After a weekend of hanging around, our new alternator duly
arrived on Tuesday as was promised. It was fitted immediately and so on
Wednesday (30th) morning we left our berth at Gulf Harbour Marina,
filled our tanks with fuel and set off north in very light southerly winds. It
was a pleasant and gentle re-introduction to making passage with only our
headsail up and motor sailing the 55 miles up to Marsden Point. This is our
planned departure point for Tonga.
On the way North a paranoid Pat checked the engine bay, to find it swimming in coolant. Our engineers at the marina had failed to tighten a clip, which had rattled loose. Thankfully we found it quite quickly and managed to fix it. This was then followed by hourly checks of the engine but all was fine. We anchored in Urquhart Bay where we had sheltered back in February on our way south. It was a fine evening with a nice sunset but considerably colder than on our last visit.
On Thursday we had relaxed morning and then set off with the …
final week in Tonga was a very chilled out one. After our Tongan feast at the
Sandy Beach resort, we spent the next five days anchored off the resort,
attempting to shelter from the westerly winds. It wasn’t the most ideal
anchorage for this wind direction as the waves break across the reef making
things quite rolly and the sea very choppy. This made any dinghy trip a bit of
a wet affair which was a bit frustrating as we would have liked to have taken a
bit more advantage of the resort, but didn’t want to turn up looking like
did manage to get ashore on Sunday (5th) and have a nice 8km walk
which was a shock to the legs. We went snorkelling off the north end of the
island where we had been previously with our friends Jo and Rob. The first
attempt was a bit wild as we got the tides wrong and there was a strong
current. The snorkel ended up being more like a drift dive. Fortunately, Pat
was towing the dinghy with him as we would never have made it back otherwise.
Well it’s official, we have now been waiting so long to go
to Tonga that Pat became a Grandad! Lucas Raymond Corbett, our latest potential
crew member, finally made an appearance on the 7th June,
coincidentally the same day as our new temperature sensor turned up! We look
forward to welcoming young Lucas and his Mum and Dad onboard. Shane, our electrician fitted the new temperature sensor pretty much as soon as it arrived and we ran up the engine for the final check. The alternator temperature behaved itself and ran at a cool 36 C. So the drama in the engine bay would seem to be finally over.
With an evil looking tropical low heading across our planned path we could not leave directly for Tonga, but instead chose to use the extra days of fine weather in NZ to cruise up the coast and enjoy the sunshine. On Friday we departed Marsden Cove and motor-sailed north as far as Mimiwhangata Bay. This is a beautifully sheltered bay which we had previously visited in January on our way south. We h…