Matthew and Jo

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - September 2012

2nd September - Left Suwarrow for Samoa. Took 2 days and 23 hours to sail 514 miles. Was probably the worst passage we've had so far with seas of around 3 - 4 metres and 2 days of wind between 25 and 30 knots! We lost a day on this passage as we crossed the date line - Samoa moved to the west of the date line on 28th December 2011 - much to the disgruntlement of locals who lost a birthday or anniversary!

5th September - Glad to arrive in Apia on the island of Upolu, Samoa. Checked in to the marina and had the health, immigration, customs, quarantine and port officers on board throughout the day. Finally able to get off the boat by 3pm and have a look at some of the events of the annual Teuila Festival. We missed most of the long boat racing which is between 100ft long boats rowed by about 45 people!

6th - 12th September - Played at being tourists on the island of Upolu. Lovely picturesque coastline with small villages - very friendly people and great to be able to speak english! Went to a local rugby tournament - we watched 3 semi finals and 2 finals (all played for different trophies). Visited the residence of the island's famous inhabitant - Robert Louis Stevenson. He lived here for the last 4 years of his life in his mansion 'Vailima' which has been restored and stands in fabulous grounds. Took a hike up to the top of Mount Vaea where his tomb is. He was given a burial fit for royalty - he was very generous to the Samoan people and a great advocate for their independence.

13th - 15th September - took 3 day mini break on the island of Savaii. Stayed in the local 'fales' which are open buildings with a roof supported by pillars - but they do have woven blinds which you can roll down if it rains and to give you a bit of privacy! These are the traditional houses of Samoa and most of the locals still live in them. In amongst these very simple dwellings are incredible churches - about 3 in each small village! The Samoans are very respectful of their ancestors and we saw many simple fales with massive elaborate tombs in front. Visited dwarf caves, blow holes and volcanoes.

18th September - Set off for the 350 miles trip to the Kingdom of Tonga. Fortunately we only had rough seas until evening of the first day - the rest of the passage we had reasonably flat seas but good winds so made it in 1 day 23 hours!

20th September - once again we spent a good part of the day having officials visiting the boat before being allowed to move off to the anchorage in the main town of Neifau on the most northern group of islands - Vavau. Lots of boats here who we know - everybody bunches up in the same places waiting out the month of October for good weather to get down to New Zealand.

22nd - 30th September - Just happened to be the annual regatta which of course we registered for. The first event being a 'fancy dress pub crawl' followed by various games and fun days and a yacht race on the last day to the final 'Full Moon Party'. We crewed for El Vagabond in one of the 'round the can' races - not worked that hard on winches for a good while - quite a shock to the system! We took a young local lad on our race to the full moon party but didn't fly the spinnaker so came 3rd. Party on board Superted the night after the full moon party with Tom on the guitar and leading us in the raucous singing!


                                          Lat and Long   30 September:

                                          S18.39.511 W173.59.11