Pick a number | Cruising Vava’u

by Drew on August 29, 2009

We finally made it out of town! With a borrowed dinghy and some good friends we cruised out of Neiafu and now sit somewhat safely anchored in the bay of Hunga (#13). I say somewhat safely since around 1AM I felt a change in the swinging of the boat and started to hear the chain stretching itself around a large rock somewhere 60-70 feet below us. This morning I get the sense we’re swinging around and around and around that rock tightening the noose. I’ll have to figure something out since my scuba tank is completely empty and 60-70′ is on the deep end of free diving for me.

I’d love to say we kicked Zen’s tail on the way down here but come on…there is little Dosia can do against a 48′ catamaran! I’m still shocked by the speed I can manage to pull out of her though. We were right at 7 knots downwind the whole way and I never put the main up. That was actually the first bay-like sailing I’ve ever done on Dosia. I never sailed around Charleston harbor before I left. I cruised right out the jetties and never looked back! So this type of smooth water sailing is new to me. I even did my first ever race Friday night on board Flashback (a Choate 40) with Geoff, Tom, and Allen. We came in third after knocking the socks off some Kiwis who seemed none to happy about it.

You may have noticed I included a number after I wrote where we are anchored. All the major anchorages in the Vava’u group have been assigned numbers by the charter boat fleet over the years. So now instead of jumping on the radio and trying to pronounce something like Lua ui Vaha, you can call up your buddies and tell ’em “yeah man, I’m at 35.” It’s actually a great system for a place like this.

Night before last we attended the hospital benefit function at Aquarium Cafe. It was a big event for this place. I’d say 400 people or more were in attendance. It was a traditional Tongan feast with dancers and a huge buffet. All proceeds went to the hospital in hopes of getting the anesthesia department back up and running. The company was wonderful, the dancing was decent if not hilarious (once the town drunks joined the festivities), but the food left something to be desired. Especially when it’s dark and you can’t tell what’s on the end of your fork as your hand reluctantly guides it toward your mouth.

We’ll be out for a few days before heading back to town for the start of Regatta Vava’u in which Dosia will be entered. We ordered our official Dosia regatta tees and Margie is challenging everyone in town to beat her at the CORNHOLE tournament on Monday! Yes, CORNHOLE! One of the official tailgating games of the southern US has somehow transplanted itself into the middle of the South Pacific. We’ve not met one person who has a clue what it is so we’re shocked to see it appear as part of the regatta. Maybe this could work to her advantage.

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