Monday, June 18, 2012

We’re in Tonga and its WARM!

 Welcome to Tonga!
Dropped anchor off Big Mama’s resort (a couple of thatched cabins and an open-air, sand floor bar/restaurant) on Pangaimotu Island, (about a mile from the main port) at 1530, Monday, May 7th, Tonga time.  Stunningly peaceful after 6 days (actually 5 days, 22.5 hours) of rock n roll. Major rock n roll – most of the time we had winds of 25-30+ knots and steep seas 3-4+m, breaking over the boat, tossing us up, then dropping us off the backside. But it was on the beam, so while uncomfortable, it was fast. Average over 8 knots, 200 nautical miles a day. We are very fortunate that Idyll Island can handle it no problem with double reefed main and genoa, while we maintain watch inside using the remote for the autopilot and instruments, warm and dry if tossed about a bit - cooking is a fair challenge (and sleeping, showering etc ….)

It was definitely time to leave NZ - temps down to 4C overnight (Idyll Island is a tropical boat and we have no heat unless at a dock).  Here in Tonga at 8pm its 27C – same as the water! Customs clearance was the best yet – 4 big friendly guys came out to the boat and were more interested in taking pictures of themselves than filling out forms. But then we are only the 5th yacht to arrive for the season – a heavily salt-caked yacht.  Major boat wash time! 
Tomorrow we’ll go ashore and have a drink at Big Mama’s with some of the other boats here.  Tonight, it’s the big sleep on a quiet boat in a calm anchorage.