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The Jackson Four on Tour
Operation 'sell Pegasus of Jersey' begins""
U bend trouble
Catherine
11/22/2011

22 November 2011

About 5 boats left the anchorage yesterday, but we were happy to wait one more day. Just as we were about to leave, the winds picked up to about 30 knots in the anchorage, so we weren't sure whether to leave right away. The question was answered by the kids' toilet becoming blocked and so Mark spent some time trying to work out the problem. He even went in to the water to see if he could unblock it from the outside. Unfortunately, it seems to be more a pump issue than a big log issue, so for now we'll all be using the same head!
The winds did lessen, so we left at midday; if we had left any later, we thought we might risk getting in after dark. When you're heading to a reef in the middle of the ocean you don't really want that. And now, conditions are best described as lively - the wind is 30 knots SE true on our beam, swell about 2-3 metres in the same direction. We have 3 reefs in the sails and are still going 6.7 knots. SO now we might be getting in at dark, though it will be the night before! Mia is asleep - her remedy for seasickness and we're all feeling a bit queasy - we should get our sea legs just as we arrive in Minerva! Curr position: 21.16S 175.43W

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OK, it's official
Catherine
11/20/2011, Pangaimotu, Tongatapu, Tonga


We're leaving Tuesday. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe Thursday. Having said we're not going to Minerva reef, we've decided we possibly will. Or probably. But maybe not. If you've not gathered already, sailing can never be a definite art. There are just too many variables to consider. However, having decided and told other boats that we are going to leave tomorrow (Monday) and we are going to stop off at Minerva for 3 nights, we've just come back to the boat and asked ourselves why would we want to be in the middle of a reef in the middle of the ocean for three nights? So, if we leave Tuesday, we can get there Thursday and then leave on Saturday for Opua, hopefully getting in around 2nd December. This way, we can avoid the patch of no wind for two days (by being at Minerva reef) and avoid the patch of high winds that should be in NZ around the 4th December. Bob McDavitt, NZ's weather ambassador, has recommended leaving Mond/Tues if stopping off at the reef, or Thursday if going straight there. But we're chomping at the bit now, so Tuesday it is.

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OK, it's official
Catherine
11/20/2011, Pangaimotu, Tongatapu, Tonga


We're leaving Tuesday. Or maybe tomorrow. Or maybe Thursday. Having said we're not going to Minerva reef, we've decided we possibly will. Or probably. But maybe not. If you've not gathered already, sailing can never be a definite art. There are just too many variables to consider. However, having decided and told other boats that we are going to leave tomorrow (Monday) and we are going to stop off at Minerva for 3 nights, we've just come back to the boat and asked ourselves why would we want to be in the middle of a reef in the middle of the ocean for three nights? So, if we leave Tuesday, we can get there Thursday and then leave on Saturday for Opua, hopefully getting in around 2nd December. This way, we can avoid the patch of no wind for two days (by being at Minerva reef) and avoid the patch of high winds that should be in NZ around the 4th December. Bob McDavitt, NZ's weather ambassador, has recommended leaving Mond/Tues if stopping off at the reef, or Thursday if going straight there. But we're chomping at the bit now, so Tuesday it is.

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My lovely clean bottom
Catherine
11/18/2011, Pangaimotu, Tongatapu, Tonga


19 November 2011
We checked out of Tonga and left town yesterday (Friday) back to Big Mama's (Pangaimotu) It looks like we'll be leaving on Monday (though still not 100% official!) Spend too long talking to other boats and looking at weather websites and your head can get into a right fuddle! Today was spent cleaning the barnacles off the bottom of the boat. Even though we're in Tonga, the water is a little chilly once you've been in for half and hour (me) or an hour (Mark) so the bouts were interspersed with hot cups of sweet tea (more to wee into your wetsuit later for extra warmth!) We've just got one more side of one more hull to do, and Pegasus is lovely and smooth. I did the metre I could reach with my snorkel and mask which didn't involve me putting my head too far into the water and then Mark did the rest (propellor etc) I do understand why New Zealand sets such stringent regulations but feel a bit sorry for poor Tonga who has all the barnacles of all the boats' bottoms from the Pacific that are heading to NZ. Now we're off to the beach with the kids so they can clean the bottom of the dinghy.

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11/19/2011 | rose marie crolla
are you sure that you didn't get the kids to do the hulls? making them work for their board? well got the car on the road at last and it's a great wee runner. passed mot after a few little jobs and going great. unfortunately dino did lookup how big the petrol tank was and filled her right up £74 later!! think it might have illusions of grandure- thinks its a jag or the like! xxx
The rain came down and the tanks filled up
Catherine
11/16/2011

16 November 2011

The water at the fuel dock is painfully slow. We're talking 4 hours to fill up the tanks. So, yesterday, I thought I'd start doing dinghy rides to the dock to fill the jerry cans - 400 litres needed - might take all day. I got bored after 200 litres. Luckily for the past two days it has rained non-stop and we have actually been able to fill our tanks using rain water, do another load of laundry (yet to dry it!) and scrub the decks. Today has been a sit-in-a-cafe kind of day and catch up on weather reports. Unsurprisingly, there is a big low over us at the moment which is why we're not going to leave until Monday. We have shared paying for a voyage plan from Bob McDavitt, the NZ weather guru, with Heartbeat, so we should get that back tomorrow.
We've washed the kids' bikes; taken the mud off the wheels - for NZ biosecurity and we still have to clean under the water line, but I am putting that one off until I really have to.
All the local kids are going mad in the rain - showers in the street, jumping off the pier, I think it was a half day off school today because of the rain it was that wet. All the roads in town were flooded. We've been reminded of the hatches that leak - another job for NZ. And also on the list? A new bimini please!

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Round Tongatapu tour
Catherine
11/14/2011

14 November 2011

Still moored up in Nuku'alofa, we got up early for a round the island tour with Heartbeat. After a night of hearing the high-pitched zzzzz of a mozzie and trying to catch it (unsuccessfully!) I was a wee bit tired this morning, but we were in for a day of treats. First we headed to Captain Cook's landing place. If only he had known that the Tongan's were planning to kill him, he may never have named this group of islands "the friendly islands" which has stuck to this day. Then we saw the 'stonehenge' of Tonga which was built in 1200AD, using three large rocks bought in by canoe from Fiji.
Then, a spot of swimming in freshwater underground caves, followed by visiting the blowholes of Tonga - an amazing natural phenomenon in the reefs, where the incoming surf blows up through holes in the rocks like geysers. After a visit to see the bats, we were back in town checking the infamous 'weather window' for getting to NZ. After thinking this Thursday might be a good day to go, it seems now that it will be more like Monday 21st November to make the best of the pressure systems around. So, we'll be using this week to scrub the bottom of the boat, provision, fill with water and generally pack everything away again ready for our sail.

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Jackson Four on Tour
Who: Mark, Catherine, Mia and Lachlan
Port: Lefkas, Greece
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