TIME: 2016/10/16 04:42
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Foa Island – Ha’aapi, Tonga
We motored the entire way and again were very fortunate that we had flat seas and light head winds.
We had 12 separate whale sightings on the way here less than a quarter of a mile or closer to the boat. Three of the encounters were 100 meters or so.
We also saw several baby whales which were most likely less than 2 months old, breaching and generally playing around their Mothers.
We are anchored next to 4 other boats including “Balvinie” with Amanda and Mark en route to New Zealand. As I write, they are conducting the “Polynesian Magellan Radio Net”. We’re hearing boats from Suwarrow to Fiji and a few en route to New Zealand. Yes, we have photos!
We hope to have several whale encounters while were here as we did 6 years ago.
Scott and Nikki
TIME: 2016/06/07 18:49
COMMENT: Beach House -MOORED – South Fakarava Atoll Tetamanu – South Pass
Oh what a night!
So much for the best laid plans of mice and sailors.
We moved from the anchorage (Hirifu Motu) in the northern part of the east corner of the atoll yesterday as the winds went North and we were in the long fetch of the lagoon.
We found a lovely spot 7 miles to the north which protected us against the NWesterlies perfectly and the weather said the wind would be light and hold till late this afternoon.
This of course is where the best laid plans of mice and sailors can often go awry. The winds shifted 18 hours ahead of prediction and we ended up with a SSEasterly at 20 knots. The three boats spun stern to the reef and it was anchor/motor watch from 2:30 a.m. onwards till first light.
We’d anchored in 38 feet of sand, we ended up in 6-9 feet of mixed sand and rock! Our underwater lights and search light helped spot to “bommies” (big boulder rocks) and the good news was, they were close, but not too close. The other two boats were even closer. Bubbles had to shorten his anchor chain (scope) length and Swiftsure chose to use motors and hold off.
All three of us could feel the “bommies”, nipping at our sterns. All held their cool and we simply watched and made minor adjustments as necessary till dawn. We then all picked up and moved. Bubbles and we are back at Tetamanu and Swiftsure went back to yesterdays anchorage.
Winds will essentially pick up and go ESE over the next several days with strength. There is a stubborn trough of low pressure that is feeding the normal South Pacific High and it’s made a squally mess of the Tuamotus. We saw lots of lightning last night, but fortunately, it was all distant.
We’re back on a mooring and Kyle dove them to insure they’re in good shape.
The word was excellent, like new. The lines are big and appear to be less than six months old, the hold down is a mighty beast as well.
As such, we’re likely to relax, dive and enjoy South Fakarava for then next several days awaiting the weather. This may cut our planned trip to Kauehi Atoll out, but such is life.
Standing by and glad all we got was a bad night’s sleep and a sea story out of the experience. 160 degree wind shifts are rare – but out here, “stuff occurs”….:-)
Scott and Nikki
TIME: 2016/06/06 22:27
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – South Fakarava Atoll – Utukaiga Atoll