Since last blog we have been visiting Beveridge reef and at the moment staying on the anchor in the protective harbor of Neiafu, which is the capital in the northern archipelago in the kingdom of Tonga called Vavau.
Beveridge reef is called one of Oceania’s loneliest anchorages, it is an atoll without companion islands and with a surrounding reef that is submerged all the time with only a exception for one corner at low tide,
It do not have any detailed charts and is in itself charted about 3Nm NE off its true position wish in itself make it more difficult and trick to find but also make it less visited and a bit more dangerous,
We spent 5 days alone with plenty of fish and reef sharks, Since it is hard to see and charted wrong it is scattered with wrecks, Exploring wrecks is a daytime activity on Miramis so I was happy and we found some useful items on an old fishing trawler, the trick is not becoming wrecked ourselves and I have to admit that finding, entering into and out of the atoll was a bit exciting if not a bit scary considering the consequences if something went wrong, There is no one to assist, and there is not even a sand patch to island with coconuts to await assistance, we have had to stand in knee deep water on a wet reef for some day or days to many days until salvaged but the weather was good and the pass quite big so after some calculations it was just to get goingJ
We left Beveridge after 5 days, not cause we were tired of it but cause the weather was unstable, we had gusty rainy nights followed of gray days with not that much sun in the end,
We thought great! Let’s leave for Tonga and we at least have good wind to sail in…
Next sunrise and the wind was gone, 4 days it took us to sail 360Nm, once again the pacific have given us absolutely no wind as so many times before, except when on anchor, then it seems like the wind is blowing forever. Miramis was for sale some part of that leg and to a very good price, I promiseJ
In Tonga we meet France, she’s a friend I met in Las Palmas some year or two ago, then she was working as crew on a very big luxury sailing yacht, now when we was awaiting in the harbor to get access to the Customs clearance dock it was a girl on a boat passing us that waved and shouted, there she was!
We spent a week with her and her friends on the boat that they were delivering to New Zeeland from Caribbean,
But before that just some hour after we first met France while we were along the customs dock another yacht arrived, rafting up along our beam, aboard was Christine, the woman that was with Miramis assiting Me, Mai, Olle and Lina while transiting the Panama Canal,
Right then the world was incredible small again!!
Here in Tonga the sailing is very different from the rest of the pacific, here there is a full scale archipelago with flat calm waters and high rising limestone cliffs overgrown with thick vegetation, it is just fantastic to sail between the islands and there is not to mention any distances, anybody been in Stockholm archipelago and liked it, would love this tropical version that also include about a minimum of 30m visibility under water(wish I know by hands on experience is hard to achieve in the Baltic sea)
On the topic was exploring underwater caves and deep water soloing (rock climbing but without rope and water to fall in if popping off the cliff)
The locals here is very friendly and live a very happy life, Even if Tonga have had an explosion in visiting boats, that was about 600 last year, they have not take advantage of it that much and seem to prefer living life their happy way,
For us visiting it is just so much more lovely to be able to meet and see a country pristine and beautiful carrying a guest/visitor hat rather than a classic tourist hat.
At the moment have we just discovered that all our rice and some kg of pasta is heavily visited by flour bugs, that is not a fun evening discovery, Some bugs is part of life when sailing in this latitudes but with this amounts It will be a burden too heavy to sort them out, we plan to stock up with diesel have a repair carried out on our staysail and now also buy some more rice, then we thinking about heading straight on towards Tanna as the first island to visit in Vanuatu,
Tanna have an active volcano that by rumors can give visitors an quite spectacular fire show.
But more about that another time, first there is some days more of Tonga then there is another 1000Nm sailing between active underwater volcanos and the low lying islands of Fiji, I’m sure we won’t sleep as deep on this leg then we done on other ones, not mention what comes after that with the great barrier reef and Torres strait, better having long sleeps and relaxing days now
soon we got to get use of all the coffee we have had carried aboard! Some dating back all to the Canaries!
Ha en fin dag!