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Auckland to Tonga Trip

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Good Video Roger! Looks like your boat goes pretty well!


We were in Tonga in 03 as well, but I think a bit ahead of you. I see in one of your closing pics the Whiting 40 Satori, another boat from Mana CC. Our friend Bill Byford. Interesting that we managed to miss meeting you guys! Did you stay in Tonga for the season, or what?

We left on April 15th, did Wellington - Tonga - Fiji - Vanuatu - New Cal - NZ, back home in Wellington in late Sept if I remember correctly. Had a great time and enjoyed it all - have good memories of Tonga, as I sure you do too...



Island Time

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Yes we cruised for a couple of months in Tonga, via Ha'apai group and Vava'u. Strange that we never saw Island Time. We then sailed via Nuiatoputapu (magnificent) to Samoa before heading across to Fiji for a few months then back to NZ. Looks like from the timing you were just ahead of us. You also travelled much further west- quite a lot for one season. Yes I remeber Sartori and also in the last pictures was a Lidgard 42 "Skywalker" I think which we borrowed a pair of bolt cutters from to break into our own boat after I tossed the boat keys into the tide! Skywalker was lost later that season on a reef.


We did the trip from Fiji to Vanuatu on our friends Ketch Tamariki a few seasons later- there sure is plenty to explore!


Had a great season away - there's always a few good stories to tell!





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Bill was my rugby coach in Taihape when I was 12 and I got into the Rangtaiki rep team, we went on to win the tournament that was played in taranaki.


He was also the rep coach.


This was is about 1986 I think..


He was certainly a legend then, and I bet he is now.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Roger,

Thanks for posting this. Really enjoyed your video and gave me some armchair sailing in lieu of the real thing which will have to wait til later this year. I have Morning Cloud - also a South Pacific 42 in Auckland which I will be taking to Tonga hopefully next year. She is one of the Byrant (Tauranga boats) built in 1999. Was interested to see how the South Pacific did in the blow you had. I am currently landlocked in Alice Springs of all places but do get to sail Morning Cloud in the NZ summer. Any advice/tips about the South Pacific 42 off shore and getting through Cat One would surely be welcome. Thanks again for sharing your video. Michael Lawton

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Hi Michael,


I think I remember your yacht , you passed us motoring back from Kawau near the Tiri passage a few years back. Alice Springs is certainly a long way from the sea, but good for planning offshore trips.


Getting Cat 1 was relatively straight forward. The inspector had us pin the mast to its base on the cabin floor, and I remember coming up with a simple way of securing the hatch slides from coming out if we rolled. Oh yes a great tip I got from a friend was to put a Perspex cover over the engine instruments which were low in the cockpit. To get access to the key we cut a hole and put in a plastic agee jar top with screw lid, so that you just unscrew the lid. Worked a treat, and a godsend when the cockpit filled up with water from a rogue wave.


The trysail was also on a separate track with the sail bent on in its own bag, so when it blew we didn’t have to try and attach anything. Same for the storm jib, all sheets were attached and just raised it on the inner forestay.


Sailing at night we had a cutter rig setup so when it got windy just rolled the headsail in from the cockpit and didn’t need to go on deck.


Other stuff was just following the long list.


Good luck with the trip planning.


Cheers Roger

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