Automated update from App.
awob but hard to hear Pietre. 55 to go
Koumac. Planning to cruise south next week - slowly. Easterly winds please David! All is well
northern lagoon with not a great forecast
cannot hear Pieter too well but will try again
Good morning, Thumbs Up is still at Ouvea atoll in the Loyalties. the waether is perfect and really enjoying it here ! We planning this sunday to sail over to the East Coast of N.C . to Tohou and from there on to the Northern part of N.C. All is well on board !
In Lifou and heading soon to Ouvea.
heading to Mare in the Loyalties and then will work up the chain and across to the north of Grande Terre.
in Isle of Pines
In the isle de Pins enjoying calm weather
enjoying the sights of new Cal after a bumpy trip from Vanuatu.
On passage to Lifou in the Loyalties, new Caledonia
Thumbs Up is at present for anchor in Sola Bay , Vanua Lava at the Banks Is ! As was first the plan to go to the Solomons is not going to be so we are sailing from here via rhe westcoast of Espiritu Santos back to Santo and going from there to New Caledonia
For anchor at Palikulo Bay , planning to go to Hog Harbour today, 30 percent cloudcover and 10 kt wind from SE, al well on board
For anchor at Luganvile , all well on board !
top of Pentecost Island
For anchor at Port Sandwich going today back to Maskylyne Islands
All well on board!
Automated update from App.
Tumbs Up is at present for anchor at Port Villa
All is well on board.
Thumbs Up is at present for anchor at Port Villa !
All wel on board!
heading to port resolution Tanna
leaving tomorrow for Tanna
eta Aneityum sunday afternoon at this rate. AWOB and enjoying the ride.
eta Aneityum late sun, Monday
Thumbs up is at present in Vuda Point Marina and ready to leave tomorrow for Aneityum Is in Vanuatu !
Looking forward to a good sail !! And a new adventure !!
We are sfter a great sail for anchor at Lekubi Pt ,
Leaving tomorrow for Yadua Is , we had a great day with good patches of bleu sky and plenty of wind !!
Al is well on board !
Thumbs Up is on mooring bouy at the Copra Shed Marina , enjoying a great time in and around Savusavu !
Leaving tomorrow for Namena Is . Al is well on board !
On their way from Vanua Balava to Taveuni
35 to Vanua Balavu. Note change of destination!
On passage to Fuluga in the southern Lau group
We are still at Kadavu Is and enjoying It ! Planninig to leave early Teusday morning for Fulanga Is ! All wel onboord and hoping for a nice sail tomorrow !
Enjoying Kadavu Is , planning to leave early tuesday for Fulaga Is , all good here and hoping for a nice trip !
Bwe are at present at the westeren part of Kadavu Is , and enjoying this part of Fiji verry much ! We are planning to go from the Sth side to Valuga Is , its about 200 nm from here ,
just entering the harbour at Suva. Will be pleased to be out of the conditions
eta tuesday but likely to go into suva now to avoid weather if they proceeded further to Savusavu
eta Savusavu Mon/tues but there is wx coming
radio noise this mornign so will try for more info after the wx round up
all well and a good signal from Pietre this am.
seas not too bad. Good progress. All well
on passage to Fiji
Thumbs Up is leaving saturday the 13 / 05 Opua for her voyage to Fiji , Savusavu ! We are hoping for fair winds and nice weather !
All wel up here and the spirit is high !!
Correcting their position. Did not like to see them mid ocean with a TC coming!
Thumbs Up is waiting for a departure for the 10 the of May ! Hopefully that is going to work better !
All is wel in Opua !
Waiting in Opua for departure the 5 of May to Fiji .
Getting cold uphere so time to move North again !
Moored in Marsden Cove Marina
In Marsden Cove Marina
Still in opua enjoying the cold weather.
160 to Opua. yee Ha
all well. Last report from GHRadio will be tomorrow as we are off. Sorry Dee!
420 to Opua
all well on board but grumbling about wind direction
Radio conditions not so good today
all well. Good radio signal
good night with a beautiful moon. Also great signal, Dee.
Yasawas. Waiting for crew Chris to arrive. Dee will be watching YIT
At Vuda Marina prepping the boat to be left here while the skipper flys to Brisbane for a couple of weeks. There will also be a crew change here as Dee ends her Pacific Islands adventures. What a fantastic 5 months of cruising!
Many thanks to all at Gulf Harbour Radio for their extensive weather coverage which has made the experience so much more enjoyable. Well done everyone.
We had a battle with the mosquitos last night at the Latoka Harbour anchorage.
Moving today to Vuda.
Arrived at Latoka Harbour anchorage at 3:15 pm today. Quite the culture shock after cruising in Tonga and Fiji for 5 months and mostly favouring uninhabited anchorages. Tomorrow we contact Vuda Point Marina to arrange for a berth for a few weeks. On Friday Pieter and I fly to Brisbane.
At anchorage at Vatia Wharf on north coast of Viti Levu.
Very strange weather! A very hazy, low cloudy sky and the atmosphere feels eerie!
Motoring towards the Ba Passage for an overnight anchorage. The great sailing wind of SE 17 knots has died out completely leaving the skipper totally confused. Where are the predicted SE trades? Maybe we should have stayed at Yadua to enjoy another great day of snorkelling in our special bay?
At Bua Bay, Lekubi Point, West Coast Vanua Levu.
Going to Yadua Island today for some snorkelling- Pieter wants to pester the lizards; only joking!
Hopefully the sun will keep shining.
At anchorage in Bua Bay on west coast of Vanua Levu. Motor sailed early in very light conditions, wind in southern quadrant. Pieter caught a grey mackerel as we exited the Nasonisoni Passage, just as we had the sails set and the motor off. By noon the sky had closed in and we had a heavy shower. 100% cloud cover all afternoon with occasional light showers. Big fish jumping close by.
Departed Cousteau's Resort 7:00 am heading to SW anchorage on Vanua Levu for tonight. Motor sailing.
Departing Savusavu by noon to commence our passage to Vuda Point Marina.
Moored at Savusavu for shopping and washing today.
Departing Tuesday or Wednesday to make our way through the reef passages towards Vuda Point Marina by next Monday or Tuesday.
At anchor at Cousteau's Resort enjoying another delightful Fijian spring morning. Later this morning we will go to Savusavu to pick up a mooring. We will buy some fresh supplies after being away for 6 weeks and do a mountain of washing. The plan is to depart on Tuesday to sail to Vuda Point Marina where Pieter will leave the boat for 2 weeks while he has a visit home to Brisbane.
Thursday we motored south inside the Rainbow Reef to exit through the southern pass; it was quite awesome on such a glorious morning. Then we sailed across the bay to Fawn Harbour; another peaceful and isolated anchorage.
Today, Friday, we are motor sailing across the SE coastline of Vanua Levu to overnight at Crousteau's anchorage. Maybe the resort will have been repaired from Cyclone Winston's damage in our month's absence and we might be able to dine there tonight.
Tomorrow we will head into Savusavu for supplies and to top up our Digicel Internet and Fiji phone.
An absolutely fabulous day for a sail!
At anchor in Viani Bay, Vanua Levu to see the ever cheerful Mr Jack Fisher who just loves to guide yachties to all the best dive and snorkelling sites.
Later today we will sail around to Fawn Bay if the sun keeps shining. Right now it is a magical morning here, and surprisingly, no clouds hanging low over Taveuni.
At anchor at Matagi Island on a fantastically beautiful morning. Later today we will sail to an anchorage at the NW tip of Taveuni.
Arrived at anchorage in Naiviivi Bay, Qamea Island at 8:30 pm Monday using previous track to make our entrance. Navionics App is so far out on its depths for here that it is scary!
Leaving soon for Matagi Island as we have light winds for a change.
At anchorage in Bay of Islands, Vanua Balavu after another rough crossing of the Koro Sea from Komo Island last weekend.
Our 10 days in the magical lagoon of Fulaga Island with its crystal clear water and pristine coral reefs have been the highlight of 2016 for me. Fulaga is the Jewel of the Pacific, and the people were just so welcoming and keen to include us in their daily activities. Their hospitality was boundless; even the chief shared his lunch with us on our first visit to the village. The many meals prepared for us by our host family were delicious and memorable; Tai, Wati and Suka were wonderful hosts. Our wheelbarrow full of gifts to them paled in comparison to their generosity and their handcrafted parting gifts. An unforgettable experience!
on the NW side of Vanua Balavu
anchored just outside.
good anchorage but a little rolly at high tide
heading to an island about 30nm north tomorrow
great signal from Fuluga
glorious day in Fuluga Lau Group Fiji
a beautiful day to Enjoy Fuluga in the southern Lau. This is a favourite cruiser spot.
We were intending to sail to Vanua Balavu but the wind is too hard on for us to sail that course. New plan is to overnight through the Koro Sea to Fulaga Island in the Southern Laus, to spend time exploring the lagoon. Right now it is a bit bumpy but I'm hopeful conditions will get better. At least we have some sun!
Anchored in the most delightful Naiviivi Bay on NW side of Qamea Island after a great sail this afternoon from Somosomo. Tomorrow we plan to leave at 06:00 to sail to the Bay of Islands in the northern part of Vanua Balavu. From there the vague plan is to sail south through the Laus while the wind is favourable; we may do an overnight sail to reach Fulaga Island in the south with its magical lagoon. Once in the southern Laus we can then make our way slowly back north exploring all the Laus, using the SE trades to our advantage. Not sure when we will have Internet contact again.
Clear skies at last at Viani Bay - except for a long white cloud hanging over Taveuni.
Great snorkelling yesterday at the Fish Factory, Rainbow Reef in Somosomo Strait. More this morning before the wind picks up. Viani Bay has slightly better weather than Taveuni across the strait with misty rain hanging over the island.
Don't know why the GPS put us in Somosomo Strait? We are moored in Viani Bay on Jack's mooring.
Where is the sun? At Viani Bay for a few more days.
Went snorkelling yesterday to Cabbage Patch at Rainbow Reef with Jack; if the wind is kind we are hoping to go snorkelling again today to the Fish Factory. Last night we had a superb MiaMia meal on HavAChat caught by Sally and cooked by Pete. Sally outdid herself by following this up with fresh trifle with cream.
Still moored in Viani Bay waiting for sunny conditions.
Hopefully we will have some sun soon so we can do some snorkelling this morning before the wind comes up.
Local Jack Fisher is taking us to his favourite dive spots so fingers crossed.
Moored at Viani Bay waiting for the sun to shine.
Wind all directions yesterday, rain with very low visibility.
Might connect with Jack Fisher today for some snorkelling if conditions improve; otherwise we will be reading while we wait.
On a Jack Fisher mooring in Viani Bay, Vanua Levu - opposite Somosomo on Taveuni Island. We came in via Viani Pass through the reef late Wednesday in rain and poor visibility, following the passage waypoints to the anchorage. Just on dark the front was right over us with rain and wind shift to Southerly 20+ knots putting us on a lee shore till 4:00 am. We had anticipated the windshift so we were anchored well, but still maintained an anchor watch all night.
This morning we had a long visit from the local landowner Jack Fisher who regaled us with his family stories. We have picked up one of his moorings for a few days whilst we wait for some sunshine to come, hopefully by Sunday. Meanwhile Jack will take us snorkelling to some of the best sites in Fiji, and perhaps we have a day sightseeing by bus on Taveuni.
We have Digicel towers above us and Jack's nephew maintains the batteries that power the transmitter, so all good for receiving weather forecasts and Internet access.
Pieter is doing sevusevu with Jack with fishing lures, plus they are swapping fish stories - tall tales and true! We still have to do sevusevu with the chief of this area of Vanua Levu who now lives in Taveuni.
Tonight we will try to catch some fish from the yacht using Jack's method. Stay tuned!
A peaceful night at Somosomo but the wind backed to NW 15 to 20 about 9:00 pm so we were pleased we had anchored with enough distance from the reef. Light rain all night. No sun for the skipper today!
We are happily anchored over the international date line near Somosomo on Taveuni. Today we sailed 58 NM in 10 hours in great sailing conditions. For a change I had the leeward side of the cockpit so I stretched out for a kip late morning.
Going ashore tomorrow to see how Somosomo has changed since I was here 30 years ago.
We could do with some sunshine please to keep the skipper happy.
We have just departed Dere Bay on Koro Island. Motor sailing in almost no wind. We are hoping to go to Taveuni or somewhere around there, but that will depend on what the wind does today. If we can't make it to Taveuni we might go to Crousteau's anchorage again.
Skipper is glum - he is sick of grey skies. Plus we need sunshine to go into anchorages through reef passes, so our cruising is stymied.
The cyclone damage on Koro was way beyond our expectations, but the people are taking it in their stride. They have nothing but their beaming smiles are ever present. We are pleased to take away this experience.
At anchor in Dere Bay, Koro Island.
We were going to sail to Taveuni today but have decided to stay tucked up in this anchorage for another day.
This morning the weather looked more promising at Crousteau's with the possibility of breaks in the 95% cloud cover looking towards Koro Island. It was 10:15 before we were underway, but with 20 knots of ESE wind we were soon zooming along at a fast pace - 9.4 knots top speed! During the day the wind turned SSE which made it difficult to maintain our course so close to the wind, but the autopilot handled the conditions with ease.
We arrived at 4:30 pm to anchor in Tulani Harbour (Dere Bay), on the. NW tip of Koro Island. Having a sunset again was a welcome change from the clouds and rain at Savusavu, but I think the weather might close in again tomorrow.
Weather conditions will dictate our next destination.
We are back at anchor off Crousteau's Resort on the SE tip of Savusavu Bay after trying to sail to Koro Island. The wind outside the bay in the Koro Sea had too much south in it; SSE 15 to 20 Knots with higher gusts, and a SE 2 metre swell. But we did get to test the new drive motor to the autopilot and all went well. Tomorrow we might try again for Koro, or for Taveuni - the weather will dictate our direction. Meanwhile we can enjoy the calm conditions here and watch the dark clouds and rain that are hanging over Savusavu.
Wind increasing as I type.
Yesterday we moved from Savusavu around the corner to Cousteau's Resort.
Today we will sail to Koro Island and then decide on our next direction, possibly Taveuni, depending on the weather. Skipper happy to be moving!
Still moored at Savusavu waiting for better conditions to start cruising to Taveuni and the Laus. However still enjoying Savusavu.
We woke to sunshine after a very wet 2 days. Heavy rain Monday afternoon to fill the dingy.
Hopefully we can start our cruising tomorrow.
We had a great sail out across Savusavu Bay on Saturday enjoying clear skies and the best sailing conditions since February in Northland NZ. Pieter had a really happy day and we were both so pleased to be sailing again. But the autopilot failed when the wind speed increased which confirmed Pieter's decision to order the new drive motor and belt.
Yesterday it rained all day so we stayed out on the mooring and read for most of the day. It was so nice to be in the very dry cockpit watching the rain falling all around us. Piet experimented with his new watercatcher to fill the tanks and the large washing buckets.
The big news is that the new, more powerful drive motor and belt for the autopilot pilot arrived this morning and Pieter is down in the steering locker installing it as I type. Hopefully this will give us an autopilot that works in all conditions and be the best investment from the cruising budget. Piet says he is on a winner, and that the autopilot will make our cruising so much safer and enjoyable in all conditions.
As soon as the weather clears this week we will be on our way along the Eastern cruising routes.
Happy smiles from Dee and Piet
Departing the marina at noon to go for a sail as the skipper has itchy feet (not sure of the nautical equivalent). We will come back into the harbour to pick up a mooring late afternoon to wait out the coming weather systems.
New pipe for the emergency steering has been machined with slits and holes so Thumbs Up now has that problem fixed too; hopefully never to be used.
Just waiting now for the drive motor for the autopilot.
Still enjoying Savusavu and all that makes it a great place to be if needing to effect repairs.
A change of plans finds us still berthed at the Copra Shed Marina, Savusavu, but the skipper is getting twitchy about being here so long. As fronts and troughs are heading this way for the weekend most yachties are staying over in this sheltered anchorage. We are waiting on a new drive motor and drive belt to arrive from NZ early next week, then once they are fitted we can begin cruising in the Eastern Fijian groups. Meanwhile we are enjoying Savusavu, the very friendly locals, great food and socialising with other yachties.
We are still moored at Copra Shed Marina at Savusavu, Vanua Levu since Saturday 23 July waiting on stainless steel split pins to arrive, Fiji time. But we are enjoying the wait socialising with all the other cruising yachties, getting other maintenance jobs up to date, and taking the local buses on long day trips across and around the island. All the yachties eat out as it is so cost effective and makes for a change from all the shopping, cooking and galley cleaning in the humid conditions. Hopefully we will move on tomorrow to Koro before going across to Somosomo on Taveuni and then to Rabi, weather permitting. Today Pieter is hoping for confirmation on the availability of a new drive motor and cam belt for his autopilot to be sent from NZ to us.
So all well and happy and life is back to normal after our lucky escape and rescue on Friday 22/7. We are forever in the debt of Doug from SY Gambol and Al from SY Bravado, our heroes who came from their beds at 03:00 in answer to my radio calls for assistance. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The rescue and the many discussions over coffee and beers on various scenarios of what we might have been able to do to avoid being smashed up on the coast have gradually ceased as new yachties come and others depart. Pieter has been able to buy a new length of pipe that will fit his emergency steering mechanism, but it still has to be cut and drilled in an engineering workshop. This means that the 3 major problems are being addressed, but it is happening in Fijian time.
a dramatic entry into savusavu. They are under tow as something went caput with the steering so no rudder control. Fortunately cruiser help was instant and they have been under tow for 5mins
on a good passage to Savusavu. Currently in Vanua Balavu passage
good steady progress
on passage to Fiji, Savusavu
At anchor at Tapana Island.
This morning we will visit the Ark floating art gallery then maybe lunch at the Spanish restaurant.
Still enjoying cruising in Tonga.
At anchor in the Old Harbour over the hill from Neiafu.
We really enjoyed our few days in the Eastern Lagoon at Kenutu Island. The first night there were only 3 yachts sharing the anchorage but this increased to 12 on Sunday as the sunny conditions continued after so many cloudy days. The lagoon is reached by navigating, only on a sunny day, an unmarked channel through the surrounding reef so it was quite exciting for us. The clarity and the colours of the water within the lagoon were so amazing and well worth the wait to get there. We found the track over the island to see the spectacular sight of huge Pacific rollers crashing against the precipitous Eastern coastline. The island is uninhabited but Tongan families come here for picnic type gatherings. We are really pleased that the weather was kind to us so we could visit Kenutu Island.
At anchor on this beautiful morning at Kenutu Island in Eastern Vava'u after too many days of either cloudy days or otherwise light rain. But the clouds are building to the south and west so we have to go ashore soon to explore the East coast and then by dingy to Umuna Island.
Weather permitting we will stay in this general vicinity for the next couple of days.
The position shown on previous entry is incorrect. It should read 18 41 952S 173 55 740W
Not sure why this is happening.
Position shown for 28/6 should be the same as 29/6 which is correct.
Hopefully there will be enough sunshine today for us to enjoy lots of snorkelling.
We arrived at Taunga Island at lunchtime today, then spent the afternoon exploring the surrounding reef, walking along the beach and swimming in the warm crystal clear water. Life is good!
Enjoying rain in Vavauu
Departing Neiafu at 15:00 today to visit the islands of the Vava'u group. Depending on the weather it might be 2 weeks before we are back here to replenish our fresh produce.
Between us we have sorted out some auto pilot problems; we will do trials now as we need to ensure all is well before we leave the Vava'us. Next problem is the refrigeration system. We will tackle that one tomorrow!
All going well with our Tongan adventures, and we are thinking to sail north to remote Niuatoputapu when we have seen the Vava'us. Any comments on Nuiatoputapu would be welcome.
Dee and Piet
Arrived at Neiafu at 12:00 noon today to renew our visas for another month and to buy a few provisions. We don't need to buy fish as Piet has been catching them to order whenever our supply has been depleted. Our vague plan is to see as much of the Vava'u Group as we can over the next few weeks. Who knows, we might even get to have encounters with the whales when they arrive in July.
anchored at Port Mourelle Vavauu
Arrived at 3:00 pm to anchor outside the harbour wall at Pangai on Lifuka Island. Thursday we will do some shopping then do the official check in and check out with Ha'Apai Customs. Our plan is to sail to Ha'ano Island on Friday to be ready for an early morning departure on Saturday for the Vava'us. We are having a great time and meeting lots of interesting people.
And Piet is providing plenty of fish. He caught a magnificent Striped Marlin on 4 June with his Rapala lure on light rod and tackle, taking 30 minutes to reel in this beautiful creature. He very proudly released his Bucket List catch after I snapped lots of photos. On 12 June Piet landed a very welcome 1.35m Wahoo which we were able to share with others. Now we are off fish for a while!
At Pangai for a couple of days
departing for Pangaii today
Still in the same spot. Had a tumultuous night with wind up to 40 kt from N and rain. Moderated now at net time and 20 NNW
moving to Ha' hafeva and I wmust look up how to spell that
tucked inbehind an island with an unpronouncible name!
Kaefesia - hanging out as nice!
sailing to Kalefesia
Back at Nuku'alofa Harbour to clear customs ready for our departure at first light tomorrow morning for Kelefesia Island in the Southern Ha'Apai Group.
Spent a great 2 days at Malinoa Island enjoying the snorkelling and having the island all to ourselves.
Running repairs completed including a patch to the bottom of the dingy, bypassing a burst stainless steel flexible hose at the galley sink, and repairing a loose connection to the Autopilot steering in the stern locker. Piet's special expertise was needed for all these tasks, so well done Piet.
Now we are ready to begin the next leg of our cruising adventure.
We will post updates when we can and keep in touch with Gulf Harbour Radio as we move through the Ha'Apai and Vava'u Groups.
Sending our love to those following our progress, and special thanks to Patricia and David for their excellent radio schedules and weather forecasts. A fantastic service!
Dee and Piet
Heading to Malinoa Island in Tongatapu group for an overnight stop to check out the snorkelling.
Quite a few boats at Pangaimoto
Des explained the grim check in process. Cannot be done at Pangaimotu. They had to pull alongside a rough dock and the process took 5hr.
safely anchored at Pangaimotu Tongatapu. Trigger nearby.
he weather is sunny with clouds building on the horizon to the West. We had a rough night last night so hoping for a better night tonight. All going well otherwise as we try to maintain our course for Tonga.
Good to talk to Desley today
Departing Marsden Point 12/05/2016 for Nuku'alofa in Tongatapu, Tonga
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