I made the Hawai'i to NZ trip this past year. Still in NZ waiting out the cyclone season.
It's an easy sail to Fanning Island. You can stop in Palmyra but it's a little further west and will make your sail difficult to Fanning. You also need permission before you go so decide what you want to do. You will pass by Kingmans Reef, skirt this bt at least 3 miles as it's restricted and the charts
are off. Fanning is a great place to stop over and visit, very primitive, no provisioning
Your journey to FRP will take you close by Christmas
Island but it's not a great place to stop. Try to make easting as much as possible. Guide book called for sailing 400 miles east before turning south to Tahiti
, but you might as well go for the Marquesas
if you go this far east. I just sailed the rhumb line, making some easting as I could, and had no trouble.
Normal routing is to enter FRP at Tahiti
north through the islands, due to prevailing SE winds. You will be coming from the north so landfall and check in in Bora Bora
. Beautiful lagoon
but you'll miss the prime attraction...Heiva Festival. Don't moor at the Bora Bora
Yacht Club. Continue on to Raiatea, Huahine and Tahiti to check out.
Next stop is Rarotonga. I'd spend just 2 days here. The harbor is terrible and you can tour the island in a day. The harbor fees
are also riduculous and you'll have to move your boat everytime a cargo ship enters, no tto mention the regular swell that is present or the danger
if the wind
shifts direction. On to Aitutaki...beautiful lagoon
, very beautiful island and people. Spend a couple of days, or more, here.
Palmerston is a good spot to snorkel or go direct to Niue
. You'll love Niue
and the amazing coral
. You'll have to lift
up on the wharf using a crane (free) so have a bridle
is $10 a night and they are excellent. Niue Yacht Club are great hosts also. I can't say enough good things about Niue...only downside is if the wind
is out of the west you MUST leave the harbor.
On to Tonga
...Vava'u Group... Nieafu. There's about 180 islands in Tonga
but you'll spend most of your time in the Vava'u group. Customs
is corrupt and you must tie up to a commercial
wharf which puts your boat into danger
...once past this hurdle you can pick up a mooring
ball from Beluga Diving
, Sailing Safari or The Moorings. Places/Islands to see here are Kenutu, Blue Lagoon, Hunga, Nuku, Mariners Cave...a hundred things. You definetly need a GOOD guide book.
A lot of people go off to Fiji
from Vava'u but they miss the splendor and people of the Ha'apai group. You are starting off a month late and will be running out of time. I recommend staying in Tonga travelling south through the islands and doing the final check out in Nuku'alofa.
The Ha'apai group is much more primitive, isolated villages on isolated islands. When you check in to Lifuka your boat will be the center of attention for the island. Lots of islands and places to see here also. Take fishing
line, old rope
, hooks, etc. Everything is hard to get in Ha'apai.
So much to talk about...