Thought we better do at least 1 update this year. After summer working in Melbourne, we returned to Fiji and got the boat unpacked from Vuda cyclone pit in May.
Left late May and went around top of Viti Levu to Ovalau area. Makongai and Koro then up to Savusavu for a restock. Taveuni to pick up friends for a quick visit. Took them to Albert Cove, Viani Bay, Fawn Harbour then they flew out of Savusavu.
Over next 3 weeks we did a clockwise circumnavigation of Vanua Levu. Loved the northern coastline and especially our time at Kia. Back to Savusavu mid July.
Went over to the Ha'apai to play with the whales again. Enjoyed our short time back in Tonga.
Back to Savusavu again mid August. Since then we have doodled out to Budd Reef and then had 2 weeks down out Vanua Balavu.
Back to Taveuni a week ago, and we are now back on the north coast of Vanua Levu. We are heading west this time. Looking forward to a return visit to Kia Island. They are wonderful people.
We will then start heading towards the Nadi side again. Nonstop staying in Vuda cyclone pit again this summer.
Having a great time with our kids over from NZ for a visit after completing their university exams. Been mainly in the Musket Cove to Mana area. Weather has been really great which has been a bonus. Two awesome days out at Numoto on Just Jane with Matt and Paula. Kids got to try surfing and diving. We enjoyed the snorkelling and some great company.
A day out at Modriki yesterday then back to Mana late in afternoon. Still at Mana today, before heading into Denerau later tomorrow ready to wave the kids goodbye on their way home on Friday.
Looks like it is pretty much the stayers up here now that the last flock is departing for NZ over the next few days.
Two more weeks for us before we head into the parking lot at Vuda.
Left Nivadra at 0800 and headed for Denerau which was 25 miles away. Started with SE 10 and nice sailing but it soon died away, so a couple of hours motoring. Wind eventually came from NW so we ended up with a nice downwind sail. Otto drove beautifully, while we sat in the shade on the foredeck. Caught and released a tuna too (we did, not Otto as he is not that clever, as he is just a Raymarine autopilot) Arrived mid-afternoon, as Just Jane was leaving for NZ. See you in Nelson.
In the marina for a few days. Big clean up of the boat as the kids are coming to visit. That sounds all wrong -aren't they the ones we always nag to clean up their rooms?
Anyway all good here, and looking forward to a calm few days in the marina, after a very rocky rolly week.
After a few days at Vuda at the end of last week, we headed out to the Yasawas on Saturday. Came up past Waya and to a sheltered bay -to find that we had accidently discovered Manta Ray Pass! Bit of a rolly anchorage. Moved further up the west coast of Naviti Sunday and found Natuvalo Bay was much better. Last night in Vunayawa Bay as the wind gusted through. Much nicer day today as we sail down east side of Naviti and then on to Waya for a look at the west side.
Fish for dinner, and enjoying better day after 3 pretty shitty days trying to hide from SE 20-25 and a NW swell. Not the Yasawas at their best we suspect.
Had a nice slow headsail doodle west outside the reef system north of Viti Levu today. Will anchor out off Ba tonight. Has been a nice day hiding from the sun, under the boom tent as we sailed along. Better than hiding from the rain of the last month.
Onroute from Makogai to Nananu-i-Thake via the main Vatu-I-Ra Channel. Pretty slow day as the wind flunked out earlier. So lots of motor sailing. Saw 3 pilot whales earlier and 1 ship. No fish for tea yet.
All is well as we slowly potter our way west. Not raining today, so we take that as a big bonus. Shite it has been wet!
We are anchored up in a bay on the northern shore of Nggamea Island after moving around here yesterday between rain showers, from Naiviivi Bay.
Great lightening show last evening from over Taveuni. Gusty winds and a lot of rain overnight. Will be a clothes washing morning in the flooded dinghy, between chapters of the books.
Wind has eased this morning as the rain cleared.
Still loving it here, but will still do a run back to Savusavu by end of the week. We feel another bus adventure coming on!
Doodling across the top of Taveuni after a neat week at Kioa and Rabi. We think we are going to Nggamea for a few days....but who really knows. On Fiji time still
Just left Paradise Resort on Taveuni after a nice 4 days. Highlight was another great bus adventure yesterday. We went up to Somosomo. Very rugged road and some great rally driving in the bus. Great fun!
Now we are feeling pretty alone as we are headed north (everyone else seems to be going south to head to NZ or other places)
Our plan as of today is to spend a few weeks up around Rabi and north of Taveuni before heading back towards Savusavu.
Pretty calm today, so may head for Nanggainggai Bay or thereabouts.
Arrived into Savusavu last Thursday morning after a pretty quick downwind sail across from Vava'u (just a tad over 2 and a half days). Caught a nice Mahimahi on the way. The last night was pretty wet and wild with biggish following seas that were fast breaking at times, so lots of nice fast surfing for the Unstoppables . We gained an appreciation of how shitty the Koro Sea must get when it really blows (we only had 25-30 knots)Then it rained, and has on and off since.
We are enjoying some marina time at the Copra Shed, while the wind and rain goes through. Really loving the buzz of Savusavu after 4 months in the quiet of Tonga. Going to do some land exploring too, and will go on a bus adventure tomorrow to Labasa. Once weather behaves we will head back to Taveuni area for a bit, before starting to head west towards the Nadi side of Fiji and the kids coming for a visit mid-November.
It is a great feeling knowing our passage home is NZ53 on 9th December and will only take 3 hours (and that we still have 2 more months of enjoying Fiji cruising left this season)
Anchored off Pangai in the Ha'apai. Will check out at Customs shortly then head up to Ha'ano for the night then leave for Vava'u about 0500 tomorrow. Have waited an extra day for a faster downwind trip.
What an amazing month we have had back down in the Ha'apai. The whales have been incredible! Been to lots of fantastic island anchorages. And have hardly seen any other boats! Were though pretty pleased to meet up with a super yacht at Ha'afeva as we were able to scrounge some fresh water from them! It has been very dry here with no real rain for months (until today) -vegetation on all the islands has been wilting.
Outside Pangai. Back enjoying the Ha'apai again. There are whales everywhere, can't believe how many we are seeing. Can just watch them all day from the anchorages. Are going out on a whale watch/swim trip with Seachange on Tuesday too.
Loving being back down here, and have 2 of our friends from NZ onboard for two weeks. Lots of relaxing, swimming and generally doing not too much!
After about 6 weeks in Vava'u enjoying some great anchorages, meeting lots of new people and enjoying watching whales and turtles, we are finally heading back down to the Ha'apai -probably Tuesday now. Looking forward to spending some more time down there, having enjoyed it so much on the way up. Also have friends coming up from NZ for 2 weeks, so looking forward to showing them around a pretty amazing bit of the world. They will love the snorkelling!
Will be back up to Vava'u again early September for another stint, before we finally head over to Fiji.
Fantastic downwind sail up to Ha'afeva from Nomuka'Iki on Saturday. Saw whale and caught tuna (pleased it wasn't the other way around). On our own in the anchorage last night which was was nice. Joined by Rob and Jo on the cat Duble Trouble today. Had a wander across to the village this afternoon, then a nice snorkel.
Late afternoon, 3 boats arrived in. The fuckwit in a big American flagged thing chose a boatlength from us to anchor - out of the whole South Pacific he had to chose from! Surprise surprise we got to go and re-anchor. We are certainly meeting some interesting people on this trip. And we thought it was just the IHC crowd that were that special! Nice drinks and chat with Rob and Jo after all that excitement, and lots more good anchorage info from them for some other places we will want to visit.
Will spend tomorrow here, then off to Pangai on Tuesday. Still are planning to go up to Vava'u on Thursday to do the visa extension. Then will come back down to the Ha'apai.
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Left Atata at 0330 on Tuesday morning. Good sail halfway up to Kelefesia, then wind came forward. Bit of an upwind bash in 15-20 knots from there on. Bit low so had to do one 5 mile board back in from the west. Anchor down at 1430, so it took a few hours longer than we had anticipated. There were 2 other yachts here when we got in. They had not long arrived in too.
Sleep, then did an engine oil change in what will be our most idilic place ever, we suspect! Yesterday we had a couple of beach walks ashore and then a fantastic snorkel late in the afternoon. Esse was in Nomuka yesterday, so did not get to meet him. Got to briefly meet his less than talkative brother. 1 more IHC yacht arrived in yesterday, along with the ex fishing boat -Media, that had been in at Nuku'alofa the last few weeks. So 5 in the small anchorage last night.
With the wind backing round through west and into southerly quadrant today and overnight, we will unfortunately have to leave here today as it will be too exposed.
We will probably head up to Nomuka Iki - again hopeful that the IHC boats have finally moved on, to leave some room for others.
This will be a pretty fleeting scoot through the southern Ha'api this time around, as we need to get up to Vavau late next week. Will come back down once we extend our visitor visas.
Other than having headcolds and feeling pretty crappy (how does that happen in the nice warm tropics?) -all is fine and dandy on board.
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Cleared out in Nuku'alofa today for the Ha'api. Will go out to Atata and leave early tuesday morning. Hoping to go to Kelefesia first. The team on Lady Nada on the same programme, so migjt have some company for a bit.
Quite a few boats arrived here today, so the next lot are starting their adventures.
Just has a nice chat and cuppa on board Zeehan with Robert and Louise who have just cleared in after 15 day trip across from Southport.
We are stocked up with food and water-so time to head north.
Had a really nice Saturday morning in Nuku'alofa. Bread run first, then back in for a wander around the peoples market down by the port. Mid-morning we doodled out to Malinoa Island. Had our first real tropical snorkle with warm water, coral and lots of wee coloured fishes. Was really fantastic.
Tonight we are back in at Pangiamotu with the other 4 rebels in our unofficial "not the ICA" cruisers group. We are all pretty much doing the same thing -pottering around Tongatapu letting the ICA flock get well ahead so we can enjoy some quiet anchorages through the Haapi Group.
We ourselves will maybe head north on Monday or Tuesday, or a completly different day altogether!
In the meantime this is a pretty good bit of the world to be in.
We arrived in Nuku'alofa on Tuesday morning after slowing down for a daylight arrival. Had a pretty good trip up from Opua in just under 8 days. Pretty good for a 34 footer. Best stat was we did 1066 miles all on starboard tack until we finally had to tack on the last afternoon! The trip was only marred by 3 days of solid rain at the end. Not such fun as we were all absolutly soaked. Ellen won top speed with a 16.3 knots hooning down a wave on day 2.The ease of our trip was going east of the rhumline by about 130 miles out through the Kermadec Islands- based on our read of the grib files and staying in south to south easterlies most of the way. We reached for the first 4 days then had wind just forward of the beam. First day 170 miles then 171 miles day 2 gave us a great start. Max wind whole trip about 30 knots easterly on day 5 as boats on the rhumline were struggling with stronger northerlies.If only the solid rain hadn't come! We are now in therapy trying to forget just how crappy and miserable that was for us as we hand steer all the time. Rum breakfast on arrival was the first session.Have really enjoyed our first few days in Tonga -except for early hours this morning amongst the carnage off Big Mumas as the front went through. We have at least got our anchor gear back that we had to cut away as it got taken by a runaway from the ICA mob that was towing an 80 metre grapnel around our vicinity! Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Challenge is to see if we can beam reach all way to Tonga on our great circle route! And we got to see islands yesterday -McCauley then we passed Raoul just after dark. Still saw lots of it in the glorious full moon.
good match of actual conditions to GFS and EC
Just heading out of BOI bound for Tonga. Planning to stay a bit east of rhumline-maybe!
What an amazing 12 months cruising the Northland coast we have had. Off to find some warmer weather now.
Just south east of North Cape. Had awesome week around North Cape and across the top of NZ.
Now sailing back towards Bay of Islands
Leaving whangarei town basin this afternoon. Will head up the coast a bit over next few weeks.
At Pier 21 in Auckland for a few weeks. Will bypass the Pacific this winter now, and stooge around the hauraki gulf and northland coastline instead and explore our own country. Will head up to the islands next season. Still cruising and not working- so not a bad plan b. Except that the swimming gear is being packed away.
Fast reaching hoon today in a 25 to 30 knot easterly up to great barrier. Anchored in port Fitzroy
Anchored in great mercury island this morning at 0830 after 4 day trip up East coast from waikawa. Had huge sleeps today and showers. So Ellen and Peter now feeling human again. Rum and chippies pretty good too.
Motor sailing. Likely to stop in at gisborne
May stop at Gisborne to watch Americas Cup. Just off northern end of Mahia Peninsula
Going well. Brrrrrr heater very popular.
VVVEEEERRRRYYY cold. They look like 2 Mr Blobbies with all the gear on
The jobs are finished at home, the list of jobs on Nonstop completed and waterline lowered after a visit to PacNSave and 5 months of grub. We finally have a great window to head north. Yeehaa.
Will be leaving Waikawa on Thursday morning, and heading up the East Coast. Most likely we will stop at Great Barrier for a few days as we go past (and let some pretty average weather go past early next week). Then through to Auckland, where we will clear out from in early July.
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