An early morning and on the Bridge by 0600, we needed to find out what the weather conditions were like at Avatui, the main harbour on the island and on the north coast. I hadn’t had much success calling here, having to cancel my 2 preceding calls due to conditions, it is a ‘tender’ port, no dock large enough to take us.
I had presumed that the north side would be too ‘bumpy’ to tender there and it was my intention to go to the west side first, it was likely to have better conditions. The island folks must have been on ‘island’ time, for it was when we only 20 minutes away that the Harbour Master called us and told us that conditions looked reasonable for tendering; we had to turn back to get to Avatui and made our approach accordingly and readied for tender operations.
As we did so, it became apparent that the Harbour Master’s opinion on ‘suitable’ differed to ours; there was a confused swell and, even though stopped in the water, we were ‘pitching’ sufficiently to make tender operations difficult.
A decision was made to try on the west side of the island, my first choice anyway, where a ‘cut’ had been made through the reef and a pier built to accommodate tenders. 5 miles from where we were, it did not take long to get around to the west side and make our approach.
The water is too deep to anchor and ‘shelves’ sharply when near the reef, one can safely stay with 1/3 of a mile and be in hundreds of feet of water. ‘Hovering’ on joystick.
We readied our tenders and started operations to the pier.
I stayed on board while the 2 Karen’s went ashore to enjoy a lazy day at a nearby resort. Entrusted with my camera, she came back with some lovely photos. Here are but a few of them.
We are now on our way to New Zealand’s North Island and Waitangi Bay. Tonight we put our clocks forward 24 hours, in preparation for crossing the International date Line tomorrow; we go to bed on Wednesday night and wake up on a Friday morning, that’s a long snooze 🙂