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Thread: First boating weekend of the season...

  1. #1821
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Kenutu island tonight. Got a scare getting here through a dogleg channel only a boat length or two wide. Sun dropped out on us. Worked out ok but....
    That photo you posted Greg. . Looks very much like where we dragged out of the other day. Euakafa island.
    We've had some interesting wildlife. A turtle off the boat..Lots of flying foxes aka bats. Big things and they fly exceptionally well. Tropic bird,frigate bird. Boobies, yes those. Today we investigated some birds going crazy in a beach rockface and saw 3 banded seasnakes worming on around. This from a kiwi guy.. we have no snakes in enzed so it's a big deal to see the things. Poisonous things but small mouthed. Apparently they will kill you if they get an opportunity to gnaw on the webs between your fingers or toes. Good to know . fist claw foot man out fer neow.

  2. #1822
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Sounding great JB! I think there're still several Vava'u islands you haven't visited yet ....

    Say hi from me to Pixie!

    Rick

  3. #1823
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    It's said that sea snakes won't bite you underwater. People who get bitten are mostly getting them off fishing lines. Sea snakes feed by going through crevices in rock and coral and there are lots of stories of them slithering through the diving gear of divers. I once had a big bronzey one inspect my fins but no intimate exploration, happily.

    Flying foxes are special in Tonga. It's said that if a white one turns up, there'll be a change of king. We have loads of them here but I've never seen a white one.

    Rick

  4. #1824
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    I did a night dive years ago off of Great Keppel Island and at one stage we had about a dozen brightly coloured banded sea snakes gently rose up from the bottom as we swam over them. I’d also heard that story about them not biting you under water so, while the other divers bolted, I slowed down as they swam over and around me - almost like cats, draping themselves over the skin of my arms and legs, a quite amazing feeling. They seemed perfectly relaxed and just seemed to enjoy the sensation of sliding over my skin.

    I don’t know if the not biting you under water bit is true or not but I didn’t feel threatened by them at all.


    Apparently they will kill you if they get an opportunity to gnaw on the webs between your fingers or toes
    and supposedly your ears - so if you swim around with your hands closed into fists and held over your ears you’re safe
    Larks

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    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

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  5. #1825
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Right, well, I'd also heard that if you stop near them, they will slither through your BC etc. but I wasn't sure that anyone would believe it. Re the biting, I believe it is true but I wouldn't recommend grabbing one to test the theory.

    Rick

  6. #1826
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Heading back to Neiafu - I'm guessing a crew pickup for the next leg. Fiji?

    Rick

  7. #1827
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Right, well, I'd also heard that if you stop near them, they will slither through your BC etc. but I wasn't sure that anyone would believe it. Re the biting, I believe it is true but I wouldn't recommend grabbing one to test the theory.

    Rick
    I remember being in Fiji years ago and watching the locals pick them up. I was happy to leave them to it.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  8. #1828
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Right, well, I'd also heard that if you stop near them, they will slither through your BC etc. but I wasn't sure that anyone would believe it. Re the biting, I believe it is true but I wouldn't recommend grabbing one to test the theory.

    Rick
    My understanding is that the fangs are right at the back of their jaws, so the webs between tour toes and fingers are the only place they can get to.

  9. #1829
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Good spotting.. yes we're in Neiafu to have an unpressured look around and a few stores for Fiji. Did you know there is no diesel on a wharf or even nearby here? . There ain't... you get some mates together and organise for the tanker to come down and fuel you up. No crew ,it's just 2 nights..300 odd miles.
    Do you know Pixie ,Rick? . There are a few Aussie boats with us. Letting go and Summer lovin spring to mind. Pixie are a great couple really doing it and in a boat they built themselves 30 years ago. Really nice people.
    Yes the sea snake thing is interesting. .. they are known to be highly venomous but small mouthed and unlikely to harm anyone leaving them alone. Dogs though. . Do not look at a dog, do not make eye contact with a street dog . They will get aggressive maybe even bite whatever you have leaving last

    Edit. Caught up with the Pixies this am watching the ac at Mango cafe. Peter says you took the best photo of Pixie he's ever seen ,Rick. David did the Tasman crossing with you too didn't he.
    Last edited by John B; 06-17-2017 at 02:36 PM.

  10. #1830
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    That's right. I was helping David deliver his boat to Southport and we met Pixie going very well off Yamba. We then met them again when we were bringing the boat home from Mackay. They did a great job with that boat and seem really nice people.

    Rick

  11. #1831
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    JB, your Predict Wind track is beginning to resemble ....... a weta!!

    Rick

    Actually it looks more like the Big Prawn from Ballina but enough like a weta.

  12. #1832
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Making good time towards Savusavu

  13. #1833
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Zoomin'

    Rick

  14. #1834
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Riada is one very capable boat.

  15. #1835
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Arrived at Vanua Baluva. Can you baluv it? http://fijimarinas.com/vanua-balavu-lau/

    Rick
    Last edited by RFNK; 06-21-2017 at 05:37 PM.

  16. #1836
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Very cool, I think the Lau Group is still pretty much unspoilt, because it's usually hard to get to by yacht. No established port of entry out that way. We were there in 1974, I wonder how much has changed?

  17. #1837
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Arrived at Vanua Baluva. Can you baluv it? http://fijimarinas.com/vanua-balavu-lau/

    Rick
    Probably enjoying a cold bevvy and some baluva caviar on the after deck.

  18. #1838
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  19. #1839
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    So they're in Fulqana now.

  20. #1840
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    So they're in Fulqana now.
    Slightly jealous. Winter has just started in earnest here, a couple of months late really. Until a day or two ago we've had cool but lovely clear days and nights. Now it's all falling trees and sideways rain.

  21. #1841
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    I'm more than slightly jealous and the weather is beautiful here.

  22. #1842
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Next .... the weather is perfect here at the moment and I'm jealous as hell!

    Rick

  23. #1843
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hwyl View Post
    So they're in Fulqana now.
    Looks like JB lost his hat or that precious boathook on the way in.

    Rick

  24. #1844
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    If you zoom in on satellite view, you'll see there's a little island, I think they were planning on anchoring to the East of it, then changed their minds.

  25. #1845
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Aha! Probably had insects on it ....

    Rick

  26. #1846
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    JB really has to be sick of taro, breadfruit and cooking bananas by now!!

    Rick

  27. #1847
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Yeah, totally awful. And fish, I know how John hates eating fish. Must be really really horrible for them.

  28. #1848
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Not the fish! I could never tire of eating fish! But all that starch ...... Yep, I reckon they're having a really miserable time, it's not sunny, the water's not at all clear and the locals keep telling them to bugger off.

    Rick

  29. #1849
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    They've been shuttling around some small island, and are now seriously on the move..

  30. #1850
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Riding the trades across to the main islands.
    Getting low on Vegemite and Watties Baked Beans.

    Rick

  31. #1851
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    You guys are doing a great job keeping this old thread alive.Thanks for that. Yes we're out of the Lau and currently rolling our guts out at Taveuni but with some coverage.
    The day and the night down through the group to Fulanga was pretty good after the awful sail from Tonga to Vanua Bulavu. The pass in is exciting even on a calm day and navigation inside the lagoon slash caldera is all sight steering around untold rocks and coral heads. Bommies and patches..watch out for.
    We spent 3 weeks there and were sad to go. The people are fantastic, papaya and coconuts are everywhere and you are welcome to them. I still have all my fingers despite the numerous machete attacks on drinking coconuts.
    Fulanga is a carving island. A lot of kava bowls and other work is made there and taken to Suva for sale and distribution. One lonely dugout outrigger Canoe left .
    We pushed our luck a fraction leaving when we did.punching stand up waves in the pass. Not as bad as our buddy who left the day before .... he took green over the bow, down the hatch and had his crew wiped off their feet . Wake up call.
    Pushed by a weather window we rushed up the lau group back to Vanua bulavu stopping overnight at Yangasa, Namuka I lau , Koro and Oneata. All just day trips apart. But oneata is the last viable anchorage before the 65 or 70 mile passage to Vanua bulavu and you don't arrive there at night.
    We left oneata at 10 pm in pitch black through its reefs and then through the reefs by lakemba. We had our track in to get out and it's a straightforward pass, but still quite a feeling.
    After another week around Vanua bulavu or exploring isles we got a bit lucky with a light ish forecast so off to Duff reef. It's an atoll with a sand cay and a lonely coconut tree. Uncomfortable night but oh what a place. Take the pain to get the gain.
    From duff to wailangilala is only about 10 miles and that was spectacular as well. Unfortunately the island is at the northern end of the lagoon and it's a very low atoll reef. So that meant a lee shore and 3 miles of fetch to make another disturbed night sleep. But .. pain and gain an all that. Worth it.
    Qamea only about 35 miles 3 nights and now here in Taveuni. Reefs and coral patches everywhere.... it's a combination of paper for study ,sea mounts and hazards...electonic chart plotter for waypoints and tracks, and Google Earth for a perspective and unfair but effective advantage. For passes and tricky reef areas I have the lot going which is all of the above plus a mostly useless but accurate chart program called I sailor as a back check. .and eyes of course.
    Last edited by John B; 08-08-2017 at 04:47 AM.

  32. #1852
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    John who? Oh yeah - now I remember! Sounds fantastic!! But I bet it's really cold there with lots of rain ......

    Great to hear all's going so well!

    Rick

    PS How long did it take to make all those names up?

  33. #1853
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    John who? Oh yeah - now I remember! Sounds fantastic!! But I bet it's really cold there with lots of rain ......

    Great to hear all's going so well!

    Rick

    PS How long did it take to make all those names up?
    Hah. .yeah that guy. Rained several times today and blew 25 and has been gusty for 3 days. Not wonderful right now but we're looking forward to the next bit. Hopefully Rabi and kioa. Don't forget yer Fijian now Rick. C is th. G is ng and and......
    Rabi being Rambi. Fulanga is actually fulaga except for old speak when it was vulaga. Very straightforward. Er. Old charts and books are helpful because the names are spelled phonetically.

    Nothing serious broke yet touch wood although I would like to say there is a definite case for a reservation in hell for any designer of electronics who incorporate alarms which cannot be turned off.
    The sort of alarms that go off when say GPS signal lost..so loud that the auto reflex of any person with normal hearing is to slam their coffee cup into their own forehead.... Slip over in the spillage and cry out mamma.
    Not that I would really wish that on Mr Ray Marine. No .. I lie .. I curse that electonics engineer and hope his bedding gets fleas.

  34. #1854
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    As in Rabuka .... I don't know any Fijian, never having been to Fiji! I did have a Fijian colleague once. My friend David has an AIS receiver with a loud alarm that can't be turned off so in areas where you most need the thing, it gets switched off.

    But I'm sitting here without a fire, freezin' my a@#$ off because Ms T is in Sydney for the night and I'm too lazy to light the fire just for the dognme so I'm devoid of sympathy! Nevertheless, it's great to hear that you've had such a great run with the boat and its systems. Your preparation might have had something to do with that ......

    Do you sit up on the spreaders when you go through those passes in the reef? If not, why not?

    By the way, and please forgive my inattention if I've missed it, is Riada still wearing that sun cover you made out of PVC pipe and duct tape? If so, has it become embarrassing yet? If not, what did you replace it with and how's that going?

    Trembling Rick

  35. #1855
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    Default Re: First boating weekend of the season...

    You don't generally need anyone in the spreaders, Rick. But I've been doing a lot of meerkat impressions standing on the sheet winches. Which are monster old Wilkies.
    We have repurposed the inflatable dinghy thwart though. It very conveniently clips across the pulpit and Kirsty can stand up there about say 6 or 7 ft above the water. That's enough. We did send my buddy Tony up to the spreaders to get out of Matafonua in Tonga. That was early am with bad light and driving around bommies like driving a truck through a car park.
    Yes the pipeand duct tape and your ladder dodger got made out of steel and plywood and has been invaluable. Almost inconceivable to imagine how we could have done without it.

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