17 October 2017
2 nights and days later we arrived in Tonga. We pulled up to the main dock to clear in and we were pulled back quickly into Island time. Things and people move slowly here. We really wanted to be cleared in as quick as we could so we could get hauled out, fixed and back to sailing again. Finally we got all the paper work sorted and were on our way to a mooring in Neiafu. We were planning to haul the next day but it was very wet so delayed a day. It seemed it was the same again the next day but opted to get hauled out anyway. This was the first time we had been hauled on a trailer and it was very nerve wracking but Joe and Allen of The Boatyard were very professional and tended to all the details themselves, even getting in the water to ensure the trailer and pads were lined up. About an hour later we were on stands and ready to start work. Matt and Dagma came over and helped us get the forestay down. With great relief, nothing was broken. Apparently the foil had slipped and wedged on a fitting that slowly ensured it would undo itself, which it did. After finding a few screws that had seized and putting back the >30 year old furler, we were able to get the sail back on in 2 days. What a relief. We didn’t want to wait here while parts got shipped in from NZ. We managed to get a bottom paint on at the same time and fix a few other things that can only be done out of the water and were back afloat again in 5 days. Apparently we were the quickest turnaround the yard has had in a while. Probably because we did most of our own work and can work at a slightly faster speed than some of the locals. We were so relived that nothing major was wrong and we felt comfortable in sailing down to NZ now.