Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hello All,
I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Mom and I have been hanging out and enjoying the holidays. I have been making my way around to my friends and paying them a visit. Time has been flying right along and it wont be long before im back to the boat.
Have a good holiday and I will talk to you soon.




PEACE

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Party and new pictures

Hello All,
Mom and I went to Anchorage this weekend to see family. We all met up at a restaurant and had dinner and a wonderful visit with Aunts and Uncles and cousins. It was really cool to see everyone. It has been a year since I have seen all of them so it was cool to hang out for the evening. We also met up for breakfast Sunday morning and said our goodbyes. Mom and I made it home Sunday night and I have been busy trying to upload new pictures to the site.
I have new pics under Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji so take a look when you get a chance. I will also be uploading some video in the next few days so keep a look out.
I will talk to you all later.


PEACE

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I made it to Nikiski Alaska

Hello All,
I made it to Anchorage yesterday morning and was greeted to high winds threatening to cancel my 20 minute flight home to Kenai. I thought to myself, what the hell am I doing here. It was freezing, with the wind chill it was around -10 F. The wind came down enough for my flight to continue and I am at moms all cozy in her lovely frozen lake side home. My flights home went with out a hitch. It took a while to get here but it is nice to see my family again. It has been a year since I have been here and it nice to see most everything is just how I remember it.
I will be here just under 3 weeks so I will be busy visiting old friends and family.
Thats all for now so I will talk to you all soon.



PEACE

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In Honolulu Hawaii

Hello All,
I have made it to Hawaii, so far so good. I had a 10 hour lay over here so I took the bus to Waikiki Beach and am hanging out at a coffee shop. I had an 8 hour lay over in Nadi Fiji yesterday but lucky for me Toby and Nicole, the cast aways off of Curious were on the same flight out of New Zealand. There flight wasent leaving to the UK till this morning so they got a room at a back backer resort not far from the airport so I killed time with them. They bought me an awesome dinner at a Japanese Restaurant. It was fabulous, they cooked the fish and stuff right in front of you. I havent been to a place like that since I was in Hawaii last time. Speaking of that, I was thinking about the last time I was here in the Hawaiian Archipelago. It was 18 years ago, some stuff looks familiar but this place has grown up a little more it looks like to me. I look around and everyone is white as a sheet and talking about when they have to leave. I am glad im not a tourist lol.
I will be leaving tonight and will be in Anchorage in the morning.
I am going to explore some so I will talk to you later.


PEACE

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flying Home


Hello All,
The last few days I have been busy fixing little things on the boat and getting it ready for me to be gone for 3 weeks. Jon returned for a few days from Auckland and hung out. He left yesterday back to Auckland to visit his old skipper he crossed the Atlantic with. He is from New Zealand and returned home after a 5 year trip around the world. Last week Rob and Ruth on Albatross the couple that Jon crossed the Pacific with arrived from Tonga on there catermaran. They are from South Africa and are planning on living here in New Zealand. We have been hanging out with them the last few days visiting. Yesterday Nick from Compass Rose came up to visit me from Whangarei. The car they bought here just came out of the shop so he wanted to get it out and take it for a drive. We went into Paihia, about 5 miles north of here and took the Foot Ferry to Russell. Russell is the old Capital of New Zealand and is a really cool little town. Rob and Ruth were on the ferry also with there friend Loraine so we teamed up with them and toured around and had some lunch.
I know all of this sounds like a mouth full, thats what I get for not writing a little sooner. The next time I will write I will be at home for the holidays so till then, I will talk to you guys later.


PEACE

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm back in Opua



Hello All,
I just got back to Opua from Auckland a few hours ago. I took the bus up here and had a very nice trip. We had an awesome 3 day cruise down the coast on Curious. Steve picked some very nice anchorages to stay the night on the way down and also had a few lunch time anchorages. The Eastern coast was very nice with lots of bays to choose from. The weather could have been better but all in all was not to bad. We got to sail part of the time but had to motor a lot as the wind was almost on the nose. His boat sails to windward very well so we had the main up most of the time just helping out. We arrived in Auckland on Friday morning and got the boat tied up at the downtown marina. We were surrounded by mega yachts of all shapes and sizes. Just to give you a clue the Auckland area has in upwards of 8000 boats in marinas or on moorings, it was a sight to be seen. They don't call it Sail City for nothing lol. We helped Steve get the boat all cleaned up and through the weekend got it ready for him to fly home to the UK for a month. Curious will be moored in Auckland till March sometime when they will return and cruise around NZ then back to the tropics.
On Saturday afternoon Nick off of the Compass Rose came down from Whangarei where his family has the boat parked. We met them in Pago Pago and have stayed in touch the last few months. Nick, Jon and I went out and had a few beers and had a nice visit. After being out most of the night I helped Nick find a back backing hostel to spend the night and Jon took off with a friend that has been living here in NZ from the Basque Country.
On Sunday Steve and I and Terje, his friend from the UK that helped him make the crossing down here met up with his stow away crew that he had in Fiji. Toby and Nicole are here visiting NZ for a week then heading back home to the UK.
I met up again with Nick on Sunday after coffee and we just hung out in town for a few hours. We both made reservations to take the bus back today so we got to hang out on the bus and visit to Whangarei where he got off and I continued to Opua.
Kaisa, my crew I brought down here made the trip with with us on Curious. She was a lot of fun to hang out with and Steve made her helmsman and navigator on the boat. She did an awesome job and we will meet up again when I get back from Alaska and hopefully get the boat out sailing. I think she is going to tour the South Island for a few months then I don't know.
Jon said he is coming back up here in a few days, to do, well, do what ever Jon does lol. His sister will be flying in before Christmas so they will be touring around for a few weeks.
That's all I know for now so I will talk to you soon and it's nice to be back home again.

P.S. If you're curious about Curious go to http://blog.mailasail.com/curious and you can see my ugly mug in the Tuamotu's in Toau, look for Paradise found....Again!

PEACE

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hanging out in Opua

Hello All,
I'm sorry its been so long since I last wrote. I have been busy trying to get stuff done on the boat before I leave to go back home on the 14th of December. Folks keep coming in from Tonga and Fiji that I have met in the past so I have been busy visiting also. Tomorrow I am tieing the boat to a floating pier by the marina where I will leave it for a few months. The fees are pretty reasonable and I want it tied to a dock rather than a mooring while I am gone.
Now for the exciting news, Myself and my 2 crew are invited to join Curious to sail down to Auckland where Steve will leave his boat for a few months. He plans on taking 3 days to get down there anchoring in bays along the way. We should be down there by Friday so I will spend the weekend there then catch a bus back up here to Opua till I have to leave for home. I am setting the boat up with some good solar panels and fixing a few things before I leave for home. It should be a lot of fun to sail on a boat that can do 10 knots. I will be taking lots of pictures of the trip so I will share them with you when I can.
That's all for now, so i will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WE MADE IT TO OPUA

Hello All,
We are tied up in Opua Marina safe and sound. We got checked in with customs this morning with out any hassle at all. They were very friendly and did it very quickly. We are now in Opua Marina just relaxing and trying to keep the ground from moving. There is a Thanksgiving dinner tonight at the yacht club so we are getting ready for that. I will write more of the last day of the passage later on and fill you in on other events.
Until then I will talk to you soon


PEACE

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

33 42.43 S 175 32.85 E

Hello All,
We have been on the rumb line to Opua since we turned the boat around last night. The wind was a little to south at first so I was helping the boat out by running the engine. Right now we are 147 miles out and under sail only. Feels good to have the boat sailing again. We got passed by another boat on passage today. They left Fiji the same time we did. I don't know them but I said hello on the VHF. I have been hearing them on the net in the morning and saw they were close to our position. If we wouldn't have had to tack yesterday we could have beat them in. Oh well it was nice to see someone else out here.
All is well on board so I will talk to you tomorrow.

PEACE

Monday, November 22, 2010

31 38.66 S 176 58.37 E

Hello All,
Today was very stressful for me. I got up to the bow pounding in seas. The south wind that was light earlier turned to 25 knots right on the nose. We bucked into seas doing maybe 2 knots then it started to go easterly. I got the sails up and made a coarse for Opua. I realized with in a few hours there was not enough east in the wind and we were going off coarse and were going to miss the Island. We had to tack the boat, meaning I had to go the opposite direction so I didn't lose and hard gained ground. We had to buy some time to let the wind fill in from the east. We were on this tack for 12 hours and at 0000 tonight, this morning, we turned the boat around. The coarse is holding good and I will hold my breath that it stays that way. We are hard on the wind so the boat is healed way over and we are pounding into seas, but we are making 5 knots so all is good for now. I have the engine running just above an idle just to give the boat some steerage.
We are 252 miles from Opua and and am not even going to take a guess as to when we will get there.
I am a much happier man at this moment than I was a few hours ago. The feeling of moving away from your goal is gut wrenching but it is a sailboat and that tactic is done every day but I still don't like it. I guess I need to think of it as a means to an end.
All of that being said, everyone is doing good and they haven't thrown me off the boat yet because of my bitching and moaning lol.
That's all for now and I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Sunday, November 21, 2010

29 42.06 S 176 41.74 E

Hello All,
Well the wonderful sailing days ended at 0200 last night. The wind came down and I had to start the engine. We have been running under engine ever since. There was a short time today that we got to motor sail but it didn't last long. With the light winds my yankee jib was flapping a lot and before I could get it down it developed another rip in it. I am still paying for my mistake in Samoa. The sail took a lot of wear when it fell over the side months ago. The wind turned to the south west tonight but it is very light and the seas are calm. We are 300 miles out of Opua and we are all looking forward to getting there. We are suppose to have some wind out of the south east tomorrow so we hope to sail in the last few hundred miles.
Jon caught a Tuna today so we had a nice fish dinner. It was not very big but was enough to feed us all.
Well I am tired so I will go to bed. I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Saturday, November 20, 2010

25 48.28 S 177 00.24 E

Hello All,
We are still making good time heading down. We made 125 miles today and we have 415 miles to go. I have been watching the weather and the wind was suppose to start coming out of the north, which will be behind us. While I am writing you that prediction is coming to pass. I had to take down the yankee and the staysail tonight because they were getting wind starved by the mainsail. We are still making ok time with just the yankee only.
I have been keeping in contact on the SSB radio with a guy stationed in Fiji. He has a morning air time at 0800. He gives the local weather and keeps track of boats on Hello passage and tells them what weather they will be looking at as they go. I have been talking to him every morning and giving him our position and coarse. He has been telling me we are going to be getting a south west wind when we get closer to the Island which is also what I have been seeing. A southwest wind will be right on our nose so it won't be pretty, but it will then turn southeast I hope lol. That is days away and anything can happen. We had a good breakfast this morning and a good dinner tonight. The seas are so flat it makes it very easy to prepare a good meal. I figure we better eat good now because who knows what will happen tomorrow.
Everyone has been digging out there hats and jackets the last few days, why I don't know, it's still 70 degrees lol. Truth be known I dug mine out to.
That's all I know for now. I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Friday, November 19, 2010

24 41.94 S 7 16.38 E

Hello All,
We had another good day of sailing. This morning I got the yankee jib back up to pick up the pace a little. The wind was 10 to 15 knots so it was perfect for the big jib. We averaged 6 knots all day until this evening when the wind lightened up again. We are still doing 5 knots with a 10 knot wind. There basically is no swell so the boat is moving right along with very little wind. For the first time in months we are seeing a completely cloudless sky with an almost full moon. The day and this evening have been such a treat. It is days like this you are glad you own a sailboat.
The air temperature has been slowing falling. We had a high of 80 degrees today and a low as of tonight of 71 degrees. I forgot what this feels like.
We are half way to Opua right now and we are just hoping the weather holds out. The weather reports don't show anything bad so far so we will just see what happens in the next few days.
Well that is all for now and I will write again to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, November 18, 2010

24 29.13 S 177 26.84 E

Hello All,
We had a great day of sailing after the 20 plus knots of wind last night. The sun came out and the wind came down to 15 knots so I put the yankee jib back up but still left one reef in the main. We were doing 6.5 knots all day long and this evening in self defense I put the working jib back up just in case the wind decided to come up tonight. We are doing 5.5 knots at the moment and it looks like it will stay steady all night.
I didn't beat my old record for miles traveled in 24 hours today but it was close, only missed it by 2 miles. I stand corrected after checking my log, Tobias and I did 140 miles in one day between Marquesas and Tuamotus, so we did 138 today. Not bad for a crossing that is suppose to be beating to weather. The wind is still coming out of the east with an easterly swell so it is a very comfortable ride. I hope it keeps up for the next 5 days, if it does we will have a crossing for the books for sure. I turned to the Island today so we are on the rum line at 180 degrees magnetic.
All is well on board and every one is very happy with the performance of the boat.
It is mostly overcast tonight but it is not raining so that's a good thing. We are 663 miles out of Opua and counting down, Ye Haw!!!

PEACE

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

22 37.73 S 177 33.79 E

Hello All,
We have been under sail only since yesterday morning. The wind kicked up to 25 so I was forced to take down the yankee jib and replace it with the the smaller working jib and I put a double reef in the main. All of that being done we are still making 6 knots. We hope to beat my Pacific crossing record of 138 miles in a 24 hour period today. The seas picked up to 6 feet and the wind is still coming out of the east with a little north in it so we are on a close reach. I am taking the boat slightly east of the rum line to Opua because there is suppose to be better wind on this side and it will give us a better angle of sail when the wind turns more south east which should be in the next 24 hours.
All is well on board and we are getting sleep and are well fed.
That's all I have for now so I will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

20 05.96 S 176 37.46 E

Hello All,
We have had a mixed bag of weather here. All has been good just not enough wind. We had to motor sail most of the day off and on which isn't to bad, I just have it above an idle to get the speed we need. The sea is flat as I am writing this and the wind picked up to 13 to 15 knots out of the east. The last 2 hours has been steller sailing. Slightly pointed into the wind, a little heal of the boat, flat seas and 6.5 knots over the ground. This is some of the best sailing I have done in months. It feels so good to have a sailboat in these conditions. There is an old saying, "It doesn't get better than this" As I am writing this a rain squall decided to pay us a visit. Just when I was having so much fun lol.
All is well here and I hope we keep getting decent weather.
We made 110 miles yesterday and I hope to make at least that today.
930 miles to go to Opua, New Zealand.

PEACE

Monday, November 15, 2010

18 46.62S 176 56.31E

Hello All,
We got cleared out of Fiji at 1330 yesterday and departed for New Zealand. There was a very big low that was in the area so it has been pouring down rain. The good thing is that we have north winds at 15 to 20 knots at the moment so the swell and wind are pushing us right where we need to go. The seas have been about 4 feet and the wind is at our stern so I am only running the yankee jib. We are making an average of 5 knots so we are pleased as punch. All is well on board and outside of being a little wet we are happy. It looks like this weather will keep up for the next few days, then after that it is suppose to go more northeast which is still good for us.
I will keep you updated and let you know how everything is going.
That's all for now.

PEACE

Sunday, November 14, 2010

leaving Fiji


We will be checking out in the morning in Lautoka with Customs. We will take the boat the 7 miles north and anchor by the city wharf. I will deal with the officials and I will send the crew to get some privations. It looks like there is a good weather window to make the 1100 mile crossing to New Zealand. There are at least 6 boats doing the same thing so Customs will be busy in the morning. We hope to have a good crossing but after the trade winds run out it will be anyones guess as to what to expect. This will be the longest crossing I have made since leaving the states so we are excited to get underway and get it behind us.
Fiji has been very good to us and I may return next season, we will see. For now I will be thinking about this trip and I hope its a good one.
I will be giving you updates along the way and let you know how its going. For now I will let you go and will talk to you all soon.


PEACE

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Still at Vuda Point Marina

Hello All,
We have decided to stay here at the marina till we leave. I have been talking to cruisers and locals about anchoring in Lautoka and they told me that the Sugar Cane factory is in season to burn the slash right now and the boats get covered in ash from the chimneys so we are hanging out here till we have to leave to New Zealand. We are looking at a weather window for Monday now and I hope that works out. We are ready to get underway and get the crossing behind us. I have been talking to several other boats that want to leave about the same time so we will have company, a least the slower ones anyway. Curious left this morning so I hope all goes well for Steve and the new crew. We are waiting for a more east wind as my boat dosent go to weather all that well.
I have been doing some maintenance on the boat and just looking around at any little thing that could cause a problem. I have been seeing boats come in that I have met in the past and stopped and said hello and just see where they have been and where they are going. All of us are looking at the weather so I hope with all of the knowledge and experience of the other boats we can make this a good crossing.
Thats all I have been doing so I will get back to it and I will talk to you soon



PEACE

Monday, November 8, 2010

Last days at Vuda Point

Hello All.
I know it has been days since I have written. We are still here at the marina, I have been fixing things on the boat getting it ready to go. I climbed to the top of the mast yesterday and inspected all of my rigging, everything looked fine. It has been very hot here so progress has been a little slow. We plan to leave the marina tomorrow and take the boat up to Lautoka and anchor by the commercial wharf for a few days. That is where we will check out of the country also. We have no weather window for at least 5 days to head south so we are just hanging out waiting.
Trish on Curious headed home to England and Steve had 2 mates fly in to help him with the crossing to New Zealand.They will be departing about when we plan to.
I took on a new crew member for the crossing, Her name is Kaisa, she is originally from Finland but has been living in New Zealand the last few years. She came to Fiji to crew on a boat but the trip was riddled with problems so the boat returned back to Fiji. She moved onto the boat yesterday so we have been visiting. It will make the crossing easier having 3 people for watches.
Well it is getting to hot to type so I will get going.
Thats all for now so I will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Friday, November 5, 2010

We splashed the boat and went to the Capital.



hello All,
We got the boat put back in the water yesterday. Everything went off without a hitch and the paint job we did on the the bottom looks great. It is not the right color , it is black but I was told it is awesome paint for the tropics. I put the green stripe back on above the bottom paint and am pretty pleased with the outcome.
This morning at 0500 Jon set up a rent a car from one of the locals and we headed down to Suva, the capital to look around. On the way in Nadi we picked up the cast away crew of Steve and Trish on Curious and made our way down to Suva. They went down there after leaving the boat to stay at a back packer resort. Toby and Nicole pitched in for the car and we had an awesome time there just walking around and hanging out.
They will be touring around for another month here before flying to New Zealand and we hope to see them there before they return home to the UK. They were so lucky to run into Curious in the Yasawa Islands. They both had a great time and they are wonderful people and I hope we meet again soon.
The next few days I will be fixing little things on the boat so I will keep pretty close to home.
I may be bringing a 3rd member on the boat for the crossing to New Zealand. A Finnish gal asked me the other day if we needed crew and after talking for a bit I think I will do it. I will email my decision tonight.
Ok thats all for now. I will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

High and Dry


Hello All,
I got the boat out of the water yesterday with out any trouble. Jon and I started cleaning and sanding right away and will get at least one coat of paint on today. It is not an exciting job but it has to be done. The last few days I have been visiting boats I havent seen in months. I met a Danish boat in the Tuamotus with a crew of 10. They just arrived here the other day and had a wonderful visit with them 2 nights ago. We traveled different routes since Tahiti so it was fun to hear of the places they visited. Curious also came in 2 days ago so we are having a family reunion of sorts. The couple that Steve and Trish picked up 2 weeks ago on Waya Island will be leaving tomorrow so we are going to have a going away party for them. They will be going to Suva for a mouth to explore and we were talking to them about splitting the cost of a rent a car and take them there so we can see Suva also.
We will see, the bottom takes priority and then fun.
Thats all for now , i will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bike Ride

Hello All,
It has been pretty uneventful the last few days here. Today I got the bike out with the new pedal my mom sent me. I rode to Nadi, which is about 15 miles from here. I made the round trip in 3 hours and was I tired when I got back. I havent rode the bike since I broke the pedal in Pago Pago.
I will write more after I do more lol. We will be busy painting and cleaning on tuesday.
Ok I will talk to you later.


PEACE

Friday, October 29, 2010

Haul out

Hello All,
I have made arrangements with the marina today to have the boat hauled out of the water and put on new bottom paint. It has been almost 2 years since i have done it and its due. Where we are at offers the facilities and the paint to do such a job. The boat hasent been on the hard since I have launched it in 2007 so its due.The staff here has been most accommodating and at a very fair price so I will do the work here and enjoy New Zealand a little more with out having to do all of the work there.
Tomorrow night Jon and I plan to go out on the town and check out the night life so I will let you know how that goes.I spent most of the day shopping for paint and arranging this job so not a real exciting day in Fiji but we are getting the job done.
More to come later.


PEACE

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vuda Point Marina

Hello All,
We left Waya Island at 0700 yesterday and had a beautiful crossing. The wind was calm and the sun was out. We arrived here at 1330 so we made good time. We had to motor but that was ok because we were nose to the wind anyway. We got tied up here at the marina and then took a walk around. This is a very nice place with lots of services for boats. We ran into a polish couple that we had met in Pago Pago so we spent a few hours on there boat visiting. They have made the trip through Japan and Alaska so it was really cool to talk to them about there trip.
We will head to town today to check in and explore some so I better get going.



PEACE

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lautoka Bound

Hello All,
We went and visited with the chief this morning and had a short but nice visit. We walked all through the village and met some really nice locals. After a few hours on the beach we went to a few reefs close by and did some snorkeling. It wasn't the best I have seen but it was okay. We came back to the boat after an hour and I just cleaned the boat up getting it ready to head to Lautoka in the morning. It is only 28 miles from here and is pretty clear of dangers so it should be a good trip. I will be there until the boat is ready to go south hopefully in a few weeks.
I will write more when we get in and let you know what's going on.

PEACE

Waya Island

Hello All,
At 0800 yesterday we left the Somo somo village anchorage to head to the most southern Island of the Yasawa chain. We had to go nose into 30 knot winds and 6 foot seas to make it around the corner to head down the eastern side of the Island. It took us hours to go 3 miles. It wasn't much fun but we finally got headed the right direction. I would have gone down the western side which is protected from the wind but the whole area is uncharted and I had way points from another cruising boat for the eastern side. You would have to see a chart to know why I am so careful. The Fiji Islands are littered with shallow spots and reefs. The reefs are easy to see because of the waves breaking but the shallow areas are hard to see with out good light and they could be anywhere. You can only spot them at about a half mile distance so you have to be on your toes at all times. We motored the 27 miles to Waya Island. We had good wind for sailing but it is to hard to stop the boat in case we need to miss a shallow or a reef. We made the trip with no problems and got anchored in the southern bay of the Island. We got here about 1430 so we made good time. We just relaxed after arriving but we will go see the chief this morning. There is suppose to be good hiking trails here and good snorkeling. We will head for the main Island maybe tomorrow. I want to get the boat ready to go south and I am told there are good marine shops and support in Lautoka.
We parted ways with Curious yesterday morning. They are headed north where we were and then they will end up back in Lautoka in a week. We will look forward to seeing them there so we can hang out before departing south.
We have had a great time in the Yasawa Group but I am ready to start thinking about New Zealand. The passage could be fun or it could be rough. Being from Alaska I should be able to wrap my head around that but after being in the tropics for all these months makes it's hard to think about.
That's all for now, I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moving Along

Hello All,
We had a good day yesterday despite the weather. It was mostly cloudy all day and the wind was blowing pretty good here at the anchorage. Jon took off to the village to trade some shells for some spare shirts he had and I was invited to go snorkeling with the Curious team. The coral and the fish were amazing, we had a great time. After returning to Curious Jon showed back up, he had lunch with the locals and hung out there in the village a few hours. I had a little lunch on Curious then Jon and I headed to the beach to go find the plane wreck on the other side of the Island. It was only a 20 minute walk to get over there. When we arrived we met and older couple that live over there. They are in there 70s and very friendly to visitors. Steve told me about this couple before we headed over and told us if we could spare anything to take it to them. I grabbed one of my few cans left of Alaska Salmon and presented it to them. They were so pleased. They pointed out about where the wreck was at and then told us when we return they will show us a picture of the plane when it was new. The water was a little murky but we found it in about 10 feet of water. It is a P 39 from WW2. I guess the pilot walked away but the plane was a total loss. It was mostly all there considering how long its been in the water. When we returned the couple showed us the pictures and they also showed us there home. It was a very traditional Fijian home made of sticks and palm leaves. They gave us some fruit and we said goodbye.
Last night we had dinner on Curious again. Steve, as usual, fixed a fabulous dinner and we finally got back to the boat about 10 pm.
We will be leaving for the next anchorage this morning so I am going to get to work. The sun is out and its time to move on.

PEACE

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Naviti Island

Hello All,
We left our anchorage this morning at 0900. The sun was shining and the visibility was good. We navigated basically by eye because my charts don't show this area very well. When we got out into open water the wind was blowing up to 30 knots and it was a little rough. I motored the whole way down just because under sail its to hard to stop the boat if we came across a hidden reef. We made the 11 mile crossing in 2.5 hours. Our new anchorage is on the north side of Naviti Island. When we got close we saw that Steve and Trish on Curious were here so we were happy to meet up with them once again. They were on the beach at the time we arrived but soon after they came back to the boat and said hello and invited us over for dinner tonight. It was really nice to see them again. We haven't been in the same anchorage since Moorea, Tahiti. There is a small village close by and after getting settled in we went to see the chief and present sevu sevu. We chatted with a few of the locals and then took a walk down the beach. This is another beautiful place to visit. On the other side of the Island there is an old WW2 plane that crashed and you can snorkel on it. Curious was over there today and said it was very cool and a must see.
We had a fabulous dinner with them tonight. They have a back packing couple that they met 2 days ago on one of the other Islands and they are bringing them along while they explore the Yasawa Group. The couple fixed us all dinner tonight, sushi, fish, rice and lots of other stuff, it was very good. We got all caught up on where we have been and what we have been doing.
We will be here a few days, lots to see and do so for now I will let you go.

PEACE

Friday, October 22, 2010

Resorts Everywhere

Hello All,
We arrived at Nanuya-Sewa Island this after noon. The 9 mile trip went pretty well. It was windy and it was partly sunny so it was harder to navigate by eye. We got anchored and went to the beach. There is a little resort here so we had a burger and a beer while we were there. It is amazing how much tourism there is around here. It feels like we are in the middle of know where but we are definitely not. We are just going to stay one night here and move on to the next Island tomorrow.
All is well here so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Made it to Yasawa, Isl. Fiji / A Beautiful place to be

October 20, 2010

Hello All,
We made it to Yasawa Islands this morning. All went well and had a good crossing here. The Islands are beautiful and it looks like a good place to explore. Right after we arrived we went to see the chief of the village and got his blessing to visit and hang out here a few days. We haven't done much yet but tomorrow is a new day so I will keep you informed.
Talk to you soon.

PEACE

October 21, 2010

Hello All,
We had a very good day here at the Nabukeru village anchorage. We did some awesome snorkeling, some of the best coral I have seen on this trip, it was so awesome. We also met some folks on another cruising boat that I met in Hiva Oa, Marquesas some months ago and had a good visit with them. They are from Belgium and have been cruising around for some time. They let me get some way points from them so I could navigate around here in the group. The charts are very incomplete so that really helped to get us to navigate down to Lautoka. After that Jon and I took a dingy ride to one of the bays close by and the scenery was breath taking.
Tonight we went into the village and saw a dancing show the locals put on. It was sponsored by one of the cruise ships that come in here so it wasn't long after sitting down and enjoying the show that one of the cruise ship guys came and asked us to leave. He said it was private for the boat and we were not invited, I told him the locals told us to show up and check it out. I won't get into it but he was rude and we were not to happy. We went and had Kava with the locals after that and got to visit some. Tomorrow we will move south to another anchorage 9 miles south of here and work our way down to Lautoka.
I will keep in touch and let you know how it's going.
That's all for now.


PEACE

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sevu sevu Ceremony

Hello All,
We are anchored here on the south west side of Vanua Levu. The village of Nabouwalu lies here and is where we have been hanging out visiting the locals the last 2 days. We will leave for the Yasawa group tonight so we can arrive at the islands in the day light. We have had a very good time here and every one has been so friendly to us. Tom, the guy we brought from Savu savu has family here so he was very happy to see them again. He told us he hasn't been to this village in 2 years. He left this morning on a bus back to his village near Savu savu.
I wanted to explain a Fijian custom that has been in there culture for centuries. It is called Sevu sevu. A visiting person whether it be a fellow Fijian or someone like me presents Kava to the village chief. Kava is the root of a plant that is pounded to powder and mixed with water to drink. It is put in a big bowl called a Tanoa. Some are very big and it is placed in the middle of the room where family and friends can gather around it. They pass around a small cup, usually made of a half a coconut and every one shares the kava drink. The taste is indescribable but it is quiet good. After presenting the chief Kava he gives you his blessing and permission to visit the village. After the ceremony he also lets you know that you are welcome anytime to see him or anyone else in the village.He basically makes you part of the family. Every village that we go into we will have to find the chief and give him some Kava. I bought some before we left so we could do this when visiting. It is considered rude and disrespectful to visit a village with ut doing this ceremony and you may be asked to leave.
We gathered around the Tanoa 2 nights in a row and visited with the chief and his whole family. They all showed up to meet us and to say hello. I will quote the chief by saying "This is the Fijian way"
Well now you know what we have been up to the last few days. I will write more when we get to the other side.

PEACE

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Village Guests / Leaving Savu savu

October 14, 2010

Hello All,
We had quiet a treat yesterday, Steve which is one of the locals that we have been hanging out with invited us to his village. It was about an hours drive from here. There is a bus that goes there but we missed the morning one so we got a cab ride there. We got to meet a lot of his family and had a picnic on the beach. The weather did not cooperate very well as it poured down rain while we were there. We also had a light lunch at his aunt and uncles house. We were stuffed when we left. After that we said our goodbyes and caught the afternoon bus back to town. When we returned we hung out with a friend of Steve's at his home and visited till 10 pm last night. His wife made an awesome dinner so we were full once again.
This place has been an experience to say the least, know-one that we have met wants to see us go. They are throwing a goodbye party for us on Saturday so this should be interesting.
It is still raining here, it has been all night so unless it clears up i think i will get the boat ready to get under way. We have been going so much it has turned into a big mess.
That is all for now, more to come later.

PEACE

October 16, 2010

Hello All,
The last few days we have been getting the boat ready to get underway. We will be leaving this morning for the west side of the Island to anchor for the night at a village. We have a guest on the boat that will be coming along. Tom, a local that we met when we first got here and showed us his village last week, will be making the 38 mile trip with us. He has never sailed before so we were going to take him along and then drop him off off at our first anchorage. There is a road to the village so he will catch a bus back here when we leave over to the Yasawa Group. He is pretty excited and we are happy to have him along.
I will fill you in on a few details of our stay here in the next blog. I need to get going so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day after Fiji Day / A Bus Tour

10-13-2010

Hello All,
We finally got to see some of the Island today. We took a bus along the south coast of the Island and visited a small village. The trip only took an hour. We were greeted when we got off by a guy we met here in town last weekend. He showed us around the village and introduced us to his wife and showed us his home. We were surprised to see him there and said, what a small world. LOL. After a few hours of exploring we took the bus back to town and it has been pouring down rain ever since we returned. I have been going over the charts and trying to figure out where we want to go next. We will hang around tomorrow and do some laundry and get a grocery list started. I think we will head out by the weekend, I will look at the weather and see what it has in store.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

10-12-2010

Hello All,
We had an awesome Fiji Day, a few of our new local friends came out to the boat where we had a few beers and just visited. It was a beautiful day and the whole town was out having picnics on the beach and just hanging out. We never did make it to the feast, we were to busy entertaining our guests.
Last night after having a few beers on the boat we all went up to the local cafe and did karaoke till 9 pm, by then Jon and I had enough fun for one day so we came back to the boat and went to bed.
We didn't do much today. We just got some groceries and have been taking it easy. Tomorrow I think we will catch a bus and see some of the Island.
I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fiji Day

Hello All,
The last few days here we have met so many nice people. We have been invited to there homes and today we will be attending a Fijian feast on the Island right by where we are moored. There hospitality has been awesome. They have been so kind. I was amazed that most of the cruisers that come here never take the time to get to know the locals. They have really enjoyed us taking the time to get to know them and in turn they have been so kind.
Today is Fiji Day, it is there independence from Britain day so there is a lot going on in town. I don't know what we will be doing but I am sure it will be something. LOL We will be here till the end of the week exploring the Island. So far we have only made it to the edge of town so we will work on that.
That is all for now so I will talk to you later.

PEACE

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Friends in Savu savu

Hello All,
We are having a good time here. We are meeting lots of new people and we haven't even left town yet. We had dinner at the yacht club with a few of the fellow cruisers last night. There was a local band that has played there the last 2 nights so it is very cool to have some live music. We went out to one of the clubs last night,this isn't a big place so you get to know folks pretty easy. The Fijian people have been awesome to us. They are very friendly,like most of the Islands and have different customs to get used to.
We are invited out to a yacht tonight for a good bye drink. The guy is from Australia with some friends helping him get the boat home. They are leaving in the morning for Vanuatu Island. This is a funny story, the guy bought this boat in Pago Pago from a guy we met there. The boat was damaged in the tsunamis last year and this guy, a cruiser him self has been living in Pago Pago a few years now. He bought the boat from the insurance company and fixed it up to sell. We saw the boat when we were there and knew a guy from Australia was buying it but we left before this guy showed up to take it home. We saw the boat in the Ha'apai group but didn't meet the guy till we got here. We all got a good laugh after we told him that we knew the boat and the old owner.
Well I better get going. Places to see and people to meet.

PEACE

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moored in Savu savu

Hello All,
We arrived in Savu savu yesterday at 1100. The anchorage is in the mouth of a river so it is very protected. When we came in we were met by a guy in a skiff and he asked if we needed a mooring. This anchorage is very tight and is full of moorings so it's hard to anchor here and besides its like 5 bucks a night to stay on a mooring, I told him yes so he picked one out and he helped us tie to it. He arranged for customs and all of the officials to come out and brought them out to the boat. Now that is service. The check in was easy and the guys were very friendly. We got the dingy aired up and went into town. This is a small town with one main street and most everything is right here on the water front. We had some lunch at an Indian restaurant and walked around. Jon found an internet cafe so that's where I lost him and I found the Yacht Club Bar. I met a few locals that were there and later on Jon showed up and then a few cruisers also showed up. We ended up having dinner there and didn't get back to the boat till 2230. I think we will be here at least a week, this is a big Island with lots to see and do.

That's all for now.

I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who needs sails?

Hello All,
We are just hours away from making landfall on Vanua Levu Island,Fiji. It has been an interesting passage to say the least. When we left Tonga it looked like the winds were going to be light and they were for the first day and a half then it picked up and has not let up at all. We have been making really good time. We "hove to" yesterday so we could make it to Savu savu in the day light. 65 miles off shore we stopped the boat and threw out the sea anchor to slow our drift and did this for 8 hours. It wasn't much fun sitting there bobbing around, but I didn't have much choice. The strangest thing happened to me a little bit ago. It was my watch and I could see we were making to good of time and we were going to get in to early, so I took the jib down and put up the staysail, which is a smaller sail and I was still doing almost 5 knots with the staysail only. So I thought if the boat can go that fast with that small sail then it doesn't need any sail to move. So I pulled the sail down, now there is not one sail up on the boat and guess what, I am doing 3 knots and that's 2.5 over the ground. So I am drifting half a knot and I am moving across the water 2.5 knots. I was beside my self. I am going dead down wind so I figure my dodger the mast and just the boat is making a sail. Someone told me this was a good downwind boat but I didn't expect this. lol.
Besides the wind being good to us, the weather has been overcast and rainy drizzly for days now, I thought I was in the South Pacific. I guess it happens every where at some stage. Well I better get outside and take a look around in the dark.
Talk to you later.

PEACE

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

80 miles from Savu Savu

Hello All,
We have been under sail only the last 24 hours. The wind has been excellent but the weather has been kinda lousy. It has been pretty much overcast and raining off and on for 2 days now. We are making good time, in fact to good of time, at our current speed we will be getting into Savu savu at night so we may have to heave to (park the boat off shore) for about 7 hours. We will see what this morning brings for wind. We are about 80 miles out as of right now so we are getting close. We talked to Compass Rose by email the other day and they just left Savu savu for Sava, the main city and said they had a great time there so we are looking forward to getting in. So far it has been a good crossing but its not over yet. lol Today is another day out at sea.
Well that is all for now, I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Monday, October 4, 2010

18 34.97S 177 8.73W

Hello All,
We got to sail off and on yesterday. The wind couldn't figure out which direction to come from and it was very cloudy and rained most of the night. It wasn't much fun but it looks okay this morning so far. We have good wind and good speed, so far so good. We are 16 miles from the pass and 186 miles out of Savusavu. I can think of better crossings but we are getting there.
That's all for now. I will write more later.

PEACE

Sunday, October 3, 2010

19 14.99S 175 52.08W

Hello All,
I am writing this to you on my morning watch. I figured I would give you an update this morning. We left Ha'apai Group yesterday at 0830. The wind was pretty light at the time so we motored out a ways. We got the yankee sail up and started sailing an hour into the trip. The wind was pretty light but we were moving. I started the engine to help our speed out last night at 1800 so we can make it to the eastern Fiji Islands in the daylight. There are 3 passes you can use to get through and I chose the one in the middle. The Islands are not charted well so we want to be able to see them when we arrive. After we get through it should be a straight shot up to Savu savu.
All is well here, the wind has picked up a little so we are making good speed. This should be a 4 day crossing and so far so good. It is kind of exciting to move on and explore another set of Islands and another country.
That is all for now, I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Leaving the Kingdom of Tonga

Hello All,,
We are getting the boat ready this morning to depart for Savusavu Fiji. We have had such a great time in the Ha'apai Group and met some very nice people. It would be good to stay longer but we want some time in Fiji also before we have to go south.
Yesterday was pretty low key. Jon jumped in the water when he saw some dolphins and tried to swim with them but they were not interested and swam away. In the late after noon we went ashore to visit some cruisers and hung out till dark visiting and telling stories. A couple on a Tri Maran invited us out for a movie last night to see The Wizard of Oz. They set up a big white sheet on deck and had a projector from a DVD. It was like going to the movies in the middle of the ocean. There were 8 of us on board and there was still lots of room. Life is always full of first times but that one takes the cake.
I have been looking at the weather and the wind looks very light. Every passage we have had in the last 2 months has been 25 knots or more going into weather and now we will be going dead down wind. When we need 25 knots the most it isn't there lol, Maybe the weather man is wrong but we will see.
I will keep in touch on the passage and let you know how we are doing.
That's all for now. take care and I will talk to you tomorrow.

PEACE

Friday, October 1, 2010

Beach Party

Hello All,
Yesterday morning after breakfast Jon and I took a dingy ride to the beach and walked around to the south shore of the Island. The beach with its white sand and picture perfect palm trees was a delight. After it started getting hot we jumped in the water and went snorkeling on the reef close by where we are anchored. The coral was 9 different colors and very dense. It was very nice to see it so vibrant here. We returned to the boat and I read a few cruising guides for our passage to Fiji.
Last night Jon made an awesome pasta dish to take into the beach party. There were about 10 people there from 7 boats anchored in the bay. The owner of the cafe in town brought his boat over with some beverages to sell. We all has a great time and got to meet a lot of nice people, if I could only remember all of there names lol.
We will get the boat ready to go today and head for Fiji tomorrow morning. The wind looks a little light but we will see what happens.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Uoleva Island

Hello All,
We moved to another anchorage yesterday afternoon after checking out of the country. We came down just 5 miles south of the main Island to to Uoleva Island. It has beautiful white sand beaches and the anchorage is all sand with very few coral heads. There is suppose to be good snorkeling around the reefs here so we will go take a look today.
Wednesday I got the boat fueled up and we got some stuff from the grocery store to make the crossing to Fiji. After we had dinner we went to town to Mariners Cafe to have a beer and visit with the owner, a former cruiser and they talked me into doing Karaoke. There were a few locals there and we had a great time. I tried to talk Jon into singing but he was having to much fun watching all of us.
Tonight there is suppose to be a potluck dinner on the beach. There are 6 boats here in the anchorage so it will be fun to meet all of them. We may try to head out to Fiji tomorrow. I will check the weather and see how it looks. The wind has been a bit light so I am hoping it will pick up.
OK,that is all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walking Tour Foa Island and Lifuka Island

9-26-2010

Hello All,
Jon and I took a walking tour of Foa Island today and had a great time. There is a beach resort where we left the dingy that had the most beautiful beach I have seen. We visited 3 villages along the way and walked all the way to the end of the Island. It is connected to the main Island Lifuka by road. The villages were very clean and the people were all very friendly. This place is most definitely paradise in every sense of the word. After walking for 12 miles round trip we stopped at the beach resort and had a few beers and fish and chips for dinner. We went for a swim after dinner then returned to the boat.
We will head for the main Island Lifuka tomorrow and get fuel and a few things we need for the crossing to Fiji. I hope to leave here by the weekend or so and I will let you guys know what we are up to.

PEACE

9-28-2010

Hello All,
We moved to Lifuka Island yesterday afternoon. The main town Pangai is here. We walked around after arriving and it is a nice but very small village. We had a beer at a little cafe that is owned by a former cruiser. There are a few grocery stores and a gas station. I need to get some fuel for the boat and customs is here so we will be checking out tomorrow and heading for Fiji some time in the next few days. There is not much to do here so after we take care of a few things we will head for another anchorage just south of here.
Our time here has been great. This Island group is fantastic and the weather has been beautiful. These Islands are some what exposed to the sea so we have been fortunate enough to have had sunny days with very little wind.
That is all for now. I will talk to you guys soon.

PEACE

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Post Card Island and White Sandy Beaches

Saturday 9-25-2010

Hello All,
The weather here has been awesome. A nice easterly breeze and in the 80s for temperature. Jon and I went for a walk on the Island yesterday morning. We must have walked 8 miles or so. The Island has 3 small villages on it, not a lot of people but lots of pigs and horses. There is quiet a few plantations also.
After getting back to the boat in the afternoon we went over to one of the reefs close by and went for a swim. The coral here is amazing, lots of colors and shapes and sizes. It is some of the most alive coral I have seen. We spent about an hour in the water then returned to the boat. I spent a few hours yesterday looking at the charts for some new anchorages. We are going to move a few miles down this afternoon to another place that is suppose to be very nice.
That is all I know for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Sunday 9-26-2010

Hello All,
We moved the boat a few miles south yesterday after noon to a new anchorage. We anchored behind this awesome little Island with a beautiful white sand beach. After getting settled in Jon went for a swim to the Island and I took the dingy to go explore. The Island was so thick with trees there was no way to walk in the woods so we walked all the way around it on the beach. We spent a few hours just hanging out there and I took a lot of pictures. It was a fabulous day. Today we will go explore the Island next door. It has a few villages on it and a little resort.
I will let you know what we discover tomorrow.
That's all for now.

PEACE

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arrived Ha'ano Island Tonga

9-23-10

Hello All,
We made it here at 1100 and got anchored. I am fixing breakfast so more to come later.


PEACE

9-24-10
Hello All,
We are anchored just off Ha'ano Island, It is 10 miles north of the main Island Lifuka. There is suppose to be good snorkeling here and there is a small village. We will go to shore this morning and explore and then come back and go swimming.
We had a good crossing coming down. The wind was a bit strong at first and we were close hauled so once again the engine had to give us some support. I will be glad to head to Fiji from here because the wind will be on our stern so it should be more comfortable and we won't get as wet.
I have picked out 3 or 4 good anchorages in the group and they are pretty close to each other. These Islands are more exposed to the sea than in Vavau but they are beautiful.
I will tell you more after we get out and take a look around.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Leaving Vavau

Hello All,
Well, plans always change and this time is no exception. We are headed out of the Vavau Group tonight headed for the Ha'apai group 65 miles south of us. The weather wasn't going to let us stay the weekend so we figured we would get out while the getting was good. Yesterday we got anchored in town and went to shore to get some bread and butter and a few other things we were missing. We got some fuel and water and got the boat ready to get under way.
Last night Jon and I went out for the last time in Neiafu. We had such a good time that I didn't think I needed my wallet anymore. Yup, it fell out of my pocket in all of the excitement. I noticed it was missing this morning and went to the club where we were. They were not open yet so I called my mom and turned off the credit cards. We went to the police to see if anyone had dropped it there and they had not seen anything at that time. The club finally opened and the owner said yes someone did find the wallet and he told them to take it to the police station. So I waited a few hours then went back to the police and they had it. Wow, I was so happy. We finished getting the boat ready and headed out in a rain storm.
I hope the wind is what the weather says it is. We are just making our way to the ocean right now.
I will let you know how everything goes tomorrow.

See ya,

PEACE

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hunga Bay on Vavau

Hello All,
Yesterday morning I got a visit from a guy in a dingy that owns a house boat that he keeps anchored in Tapana. He and his wife are ex cruisers that came in 1983 and stayed. Their floating home is also a business they call the "Ark Gallery". He introduced him self and asked if I had any spare chain. I told him I had about 50 feet I never use and he could have it. He told me that he uses it to repair moorings that he has set up for people to use. He said how much do you want for it, I said do you have anything to trade, he said well maybe. I told him I would like to see his shop and look around. He said sure thing, just talk to my wife and see if there is anything you would like. So Jon and I took the dingy over to the Ark and met his wife. She was originally from Oregon and told me there story in short of how they ended up here in Tonga. She is a very good artist and had a lot of paintings on display. I told her what I did for her husband and she was so happy. She said anything you want here you can have it. I told her it was just some old rusty chain. She insisted, so I picked out a few nice things and we were both happy. We had a nice chat with her also, they are very nice people and I hope to meet up with them again sometime.
We left the anchorage after that and headed for Hunga Island which was 12 miles away. The Island is one of the most western and has exposure to the ocean. It is also where whales can be found. We sailed most of the way over and right before we got here 2 or 3 whales breached right by us. Jon took some pictures with my camera, he was very excited. That was all we saw before entering the bay.
The bay here on Hunga is unique because you enter it through a very small pass 100 feet wide and only 10 feet deep at high tide. it is a little tricky because once you get in you have to jog around some to miss the coral heads. Once inside it is a big bay and deep. We picked up a mooring in front of the village and we went and looked around. It is a very small village and the people all said hello as we walked around.
This morning we will head back to town. Today is the day to sign up for the sail boat race and I was talked into doing by a few cruisers, so Freestyle will be racing this weekend.
I will tell you all about it in the next blog.

That's all for now.

PEACE

Monday, September 20, 2010

Princess Tombs and Rainy Days on Vavau

Hello All,
We are anchored in Tapana anchorage this morning. We made it over here yesterday afternoon after visiting a little Island that has a tomb of a princess from eons ago. The anchorage for the Island was exposed and with poor holding of coral heads and coral sand it is only good for a few hours. We went to the beach and found the trail that winds up to the top of the mountain, which is only about 300 feet tall and found the tomb. I don't know the history of the princess but it has been hundreds of years I am sure. Just past the tomb there was a lookout to see all of the surrounding bays and Islands. I wished it was a nicer day but I got some good pictures none the less.
After returning to the boat we made some lunch and then headed for Tapana anchorage. This bay is very protected from SE winds so it was just what we were looking for. There is also a restaurant here that is run by a Spanish couple. They are very well known in the area so after arriving we took the dingy over to say hello. They were cruisers that came through here back in the 80's and loved it so much they never left and opened a restaurant to cater to the cruisers and tourists. We visited a few hours and they enjoyed talking to Jon in Spanish. We also ran into 2 of the crew from Nirvana there. Amya the 1st mate came over with the boats mechanic yesterday morning to look at a broken generator and ended up spending all day there.
The weather here is still not that great so I will hope it clears enough to make it to the other anchorage.
For now we will be hanging out here and do some exploring so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not the best weather on Vavau

Hello All,
Yesterday was a mixed bag of of adventure and disappointment. Jon and I went out to the coral gardens with the dingy. We left the dingy on the beach just short of the area to snorkel. Jon swam out past the breakers to the edge of the reef and I said no way. It was a little extreme for me so I did some beach combing. When Jon came back he said the coral was many different colors and saw some sea life also. He really enjoyed the reef and said it was awesome. After that we came back to the boat and headed out for a place called Mariners Cave. It was located on an Island not far from where we were. It has an underwater cavern with a small entrance under the water. If you didn't know where to go you would never find it. We had some cruisers tell us where it was at last week. I just got close with the boat and Jon jumped in. He found the way in but it was very dark and so with out a light it would be to hard to see anything. So we gave up and about that time the crew off of the mega yacht Nirvana, that we hung out with the other day, showed up in there fancy dingy. We rafted up together for a bit and visited.
It was getting late so we said good by and went to find an anchorage for the night. We picked a place where there were several other boats. It wouldn't have been my first choice but it was close and it was getting dark. Not the greatest anchorage but it got us by till this morning and now the weather is not being very nice. Windy, rainy and cloudy so I don't know what we are going to do today. The anchorage that I wanted to do today has to have good sunlight for visibility as it has a narrow pass to to get through. We will figure something out I am sure.
That's all for now.

PEACE

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Anchorage on Vavau

Hello All,
We moved to another anchorage yesterday off of Vaka'eitu Island. There are some coral gardens over here that we wanted to explore. Yesterday we went for a hike on the Island and went over the hill to a secluded beach. It was beautiful and Jon went for a swim and checked out the reef. I went for a little hike down the beach and found an awesome lagoon. On our return back to the boat we visited with a guy from Tasmania that has built a little house on the beach. He offered us some coffee and we had a great visit.
Last night we were invited over to a chartered catamaran for a sun downer. There was 8 people on board all from New Zealand on a 10 day holiday. There are a few boats here in the anchorage and they invited us over because they thought since I was from Alaska I would be very interesting to talk to. I have had that happen a few times on this trip.
Today we will go out to the coral gardens and snorkel around. We have been told it is awesome.
We have been lucky enough to be able to sail between the anchorages and we have been able to use a mooring every time, which Jon likes because he doesn't have to deal with the anchor.
Well that's all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tongan Paradise

Hello All,
Today was an eventful day of swimming snorkeling and exploring. Jon went for a swim to the beach this morning and I took the dingy in with my camera and took some pictures of the anchorage and of the beach. It is only about a 1/4 mile long but it is beautiful white sand. After that we took the dingy about a mile west of us and found a good snorkel spot. The water was very clear and the coral although not abundant was very colorful. For the first time in my travels I actually saw starfish which was very cool. After that we took the dingy another mile to a point on the Island we are anchored and saw Swallows Cave. The entrance is big enough to get your dingy in and once inside it opens up to several caverns. It is light inside because the sun can shine in a hole in the top. It was amazing and quite big. You can see the bottom and it is very deep. I got some video and lots of pictures of the cave exploration.
We arrived back at the boat a little bit ago and are just relaxing now. We are going to move to another anchorage tomorrow morning and check out a little more of this Tongan paradise.
Bye for now.

PEACE

Anchorage Hopping

Hello All,
We had a very eventful Wednesday. I went to the sailmaker and he had my sails done. The yankee he had to put a lot of work into but did a very nice job of fixing it. The staysail was a pretty easy fix. After all of that was done I went and found post cards to send home and found a coffee shop where I could fax my paperwork for arrival in Fiji. We came back to the boat after that and hung out for a bit. Last night the crew from the big ketch invited us to go with them to dinner and then to a bar that had a show. It was really funny because it was where 6 local guys dressed up like girls and did a dance on stage. The place was packed and every one had a great time.
Today we got the boat all ready to go and then we were invited aboard the big ketch for a tour. The 1st mate Amaia is from Spain and is a very nice girl. We had such a good time with her last night and the rest of the crew. The boat is amazing, it is basically a mega yacht with 2 masts and massive sails. The main mast is 192 feet long and the boat is 170 feet overall length. It is aluminum construction for the hull and the masts are carbon fiber. The interior is well, very plush. Jon and I were extremely impressed. The owner has a garment company in Spain. I am in the wrong business, oh wait, i am not in any business lol.
After the grand tour Jon and I headed out to one of the anchorages that has some very cool caves you can run your dingy into. We got here a little late so we will check it out tomorrow.
Well that's all for now. I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

good times in Neiafu

Hello All,
We have had some fun days here in Neiafu. Sunday we didnt do much, I had a few things I fixed on the boat and that was about it. Monday I got my sails to the the repair guy. He was very nice and talked to us for a little bit. He asked me how bad they were and we just looked at each other and he said before we could reply, no worries, I will fix him for you no problem. The yankee got hit the hardest while we were leaving Savaii. The sail wasent tied down and slipped over the side in the dark and got pounded by seas into my downwind whisker pole for about and hour and it put some pretty good rips in it. The sailmaker is up here from New Zealand for the busy season when all of the boats show up. We will go visit him today and see how its going. We also checked in with customs and got all of that squared away. We also did the boring task of doing our laundry. It has been a while so I had quite a pile.
After all of that fun stuff was over Jon and I took a hike up Mt. Talau. It is very close to Neiafu and is 430 feet tall. It offers a spectacular view of the anchorage and outer Islands.I got some very nice pictures and will share them with you when I get better internet.
When we returned Jon took a trip in the dingy out to a 170 foot ketch owned by a guy in Spain. That is one big sailboat with 2 masts. The owner wasent around but the crew was onboard and he went out to say hello. The boat is from Spain so he was curious about who they were and where they were from. It turns out the 1st mate of the boat has common friends with Jon so they hit it off right away. A few of the crew invited us to have a few beers with them last night at a few of the bars . We had a great time and we are gonna hang out with them tonight at one of the clubs that is putting on some kind of show. I will let you know how that turns out tomorrow.
Well thats all for now so I will talk to you soon.



PEACE

good times in Neiafu

Hello All,
We have had some fun days here in Neiafu. Sunday we didnt do much, I had a few things I fixed on the boat and that was about it. Monday I got my sails to the the repair guy. He was very nice and talked to us for a little bit. He asked me how bad they were and we just looked at each other and he said before we could reply, no worries, I will fix him for you no problem. The yankee got hit the hardest while we were leaving Savaii. The sail wasent tied down and slipped over the side in the dark and got pounded by seas into my downwind whisker pole for about and hour and it put some pretty good rips in it. The sailmaker is up here from New Zealand for the busy season when all of the boats show up. We will go visit him today and see how its going. We also checked in with customs and got all of that squared away. We also did the boring task of doing our laundry. It has been a while so I had quite a pile.
After all of that fun stuff was over Jon and I took a hike up Mt. Talau. It is very close to Neiafu and is 430 feet tall. It offers a spectacular view of the anchorage and outer Islands.I got some very nice pictures and will share them with you when I get better internet.
When we returned Jon took a trip in the dingy out to a 170 foot ketch owned by a guy in Spain. That is one big sailboat with 2 masts. The owner wasent around but the crew was onboard and he went out to say hello. The boat is from Spain so he was curious about who they were and where they were from. It turns out the 1st mate of the boat has common friends with Jon so they hit it off right away. A few of the crew invited us to have a few beers with them last night at a couple of the bars . We had a great time and we are gonna hang out with them tonight at one of the clubs that is putting on some kind of show. I will let you know how that turns out tomorrow.
Well thats all for now so I will talk to you soon.



PEACE

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In Vavau Group, Neiafu Tonga

Hello All,
We got in here yesterday at 1100. The crossing was wet to say the least. We were on a close reach the whole way with a southwesterly swell so we were pounding into seas the whole time. Not my favorite point of sail at all. We got in and picked up a mooring from one of the sailing charter companies. The anchorage here is very deep so it is easier to just get a mooring. The price with the exchange wasent to bad. Compass Rose, the American boat we met in Pago Pago was here so after getting settled in we went over and had a sundowner with them. Their son Nick took us out last night into town and we watched some of a rugby game at one of the local bars and after that just walked around town. They have been here for a few weeks so they know the place well.
We will be here long enough to get my sails fixed buy a local sail repair guy and fix a few things on the boat, then we will do some anchorage hopping. There is dozens of Islands in the area all protected from the sea. It kind of reminds me of Prince William Sound because of the protection and the many Islands and bays,just on a smaller scale. There are Humpback whales here right now up from the south to give berth to there calves so there is alot of whale watching and the amazing thing is you can also swim with them. Compass Rose did that the other day and said it was awesome. You have to be with a guide boat and it is a little expensive but I am told it is worth it. There is no guarantee to swim with whales but most I have talked that did it have. We will be here for a week or 2 before heading to the central group so alot to do with little time.
Ok well I should get going so I will keep you updated as we go.
By the way,there is internet here but it is very slow so uploading pictures will have to wait for now.



PEACE

Thursday, September 9, 2010

16 59.77S 173 56.26W

Hello All,
We battled through the night 25 to 30 knots. We are close hauled so we are pounding into the waves a bit. The weather didn't really show this but we are making it okay. This morning we blew the staysail out, a fitting came loose and ripped it. I have a spare so we are up and moving. I am motoring a little just to get the boat speed up to maintain steering. We are 90 miles from Vavau at the moment so we should be getting there in the morning sometime.
Okay that is all I have for now, I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Still in Niuatoputapu

Hello All,
We are still here. The weather is still coming down so we thought we would let the seas come down a bit more before heading out, besides we got invited over for a tour of the 62 foot east coast boat last night so I didn't want to miss that.
We will try again at 1600 today (Thursday in the U.S.). I will check weather again this morning but so far it looks good.
Okay, that is all I have for now. Talk to you soon.


PEACE

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Leaving Ninatoputapu, Take 2

Hello All,
We will be leaving here today about 1600. The weather looks like it will cooperate. We have been waiting for a easterly wind and it is suppose to fill in today. Last night we had the Australian couple over for pizza and had a really good time. They are heading home after being in Tonga for 4 years. They just bought there boat and are touring around the Islands before heading back. Hey Mom, I still have some of that bread mix and it worked great for pizza dough lol. We will see customs again and check out one more time, leaving Niuatoputapu take 2. The boat is basically ready to go, Jon got the rest of the barnacles off of the keel yesterday. He said he felt bad doing it, he wiped out all kinds of barnacle villages in the process, they are homeless now. Maybe they can hitch a ride on the next boat that comes in.
That's all for now and I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Monday, September 6, 2010

Windy Days on Niuatoputapu

Hello All,
We are still waiting for weather to turn in our favor. Tomorrow the wind is suppose to turn to the east so we will try again to make it down to the Vavau Group. The wind has been blowing 30 knots out of the south east for the last 2 days.
We had a new boat come into the anchorage yesterday. It is an American boat about 60 feet with 3 people on board. They came down from Pago Pago and said they got there butt kicked on the passage with all of this weather.
We are having the Australian couple over for dinner tonight. We ran into them on the beach yesterday and visited for a while. We were talking about making Pizza but we will see.
We have just been hanging out not doing to much. I finished my varnish job yesterday so today I will just get the boat cleaned up for company.
Thats all for now and I will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Waiting for weather

Hello All,
Since we arrived back in Niuatopatapu we have just been hanging out on the boat. I have been doing some varnish work and maintenance and Jon has been practicing playing guitar. We were the only boat in the anchorage but shortly after we got here a young couple from Australia showed up. They are on there way home after touring the Tonga Islands for 4 years.
Jon and I took a break from our tasks on board and went for a walk on the Island. We went out to the northern point of the Island where it looks as though the locals were clearing some land. After getting there we realized it wasn't cleared by man it was cleared by water. The tsunamis ripped trees right out of the ground and stacked them up like cord wood. The beach was so littered with down fall it was hard to even walk. What would have taken weeks for a construction company to do the water did it in minutes. It was an amazing sight to see what mother nature can do. It makes you feel very small.
We returned back to the boat and just hung out for the evening. Today we have been invited for a lunch on the beach. After church services the locals have a big lunch and they always invite the boats if there is any here so we will go mingle for a few hours this afternoon.
We hope to leave by Tuesday afternoon and I will keep you updated as we go. Talk to you soon.

PEACE

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rick's retreat

Hello All,
We left Niuatoputapu last night and now we are back here anchored. What was suppose to be a calm evening filling in with an East wind this morning turned out to be a south east wind last night and more of it this morning. My course to Vavau is mainly south so I need an east wind to make the boat go and the seas are to big to motor. We will keep a close eye on the weather but for now it looks like we will be here 3 days or so.
I will let you know whats going on in the next few days.

PEACE

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mountain Climbing on Niuatoputapu

Hello All,
Today was an awesome day of exploring. We went for a hike up the mountain in the middle of the Island. It is 450 tall so its not huge but the views we got when getting to the top were fantastic. I got some very nice pictures that I will share with you when I get a chance. We walked the ridge from one end of the mountain range to the other. We got a pretty early start so we would be done before it got to hot. We hiked down the back side of the mountain to the last village of the Island, stopped to get some bread at the local bakery, which is just a woman that bakes bread for the village, stopped at the fresh water spring for a cool bath and then walked back to the boat.
After returning I did some work on the engine and then after that I scrubbed the bottom till I couldn't stand it any more. I still have the port side to do but Jon said he would do that side for me and I can do a few other things.
We were invited to a pot luck on the beach tonight hosted buy one of the local families. We had a nice dinner and got to visit with a few of the 5 boats here in the anchorage.
We will leave tomorrow after noon for the Northern Tonga Group. It should take us a day and a half to get there. This has been an excellent stop over and a beautiful Island and I would recommend to anyone coming this way.
That's all for now so I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Monday, August 30, 2010

Swimming at Niuatoputapu

Hello All,
After getting checked in yesterday we went to shore to look around. This is a very small place and after the tsunamis last September it got a little smaller. The 3 main villages that are on the main road and are about a mile apart got wiped out. They are rebuilding but it devastated the Island and most were homeless. According to the health inspector, that we had to pay a visit to yesterday for our check in, the Island went from 900 souls to 700. Most went to the other Tonga Islands looking for work or just wanted to get out after there property got destroyed. It is still a very unique place and the folks here love to cater to the sailboats. We found a guy that sells a few groceries, a lady that makes bread and along the way we found a fresh water spring to cool off in the heat of the day.
This morning I spent 2 hours rebuilding the carburetor on the out board. The salt water corroded some parts and I had to get it all cleaned up to work right. After all that fun was over we took the dingy out to the pass where we entered and went snorkeling. Outside the breakers the water was clear to 100 feet and we saw some nice coral and a lot of fish. The closer we drifted in the more cloudy the water became, so we came back inside and looked around in the shallow water. The Tsunamis did a lot of damage to the coral as well. All and all it was a good day and we got to do some exploring in the water for a change.
When we returned I jumped back in the water to clean the bottom of the boat. It had been a while so it was pretty dirty with sea growth. I only got half of it done so I will finish the rest tomorrow. It is a lot of work and not much fun either. I am not sure what else we are doing tomorrow, but I am sure we will think of something. I will talk to you later.

PEACE

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Arrived in Niuatoputapu

Hello All,
We made it to Niutoputapu Island. It is the most populated of the Niua group of Islands of Northern Tonga. We arrived at 1000 and made it in the pass with no problems. It is well marked and my plotter was spot on for navigation. We got to sail all the way down here and had good wind and seas. This place has a beautiful bay to anchor in with a sandy bottom and protected by the Island on one side and the rest with a fringing reef. One of the locals contacted us on the VHF when we got in and welcomed us to the Island and said the officials will get with us in the morning to check in. It is a very small Island, about 4 miles wide and 11 miles long with a 450 foot mountain in the middle. There is suppose to be good snorkeling here and hiking. On a side note, when we were coming in Jon was on the bow eye ball navigating and he asked how deep it was, I told him 113 feet, he told me he could see the bottom perfectly. That has to be the clearest water I have come across.
Well that is all for now. I will keep you informed of our stay here.

We are a day ahead now so it is Sunday. I will let you know what happens in the future LOL


PEACE

14 35.21S - 73 11.86S

Hello All,
We are sailing right along at about 5 knots. We are almost half way to Tonga (7:30 p.m. Aug. 27,2010). If all goes well we should be there in the morning sometime. We are close hauled so we are bucking into the swell a little bit. The seas are not to bad and the wind is at 25 knots. I have the main double reefed the staysail up and the small working jib. There is a lot of sea water flying around so it's hard to stay dry on deck.

All is well so far but there is a squall that just came up so I better go.

PEACE

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sailing away to Niuatoputapu Island

Hello All,
We are now under way to Niuatoputapu Tonga. It is the most northern Island of the group and we hope to be there in a day and a half. We left out of Asau Bay at 1700 on Thursday August 26,2010. The wind is about 20 to 25 knots and the sea is about 6 feet. We are sailing right along and it feels good to get out sailing again. We are under a double reef main and the staysail for the night. The wind is suppose to let up to 15 knots by tomorrow.
Okay that is all I have for now. I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The two Samoes

Hello All,
We are still here in Samoa waiting for weather so I thought I would take the time to compare the 2 Samoa's.
The First place I will talk about is American Samoa. The main Island Tutuila is the center of government for the 7 Islands that make up the unincorporated territory of the United States. The main and basically only harbor of the Island is Pago Pago Harbor. It is very well protected and is said to be one of the finest in the South Pacific. That being said, my cruising guides for the area do not rate this place very well.
First of all the water is very muddy and the bottom is littered with junk so anchoring can be interesting at times. They offer basically no yacht facilities and the Tuna canneries smell of fish and blow into the anchorage with the prevailing winds almost 24/7. Okay, that's all the bad things which for me were not all that bad. Alaska has canneries by the harbor but the people and the scenery make up for it and the same goes for Pago Pago. The Island itself is breath taking with its razor sharp mountains that drop right into the bay. They get a lot of rain so the greenery is very lush and thick with trees. It is one of the most green Islands I have visited.
The public transport is the best around the Islands and was very cheap. Stocking up the boat is easy to do there with good grocery stores and good prices.
Okay, now the people, there is basically no tourism there so the people you meet don't want anything from you, they just want to know where you are from and what brought you to the Island and they always ask if we like the Island and if we are having fun. Jon and I hitch hiked some while we were there and were invited to peoples homes for dinner, we only took one up on the offer but it was very kind to ask. The Samoans there have American Passports and some have served in the armed forces. They are very proud of their culture and enjoy the benefits of being part of America. The Island does lack the south Pacific feel, they are a cash economy so grass huts are replaced by houses and motor boats replace outrigger canoes.
All in all I enjoyed my month there and met some good cruising folks also.


Samoa (Formerly known as Western Samoa)

The main Islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savaii. Apia is the largest city of Upolu and is the center of government for the Islands. Apia is the only port of entry and it has one of the finest marinas I have visited. It was built just a few years ago so is very modern and provides water and electricity. It is located a short walk from downtown. The city is very clean and offers a little more than Pago Pago for traditional looks. It is a tourist town to say the least and is littered with taxi cab drivers begging you to take a ride with them and street vendors begging you to buy something. Once you get past all of that the Island is beautiful and not as mountainous as Tutuila but breath taking in its own right. Massive waterfalls can be found here and several nature preserves.
The draw back to visiting these places is, they cost money, sometimes excessive amounts and your not paying like a park ranger your paying some guy standing in the trail so you wonder how much is legitimate. It really wore on us after days and days of handing out all of this money. The transportation system isn't as good as Pago Pago as far as the frequency and bus stops but the rates are a little better with the exchange. Samoa has its own currency and resembles the New Zealand Dollar. It is called "Tala", which is dollar in Samoan.
Outside of town the villages are very clean and this is where you find traditional Samoa. The locals are much like in Tutuila, very friendly and always say hello as you pass. Savaii is an Island unspoiled by visitors. There is a daily ferry that go back and forth from Upolu but most of the visitors that come have booked with one of the few resorts located here and have rental cars. So walking around like we have or hitching rides is not common so the locals you run into are curious of your travels and are always amazed we came here by boat. Both Islands get a lot of tourism from Australia and New Zealand to escape there colder winters like Alaskans use Hawaii as a retreat .
I have enjoyed both Samoa's and will not choose between the two. All I will say is I like both equally. They both have flaws like anything in this world and I would visit both again when I get a chance.

PEACE

Aborted Crossing

Hello All,
I have decided to wait here another day or so. The weather south of us looks really unsettled so I will keep a close eye on it and let you know when we head out. For now I am just doing a few things to clean the boat up and some light maintenance. We are in, hurry up and wait mode now.
If we have to wait another day or 2 I will take the time to write a blog comparing the 2 Samoa's Keep a look out and I will talk to you soon.


PEACE

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Exploring

Hello All,
Yesterday Jon and I set off early to take a hike up to a Crater on Mt. Matavapu. It was about 30 miles from here so we wanted to get an early start. We were to late for the bus ride so we started hitch hiking. We didn't walk for 5 minutes before two younger gals from the states picked us up. One girl has been on the Island for 2 years doing peace corp work and the other, her sister, was here for a holiday. They were just out sight seeing and offered to take us all the way to the mountain. They themselves were wanting to see the crater also. That was very convenient for us because it would have been a long walk. We got within a mile of the summit and that is where we met "Crater Man" he is the grounds keeper for the park and to see it required 20 dollars a piece. I only had 20 in my pocket and and Jon had none. Jon had given me his money because he didn't think he needed it anymore. I guess I bought to many beers the night before lol. So Jon had to stay behind and the 3 of us took the mile hike to the crater. Jon walked to the bottom of the road and we picked him up on our way back down. They dropped us on the main road and we hitched a ride back to the boat.
We had dinner again at the Vai Moana Resort and had a very nice visit with a Finnish cruising couple that arrived a few days ago. We also talked to a couple that is on holiday from New Zealand and asked them about their country and we exchanged e-mails so we may get to see them again when we get down there.
This has been a delightful stay and the folks that run the Resort have been so kind.
We will be leaving this afternoon for Tonga so we will be busy getting the boat all ready for the 2 day crossing.
That's all for now and I will write while underway.

PEACE

Monday, August 23, 2010

Walking Tour

Hello All,
Jon and I had a great tour of the northwest end of the Island yesterday. We hitched a ride to the Falealupo Rain Forest Preserve. We took a trail that led to a rope bridge and to a massive tree fort overlooking the whole jungle. After that we walked down the road and ran into a local that invited us to his home for lunch. We had a traditional Samoan meal, which was fish and taro plant cooked on an open fire. It was very filling and we had a nice visit with him and his wife. We hitched another ride with a family to Falealupo Village. The whole road on the Northern most coast has a beautiful beach and lava reefs. After that we took a walk to the western most point of the Island where it is the last place on earth the sun sets before the next day because of the date line. We ended up walking 12 miles yesterday.
Last night when we returned we got cleaned up and went and had dinner at Vai Moana Hotel and bar. We anchored in front of there place and they have been very kind. They have been letting us use there dock to park the dingy so we thought we would patronize them. They had a buffet that was wonderful. They had a live acoustic Samoan band playing for all of the guests.
We talked to a few people at the resort last night that told us about a boat that was lost coming into the pass in May. The resort owner rescued them and there is a few pieces of the boat on the property. We were told the boat was over at the wharf so this morning we went to take a look. It was about a 50 foot boat and the owner was following his gps and for this Island it is off so he hit the reef and sunk. What a shame and a big loss. After that we just came back to the boat and hung out. We went to the resort for a beer tonight and tomorrow, we will see.
That's all for now. I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Asau Bay, Savaii

Hello All,
We made it over to Asau Bay in northwest Savaii. We spent all night getting here under engine, the wind was very light. We got here at first light and my plotter for navigation had the Island off by a little bit so the bay was not where it was suppose to be according to my chart so I had to do eyeball navigation. I had Jon on the bow looking for the channel to enter and we came in to what I thought was the right way. After getting past the first set of breakers I figured we were home free but it never got deeper in fact it got worse. Before I went any father I put Jon in the dingy to look for the channel to enter. He looked around for an hour and never found anything that was deep enough to get us in. I was about to give up when some locals came out in a boat told us to follow them. They took us through the channel that was right by the breakers, I would have never guessed it was there looking at the big waves rolling in but it was plenty of water and once we got in the bay it was deep and sandy bottom. We anchored in 25 feet of water right by the village. We took a walk around this afternoon, it is a very small place but everyone is friendly. We will go see a few places tomorrow and check the place out.
On a side note, some places in the world have not been surveyed in resent years and this is one of them so my gps navigation is pretty worthless. I am anchored on land right now according to my plotter so you hope there is some kind of markers or friendly locals to get you there. This happened in Salelologa also but it is well marked. This is the first place my navigation let me down and I hope its the last.
All is well here and I hope everyone is good at home. I will talk to you later.


PEACE

Friday, August 20, 2010

Exploring Savaii

Hello All,
I'm sorry I haven't followed up from the other day. We have been very busy trying to see the south side of the Island. We went to see several waterfalls the last few days. We took a hike up to see an ancient pyramid, it is supposed to be one of the largest polynesian structures. Today we also took a trip to see some blow holes and they were awesome. We have been getting around by bus, hitching rides and a lot of walking.
We are currently underway, going to the northwest side of the Island to Asau Bay. It is suppose to be a very nice anchorage with good swimming and snorkeling. We will spend 5 days there and explore the north side of the Island. I hope they have internet over there so I can get you guys some pictures. I have been taking lots of them.
We are under engine at the moment but as soon as we can get around the eastern point we will get the sails up.We will be underway all night to get there in the morning.
That is all I have for now and I will be in touch.


PEACE

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Savaii,Samoa

Hello All,
We made it over to Savaii this afternoon at 1430.All went well and we are anchored in the bay.We came to town to look around and thats where I am at now.We are heading back to the boat now so I will keep it short.
I will write a detailed version here tomorrow or the next day.
I will talk to you soon.

PEACE

Monday, August 16, 2010

Leaving Apia


Hello All,
We had a quiet Sunday here.It rained most of the day so we just hung around the boat.I went out on deck and scrubbed it from end to end,it was filthy.I havent really had the water to spare until now.That took me a few hours to do.My poor boat is showing some signs of wear but I guess thats what happens when you use it everyday.The rain let up about 1700 and it was a beautiful evening so Jon and I took a walk.We made some dinner when we returned and then watched a few movies.
As of this morning we are checked out of Apia.We will be heading for Savaii Island next door.We have picked out a few anchorages to stay at and we will be over there for a week.We had to get permission to anchor there from the Prime Minister, which was pretty easy to do.The hardest part was finding the right office.lol I dont know if there is internet over there.If not,I will be using the SSB radio again to keep in touch.
We have had a very good stay here and I cant say enough about the Samoan people.They are truly unique and very proud to be Samoan.We are told Savaii is beautiful and sparsely populated so we should get a real taste of authentic Samoan culture.Before I leave this paradise I will write a blog comparing American Samoa to the Western Independent Islands.I am still feeling this place out and after seeing Savaii I will have a conclusion to share with you.


P.S. Jon and I went to the Fresh Fruit Market this morning just to look around and we found a locally grown Pamplemousse.Jon spotted it and said,Rick,look a Pamplemousse.Both of us were drooling at the site of the 8 inch around green mellon.The gal selling them said,that is a grapefruit and I said no no, thats a Pamplemousse and ill take it.
We are in heaven once again.


PEACE