Sunday, May 31, 2009

Arrival at Pangai on Lefuka Island

June 1, 2009--Last Friday we were able to leave Tongatapu just at sunrise and head north to Nomuka Iki Island. We had planned to stop at Kelefesia; however, the swell was rolling in from the southwest, which would make that anchorage very rolly. In addition to that, it is a very small anchorage, and another sailboat was already there.

We arrived at Nomuka Iki around three o'clock and motored between Nomuka Ika and Nomuka islands, both of which have major reefs at the south entrance. We dropped the anchor in about 18 feet of water and were lucky enough to get the anchor chain hung up on the one piece of coral that would cause us trouble. Steve ended up going in the water to manually unwrap the chain. We then moved in just a bit and were able to securely set the anchor in lovely sand. Since it was late in the afternoon, we decided to just relax and then go ashore in the morning.

On Saturday, the weather reports were not good. The wind was predicted to move from east around to northwest during the next 24 hours. Unfortunately, our anchorage did not have good protection for those winds, so we pulled the anchor and headed out for O'ua Island. The wind and waves were right on our nose as we again motored between the two reefs. However, once we got to the northern side of Nomuka Island, the winds were off our beam so we put up the double-reefed main and the full jib and sailed along at 6 knots. It was one of the nicest sails that we have had in awhile. The sun was out and the waves were minimal. The only thing causing some stress are the areas marked "blind rollers" on the chart, and these occur a lot around the Ha'api group. These breaking waves are caused when the sea encounters very shallow areas, which causes the waves to break. We would be looking out over the ocean and all of a sudden see these lovely white areas of breaking waves. Luckily, our charts and chart plotter do indicate those areas, and they have been pretty accurate so far.

As we approached O'ua Island, there was one rock on the charts that we never did locate. We were approaching at high tide, so we assumed that just enough water was covering the rock and for some reason not breaking. The entrance to O'ua Island is a channel leading through the reef that starts at the south end and curves around to the west and ends at the village. There was a small area to the side of the channel where we dropped our anchor. We thought that this position put us too close to the western reef so we re-anchored closer to the main channel where we also found better holding. We then had a very late lunch and cleaned up the boat. We watched as the local fishing boat left the village.

We had just taken our showers and were reading down below when Steve said that he heard a voice. I didn't hear anything, but a few moments later we both heard it. Steve went up above and saw two local young boys swimming out to our boat, which was not a short distance. We had them come aboard to dry off and then they sat down in the cockpit with us. I gave them some soda and ginger snap cookies while we talked. Their names were William and Soskiah. William is 19 and Soskiah is 16, and they visited with us for about an hour. William did most of the talking and was very friendly. Soon it was getting dark, so they helped us put our dinghy in the water, and we took them back to shore. Steve let Soskiah drive the dinghy, and he did a great job until we got into very shallow water where Steve took over. We dropped them off on shore and then tried to pick our way back to the boat. It was low tide and very difficult to find a good path. In addition to that, our dinghy engine started acting up once again. We had just gotten back to the boat when the outboard engine died. We have no idea what the problem is so Steve again has something to keep him busy.

On Sunday morning we downloaded our usual weather report, and the forecast was again not good for us. The winds were to clock around and be pretty strong. We probably would have been fine in the lagoon; however, we also could be trapped for up to four days, especially if the wind came from the south and made the exit channel dangerous for us. Therefore, we decided to leave and go on up to Pangai to check in to the Ha'api group. We left at 8:30 in the morning, disappointed that we did not get to go ashore to the village.

The trip from O'ua Island to Pangai on Lefuka Island took us about five hours. The winds were right on the nose so we had to motor the whole way. Steve fished but did not get anything--he is becoming frustrated again. We arrived at Pangai around 1:30 in the afternoon, right at high tide. We pulled into the harbor and got ready to med-moor the boat at the breakwater. There was room for us; however, a sailboat had put down a mooring ball right in the middle of the small harbor, which made getting our anchor down very difficult. Actually, getting moored was one of the more difficult things that we have done. When we finished, we were pretty tired, but we went ashore to buy very, very fresh bread at the bakery and then went over to the Mariner's Cafe to have dinner. Their chicken, onion, and capsicum (bell pepper) pizza was very good. We returned to the boat at 7 o'clock and did not last very long after that but long enough to eat half a loaf of bread!

We hope to leave the harbor tomorrow and go just a short distance south to some of the nearby anchorages. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goodbye Tongatapu

May 28, 2009--The last week has been one of some frustration with the weather. Last Thursday, we moved over to the anchorage at Pangaimotu Island to anchor for the evening. We went ashore to have a beer at Big Mama's, and then we enjoyed a walk on the beach. That evening we returned for dinner. Steve ordered the steak smothered in mushroom sauce, and I ordered fish that also had a wonderful sauce over it. Big Mama came over and talked with us for quite awhile, and she is a very interesting person. Big Mama is Tongan and her husband Earle, who is American, we believe, have owned the place for a long time, and the cruisers all enjoy stopping there. They provide many excellent facilities and services for yachties and always make them feel welcome, plus the island is really beautiful.

On Friday morning we returned to town and anchored just outside the breakwater so that Steve could go in and check us out to Ha'api. When he returned, we decided to go back to Big Mama's to anchor for lunch. In that time, the weather got nasty and the weather forecast we finally received over the radio had a low coming through with westerly winds for the next several days. As there are very few anchorages in Ha'api that are good in those conditions, we decided to return to the harbor.

On Saturday we returned to town to have lunch at the Friends Cafe and post pictures on the blog. We also picked up a few additional provisions. On Sunday, we went to the Free Wesleyan Church just across from the harbor. It was so interesting to see the locals dressed in their lovely Ta'ovalas or waistmats. The singing was wonderful, as usual, and the children were a delight to watch. We thoroughly enjoyed the service even though most of it was in Tongan.

Monday brought rain and wind so we stayed on the boat the whole day. Steve returned to Customs to check us back in to Tongatapu. Tuesday we made our last run into town in order to buy some gifts for the children in the Ha'api. We bought some flip flops, hair bands, notebooks, pencils, and toothbrushes. I also bought a painting that I really like, and after that we went to the market where I bought my own Ta'ovala. After returning to the boat, we got ready to go out to have dinner at the Billfish Restaurant. We both ordered the seared Yellow Fin tuna dinner--it was absolutely wonderful. We each received two tuna steaks, so we took the extra two back for lunch the next day. It started to rain on the way back so when we got back on board, Steve set up the dam to collect rainwater from the side deck and funnel it into the water tank. We were able to collect enough water to fill our tank, which had gotten very low. That amount would have taken four plus hours for the watermaker to produce not to mention the power drain.

On Wednesday it was getting pretty warm in the harbor, so we again checked out with Customs and headed out to Atata Island for the evening. The lagoon is big, but it is studded with coral heads. Luckily, we had the way points entered in our GPS, and the course worked perfectly all the way into the anchorage. The winds were still out of the west today, so we decided to stay until tomorrow. Late this afternoon, they finally started clocking back to the southeast so tomorrow should be just fine for our trip to the north, and we are anxious to see the beautiful islands of the Ha'api.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Back in the Harbor Again

May 23, 2009--Yesterday we had planned to leave; however, a low is moving toward our area, so we decided to return to the protection of the harbor in Nuku'alofa until it passes on Monday.

We thought that we would put some pictures of our stay here in Tongatapu on the blog for you to enjoy.

The picture on the left is of Captain Cook's landing site. The picture at the right is of the blow holes. The picture at the bottom is the Trilithon (Tonga's version of Stonehenge).

Some boats didn't fare as well as we did on their passage from New Zealand! Out of gas! Luckily a local family brought us some gasoline in a 2-liter soda bottle.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Adventures in Nuku'alofa

May 21, 2009--Our Sunday was to be a relaxing one as just about everything in town was closed. Steve had a small chore of cleaning the exhaust pipe for the engine. We are still finding some black soot on the transom, so he thought that perhaps the carbon had built up in the pipe. He went to remove the pipe only to discover that the y-valve or injection fitting had pitted and was leaking. One of the pipes had also sheared off. We removed the exhaust assembly and dismantled it (no easy feat). Steve went to shore and cleaned the pipe. Then we reassembled everything, using the spares that we carried, and reinstalled it. We also moved the anti-siphon vent so that it would be higher. The project took us only 4 hours--so much for our relaxing Sunday.

On Monday the weather was nasty with rain squalls off and on all day. The wind began to pick up by late afternoon, which meant that a low was passing. By seven or eight o'clock the winds were gusting at 45 knots and our boat was heeled over. Luckily, we had seen the weather forecast and decided to stay in the inner harbor. We had run an additional line to shore earlier in the day, and our stern was to the breakwater and the direction of the worst winds so we were pretty well protected. Everything began to settle down by ten o'clock in the evening so it wasn't bad at all. We did get a lot of rain and were able to put quite a bit into our water tank.

A rally of boats came in to Nuku'alofa just as we did and all anchored out at Pangaimotu Island, which is quite close to the harbor. We listened on the radio as they told of winds in excess of 50 knots and several boats dragging their anchors. A local ferry boat was also coming quite close to several of the boats, causing them some tense moments. The good news is that everyone survived just fine.

On Tuesday morning we were preparing to leave the boat to go to town when a sailboat came into the mooring with their head sail completely shredded. We thought that it had happened during the blow, but they told us that it had happened on the way into Tonga. They had been at anchor for three days waiting to clear in. They finally came into the mooring area so that they could walk to customs and clear in. Also on that day we found out that sv Elusive with Steve, Wendy, and her son aboard had sunk while crossing from New Zealand to Fiji. Elusive had made the crossing with us this past year, and we had enjoyed spending time with them on several occasions. Luckily, they were with a group of boats, and Scarlet O'Hara with John and Renee aboard went to help. The information we received was that there was water coming in, and Steve and John simply could not find the source so they had to abandon ship. Thankfully everyone is all right.

We went to town and ran errands to the bank, the post office, the market, and the bakery. We enjoyed curried chicken for lunch and then returned to the boat. That evening we went ashore to enjoy a dinner at the Road House Bar and Restaurant. Unfortunately, it was more a bar than a restaurant. After a very long wait for prawns and potatoes, we got our meal all four prawns! It was a bit disappointing, but we still enjoyed the night out.

On Wednesday we left the anchorage in the morning and went out to Fafa Island where we anchored off the surrounding reef in about 40 feet of water. We enjoyed lunch and then got into the dinghy to go ashore. Our first trip out we couldn't find the pass through the coral so we returned to the boat to get our hand-held GPS with the coordinates. We left the boat, but our dinghy engine died almost immediately so we rowed back to the boat. Steve got the engine running so we took off again. Just as we approached the entrance to the pass, our engine died again. Luckily, the wind blew us away from the reef. A local fishing boat came by to ask if we needed help, but we told them that we were fine. Steve again got the engine running, so we proceeded through the pass and beached the dinghy. Fafa is a lovely island with many fales or guest houses, but we still enjoyed a walk around the island. We returned to the boat, without the engine dying, to swim and shower and enjoy the sunset.

This morning we left Fafa at around 8:30 to motor over to Pangaimotu Island. Most of the rally boats are now gone, so there are only five of us here. This is another beautiful island. Tonight we will go ashore to have dinner at Big Mama's Restaurant. We then plan to check out in the morning and head up to the Ha'api group, but another low is moving our way so we will have to see what the weather forecast is before we leave.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Around Tongatapu

May 16, 2009--Friday was our day for touring the island. We decided that we would take a bus to Houma on the other side of the island to see the Mapu'a 'a Vaca Blowholes. We went to the bus areas (one to go east and another to go west) and finally located the right bus. We climbed aboard, relaxed, and watched the scenery go by. We had to keep track of where we were so that we would get off the bus in the right town. We were discussing where we were when a young man sitting behind us asked us where we were going. Steve told him and he said that our stop would be coming up soon. His name was Joel, and he and Steve chatted for a bit. When he pointed out our stop, we all got off the bus. Joel is a fireman in Nuka'alofa and was headed home after his shift. He talked with us as we walked down the street. Since there was no sign to the blowholes, we appreciated his showing us the way.

We could hear the rumble of the blowholes, and when we came out of the trees and onto the beach, we could see several miles of white spray along the coast. We walked out onto a viewing platform and Joel told us the legend of these blowholes. We arrived at high tide and watched as the water would spray up to 30 meters from some of the tubes. There was a roaring sound as the water would enter the tunnels and then come spraying out of the tubes. It was quite impressive, and we stayed for about an hour watching the geysers straying up all along the shoreline. Joel then walked back to the bus stop with us, where we said goodbye. We promised to send him a picture of the spray behind him. We had to wait about 30 minutes for our return bus, but we enjoyed our time saying hello to the locals that passed by.

It was lunch time when we returned to Nuka'alofa so we spotted a Chinese restaurant and went in. We enjoyed a lunch of Sweet and Sour pork on fried rice. When we finished, we left the restaurant and walked next door to a large Free Wesleyan Church. Across the street were the Royal Tombs where Tongan royalty have been buried since 1893. We thought about catching another bus, but we decided to rent a scooter for the next tour that would take us to the other end of the island. We found Sunshine Rentals and were able to rent a lovely yellow scooter for half a day. We took our lives into our hands and headed out of Nuka'alofa. Our first stop was the Captain Cook Memorial where Cook landed on Tongatapu. The Ovava (banyan tree) is an offspring of the original tree under which Cook was alleged to have rested after anchoring HMS Endeavor in the lagoon.

Our next stop was clear out to the northeastern point to see the Ha'amonga Trilithon, also known as the Stonghenge of the South Pacific, which was erected in 1200 A.D. It was not as large as we expected, but it was still impressive. We walked around the area and, of course, bought some souvenirs and then got on our scooter to return to town.

We were driving along enjoying the lush scenery when the scooter suddenly died. We discovered that we were out of gas even though the woman at the rental agency told us the tank was full. Lesson learned--always check! We were concerned that not many cars drove this road but were amazed when a car came along just a few minutes later and stopped to see if we needed help. We told them the problem, and they said they would go to get us some gasoline. We told them we didn't have a gas can, but they said, "No problem, we have a two-liter soda bottle" (try filling a soda bottle with gas in the states). Several other cars stopped, but we told them that we were fine. About 15 minutes later the family pulled up and handed us the soda bottle filled with gas. We asked what we owed them, but they would not take any money from us. We tried again, but they refused, so we thanked them, and they went on their way. We were quite touched by their generosity. We poured the gas from the bottle into the tank, and the scooter started right up. We arrived back in town in time to make quick stops at the post office and a small store. It was rush hour and maneuvering through intersections was a real challenge. Steve then dropped me off at the boat and took the scooter back to turn it in.

We returned to the boat tired but happy with our day and with our wonderful experiences with the people on Tongatapu.

On Saturday morning we decided to go to the Saturday Flee Market that was set up just across the harbor from us. There were clothes, shoes, DVDs, cakes, and other miscellaneous items for sale. I found a very nice lava lava skirt that I bought, and Steve found a pair of flip flops. We stopped at a cafe and enjoyed a delicious breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns, tuna, and toast. While we ate, we watched the fishing boats preparing to go out. It was a delightful morning.

Nuka'alofa does not have the greatest reputation, but we have really enjoyed ourselves so far. We plan to stay in this moorage until some windy weather passes on Monday, and then we will move out to some of the nearby islands.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nuka'alofa, Tonga

May 14, 2009--Our last two days were a struggle as we had very light winds; however, we arrived yesterday right at dawn. I came up to relieve Steve at 4 a.m., but he decided to stay in the cockpit because we were approaching Nuka'alofa, and we needed to watch carefully for Duff Reef. We were also concerned that local fishing boats would be in the area during this time.

As we approached the entrance to the pass right around 8 o'clock, we were thrilled to spot a whale not far from the boat. We then proceeded through the pass and headed for the yacht moorage area inside the breakwater. When we entered the breakwater, we saw that we would have to drop our anchor in the middle of the harbor and then back up toward the breakwater where we would then tie a line from the stern of the boat to the shore or in other words "Med moor" the boat. Believe it or not this is the first time that we have had to perform this feat. Luckily, all went well especially since another cruiser came over in his dinghy and took our line to shore for us. We made this passage in 7 days, 23 hours, and 45 minutes.

As soon as we were tied up, Steve went to clear in with the Customs officer, who was waiting right on shore. We then had to wait for a few hours before Immigration and then Health came to finish our check-in. After they left, we picked up the boat and then fixed corned beef and cabbage for dinner. By six o'clock Steve was in bed sound asleep since he had slept for only 2 hours the night before, and I did not last much longer. Needless-to-say we both slept very well that night.

On Wednesday, we took a taxi into town to drop off our laundry and go to the bank to get some Tongan money. We then enjoyed just walking around looking in shops. We found the Visitor's Information Center, and I saw an add for the chance to purchase original engravings, which are approximately 200 years old, of Captain Cook's voyages. We went by to look at them and really liked two of the pictures. One was of Captain Cook landing in the New Hebrides and the other was of his two ships anchored at Fare Bay on Huahine in the Society Islands. We also anchored in Fare Bay in June of 2008 so we especially liked that picture.

I had a close call in town as we were walking down a narrow sidewalk. A government building had placed lava-like rocks in concrete right up to the sidewalk. We were busy looking ahead for a specific building so I wasn't watching where I was going. Suddenly my right foot hit one of the rocks, and it threw me off balance. I picked up my foot to gain my balance but only succeeded in catching another rock. Both Steve and I knew that I was going down. The only thing that saved me was that I was holding Steve's hand, so he pulled my left hand as much as he could, and I was able to roll a bit so that I landed mostly on my right side. Steve helped to take most of the momentum out of the fall, but we were both amazed that I did not end up breaking my right arm or injuring the elbow. Luckily, I just have some black-and-blue spots and a few sore muscles.

We visited the central market where I bought a tapas, which are made from the bark of a mulberry tree, of a turtle, and we also bought some vegetables. We then found a bakery with delicious bread and baguettes. We met our Taxi driver David who took us to pick up our laundry and return to the boat. We were both still not fully recovered from our lack of sleep so we took it very easy for the rest of the day.

Steve spent today going to the fuel station to fill the jerry jugs with diesel, while I cleaned the boat and put away the heavy clothing that we had worn on our passage. We are optimistic that we will not need them for quite awhile. We will be here for a few more days before we go out to anchor at some of the islands that are nearby as there are still a few things that we want to see on this island before we leave.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

May 10, 2009--The good news is that we are now 200 miles from Nuku'alofa, and we are wearing shorts, t-shirts, and going barefoot. After looking at the weather forecasts, we decided to bypass Minerva Reef because of large swells from the west and southwest as well as unsettled weather. This could make the west facing entrance difficult to enter, so we sadly decided to head directly to Tonga.

The bad news is that on Thursday we found ourselves in light winds, and it was a challenge just to keep the boat moving. We were now seeing the negative side of having the smaller headsail. When going dead downwind our main sail blankets the jib, so we have to deeply reef the main and use the whisker pole on the jib to keep that sail filled. With this sail reduction, we do not sail nearly as fast as with our 130 percent jib. On Friday the wind picked up, so we were able to put up more main sail. That evening I came on watch at 11 p.m., and Steve said that a few small squalls had gone by. Then at midnight we got hit with a squall that made the boat heel to about 30 degrees and put the rail into the water. The water was bubbling past the coach windows, and we were sailing at over 10 knots. The wind was registering at around 25 knots, but because the mast was tilted so much, the anemometer wasn't getting a good reading, so we felt that the winds hit closer to 40 or 50 knots. Everything was getting a bit crazy, so we pulled in the jib completely, and then let the boat come into the wind a bit so that it would settle down. Once that was done, Steve went on deck to put the third reef back in the main and reefed the jib, which allowed us to sail much more comfortably.

The ugly news is that Saturday found us looking at a large, dark-gray line of clouds off to our port side. We couldn't decide if it was a weather front or just another squall, so we turned on the radar and saw a large, black blob on the screen that stretched for about 10 miles. One piece of it hit us a few minutes later--this was the worst yet. This time again we heeled over to 30 degrees with wind gusts close to 45 knots. In addition to all this, it started to rain heavily and the seas were up to about 10 feet. After about 15 minutes, the squall passed, and we relaxed a bit. The radar showed nothing, so I made some lunch. Not 10 minutes after we finished lunch, another large blob appeared suddenly on the radar. The second squall was as bad as the first. By now we had waves hitting the deck and coming in under the enclosure, which doused everything in the cockpit including us. This one also passed in about 15 minutes. We thought that we were done; however, a third squall came through. All of them came from behind us and went right over the top. The last one stayed with us for some time, and we wondered if we would ever get away from it. Once it did move on, it also sucked most of the wind with it, so we were basically dead in the water. We started the engine just to get the boat moving again, and after 15 or 20 minutes we were sailing again.

Now through all of this, we are getting very little sleep. We both were up Friday night through Saturday and by Saturday evening we were getting a bit punchy. I made a meal of Thai Lamb (packaged) over rice, did the dishes, and then went to lie down. The boat was now rolling because of very light winds and a large swell. I used pillows all around me in order to keep me from rolling around on the bunk, and Steve did the same on his off watch. We both got a good night's sleep and feel much better today. The boat handled these situations very well, and we feel that we did too.

The moon has been waxing for this whole trip, and it was full on Friday night. It is so beautiful when the light from the moon is reflecting down on the water or moving behind some clouds so that its light is radiated out. The lovely rainbows we had also helped us to see the beauty around us and not linger on the difficult moments. I kept thinking of Little Orphan Annie singing, "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow," and it did!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Underway for Minerva Reef

May 6, 2009--We were ready for our 9 a.m. checkout on Monday morning with Bruce from New Zealand Customs so we pulled from the end of C Dock to the end of B Dock (the quarantine dock)and waited for him to arrive. He soon came on board and the checkout was very quick and easy so we were done and pulling away from the dock at 9:30 a.m. I wanted to get a departure picture of Marsden Cove Marina, but I was busy putting away lines and fenders and making sure that everything on deck was in order.

We motored out into the bay where we put up our main sail, and then we continued to motor out of Whangarei. Once we cleared Bream Head we headed northeast in calm conditions with light winds, and it was a beautiful day. About four hours later we were able to pull out the 110 percent jib and stop the engine--ah, quiet! Soon after that we were overflown by New Zealand Customs who called us on the radio asking for information. Steve answered all their questions so they wished us a good sail and flew away.

The winds picked up later in the day and all through the evening, sometimes gusting up to 30 knots. We had a double-reefed main and the smaller jib out. We decided to switch to the smaller jib before we left because of the winds that were predicted for our passage. Besides, we have never flown this jib, and we decided that it was time to try it out. The combination of sails worked very. The last 12 hours we sailed under triple-reefed main and full jib (except for about 2 hours when we furled it in a bit because of a rain squall going by).

All is well, and we have made very good time--310 miles in a 48-hour period. It is taking us some time to get used to the 3-hour watch schedule and the rolling motion of the boat. So far, however, we are doing very well and are ahead of schedule. The boat is performing well, as always. Our hope is to reach Minerva by Saturday afternoon. If the winds or the swells are too high, we will continue on to Tonga.

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Preparing to Leave New Zealand

May 3, 2009—We have spent the last week provisioning for food, taking care of banking, eye glasses, fuel, propane, and all those other little tasks that need to be done before heading out for the season. Marsden Cove Marina is about 25 miles from Whangarei so we had to rent a car in order to go back and forth.

Today is Sunday, and we have spent all day preparing to leave in the morning. Several boats left this morning, but we just could not be ready to leave until tomorrow. I needed to do laundry because I probably won’t see a washing machine for awhile, and the boat needed to be organized and made ready for the ocean. The weather looks pretty good, so we will keep our fingers crossed. It is definitely getting cooler because we have been running our heater almost every morning for the past week.

Yesterday was nasty--it rained and blew all day long. It was quite dreary, and we were forced to stay on the boat all day; however, because it was our 15th anniversary, we did go to dinner at the Shoreline Bar and Brassier, which is an excellent restaurant. The chef creates delicious meals at very reasonable prices. Steve had Rib Eye steak with mashed potatoes with a mushroom and blue cheese gravy, and I had tuna with potatoes and capers in a delicious sauce—both meals were exceptional, and we had a lovely evening. This restaurant is the best thing about Marsden Cove Marina.

We hope to be able to go into Minerva Reef on our way to Tonga; however, if the sea swell or wind is from the west, we will have to pass it by and continue on to Tonga. We can always stop at Minerva on the way back to New Zealand next year.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in New Zealand and look forward to returning next year. Now, however, it is time to see some other places in the South Pacific. We will post our position on Yotreps. You will find the link at the bottom right if you care to follow our travels this season.