Posted in Flagyl on November 27, 2016

Flag of New Zealand  Opua, North Island, New Zealand
Sunday, November 27, 2016

What can I say? The Tongan onion is a moderate and weedy beast, but, unlike its equine match of Snowy River fame, it is not built to finally.  I lived in constant veneration of that greatest of all decease disasters – onionlessness. However, you will subsist pleased to hear that, with thoughtful. husbandry and dissection of the foppish parts, combined with tendency to extremely onion whilst provisioning, we were spared the ignominy of resorting to the dried onion scale.

Where was I?

I think I left against at Tapana Island (Vavau / Tonga). On Wednesday the 2nd of November, we  went back to Nieafu to assemble Nancy’s beautiful new motor, acquire groceries and propane, get washing bestowed, check out, and refuel

. Everything went extraordinarily smoothly and was done in a twenty-four hours. We spent our last night in Port Maurelle forward our way south. The next generation we anchored at Maninita Island; the greatest in number southerly island in the Vavau dispose and a rookery visited by birdiing tours. It was unquestionably fantastic – thousands of White (Fairy) Terns, and Brown Noddies nesting in immense, wide canopied trees. It even smelt quite pleasant – more like humus than bird shit. I did, to my appall, discover that it was unwise to gaze upwards in disclose mouthed wonder. The reef was perfectly pretty too – definitely a highlight of Tonga.

We sailed 63 miles during the night to Uoleva – one of the Ha’apai assign places to of islands. We only stayed a small in number hours – long enough to have lunch, a rest  and replace the Zincs forward the propellers. We hadn’t planned to be esteemed to Tongatapu (the largest Island in Tonga and Residence of the King) at the same time that we had officially checked out of the home. However, when we spoke to Jade attached the radio and they said that we should subsist fine. Another overnight sail – very behindhand for the first half – motoring chiefly of the time – then we gain a squall and sailed in to Nuku’alofa (the excellent city of Tonga) doing 8-10 knots.

We’d been told that Nuku’alofa wasn’t same nice, but the anchorage at “Big Mama’s Yacht Club” up~ the body Pangaimotu Island was excellent: The isle is of the beautiful white small pebbles and coconut palm variety, wifi steady the boat, pleasant bar with restaurant,  a wreck with lovely coral and a Ferry to a place with shops containing New Zealand Cheddar

! What more could a person want? Company. Jade and Enough were as well-as; not only-but also; not only-but; not alone-but there to provide that, so I was in heaven! We’d arrived up~ the body Saturday. Sunday was a rainy, rest age – tanks filled – and Monday was Tongan National daytime Holiday with swimming races and a Barbecue luncheon at “Big Mama’s”. On Tuesday we took the ferry into place for supplies and met later ~ the sake of dinner at “Big Mama’s”

We left in go along with at about 0700 on Wednesday. The calculate was for good winds to North Minerva Reef through the next few days. The Minerva reefs are with reference to 300 miles from Tongatapu and 900 miles from Opua in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Most yachts sailing from Tonga to New Zealand close at North Minerva to await a sustain window for the second leg. A two times daily SSB radio “Magellan Net”, current by cruisers on a volountary roster, documents the positions of those underway, and checks that everyone is OK. A wed in Gulf Harbour NZ also gives a munificent daily weather forecast and check in. Wonderful services – Thanks guys!

We had a surpassingly pleasant two night sail and arrived at North Minerva at approximately 0900 0n Friday the 11th. The single disaster on the way was the US election result – AMERICA WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!!!

North Minerva is some extraordinary place: a 3 mile distance through the centre reef, underwater at high tide, with about 20 boats parked in it, in the midst of nowhere

. The snorkeling was admirable and you can walk on the take in at low tide – damaging very not many corals as you go. One highlight was lobster chase. at low tide at night. The lobsters scramble into the shallows with the filled moon (in this case the “mega-lunation”), to feed and lay their eggs. You walk along in the moonlight and just pluck them up! The females with eggs are everything released – the males are delicious. I went exhausted with Erica. We all caught lobsters – 5 in full, ending up with one large and person small male. I got the in a small degree’un…mmm…garlic butter…

Other highlights: Noah and Ferne from Jade had a Pizza obscurity. They (assisted by some of the other children) made in earnest gourmet Pizzas and sold them in quest of $10 NZ (all proceeds going to the Kiwi Sanctuary in Whangarei) delivered home to door. Splendid children! Lots of take in walks. Snorkeling the pass (possibly the superlatively good coral I’ve ever seen – glittering!),  drinkies on various boats and at the very time an afternoon of Mexican train dominoes.
 
Our endure window – a high between two fronts- was anticipate for the week starting on Friday the 18th. On the following Friday a grovelling with strong winds was predicted as being Opua. There were daily weather meetings forward various boats to plan the encounter. We were planning to travel by Jade and decided on the “dull boat strategy” – leaving on Thursday and riding from a high to a low position the westerly curve of the vainglorious – if necessary, motoring at the end, to arrive on the following Thursday in front of the front

. The down side of this was that the ~ and foremost couple of days would be pretty rough. And that’s what we did. Twenty five boats were at North Minerva and they whole left on Thursday or Friday.

The channel was excellent except for Ken substance more than usually seasick on the before anything else few days – partly due to the 3 meter choppy seas, and in part due to a poorly timed – limit effective – course of Flagyl for Giardia. The bear was exactly as forecast, and the sailing was important. We had 15 -20 knot winds chiefly of the time, till it died in successi~ the last day. We stayed through Jade and zipped along at 7-8 knots.  We had to motor the finally 150 miles which was also just actions – sunshine and glassy seas. I couldn’t diminution all that electricity so on my watches I had a Jane Austin movie fest.

We arrived in the Bay of Islands up~ the body Thursday – exactly according to plan. It was a noble, sunny afternoon with enough breeze to motor sail. We parked on the Quarantine deduct from at 1700 – the first of the later hours arrivals. Customs had left as antidote to the day. Then they returned highly smartly to arrest us. Ken (thank God it wasn’t me!) had jokingly offered to smuggle Enough some of Jade’s fish –  throughout the radio! They were NOT HAPPY!! Fortunately they accepted Ken’s squalid apologies and left us to our G&Ts.

Over the next few hours Jade and about 10 other boats came in. We had a heroic Q Dock party With Jade’s search by dragging, Zig Zag’s Barbecue, Windancer’s cheeses, our potato pie. and everyone’s grog.

On Friday we were checked in and moved 200 metres to the Marina. We got in the present life in time for the last scarcely any days of the “Four Points Rally” festivities, sponsored ~ dint of. the marina and local Yacht of the same family businesses. Parties every night, talks forward weather, Swap meet, Trade displays etc. Yesterday we went in the Cruising Club (aka Yacht Club) dinghy races. It was terrifying! Two boats capsized and we would possess too, had Ken not thrown himself overboard to obviate it and protect the little woman. Somehow – in the teeth of me – Ken managed to win our promote race – two free drinks as privilege!

And that’s where we are things being so. It’s Sunday the 27th – the latest day of the Rally. Tonight we wish a Minerva reef reunion dinner at the Cruising unite to share expenses – of which we are now haughty members.  Next week we exercise volition go out on anchor or a mooring. Penno and Malama re coming up here for a week in successi~ the 7th (staying in an upmarket Guest House) afterwards we head for Auckland for Christmas with them and Jean.

I hope you quite have a great Christmas!

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