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Paw Paw - Log Days 250 & 251: Tonga Goes "Green" - Inadvertently
Paw Paw - Log Days 250 & 251: Tonga Goes
16/09/2016

Firefly - Some Westing at last

It is very early on Saturday 17th September 2016 and Firefly is exiting the Channel between Banka and Sumatra. Since leaving Pangkor in Malaysia 8 days ago we have generally been heading South East. Soon we will turn to starboard and our course will be slightly West of South for the next 200 miles as we head for Krakatoa. Located in the Sundra Strait between Sumatra and Java it will be the only place we will stop in Indonesia. Our plan is to have 2 night respite there, before we venture into the Indian Ocean and sail the 620 mile passage to Cocos Keeling. It will be good to be finally heading West. During this final section of Firefly's circumnavigation we will return to the Caribbean and that it is definitely West of here....in fact it is over 10,000 miles (as the crow flies) West to St. read more...


15/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite

Yesterday we completed the last of our preparation activities for our departure to Fiji, including tracking down Fijian dollars, topping up on some provisioning and inquiring about the correct customs and immigration procedures for clearing out,since we had cleared in to Tonga via Niuatoputapu. At the same time we were grantedspecial permission to avoid taking Paw Paw to theCustoms Wharf prior to clearing due to Elaine's limitations with her back and ankle.Once all that was taken care off, we could look forward to our planned evening event - A boat trip to a Tongan Feast in Utulei Village on Pangaimotu Island, which also included a celebratory kava ceremony.We did not partake in the latter as we had experienced one in Samoa,but everyone on Nina did. Prior to the ceremony though, we. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
Paw Paw - Log Days 248 & 249: A Tongan Feast and Faka Leite
14/09/2016

Firefly - Neptune and Lettuce

Firefly is on passage and has just crossed the equator and headed back into the southern hemisphere.Crewman Jones had not passed this way before and King Neptune visited at about 0430 this morning (Thursday 15th September) officially - a ceremony was held as the virtual line was crossed. Neptune was particularly interested to know if Jones's first name was Davy? He had to drink snapps, was doused with water and Neptune and Crewman Bardell (who has crossed before) then toasted him with a glass of wine.Earlier this year, Paul and Susie laid Firefly up at Pangkor Marina in Malaysia in April and she spent 5 months on the hard while they had the summer at home in the UK. During that time, Firefly has been treated to a complete repaint with Awlgrip and is now looking extremely shiny. She is. read more...


13/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 246 & 247: Waiting on a Weather Window

Yesterday morning we eventually got the chaps washed, dried and put back on the dinghy, so it's now resembling something similar to its former glory.We then headed to town to top up our data service plan in the hopes of getting our photographs of Niuatoputapu and Vava'u uploaded to the website as well as make some phone calls to family and friends. Unfortunately the entire communications infrastructure had come to a standstill for no apparent reason, so that idea was abandoned. With the gloomy and cold weather continuing, we decided to warm the cockles of our heart in the Mango Café where Nina later found us for Happy Hour. Then it was back to Paw Paw for another "dinner and a movie"night.This morning, with Elaine's back and ankle playing up again the past few days, she eventually caved. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Days 246 & 247: Waiting on a Weather Window
Paw Paw - Log Days 246 & 247: Waiting on a Weather Window
11/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover

Being a Sunday here in Tonga the custom is church and family time only ie no work of any kind. We, however, did not have that luxury since we're hoping to leave for Fiji later this week and there were things to do.There was one particular task that we have been putting off for months, but had to knuckle down today and get it done.As a result the dinghy makeover was worth the effort.While Roy cleaned the bottom,then the topsides, Elaine made the repairs to the chaps and engine cover. The task was significantly reduced by getting a company here in Neiafu to stitch on all the yellow patches as apposed to us having to re-glue them. It did, however,take the whole day to get it all done,with the exception of washing the chaps. We should be able to get that completed tomorrow and put back on.. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
Paw Paw - Log Day 245: The Dinghy Makeover
10/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 243 & 244: From Fishing Contest to Dinner and Rugby

Yesterday we took advantage of being back in Neiafu sooner than we had planned by getting the final preparations for our passage to Fiji completed. In particular,getting the myriad of forms completed and sent offas part of the Advanced Arrival Notice procedure.We also had the opportunity to enjoy the evening festivities at the Mango Café associated with the Fishing Contest that is currently underway here. We were surprised to see the fishing vessel Yellowfin that we'd first seen in Samoa and had come all this way to participate. We later found out that boats come from far and wide for this particular contest. Today Elaine spent most of the day enjoying some "girl time" with Lynda and Karen off Nina,after picking up the overhauled dinghy chaps, while Roy spent the day with the boys.. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Days 243 & 244: From Fishing Contest to Dinner and Rugby
Paw Paw - Log Days 243 & 244: From Fishing Contest to Dinner and Rugby
Paw Paw - Log Days 243 & 244: From Fishing Contest to Dinner and Rugby
Paw Paw - Log Days 243 & 244: From Fishing Contest to Dinner and Rugby
08/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 242: A "Drive-by of the Vava'u Group"

Once Roy returned to Paw Paw after trying to help Nina with a few yacht gremlins this morning, we weighed anchor for our next anchorage off Vaka'eitu Island.Unfortunately after worming our way around all the reefs and dangers to get there, we discovered that the anchorage was really crowded. We did try to shoehorn our way into the only available spot,but when we settled too close for comfort to the shoals with a reduced scope, we decided to leave. With the other two nearby anchorages off Lape and Nuapapu Islands being too exposed,we headed for Kapa Island.Unfortunately we ran out of options there as well due to very precarious looking mooring balls and being a very deep anchorage. At that point we gave up and returned to Neiafu,where we'll stay until we leave for Fiji.While we feel like. read more...


07/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 241: "Paw Paw was a bit Poo Poo Today"

While Elaine took a dinghy ride with Nina to visit the works of a local artist at the "Ark Gallery", a little floating art gallery in the anchorage,Roy got busy with some of our Must Do tasks in preparation for our sail to Fiji. Unfortunately Elaine had forgotten that one of those tasks included the much loved one that every sailor looks forward to - fixing a head (aka toilet). Nina and Elaine had no sooner returned to Paw Paw for morning coffee when we were greeted with the beautiful aroma.Needless to say, we decided to abandon the idea because, as Lynda so aptly put it: " Paw Paw is a bit poo poo today". The good news though, is that the head is fixed.A definite highlight of our entire South Pacific experience, however, will be the dinner we enjoyed at La Paella Restaurant. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 241: "Paw Paw was a bit Poo Poo Today"
Paw Paw - Log Day 241:
Paw Paw - Log Day 241: "Paw Paw was a bit Poo Poo Today"
Paw Paw - Log Day 241:
Paw Paw - Log Day 241: "Paw Paw was a bit Poo Poo Today"
Paw Paw - Log Day 241:
06/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales, Whales and More Whales

Today we eventually left Neiafu and enjoyed a slow sail to a beautiful anchorage between Pangaimotu and Tapana Islands.En route we had the good fortune of spotting humpback whales on three separate occasions.On two of the occasions the whales were less than 50m from Paw Paw.It was wonderful to be so close to these enormous, but magnificent creatures as well as watch them breech and swim around us. We were simply in awe when we saw one that was so huge, it was bigger than Paw Paw.Just Spectacular! After getting settled in the anchorage,Roy spent this afternoon cleaning Paw Paw's bottom,while Elaine cooked for ourpotluck "curry dinner" aboard Nina tonight. After a delicious meal,we topped off the evening playing the boardgame, "Would I Lie to You?", with Steve, Lynda and Elaine loosing. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales, Whales and More Whales
Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales,  Whales and More Whales
Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales, Whales and More Whales
Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales,  Whales and More Whales
Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales, Whales and More Whales
Paw Paw - Log Day 240: Whales,  Whales and More Whales
06/09/2016

Katarina - Darwin to Lombok - Log Day 1 update

... The wind suddenly picked up and now we are flying, with no waves this is seriously nice sailing, I wish it was always like this!I was afraid it would take us two weeks to get to Lombok, but if we continue like this weshould be there in no time at all.. read more...


06/09/2016

Katarina - Darwin to Lombok Log Day 1

Our first official day in the World ARC Rally and we are excited, however the weather looks fine for sunbathing but not very enticing for sailing. There is hardly any wind at all. We had a spectacular start with all the World ARC yachts trying to fit into this narrow start line between the sail training ship Young Endeavour and the point of Stokes Hill Wharf. With so little wind everybody moved in slow motion. Many different sail combinations were tried by the fleet and after trying to sail for an hour and a half and making progress only courtesy of the current, we have turned on one of our engines. We certainly don't want to still be here when the current turns. We only run one engine to save fuel, it is a long way to Lombok, approx 1000Nm.It is hot, it is very hot we are melting. We. read more...


05/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 239: An Unexpected Evening of Fun

Today we had planned to venture further afield by "sailing"to a different part of the Vava'u Group, but weather prevented that unfortunately. Instead,we visited the local Fresh Produce Market and spent the rest of the morning running errands and catching up with cruising friends. Tonight we enjoyed a lovely eveningwith Nina at the Mango Café where the entertainment was provided by the brass band from one of the local schools. The music was fabulous and the children were so enthusiastic, not to mention very talented. Unfortunately we didn't have our camera with us which was a real shame.We did, however,get to enjoy a dance or two - Definitely an unexpected evening of fun!. read more...


04/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life

Yesterday we decided to leave the cruisers social scene in Neiafu behind and head out of town to get a better glimpse into local life here. We combined our walk with a hike up Mt Talau on one of the western peninsulas of Uta Vava'u Island.While it was lovely to get the exercise and enjoy the beautiful views over the Vava'u Group, when it was still somewhat sunny, it was definitely an eye-opener to see the level of poverty here, as well as the amount of garbage strewn around. Although Niuatoputapu was poor, it was neat and tidy for the most part and the locals were far friendlier and engaging. We've actually experienced the exact opposite here, with our greetings being point-blank ignored the majority of the time. Our theory for this relates to expat and cruiser fatigue. These islands. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
Paw Paw - Log Days 237 & 238: A Glimpse into Local Life
02/09/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 235 & 236: The Social Aspect of Tonga

Since it has continued to pour with rain and remain overcast, with the temperatures having dropped significantly as well, we found no compelling reason to get up early yesterday morning or this morning, so we just stayed in bed.Elaine, however, was eventually forced to leave our cocoon yesterday to meet Lori from " Seams To Me" in order to hand over the dinghy chaps for overhauling and we had to collect our t-shirts as well.After getting both matters out of the way and enjoying yet another morning coffee to warm up, we headed back to Paw Paw,where Elaine decided to pass the afternoon baking a chocolate cake.By then it was time to meet Nina at the "Dancing Rooster" for happy hour and dinner, followed by Quiz Night at the "Bounty Bar".This morning the ladies enjoyed morning tea aboard Paw. read more...


31/08/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 234: Trying to Look Glamorous

Roy was up early to get to the Fresh Produce Market to collect the eggs we ordered - The strangest things are in short supply in this part of the world - We had the same issue with eggs in Bora Bora. He was hoping to get some lettuce as well, but no luck on that. While he was out, Elaine finalised the arrangements for the dinghy chaps, then we headed to town to finalise the design and place the order for the new Paw Paw t-shirts. By then it had started to drizzle, so we decided to stop in for a morning cappuccino.When we thought it was safe to venture back out, we headed for the hairdresser. Elaine was delighted that Fatima could wash, cut and blow-dry her hair straight away, while Roy headed back to "Trouble in Paradise"to get some help on one of the watermaker parts.Feeling like a new. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 234: Trying to Look Glamorous
Paw Paw - Log Day 234: Trying to Look Glamorous
Paw Paw - Log Day 234: Trying to Look Glamorous
Paw Paw - Log Day 234: Trying to Look Glamorous
30/08/2016

Paw Paw - Log 233: The Coolest Names

After a lazy morning we headed to town.We had a laundry list of errands which included a trip to the Fresh Produce Market to stock up on some fresh veggies, the grocery store for fresh bread, a visit to "Trouble in Paradise" to get a spanner ground down so that it fits our watermaker that needs some maintenance,a book store to pick up the latest cruising guide, the pharmacy to pick up some sterilisation tablets for our water - just as a precaution to be sure, to be sure, enquired about "Seams To Me" where we're going to get the dinghy chaps overhauled and, finally, "Tropical Tease" to select a design for our new Paw Paw t-shirts. The only item we forgot was to make an appointment at the hairdresser for Elaine. Who would have thought one could get such a variety of services in this tiny. read more...


29/08/2016

Paw Paw - Log Day 232: Definitely Rustic

After listening to the Vava'u morning net, which gives sailorsinformation about the area, we headed to the dinghy dock to meet Nina for a tour around the main settlement of Neiafu, as we worked our way towards the Customs Office and Digicel, where we had to drop off our Inter-Island documentation and arrange a data service for our phone, respectively. Then it was a stop off at Tropicana's for a morning coffee, followed by lunch at the Mango Café. By then we were ready to return to Paw Paw for an afternoon nap and a quiet evening aboard after all the socialising since our arrival here.We did, however, have Cetacea (Gail and Tony)stop by to say hello and invite us out to dinner this evening to catch up, since last seeing them in Samoa.As tempting as the offer was, we opted for the early. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Day 232: Definitely Rustic
Paw Paw - Log Day 232: Definitely Rustic
Beowulf - Channel Sunset
Beowulf - Channel Sunset
Majic-L - Photo comp - sunset over the channel - get that picture!
Majic-L - Photo comp - sunset over the channel - get that picture!
28/08/2016

Majic-L - Majical Challenge - Days 10 & 11

So here we are - the last blog entry for the Channel ARC. After a quick breakfast on Saturday we decided to head off into town and hit Carrefour for cheese, wine, charcuterie and pressies for friends and relations back home. I always enjoy that trip - the French seem to do fresh food much better than our supermarkets! We had to give way to an armed patrol as we walked through town - obviously security still high after recent events in France.After lunch with some of our purchases in the bright sunshine and a group photo that Clare wanted, we got underway back to Gosport. No wind of any substance meant motor sailing for the first 4 hours. We enjoyed sitting on the front bow and dangling our feet in the water when the sea was a little bumpy. Then somehow Richard managed to serve up pie,. read more...


28/08/2016

Paw Paw - Log Days 230 & 231: A Great Welcome to Vava'u

After seeing whales as we left Nuiatoputapu,we were delighted to be greeted by whales again as we arrived in Vava'u.Only this time they were breeching which was just spectacular and a lovely ending to a terrible passage.We had no sooner got settled on a mooring ball when we saw a man approaching us in a dinghy. At first we thought it was someone coming to tell us we couldn't use the ball,but then we saw a huge smile.It turned out to be Campbell from Annecam,whom we haven't seen since spending Christmas anchored next to him and his wife, Annette,in Bequia, Caribbean - What are the odds of that. - Just amazing! Then, after a bite to eat and a shower it was off to Nina (Lynda and Steve) for afternoon tea and catch up, having last seen them in Bora Bora.By late afternoon we were fading fast. read more...


Paw Paw - Log Days 230 & 231: A Great Welcome to Vava'u
Paw Paw - Log Days 230 & 231: A Great Welcome to Vava'u
28/08/2016

Midnight Wanderer - Days 8 & early 9 - Friday and Sunday am.

Bought the oil, as we anticipated that it would be another motor sail. The whole trip has encompassed about half an hours sailing (!), so just as well our tonker is in tip top condition.Skippers' Briefing,accompanied by coffee and biscuits provided by the marina staff, revealed that the fleet was splitting with some going to Lymington, some up the Hamble, and some to Haslar for the lunch and prize giving.Guy Malpas arrived from Portsmouth, having had a very early start, and he was a welcome sight. Breakfast, followed by a boat walk around, followed by lunch and off we departed at 1510. Main up in the outer harbour, but no genoa and we motored on, and on. No wind and then mid channel it turned southerly, peaking at 25 knots as it came over the stern port quarter. And still we motored on.. read more...


27/08/2016

Midnight Wanderer - Day 8 - Friday

A day of very little really, but in essence our pool of knowledge was extended, that hangovers do eventually pass, and Cherbourg is a charming little town, with lots of English influence.One member of the crew raided the M&S pastry counter, and supplied the Skipper with Guernsey full fat milk for his cereal, at least 80% fat the label said. Certainly not for daily consumption! In tea, the milk coated the surface with large fat globules making the cuppa very unattractive.We left St. Peter Port at about 1130, taking the Race north in a largely flat sea. Wind on the nose so motor sailed expecting to catch a decent blow after Cap de la Hague. No such luck, which meant a motor sail all the way to the marina. We overrode the marina staff and parked at the end of P pontoon across from Beuwolf. read more...


27/08/2016

Bubsa - The last morning.

Getting up as the sun comes up over Cherbourg Marina you realise what a magical time of day it is. Slowly you see the world waking up. The odd head pops up over the parapit looking around to survey the scenery. Looking up at the sky's to see what the wind will bring. People padding down the pontoon in their pyjamas heading to the showers. It's so great to be able to take time out and just sit and watch and think about the journey home. It's been a fun few days and I am sorry it's coming to end but thankyou all for your company and friendship and safe sailing to all on their journeys home. By Fiona on Bubsa. read more...


Bubsa - Sunrise in Guernsey
Bubsa - Sunrise in Guernsey
Bubsa - I see no ships... But flying the flag got Arc Channel Islands.
Bubsa - I see no ships... But flying the flag got Arc Channel Islands.
Majic-L - Morning view from Majic-l
Majic-L - Morning view from Majic-l