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Old 03-09-2008, 17:24   #1
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In Tonga . . .

Hi Folks,

Just a quicky to say I am in Tonga and having a great time.

Don't leave civzation without all your spares as you can't buy noth'in south of the USA / St Martin or outside Australia / NZ.

Weather has been crap for our whole crossing from Panama so don't listen to the 'champagne sailing' stuff. Make sure your boat can last for 3 weeks at 25 to 30 knots 24 hours per day...

Must away as internet is being timed! Oh woe! LOLOL

The good news is that it's all amazingly wonderful!

I will email soon and better when we get a chance


Mark
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Old 03-09-2008, 17:41   #2
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Hey Mark! - I have been thinking about you guys a bit over the last few days and hoping you would check in soon.

Congrats on the big crossing!

Don't you know a beneteau is not a blue water boat? ;-)

Stay safe!
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Old 03-09-2008, 18:43   #3
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Congratulations Mark.Hope to hear more of your adventures in Polynesia .
Keep us inform.
Regards , Henryk
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Old 03-09-2008, 19:25   #4
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Wow Mark!You spent three weeks listening to your hull liner squeeking against your hull?
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Old 07-09-2008, 16:53   #5
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post

Don't you know a beneteau is not a blue water boat? ;-)

Stay safe!
ROTFL The boat is fine!
Its the folks inside that paid for glorious sunny skys, brilliant sunsets and tourist brochure sailing.

We are having an easy time of the sailing but its just not 'as advertised' and I get worried about smaller boats or those with inadequate funds for preparation. [[I think I just read a post about a solo sailor in a 28 footer...]]

Anyway, on a brighter note, we have just come back to Vava'u today from the islands as the beer ran out!!!!! We have now stocked up on more VB and some New Zealand sausages....Mmmmmm. They are not too bad. we had some last week and, well, apart from the Aussie necessity of slagging off at Kiwis, their sausages are better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick!

I am in an internet pub - Nicolle is chatting up a couple of guys at the bar.............oh for gods sake one has his arm around her and its only 11.45am!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are heading back to the islands after lunch. Well, I am. I don't know if Nickers will be staying here at the bar!

I do miss having the internet 24/7 because it is a complete resource of information. But I guess in 10 years we will have it world wide. I miss getting onto the forum too, to ask questions and to chat. Oh well. No internet does mean more quality time on the boat.

Mark


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Old 07-09-2008, 17:16   #6
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Oh well. No internet does mean more quality time on the boat.

I'd take boat time over internet time anyday...

Re: Nicolle/Bar/Chatting guys up. Hmmm... After being stuck on a boat with you for three weeks I'd be chatting up the barstools...
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Old 07-09-2008, 17:40   #7
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I'd take boat time over internet time anyday...
Dan, you so need to stop being an entrepreneur and get out here with us poor people! You are gunna love it!!!

BTW Nicolle has come back to me beause I am ordering lunch. Its amazing what a hamburger will do

Later...
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Old 07-09-2008, 18:01   #8
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Glad to hear you are having a good time.
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Old 10-09-2008, 21:52   #9
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Hi Folks,

Just a quicky to say I am in Tonga and having a great time.

Weather has been crap for our whole crossing from Panama so don't listen to the 'champagne sailing' stuff. Make sure your boat can last for 3 weeks at 25 to 30 knots 24 hours per day...

Mark
Congratulations on making it to Tonga. It's an awesome destination with plenty of places to explore.

When we sailed across the Pacific, we heard similar sentiments from others doing the "milk run." They said it was very rough, and they were a bit discouraged by the time they arrived in Suva, Fiji. They were tied up at the yacht club making repairs to their yachts from breakage during the trip.

Weather can be great or be very bad in sections of the "milk run". If you happen to be doing it in a year in which there are "accentuated trade winds" you can take a beating. And if the South Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone moves south into your chosen route, you can get a great deal of dirty rainy weather.

Our trip across the South Pacific was relatively good because we were in a new catamaran and everything was in top shape. The boat was in its prime and breakage wasn't much of a problem. Also the fact that we were on a catamaran meant that we didn't have to deal with the downwind rolling that can be a problem for some monohull designs. I think it's easier for a catamaran to sail downwind in the South Pacific because we didn't have to deal with rolling to port and starboard. Some monohulls need to tack downwind to have a steady non-rolling motion in the yacht.

We had only one patch of bad weather, and that was from Suvarov (Cook Islands) to American Samoa. The rest of the way, the weather was nice. I'm glad we had a good trip because I dream of doing it again.

Keep on keeping on.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:05   #10
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rolling...

One thing I've found on our monohull is to drop the main and run with a big headsail. That boom sure amplifies the roll. Aim a bit off the DDW and the speed picks up, too, which can result in only a small increase in total time despite the increase in distance travelled.

Haven't tried it in the trades though...
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:10   #11
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There is a wonderful cave In Tonga. You have to swim down through the opening. I am told it is MAGICAL!!!!!!! BEST WISHES on continuing successful sailing, and getting home safely....i2f
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Old 14-09-2008, 15:25   #12
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There is a wonderful cave In Tonga. You have to swim down through the opening. I am told it is MAGICAL!!!!!!!
That is Mariners Cave in Vava'u, Tonga which is where we are.
You need to have a guide to show you exactly where it is --- no one has bipped the GPS for the exact lat and lon! Its quite difficult to find!
We havent been there yet but intend to before we go.
The entrance is said to be a few meters(?) underwater and then a swim along for a few meters, then up into a sealed grotto.
The pressure of the wave surge forms fog to form and disappear with each wave. The water is a perfect aqua marine colour.

Its sounds wonderful but quite and exciting adventure to get in there!

The other cave is Swallows cave which you can enter in the dinghy. There is graffiti in there, but it includes old sailing ship stuff from the late 1800's, so its OK, I spose.
the water colour as after your eyes get used to the dark to that wonderful aqua marine. The birds nest on the roof. Its quite amazing.

Thanks for the good wishes! We are having a ball and just love every day of our cruising lives!!!!!!!!!


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Old 19-09-2008, 19:03   #13
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Mark

We haven't met, but you were moored in front of us the day you left Tonga.

You must have taken a different route than we did -- or sailed at different times. We sailed Bora Bora to Niue and skipped the Cooks. Matched dual headsails worked beautifully for direct downwind sailing without so much as touching a sheet for 5 days. Arrived Vava'U from Niue on 1 Sept and plan to depart for Ha'apai Group late next week. Our SoPac passages mostly have been great. Only uncomfortable, rough part for us so far was segment from Marquesas to Tuanotus.

Definitely not comparable to the regular trades in the Caribbean. Winds here clock around to all directions.

Judy
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Old 19-09-2008, 20:04   #14
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Sounds like a great trip!! Please include some photos as well if possible.. How is your Bene handling the trip?? I'd be more interested in the overall pros and cons that you've already discovered with the boat.. If any!!

Thanks again for including us in your trip!! I'm very jealous and envious!! We hope to do that fun within a few years!!!
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