Underway to Nomuka IKI and Blue base!!

Well we have technically set off, underway to Nomuka…we left the harbor around 1730 after the boys spent some time scrubbing the anchor chain…now we are anchored at Pangimoto Island. And hope to get underway at 0500 tomorrow morning. Three will sleep on the floor tonight and every space on deck is covered in gear..the aft deck is piled up 1.5mtrs high with crates…the fly-bridge is full and we are settled on our marks so are over 40 tonne…we have 10 20 ltr water containers along the side decks and 15 x 20 ltr containers of petrol so no smoking tonight…we have enough fruit and veg onboard to start our own shop so it will be a race to eat it all before it goes off… today was a blur of last shopping, filling containers of water to top up our ships tanks..clearing out of the port with customs and Port Authority, sorting last minute immigration, dropping off the hire car after buying takeaway Barbie dinners for everyone..burning our last cardboard packaging as we could not find suitable dumpsters anywhere, tying things down all over ICE so things will not roll around tomorrow underway..and wondering if I got my stability calculations right…actually it is a bit of a guess…but we are going to roll that is certain…but it should be safe…but then again life is an adventure…

Forecast is for 10-15 kts from the east..on the beam and 1.5mtr sea, but as I write this at the anchorage, it is still blowing quite strong…so we will keep our fingers crossed…every day counts now so there is a sense of anticipation onboard now..the destination is just over the horizon and then just under that!!!

We have all been busy with plenty of laughs mixed in, lots of walking back and forward between town and the harbor and EPIC battles with the Tongan internet system, slow as she goes and often out of service. We are certainly a mixed bag of nationalities and backgrounds, but it is mixed up in a great way…we have a kaleidoscope of skills and characters.. everything here now, so hard work and fun will go hand in hand…I keep reminding all that we are going to an island..so water is the biggest issue followed by power..and also a realization that the luxuries of home are simply in the past..having said that, we are bringing plenty of “stuff” to Blue Base, as a good living environment should allow for greater efficiency in work output …

AS I write the team are snuggled up on their baby mattresses in any available space on ICE…we have never slept 10 onboard before..I just broke the news to them that we only have an 8 man liferaft onboard, so the girls will have to hang onto the ropes on the outside!!..the internet is very slow so I will try send some pictures with this??…we will only be going to do emails every two weeks now and have to steam seven hours to to do that on another island north of Nomuka..at Pangai….wow the wind outside is blowing..Hmmm???

By the time you get to read the next blog we should be in the water looking at some wrecks…but not touching anything by then as there are still some paper work issues to sort…all now in the capable hands of Joshua and Mark …life is fun..the crew are a special lot, so let it begin…they are all sleeping like babies at the moment…this is officially the end of phase one…who knows what lies over the horizon..

Don.

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