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


14 October 2010
Time for a sundowner.

Beveride Reef to Tonga, a little over 300 miles.

We had quite a rip to go through as we negotiated the pass to leave Beveridge, but managed to find a relatively clear lane more to one side.
We had about 20 to 25 knots of wind behind us most of the way and gusts to over 30 on the second day with some of the more impressive waves we have seen to go along with it.

We had the mainsail double reefed and this was all fine except that the upper part of the sail occassionaly got caught behind the side stay that holds up the mast. That third, windy, wavy morning, Isabelle was asleep below and the sail was caught as described. All it would take to fix it was a little gybe to get the wind on the other side of the sail and then back again. All was going to plan when a wave hit the boat at the critical moment of the gybe and flung the boat around broadside to the waves and wind and tipped us suddenly. I looked below just in time to see poor, asleep Isabelle flung right out of her bunk, clear across the boat to the bunk on the other side without so much as touching the floor.
What a rude awakening. She sat there rather stunned for a while.

We arrived at Tonga in the middle of the night and spent the early hours hove to outside the sheltered harbour as it was much too dark to navigate by eye, with rain squalls added, and we were also unsure of the accuracy of the charts compared to the GPS. Turns out we were wise to not trust the GPs as there is quite a discrepancy between charted position and GPS position in Tonga. About 0.2 of a nautical mile. Enough to put you ashore in a narrow pass.

The part of Tonga we had arrived at was the Vava'u group. A beautiful group of many, many islands and anchorages without very many coral dangers. The anchorages were tranquil and close to the wooded shores. It was unusual for us to hear birds singing in the trees while we sat at anchor. Something we had not heard for about seven months!

The Tongans are very friendly people and we enjoyed our four week stay there. Some of our highlights were: Fish and Chips (for the first time since leaving home!) and being able to eat out at reasonable prices for the first time since the Galapagos, snorkelling over the best coral we had seen all trip, hearing whales under water, Isabelle's swim with the whales as detailed in another post as is Mariner's Cave, catching up with friends we have made along the way, and making new ones, enjoying the peaceful anchorages and sundowners on the beach.

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.