Thursday, 16 October 2014

Passage Preps and Snorkelling

[a letter from 13 Oct 14. We are on passage now bound for Nieu]


I wasn't going to write to you tonight, but I decided that since I might be feeling a bit off by this time tomorrow, it might be wise to send a note now :)

We went snorkelling this morning at a reef about 3 nm from the anchorage. As we were buzzing across the lagoon in the dinghy, I wondered if perhaps it might have been wiser to have chosen a spot a little closer to the boat, but when we arrived, it was definitely worth the trip! In the kids' words, the reef was like a "mini lagoon" within the lagoon. The water was *warm* and crystal clear. There were loads of fish, and the coral structures were like dark mounds on a clear sandy bottom (perhaps this is what folks mean by a "coral garden"? The coral heads looked like underwater bushes in a manicured garden). Even Benjamin got in on the act, and swam with us for a few minutes. What a lovely way to finish our visit here in Suwarrow.

In the afternoon, we took a break from stowing the boat and preparing for sea to go ashore with Johnathan's pinata. He hung it himself from a tree, and the kids took turns hitting it with a baseball bat until it finally sprayed its contents all over the ground. They had such fun. We also took the opportunity to hang our "Fluenta" painting with all the other pennants and messages in the "Suwarrow Yacht Club". It was an honour to hang ours next to the flag from our friends and mentors on SV Totem, who visited here in 2010 :) We also enjoyed looking around the room to see the messages from some of our other friends who visited here last year and this year. What a neat tradition!

The boat is nearly ready for our passage to Niue. We have a few more chores to do in the morning, and then we are hoping to catch the mid-day tide to leave through the pass. The winds look light but sailable for the most part, although we are preparing for a potentially longer (slower) than normal passage. We should arrive sometime late next weekend.

Love to you all,
At 10/2/2014 5:26 PM (utc) Fluenta's position was 13°14.00'S 163°06.00'W
At 10/16/2014 5:47 AM (utc) Fluenta's position was 13°38.09'S 164°04.89'W

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  1. Question rather than comment. Am getting ready to start cruising and want to get a sailing dinghy. Could you provide information on what dinghy you are using and how it is working for you both good and bad. Does it also handle an outboard and what size? Dimensions, weight, stowage for passage making? Does it work well with davits? Anything you can provide that would help me make an intelligent decision.
    Very much enjoy everyone of your posts and would love to meet you some time in the future.

  2. Our primary transport is our 10.5 AB Aluminum floor RHIB with a 2 stroke 15HP Yamaha. Perfect for us. It stows on the foredeck and the outboard goes on a bracket near the pushpit. At anchor we pull it up on a spinnaker halyard for security.

    Our sailing dingy is really only used as a toy for the kids (and us adults some times) but would be a back up. It is a small Fatty Knees that is perfect for the kids. It could take a small outboard but that would rather ruin what it represents I think. We do have nice oars for it and it rows sweetly. It is stowed on the davit in a cargo net and waterproof cover. Normally we do not like the concept of a dingy on the davits offshore but it is small and light and not much bigger than the solar panel that is already there so minimal increased risk from following seas. It is safe there but getting it ready and stowing it for passage is a time consuming process.




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