Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tuesday 4th / Wednesday 5th September


21 08.317 S
175 10.867 W

We managed to sail for the rest of the night, at times the wind reached speeds of 30+ knots but the swell was relatively small so it was fairly comfortable (or we are even more used to it!) As dawn broke the winds dropped a little and we put out a small amount of the jib to try and stop us from rolling so much, we put the fishing line in the water and then took turns in trying to catch up with some of the lost sleep. Just before lunchtime the cry went up – Land Ho! (Thank God!) Our approach to Tonga was through the reef and as soon as we got in the lee of the first little island we furled the jib away, started the engine, turned into wind and dropped the main sail. Back on track again we unfurled the jib to see if we could sail in most of the way – there was still about 7 miles to go through the reef at this point. As the wind bent around the first little island it came around on our stern and we were sailing comfortably with just the jib so we turned off the engine until we got to the tricky harbour maneuvering. We tried but were unable to raise anyone from port control and ended up motoring in and finding our way to the med mooring spot. It was still blowing a gale and would have been impossible to med moor under the conditions without some help from some one on the shore so another yachtie got us to raft up alongside him – he was rafted to a fishing ship that was docked for repair work. As soon as we were securely rafted up Gerry raced ashore to the bank and to try and get us cleared in whilst Abigail and I did the tidy up on the boat and recorded the log information. Gerry returned with an hour with the news that he had experienced a problem with trying to withdraw money from our Australian account – the machine wouldn’t take his card and kept saying that there were no funds available on mine which was rubbish, it meant a trip into the bank was going to be the first order of the day tomorrow. We were all very tired and couldn’t be bothered to go ashore for dinner so we ate on board, had showers and went to bed early.
You will have notice the date at the top is 4th/ 5th – although we technically arrived here on the 4th we have in fact crossed the international dateline as we entered the harbour at Tonga. The date line apparently deviates around Tonga so we crossed the date line at 175 west rather than the 180 west that it should be.



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