Sunday 22/06/2014 20:00
16 46.634 S 179 19.754 E
Posting by Barb
It feels really great to be sitting here in Fiji, even if it is on a Quarantine buoy! We arrived at 3:30 Sunday afternoon with just enough time to navigate into the bay, get in contact with the marina, arrange for customs for tomorrow and grab a quarantine buoy. Putting aside a few boat maintenance issues it was an uneventful sail. That is not to say it was an easy sail, especially for me, as the winds were strong and we did have to outrun a ‘low’ which promised some heavy rain and wind (which we successfully did outrun). Dennis tracked our course to take advantage of the winds as indicated on the weather grib files. I sometimes, just for a very short second, doubted the direction we were going to, as it was not a straight course to Fiji, but here we are safe and sound and in record time! We didn’t catch any fish on this trip and that is because we didn’t drop a line (just too many other things keeping us busy). So we are off for a good night’s sleep, customs tomorrow morning early, a couple of days of R&R and boat maintenance then we are off to explore Fiji. Yahoo!!
Thursday 19/6/2014 20:00 22 23.248 S 178 06.598 E http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:22%2023.248S%20178%2006.598E Sailing to Fiji Posting by Dennis We have had a lot of wind these last couple of days. We sailed most of today running down wind in 25 to 35 knots. We did most of it with only a double reefed main. To top it all off we now seem to have a leak in our fuel tank so every couple of hours I have to sponge up the diesel that has leaked into the boat, what a mess. So I know what we will be doing when we get to Fiji. I just hope it does not get any worse before we get there. It is never a dull moment here on Landfall. I should be able to patch it and then have a new tank made when we get back to New Zealand. The list just keeps growing. But we are doing well despite all of this. We should be at anchor late Sunday and be able to check in on Monday. Barb made a great pumpkin soup yesterday and tonight we had chicken pot pies. Life is good!
Tuesday 17/6/2014 06:00 26 19.540 S 178 09.285 E http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:26%2019.540S%20178%2009.285E Sailing to Fiji Posting by Dennis We have had a hard night of out here. The wind is not all that strong but it is on the nose and changes direction all the time so you have to constantly be out adjusting things. We have about 600 miles to go but it is slow going when our VMG (velocity made good) is only around 3 knots. Then earlier this morning there was a large bang and one of the bails on the boom had broken so we had to drop the main and make a new one out of line that will have to last us until we get back to New Zealand. Other than that we have been just hanging on for the ride!!
Sunday 15/6/2014 20:30 28 46.708 S 178 15.193 E http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:28%2046.708S%20178%2015.193E Sailing to Fiji Posting by Barb I have figured out that it takes about three days for me to re-adjust to being out in the water, getting my sense of balance and getting used to a schedule of frequent naps versus a long night’s sleep. Even the appetite is not the same. We seem to eat more often but smaller meals or more snacks. So I am finally coming around and feeling more like myself. Dennis on the other hand seems to be happiest when he is out on the water and doesn’t seem to need that adjustment time. We have had a range of wind in the last 24 hours from 10 knots to gusting 30 knots. Last night was a squally night which kept Dennis up for most of the night and I slept on and off through most of it thanks to the 2 Gravol tablets that I decided to take. Today was a beautiful day with warmer, steady 15 – 20 knot winds and calm seas so it was a great sail. WE even spotted a beautiful Albatross flying near the boat!! And tonight is promising to be a beautiful clear night with continuing 15 knot winds and slowly inching at 4-5 knots. It should make for a good night’s sleep for both of us!! Dennis and I would like to wish our Dads a very Happy Father’s Day!!!
Saturday 14/6/2014 01:30 32 21.477 S 176 19.720 E http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:32%2021.477S%20176%2019.720E Sailing to Fiji Posting by Dennis We are off! IT took a while but we are finally on our way. We left yesterday around 10 am. So we motored out with very little wind into pretty big rollers which made for a not so comfortable ride. After a few hours we were able to start sailing and the wind continued to build as well as the seas. We spent most of yesterday in on and of rain, twelve foot seas and twenty to thirty knot winds. We did really well speed wise doing over seven knots most of the day. Barb was sea sick doing her projectile vomiting over the side. Once we were out here a while she got better. It feels so great to be out on the water again. The moon is so bright that Barb saw a rainbow a little while ago. The winds and seas have calmed down now and we are moving nicely along at six knots.
35 43.417 S 174 19.582 E
Posting by Barb
We have finally made it to New Zealand, our final destination for 2013. It has been an amazing year. Over 10,000 miles, 208 cruising days, 20 plus islands starting in the Marquesas’ and then on to the Tuamotos’, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and finally New Zealand. We have met some pretty amazing people, experienced the taste of local food and customs and explored the nooks and crannies of all the islands that we visited.
Clearing NZ customs in Marsden Cove was not that painful. We were tied to the quarantine dock for a couple of hours and then we had a visit from 2 customs and immigration officers. They left with a bag full of our foods which included our dried beans, popcorn, and pork roasts that we had left in our freezer. Our flour and spices showed no sign of infestation so we got to keep that. It would have all been eaten had we not lost our propane half way to New Zealand.
I have left my home on Landfall to spend a little time with my family in Ontario. Dennis will be in Whangarei for another month or so to work on some of the many of the projects on his ‘to do’ list. I think he was looking forward to having the boat to himself for a little while so that he could tear it all up, dig out his tools and putter without having to worry about making a little living space for me.
I already miss the salty smell of the air, the vastness of horizons bounded by the sky above, the safety of our little boat and the feeling of such freedom.
But we both have return tickets to New Zealand for January 2014 to start cruising again.
Saturday 5/10/2013 19:30
33 07.225 S 175 22.213 E
Posting by Dennis:
We have finally gotten a favorable wind! So we are doing well clipping along at 5.5 knots, and all it is in the right direction for a change. We seem to be doing well without being able to cook. It just takes a little creativity. I even tried cooking potatoes on the engine, did not work. I know that when we get to New Zealand that they will be taking all our meat that we have in the freezer. But that will be ok, it is just part of the deal. I think we will be going out for dinner as soon as we clear customs. When we get there we will have sailed over ten thousand miles since we left Chile last March. Not too shabby. So I guess Barb has adapted pretty well to the cruising life. The funny thing is we don’t ever get bored when we are at sea, there is always something that you have to do. We should be in New Zealand either late tomorrow or early the day after. Then we can sleep.
Tuesday 2/10/2013 20:00
28 44.166 S 178 35.107 E
Posting by Dennis:
Well today has been another eventful day. It started out last night with a big squall with wind just under forty knots and the wind has been blowing in the upper twenties ever since. That would not be so bad but the wind is coming dead out of the direction we have to go. So we are tacking and with that much wind and seas that are now over fifteen feet our progress is slow. It is kind of discouraging when you have been sailing for six days and it says you still have ten to go, the same number of days as when you left. The grib files are way off but what else is new. Rosemary has been seasick since we left and throws up anything that she tries to eat. So she is basically on the water diet and even that does not stay down. Then this afternoon the propane ran out so I set out to change the tanks over which is really fun as you roll twenty five degrees side to side, and as I was doing that I thought “gee this tank feels really light” and sure enough the tank was empty. So now we have no more cooking for the rest of the trip. You would think that not having to cook would make Barb happy but it doesn’t seem that way. So we will be eating right out of the can. Cold green beans, yum yum. Tonight’s gourmet treat was soup that was half done before the propane ran out. The beans were a little crunchy. We just got another grib file and it is saying that the wind is going to let up by morning we shall see.
Monday 09:00 30/9/2013
26 27.194 S 178 34.342 E
Posting by Dennis:
Here we motor on our way across to New Zealand. We have now motored for over sixty hours and we still have six hundred miles to go. This is a huge relief for Barb since she has heard such horror stories about this crossing. It is also why we are motoring more then we normally would. Most of the time we would just be content making two knots and just enjoying being out here. Being a couple hundred miles from any shore is the best. There is nothing like it. You look out at the vastness and you see nothing but the gentle rolling swells in the distance and when you are on top of a large swell you can see what looks like forever as the earth curves off in the distance.
We caught a Dorado the first day out so have had a couple meals of fish so far. We have crossed the 180 degrees longitude so now we are on the eastern side of the globe. It is really pretty uneventful we are just plugging along. Barb will be flying home as soon as we get to New Zealand and I will be flying home sometime in the middle of November. I have the usual boat work to get started on. The list is not three pages long like in Chile but it is a good two pages. Most of the things are small so it is not going to be too bad.
Wednesday 9/18/2013 9:00
21 08.275 S 175 10.981 W
Posting by Barb:
We arrived in the town Nuku’Alofa in Tongatapu early in the morning. This would be our last stop in Tonga before heading to New Zealand. We knew that we would have to hang out here until we had the weather window required to do the 10 day sail to New Zealand as per the grib weather files and Bob McDavitt’s weekly report. It turned out we only had to stay in Nuku’Alofa for a week. I found the town to be dirty and littered with garbage. The people were generally nice but not the same as in the more remote places. Locals of Tongatapu probably see more tourists and cruisers and their interest in us was more geared to the dollar they could earn versus genuine interest to welcome us and share their deeply respected customs and traditions. There was a great market with plenty of local fruit and vegetables but the grocery store was small and barely stocked. There were many restaurants and bars and the food was good and relatively inexpensive. We ate at a local restaurant the Bullfish a couple of times and enjoyed the local beer during Happy Hour and ate a very good meal of grilled fish. The hamburgers were not so great. We enjoyed the banter with the waitress that we had each time we ate there and we agreed to attend the service of her church, the Wesley church, much to her delight as she gave us the directions to get there. Dennis made the 2 mile trek to the church but Beth or Suly as she called herself never showed. We later understood that it was the ‘Tonga Way’ as kindly described by the locals. The ‘Tonga Way’ is you may show up you may not, you may be on time you may not, but either way people don’t sweat it and go with the flow. The service was all in Tongan and very formal, unlike the service in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, where kids could get up and roam around. The singing was beautiful until a Tongan lady sat next to us just as the service was beginning and 10 minutes after the pre-service singing had started. It was all I could do to keep from laughing as we experienced her energetic, shrill, over the top loud singing. I had to pray hard to keep a straight face as I watched Dennis try to look around me to see who was doing the unabashed , joyful singing Dennis. We realized after that we had seated ourselves in the middle of the choir and maybe that is why all the kids in the front pews were looking at us so strangely and I thought it was simply because we looked different. I enjoyed the service and I could sense the Tongan’s strong spirituality and commitment to their beliefs.
We made one road trip on a local bus to the North end of the Island to see the flying foxes (bats with fox like faces) clinging to the causarina trees. Dennis of course took hundreds of pictures, one of which we will post in our photo album and blog.
We also visited a neat surfing, beach resort as Rosemary has always had an interest in learning how to surf.
While med tied to the Tongatapu harbor we met a very nice family that live in a Catamaran, Mares Fatola, which they sailed all the way from Switzerland. We had Mario, Esther and little Laura (8 years old and a delightful, happy child) over to share and evening meal. Laura spent an afternoon with me going through our collection of kids movies to sort through which ones she wanted to watch or borrow. She watched snippets of movies sitting cozily in the nav station. I so much enjoyed her total engrossment in the movies and every now and then she would look at me, during possible scary parts of the movie, with her big beautiful eyes to ask for reassurance that everything would be ok. It made me reflect on my moments with my kids when they were little.
We replenished our food supply, gasoline and diesel and on September the 25th we started our trek to New Zealand. I left a little sad about leaving the beautiful South Pacific, apprehensive about the 10 day sail to New Zealand that generally, historically offers at least one gusty storm on the way. Of course Dennis is not worried and if he is not worried then I will be ok.