Wake up this morning and the cove is glass and the birds are singing their morning songs. After breakfast itv’s time to snorkel. More peaceful without wind and waves. Starfish, fishfish, sea slugs, coral. A good day to snorkel. The sea is so still I can watch my shadow glide across the bottom of the anchorage.
Today we are off for anchorage 30. It’s funny. All the anchorages have #s. Beats trying and failing to pronounce the local names!
30 is cool. With reservations. You can go ashore and hike a bit. We crossed over to the Eastern exposure. Serious surf and cliffs. Very dramatic. Then the west side was gentle beach. That is where we anchored. Shallow bits there. We kissed the sand gently with the keel. Keep it gentle shall we? But good anchorage found very close by.
In the mid afternoon the flies were getting out of hand. Maybe 100 of them in the boat. You get the idea. Crew was ashore so Nancy and I hauled the anchor and we dropped it further from shore. Maybe 150 yards more seaward. And that made a big difference. We went on a fly murdering rampage with the electric swatter. The fly bodies stacked up on the floor bit we were victorious. This is the only time we have seen many flies at all on the boat. Odd.
S/V Danika with our friends John and Oceana were also anchored here but no other boats. We all had dinner on Spill The Wine. Still out of charcoal so fueling the Big Green Egg with bits of wood again. Should have tried this a long time ago.
Off to anchorage 16. Good snorkeling nearby. Sheltered from the prevailing Easterly wind. Huub and Kat row to shore and scope out a beach and decide to take hammocks ashore and sleep there. Sounds like a nice idea. Until after dark after dinner. Then they decided maybe not. I get that. This anchorage has no flies. But they do have flying ants. Hundreds of them. We play a bit of guitar in the cockpit but that does not last long. Too many flying ants. Maybe locusts tomorrow? I’ll stay tuned.
In the middle of the night the wind shifts. Now from the South and we are swinging pretty close to shore as a result. No Bueno. Kat and I re-anchor in the very dark and 20-25 kt wind. But we dropped anchor in the protection on another little island so it all worked. Except for the seat cushion that the wind sailed out of the cockpit. So it goes. Situation normal.
Today after breakfast we return to Neiafu. We need to stock up for the crossing and check out with customs as we depart from Tonga for Fiji. Nancy flies to Fiji tomorrow. But not before she and Kat take inventory of the galley supplies. Disposing of things expired and getting a grocery list together. We have dinner at the home of a Tongan guy we met. Nice meal and priceless grand children.
Nancy is off to the airport after breakfast. Spill The Wine is off to fill her water tanks. Then off to the customs dock. Then Kat and Huub go execute the grocery list. I deal with customs. Then the fuel truck is scheduled to come to the wharf and fill our tanks with diesel. We get tax free fuel as we have already cleared customs. Yay! By 3:30 in the afternoon we are ready to head west. Wind predictions are favorable. We should have enough wind to sail all the way to Fiji without having too much wind.
We stop on the way out to visit a small island that has an abandoned lookout tower from WWII. It is wooden and a bit rotten. But has a nice view. We collect some coconuts for our crossing. And Kat builds a lee cloth for the couch on the port side. This is a tarp of sorts that turns that couch into storage. Gets a lot of happy crap off the floor. She also finishes moving into the galley. Here is something I learned on this trip. Is someone comes on board and wants to move into your galley you let them. Good things happen if you do.
At sunset we resume our way West. Wind is loving us and the seas roll pleasantly. Ok, a few things go flying but that’s really kinda natural. 🙂 Kat makes an awesome pasta with Veges and spicy sauce. I told you good things happen! We rotate through our watches. Our wind continues to deliver 15-20 kts. We make 140 miles in our first 24 hours. Pretty good for Spill The Wine. She is a bit pudgy with all our gear.