We departed Opua, NZ, on May 1st, 2017.  It was a sunny day, our weather router had given us the thumbs up and we were finally ready for the passage!

Ninepin Island, as we leave the Bay of Islands

Another passage, another sunset…thought we saw the Green Flash but I didn’t get it on film!

Classic squall, to be avoided!

Mackerel sky

One of many rainbows

Is the horizon on fire?

The moon through the clouds. I realize it is a bit fuzzy but tripods are not an option in the middle of the ocean!

Our chart plotters have several different options for displaying information:

Navionics Chart

Note the set drift of over 2 knots in the wrong direction for us!

Making good time, 7.9 VMG.  332NM to go to our WPT west of Tongatapu.  Three days out, the predicted arrival time west to Tongatapu ended up being very close to our actual.

Another screen with information about the true wind direction, etc.

It got a wee bit windy and rough for the last three or four days. We took numerous waves over the bow and coachroof. Thank goodness for the high free-board and having most of the cockpit enclosure zipped up. We did take some seasickness pills on this trip, for insurance! When you are double-handing, no one can afford to be sea sick.

Sailing on a close reach!

Time to put up the Tonga courtesy flag!

We arrived at our WPT west of Tongatapu before noon on May 8th. We were pleased to make it there in 7 days. After we turned east into the Egeria Channel toward Nuku’Alofa Harbour, we slowed down with 28 knots on the nose and an unhelpful one metre swell. It took us 5 hours to motor 15NM. We were glad to be able to anchor just before dark. Monty quickly brought out two plastic champagne flutes, a bottle of NZ sparkling wine, some cheese and crackers. We were definitely ready for a hot shower, without having to hold on for dear life, and a good night’s sleep!

Fortunately, not much motoring on this passage!

Next up Nuku’Alofa and the check-in process!