Saturday, October 21, 2017


[Kyle]The sail to the Tongatapu group from Kelefesia was right at the edge of the distance that could be done in daylight. Unfortunately, we had almost direct headwinds to deal with. That meant we would have to tack back and forth, which would almost double the number of miles we would have to actually sail to cover the distance. Our plan was to sail across the shallow water of the Ha'apai shelf in daylight and then spend the darkness in the deep ocean before sailing onto the Tongatapu plateau in the morning.

It kind of worked out that way. Our first tack took us straight to the narrowest part of the submarine trench between the groups, which was only two and a half miles wide. When we got to the other side, we turned through the wind onto the other tack and followed the trench out into the deep sea to the east. Just before midnight, Maryanne tacked us back, putting us on a perfect line for Malinoa Island on the north side of the group.

{Maryanne}It would have been a perfect fishing passage, but our recent catch had lasted us 3 days of meals, and we were ready for a change, so we didn't bother... Next time.

I spent the wee hours of my watch slowly reducing sail, which put us right at the edge of the Tongatapu shelf at dawn. The weather worsened, which made it really hard to make out underwater features. We had a nervous couple of hours picking our way around the bommies looking for a big enough patch of sand to lay our anchor. We eventually ended up with a less than ideal spot that was exposed to wind and sea and too far from the island itself for convenience. We spent the next day glad for the rest but also wishing we had more to do. That left us with pretty much no other option except stay on the boat compiling lists of things we need to do on our next haulout and organizing our next few legs, all with a maddeningly useless signal. I'd rather have been swimming.

The wild point of Malinoa (we were not anchored nearby)
and another beautiful sunset

1 comment:

kate rodenhouse said...

"Red skies at night!" (Fixx song) Just beautiful.