Published: August 16th 2010August 16th 2010
Well, after dropping off Tom and Aileen, I took Hakura across the bay and anchored. It was quiet and when I put something down it was right there next time. This was good and bad. Good cause I could find stuff I was using to do something and bad cause nobody was tidying up after me.
Tom and Aileen were never very noisy or active people at night. They liked reading their German books and occasionally playing cards. They taught me a game that after a few games of they did not wish to play any more. Maybe this was because I won the games we played or, more likely, because I did not think that the game was the best thing since sliced bread.
I did tech them a couple of my card games - “Oh sh*t” and “Hearts”. They took to “Oh sh*t”, however, Hearts was a different story for Aileen. It did not help that she got hit with the Queen of Spades in the 2nd and 3rd games.
Anyway, evening are now even quieter with just little old me knocking around. I have recently started watching the rest of Monty Python’s TV shows, which
is great. I am also working my way through collection of books, having finished a couple of Terry Pritchett Disc world books.
Saturday was interesting with a talk on local weather and ocean weather forecasting sites. It was very informative.
This was followed by a talk on humpback whale acoustics. Also very interesting and I leant that whales make their sounds in a larynx like structure just behind and below the head. This was followed by watching the All Blacks play the Wallabies. A good game all round, especially since the ABs won.
I stayed around Neiafu till Sunday afternoon then headed out to a local anchorage to do my washing and enjoy being out. Washing was fun as it was my first attempt to do hand washing in saltwater. It did seem to work, though I would prefer to do it during or just before it rains so the washing can be rinsed in the freshwater. Hakura did look funny with washing hung all round the cockpit. Just like a Chinese laundry boat.
Monday started like most days with a listen to the Vava’u cruisers network at 08:30 on channel 26, then a slow breakfast
and cup of tea. After a short break I motored out to Nuku Is for some snorkelling. I took the underwater camera and got some photos and video. Not very good photos though we all need to start somewhere.
After a short nap I headed back into Neiafu to see Tom and Aileen on their last night in town. I got in at 17:55 being too late to get water, fuel or refill for gas bottle. Still took gas bottle ashore as one of the cafes that offers a refilling service.
I meet up with Tom and Aileen and we had dinner in the “Giggling Whale”. A great place with an excellent moussaka. We finished off in the Aquarium with the free Internet and ice cream.
Tuesday was spent in Neiafu with the wind getting up to 20 knots from the southeast. Wednesday was another quiet day so I motor sailed out to the northern side of Vakaeiu Island for a good night out of the wind. Motor sailed back into Neiafu on Thursday, as there was to be a talk on the humpback whales of Vava’u plus an outline of the whale watching guidelines. The talk
was very general and informative. Some people were hot-to-tort on the guidelines, as the Tongan government has not yet passed the regulations putting them in place. It was all hot wind with nobody listening to the other parties. A pity, as they do need to sort out what is going on and provide clear guidance to the yachties and the public.
After watering Hakura and with some fresh veggies on board I headed out for Ovalau Island. The wind was from the east so the anchorage was a bit lumpy though not uncomfortable. While anchoring the anchor winch stopped working and as I had put out 40 metres of chain out I was not in a hurry haul all that in, so I stayed put for the next 3 nights.
The wind on Friday and Saturday was getting up to 20 to 25 knots with a lot of east, if not northeast, in it. I basically stayed below and read, watched Monty Python and some movies.
By Sunday the wind was dropping and I was able to get some snorkelling in and pull in 10 metres of chain (by hand). The snorkelling was good and it was
refreshing to set foot on the island and talk with some fellow yachties (from Auckland and Wellington). They told me a mother whale and her calf had been in the bay about 2 hours earlier (while I was looking at the anchor winch) and they had passed right behind Hakura. Bummer missed that one.
I did make up for it later that evening. After all the other yachts had gone, I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying the cool of the evening when 2 whales surface about 800 metres off. A bit later one of them did several head breaches, making some very loud booms as it fell back into the water. This was just on dusk so that was all I thought I’d see of them.
A few minutes later I started hearing whale song through Hakura’s hull. Off with the radio and I sat in the dark enjoying the weird sounds drifting through Hakura.
Monday was a beautiful morning and I had a saltwater bath. This consists of me jumping over the side and then getting out and washing all over with a saltwater shampoo then jumping back in.
When I looked over the
side before the first jump there were lots of small black squid. I checked and thought that they were still there after getting out. On closer inspection I noticed that the black squid were blubs of black ink left by the squid. The sight of a naked Dougie jumping on them was just too much for them.
I got the anchor up by a combination of using the main halyard winch and Dougie power. It took about 30 to 40 minutes including slowly feeding the chain back down into the chain locked.
I am now back in Neiafu (on a mooring just off the Moorings Office) and will see about getting somebody to check out the winch to see if it can be fixed or at least able to run freely so I can use it to put out the anchor.
The other big job is to clear Hakura ready for Lorraine’s arrival on Wednesday arvo. A big job, me thinks.
There are more photos below