Homeschooling – and a thank you to the SY Mollymawk

Jill from the SY Mollymawk just published her second article about home – or rather on-bord schooling titeled ‘The results of the home-school experiment’. First, I’d like to thank Jill for taking time to write such insightful articles but instead of plain interest for us the importance is actually a different one. Although we may sail another ocean, we’re in the same boat when it comes to schooling our kids.
Of course we read books, articles and it’s one of the most prominent discussion topics amongst cruising families. But there still is a lack of confidence. This probably is rooted deep in our upbringing – both my wife Guillermina and me went through a formal education of european style. I didn’t like it much whereas my wife enjoyed it. And while I choose a life of labor, my wife’s thing was an academic career. But both we liked the ideas and concepts layed out in our favourite book about schooling: ‘Learning all the time’ by John Holt.
But just being fond of that concept doesn’t create a school environment nor does it teach your kids the essential skills needed for life and self-education. While the only decision 99% of all parents we know at home have is whether it’s gonna be a public or private school, we face the endless insecurity of whether we do it right and if it was a good decision after all. Choosing the life on sea and teaching the kids on our own is difficult, sometimes hard work and not always very satisfying. Although it can be. While Viola, aged five keeps asking for reading lessons and wants to write stories, learn Guitar, etc. Bruno seems to lose interest after a few minutes. But then there are these other moments too. A few days ago, we sat in the Government building in Levuka, Fiji. Bruno sees a picture of all the ministers and wants to know exactly what they do, how they come to be in charge and even has suggestions to improve the situation. And while we wait for nearly two hours to get our cruising permit – instead of nagging and jumping around in his seat, we train mathematics and calculate how far a human could count if it were the only thing he was doing in his life. Through the window we watch toads trying to escape the blazing sun as the lawn is being cut and Bruno, aged seven, tries to understand why the toads won’t just go straight for the shadow to their right. We end up in a discussion about genes, brain sizes, adaptation, the moisture of the skin, the usual habitat of those reptiles, the difference between toads and frogs, etc. Yes – this is ‘doing school’ for us and that is what both we and our kids enjoy. – It doesn’t always have to involve book, desks and pens. But it has to be an enjoyable way of learning things.

Interested in everythingAyyyy !!Still the favourite: painting.Exciting science. Yay !

Thanks to the crew of the Mollymawk we are once more ensured that we’re doing the right thing and that (given the right circumstances) it will work out well for our kids – independent of what their later plans for life will be.

Here you can find the mentioned articles:
Part 1: The purpose of education
Part 2: Results of the homeschooling experiment

Also when you’re at it, don’t miss out on the amazing books Jill wrote. Highly recommended !!

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Levuka, Ovalau island, Fiji

Although we already are anchored at the next postcard island, I still have to post some pictures of Levuka, our first contact with Fiji. I mentioned the funny haircuts but somehow forgot to shoot some pictures of the beautiful ladies of Levuka… Well, those will come later, I guess. Also worth mentioning is that Levuka once was the capital of Fiji ! Hard to believe as it’s a quiet, little Village.

The cowboy-western-style waterfront of LevukaTown center with churchAnd while other governments still argue about it - Fiji is preparing itselfWalking in the shade, along the main street

As we found nearly everywhere else too, there are numerous schools and plenty of kids everywhere. All dressed up in nice, colorful school uniforms. A treat for the eye !

When we picked up the cruising permit, I noticed the schedule of the authority. It has a seminar on climate change for the employees. Yeah – when the big polluters of the earth still are arguing whether or not it’s true, the island nations of this world are getting prepared for the worst.

Schoolyard at midday.School kids posing in front of strange emblem.At the little pond, in the middle of the tropical forestPlaying with the new toy cooking set

Maybe the people of Levuka will also start thinking of getting rid of that awfully noisy Diesel generator located in the center of the village that provides power for the whole island. There would be more than enough sun to power all homes here on the island and as for storage, I suggest to use that huge fuel tank up on the hill. One could use the excess power during midday to pump up salt water and use a turbine to generate power during the night. – Just a thought…. But I guess burning fuel is (still) just too convenient.

Back down towards the villageThe old mason's building. It was burned down because some people beliefed it would be an entrance to hell. (Turns out - it wasn't...)In front of the town hall.Taking the street back towards the sea. Schoolkids ahead.

Alright. Enough of the ranting. There are also some pics of our little hike up the hill to the little freshwater pond. On the way the kids got a little toy cooking set and when we were back on the ship they promptly openend a restaurant on the foredeck. Let’s see if someone can decypher Viola’s menu. It’s a wild mix of german, spanish and english but it shows promise and she’s definately not lacking inspiration. Also  – she’s still just five. :-)

An icecream !! After weeks and weeks without.Bruno and viola opening a restaurant on the foredeckViola's menu is a mix of spanish and german words and lettering. Takes a little vantacy tu reed.Together with the SY Optimist we sail towards Leluvia, our next stop.

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A few days in the past – The island Nuku in Tonga

Before leaving Tonga we spent a few more days at a little, lonely island called Nuku. We were already cleared out so we shouldn’t have stayed but it was just too hard to say good bye. See for yourself…. It’s crazy.

Nuku. Our own little island for three days.Not too bad - isn't it ?The perfect little beachBruno having endless fun in the crystal clear water

Haha.My beautiful little princess.A tropic bird.Splash !

The colors are just unbelievable.But still sometimes it's school timeViola concentrated at workFinally we lift up the anchor and set out towards Fiji...

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Zwei Tage in Levuka

Die ersten beiden Tage in Fiji sind recht schnell vergangen. Erst mal, weil wir sowieso viel Behoerdenkram zu erledigen hatten und dann sind wir auch kreuz und quer durch das Oertchen und haben uns alles mal angesehen. – Soviel gibt’s ja hier nicht, aber witzig ist das schon. Ich meine, der krasse Gegensatz mal wieder, zu den anderen Inseln. Also man wuerde es ja nicht glauben, aber die Waterfront von Levuka sieht aus, wie die einer Westernstadt. So mit Saloon und so – nur dass halt eben kein Saloon mit Cowboyhelden zu finden ist, sondern zumeist Laeden und Lokale, die von Indern bewirtschaftet werden. Die Leute aus Fiji selbst sind Melanesier und Bruno fand vor allem die Frisuren der Frauen recht witzig – die tragen fast alle Afro-look. ‘Die haben alle runde Frisuren !!’ Hehe. Sehr, sehr nett sind alle und alle gruessen freundlich mit ‘Bula !’ oder ‘Bulabula !’, fragen nach dem wohin und woher und so weiter. Verstaendlich auch, sind wir doch erst die zehnte Yacht, die in di
esem Jahr hier war. – Kaum zu glauben….
Und weil noch immer kein Wind ist und die drueckend heisse Luft einem das T-Shirt am Ruecken kleben laesst, sind wir heute zusammen mit Christine und Hannes von der SY Optimist die Wasserleitung entlang den Berg hoch gewandert und haben einen tollen, kleinen ‘Pool’ im Bach entdeckt. Erfrischendes Suesswasserbad mit 25 Grad, im Schatten der Tropenbaeume. Ein Traum !
Also Fiji zeigt sich von seiner besten Seite und ich bin schon gespannt, was der naechste Stopp bringt. Morgen gehen wir mal ankerauf und tuckern etwa 10 Meilen zu einer suedlich gelegenen, winzig kleine Insel namens Leleuvia. Am Sonntag oder Montag sollte der Wind zurueckkommen, dann geht’s nach Savusavu in den Norden.

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Arrived in Fiji !

Today in the early morning hours we made our final approach through the endless islands of Fiji. We made landfall at 0900h local time. After a walk to customs, health, harbour master, biosecurity and immigration we finished the clearing in process. Despite being a little lenghty all officials were extremely friendly and forthcoming. We also still didn’t quite master it as tomorrow we have to retrieve our cruising permit for our future voyages in the archipelago.

Levuka was the former capital of Fiji and although it’s only a tiny little village it is quite charming, the people are extremely friendly, food is cheap and it’s very hot ! We like it ! Yeyeyeee !!

More later – when we found an internet connection….

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Back in the east !!

As I downloaded the weather information and looked at our position I realized: We’re back on the ‘eastern’ side of the globe again ! About eight miles ago we crossed from the western to the eastern hemisphere – currently we’re at 179° and 51′ EAST ! Heh. It’s only a letter on the GPS – but the meaning is clear: With every mile we’re sailing, we’re getting closer to home. Although that concept of home seems rather unreal right now.
Anyway. Last night we navigated through the Lau islands. Very exciting at night ! We saw the last island disappear on the horizon just as the sun rose. Right now we’re in the Koro Sea and about half an hour ago again we saw land: The island of Ngau on the port side and Koro on the starbord side. Both islands are about 35 nm away and we’ll try to navigate in between, afterwards going north of Nairai and Mbatiki towards our destination. We expect to make landfall in the first hours of daylight. The SY Optimist whom we last saw exactly one year ago will also be there. Nice !!

LATITUDE: 17°45.86S, LONGITUDE: 179°51.01W, COURSE: 258T, SPEED: 4.1, WIND: E3, TO GO: 57nm

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Quer durch die Lau Gruppe

Also erst mal die gute Nachricht: Wir haben Wind. Zwar nicht viel, aber es reicht um immerhin mal ueber 4 Knoten zu segeln. Uff !! Das war auch echt notwendig, die Nerven lagen schon etwas blank.
Und da es der Wind natuerlich unmoeglich macht, irgendwas zu planen, segeln wir also nun nachts durch die Lau Gruppe. Wohl die Perlen von Fiji oder so: wunderschoene kleine Pilz-Inseln mit tollen Korallenriffen. Werden wir uns vielleicht spaeter noch ansehen. Erst mal muessen wir aber zu einer der groesseren Inseln im Westen, zum Einklarieren. Die ersten paar Riffe und Atolle haben wir schon hinter uns, gerade segeln wir suedlich an Thakau Lasemarawa vorbei. Dann kommt noch ein Riff an Backbord und die Insel Thithia an Steuerbord, dann sind wir erst mal durch. Wenn der Wind halbwegs bestaendig bleibt (haha) sollten wir dann uebermorgen zum Sonnenaufgang auf unser vorlaeufiges Ziel, Ovalau zusegeln. Spaeter vermutlich dann weiter nach Savusavu, mal anschaun, wie dieses ‘Taifun-Hole’ nun echt aussieht. Wir brauchen ja noch ein sicheres Versteck fuer die Regenzeit…

LATITUDE: 17°52.77S, LONGITUDE: 178°37.78W, COURSE: 277T, SPEED: 4.2, WIND: E3, TO GO: 144nm

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Day 3 towards Fiji

Still no wind. The mood on board is deteriorating.
Also we just received a revealing email about Savusavu and decided to not go there. Instead we’ll aim for Levuka on the island of Ovalau. But honestly we don’t know where to go after that. I guess, we’ll find out soon….

LATITUDE: 17°48.30S, LONGITUDE: 177°04.34W, COURSE: 252T, SPEED: 3.3, WIND: ENE2, TO GO: 233nm

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Und wieder kaum Wind (Tag zwei Richtung Fiji)

Der Pazifik macht’s uns echt nicht leicht. Schon wieder schlagen die Segel und ich kaempfe stundenlang mit der Windsteuerung, um unsere Wohnschachtel irgendwie halbwegs geradeaus steuern zu koennen.
Nachdem wir die Nacht ueber immer wieder manuell steuern mussten, habe ich heute Morgen das Teil mal auseinandergenommen, eine Flasche WD40 versprueht und danach alles ordentlich eingefettet. Weiters hab ich auch die Steuerseile, die ich in Tonga nachjustiert habe wieder gelockert um bloss nicht irgendwie zusaetzlichen Widerstand zu generieren. Nun kann die Fleming Windsteuerung halbwegs Kurs halten. Naja. +/- 30 Grad – das ist das Beste, das ich rausholen konnte. Muss irgendwie gehen.
Zum Glueck kam gerade eine Regenwolke und hat uns mit sensationellen 10-12 Knoten Wind beglueckt, so kann mal kurz eine Email Tippen. Wenn die Wolke durch ist, heisst’s wieder am Steuer sitzen und die Windsteuerung ab und an wieder auf den richtigen Kurs zurueckbringen. Spi haben wir nicht probiert, das wuerde die Steuerung sowieso nicht schaffen. Mehr will ich auch gar nicht schreiben. Ich bin ziemlich genervt !

LATITUDE: 17°37.28S, LONGITUDE: 175°52.20W, COURSE: 277T, SPEED: 3.6, WIND: E2-3, TO GO: 278nm

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From Tonga towards Fiji, day 1

At last we could tear ourselfes away from the island of Nuku. Our little paradise, about 150m in diameter with 200m of gorgeous white beach.
Now again, we’re out on sea and although I’m quite angry with the windsteering, we’re doing well. I don’t know what’s wrong – I spent the last hours trying to figure it out but the windsteering (again) won’t work properly. At least it steers in one direction – so I can ‘unbalance’ the steering to starbord and it holds the course a bit. Every 5 to 10 minutes I have to manually interfere as 50% of the steering-power isn’t enough. Damn !! I really wish we could have a journey where everything works for once….
The weather is as predicted, the wind light and we’re a bit slow. But we should be able to reach Fiji in about four days. If the wind direction shifts to the east and the wind stays light, I might try the spinnakker, I bought in Tonga for 400USD.
The kids are asleep as is the capitana – again she was seasick today. *rrr* Hope it’s better tomorrow.

LATITUDE: 18°17.09S, LONGITUDE: 174°48.14W, COURSE: 308T, SPEED: 4.7, WIND: E3-4, TO GO: 351nm

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Noch immer in Tonga. Aber morgen geht’s los.

Wir sind noch nicht so richtig losgesegelt.
Eigentlich wollten wir nach dem Ausklarieren ja nur noch eine Nacht ein wenig ausspannen, bevor’s nach Fiji geht. Jetzt haben wir aber einen Strand bzw. eine kleine Insel entdeckt, die ist sowas von schoen. SOWAS von krass unglaublich bilderbuch-schoen, das koennt ihr euch nicht vorstellen !
Alan von der SY Zebedee ist auch hier und so haben wir beschlossen noch eine zweite Nacht dranzuhaengen. Aber morgen geht’s dann echt los.

Wollte nur bescheid sagen – nicht, dass sich jemand Sorgen macht, weil man uns auf See vermutet und wir uns nicht melden.

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Utukalongalu market and a few faces of Tonga

The last few hours in Tonga and we spend it in front of the computer. Hehehe.

Nah – not really. We will putter down to the main wharf and clear out of Tonga alright but tonight we’ll still spend one more night around the corner in a quiet anchorage. Tomorrow during the day, we’ll set sails and go to Fiji.

So here are some more pictures for you, taken in the ‘main town’ of Vavau: Neiafu.

A house on the side of the 'main street'We're far away from everywhere it seemsTongan schoolgirlsTongan youth with the traditional uniform

Traditional clothing: black and woven pandanus mats around the waist.a tongan car. Hehe.The computer shop (think of that, next time you enter Walmart or Media Markt)Lady selling vegetables in the market

Another old lady sellin her homegrown saladWe also get some fresh herbsWoven baskets and other beautiful artefactssilhouette of a schoolgirl with a coconut in her hand

Taro rootBoys and girls :-)traditional clothingStreet scene in Neiafu

Also we’ll be without internet of course and have only our SSB connection. But we should be back online beginning next week when we arrive in SavuSavu.

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Having fun in the anchorage

After our last sailing voyage we spent five days getting all the saltwater out of our boat and everything washed again. As we don’t like to repeat this experience, the newly found leaks were on the top of my ToDo list. And as the beach is too beautiful and the coral too colorful I look the other way grab screwdriver, hammer and chisel and start attacking the rust !

Der kleine Luefter ueber der Kueche - hier fing alles an...Eigentlich sollte es nur ein bisschen Sikaflex sein, doch ich finde Unmengen an RostNach einer halben Stunde Rost wegklopfen und -buerstenDie Luken sehen auch teilweise schlimm aus

My starting point is the little vent in the kitchen. Sometime ago there was also an electric ventilator installed but corrosion has eaten it away probably years ago. The Vetus vent itself, I replaced back in Moorea as the old one didn’t even close properly. But somehow water still found it’s way in – so I remove it completely and discover some realy nasty stuff: The leak probably existed for many years and not much is left of the 4mm of steel that our deck is made of. So I start the old game: first hammering the loose material away, then brush the metal until it looks somewhat stable. After cleaning it, I soak everything with phosphoric acid. Half an hour later the acid has done it’s magic and converted all the rust to black ferric phosphate. Now I clean again with freshwater and let it dry. The epoxy primer appears on stage and gives the ugly spot a nice, watertight cover. During the next days, I will paint additional layers of white polyurethan paint. Time will tell how that combination works out….

Das Badfenster leckte auch - hier die Ursache freigelegtUnd immer mehr Baustellen werden aufgemachtDie Luefter-Baustelle mit Epoxy Primer versehenDer fleissige Stahlschiffbesitzer - immer den Pinsel in der Hand

But as I’m already at it, I crawl around on deck and open more and more rust spots. Some are easy, others quite nasty. The always leaking bathroom window was missing a fitting underneath the handle and the window itself wasn’t glued to the deck with Sikaflex or 3M-50200 but instead sat on a 1cm layer of filler (the one that is used for fixing bumps in cars *rrr*).  In general I usually uncover two or three generations of household silicone which if at all is only to be used inside the ship. – Well it’s an amateur construction, one can tell.

Like this I work for five days on my knees with chisel and power drill in my hands.

Die Vorschiffluke ist auch undicht und wird gleich mal komplett entferntDer Rahmen entrostet und mit Primer bepinseltUnd die Pinne wird auch neu abgedichtetDie Vorschiffluke neu eingebaut - nun oeffnet sie nach vorne !

We discovered that the hatch on the foredeck also leaks water *underneath* the frame and onto our children’s beds. So I take the whole hatch off and again ramove three layers of silicone and cheap one-component paint. I polish the aluminium frame and after painting everything in the above mentioned manner, I glue it back in with Sikaflex. Also I turn the whole hatch a 180˚ so it now opens to the front. That will let a lot more air into the cabin and make our life more enjoyable in those hot regions we’re cruising in.

My last item on the todo list ist the tiller, which I dismount to put in nice, water resistant marine grease and again glue everything together again. Now all the leaks have been worked on -  if they really hold up against the waves only our next trip can tell…

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The island Kapa and the Swallows Cave

Our second stop in Vava’u was anchorage no. 7 in the west of the island Kapa. (Yes, the anchorages here are numbered so the local Mooring base can find it’s ships again.) The was anchorage even more quiet than the one before and the beach absolutely stunning ! We went snorkeling every day and were impressed that there is at least twice the amount of different corals compared to French Polynesia. That gets us even more excited to go further west where the coral is supposedly a lot more diverse than here.

Another beautiful beach of TongaA view of our backyardThe anchorage number seven with boats floating in mid air it seemsThe photographer at the mast head

We again stayed four days and enjoyed ourselfes (more on that in the next post). When leaving for Neiafu we made a stop after about 1.5 miles on the western extreme of the island. Located here is the Swallows Cave that can be accessed by dinghy. One has to stay on the sailboat though as the water is way too deep to anchor in front of the cave. Inside the cave the colors play with the water and as the name suggests, the ceiling is covered with swallow’s nests. A thing not to miss when visiting Tonga.

The entrance to the swallows cave on the western point of the island KapaGui and Bruno setting out for adventureEntering the dark cave (not easy to balance the levels as you see)Holes on the top show part of the vegetation

The birds nesting in the cave give it it's nameAmazing colors made by the extremely clear water A swarm of litle fish hiding out in the caveBack towards the entrance

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The first anchorage at Vaka’eitu

Our first stop outside of Neiafu was at the anchorage No.16 on the western side of Vaka’eitu. A very peaceful little island inhabitated by only one family. We arrived there last saturday just in time to participate in a traditional Tongan feast with a pig roasted over open fire and many roots and vegetables baked in an earth oven. Veeery nice !!

The beachside of anchorage #16The view to the west with some of the small, beautiful islands of Vava'uPreparing for the feastYoga on the beach in the morning hours

Next day we took a hike together with Harald and Veronica from the SY Tagtraeumer – the one other austrian sailboat currently in Vava’u waters. It took some time for us to discover that we actually met before. That was in Mindelo, Cabo Verde in December 2011.

The walk over to the other side of the island leads through beautiful lush tropical forest and the beach on the eastern side is amazing. Unfortunately it was too windy and the sea to choppy to go for a swim.

A little hike to the other side of the islandCrazy vegetationA little window in the canopy throws sunlight at my two girlsA beautiful girl I encountered on the beach :-)

We stayed for four days and then finally said good bye (again) to our friend Dan from the SY Red Sky Night. He took off towards Fiji to press on towards Australia.

Bruno strolling alongViola and Bruno running on the beachThe skipper looks a lot younger with short hair, ey ?A heavily weathered treetrunk

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Four days in Tonga

And the only thing I remember is doing laundry, laundry and laundry. As we ‘wet’ the bed(s), we had to wash everything. Mattresses, covers, bed linens, cushions, clothes, towels and also some clothes. Well today I think, we dropped the last two bags off at the Coconut Cafe who do a great job getting all the salt out of our fabrics.

Local fishing vessel in Neiafu.Drying the mattresses and bed linenExploring the shoresideThe man in the sea. Or just a little blue starfish ? (Photo by Bruno)

Otherwise we’ve been strolling through the village, got fresh groceries from the fantastic little market down at the harbour, met maaaaany sailors we saw passing through in Moorea. Also we try to make a decision where to head next: Fiji or New Zealand ? Right now I’m looking for a taifun-safe mooring in Fiji. If we get one, we’ll be sailing west. Otherwise we will receive our guest in a few days, spend another few weeks in those magnificent little islands of Vava’u and it’s south to NZ. But we’ll see….
Tomorrow we’ll be leaving Neiafu to check out some of the fantastic anchorages here. Expect some jaw dropping pics of the most beautiful beaches of the south seas in a few days. (You’ve been warned !)

Oh, and that also means: No internet these next days….

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Storm sailing – the video

Just a very short clip made during the front that hit us on the way to Tonga:

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A little Front – in pictures

Finally an action post for the sailors that read our blog.

On our way towards Tonga we ran into a front / through. As the thing really looked weird on our weather maps we prepared ourselfes for the worst – and pretty much got it. Luckily for us, the storm hit during daylight which is a lot less freightening than having strong winds in the pitch black night. Lucky for you too as you get some scary pictures (and maybe a video later on).

Der Ausblick nach dem Fruehstueck. Nicht gut.Die Segel sind im ersten Reff, aber das wird nicht ausreichen.Die Capitana unterstuetzt unsere Windsteuerung bei ihrer schweren ArbeitNeue Windsee bei 9 Beaufort

The front was clearly visible in the morning after breakfast and when it hit, the wind turned 180 degrees and increased to about 40 knots at which it stayed pretty much all day. After a few hours, the sea picked up and nearing the end of the storm we had waves reaching well above five meters. Despite the rough seas we still did 4-5 knots, going against the wind with the main and genoa in the third reef.

Slightly further south it was even worse. We heard of yachts that encountered more than 50 knots of wind just 50 miles south of our position.

Wir segeln am Wind und unser Schiff wird ordentlich durch die Mangel genommen.Bilder werden der wilde See aber einfach nicht gerecht. Spaeter kommt vielleich tnoch ein Video.Nach ein paar Stunden haben sich die Wellen ganz gut aufgebaut und erreichen 5-6 Meter.Ein Laecheln fuer den Fotograf - auch bei 42 Knoten Wind.

The damage: one genoa sheet was nearly shaved through and again we made lots of water. The most of it in the lazarette but not as much as previously in the living quarters. The sunbrella cover of our Genoa was already slightly damaged from all the flapping during the light wind sailing and the storm did some additional damage. But it’s already down and we gave it to the local sailmaker to re-stitch it. It should be fine again in one or two days. We had to use the autopilot for a few minutes while we put in another reef. Although it usually keeps the course quite well it managed to do a jibe (!!) while we were sailing on the wind. A jibe with 40 knots is not very nice and it tore out the stopper of the track of the main sheet. But that I can also repair easily. The culprit seems to be a faulty connection on the autopilot computer – a common fault, we learned. I’ll look into that during the next days too.

Compared to the other boats that came into harbour during the next days, we did pretty well. Other boats had their sails completely torn, blocks destroyed, hailyards snapped, etc. I don’t like cleaning the boat after an incident like that but if that’s all – I can live with it. And of course we will again improve and try to stop some more leaks that we found on hatches, vents, etc.

Die beinahe durchgescheuerte Genua-SchotAcht Eimer Salzwasser im Achterschiff.Das heisst: alles ausraeumen und mit Suesswasser waschen - schon wieder !!Die Genua muss runter und zum Segelmacher

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BoraBora -> Tonga – a few photos

And here are some first pictures from our trip to Tonga. The text is at the bottom of the pictures. Enjoy !

Leaving BoraBoraFinally one pic with the captain...The crew enjoying a nice, quiet sailViola doing some exercises

Music - what would the kids do without music ?Or for that matter: How is cruising possible without Lego ?Some more acrobaticsPainting, cutting, keeping busy.

The capitana relaxing on the aft deck.The only boat we saw in 13 days: a fishing vessel.Bruno and Viola hiding in their fortressAttacking the captain

Time for a bath in the world's greatest pool.Viola, happy and protected under the cockpit roof.Bruno at the chart table with all his favourite 'toys'.Finally !! The wind is back and we are a little bit faster.

Look what we found dangling on our bathing ladder in the morning...It's a 'Portuguese Man-o-War'.Part of the tentacle. Beautiful but deadly !Bruno the scientist loooking at the tentacle with his microscope.

That's how the image on the plotter should always look like: perfect course, perfect speed.Getting ready to enter the Kingdom of Tonga.What's that, the kids are pointing at in the morning ??Oh yes ! Land in sight !!!

The north coast of Neiafu, Tonga.Entering the Vava'u group of islands.Closing in on Neiafu.The first person we see: a boy looking out of an abadoned building.

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Arrived in Tonga

Today at around noon we tied up at the fisher pier in Neiafu, Tonga. Then we learned that it’s actually sunday and all offices are closed. So we relocated to a mooreing and go back tomorrow morning to officially clear in.

Tonga ist schoen !

It was a very demanding journey – 1554 nautical miles that took us 13 days. But right now I’m too tired to write a lot. I’m gonna sort the pictures and put together a nice story tomorrow.

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