On the Move
19 May 2009 | Whangamumu, New Zealand
We finally cast off the dock lines and left Whangarei in our rearview mirror as we made the first leg of our Fiji trip, traveling all the way down the river to Marsden Cove. Okay, it was only about 12 miles but hey, it's a start!
Our original plan was to check out of Marsden before setting off for Fiji, but the weather has continued its refusal to cooperate. Our friends on Tin Soldier were heading up to Opua before leaving for Fiji in order to give their boat a well advised shake-down (They completed a rather daunting bit of boat maintenance and repair these past several months). If all goes as expected they should be ready to leave for Fiji early next week, a schedule that will hopefully coincide with a favorable weather window. Rather than spend ANOTHER week in Whangarei (and ANOTHER Tuesday night a Reva's!) we decided that we would head up to Opua and check out from there as well. This allows us to travel in company with Tin Soldier to Fiji. Sailing in company with a buddy boat is always welcome but in light of recent events (see below) it seems quite prudent as well.
So we spent an enjoyable afternoon and evening with Tin Soldier at Marsden Cove playing soccer and Frisbee and eating pizza. They left early the following morning (Tuesday) wanting to get to Opua quickly as they still have a few remaining boat projects to attend to before leaving on passage to Fiji. We have no such projects pending so we are taking our sweet time getting up there, stopping in Tutukaka and then Whangamumu anchorages before getting to Opua on Thursday. With any luck the weather gods will smile on us and we'll be able to finally set our sails on a course to the warm South Pacific waters early next week.
On a sad and serious note, we received some terrible news regarding our friends, Steve and Wendy, aboard Elusive. First let me say that they are both OKAY. But two evenings ago they issued a Mayday and indicated that they were taking on water and couldn't find or stop the leak. Fortunately John and Rini, aboard the sailing vessel Scarlett O'Hara were nearby and immediately began making their way toward Elusive. When they arrived on the scene Wendy and their (adult) son Alan were already in the dinghy in anticipation of their boat's sinking. John went aboard Elusive to assist Steve in finding/fixing the leak but it simply could not be done. Elusive could not be saved.
We first met Steve and Wendy back in February 2008 as we were both getting ready to make the Pacific Crossing to the Marquesas. We have since had the pleasure of sailing with them at various times through French Polynesia and enjoying beach parties and happy hours when in the same beautiful anchorage- which was often. You have never met a more warm, friendly, easy-going and fun couple. The loss of Elusive is obviously devastating- both for Steve and Wendy and for anyone who knows them. We are heart- broken over their loss.