Minerve reef to Opua, Bay of Islands, NZ
Time used 7 days 9h, Distant 859 NM, SOG 5.4 avg, 9 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max.
11/11-17/11 Sailing to New Zealand
Day 1, 11/11
Upwind sailing with, clouds but sunny in the afternoon. During night wind 10-11 knots and 5.6 knots of speed. Moon is up but hidden behind of clouds half of the time. We went out of the pass just after Alma but lost contact after some ours.
Day 2, 12/11
Motor sailing for several hours then Main and jib on Jemmas watch. Maria continue now 15-19 knots of wind sailing 6.4 knots. Jemma makes wonderful sprouts.
Day 3, 13/11 Lars sat mainsail after a front past by with 45 knots and a lot of rain. Jemma and Maria baked pancakes with banana in rom. Maria bake rye bread.
Day 4, 14/11 Maria have the watch in the morning with blue sky but cold so hat on, upwind 17 knots of wind, speed 7.4, Lars talk to Golf harbor and Polymagnet this morning like the other mornings. Nice sunshine but very cold. Jemma and Maria bake white breads.
Day 5, 15/11 Bright moon, very cold so fleece clothes, socks and hat. Then running the motor for loading batteries and the pressure goes down quickly after 1.5 hour! Maria baked rye bread and Gemma delicious garlic bread. Taste good with bacon, open face eggs and beans.
Day 6 16/11 Main with 3 reef and motor with course sat for Opua directly. Upwind sailing with high swells and the last days with a lot of wind. We had to hand steer and Jemma and Lars chaired the task. Sail as fast as you can David from Golf Harbor and Met Bob said so you can reach Opua before the storm and we did so.
Day 7 17/11 We so dolphins on the way into Bay of Islands. At 17 hour we reached Q bridge Opua New Zealand, just an our to late for a visit of customs. We had to stay over night there and could here the other sailors having a party in the tent. That was the all points rally.
18/11 Custom came at 9 o’clock. They took to bags of kidney beans and one bag of chick pea and all our sorted waist. Lars had to file a lot of papers even if they got all the information about us and Alexandra from scanned paper from Tonga. In the afternoon we attend seminar about diesel maintenance and epoxy and fiberglass. Afterwards we got pizza slices and Comedy show. We herd Irish music and several family´s with kids had made funny play etc.. That was a good start on our stay in Opua.
For a week we enjoyed the all points rally and met a lot of sailors we new before and of cause others we had not met. Jonas came in with Alma three days later and it had been a tough sailing the last days because of the high winds. Also the other single handed boats from Minerve we were together with came in a few days and had managed the stormy condition. 28 sailing boats were still on Minerve or French Caledonia and they came in several weeks later because they had waited for a good weather window. It was nice to see Confidence with Betty-Ann and David on our bridge.
Two new steering wire.
Aft part of the life line exchanged for a new one.
Rig check; two sheaves in the top of the mast for the to main halyard shall be shifted out with new once. Toggle on SB lower shroud (undervandt) will be shifted out with a new one.
Boom goose neck shall be repaired.
Running backstage will be shifted with dynema backstage.
10 new blocks.
Autopilot computer, log, depths sounder and temperature was exchanged for new once on the warranty.
Port Morel to Minerva reef
Time used 4 days 45min, Distant 413 NM, SOG 4.4 avg, 7.3 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max
5/11-8/11 2016 Sailing south to Minerve reef for a short stop went good. It took three days. Lars mounted the extra autopilot and it worked well to use for navigation.
On Minerve we met Alma with the swede Jonas that we last time met in the Spanish Water on Curacao. Also Roberto with Yvonne in Hildegaard Hansen, John in Sparrow and Matthew in Polo Flat. Lars an Gemma were invited to come with Roberto and John to ketch lobsters. They did not catch any but got two lobsters from the other two. Thank you so much for two delicious meal. There had bean seen white shark so we did not go into the water at the place we anchored.
Tonga Vavau group 28/10-5/11 2016
Saling from Apia Samoa to Neiafu Tonga Vavau
Time used 4 days 4h, Distant 428.3 NM, SOG 4.4 avg, 7.3 max, TWA 209, TWS in knots 11.6 avg, 25.5 max
24/10 Stay sail, motor and jib with main sail
25/10 Dolphins on Maria´s watch
26/10 Main down, main with a reef, reef out, run motor for power, reef out again
27/10 Tack to BB. Broken steering cable. Lars set up a new with kevlar cable and wire clamps from Hans Boserup, thank you so much Hans! Start motor and took sail down. A lot of swells and very uncomfortable to sail. Sat stay sail with motor so now little better.
28/10 Stay sail down and for motor threw the sound and in to Neiafu, Vavau. We docket on the concrete key close to check in. The quarantine man came and gave us some papers to fill in and we were allowed to take the Yellow Flag down. We got a very good advice, from Sandie on the US catamaran Gipsey Hart, to check in on The Golf Harbor Radio, when sailing down to New Zealand. Thank you so much for good information. Now we could go and fine a yellow boy that belongs to one of the diving clubs, but should clear ind with immigration, custom and health the next day.
29/10 Beautiful morning in the cockpit overlooking the bay, with a can of tea and fresh baked bread, enjoying the site of land. After another deal with the custom, immigration and a not showing up health we could hit the WiFi cafe Trokumara in the small town Neiafu. Also enjoy and shop at the fruit market and checking out the souvenir market for the cruising ship.
From now we had until 5/11 to enjoy Tonga Vavau and get thinks done. We hope that filling up with hydraulic oil to the autopilot will solve the problem. Lars made a smart filling system and got the autopilot to run. We took the dingy to the close by bay were the wharf was situated and had a talk with the mechanic, Kevin, who later on came by, with a local assistant, and looked at our Yanmar. He shift one of the feeding pumps and, lucky us, we had two extra. It turned out later that I did not solve the problem with diesel in the motor oil. The assistant took Lars for a ride in his car to a motor oil dealer who was much cheaper than the one in Neiafu. Lars changed oil before we left Tonga. We had to get a formula scanned and sent to custom in New Zealand and that could be done on Trokumara.
It was very special to walk around the little town with pigs and hens moving around on the street. Provisioning for the passage to NZ was not easy because of the supply in the chine’s supermarkets. Meat was frozen chicken and bacon and that was it. No goat and sheep cheese for Lars, only cow but that we have been used too after FP. We could get good food at the restaurant though and taco evening with Marguerite was great at Tropicana.
Samoa 18/10-23/10-2016 previously called western Samoa
Time used 4 days 20.5h, Distant 516 NM, SOG 4.9 avg, 7.2 max, TWA 198, TWS in knots 12.6 avg, 25.8 max
13/10-18/12 Sailing to Samoa, also called Kingdom of Samoa
Time used 6 days and 20.5 h, Distance 516 NM, SOG 4.9 avg, 7.2 max, TWA 198, TWS in knots 12.6 avg, 25.8 max
10:30, after checking out of Cook Islands with the nice rangers and happy to be able to give them a pack of rice, we sailed out of the reef, sat jib and stopped motor, change the bed sheets, bake bread, Lars on Poly-magnet (Andrew, Jeff and Rodger) and West Poly-magnet (Amanda and Marc) cruisers net and we are well on our way to Samoa. We had a beautiful evening and night watch with a full moon on a clear sky.
8-10 knots of wind sail 3.3 knots, sat main sail, bake cookies, rainbow snapper from Suwarrow for dinner.
Day 3 -15/10
Maria baked rye bread and run motor for power. In the evening on Maria’s watch, with15 knots and high swells, the autopilot did not work so hand-steering. Lars slept in the cockpit.
Day 4 -16/10
Lars rinsed the hose for the salt water cooling of fridge and freezer. Lamb-shops for dinner. Beautiful orange moon.
Day 5 -17/10
Nice with Pancakes today. The autopilot did not work well during the whole night so hand-steering.
Day 6 -18/10
Six in the morning we sail in to Apia on the north coast of Upolu island, after great difficulty to wake somebody up to give us permission to enter the harbor.
At noon we got visit of the quarantine man in skirt and we could take the yellow flag down. Short time after came two custom men also in skirt and the young man started to go threw every cupboard and drawer under neath. Off cause there were forms to bee field out by Lars. We had to take a taxi to the immigration office in town and we arrived in the last minute before closing. At the tourist office in the traditional park close to the big state administration building were immigration was we got the advice to meat in the park at noon next day and join the tourist information and show for the cruising ship tourists.
Wednesday we took a taxi in to the city at noon. The show for the big Cruising ship was amusing and also good information on Samoan culture like how to make a Tapa from a tree branch (see pictures), traditional dancing and cooking in a whole in the ground with hot stones.
Thursday we had to check out from Samoa because immigration was looked during weekends and we wanted to sail on Sunday. Also provisioning was important to do and we finally find a taxi-driver that could drive us to a big supermarket.
Friday disappear in Samoa time because of the Date Line!
Saturday we hired a Taxi with a driver to go around the island for a whole day. First stop on the tour was at a convent for education of priests. We had a swim in a cave with fresh water and there was a hidden tunnel we dared not use. Upolu island is a very green Island with very beautiful sandy beaches in the south. On the way south we passed a lot of villages with the traditional Fale, that is buildings without walls. A Fale could be small, just for the family or bigger for all village people to use. Beach Fale is very popular for backpackers to rent and quit inexpensive. Lars had to drive the last part of the drive down south because the driver was close to falling a sleep. After a nice meal at the beach he could drive us back to Apia. We past by the grave of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s tomb with the famous epic poem.
Suvorov after a Russian navy captain that lived on the island many years.
Time used to sail to Suwarrow from Maupiti was 6 days 18.5h, Distant 716.44 NM, SOG 4.4 avg, 7.3 max, TWA 198, TWS in knots 13.4 avg, 24.1 max
5/10 Wedding day, freshly made burger buns to the burger for dinner, not bad.
6/10 Lars sick is it a kidney stone? 02 Lars threw up, 04:30 mainsail down because of 20 knots, squall, setting stay-sail, 7:30 Lars take pills against stomach ache, 8:30 Lars throw up a lot of times.
7/10 8:00 Setting main and jib, 18:30 Lars are taking a lot of painkillers. We think that he have a kidney stone.
8/10 Lars still in a lot of pain.
9/10 6:30 The bilge does not work, empty bilge with an “Aldi pump” to a bucket.
10/10 9:30 Lars still in a lot of pain and take a lot of pain killers.
11/10 For motor and long time with jib alone. We will go slowly for not to arrive to early. We want to go threw the reef entrance in daytime.
We drop anchor close to the two other sailing boats after talking to the ranger on WHF. After clearance on Alexandra we relaxed on board the rest of the day.
12/10 Snorkel at the read boys (could be large Manta Ray there early in the morning) and also snorkel at the white boy with nice corals and fish like the little reef close by Alexandra.
Lars set up a hose from bilge to aft and out. We had also time for a walk around the little island in the atoll and buying fish from the rangers for a six-pack of beer. Also gave a pack of rice, to the rangers, we could spare.
In the evening the young ranger arranged Pot Luck Dinner for us together with a french boat with different nationality on board. Lady Amity came ind late but managed to come bye. It was nice to see them. The son grilled the fish, rainbow runner, perfectly.
We enjoyed a lot the short stay at Suwarrow. The to park ranger, father and sun, Harry and Pae Papai, were very pleasant and easygoing guys. They loved to be on the little island away from stress, noise and traffic on the mainland, that is the island Rarotonga in the south Cook Islands. They stayed on Suwarrow until November and came back in Maj after the hurricane season.
13/10 Sailing to Samoa 10:30 after checking out.
Time used 6:55 h, Distant 28.5 NM, SOG 4.0 avg, 5.2 max, TWA 99.7, TWS in knots 9 avg, 15.4 max
Sail out of Teavanui, Pass Bora Bora, 8:30. We past by, the beautiful island, Maupiti after 7 hours sailing at 15:30 mostly because of late arrival but also very ruff current in the narrow pass. We continue to Suwarrow. and had another 7 days to go.