Sunday, 24 June 2018

NZ to TONGA - Day 11 - Land Ho!


We have arrived at Tongatapu, where we are anchored with our "Q" flag flying before clearing in on Monday morning.

The end of our passage was in line with the rest of the passage - good conditions and favourable winds :) It is such a relief to arrive here with no major dramas during the last ten days.

After Max took over the watch last night, the wind continued to back, so he was able to hold our course down the rhumb line simply by continuing to sail closer to the wind. At one point, we were worried that we were sailing so fast that we would arrive at the pass before daylight, but the skies cleared to stars (marking the end of the trough?) and the winds conveniently eased in the wee hours, so we arrived just at the right time: shortly after sunrise at the pass.

Victoria woke for her last watch of the passage at 0430 and I was back in the cockpit by 0600 to give Max some much needed rest before we were all awake for the pass and the 10 nm transit across the lagoon. We sailed right up to the pass, then we furled the genoa and motored the rest of the way, giving our batteries a top-up. We have hardly seen the sun for the last few days, and with the wind behind us, the apparent wind has been minimal, so the wind generator hasn't been contributing very much. We could have deployed the water-towed generator, but up until the last day, we didn't want to give up any boat speed that it would cost us.

We arrived just before 10am, which gave us just the right amount of time to put the boat to rights and cook our first at-anchor brunch of the season (it was a bit of a fusion meal: pancakes, fried eggs, sashimi, maple syrup, wasabi, and juice!)

I thought you might like an update on our fridge: we are running it manually after we have had the engine going for a while by opening one of the engine compartment covers, lashing the cool blue USB fan that we got from Max's sister when we were all together in January (Thanks Sarah!) in front of the pressure sensor, concurrently running the water pump, and then when everything is cool enough, reseting the pressure button, and making it go. There seems to be an issue with one of the thermostats (separate from the hot engine compartment) that will need addressing now that we have arrived.

All is well on board, and we thank you for journeying the last ten days with Fluenta Cruiselines! We are grateful for the emails and messages we received while we were at sea. We will let you know when we are on the move again; we are hoping to do a quick check-in and re-provision in here in Nuku'alofa (Tongatapu) and then head to one of the other Tongan island groups.

Love to all,


PS - In the day delay of sending this we found a bad wire between the control box and the thermostat for the fridge. We were concerned that we would have to replace the thermostat, so it was nice just to splice in a new connection where an old butt connector had corroded away :)
At 2018-06-24 10:21 AM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 21°07.69'S 175°09.65'W

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