Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 5 May 2014

NZ to Tonga Day 6 - Pursued by a large cat

Position at 03.00 UTC Monday 5th May: 25 deg 49 min south, 178 deg 02 min west
Distance travelled in last 24 hours: 162nm
We've had some good sailing in the past 24 hours, as the mileage testifies, but it has been a trifle rolly, with a swell of around 2.5m, and we've needed to give Winnie a helping hand quite a few times. Even so, we continue to marvel at her ability to keep the boat pointing in roughly the right direction whilst we get on with other things; it's hard to imagine how hard it would be without her.
We've kept ourselves busy with culinary delights – the chilled lasagne we made the day before we left was very tasty and the oven shelf below it was used to bake some muffins, whilst the running of the generator last night to recharge the batteries allowed us to run the bread-maker for very good ham sandwiches at lunch today.
We're both feeling as though we could do with our own batteries recharging, however. For some reason neither of us has been able to get decent off-watch sleep so we're decidedly weary and in need of some distractions. Luckily a very pleasant distraction arrived this morning in the shape of Kiapa; amazingly their track from Whangarei put them just a few miles behind us at this morning's radio net and a couple of hours later they spotted our sail directly ahead of them.  They came past at great speed so Graham took lots of photos to give them when we meet in Tonga.
Speaking of Tonga, the southern island of Tongatapu lies just 340 miles ahead. We don't plan to stop there as the port of Nuku'alofa doesn't have a lot to entice the sailor, even though it's the capital of the country. Instead we'll pass by and sail a further 85 miles north to the Ha'apai islands and the main (only) town of Pangai. Ha'apai was devastated by Cyclone Ian in January so we hope that the international aid programme has lived up to its promises but the natural beauty of the many reefs and islands is said to be stunning.

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