Category Archives: RealTime

Items posted real real time, thus no editing and items that come from instagram

Back to the future again

Just like that, we are in the future again. The dateline is all that separates the past from the future, all this time I thought we needed the Delorean time machine to get to the future. Or just wait around till the future came along.

A good day, lots of wind, a front line, some big waves, couple of sail changes and some napping.

All the boats that are out here going the same direction are all so far away we can’t visually see them, or even on the AIS screen. As soon as they are about 15 miles away they might as well be 100.

Now it’s pitch black, the moon doesn’t rise till almost day break and its 100% cloud cover so nothing to see as we arrive the Eastern Lau group of Fiji. Dodging the small islands and reefs will be the video game of the night watch. Staying 2 Nm offshore of any of these hard things just in case the charts are off is plan. Luckily we have been in these parts before and have some tracks and remember that the charts we have and satellite images are pretty close. .. adding the 2 mile buffer adds to the chances of missing these if something was to go wrong.

Lots of reefs line the path this eve

About 120 Nm left to go, if the winds stay up and the forecast is they should, we can hopefully arrive in daylight. If not, our backup plan is to anchor nearby and clear-in in the morning. of course we have to finish any fresh produce and bacon before arrival. Can’t let bacon go to waste.

Farewell to the Kingdom

Fickle as we are, we have pressing matters to attend to. Just like that crazy rabbit from Alice in wonderland.

Well not really, we had a great time in Tonga but we really didn’t do it justice. Lots of whales, some great anchorages, mediocre weather and great weather but Fiji and a chance to pick up a replacement rudder won the coin toss.

Another unexpected fun in Tonga, was we got to cross paths with new and old friends from anchorages past. Some we hadn’t seen since the Caribbean, others from French Polynesia and beyond.

We cleared out on Friday with a Saturday plan. Can’t leave on a Friday, it’s bad luck, and that would have meant missing a Friday happy hour. Saturday morning came all too soon.

A cruise ship was arriving so no need to stick around. Under way and raised full sails. Soon enough, wind picked up and overpowered the one rudder. Oh my, this is going to be a long 400 miles. Reefed and tweaked, and tweaked, and finally came to an agreement with autopilot.

We agreed, not to give him too much sail to deal with and he would meander down the course, like he was the one that stayed too late at happy hour. One reef in the main and various furls on the headsail and we have some decent balance. With the exception of the quartering seas that induces lots of rudder use, we have successfully knocked out 150 of those 400 miles.

With the exception of the rough waves and winds at the start, why did we chose to leave in a squall?, it’s going well out here.


Lots of company leaving Tonga this morning

Arrived with a limp

Yup, not a great passage, and not excited about the weather that’s coming. Little too busy and frustrated to send an update yesterday.

We have arrived Tonga, cleared customs and are extremely happy to be here and and explore new places. A couple of hurdles before continuing on the life of an explorer.

Rough passage it was, winds were good and just the waves didn’t really want to play nice.

Port rudder went on a diet.

So you are driving along and your steering wheel comes off in your hands. Either you slow down or just hope for the best. We were sailing along and then our chauffeur couldn’t keep a course to save his butt. Otto, our chauffeur and auto pilot, kept forgetting which way to go. We tried to coax him along and point the right way, but no dice. Turns outs try as he might, it’s impossible to steer without the steering wheel. So we gave him a break and put on the training wheels and motored through out the night.

It wasn’t till we found sheltered water of Tonga that we saw what Otto was complaining about. The rudder had gone awol, and made controlling the vehicle quite the challenge. good thing we have 2 of them rudders.

Next hurdle is the weather, an nasty system that is supposed to bring 50+ knot winds from all directions is arriving for the weekend, just like those surprise uninvited in-laws that kept threatening to show up and now really are showing up.

It’s all good, it’s part of living on the edge of a flat earth. Sooner or later you’ll fall off, or go around the corner and continue on.

Very nice first sunset in the Kingdom and out for a long sleep. Safe and sound.