Showing posts from July, 2018

Happy Ha'apai

Last Saturday (21st) we left our pretty little anchorage north of Nuku island and headed west to Ovaka Island, one of the most south westerly islands in the Vava’u Group. We anchored in front of the government primary school. Just imagine going to a primary school right on the beachfront, what a wonderful setting!We spent Sunday being mainly lazy but did do some preparations for our sail south on Monday, including getting the dinghy and outboard motor back on board X-Pat. We even had a dry night!

On Monday, we were up at 4am and left the anchorage at 4:30 am for the 64nm sail south to the Ha’apai group. We left early as we had some reefs to negotiate at our destination and it is best to do this when the sun is still high in the sky and one can see the reefs.
The wind had obligingly swung from south to east and so it was up with the sails and off with the engine and off we went. This was the first time we had hoisted the sails since we arrived in Vava’u, so it was a bit of a novelty sail…

Visitors, Feasts and Antibiotics

Well another week (or maybe more!) has passed since the last blog, so here we go again. Malcolm and Ange arrived on Tuesday (10th) bearing welcome gifts of cheese, chocolate, gin and whisky. We spent the first day having a look around the main town (Nieafu) and sampling the local food and drink and then it was back to X-Pat for some more food and drink!
On Wednesday we set off, motoring through the beautiful tree covered islands for a few hours, to the island of Nuapapa. We anchored off the beach in early afternoon and then headed into the beach in the evening for a Tongan feast. Dinghy transfers always carry a bit of risk and despite the relatively calm conditions this one didn’t go well. We arrived at a pier that looked a bit tumbled down. Debi jumped off and was busy helping Ange ashore when something went wrong. We’re not sure what but Ange fell back onto the dinghy and both Ange and Pat ended up in the water. This was a somewhat embarrassing start to the feast!
It was only when Pat…

Tongan Time

In Tonga things happen in what is known as “Tongan time” and that includes this blog, which is well overdue for an update!

We finally escaped the clutches of NZ at 11am on June 13th when we departed Opua and motored out through the Bay of Islands on a calm day with no wind! Fortunately it only took a few hours for the wind to pick up and so up went the sails, off went the engine and with Leanne putting her sail trimming skills to good use, off we went doing 6.5 knots in lovely sailing conditions. As darkness fell for our first night at sea, Debi produced a delicious beef stroganoff and all was well.

Our departure was planned to coincide with the back of a low pressure system which gave us good south west winds. However, this meant that we had to contend with a large high pressure system, which developed in our direct path to Tonga. To avoid having to motor for days through the windless centre of the high, we took a rather circuitous route to the east initially, before turning north …