from Vavau Group, Tonga
Lat 18 degrees 40 minutes S
Lon 174 degrees 00 minutes W
Neiafu UT +13
Cath is exploring Neiafu's Saturday Market, Nick and Angie (Min) are off and about on "Liberty" doing the same (poor Nick!). I am so fortunate! I'm back aboard Terrwyn stowing fresh produce and picking up forgotten camera's etc - perfect.
Vavau Group is rather like a cross between Desolation Sound and Vietnam jungle; very warm still, protected and exotic with tropical birds calling from behind the impenetrable foliage ashore and a maze of islands and islets everywhere. We arrived yesterday, cleared with Immigration, Health, Customs and picked up local currency (Tonga Pa'anga - 1 Cdn dollar is worth about 1.25 TP) and had our first cold drinks and cheesburgers.
Sailmail has been down for weeks now and I apologize for not replying as we have had no email for the same.
Niue was superb, great limestone caves and caverns, sweet warm people and Niue Yacht Club with Commadore Keith - home away from home.
Yes, this feels like the beginning of the end with a month of Tongan local cruising and we make passage to NZ. Gulp!!!
The kids are great, linked up with other youthful sailors and Terrwyn savy (e.g. of the co-caps formality work yesterday Angie and Nick had Pickle (our dinghy) afloat and Terwwyn's Ocean Crossing gear stowed and her anchorage accomodations complete - no mean feat and extremely appreciated the the afterguard!).
On the last passages from French Polynesia we've been lucky with fishing - Skipjack (type of Tuna), Yellowfin Tuna and Mahi Mahi (need proper open ocean rod and reel). The weather has been super, variable Tradewind Sou' Easterlies mixed with squalls from everywhere and a few days of swimming in dead calm. Something for everyone. Terrwyn continues strong, fridge is kaput and we struggle to charge all the gadgets on our little 85 watt solar panel (2 computers, 3 phones, 4 cameras, 1 Goal Zero battery and oh yes SSB, wind instruments, GPS and below deck and navigation lights).
What this boat needs is 3x solar panels, a bigger spinaker, real fishing gear, and a working icebox. We are blessed with a great sail inventory, rig and engine,. We are very pleased with our gear - and lucky! NZ is now seeming very close, just under 2,000 n miles away.
Time to meet Cath and check out Neiafu, including the internet cafe and send this update on. Once again thanks for following our Voyage. There's a thousand pictures of paradise and scattered video to be uploaded one day.
All is well on Terrwyn.