Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Don't Bug Me

Distance: 120/1347 Vava'u to Auckland Day: 3

I really hate mosquitos. They can take an otherwise picture perfect location and make it absolutely miserable. Last night, we were attacked by a swarm of killer blood suckers. These things only attack when the wind is light or non-existent. So everyone was already sweltering in the cabins, slowly dissolving in puddles of sticky sweat. Then muzzzz buzzz whiizzzzz, the sound of an aerial assault triggered frantic door shutting and screen positioning. We then beat the sides of the boat into submission as we smacked roughly five million, blood filled mosquitoes onto the white fibreglass roof of the cabins, there to remain as a Rorschach testimony to our terminal stupidity in parking downwind of an island with a known history of flying insects.

We're leaving Ha'apai today on the edge of a rather squally trough. It's wet and cold and windy. I wish we could have lingered in this chain, and I strongly recommend to those who follow in our wake to plan better. Provision up in Neiafu and spend time in the Ha'apai group. Miscellaneous uncharted low spots notwithstanding, it is really nice down here. No provisions, no bars, and no boats. Just anchorages in every direction where you can drop off the transom and enjoy an afternoon of snorkeling. Every place we've stopped (albeit it was only three), we've been able to dally in a coral forest. I suspect this area is a paradise to divers as well given the many islets and reef walls. So make a point of giving yourself a few weeks down here before you head south to Nuka'alofa.

We did not. So here we are motor sailing to the big city. It's 60 miles downwind from last night's anchorage at an island called Nomoua (don't ask me to pronounce that). Tomorrow will be a flurry of activity as we fuel up, provision, check out, and please pray to all the gods of bureaucrats get the cat's import paperwork. The weather window is perfect for going to New Zealand if we'd left day before yesterday. It's not clear it will continue to hold. It does appear that we're good to go at least to Minerva Reef where we could wait to see what develops.

Is it my imagination or is the water already getting colder?

~ Toast
20 23.03S 174 52.98W
Oct 5 2011 18:30 UTC

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