Our Mission: To boldly go until we are no more!

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Day 7

After more broad reaching with genoa and full main, we timed our landfall in the Vavau Goup perfectly at sunrise.

We had company with the flagship of the Oyster Rally the 90 ft  ‘Satori II’ showing on AIS for most of the night. We were sailing at 9 knots with a couple of jibes to fine tune our arrival time and point of sailing for comfort while they were most likely motoring a direct course at 8 knots. They got in an hour or so ahead of us, but the clearance officials don’t start work until 0830 anyway. We were at the customs wharf 15 minutes early to get our fenders ready and called the Port Master who gave us permission to use the somewhat smaller scale fisherman’s wharf. Satori took the container/customs wharf and we were both docked within a few minutes. A local fisherman was driving by in a minivan with a baby on his lap as we approached the gnarly concrete wharf. He immediately stopped, hopped out and caught or lines. Docking here is quite dicey with the potential for much damage to the topsides, but the wind was light from the right direction and with fenders positioned appropriately and using prop walk we managed the maneuver without any issues. While waiting for the officials to board and clear us, a smaller Aussie yacht also arrived, and we allowed them raft alongside. Customs, Immigration, Health and Biosecurity finally came and after much paperwork we were allowed to step ashore and get them some Tongan money from an ATM a short walk downtown. We made a quick stop at the open-air local produce market for some eggs, Bok choy, papaya and bananas.

Anchoring in Neiafu is always a bit of challenge due to the depth of the harbor with all the shallow areas taken by mooring buoys. We generally do not pay for moorings when anchoring even as deep as 100 ft is available. The risk of a faulty mooring is just too great where they are minimally regulated. Most boats will not anchor in depths greater than 80 feet leaving us some options at 90 – 100 ft.

On June 18, 2024

We are now anchored in 90 ft at:

18d40.02m S, 173d58.99m W

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