Holy crap it already October 5th and we have 3600 M to sail! Only to Noumea in New Caledonia it is 2600M. That is where we will start the 1000M crossing to Sydney in beginning of December (at the latest),
To there it’s about three weeks of sailing time alone…so until December 1st that gives us only five weeks to spend at anchor. And there are so many places left to see!!!
We plan to leave Bora Bora tomorrow morning, December 6th. And for the first time we’re starting to see some nasty weather coming up that may interfere with our plans, see "First stop" below. Basically the area between Tonga and Fiji is a place where the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) can cause trouble. Recommended reading is the online available PDF called The Dangerous Middle by Mr John. Even though it's using Comic Sans as font, it's legit.
The route plan for the remaining part of the trip is now:
First stop after Bora Bora options: Palmerston, small atoll in the Cook Islands. Palmerston has no pass into the lagoon, you must take a mooring buoy outside the west coast so if the wind changes to westerly (which it will if the nasty weather reaches here), we have to change the plan. Maybe go into Aitutaki atoll (it has a pass inside, only 1,4 m deep but Kenobi only has a 1,3 m draught, yay!) or wait it out in more nearby Mopelia atoll. Three families live in Palmerston and the supply ship comes every 6 months. We hope they will appreciate some company. If we’re lucky we can sail this first leg with our aussie friends on Lady Amity.
Tonga: more precisely the Vavau group. An archipelago with sheltered waters and many anchorages. If bad weather comes here we can find protection.
Fiji: 300 islands over an area 300M wide. Big city islands and remote islands where you need to make an offering of Kava root to the village chief before anchoring in his waters.
Tanna, Vanuatu: remote and far from civilisation. Very curious about this one.
Noumea, New Caledonia: Stock up, wait for good winds and set sail for Sydney.
When in Sydney there will be some rather extensive celebrations i reckon. And then stretch out our time with beloved Kenobi a bit cruising the Australian west coast up to Brisbane.
Now we pray the weather gods will be on our side and let us make good speed while sailing (but not too much!!) and give us the chance to see that places we want to see. Our plan might very well change because of this - all part of the wonderful world of sailing.