Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Leaving Taveuni for Kadavu

Some weather is coming through and Sunday is looking like 30 knots and thunderstorms so we are heading out to Ono at the northern tip of Kadavu Island. This is just south of the main island of Viti Levi. It is 140 nautical miles so it will be an overnight trip which is a bit scary seeing it is in Reef strewn Fiji.

More diving

Spent the day doing more diving on Rainbow reef here at Taveuni. What an amazing experience. I'm hooked!
Resort here is very good and run by an Australian couple, Alan and Terry along with 60 Fijian staff. They have a farm attached to the resort and remind you to take it easy!

Monday, June 24, 2019


I've never dived before so I took the plunge here and did my first dive today.

More catching up

I met the so called mayor of Lomaloma when I was there.
Jacob facilitated all the arrangements in the village and it is a different position than the chief. Interesting that women do not generally play a big part in Fijian society.

Here is another glimpse of the bay of islands.

Sunday, June 23, 2019


Just off the coast of this beautiful Fijian island now. I have lots of catching up to do because we have had little or no internet connection.
This one was overlooking the Bay of Islands where we just left this morning.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Green footed Booby hitchhiker

Such a beautiful bird stayed with us for more than a day to get a rest.  so unusual to have seen one. The blue footed ones are famous from the Galapagos islands but this one's feet definitely had a green tinge on them.

Arrived in Lomaloma, Fiji

We arrived in the Lau Group this morning and are just waiting for the customs and immigration officers to come aboard.

We had the top down furler all ready to go for the trade wind sail downwind but the winds were a bit brisk so we never deployed it.

Interesting shoreline here with concrete block houses.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Leaving Tonga

Well we have checked out of customs, immigration and biosecurity and are just waiting in line to fuel up at the gas dock. By the way the moorings here are sometimes submerged so they can be a trap for dingies flying through the Anchorage.
Reminded me of the time I was in Maine and I saw a big metal navigation marker underneath the surface of the water.

Mount Talau

It's probably only a couple of hundred metres high but for Tonga, that is regarded as a mountain.
Great views from the top.
Went to church and the singing was AMAZING!
Lots of fruit and nut trees grow here including this macadamia tree.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Veimumuno Cave

Today we walked 3km out of Neiafu to a cave. There is a competition going on between neighborhoods and everyone was in a festive mood.
The ladies like to dress up.
Pigs run wild.
Breadfruit trees are in every back yard.
Love the sign.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga

We motored the 2 hours up to the mooring field outside the main center here and took a look at the town. The market had a lot of quite good vegetables and lots of crafts for sale.
St Joseph's cathedral looked a little run down.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Banyan Tree

This Bay that we are anchored in has a giant Banyan tree. It is related to the fig tree and the fruit is small, red and eaten by the local bird life as well as the many bat species here.

We met David, the owner of the island on the beach. He lives here with his wife and we swapped some fish and shirts for some lemons and limes.

We went snorkeling today at the coral gardens just around the corner from where we are anchored. This is the first time I've snorkeled outside of the Caribbean and I was blown away by the diversity of the fish. At one rock I saw a sea slug, a couple of large sea urchins and about 20 varieties of fish. Incredible! No photos because Steve had a slight accident with his GoPro and mine is back in the USA because I never guessed in a million years that I would get the opportunity to sail in the Pacific Islands.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Why come all the way to the Vava'u?

Swallow's Cave

Rain stopped long enough for us to visit a nearby cave in the limestone shoreline. Rest of the day was spent playing cards and word games while outside it was pouring rain. Today we will move on to the other side of Vava'u to some coral gardens before heading into Neiafu the day after.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Waiting out the weather

We went north yesterday to escape some bad weather and fortunately it has moved mostly south of us. We got a little drizzle last night but nothing like the 2 inches of rain predicted for where we were night before last in Vava'u.

Steve has several flags displayed on our flag halyard.
The red flag on our starboard side is the Tongan flag. Convention in every country requires each country's flag to be the highest on the starboard side. The only other situation is when you first enter a country, you must fly a yellow quarantine flag instead of the country flag.
On the port (left) side of the boat is first his New York boat club flag, the two ARC flags and finally the NZ one indicating that I am onboard.
The final flag is the American flag on our stern where a lot of boats like to display the flag of the boat's country of registration.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Port Maurelle

We arrived after 12 hours of brisk sailing and anchored in 70 feet of water.

Leaving for Neiafu

It was very relaxing spending the day just south of Pangai in the Ha'apai group but with bad weather predicted on Tuesday through Friday of this week and little or no protection here we are heading to Vava'u which is a big group of islands in the northern part of Tonga. Because it is a good 80 miles to where we going, across a wide expanse where there are no islands, we will leave at midnight and arrive there around noon.

Here we will join the ARC, which is a rally that sails around the world. They leave Neiafu on the 18th of June heading to Fiji.

While beach combing today, I came across a pretty cowrie shell.
I was reminded of the tales I heard when I was young of the famous golden cowrie shell. This is quite a large cowrie shell compared to others and they are so rare that Fijian chiefs wear them around their necks as a status symbol.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

What do we do all day?

A friend wrote to say that he would be bored doing what we do. I guess it can be boring sometimes. It is a bit hard to describe. Beach combing, snorkeling, visiting villages. To provision, you can't just jump in your car. To do laundry may take you all day. When you go somewhere, you have to up anchor, set the sails and actively sail the boat to get somewhere. Looking out for weather is a daily thing. Meal planning is tricky. During down times we read, listen to newshour from pbs, maybe watch a movie. No different than what you do at your leisure. Meanwhile we have the best view in paradise and here was sunset last night.
Also I have been trying to make some soft shackles using fids when I get some spare time.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Pangai via Nomuka

Couldn't post last night at Nomuka, but it was a beautiful spot after a fun filled day of fishing.

We hooked a huge blue Marlin that then decided to dance across the water for at least a minute trying to dislodge the hook. Fortunately he was successful because there was no way that we wanted to bring in a fish like that. Next we hooked nearly a six foot Bull Mahi mahi, and I struggled for at least a half-hour to bring it up to the boat. Steve then harpooned it and now we have enough fish to sink a ship. We made fish tacos last night and today we had a hankering for some shashumi so we stuck out a small lure and hooked a nice tuna for dinner.  The beach here is pretty and tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day.
We will stay here and soak up the sun.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Off to the Ha'apai group of islands

Today we are going north to the next set of islands here in Tonga called the Ha'apai. They are low lying islands that are mainly uninhabited.
Some beautiful boats in the rally with a much younger group of sailers compared to the Caribbean including 24 children. Many boats got crew for the voyage and a lot of them have already left to go back to work.

Pangaimotu Island

Went for a walk around the island that we are anchored next to and saw lots of mangroves, coconut trees and beautiful scenery.
Had to jump in the water for a swim in 78F to cool down.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Nukualofa fish market

Ciguatera is a food poisoning illness caused by eating reef fish here in the Pacific Islands so it was not surprising that the fish market was mainly octopus and shellfish.
And lots of crabs.
There were some fish for sale though but I wouldn't feel safe eating them.
Meanwhile I managed to get a better photo of Ana out at "Big Mama's."
They actually do a good job of catering to the cruisers.
They have made a valiant effort to rebuild after cyclone Gita and the rafters are full of mementos.