Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017

Friday, October 21, 2016

Minerva Reef

We are safely anchored in a tiny atoll on our way to New Zealand. Minerva Reef (23 37.8S 178 53.6W) is literally in the middle of nowhere and except for a few rocks at low tide, without any land. The reef itself creates a barrier to the seas, and so it is relatively calm in here even when the wind is blowing hard...

We are anchored in 40' on a lovely sand bottom. This morning I went snorkeling to catch some dinner and within 5 minutes I had a 2 lb lobster! It made a wonderful meal. We are holing up here waiting for a weather window to continue to New Zealand.

It looks like the next one may come on Monday or Tuesday next week... It is tough being stuck in paradise...

Shelley had been baking like mad to use up all the things that New Zealand won't allow in... nuts,fruit, seeds etc... She has also prepared a bunch of meals and we have frozen them so when we are underway in rough seas, meals will be a little easier.

We hope to arrive in New Zealand 7 or 8 days after we leave here and we will update our position every 24 hours on the map on the right... We are told this is some of the trickiest sailing we will encounter... So far all has gone well, but we never underestimate mother natures fickle moods...

We will update the blog again in a weeks time or whenever we arrive in New Zealand, whichever comes first...

All the best,
Kyle and Shelley

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tonga Tapu - 2 - The Weather Wait Continues....

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 
Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We are still in Tonga Tapu waiting for a weather window for the 1100 nm run to New Zealand.  It looks like we are in for quite a blow on Monday night/ Tuesday morning.  There is a tropical depression forming northwest of us and we are getting ready for it.

Our best guess right now (Sunday morning) is that we will get winds somewhere between 20-40 knots for 12-20 hours circling from north to south.  This is the first time we have prepared for something like this but feel we are in a good place and have done all we can to prepare.  Yesterday, I dove the anchor and know it is firmly set.  We have put out almost all of our anchor chain (300') and have a very long double snubber on it...  The boats around us have prepare in a similar way, so we should do fine.  I'm sure all will be well.

Anyway, we have had a lovely time here in Tonga Tapu.  Since our last post we have done some exploring and spent some time getting ready for our run to New Zealand.

We have been visiting with other cruisers.  There are folks here from all over the world.  It is so enlightening and rewarding to meet so many people from so many places.  We are now also meeting up with cruisers we met in other place at other times...  We are so fortunate that Shelley keeps good notes about all the people we meet...
Sean & Sabina from s/v Shebaldy
Nukalufa Island is beautiful.  The Capital City is what you might expect, but the country is really worth visiting.  The small farms go on forever.  Much of the cultivation still goes on by hand or at most by a very small tractor.  They make the most of every available acre by planting almost everything by hand.  Often crops here grow under the partial shade of very tall palm trees...  It really is quite beautiful. We have been visiting the local markets and really appreciate the wonderful fresh veggies produced locally.  It is also the place where people find almost everything else they need as well, from clothing to car parts, its all at the market...



The smells are DIVINE!


There are always "kids" hanging around the ice cream stand....

SNOW CONES in Tonga!





The fish market!




Churches dominate the landscape throughout Tonga....


Our trip around the island started with a visit to the "BLOW HOLES"



 We then explored a cave system where locals and tourists often swim...






This is Tonga's answer to Stonehenge....


We visited the Royal Tombs...

$60 Tongan for the day (about $30 US)
The Tongan King & Queen...

Shelley's newest pearls.....


Last evening all the cruisers anchored here (about 12 boats) got together for a dinner put on at Big Mama's Yacht Club.  We enjoyed a huge feast of chicken, lamb and pork.  This along with many salads made a great feast.

Our friends, Shawn & Sabina from s/v Shebaly are very talented musicians who along with yours truly, entertained most of the night...  We played so much, this morning I can barely feel my fingers...  A really good feeling...

We will post another blog as soon as possible after this weather event to let everyone know we are OK...

More soon,
Cheers!