We had 12-20 knots of wind overnight from the SSW so we are hard on the wind bouncing our way along.
The wind is forecast to drop to 8-12 knots this afternoon and go around to the SW and then to the WSW.
All well on board.
On Thursday morning it poured down, had to bail the water out of the dingy a couple of times, must of had at least 300mm of rain. As the rain eased we when to the market for some fresh produce and did our internal clearance into Vava'u and picked up Robyn and John. Then we headed out to Port Maurelle went swimming and kayaking. Friday we pumped up the paddle board walked the beach, swam some more, went paddle boarding and went to swallows Cave for a snorkel returning to the boat for lunch, then moved to Tapana Island. Has been very hot on board, up to 35 degrees. All well on board.
All good aboard Malakite
All having showers today. All good on good on board, just need more wind.
All is well on board.
We are motoring into the wind, will be into Opua late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Having to eat the food in the fridge that bio security will take.
All is well on board.
We are sailing hard on the wind, trying to get South, but it is hard going.
All is well on board, may have to tack into Opua.
We decided not to stop at Norfolk Island and are trying to get as far south as possible before the southerlies kick in.
All is well on board, the only problem too many licorice allsorts and too much chocolate on board.
Motor sailing with the wind behind us. Heading south, so we have a better angle to sail against the wind, when the forecast southerlies arrive in 36-48 hours.
We decide if we stop a Norfork Island this evening after down loading the latest forecasts.
All is well on board, after omelettes for breakfast this morning.
Course 188degrees true, boat speed 6.8 knots, wind speed 10-12 knots.
All is good on board, blue sky with 20% cloud cover.
While Glen was doing this Ben, our Opua to Tonga crew man, was doing some fix it work on the davit winches. He was being ever so careful not to loose anything over the side but the inevitable happened and he ended up diving 26 metres down looking for the lost piece. No luck unfortunately, but they have since made it work again. Never a dull moment living on board! We spend two nights on the inside of Lelepa Island. When we anchored we had 0.6 - 1.0 metres under our keels, but it was low tide. Check out Google earth to see this anchorage - it was truly beautiful. Some good snorkelling to be had there as well. While we were there it seemed every day there was a pilgrimage that butterflies took from one side of the bay to the other. Hundreds of them flew past us on there journey. Lovely sight. We have come back into Havana Harbour and anchored off The Havana Resort. We had dinner there with Ben and Helen. Fantastic service and food. We as boaties were welcomed warmly by the staf f and were very accommodating when we required transport to and from the airport. Dropped Ben and Helen at the airport yesterday and picked up Kristy at the same time. We now have the pleasure of her company until next Sunday. Looking forward to a good week.
All good on board.
We anchored outside a resort called Botaira on the island of Naviti. We dingyed in and with assistance from one of the staff with our dingy went for a walk. We said we would come and have a drink after our walk which was all good. By 5.15 we went back to the bar to find no one there. Happy hour started at 5.30. So we waited and at 5.40 decided that we would make our own on Malakite. Fiji time again!! We anchored the next day at Kuata Island where the rock formations were incredible. The beach we were at was looked down on by the rocks '2 Grumpy Old Men'. We did some good snorkling there as well. Back to Musket Cove on Sunday afternoon after a good trip. We dropped off Pete and Deb at Musket Cove and the next day motored down to Denerau. We were unable to get a mooring or Marina berth so have anchored outside the channel at the entrance to the harbour. We have had two nights here and both have been very still and quiet. Glen's sister, Robyn and husband John have a share in a property on the water ways at Denerau so we spent two days with them as well as catching up with Glen's dad, Graeme and Sue who are staying with Robyn and John. We have had a really good catch up after not seeing them for 3 months. We have just found out that our departure date to Vanuatu has been postponed from Saturday 1st of August until Monday 3rd August. There is a low pressure system that we are waiting to pass, before we head off to Vanuatu.
We are all good on board and enjoying everything that Fiji has shown us to date.
We went back to Savusavu to pick up Luke and Anton who were coming in from Nadi. We had Kristy, Stefan, Luke and Anton altogether on board for 2 nights. Lots of fun.
Glen and Kristy have finally got a dive in. We went out with Koro Sun dive and they each did 2 dives while Luke, Stefan and Anton went snorkling. After Kristy and Stefan left us we took the boys to Namena Island which is a marine reserve. We saw turtles, Eagle Rays and Reef Sharks. Also the fish life was really different and varied from anywhere else we have been to so far. After there we went back to Makogai for one night then a 9 hour motor sail to Volivoli point. From here Luke, Anton and I took a taxi to Nadi for them to fly home. After three hours we got to the airport then waited for my sister, Tania and her husband Owen who are staying on board with us for a week. Then another three hour trip back to Volivoli!!! We are cruising around the Northern coast of Viti Levu, exploring little bays on our way. It is a really nice piece of Fiji here, but so different in the landscape and flora than Savusavu. Not so much rainfall here.
All good on board even though we have been a bit cool the last couple of days. Temperature only 24 degrees!!! So used to more like 28-30 degrees.
Please note there have been 3 rouge posts on our page putting us in Vanuatu and all most to New Caledonia. WE ARE IN FIJI.
We left from here and headed to Somosomo, on the island Taveuni. This was a nice well kept village with a supermarket as well as separate produce market. Very nice.
From there we did a full day sail to Savusavu. Glen caught a Mahimahi bull fish on our way, which measured about 1.5metres long. Good eating fish.
Along with 6 other ladies of other boats we meet a Fijian Indian lady called Mala, who took us shopping for fresh produce and chicken then gave us a curry cooking lesson aboard Malakite. It was a fun way to spend a few hours. It was also a good way of learning about how to cook using different veges and fruit from what we have at home.
Kristy and Stefan were delayed leaving Auckland which meant they missed there connector flight to Savusavu. They finally arrived on Saturday at 5.30 after more delays. We spent Sunday looking around Savusavu with them and left the Savusavu harbour on Monday. We spent the night off the resort of Jean-Michel Cousteau. Yesterday we sailed really hard to the island of Makogai. We are planning on staying here for a couple of days then making our way back to Savusavu to pick up Luke and Anton who arrive on Friday. Glen and Kristy are really keen to find some good dive spots sometime soon. The weather has not been too favourable for us to get anywhere for them to dive, but it could be better for the end of the week. Fiji is so much more windy than Tonga, and dive anchorages are all pretty exposed and take a while to get too. Will keep you posted. We are all good on board and enjoying having Kristy and Stefan with us.
All good on board and only 5 sleeps until Kristy and Stefan arrive to see this special place called Fiji. Where we have been on Vanua Balavu is so different to the Fiji that is on posters and travel brochures. There is hardly a beach to be found. We didn't touch land until today from last Monday. Just boat to boat travel only. Looking forward to some nice beaches to walk on.
We left here the next morning. 37ish boats all in single file convoy. It was a real sight. There are a lot of surprise reefs that need to be carefully navigated. We were heading for a village called Daliconi who were hosting us for a Meke and Lovo, dinner and entertainment.
On our way there we passed through the Bay of Islands. A smaller scale of the New Zealand Bay of Islands but WOW. We travelled in between islands with only 2 boat widths of water in places. It is the most interesting place for boating. We have come back here and kayaked. We are having a guided tour through caves both large and small. Most of the fleet have come back here today for this tour. We went to the local Methodist church this morning. It was lovely and both pastors that spoke, spoke in English as well for their guests. There was probably 25 people off the boats. We were very warmly welcomed here. The singing was great. Some of the songs were the same as home and It was a privilege to be there. All good on board. 2 weeks until we have Kristy and Stefan on board. Can't wait!!
On Sunday we went to church at the local Catholic Church. Having never been to this type of service before we were unsure what to expect. There were about 300 people and a third of them were the choir. The Tongan people can sure sing. We have found Vava?u a bit more wealthy and worldly than we did in Ha?apai. All the ladies and the small children are dressed in there Sunday best with most all woman and men dressed with there Tongan woven over skirts. The skirts themselves look bulky and uncomfortable but most people wore them. This was also the case at the church we went to in Ha?apai. It was a priviledge for us to attend such a special part of there everyday life. After church with the rest of our fleet boats, we went by bus to the other side of the Island for a traditional Tongan feast. This was at the Botanical Gardens, which is the only one in Tonga. The gentleman who owned it spoke to us about how the gardens were started. His father was given a small piece of land which was handed down to his son, the now owner. When he was 8 years old he helped his father plant 200 coconut trees which was mandatory for having the piece of land given to them in the first place. Over the years this gentleman has studied horticulture and had scholarships to various universities to learn his passion. He has worked for the government for lots of years in advisory roles and in bio security. His garden has grown considerably over the years and has been open for public viewing just recently. Because we were there on Sunday we were not allowed to visit the gardens or swim in the lagoon at the same venue, although he did say we could bathe in it if we wanted to. We probably could off looked around the gardens but unfortunately our bus driver was also a policeman who wouldn?t allow any infringements on a Sunday.
So here we are on the water in the middle of the South Pacific heading to Fiji and also where we will catch up with our children and family and friends. We are looking forward to that. All is good on board. Glen has his lures out the back in the hope of catching something. Will keep you posted on that.
We have had some lovely anchorages both night and day time ones. Twice now in Vava?u we have had day anchorages with no other boats and uninhabited islands. The snorkelling has been good with fan coral and lots of coloured little fish. I have never seen so many sea slugs. The bays seem to be littered with them. Robyn, the slug in the togs conversation has been told a few times. We spent last night in an anchorage known as the Blue lagoon. It is another of those tricky places to get into but when you get in, put the anchor down and look around, it is stunning. This place is a lagoon surrounded by reefs and smaller islands. There is a resort inside the lagoon which is due to open mid July. There are little brightly coloured apartments/bungalows/shacks over the water where you could put a fishing rod out over the balcony if you wanted. The colours in the lagoon are just stunning, hence the name. As the tide comes and goes, the rate of water coming across the reef changes so that at high tide it is rougher than at low tide. We had a rocky rolly evening (high tide) and a calm night (low tide) followed by a rocky rolly (high tide) breakfast. We will head out today and look for a calmer place to stay tonight. Tonight is our last night being able to choose an anchorage. From tomorrow we have events on in Neiafu. There is a Tongan Feast booked for us on Sunday. Glen is diving on Saturday as well as a briefing about the next part of our journey to Fiji. Tomorrow we get to fill up Malakite with Duty Free diesel. This is the first fill since leaving Opua. All is good on board with us. Looking forward to Fiji but will be sad to leave Vava?u.
You would think that the fish life would be plentiful for catching, but alas this is not the case. Most of the boats are trawling every time they move from anchorage to anchorage, but there just doesn't seem to be much around. Oh well, so we wait another day! Glen got the paddle board inflated today and has used it. He said it is really stable and is enjoying it. Me, not brave enough yet. Too many people that could witness the falling of thing!! Will wait for a secluded bay. All well on board
We have sailed all day to arrive in Vava'u for the next adventures in Tonga. This is more familiar to us as we were here in 2009 with Kristy and Luke, Graeme and Sue. We are looking forward to refamilierising ourselves with this beautiful place. We are in the place where Glen first had the dream to do some major exploring of the South Pacific using our own boat. We are living the dream now.
Last night was the rally pirate party. Urrrggg me haddies. We had to make a story or song to use all the participating boat names in. There were some very clever ditties. First prize on getting to Minerva reef was also presented and it was to two boats last night as they both arrived at the same time but one to South and one to North Minerva. Each was presented with a bottle of rum which was then tipped into a large bucket to make our Rum Punch for the evening. Good stuff.
This morning has been a chart marking event and we will head of today or probably tomorrow to start exploring the Ha?apai group of islands.
Glen is having troubles with the water maker. He is doing lots of talking to himself and emailing the manufacture trying to figure out the problem.
Water temperature has increased since leaving Minerva reef from 24 deg to 26.2 degrees.
Currently sailing at 7 knots.
The water colour at Minerva Reef is an amazing blue. We plan to depart for Lifuka, Ha'apai, Tonga late Sunday afternoon, light winds are forecast so we could be motoring most of the way. The 350nm passage will take about 2.5 days, arriving Lifuka Wednesday morning.
We are sailing with 2 reefs in the main and 1 reef in the Genoa at an average boat speed of 7.5 - 8 knots. The wind speed overnight ranged from 13-25 knots.
With 390 nm to south Minerva reef we hope to arrive on Thursday afternoon before 4pm so we can enter the reef with good light.
Malakite - Second update
Motored for the first 40 hours, on very calm seas with less than 10 knots of wind. Heading east so we could make the most of the easterly wind when it arrived.Beautiful sunsets and an amazing full moon. Caught an albacore tuna which was enjoyed for dinner last night. We turned of the engine and started sailing at 2.30am this morning, the wind has been slowly building and we are currently sailing in 20-25 knots of wind, doing 7-8 knots boat speed in lumpy seas.
Malakite - Opua departure
We departed Opua, Bay of Islands this morning with Glen, Ben and Ken on board. We are motoring at 6.2 knots, with no wind and glassy seas. Heading east so we can make the most of the wind and it's forecast direction as we get closer to Minerva reef. 749nm to South Minerva Reef. What a great day to depart.
Malakite - Auckland to Opua
We, being Glen, Jillian and Ben left Orakei Marina on Thursday 23rd April at 1700hrs heading to Opua in the Bay of Islands. We motor sailed until around midnight and then were able to turn the engines of and enjoy the peace with only the wind in our sails. Ben kept watch until midnight then Glen took over. Glen heard unusual splashing sounds on his watch and shone the torch into the water and found a pod of dolphins playing alongside us. They didnâ€™t care for the torch beam and soon left us. Read more...