There are certainly worse places in the world to hang out and wait for your dinghy to catch up with you. We’re in the out islands of Vava’u again; currently in anchorage #11, Tapana Island. Until this point in my sailing career I’ve not felt the need to give the dinghy a nickname but after a saga like ours has seen, I’m thinking it deserves one. We’ve seen and heard names like Splashback, Monkey Business, Red Rocket, and Cadillac in recent months. My pick is Short Bus. You figure it out.
The decision has been made to pass on the islands of Fiji this year. We don’t know if and when the dinghy may arrive from Niue (we still may have to go get it ourselves) and we’re quite happy here in Tonga. There’s still two more island groups within Tonga to visit and looking at the chart of Fiji, we’d barely scrape the surface with its 300 islands and strict cruising laws. I don’t really mind. Hopefully they can get a new government settled in and we’ll make it through there on our next cruise before another military coup takes over. And there’s always the possibility of sailing back up there next year so I can market the boat to boat NZ and Australia without paying any sort of import duty. So we’re here in Tonga for another month and we’ll start looking for a weather window to New Zealand. We certainly won’t be alone. Kena, Follow You Follow Me, Karma, Carinthia, and many many others will be right here with us. Our second family on Zen, who is currently anchored about 100 feet away, will be moving on earlier than the rest as they have a huge refit planned for the boat in Whangarei and need to get there early. Luckily they are more accustomed to cold weather being from Rhode Island. We’ll be seeing them again on the big island.
The pilot berth is filled with crap to sell or give away and I offloaded three huge bags of trash off the boat this week. I think the waterline rose an inch. I dunno what I was thinking with some of the crap I brought on this boat. Did I not think they would sell paintbrushes else where in the world? Five foot SS Piano hinges…seriously? How many times have I used this sleeping bag? And when exactly was I planning on creating and using all those CD labels? Umm..never. The important stuff stays; the spare autopilot, the 10 gallons of oil, and the Wicked Weasel catalogue.
As I sit here and type this post, Tom from Zen just came over the net and reported that a boat was lost yesterday on an uncharted reef near Fiji. LaurieKouek, a single hander, who left here a couple of days ago lost his boat but luckily not his life because he happened to be sailing near the family on Bravado who was able to pick him up. It’s a little crazy to think that within a couple hundred miles of us, there is a guy working to salvage what’s left of his life by picking through the wreckage of his boat. I have no house, no car, no furniture, and barely any clothing that’s not on board. If I were to lose Dosia I would lose practically everything I own. It’s kind of a ghostly reminder.
Here’s the cordinates on that reef:
17 23’S 179 08’W near Mago Island