Sailing the Pacific

09 November 2010
07 November 2010
05 November 2010
26 October 2010
19 October 2010 | Somewhere between Fiji and Vanuatu
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
03 October 2010
15 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
02 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
08 August 2010
29 July 2010
25 July 2010 | Bora Bora
20 July 2010
16 July 2010 | Moorea
16 July 2010 | Moorea, Society Islands

Mariner's Cave

02 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
My heart was thudding in my chest as we treaded water in 150' depth facing the rock-face. Jamie was on my left side and Adelle, a young Australian woman on my left. I looked down and could see the black hole of the cave wiggling beneath the surface of the water. A kind of excitement welled up inside me and my breath shortened. Before I could think too much about the fact that I was diving into a dark cave with no idea how long I would have to hold my breath for before I came to the air pocket inside, we'd dived together into the darkness.

We dove down three meters and then swam about five meters across, the rock above us, the inner surface shimmering before us. We surfaced and took a deep breath as much for wonder at the place as for the relief of air.

The cave was spacious inside, the rock ceiling reaching up and then dangling down in stalactital form. There was a high platform with enough space for someone to live on and as I treaded water looking around, Adelle told us the story of William Mariner and his bride to be. He had fallen in love with a Tongan princess when he arrived in Vava'u from England. Her father, the king, didn't approve and so William whisked her away and hid her in the cave for two weeks before they left for England. She became the first Tongan to ever go to England.

Inside everything was reversed. It was dark apart from the wobbling light, the exit to the outer world. The waters would gently rise and fall with the coming tide and as it rose, we all got a funny feeling in our ears and the whole cave would momentarily fog up before the waters dropped a few seconds later. Our goggles also fogged up with the pressure of the air being forced up in a sandwich between rock and water.

As I swam out, I looked up and clinging like puddles of mercury on the entrance ceiling were pockets of air. As we surfaced outside again, all I could say was 'Wow! That was so cool!'

We must also say a thank you to Claire O'Callaghan who also came with us to Mariners, took the amazing photos posted here and kindly let us use them on our blog.

Vessel Name: Dagmar
Vessel Make/Model: CAL 39
Hailing Port: Melbourne, Australia
Crew: James Thomson and Isabelle Chigros-Fraser
Hello and welcome to our new sailing blog! Our dream is to sail across the Pacific Ocean this year starting in Costa Rica and finishing in Australia. [...]
As we have been told by fellow sailors, when you live at the mercy of the elements plans are like "Jello and Sand"- wobbly and unsteady like Jello (jelly for us aussies) and when you write something in the sand often it will be washed away with the tide. It is for this reason that we didn't finish [...]
'Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' -Mark Twain
' I felt my pulse beating with suppressed excitement as I threw the mooring bouy overboard. It seemed as if that simple action had severed my connection with the life on the shore; that I had thereby cut adrift the ties of convention. The unrealities and illusions of cities and crowds, that I was free now, free to go where I chose, to do and to live and to conquer as I liked, to play the game wherin a man's qualities count for more than his appearance. 'Maurice Griffiths, The Magic of the Swatchways.