Saturday, May 23, 2015

Passage to Tonga

Date: May 24, 2015
23° 26' S 177° 32' W
Water Temp: 77.0

I was planning on leaving Minerva Reef this morning, which would have been ahead of a front. The plan was to leave ahead of a front in NW winds, make my way east, take the front at sea and then in the SW/S/SE winds turn toward the north and Tonga. It was a good plan I think. However yesterday afternoon I was sitting in Luckness having done all I could to prepare her for her next passage and suddenly decided to leave rather than spend another night at anchor in Minerva. So here I am, on my way to Tonga a little early. I'll need to sail slowly in order to arrive in the morning on Tuesday.

Minerva was nice. Its a beautiful spot to hang out for a while.

While I was there I managed to make my way through the list I had accumulated of things I wanted to fix and alter. The big item was that the UV cover on my headsail had started to come apart toward the last day heading into Minerva. I had reinforced a lot of the stitching on the UV cover in New Zealand before leaving and from the deck where I was watching it come apart I wasn't sure if my reinforcement had failed or what was going on. The forecast when I arrived in Minerva last Monday showed light winds on the following Thursday and Friday. So on Thursday I lowered my genoa to the deck and examined it. There was some stitching on the sail which looked strong in NZ which I hadn't bothered to reinforce, and it was this area which had come apart. The other areas I had already attended to were doing fine. Phew! So four hours later I managed to reinforce the stitching on all the remaining important areas (I think), the sail was raised again and it was ready to go.

The other project I was hoping to fix was my knot meter. Its stopped working. In the past this usually indicates that something is stuck in the paddlewheel. I left NZ with the knot meter perfectly clean and I was surprised when it stopped four or five days into the passage. After diving the boat in Minerva, I discovered the knot meter was spinning freely - so there is something else wrong with it this time. There may have been an area of chafe on some wiring - I noticed my water maker, which is still in its manual mode, had moved from where it was stowed and a board was in contact with the knot meter wiring. I'll look at this in Tonga, it would be nice if I could get it working again, but not critical.

I'll post again sometime after arriving as its only a few days to my destination, Nuku'alofa.

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1 comment:

  1. A sailor's jobs are never done! But in such lovely surroundings all is well. Safe travel. xo Mum