarean is anchored here, Meg & Darren are coming to join us for snacks & drinks this evening. We all had a lovely enlightening experience, they were a delightful couple and great company!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


repair1.
repair2.
repair3.
Imagine1.
Imagine2.
Sat Sep 21 19:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 31.980S 167 46.206E
Run: 13.7nm (24.8km)

Saturday 21 September After breakfast Cindy found some tops she could do without and Andrew found shorts and T-shirts. Sue found some hair ties, a cap and a ball. We added 3kg of rice and put them all in a big plastic tub. Andrew and Sue then took the tub ashore to the village where Rex (our guide) lived. The village chief met us at the waters edge greeting us and offering us a large Papaya. We thanked him and told him how Rex had been our guide. We then gave the chief the tub of clothes for the village.

Back on Imagine we lifted the dinghy onboard and hauled anchor. With Wolfgang at the helm we motored south against the southerly wind and swell, to the Maskelyne Islands. We found shelter behind one of the islands along with a yacht we had seen a week ago in Lamen bay. After lunch Wolfgang Andrew and Sue went ashore and met the locals. There is only two brothers and their families living here. Again very poor with traditional thatched houses. They have just had another yacht install a 50ltr water tank so they don't have to row to the mainland to fill water containers every day. The school is on the mainland and the mums paddle the dugout canoe with the kids to and from school. It takes about an hour each way.

The other yacht has been here a couple of days and helped with a few odd jobs. We will go back ashore tomorrow to see what we can do to help them.

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Awel,Maskelyne.
Fri Sep 20 23:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 20.157S 167 45.366E

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kids1.
locals1.
kids2
locals2.
allblack.
soccer1.
soccer2.
the crew.
Fri Sep 20 22:57 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 20.157S 167 45.366E

Friday 20 September After our morning dip, we headed ashore. We were greeted by a couple of men and a 13 year old boy. They were helpful in telling us what this bay had to offer. Quite a different reception from Pentecost. The boy (Rex) kindly guided us around the bay, showing us through the villages. There was a definite divide between the two sides of the bay. At a certain point Rex disappeared as did the other children following us and it was apparent to us that they do not "cross the line" to the villages on the other side. The first from where Rex came from were very friendly, but very poor. All wearing old torn clothes. Many of the younger children were not wearing any clothes. The other village where they charged for going to the waterfall and showing a cultural dance, all had new clothes. They were still friendlier than Pentecost. Cindy wanted a safety pin as Rex was hanging on to his shorts the whole way or they would have fallen off. We wished we had got a whole lot of clothes off trade me before we had come away. Again we took lollies ashore which the kids really loved, as well as the adults! It was the great soccer match day between the villages, so we stopped at the soccer field for an hour to watch them play. Then we headed back to the boat for another swim, lunch and a short nap.

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Thu Sep 19 18:42 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 20.157S 167 45.366E
Run: 40.9nm (74km)

Thursday 19th September 2019 In the early hours a quite large number of dolphins were swimming around Imagine. We estimated them to be about 40! After an early breakfast we lifted anchor and set sail West-South-West to Malekula Island. So, we had reached our most northern point during our sailing around Vanuatu. Wolfgang sped Imagine to 8 knots


Wed Sep 18 21:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 15 54.785S 168 11.265E
Run: 16.6nm (30km)

Wednesday September 18 Another morning in paradise! Woke on Ambrym island & we all took a quick dip in the beautiful azure waters. After breakfast we sailed toward Pentecost island with great winds going 7+knts & Cindy at the helm. In less than 3hrs we arrived, took a refreshing swim & ate an early lunch... Andrew tried to nap, but the girls kept asking "are you awake dear?"... So we put the motor on dinghy & headed to shore! We were immediately met by an older gentleman who offered to guide us to hot springs or entertain us in the evening with a dinner & native dancing for an exorbitantly ridiculous price!! Instead we jus took a leisurely walk along the main road & we were all shocked at how unfriendly the locals were! Young kids even threw apples at us while cackling like witches! So we kept our gifts & headed back to the boat, took a swim, ate snacks & had naps. BBQ dinner on aft deck & enjoyed our own company & a beautiful sunset! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


sailing.
Tue Sep 17 22:03 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 08.530S 168 06.908E
Run: 6.6nm (11.9km)

Tuesday 17 September We started the day with Miss Bossy Pants (AKA-Cindy) creating a mutiny amongst the crew. She then took over as Captain ordering Wolfgang to take vitamins pills and drink at least 3 litres of water per day. Then she took over the galley, cooking and preparing meals for later. She then ordered everyone ashore for a swim and to check out the hot water spring. After playing in the hot volcanic sand and water on the beach we headed back to the boat where Andrew was allowed to play captain for a while.

We motored up the coast a few bays to Ranon where the tours to the volcano started. Unfortunately when we get to shore we discovered the earthquake 2 years ago had sealed the crator. This meant Wolfgang and Cindy will miss out on seeing an active volcano. A local took us on a tour of the local villages. When passing the school Cindy was mobbed by the kids as she handed out candy. We bought 2 loaves of bread from the local Baker.

Back on board we took a swim before partaking in a little rum and snacks on the rear deck.

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Robert the local.
Cindy with lolleies.
kids.
houses.
church.
Baker.
beach.
Mon Sep 16 21:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 11.615S 168 01.927E
Run: 21.9nm (39.6km)

Monday, 16 September We visited Liro Village on Paama this morning. Paama is only 7miles long. You can only see a couple of structures from the boat but when we went ashore we were delighted to find a great village of people. We came across people from world vision who were coordinating a team of civil engineers from Otago University, helping the villagers with their freshwater systems, installing guttering and helping with piping to their freshwater tanks, along with demonstration to the villagers on how to keep the water tanks clean. The children were in school. There is a primary school and a secondary school in the village. As we were next to the primary school Wolfgang heard the little kids counting to 10 in English.

We wandered around the village, talked to some wonderful people, saw lots of chickens with little chicks and lots of dogs. Also beautiful flowers on the island. The houses are divided by hedge lined laneways. It was a real taste of village life in Vanuatu, off the beaten track (not many boats stop at Paama). As the children were in school we gave out the lollies we had bought to the island to the adults who really enjoyed them! Andrew also went back to the boat and gave them 7 lifejackets that we had brought from NZ that we had kept to give away. We all really loved this island (in Cindy's words f$%&^*# amazing!), but we decided we want to see as much of Vanuatu as we can before heading to Australia. We left Paama this afternoon for Ambryn. We saw a school of dolphins enjoying swimming around the bow of the boat. Late this afternoon we arrived at Bouama Hot Springs on Ambryn. Cindy had done her daily mast climb to look for reefs and bommies. (Pole dancing has taken on a totally new meaning). It was about 5pm when we arrived so once we had anchored we went to find the hot springs. We found them but as it was just after high tide we decided we would come back tomorrow when we could see what we were stepping into and instead went for a swim. Very black sand, the water was warm and if you dug your toes into the sand it was hot! Andrew's making spag bol for tea tonight with his great garlic croutons. Best news of today, Cindy didn't throw up!!! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


water training.
school kids.
locals.
house1.
lakeway.
Sun Sep 15 20:00 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 27.193S 168 13.361E
Run: 89.8nm (162.5km)

Sunday 15 September Yesterday we went ashore and met a few locals at Lamen Bay. We were told that on Monday the Vanuatu police and Australian army were going to arrive for training, so we thought that it would be too crowded for us.

When we went back to the boat we all went for a swim. Wolfgang's first Pacific swim. Then Wolfgang went for a snorkel. Today we hauled anchor and headed for Paama with Wolfgang at the helm. After Cindy chucked up her breakfast, a little later in the morning she did her first ever mast climb. She was only supposed to go a couple of meters so she could guide us around the reef. But she didn't stop. Up to the second spreader and without a harness. This evening Wolfgang is cooking on the bbq while the girls make the salad.

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Fri Sep 13 19:06 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.160S 168 13.280E
Run: 5.9nm (10.7km)

Friday 13th September We have just left Port Vila heading to Lamen Bay, Epi.

This morning we all went into town. Cindy and Andrew went for a massage while Wolfgang & Sue went to the market for fresh fruit. Back at the boat Cindy made a ratatouille for lunch. Then we all got some rest before setting off.

As we were raising the main sail Andrew noticed a couple of stow aways. Black banded sea snakes. For some reason he found himself the only one left on deck. After persuading the snakes to leave Wolfgang came back out on deck to help raise the sail. Actually Wolfgang had gone for the boat hook so Andrew could do his snake wrangling! Been overcast and raining off and on today. Forecast is for a nicer day tomorrow which will be great as Lamen Bay is famous for the large number of turtles and for some dugongs.

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Thu Sep 12 20:33 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 44.241S 168 18.608E

Thursday 12th September Today we welcome our two new crew members, Wolfgang and Cindy. Unfortunately Port Vila has turned on the rain so it was a wet ride from the dinghy dock to Imagine.

Both seem glad to be here after their really long days. Wolfgang has travelled from Germany to Hong Kong, Brisbane to here (with long hours stopovers). Cindy boarded her flight in San Francisco, travelled 10 hours to Fiji where she had stopover for 9 hours. We are glad they both made it and both still with big beautiful smiles on their faces. Andrew is making dinner. After that I think they will be crashing! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


wolfgang.
cindy.
Thu Sep 12 20:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 44.241S 168 18.608E

Thursday 12th September Today we welcome our two new crew members, Wolfgang and Cindy. Unfortunately Port Vila has turned on the rain so it was a wet ride from the dinghy dock to Imagine.

Both seem glad to be here after their really long days. Wolfgang has travelled from Germany to Hong Kong, Brisbane to here (with long hours stopovers). Cindy boarded her flight in San Francisco, travelled 10 hours to Fiji where she had stopover for 9 hours. We are glad they both made it and both still with big beautiful smiles on their faces. Andrew is making dinner. After that I think they will crash! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


wolfgang.
cindy.
Tue Sep 10 19:30 2019 NZST

Tuesday 10th September It took all morning yesterday to get cleared and are officially temporary Vanutuers, Vanuatuans, we can stay in Vanuatu for a while.

Au Revoir Marion This afternoon we sadly said goodbye to Marion. She was off to catch a plane to Santo to meet up with another boat which will take her around a bit more of Vanuatu and then to New Caledonia. No more French or English lessons. We've collected additional info from Vanuatu tourism and this afternoon spent planning a flexible itinerary for the number of days we have left in Vanuatu. For some reason Andrew thought it might be a great idea to sail over a submarine volcano from Port Vila to Epi. Sue thinks the more direct (not over submarine volcano) route will be better!! Tomorrow we will stock up ready for our new crew arriving on Thursday.

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Sat Sep 7 19:06 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 44.241S 168 18.608E
Run: 145.9nm (264.1km)

Saturday 7th September No we are still not officially in Vanuatu.

We arrived in Port Vila about 1200 yesterday and customs came to see us just after 3.00pm. That was fine but immigration and biosecurity were busy, so we still aren't here. There office's reopen on Monday so we will be able to go to the office and complete booking in.

On our way here Marion tried out another seasick remedy. Masking tape across the stomach. Not sure if that did any good.

Port Vila is the nicest and cleanest city/port we have been in. Waiting for customs we were anchored in 7m of water and could see the coral bottom. Two Dugongs swam past to greet us. We were too slow to grab the camera. We have moved closer into the harbour on a mooring ball and the water is still clear. Isle of Wallis may not be our number one spot for long.? Today we went to buy data and fresh fruit and veggies. The local market has the best quality and range of produce we have seen in all the islands.

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seasick remedy.
sleeping beauty.
harbour 1.
harbour 2.
harbour 3.
Thu Sep 5 16:45 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Thursday, 5th September Well, we are still not officially in Vanuatu.

Due to bad rain on the morning before we arrived the road from the other side of the island had been washed way. This meant customs could not get here.

There are 4 other boats in the bay with us some tring to book in some trying to book out. We all went ashore to look at the volcano yesterday evening. What an experience! What's health and safety?? We were picked up from the bay by two Toyota 4x4 dual cabs. Five in the cab + driver and six in the tray. 45 minutes later we arrived at the base of the volcano. We were each issued a plastic helmet to protect us from falling ash (health and safety). This is where we get transferred to single cab 4x4s this time ten of us in the tray. The tray did have seating. 50mm x 200mm planks nailed together and a pipe framework holding up a trampoline. We all clung into the pipes as the seating slid around as we went up the mountainside.

We arrived at the top of the mountain just before sunset and we walked up to the rim of the crater. We were then lead around the rim of the volcano which in places was only 500mm wide. The hand rails along the track ended just before reaching the rim. Who needs hand rails?? They probably kept burning up.

But there is nowhere else you could get so close and see so much. There was loud bangs as the lava exploded into the air with such force that the air pressure would push you back if you weren't steady footed. We stayed there for about two hours after dark and then made our way back to the 4x4s using torches or our phones to see the way.

An amazing experience Now we are off to Port Vila to clear customs and officially be here.

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ride up the mountain.
smoking.
crater edge.
boom.
me & her.
Tue Sep 3 18:33 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 31.503S 169 29.706E
Run: 125.2nm (226.6km)
Avg: 5.4knts
24hr: 128.7nm

Tuesday 3rd September We are unofficially in Vanuatu. Before we left Fiji we emailed Vanuatu customs of our arrival date and they confirmed they will be waiting. Three hours before arriving we emailed them to say we would arrive at 2pm and again they confirmed they would be waiting. It's now 5.30 and we are still waiting.

It's been an eventful day. It started with a series of squalls overnight and into the morning. Daybreak revealed several kamikaze flying fish lying on the foredeck. As we approached Port Resolution (about 800m off the narrow entrance) under motor, the motor died. Quickly we put out the headsail. No time to put up the main. Sue and Marion now with a bit of sail power turned away from the entrance, while Andrew figured out what has happened to the motor.

No fuel getting to the motor! One of the two fuel filters dirty? No time to replace filters. Turning the valves over and reroute from the tank to the secondary filters (back up system). Oh, no fuel getting through. Check the main tank valves, yes they are turned on. Okay blocked fuel line from tank. No time to do anything about it while bouncing around in these waves. Grab the jerry can with diesel, into the engine room and put the filler hose into it. The filler hose is connected to a pump leading to the backup system. Turn the pump on. Fuel now running through the back up system, turn on the engine. With a few coughs and splutters it fired up.

We furled the sail away and motored into the bay. Finding a place to anchor was easy, not too many boats in the bay. Dropping the anchor, well that wasn't quite as easy. With all the bouncing around going through the squalls, the manual handle and mechanism on the winch had jammed. The anchor only went down 1m . By this time the wind had caught the boat and pulled the bow around pointing towards the rocks. Sue being on the helm knew to put it back in gear and with full revs do a 360 to bring it back into position. By the time the boat was back in position Andrew had sorted the anchor and we were set.

Marion is cooking dinner tonight. As she is French it must be something good. Ooh la la! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


flyingfish 1.
flyingfish 2.
flyingfish 3.
Mon Sep 2 19:12 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 09.496S 171 22.473E
Run: 179.5nm (324.9km)
Avg: 6.8knts
24hr: 163.8nm

Monday 2nd September Another relaxing day doing 6knts with the wind and waves behind us. To kill the boredom Andrew set the crew (Marion) to work washing windows.

This evening with just a little rolling motion we had dinner on the foredeck as we watched ths sunset over the bow.

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Marion.
washing windows.
sunset.
Sun Sep 1 16:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 38.062S 174 03.764E
Run: 143.2nm (259.2km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 147.5nm

Sunday 1st September Not a lot to report. No dolphins, no whales, no fish! Marion had second day flu. The majority of people get seasick usually the second day. We've discovered one of the seasick tablets we have on board can have the adverse reaction of sending people to sleep, as Ben (my son) discovered and with Marion today.

Still making good headway today, weather permitting we should arrive at Port Resolution on Tuesday.

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Sat Aug 31 17:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 10.278S 176 11.425E
Run: 83.8nm (151.7km)

Saturday 31st August On Thursday we welcomed on board our new crew member Marion who is travelling with us to Vanuatu. Marion is French so will have fun translating to English then Kiwi! At sunrise this morning we headed out of Fiji for Vanuatu making reasonable headway. Although we have the main reefed to number 2 and no headsail or staysail out, we have been doing 6.5 to 7 knots. We are still practicing fishing! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Aug 24 19:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.422S 177 23.314E
Run: 12.4nm (22.4km)

Saturday 24th August We have moved back to Denarau. We ran out of data so we had to come back here on Thursday afternoon so Andrew could bus into Nadi to buy more data.

Shit, shit, shit (not just from Sue) rang out most of yesterday, as unpredicted high winds and half meter waves hit the bay. A catamaran dragged anchor first. As he was resetting the anchor we saw another ketch start moving. The crew from the ketch had gone ashore earlier. So Andrew jumped in the dinghy and went to see what could be done. He was met by someone in a dinghy going to do the same thing. The two of them had enough time to work out that the ketch had no more anchor chain to put out, when Sue radioed Andrew that Imagine was dragging. Andrew left the ketch for the other guy to figure out and headed back to Imagine. By this time Imagine had dragged 100m and was almost on another boat and getting closer. Sue had already got the motor running and headed into the wind and waves while Andrew hauled up the anchor. Three attemps later to co-anchor we got the anchor to hold. 4 m of water well over 40m of chain out. Over the radio we heard two guys off different boats were trying to save another boat heading to the sandbar. We then saw another ketch on the move. Andrew jumped back in the dinghy and off to the ketch. There was only a young guy on the ketch who wasn't sure what to do. The skipper was one the we had heard on the radio saving another boat. Dropping another 30m of chain out seemed to get the ketch under control.

Heading back to Imagine Andrew saw yet another yacht sliding back. As he approached he could see a woman at the helm starting to motor forward and getting it under control. It turns out her husband was the other one saving the boat from the sandbar. It wasn't long before the two skippers were back on their boats and hauling anchors. They came and anchored either side of us.

With the fun over and the wind slowly dying, Sue stayed glued in front of the helm the rest of the day and then semi slept in the cockpit checking on our position regularly. Sorry no pictures. We were a bit too busy.

With neither us feeling 100% today we've had a rest day.

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Thu Aug 22 9:51 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.716S 177 12.040E
Run: 12.3nm (22.3km)

Thursday 22nd August We left Denarau on Sunday and have been sheltering from the high winds just around the corner from Musket Cove. It's funny all the boats are in Musket Cove bouncing around with the white capped waves because it's the trendy place to be. We are anchored out of the wind about 600m away in a bay that was all to ourselves (another yacht just came in). It's much nicer here, not crowded, lovely water, some nice reefs to snorkel and just a short walk around to Musket Cove if you wanted to use their facilities (we joined the yacht club so can use facilities if we want to).

Nothing much to report. We have just been chilling out and swimming. Oh and been feeding the fish. Funny that some locals have come out a couple of days in a row, anchored about 150 meters away and they caught all the fish we'd been feeding!!! Spent some time today working on a client's website.

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Sat Aug 17 17:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.430S 177 23.273E

Saturday 17th August Well we risked our lives again. We caught a local bus into Nadi. Sue was a little concerned about the loud bang every time the bus sped up or slowed down (faulty universal on drive shaft or shackles on rear springs). The bus could have done with new (or even old) shock absorbers. It would have stopped the body roll and bouncing. The automatic door flew open every time the bus slowed down and close when speeding up. I can say it went into gear smoothly, at least twice during the trip. The buses are quite cheap $1.11 per person each way to Nadi, but you do need to have purchased an "ecard" before you get on the bus (not as easy as it sounds in some places?). Bus drivers are not supposed to accept cash although some still do but there are heavy fines if one of the inspectors catch you paying cash. Although the driver seemed to be very friendly with the few locals that had forgotten their bus card and shook their hand.

Anyway we survived! We got more provisions for the trip and headed back to the boat (we chose a better bus this time although Sue would dispute that as the seat didn't quite have all the screws it should have to secure it!) Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu Aug 15 20:42 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.430S 177 23.273E

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snake.
Bula Bus.
Thu Aug 15 20:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 45.431S 177 23.273E
Run: 13.8nm (25km)

Image;snake.

Image;Bula Bus.

Thursday 15th August We are now in Denarau. We left Musket Cove this morning in beautiful sunshine but not much wind so we motored the short distance to Denarau. We put the dinghy in the water to go ashore and Andrew was just stepping down the ladder to wash his foot as a bit of petrol had spilt on it when he exclaimed "oh shit" as he just about stepped onto a black and white sea snake (see picture) which had it's head raised towards said foot! These snakes are one of the most venemous snakes but apparently they can't open their mouth wide enough to bite anything more than your little pinky but who wants to test that theory! Had a look around Port Denarau complex and sussed out where to fill up with diesel. We also saw where to catch the buses including the Bula Bus (see picture) Tomorrow we will take the bus into Nadi and visit the markets.

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Tue Aug 13 19:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 46.559S 177 10.766E
Run: 85.2nm (154.2km)

Tuesday 13th August Hi guys. We are on the sunny side of Fiji. We left Suva yesterday and sailed overnight, to arrive here at Musket Cove first thing this morning. It was a good sail with the wind behind us Imagine sailed from 5 to 7.5 knots making good headway until about 4 this morning when the wind speed dropped to 6 knots. We need 10knts to get Imagine going. So it was motor time. Musket Cove is a resort and marina on Malolo Lailai island just west of Nadi.

This anchorage is very popular as there are about 30 boats here at the moment. Week of 12 September this year they will hold the annual yacht regatta which is extremely popular and there will be a load more boats then. Fortunately we should be in Vanuatu by then! First thing we did when we arrived was go for a swim off the back of the boat. We haven't been swimming in the water since we left Wallis due to either being in port where no one in their right mind would go swimming or due to bad weather. Last night we witnessed "green flash" phenomenon. It is something sailors talk about, but don't all see. Out at sea on a calm clear evening as the sun goes down and disappears. There is a green flash. Well we wouldn't call it a flash that lights up the sky. But as the sun disappeared over the horizon, for about a second the small bit of sun left turned green.

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Musket Cove1.
Musket Cove2.
Sat Aug 10 20:15 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Saturday 10th August 19 Slight delay, we are still in Suva - looking at departing Monday morning to western side of Fiji. We decided there was a few jobs we wanted to complete before setting off again. Andrew spent most of today working on making the lazarette (black hole) flush with the rest of the stern deck, giving more space and less likely for people to trip up. He also worked on the water tank breather pipes, some of them seemed to be split and the system wasn't working as it should. A few other odd jobs and some more tomorrow. One of our neighbours is a 3 masted tall ship which was built in Scotland (100 years ago). She is sometimes based here and sometimes Nelson. They say there us a lot of work to do on her but are travelling to Vanuatu, NZ, Australia and then to Scotland maybe February or March next year to celebrate the 100 year anniversary. One of the crew we see quite often has been on the vessel for 7 years. He did tell us the name of the boat but we didn't quite hear him and don't like to keep asking, but picture is attached.

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Suva streets1.
Suva streets2.
Suva clamping on smokers.
black hole before.
working on black hole.
tall ship.
Thu Aug 8 20:18 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Thursday 8th August It's a good job we do these blogs. It's the only way we know what day it is! First thing this morning Andrew went up the mast and fitted the new pulley and halyard and reset the staysail while there was no wind. I'm beginning to think he likes it up there - he went up 3 times! It scares the bejeebers out of me whilst I'm left hanging onto the rope that is making sure he won't fall - well too far that is! After breakfast it was off to smelly, dirty, crowded, noisy (a city) Suva. The bus trip as usual was very amusing, the traffic terrible - almost as bad as Auckland and the bus driver thought he was in a xbox game, tearing off down the road, forcing his way around the roundabout then blaring his horn for others to get out his way. We got some fruit and veg then got out of there. This afternoon we went back to Lami to do the rest of the shopping.

This evening we treated ourselves to dinner out. We went to the yacht club where there was a couple of guys playing 80s music so we had a nice meal and live entertainment to boot. Tomorrow more maintenance work on the boat and some general cleaning. Due to lack of wind we will probably set off from here Saturday to go to the other side ... ie the dry side of Fiji. Today though we had our first bit of sunshine for what seems like an awful long time! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Andrew up mast.
playing music.
Tue Aug 6 20:15 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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air conditioned bus.
boats drafted together.
rainbow koro island
Tue Aug 6 20:09 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image:air conditioned bus.

Image:boats rafyed together.

Image:rainbow kori island Tuesday 6th August First thing this morning we had a police boat pull along side. Police and Bio Security came onboard to do a spot check. First time we have had this after we have already been through entry formalities, but in a way reassuring that they do keep an eye out on who is coming and going in the harbour. I should point out they went to all the boats so it wasn't just us looking suspect! Today after Andrew climbed up the mast, we went to get the halyard replaced. The rigging place was in a town 2km away called Lami. Of cause we had to take the bus. An air conditioned island style bus (no windows).

The bus driver we had from Labasa to Savusavu drove fast but did stop for passengers. The one we had today didn't stop for passengers. There were road works some kilometers ahead and there was no way the bus driver was going to get out of the line of traffic to stop at bus stops. He did slow down but he was not going to stop. Luckily at our stop the traffic had come to a stand still for a moment and we ran into the traffic and got on. Others had to run along side and jump on. Any stops where there was women with babies or any older people he just didn't bother even slowing. Again luckily our stop to get off was just past the road works and he stopped to let people off.

This afternoon we were flagged down by one of the neighbouring yachts. He wondered if I could help. He couldn't start the boat motor. I went across to have a look and took our start battery and multimeter. His batteries were low from trying to start it. With our battery connected smoke started pouring out of the starter motor. He then told me it had been smoking in Samoa and he had someone look at it and say it was ok. So I left him pondering how to get the starter motor replaced as there was nothing further I could do. He is being towed across to the Royal Suva Yacht Club tomorrow where he can tie up to one of the pontoons and hopefully will be able to get some help.

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Mon Aug 5 17:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 07.327S 178 25.374E
Run: 87nm (157.5km)

Yes we are in sunny Suva, well Suva. It has rained most days since we arrived in Fiji (although apparently we are on the "wet side" of Fiji!) The water is cold 28 deg. We haven't been game to go for a swim yet. We have been spoiled by Wallis Isle. Anyway back to Suva. We arrived this morning and found an anchorage outside the Royal Yacht Club. The trip was eventful. We had calculated that it would take about 26 hours, so we didn't set off early. This meant that averaging 5 knots we would be in Suva about lunch time. Wrong. We had the main reefed right down and ran with the small staysail and we still were reaching over 7 knots. So we arrived in the dark and had to wait around outside the reef as the pass was not marked well and is not lit. In the early hours of the morning the halyard for the staysail broke (worn through) and the sail came down. A quick wet rush out on deck secured the sail. So we ran with just the main. When we got to Suva reef we had to motor back and forth to kill time till sunrise whilst manoeuvring between half a dozen fishing boats, ferry and cargo boats! We knew we were low on fuel but couldn't tell how low because the fuel gauge died.

But we made it (with no sleep). Today a big sleep in. Tomorrow is a trip into town to get a new stainless halyard made and to stock the boat. The fuel gauge is repairable but getting fuel not so easy. The fuel pier is only 2.3m at high tide. We draw 2.5m, so it's lots of trips with a Jerry can. The port/harbour is very busy with boats (some of the fishing boats and others are rafted together). Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Aug 3 18:54 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image Saturday 3rd August This morning we went ashore to see David and Jhoty. Andrew had made a loaf of bread for them. We also took some rope, fishing lures, caps and a couple of life jackets. We stopped and had a chat with them and their grandkids. Jhoty said they would be collecting firewood, coconuts and other food, and preparing this for tomorrow - Sunday. On Sunday the day is based around church with one service at 10am and the other at 3pm. Nothing else much is done on Sundays so Saturday is the day they prepare the food etc.

We did a bit of maintenance on Imagine. This afternoon we did a bit of fishing with left over steak for bait. Yes they have classy fish here (only eat steak). Sue caught a medium size fish. Not quite big enough for filleting , so it's in the freezer for bait for next time.

This evening just before sunset the evening shower displayed a full rainbow over Imagine.

Tomorrow morning we are off to Suva for a few days.

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David and Jhoty's grandchildren in the dingy
rainbow
Thu Aug 1 21:06 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu Aug 1 20:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 14.976S 179 22.471E

Imaged Sue


Thu Aug 1 20:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 14.976S 179 22.471E

Thursday 1st August Image We awoke to a beautiful day. After breakfast we lowered the dinghy into the water and headed ashore. We were met at the shore by David. David is the village chief's right hand man. He took us to see the chief to present him with sevusevu, but he was away visiting another village. David being the right hand man was able to perform a small ceremony receive the sevusevu and make us part of the village, granting us access to land and sea. He then gave us a tour of the village showing us where cyclone Winston had created havoc although it hit harder on the other side of the island. David's wife didn't know that her photo was in the Fiji cruising guide, so we left her a copy. The photo had been taken last year by a journalist writing a bit about the island and the Americans that took 3 attempts to land there in WW2. We went ashore with kava roots for sevusevu and came back with coconut, pumpkin, bananas, and more.

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Cyclone1
cyclone2
cyclone3
Wed Jul 31 18:24 2019 NZST
GPS: 17 14.976S 179 22.471E
Run: 32.8nm (59.4km)

Wednesday 31st July 19 This morning felt a bit strange having the boat to ourselves after having crew on board for 3 months. Despite that we set sail for Taveuni but the wind had different ideas so we headed off to Koro Island. It was a pleasant full day's sail with the only sealife encounter of a single dolphin. Tonight we have anchored at Vatumataua. As we have not long since arrived we will go to Nabuna village in the morning for sevusevu. More about that tomorrow! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Tue Jul 30 21:00 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 46.636S 179 20.085E

Tuesday 30th Jul In to town for the last day. Stella and Tony getting their last bits and pieces before departing. Andrew and Sue getting a few fruit n veg.

The businesses in SavuSavu don't put all their eggs in one basket. The diversification is wonderful. The furniture shop sells seafood as well. The barber shop is also a pawn shop that sells icecream and repairs phones and tablets. The fish shop is also the pool parlor. This evening we have just said goodbye to Tony and Stella who have caught the ferry to Suva. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sue at the market
barber shop
fish shop
furniture shop
Tue Jul 30 8:42 2019 NZST
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taxi 1
taxi 2
Imagine
Savusavu main street
Mon Jul 29 21:27 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Monday 29th July This morning we went to immigration to sign Stella and Tony off the boat. We then split up and Tony and Stella headed off to Labasa on the 9:30 bus. Andrew had things to do in Savusavu then joined Sue on the 11:30 bus to Labasa. Labasa is the capital of this island, the big city. Sue was a bit concerned when two guys got on the bus with machetes in their hands. The carrying of machetes is quite common here.

Everyone met up for the interesting ride back. The bus driver was on a hurry to get home as he was going rather fast. Unlike Samoa where the buses were interesting to look at, here it's the taxi's.

This evening Tony and Stella took us out for dinner as it was our last dinner together before they depart on the ferry tomorrow.

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Sat Jul 27 19:45 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Saturday 27 July 19 Due to weather conditions predictions and to ensure Tony catches his flight back to NZ in time and Stella her flight to Tonga, Stella and Tony have booked a ferry ticket from SavuSavu to Suva departing on Tuesday. They'll then have 1 or 2 days in Suva before catching the bus to Nadi.

Ferry tickets were booked this morning whilst Andrew organised for a fuel top up tomorrow. After a bit of shopping at the market and wandering around town, Stella and Tony are currently at the Captains bar at the Copra Shed Marina enjoying some cold beers, some bar food and watching a few rugby games - the last one being All Blacks vs South Africa. Tomorrow will be a catch up day for all of us and then we have to take Imagine over to the jetty by the marina so we can get the fuel.

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Thu Jul 25 19:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 16 46.636S 179 20.085E
Run: 219.3nm (396.9km)
Avg: 4.3knts
24hr: 103.7nm

Thursday 25th July Bula! We made it! Arrived at 1:00pm and were guided to a mooring ball outside the marina. 16 pages and many $$$ later, Customs, Immigration, Health and Bio security cleared us into Fiji by 4:00pm.

A quick trip into town turned into a long trip into town, as we discovered we had a can of bad petrol and the outboard wouldn't run. We then rowed ashore to find the shops closed at 5:00, guess what it was now 5:30. So tomorrow is a trip to get a new fuel filter, internet sim card, food supplies, etc.

Early night for all of us as we're all stuffed! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Tue Jul 23 16:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 14 35.582S 178 16.463W
Run: 168.6nm (305.2km)

Tuesday 23rd July We left Wallis yesterday morning with Sue at the helm guiding Imagine through the gap in the reef. I think all of us are sorry to leave Wallis and wish we'd had more time there. It was a beautiful day with light winds and little swell. As the day went on the winds increased to 20 knots by evening. As usual we reefed the sails for the night.

Today has been overcast but pleasant. Not much more to report.

Fiji here we come.

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Sun Jul 21 18:51 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Sunday 21 July The day started out with Stella and Tony heading off to the motu next to the reef entrance, for a few hours snorkeling. Andrew flew the drone for a few more stunning shots of the outer islands of Wallis.

The afternoon was spent preparing for the trip to Fiji. With everything stowed away and the dinghy strapped to the deck we took photos of our last Wallis sunset. We set sail for Fiji in the morning. Depending on the wind it will take 3 to 5 days to reach SavuSavu Fiji.

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Fri Jul 19 19:24 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Friday 17 July Not much to report today. We officially booked out of Wallis, although not leaving till Monday morning (before the offices open). We had lunch at a nice restaurant, frequented by locals. There are no public buses on Wallis so there is a lot of walking in the heat or hitching a ride with one of the friendly locals. Then we spent the afternoon under the sunshade on the foredeck pacing ourselves for some more snorkeling tomorrow.

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Sue exercising her thumb
Wed Jul 17 20:18 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Wednesday 17 July Guess what? Another day in paradise. This morning all four of us headed off to snorkel the hole in the reef. One of the best places yet. The hole was over 15m deep so clear you could see three stingrays hiding in the sand below us. The hole was an oval shape. About 50m by 200m.

There is not much more to say about it just wow See the photos.

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reef1
reef2
reef3
reef4
reef5
reef6
reef7
Tue Jul 16 17:24 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Tuesday 16th July Still at Wallis, waiting for enough wind to make it all the way to Fiji.

An exciting day today, we went shopping. Tony stayed aboard while Sue Stella and Andrew headed into town. Stella needed internet to finalise her in Tonga to swim with the whales. Andrew and Sue headed to the supermarket for supplies. Overcast but still hot, Sue decided to test out her thumb and within minutes Karl (a local) pulled over to give us a ride. We don't speak French and Karl doesn't speak English, but we were able to let him know we wanted to go to the supermarket. After a downpour while in the shops, Sue and Andrew headed back to the boat with shopping bags on hand. It was only a few 100 meters when a lady took pitty on us and offered a ride.

Back at the jetty you could see another downpour coming, so Sue and Andrew rushed the food back to Imagine. Andrew then returned ashore to wait for Stella who had found the only cafe with internet to shelter from the rain. Unfortunately we didn't make it back to Imagine without getting wet.

Tony had pre prepared dinner while we were away.

After lunch it was still overcast with a few showers, so it was read a book or siesta time. You can't go snorkeling in the rain, you will get wet (it doesn't look as pretty).

Tony's curried chicken smells good.

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Super market complex
waterfront church
Mon Jul 15 17:15 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image Monday 15 July Another lazy day. The wind had dropped by this morning, so we headed off to explore a motu on the outer part of the reef. Andrew sent up the drone and we found a hole in the reef a local had told Tony about. We will be back tomorrow with the dive and snorkel gear. On the way back we checked out another couple of motu's. We got back to the boat to find the harbour was getting crowded. Another boat had arrived. After lunch we went for another swim and spent the afternoon sitting on the fore deck under the sun shade and thought about you lot hard at work ? It must be time for a coconut and pineapple drink laced with vodka while we watch the sunset.

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hole in reef
crowded harbour
drink time
Sun Jul 14 16:30 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Tony diving
Reef1
Reef2
Sun Jul 14 14:36 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Sunday 14th July Yesterday was Bastille Day celebrations in Wallis (Bastille Day is today).

We started the day snorkeling off one of the many Motus here. The edge of the reef went from .5m to 40m, which made for a great array of fish and coral. After lunch we moved the boat back into the harbour, so we could go ashore in the evening.

In the evening the waterfront area was crowded with locals (and four boat people). There was a couple of food stalls, a band and 3 groups of traditional dancers. All of which was being filmed by the local (one and only) Wallis TV station.

Unfortunately the night was interrupted by a sudden downpour, which left everyone sodden. At this point we realised that we had left all the hatches on the boat open (wet beds). Being soaking wet and a 10 to 15knt breeze we were cooling down fast. So we decided to head back to the boat.

Upon reaching our dinghy tied up to the wharf and seeing the choppy water, Tony decided not to go back to Imagine. So Andrew, Sue and Stella headed off into the dark, while Tony went back to watch the rest of the dancing.

The trio made it back to Imagine soaked in salt water, whilst Tony talked a local family into putting him up for the night.

This morning Andrew picked Tony up from the wharf and as the wind and waves are a bit high, we all have had a lazy day.

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Fri Jul 12 18:21 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Friday 12th July This morning we all went snorkeling in Aqua coloured water on the nearby reef. Some beautiful coral and fish were seen. This afternoon Tony and Stella went exploring the motu. Upon returning late afternoon we were approached by 2 French men on a jet ski. The one that could speak English explained he was making a short movie where the opening scene was a man falling off a yacht. As we appear to be the only yacht currently in Wallis he asked if he could shoot the scene on Imagine. We agreed and he went off to get his actor. Obviously he had trouble finding him as it's now too dark to film anything and they haven't returned. Maybe we will see them in the morning. Stay tuned! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu Jul 11 21:03 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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coral reef
swimming
Thu Jul 11 18:54 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Thursday 11th July This morning we cleared with customs and the gendarmerie and we headed into town. We went to the island's only bank to get the exchange rate and for Stella to withdraw some money. Once again her card would not work, so she then spent the next 3 hours trying to get internet , to contact her bank. Sue Tony and Andrew looked around the shopping complex (hardware shop, super market, bank, dress shop and coffee shop). The wind had got up by the time we got back to the boat, so we moved south to a more sheltered spot behind another motu. A short dinghy ride to the beach and we were in the water for a swim while Tony headed off to explore the island. We got back to Imagine at 5pm just in time for drinks and nibbles while watching another sunset.

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Wed Jul 10 17:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 16.829S 176 09.333W
Run: 133.8nm (242.2km)
Avg: 5.5knts
24hr: 131.9nm

Wednesday 10 July We made it with 40 minutes to spare before the tide was ripping through the gap in the reef. Again with Sue at the helm and Andrew up the mast, and Stella and Tony on lookout, we negotiated the reef with a side on swell and lots of eddy currents to the inner reef.

Sue is becoming a master at negotiating these reefs saying this reef was much easier than the last although actually being a narrower pass. She just now has to negotiate reefs without constantly repeating "shit shit shit"! Although we made the opening in time for the tide we did not make it in time for customs so will clear customs tomorrow and spend the night next to one of the motus (islands).

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Wed Jul 10 17:27 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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Samoan signage What is this shop selling??
fireworks from games
fireworks and Aggie Grey
Sunset heading out of Samoa
Motu at Wallis
Tue Jul 9 17:06 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 43.984S 174 13.179W
Run: 163.5nm (295.9km)
Avg: 5.7knts
24hr: 137nm

Tuesday 9th July Overnight we encountered a few small squalls. The wind slowly went from 22knts down to 10knts. A pod of 5 dolphins swam along side for a while this morning. The sea has been very calm 1/2m swell. At about 10.30am a squall came through raising the wind speed to 18knts Then moved from behind us where it had been all night to directly in front of us and dropped to 6knts. So we have been motoring all day. We have to make it to Wallis by 11am tomorrow so we catch the tide and are able to get inside the reef. If we are too late we have to wait for high tide Thursday, as we can't get in in the dark. As there wasn't anything else to do Andrew thought he would have a go at practicing fishing. So it's baked beans on toast for tea tonight.

Tonight we have been treated to another spectacular sunset.

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Mon Jul 8 12:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 45.998S 171 47.111W
Run: 4.4nm (8km)

Monday 8th July Last night Tony and Stella went to the opening ceremony of the Pacific Island Games. For 5Tala (about 3NZD) they got to sit with all the local people in the mud. It was a joyful upbeat extravaganza. The athletes were doing their cultural dances competing for bragging rights. NZ did an average haka to the crowd. After lots of dancing, singing and speeches the evening finished with a fireworks display that Andrew and Sue watched from the boat, After 7 days anchored in Apia Harbour not being able to swim we were all eager for the break in the weather.

This morning started with a trip to shore for a quick shower and Andrew went to Immigration, then Customs to clear out out of port.

We are now on our way to Wallis. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Fri Jul 5 19:51 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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Tony's elbow
Sue with icechocolate drinks
Fri Jul 5 19:45 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Friday, 5th July During our weather forced delay, this week we all did different things to enjoy being in Samoa.

Tony went by bus to the northwest of Upolo to an area called Manono-uta where he was picked up by Leota, his brother and grandson on their family catamaran and taken to their fale resort on the amazing island of Manono. Manono is a reef enclosed haven that takes approx 1.5 hours to walk around. Tony was shown generous hospitality. A highlight was joining in the family's short service before their meal with prayer, meditation and harmonious singing. On return he was so tired out, went to sleep about 9.30pm only to wake at 2am with a very uncomfortable left elbow. Tony had somehow picked up an infection that by 4am had caused the elbow to swell to about the size of an egg. Having to be fit for our upcoming Monday departure for Wallis, Andrew and Tony headed off to get to the hospital asap. After a 2.5km taxi ride and resting in the waiting room until 6.30am, Tony was seen by the doctor and given antibiotics, all up only costing 46 Tala. As you can't keep a good man down Tony and Stella headed off to shop more exploring of Apia, spending time at Robert Louis Stephenson's mansion, gardens and climbing up to the top of the hill to visit his grave. Apart from short visits to the city centre, Andrew and Sue have spent time on getting boat ready for our next lot of travels to Wallis and Fiji.

The marina in Apia is pretty full with everyone waiting for breaks in the weather. Although we are anchored out we paid a small sum to the marina so we could leave our dinghy there when going ashore and to utilise their shower and toilet facilities. A note for any boats visiting Apia if you anchor in the harbour you have to pay a fee to the Apia port authority. It has been great also meeting other yachties and their families particularly with so many boats in this week. The Seafood Gourmet restaurant across the road from the marina has had a lot of patronage this week and the adjoining ice cream shop has been so busy they have run out of some TipTop ice cream flavours until the next supply comes in about a month. No it's not just us but Apia has been busier this week with athletes etc arriving for the Pacific games that starts with the opening ceremony this Sunday. They have been rehearsing this week so we have been treated to some light displays and some interesting music! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon Jul 1 18:24 2019 NZST
No position sent.

We are still in Apia. Having a look at the weather before setting off, showed the swell was predicted to get higher than previously predicted. This would have made it an uncomfortable trip to Wallis, so Andrew decided to leave departing till the next weather window. A good decision after talking with other yachties just arrived who've had high winds and swells, some even sustained damage on their way here. The next weather window at this stage looks to be next Monday at the moment.

Time to do a bit more exploring of Upulo and to catch up on some work on the boat. The South Pacific games are being held here commencing 7th July so there is a lot of athletes arriving and a lot of work being done by the Samoans to welcome the athletes. Had torrential rain yesterday followed by a stunning sunset last night.

We are getting recognised in Apia - Stella by the samosa guys and Andrew by the homemade lemonade guy! Will keep you all posted.

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sunset
Sun Jun 30 15:06 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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barge
Sun Jun 30 14:57 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 49.613S 171 45.842W
Run: 48.3nm (87.4km)

lmage:markets Sunday 30th June Arrived back in Apia Friday afternoon. Dropped off some laundry to be done then some supermarket shopping. We went for a relaxing dinner at the seafood restaurant across the road from the marina (mostly frequented by locals). Had a great dinner, sat back and enjoyed the breeze. Stella tried the local delicacy Oka which is raw fish marinated in coconut cream and onions. Tony chowed down on a seafood chowder, Sue had seafood platter and Andrew had lobster mornay (a very late birthday present from Sue!!). There is an icecream shop next door which also happens to be part of the restaurant. They have a wide range of icecream and a good selection of cheesecakes but we were too full to have any dessert that night. Saturday we headed off to the markets early to try to beat the heat. We came across the bus station with the wonderful local buses. After the markets we headed back to the boat to get away from the heat. Tony stayed out for a bit longer to check out the stadium for the Pacific Games which start next week. That evening Sue and Andrew headed back to shore in the rain to check out the icecream shop whilst Tony and Stella stayed on board to watch a movie. Saturday evening the rain started and hasn't stopped since. During the night there was high winds, thunder and lightning. Today, Sunday is lazy day with everyone trying to catch up on photos, emails etc with a slight interruption when we looked out the window and found a big red tugboat almost coming to join us for morning tea! The red tugboat was anchored with a large barge next to us. The tugboat communicated with the boat anchored on our port side suggesting it moved as the barge had dragged an anchor. After a while the boat came back and advised they had to wait for captain and crew to get to the boat before they could move! We were watching as the barge came closer to that boat and Andrew decided we should probably look at moving and giving the tug and barge more room to manoeuvre. Two hours later we reanchored only a short time later to hear the tug advising it had to go out again as something had jammed their prop and only one of their engines were working. They have now reanchored and we are back to finish off today's blog.

Tomorrow we are looking at leaving Apia, weather dependent, for the Isle of Wallis which is about 3 days sail away. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


bus depo
allblacks bus
rainy day
barge
Sat Jun 29 18:15 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 26.641S 172 21.961W
Run: 48.5nm (87.8km)

Imabe:lava2 Savai'i, Samoa is the poor cousin to Upulo with a small port to receive the ferry from Upulo with several villages scattered around the outskirts of the island. The island has a range of tourist attractions so we hired a car for a day and set off to explore some of them. Samoa's information centre in Apia does a good job of promoting all the tourist attractions on both islands. Regrettably they don't all stack up to the hype. As we toured around the island like Upulo Samoan's are not big on signage and the signage that is there is not always correct. Despite that we managed to find the attractions were wanted to see. On Savai'i we started with the rainforest canopy walk. A steel spiral staircase took us up into the treetops to a suspension bridge which led to a large banyan tree which were climbed higher into the canopy for views through the trees. Health and safety would have a field day here with the tree viewing platform and the stairs up to it held to the tree with ratchet tiedowns as the bolts have rusted away.

Next was the Alofaaga blowholes. Lava shelf just above sea level with a few holes in the lava to allow waves from the sea to surge through and create the blowholes. Travelling on around the island we then stopped at the Afu Aau waterfalls for a refreshing swim in the cool fresh water. Too cool for wimps Andrew and Stella but Sue and Tony had a great swim. After a quick stop for lunch near the port we discovered pigs on the island were quite intelligent as we saw one holding up the traffic as he sauntered across the pedestrian crossing. Our last stop was the Saleaula lava fields. We got there about 4.45pm and they closed at 5pm but the lovely Samoan lady told us to go in and she waited until we came back before packing up and going home. Must say out of all the places we went to this family put some of the entrance fee money back into improving the attraction and upkeep. It was one of the tidiest and cleanest places we went to. Also the only one that took the time to explain how to get around and the history regarding this site. This site is where the village used to be before the volcanic eruptions between 1903 and 1907 when it covered the village in molten lava with no fatalities. We saw where the molten lava flowed through the church and onto the coast. We spent about 5days in Savai'i. We decided that the best anchorage for us was Matautu Bay so we based ourselves there and explored from there. This was also a great spot for swimming, snorkeling and most of us saw turtles at one time or another. Left Thursday afternoon to come back to Apia where we have to clear before leaving Samoa. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


spiral staircase
Sue on bridge
Sue on bridge2
everyone on lookout
blowholes1
blowholes2
blowholes3
falls1
falls2
smart pig
lava1
Sun Jun 23 10:39 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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ma tree
ma tree2
walk
coast walk
waterfalls
ocean club
ocean club2
ocean club3
ocean club4
school kids
sightseeing
one the road
on the road2
on out way to savi'i
Sun Jun 23 9:21 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Friday 21st June Yes we are in Samoa. We arrived on Monday went through the arrival procedure and went to the information centre where we were treated to a cultural dance and food. We got all the brochures and spent the next day sorting what to do and see.

After looking around town and getting some internet data, we discovered that when catching a bus, if the bus is full you just go and sit on someone's knee or expect to be sat on. Andrew thought that was great, you find a beautiful samoan woman to sit on his lap. Not so good when a large samoan woman wants to sit on his lap.

We hired a car for a couple of days to get around Upolo Island (the main Samoan island).

Our first stop was Piula Cave Pool. Unfortunately an earthquake a few years ago collapsed the cave stopping anyone from swimming through. We then followed the coast road, meeting some of the locals and getting some fresh papaya straight from the tree, along with some fresh cucumbers. Because of the south Pacific games next month many of the villages have signs up along with coloured flags welcoming the team they hosting. We continued our drive to the eastern side to Lalomanu beach where we had lunch at a resort. Next on the itinerary was Sua Ocean Trench. A giant sink hole with a lava tube creating an underwater cave entrance. The climb down into the sink hole was via a giant ladder. We hadn't taken our masks so we didn't attempt swimming out to the ocean, so we just swam in the clear water (note the steps are very steep and if you enter this attraction and decide you can't do it and go back out within a few minutes, they still charge you the 20 Tala) Day two started with a short Bush walk to the Ma Tree followed by a look at the coastal walk (the heat of the day making it too hard to complete) 2km down the road was Togitogaiga Waterfalls. A great cool water stop. 15 minutes west we found the Ocean Club (between Sinalei and Coconut Beach resorts). This was a delightful stop where we had lunch (one of the best so far) and relaxed before heading back over the mountain to Apia.

Today we left Upolo for the Samoan island of Savai'i Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Apia harbor Samoa
cultural dance
food
prepare food
samoan bus
on the road
colorful hedges
school kids
cave pool1
Lalomanu brach1
Lalomanu beach2
ocean trench
Mon Jun 17 20:36 2019 NZST
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Mon Jun 17 20:06 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


waterfront restaurant
pigs in street
one mans yacht club
Mon Jun 17 19:24 2019 NZST
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Tonga review NUKALOFA - Liked the town, Tony's family connection, Liz's place, The Waterfront -great.

NOMUKA IKA/MOMUKA- very pleasant islands, beautiful anchorage, great yacht club, complete with canon and flagpole. Very rough tracks passing for roads (Nomuka) HA'APIA GROUP - Anchored in Pangia (capital of Ha'apia), friendly locals, pigs and dogs roam the streets, great snorkelling, typical Pacific island look, and the free papaya whacked from trees. Great local bar, Mariner Bar.

VAVA'U - VHF radio 26 local info & weather, small boat marina to park your dinghy, beautiful clear water of Port Maurelle, weaving through the coral reefs to the outer islands, Swallows Cave, Lisa beach, other than Palungi who owned businesses, the locals in Neiafu didn't make you feel welcome.

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Mon Jun 17 19:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 13 49.800S 171 45.804W
Run: 365nm (660.7km)
Avg: 3knts
24hr: 72.4nm

Friday 14th June The sun set on Tonga and we headed north disillusioned and down in the mouth with our last impressions of Tonga. As you know we have a fantastic time so far. Andrew had ordered a parcel containing boat parts, a gopro and storage for all these photos and video. The parcel arrived Vava'u within a week via FedEx. BUT we could not get the parcel until the boat papers and passport were copied and sent to Nukalofa to be stamped by the CEO. This took till Friday - 7 days. No, it was emailed not posted. So on Friday we were ready to pick up the parcel and leave for Niuas islands - north Tonga. We had heard quite a bit about these islands, more remote and not as touristy so appealed to us. We were told we could go there so Tony changed some more money to Tongan Pangai and we bought some exercise books and pencils to take for the kids. Then we were told we could only get the boat parts and pick up the rest when we sign out of all of Tonga. This meant sailing 2.5 days to the Niuas, look around there then sail 2.5 days back to pick up the parcel and sign out. Or leave the parcel and sign out of Tonga at the Niuas and carry on up to Samoa.

So we opted to miss the Niuas and sign out at VaVa'u. We were told to come back at 12 noon as the person that signed the exit clearance paper was at the airport and wouldn't be back till then. Back at 12. They were at lunch. Andrew trundled back and was informed that our Visa expired on Thursday. We were unaware of this because when booking in, in Nukualofa we were asked and said we would be in Tonga for 1.5 months and received an official receipt stating we paid for 1.5 months and exit date would be 12 July, but the passports were stamped for 1 month ( didn't see this - lesson learnt check all the documents).

So a trip to immigration and $250 later we returned to customs, and paid port fees.. We finally got signed out. Then we had to pay FedEx $61 for export fee and broker fee All up Tonga has cost over $600 to get in and out of and we missed the two northern islands. It's sad that this was last impression we have of our visit to Tonga.

We are now in Samoa ready for our next experience Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sunset
Customs hard at work
Wed Jun 12 18:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 39.503S 173 59.438W
Run: 2.8nm (5.1km)

We are back in Neiafu where Andrew has filled in the paperwork to receive a FedEx package from Auckland and now has to wait 2 to 3 days for the papers to be stamped so he can pick up the parcel.

The World Arc have arrived with a large flotilla of boats, so it's time to leave. After waiting for another good weather window we will be leaving over the weekend (if we get the package). We will be heading north to Niua islands the northern most Tongan islands. Before the end of the month we will be in Western Samoa and back with internet.

From Samoa we will head to Isles of Wallis and Fortuna before sailing south to Fiji. We then have from mid July to the beginning of August for Tony to explore Fiji before he has to head back to work (that dirty 4 letter word) Tony and Stella scored some beer at a good price from a yacht due to leave for Fiji that had over the limit of beer to take in there. Tony went for a walk up Mt Talau this afternoon which was quite steep and strenuous and slippery after last night's rain. We are all struggling with the humidity last night and today. Had a huge downpour last night but not much wind. Looking forward to doing some more sailing.

Bye for now.

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Wed Jun 12 15:48 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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Tony doing what he does every day
Tony snorkeling again
Guess what, Tony in the water again
Sat Jun 8 20:33 2019 NZST
No position sent.

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Andrew looking for bombies
on lookout
Sue at the helm
Colours of the sunset 1
sunset 2
sunset 3
sunset 4
sunset 5
sunset 6
sunset 7
sunset 8
Sat Jun 8 19:09 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 41.854S 173 59.886W
Run: 1.8nm (3.3km)

Saturday 8th June After sailing to the outer islands and Tony trawling for fish most of the day (practising) we ventured to the Eastern bays of Vava'u maneuvering our way through the coral reefs. Andrew climbed the mast for better view to guide us through whilst Sue took the helm. Tony and Stella also did lookout. Maneuvering through the reef we discovered the channel markers were no longer there and sand banks had appeared which didn't show on the charts. Vital to have lookouts in these areas. Spent two days looking around the islands in the Eastern bay area. Nice beaches but not great snorkeling and at one of them an over abundance of sea slugs (sea cucumbers) which Sue and Stella found most disgusting and it made it hard to walk to the beach. As the weather is predicted to get high winds from the east we decided to leave the eastern bays and seek shelter at Lisa beach.

As the ocean swell has increased we chose to take a different route from the eastern bays. Once again the channel markers were non existent and sand bars not charted. Everyone was holding their breath as the depth sounded counted down from 10 metres to below 1 metre under the boat. With the winds getting up it made it interesting moving between the bombies, passing one as close as 2 metres off the port side. Upon anchoring at Lisa beach Sue required a stiff drink! Tonight we were treated to an amazing sunset followed by as Tony put it "one of the best meals in this trip" - mini spring rolls and a fantastic fried rice dish from Stella that had us all going back for seconds! Night from us all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Jun 8 9:45 2019 NZST
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Pangai 1
Pangai 2
Pangai 3
Going into VaVau
VaVau sunset
Squid of the back of the boat
Wed Jun 5 18:51 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 41.310S 174 01.416W
Run: 5.6nm (10.1km)

Wednesday 5th June Yesterday morning Hannah and Tony went for a walk. Whilst they were away the guys on Essence approached us to see if we could take some Panadol to one of the locals -David - whose wife had a headache. When Andrew took them across he asked if there was anything else they needed and David asked if we had any fresh water. (They have to go to Neiafu to get fresh water). Andrew came back and filled up some water bottles for them and was given some coconuts, lemons and limes. We then went back to Neiafu as Hannah was due to catch her flight to Fiji today. We had a nice dinner at Mangoes in Neiafu the last night for our 5 crew team and caught up on some emails etc utilising the free internet they offer. Andrew dropped Hannah off at the wharf this morning along with some laundry that we would pick up later. Then we all went across to do some food shopping and to sort out boat things, phones etc. We got totally soaked going back to the boat. It was definitely a challenge getting a tray of fresh eggs in a soggy cardboard tray back to the boat! With the wind picking up our boat had dragged anchor a bit. Rather than end up on the rocks we decided to move. Laundry wasn't ready till 3.30pm so after lunch Andrew and Tony went back for it whilst Sue and Stella manouevered the boat until the lads came back. We then left for our current anchorage on Mala. Hamburgers for tea tonight with fresh buns and produce from the markets. Another new expression for Stella - when Sue hiccupped and said it sounded like she had "been on the turps". ! Night all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon Jun 3 21:15 2019 NZST
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Anchored at Port Maurelle in 10m of water
Mon Jun 3 18:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 43.312S 174 06.075W
Run: 4.8nm (8.7km)

Monday 3rd June Saturday we had a third day at Port Maurelle snorkelling around the reefs. Tony saw a large turtle and also got stung by a jellyfish! It is amazing how clear the water is in this bay. So many beautiful and interesting coral and fish. We are so lucky to be in such a beautiful area. In the afternoon we took the dinghy across to Swallows Cave which is absolutely stunning. The colours of the water in the cave were incredible. We had been advised to go around 3pm to get the best light and we did. Stella had her Go pro under the water and got some amazing footage. The inside of the cave was fascinating as well the rock formations, stalactites etc.

Yesterday morning we set off to find Mariners Cave another great snorkeling place but hard to find as the entrance is underwater even at low tide. Hannah and Tony swam off the back of Imagine over to the rocky shore but were not sure enough that it was the entrance to try diving down and up. However we did see some dolphins which were diving around the bow of the boat. We overnighted at Nuapapu Matamaka and snorkelled again. We had another bbq and enjoyed dinner out on the deck watching the beautiful sunset and enjoying watching the flying foxes.

We spent some more time snorkelling this morning where we saw some cool things including another sea snake but were met with a constant barrage of tiny jellyfish stings that could be compared to constant static shocks and some in places they should not have been! This afternoon we moved to Baka'eitu. When we arrived another boat was in the bay which turned out to be Essence (whom we've seen a few times on our travels so far). This evening Stu and Pamela from Essence (along with their friends Carolyn and Brent who have flown up to join them for a week) came over for drinks, nibbles and to share stories. After they went back to their boat we enjoyed a lovely beef peanut curry dish that Hannah made. Maybe another movie tonight that Tony can fall asleep in! Night all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat Jun 1 19:00 2019 NZST
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Sue & Tony at the bar in Pangai
Tony chating up crew from another boat at The Hideaway
Sunset at VaVau
Snorkling at Port Maurelle
Imagine at Port Maurelle
Lion fish
fish & coral
Sat Jun 1 8:42 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 42.042S 174 01.897W
Run: 4nm (7.2km)

Friday 31st May Hello from Port Maurelle, Vava'u We left Pangai day before yesterday about 4pm and sailed overnight to Vava'u arriving early hours yesterday morning. After another confusing check in we were free to look around the town. Stella was extremely disappointed as no pigs wandering the streets. Had dinner last night on a floating restaurant called The Hideaway where we met another few boaties and had mahimahi fish and chips. This morning we provisioned for a few days and then upped anchor and motored to the beautiful bay we are now in. We snorkelled in the most beautiful pristine of spots. Saw lots of different coloured and interesting fish including lion fish and other fish we don't know what they are with some gorgeous coral. Had a bottle of red wine and our firsr bbq since we left NZ as was the first time the wind was light enough.

Saw black flying foxes that we can still hear now in the trees. Looking forward to spending another night here and exploring the forest and coves around this bay. For those thinking of coming here a note that if you anchor here you need to pay 15 TOP (or if you use one of the mooring bouys it is 20 TOP)- this is for 3 nights but if you leave for the day and come back you pay again) Night from us all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

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Sat Jun 1 8:39 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Image:Sue & Tony at the bar in Pangai Image:Tony chating up crew from another boat at The Hideaway Image:Sunset at VaVau Image:Snorkling at Port Maurelle Image:Imagine at Port Maurelle Image:Lion fish Image:fish & coral Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu May 30 13:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 18 39.430S 173 59.478W
Run: 82.3nm (149km)
Avg: 2.8knts
24hr: 67nm

Thursday 30th Image Yesterday afternoon we left Pangai sailing through the night to VaVau.

The evening brought a clear star filled night with 1/2m swell and a 15 knot breeze. We arrived at dawn found an Anchorage. It took till after 1pm to find customs and get processed. We are just seeing what to do next.

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Wed May 29 7:51 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 47.841S 174 21.282W

Tuesday,another lazy start to the day a routine we have fallen into while relaxing around Pangai. Wet set off from Pangai on a wee motor trip north of Lafuka to the next island up looking for a suitable bay to anchor in for a spot of snorkelling. The East wind was still up gusting over 20knots so made the task of threading our way between bombies tricky. After a good survey of the area we thought it more prudent to motor back to our earlier anchorage and use that position as the base for our snorkelling.

Andrew had a few chores to do so after he and Sue visited our neighbours Muse a 46ft cat he took Hannah Stella and Tony to shore with their snorkelling gear.

We walked north out of Pangai town for about 3kms the roadside bush that stoped views of the ocean opened to reveal a perfect horseshoe bay complete with a reef in patches we strolled down the beach toward the shade of some trees and a coconut palm lying on the, a ready made seat. We geared up and began exploring, what an amazing find... The reef was alive with comlpete corals and an amazing variety of fishes. The coral were coloured from blues to pinks to greens in all shapes and sizes, fish were vibrant blues to plain browns with many clouds between. Both Stella and Hannah took footage of this amazing walk off the road experience. I'm looking forward in a big way to more experiences like this. Stella managed to supposedly accidentally hit Tony over the head while harvesting Papaya with a very big and too heavy for her stick, maybe I should have been wielding the stick and not doing the Papya catching...

The busy day was topped off with a delicious meal cooked by Sue.

Adend, during our motor back little red did it's thing again and hooked a lively barracuda over a metre long, we decided to return it to the ocean along with its very sharp teeth.

All's well on the good ship Imagine.

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Tue May 28 19:03 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 47.841S 174 21.282W
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)

Tuesday,another lazy start to the day a routine we have fallen into while relaxing around Pangai. Wet set off from Pangai on a wee motor trip north of Lafuka to the next island up looking for a suitable bay to anchor in for a spot of snorkelling. The East wind was still up gusting over 20knots so made the task of threading our way between bombies tricky. After a good survey of the area we thought it more prudent to motor back to our earlier anchorage and use that position as the base for our snorkelling.

Andrew had a few chores to do so after he and Sue visited our neighbours Muse a 46ft cat he took Hannah Stella and Tony to shore with their snorkelling gear.

We walked north out of Pangai town for about 3kms the roadside bush that stoped views of the ocean opened to reveal a perfect horseshoe bay complete with a reef in patches we strolled down the beach toward the shade of some trees and a coconut palm lying on the, a ready made seat. We geared up and began exploring, what an amazing find... The reef was alive with comlpete corals and an amazing variety of fishes. The coral were coloured from blues to pinks to greens in all shapes and sizes, fish were vibrant blues to plain browns with many clouds between. Both Stella and Hannah took footage of this amazing walk off the road experience. I'm looking forward in a big way to more experiences like this. Stella managed to supposedly accidentally hit Tony over the head while harvesting Papaya with a very big and too heavy for her stick, maybe I should have been wielding the stick and not doing the Papya catching...

The busy day was topped off with a delicious meal cooked by Sue.

Adend, during our motor back little red did it's thing again and hooked a lively barracuda over a metre long, we decided to return it to the ocean along with its very sharp teeth.

All's well on the good ship Imagine.

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Tue May 28 17:00 2019 NZST
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Beach on Uoleva Island, Ha'apai group
Imagine at Pangai
Another beautifull beach
Mon May 27 15:45 2019 NZST
No position sent.

Here are some pictures of the trip Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Leaving Auckland
High swell
Nice day
Sun May 26 10:48 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 51.002S 174 24.953W
Run: 5.4nm (9.8km)

Sunday 26th May Yes we are still alive! Sorry for not blogging earlier. We were all amazed to see we haven't updated our blog since 21st May! We spent a few days in Pangai on Lifuka Island exploring the island and meeting locals and other travellers. Then headed over to Uoleva Island which has 4 resorts on it not that you can tell that immediately. It is not quite their high season yet. Whale watching season which is a big drawcard for tourism here starts June/July. Enjoyed snorkeling around the reef seeing different sorts of colourful fish. Saw some large royal blue starfish which were just an amazing colour. We are back to practising fishing. Two rods however did manage to catch the same bombie which was quite a feat in itself! Stella is currently amusing us immensely with her colourful language as she tries to sort her photos but seems to have somehow transferred some of them to a mysterious file on the computer that no one can seem to find! Have had some real tropical weather including beautiful sunshine, high winds and really heavy downpours. We are heading back to Pangai tomorrow. We'd like to look at Foa which is joined to Lifuka by a causeway and we hear has a fantastic reef area for snorkeling etc. Plus we have to 'checkout' from Pangai before heading off to the Vava'u group of islands which we are looking at doing about Thursday.

Bye for now from all of us Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Tue May 21 16:33 2019 NZST
GPS: 19 47.861S 174 21.285W
Run: 44.1nm (79.8km)

Tuesday 21st May We spent two nights at Ha'ave. Went swimming, snorkeling and a walk around part of the island. Stella captured some singing from one of the churches on her phone. Weather has been changing. Yesterday we decided to come to Pangai as there has been some weather indications that we may get some higher winds. We are semi sheltered from the SE winds here. When we arrived yesterday there were 5 boats anchored. Later in the day they all left heading up to Va'Vau but according to the weather reports we've seen it indicates that winds are likely to be stronger up there. A couple of other yachts arrived today, one was Essence (Stu, Pamela and Steve from Tauranga) which we've caught up with a couple of times. The other was Julo who we met in Nukualofa a German couple who have sailed down from Europe through the Panama canal and spent some time touring around NZ before leaving for Tonga. We are all heading up to Va'Vau when we can. We are just keeping eye on the weather. Hannah and Tony went for a swim this morning and went under the boat to clean the forward facing sonar transducer from the barnacles and other sea life attached to it so hopefully we will now be able to see bombies in front of us although good sets of lookout eyes are a must. Stella still struggles with some of our expressions - the one yesterday was "just like a bought one". She also still doesn't know why we are looking for the "pigs" to hang the washing out! A quiet day, some chores this morning then a walk around Pangai this afternoon. Just relaxing before dinner then watching Game of Thrones. Good night from us all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Fri May 17 18:00 2019 NZST
GPS: 20 16.567S 174 48.268W

Friday 17th May Greetings from Nomuka and Nomuka Ika We are anchored at Nomuka Ika which is directly across from Nomuka , is about the size of Motuhuie and has the population of one - a friendly man called James.

This morning we went ashore at Nomuka Ika had a walk along the beach and went for a swim. Hannah had a snorkel and saw some beautiful coloured fish. We came back to the boat for lunch and had a few reef sharks swimming around seeing if there were any leftovers. This afternoon Tony, Hannah and Stella went ashore to Nomuka and had a walk along the two main roads (mud tracks) . One went to the lake and the other followed the waterfront. They met friendly locals especially the children. The villagers were excited .... Not due to the arrival of the intrepid explorers but because the supply ship had just arrived! They had a friendly group of dogs follow them around for the duration of their travels and there was lots of pigs, horses and cows running around. A lot of reefs which we had to negotiate our way around. Stella used the outboard motor on the dinghy for the first time today and was going pretty straight as they got closer in. We have another yacht "Essence" anchor just along from us tonight. Stella is in the kitchen making another meal out of the lovely tuna Tony caught yesterday. Then we've got another episode of Game of Thrones which hopefully Tony doesn't fall asleep during tonight! Made us all laugh when Stella kept asking him had he fallen asleep again! Night all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Fri May 17 18:00 2019 NZST
GPS: 20 16.565S 174 48.267W
Run: 64.3nm (116.4km)

Thursday 16th May At daybreak this morning we said goodbye to Nukualofa and 9 hours later arrived in Nomuka Ika in the Ha'apai group.

On the way Hannah decided to stop practicing and caught a smallish tuna which she decided to set free. Upon which Tony brought out his new rod and said "game's on". Within half an hour he had landed a yellow fin tuna large enough to feed us for a couple of days. Hannah helped Tony by strapping on his codpiece "tuna piece" (gimble belt) for his rod. This evening Tony and Hannah prepared a tuna delicacy with an amazing dipping sauce Stella threw together. It's interesting how different our languages are not only between countries but also between generations. We found out today when hearing the story that on Hannah's instructions when Tony asked where the hole in the wall was that Hannah sent him to the toilet (thinking that the hole in the wall was the urinal not the ATM!!) Stella would have thought the same thing and has declared she will never call an ATM a hole in the wall nor some of the other kiwi lingo we've been throwing her way. Looking forward to exploring the island tomorrow. Night from all of us. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Wed May 15 8:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 08.130S 175 11.115W
Run: 1.6nm (2.9km)

Wednesday 15th May Sorry we haven't blogged last few days. We cleared customs Monday which took half a day. Monday evening was our first day ashore. We went out for dinner at Waterfront Lodge and restaurant which we can highly recommend. The scallops were fantastic. The tuna steak cooked perfectly and we tried our first mahimahi (fish) which was delicious. Now we just have to try catching some ourselves! Have had a wander around the metropolis, visited some markets, sorted out data issues etc. We had pile of laundry due to the sea invasions. You have to remember getting laundry done is not like popping out to a laundromat in NZ! A big thank you to Liz (Tony's rellie) for helping arrange this and heaps of other things for us.

Tony went out for dinner last night with his family which was a real Tongan feast. Andrew, Sue, Hannah and Stella had homemade pizza and watched episode 2 in the last season of Game of Thrones (no spoilers please!) and The Expendables.

Feels like we've done lots but doesn't sound much when you put it down in writing. Things also take longer due to the heat. Walking is definitely done at a slower pace than in the cooler climates. Catch you all later. Sent from Iridium Mail &


Sun May 12 18:30 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 07.554S 175 09.761W

Sunday 12th May We were in bed at 9pm last night and we had the unusual chance of having 8hours uninterrupted sleep.

It was an amazing experience this morning being able to have breakfast all together and not throwing the cereal all over each other and the boat! Sunday is a religious day in Tonga and their custom is no work on Sundays.

We left the above deck chores as matter of respect. We did do big clean up below and Andrew also fixed the auto pilot (from the the temporary fix he'd done whilst we were still enroute). Once we've cleared customs tomorrow we hope to have the chance to have a walk around town and find some internet connection so we can be in touch. Plus I won't mention the pile of laundry we have to do.

Good night from us all.

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Sat May 11 18:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 07.554S 175 09.761W
Run: 51.8nm (93.8km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 145.4nm

Saturday 11th May We made it! We are anchored waiting customs clearance in Tonga which will be Monday. Please note we will not have full internet access until at least then.

We had another night / morning with high winds and big swells. El Capitan navigated well down the channel towards Nukualofa with help from Stella the bird, oh sorry marker, spotter. Everyone's struggling to make sense right now. Not sure if it's that we're bone tired or that it has something to do with the well earned welcome to Tonga drinks we are now enjoying! El Capitan in galley cooking up lobster surprise - the surprise - no lobster! So enough from us tonight - hopefully we will be more with it tomorrow. Good night all! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat May 11 10:03 2019 NZST
GPS: 21 47.783S 175 31.306W
Run: 114.7nm (207.6km)
Avg: 2.9knts
24hr: 68.9nm

Friday, 10th May During Tony and Stella's watch this morning they decided that 'Imagine' was a submarine burying 'Imagines bow in the oncoming waves! Cheers could be heard coming from Tony as the occasional wave went over the cockpit cabin. (3 metres above waterline) Screams were heard from the rest of the crew as the waves penetrated the air vents and hatches. We now have 3 wet beds anymore Tony and Stella will have to share theirs! During the night and early morning winds gusted up to 30 knots and sea/swell became very messy.

Excitement is growing in anticipation of reaching Tonga. Expected ETA approx 2am Saturday morning. Will cruise around until daybreak when we can go into the harbour and wait until Monday for customs clearance. Night from us all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu May 9 18:06 2019 NZST
GPS: 23 27.345S 175 29.236W
Run: 181.7nm (328.9km)
Avg: 11.2knts
24hr: 269.2nm

Thursday 9th May Uneventful night for the most part. Yesterday was cloudy and grey, but today we had beautiful sunny weather. As we get closer to Tonga, the water temperature continues to climb and is currently a balmy 29.6 C.

We took advantage today to do a bit of maintenance and Stella got out and washed the salt off the windows. Today and tomorrow we will be negotiating the coral shoals surrounding Tonga. Saw a few flying fish today but not much else. Still practicing fishing so Sue is in the galley tonight making Shepherd's Pie. Little Tony: your estimation of number of days left before reaching Tonga was correct.

Rockin' and Rollin' (literally) from the South Pacific. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Thu May 9 1:54 2019 NZST
GPS: 25 22.245S 177 27.962W
Run: 132.4nm (239.6km)
Avg: 4.2knts
24hr: 100.4nm

Wednesday 8th May Last night was uneventful. Practicing fishing is still contuing. Tony made some scones today with much acrobatic skill in the galley due to the heavy swell. Gourmet chef tonight is Hannah with a big pot of Dahl. Nothing much else to report today other than we are getting closer to Tonga.

For those inquiring from our post yesterday, a bombie is a tower of coral. Some of these in this area are created by volcanic vents.

Good night from the intrepid explorers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Tue May 7 18:15 2019 NZST
GPS: 26 56.197S 178 41.774W
Run: 84.7nm (153.3km)
Avg: 3.5knts
24hr: 84.2nm

Tuesday 7th of May Made a detour in the middle of the night around a large bommy. It went from 3000 meters deep up to only 18 meters. This was a rather annoying and long detour but we still managed to make 90 nm in the right direction. Shortly after navigating our way around this obstical the autopilot cut out... so a night of hand steering with no moon and many clouds, not an easy task. The sea finally subsided slightly just an hour or so ago to allow us to fix the problem. Good steering practice for us all though.

Sue ran into a bit of trouble first thing in the morning, getting entangled in the fire extinguisher and in fear of moving incase she filled the boat with dry powder. Luckily the captain was handy to free her from the evil clutches of the extinguisher. Tony untertained the crew with unique performance tittled "Doing the laundry" this satire was preformed with a straight face, a plunger and even an agitation mode. It did however lead to questions when he started stuffing his many pockets on his freshly washed cargo shorts with socks... foiled by high winds he was forced to display everything in the windows of the cockpit in hopes the sun would dry it.

A slither of the moon has appeared to shed a bit of light through our night.

Good night all Happy birthday Mauna - from Stella Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon May 6 18:06 2019 NZST
GPS: 27 50.269S 179 37.875W
Run: 129.9nm (235.1km)
Avg: 5.2knts
24hr: 125.7nm

Monday 6th of May Winds overnight where extremely changeable, ranging from 9knots to 30. Not allowing much sleep for the crew. Nothing too stressful just got a bit thrown around. Today was a quiet day with steady winds and many naps. We have passed from the Eastern longitude to the Western. Not much more to report today. Hopeing for a calmer night and a good sleep.

Stella says hello her friends and family and looks forward to talking to them soon As do the rest of us Now about to eat steak! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sun May 5 17:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 29 25.136S 179 12.733E
Run: 120.5nm (218.1km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120.2nm

Sunday 5th May We are now 497nm from Auckland harbour. Another nice day today, clear skies and the water temperature is now 26.6°c.

After reefing down to number two last night the wind was mainly light, below 16 knots. After slightly higher winds late this afternoon we have reefed even further ... just in case... Hannah and Tony had their first practice with the fishing line today, it shall continue to be called practice untill a fish eventuates. Some of the crew hearing new creaks and groans from their body's they hadn't noticed before and of us sporting new bruises.

Everyone constantly appears drunk despite the lack of alcohol, and cooking is somewhat of a profanity laced spectical.

Andrews turn tonight, with apricot chicken.

In response to a comment, Tony didn't bring the bread maker it was already onboard.

Thanks for the comments, keep em coming, just don't forget your name so we know how it's to be taken.

Good night all Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Sat May 4 17:15 2019 NZST
GPS: 30 56.191S 178 13.145E
Run: 120.8nm (218.6km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120.3nm

Saturday 4 May Once again at 8pm the winds got up and we had 3 squalls come through. Wind varied up to 35knots, leaving us in early hours of the morning with no wind. This left us about 20 nautical miles west of our course. Slight sea invasion in the front quarters quickly fixed with a tub of Vaseline. The remainder of the day was spent getting back on course, otherwise uneventful. Crew mainly slept today, shifts shared by everyone. Stella is in the galley cooking up something Mexican/Italian.

We've put an extra reef in the mainsail in the hopes of a better night's sleep tonight. Will let you know the results tomorrow.

Amore, el cinco amigos Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Fri May 3 17:09 2019 NZST
GPS: 32 28.600S 177 14.920E
Run: 193.2nm (349.7km)
Avg: 4knts
24hr: 94.9nm

Friday 3/5 This morning the sunrise brought a gentle swell, which gave us a gentle ride throughout the day. We lost our travelling friend Masquanada sometime in the night after he gave us a close pass and then took off into the distance. This morning we enjoyed listening to the amusing banter of two passing container ships over the radio and this afternoon Sue did a bit of washing and hung her britches on the back deck, fluttering in the afternoon breeze. Tony is currently in the galley preparing our evening feast, while we wait patiently enjoying the calm evening and watching the sun set. Throughout the night we will pass through our quarter way mark! Just a note, if leaving a message for us please leave do your name.

Goodnight from all of us and we will be back with more tomorrow Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Wed May 1 16:18 2019 NZST
GPS: 35 01.952S 175 53.224E
Run: 138.4nm (250.5km)
Avg: 3.2knts
24hr: 76nm

Yesterday we left Auckland with fine skies and light winds. By evening the winds got up and sea became choppy (a few crew were a bit seasick). During the night we had phosphorescent torpedoes turning circles around the boat (som3 dolphins decided to pay a visit.

Today we saw some whales feeding with some large sea birds. The wind and swell have died down during course of the morning, swells down to about 1.5m.

The crew are falling into a routine - sleep, eat, on watch.

The water temperature has raised from 19.4 degrees when we left to 21.8 currently.

Friends and family - don't panic if status doesn't update daily! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon Apr 29 20:36 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 52.779S 174 56.034E

did I mention how awesome and handsome my son is ?


Mon Apr 29 20:27 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 52.779S 174 56.034E

last night in New zealand man overboard exercise complete successfully. Last provisioning complete.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon Apr 29 20:24 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 52.779S 174 56.034E

Our last night in New Zealand. Today we set up the storm jib (just incase we need it). We also practiced Man Overboard procedure. No the skipper wasnt thrown overboard. we used an old lifejacket and we successfully retrieved it on the first attempt.


Mon Apr 29 20:24 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 52.779S 174 56.034E

last night in New zealand man overboard exercise complete successfully. Last provisioning complete.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.


Mon Apr 29 20:09 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 52.779S 174 56.034E
Run: 4.6nm (8.3km)

test


Mon Apr 29 14:15 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 48.908S 174 57.439E
Run: 1.3nm (2.4km)

Sorry for the lack of communication we had a problem setting up satellite internet.

The crew are all here. We have none a practice man overboard. No the skipper wasnt thrown overboard. We used an old lifejacket. Today the girls have gone into town to get fresh fruit n veg for trip. Tomorrow we set off.

Sent from my Samsung device


Fri Apr 26 20:21 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 48.189S 174 58.550E
Run: 17.3nm (31.3km)

Moving to Auckland


Thu Apr 25 16:30 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 37.110S 174 45.867E
Run: 0.7nm (1.3km)

Stocking up with food


Mon Apr 8 19:37 2019 NZST
GPS: 36 37.363S 174 45.144E
Weather: Fine

On Anchor

Racing to finish the last jobs for the CAT1 inspection on the 12th April


Imagine - Imagine - 2603 Apr 2019

Yesterday we left Whangaparaoa and good friends. Tears were shed as Dani, Greg and Elo waved goodbye from the beach

Imagine - Imagine - 2503 Apr 2019

We have just finished stocking the boat with canned and dry food. On Friday we will stock up on fresh fruit and veg and meat.

Imagine - Imagine - 1604 Apr 2019

We have passed CAT1

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