We finally cleared Tongan Customs mid afternoon Friday 26 June.
Not the easiest of processes... helps if you have fresh fish to offer (especially on arrival).
Having said that, what wonderful, friendly, smiling people...
and when you say Kiwi... they knew more about the Super Rugga than I did.
Cost us a small monetary bribe to the Customs man, to anchor at a beautiful peaceful spot around the corner for the night, but it was serene and peaceful; in the end a good deal for all.
0700 Saturday, Ron raised the anchor with his new hand remote...
which meant I didn't have to get out of bed. (I was peering out the side window just in case).
I'm becoming redundant.
Well, not really... because we thought we had a 4 day/4 night trip ahead,
Pretty tough for 2 people.. so I'm no longer redundant.
For this trip, we decided to change the watches the 3 of us did from Thailand to Australia,
which were 3 hours up (alone) then 6 hours down. The 3 hours up, especially at night, was pretty tiring, although part of that was because we had no Bazza (Autopilot), and it was pretty rough a lot of the trip.
This trip... Bazza is working constantly.... so no hands required on the wheel.
And just 2 hours up/4 hours down for this trip... such a difference!!!
Almost all of the trip was in 2-3 metre confused swells/seas, but the wind was constant from the East/South/East and constant between 15-25 knots.
This meant we were sailing with the wind 30-60 degrees forward of aft, and we sailed almost the entire trip under sail alone, with no motors. (just looked at logbook... 10 hours recorded).
Awesome!! considering we are talking about over 600 nautical miles.
The reason the high mileage... given there were just the 3 of us, we decided to sail south and sail around the bottom of the Lau group of islands and reefs, then back north again to Viti Levu.
Given the sea conditions for the entire trip, this proved prudent.
(For all our fisho followers... Ronnie was not able to put a lure out for the entire trip until the Navalu Passage!!! where he was successful... more later... I'm eating fresh Wahoo!!)
So, back to where we started...
Left Tonga 0700 Saturday
Arrived Navalu Passage (Lautoka, Fiji) 1100 Tuesday.
Ron reckons it's the fastest trip ever, and probably won't be beaten, unless you take on the Lau reefs of course!
For myself personally, the best was the final night, my watch, 0300-0500, big swell slightly on the quarter, 24 knots of wind, 45 degrees forward of aft, full main, jib furled about 20%...
surfing for 2 hours at 10-12 knots!
The boat was in perfect sync with all the conditions, and she was smoking!!
With Bazza working it's arse off, I could stand either side of the boat and just feel it happening through my legs on the deck.
Surfing a 60 foot, 10 tonne Cat, at night, under an almost full moon, hitting 12's in 20-24...
very hard to describe what that feels like.
Bye for now. Try and update again tomorrow, with some pics also.
Love to all from R,A,G on Emotion2 at Lautoka, Fiji