Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Arrival in Tonga

Sometimes plans change, and my arrival in Neiafu Tonga is a case of that.  When I left Minerva Reef I had every intention of arriving in Tongatapu, Tonga, which is the southern most group of islands and the group which holds the capital, Nuku'alofa, of Tonga.  While I was underway I kept reevaluating my reasons for arriving there and comparing them to the reports I have been hearing from boats currently in Fiji, and made a Captains decision to change my destination.  I now plan to stay in Tonga for less than a month and then head over to Fiji where I'll finish this cruising season, followed by a return to New Zealand.

The passage went well.  This is something most people say as a way of getting the "how's it going?" question out of the way.  Ask most cruisers "How did your passage go?" just after they finished, and most will say "it went really well!"  More detailed answers can take a long time to finish.  Nothing major broke, this makes it a good passage.  I was able to sail to my destination without too much trouble, which also makes it a good passage.  I sailed the entire time, aside from entry/exit into Minerva reef and Tonga and leaving New Zealand, which I like, and makes this a good passage in my mind.  It wasn't exactly 'smooth sailing with winds at my back' - but I was able to cope, mostly ate well, slept enough to stay functional, which all makes it a good passage.  I have to say that some of the magic of doing passages that I experienced earlier on on this cruise is starting to fade.  There were days of absolutely beautiful sailing which anybody who sails should envy, just glorious.  There were other days which weren't like this - but nothing extreme, no storms, no big waves, I was able to head to my destination, no heaving to, no drogue, no storm sails - I really have absolutely nothing to complain about.  But being on passage can be hard work, people who read this blog shouldn't be fooled into the life always being easy.

Now that I'm in Tonga, life is going to be absolutely easy and glorious.  The ARC fleet is in the area. This is a fresh version of the fleet I met while in the Marquesas last year.  They were there in early April and now they are already in Tonga.  They sail around the world in 18 months.  Crazy people.  The IAC rally is also here, which is a much more leisurely rally which is from New Zealand, to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Calendonia and then back to New Zealand.  Compared to the ARC rally, these people are slow pokes, sailing leisurely around the islands.  In contrast, my plans are totally lazy - Tonga, Fiji and back to New Zealand.  I plan to be in Fiji for around 5 months.  I'm looking forward to it.

I'm sitting in a cafe, yards from the edge of the water, cool beer next to me dripping moisture off the glass due to the warmth and humidity, looking out at Luckness on a mooring blowing back and forth in the light wind like she wants to get going again.  The sun is starting to appear after two days of light rain.  The wind looks like its going to die off for the next week or so and after a little more sleep here I'll reprovision and then head out to revisit some of the beautiful local anchorages.  Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Life is good indeed. Good of you to share a bit of reality into the ideal dream! But Tonga will be lovely and you get to sleep until you feel like waking up. bonus! xo Mum