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Soren Vavau_palm.jpg (10664 bytes)Voyage Crew Monica Halverson recounts their voyage from Nuku'alofa through the Kingdom of Tonga.

PART two - below                 
For Part 1 Click here
Part 3 click here

(see also 2003 Voyage reports & picture gallerys - here)

Vava', Nothern Tonga to eastern and southern Fiji:
"Having more or less exhausted ourselves on Saturday, we spent a quiet and relaxed Sunday on uninhabited Euakafa just like the locals do. Swimming, snorkelling, hiking, and napping on the beach were the order of the day. We pulled up anchor late in the afternoon and sailed back to Neiafu. With only the lower and upper topsails set, we did over 6 knots as we manoeuvred our way once again through these picturesque islands.

Monday morning is spent preparing to sail to Fiji: clearing customs; last minute trips to the Post Office, laundry and market; spending those last Tongan dollars; and, perhaps calling home. Five of us took advantage of the time by scuba diving. We dove a site called Split Rock which is off of a small rock islet in the southern part of the Group. The underwater rock formations and coral were brilliant. Two beautiful lionfish were on display along with a variety of other tropical fish. Visibility was about 30 meters. It was quite a good dive.

Once everyone was back on board, we began our blue water sail to Fiji. This is, in fact, why we all chose Soren Larsen as our mode of transport between these island groups. As luck would have it, the weather delivers a variety of conditions providing endless sail handling opportunities. Everyone quickly learns the "ropes" (lines) that control the 12 sails as we set, hand and adjust them again and again as the weather constantly changes. Of course, handing the sails means furling them too creating opportunities to climb 80 feet up the foremast to the topgallant yard. The only thing more exhilarating than the climb is the view once you get up there. Arriving at all of these South Pacific islands on a tall ship is a very nostalgic experience. Arriving on the topgallant yard is nothing short of spectacular!

Day-to-day life on the ship entails much more than just sail handling. We are each assigned to a watch where we are on for 4 hours, off for 8, and then on again for 4. During watch, we are responsible for steering the ship, bow watch, hourly safety rounds and some light maintenance work (e.g. brass polishing, deck scrubs, dishes). When we’re not on watch, we’re eating three fantastic meals a day (It is absolutely amazing what Squiz and Sally Ann can do in the tiniest of galleys which is constantly moving with their unlimited assortment of spices.); sitting on the sun-drenched poop deck reading a good book; taking care of personal needs (e.g. laundry in buckets of sea water on deck, swapping hair cuts, writing journal entries, etc.); watching the permanent crew perform their daily tasks (e.g. First Mate Sal organizing the activities for the day; Sail maker Lucy mending a tattered sail; Boson Nick splicing a line; Engineer Pete repairing one of many mechanical or electrical gadgets on board; Deckhand Rich setting a new standard for furling the headsails; Ship’s Carpenter Jimma converting an ordinary piece of wood into a component of the ship; Second Mate Barry inspecting the safety equipment; or, Deckhands Dave and Joost climbing around in the rigging with a pouch of tallow, lashings or other tools needed on the jobs aloft) - always with smiles on their faces; and, getting better acquainted with our travelling companions from various parts of the world. (It is no wonder that we are so tired at the end of the day!) Although the ship has hot, freshwater showers which we must use sparingly, occasionally that just doesn’t suffice. Barry frequently demonstrates the technique of the all-you-can-use seawater deck shower. Joost recently went a step further and created a seawater bath where you could soak in the suds as long as you wanted!

Whether on watch or not, we are constantly faced with some of the most fantastic scenery anywhere. Each sunrise and sunset presents a unique skyline of shapes (from the clouds) and colors (from greys to blues to pinks, reds and oranges). The rising and setting of the moon can be equally spectacular. The moonrise on Wednesday (at about 0400) of this week was truly memorable: a bright crescent moon looking like a canoe just above the horizon with Venus brightly shining just millimetres away from the right-hand tip of the moon’s edge against a star-filled backdrop. The reflection of the bright lights on the calm sea added to the uniqueness of the view. This combination of moon, planets, stars and sea can only happen once in a lifetime and we were fortunate enough to see it! The volume and clarity of the stars on a clear night is truly magnificent. On such a night, it is not uncommon to see numerous falling stars - boy, if all of those wishes come true!

At 0320 Thursday morning we crossed the 180 degree meridian. Although perhaps not as significant as crossing the equator (no sign of King Neptune), it still warranted a party onboard. In anticipation of the crossing, we chose to have the party on Wednesday evening. The "Far Side" was chosen as the theme since we are in a far-away place and also because we race to the pegboard every morning to see that day’s Far Side calendar page. Everyone dressed as their favorite Far Side cartoon character and Purser Rosie made one of her infamous rum punches. It proved to be a festive evening.

In addition to working hard and playing hard, we also find time to learn as much as possible about the theory of sailing. Capt. Tony spent an afternoon during the voyage explaining the inter-relationships between a ship’s design, the sea, and wind; and, how to set the sails accordingly. This included an explanation of why we spiral the yards which now makes a lot of sense. As it turns out, all the bracing we do and redo is really important in sailing the ship! Tony also explained the steps involved in tacking the ship which we were able to take advantage of the very next day.

Even though we are using the GPS for most of our navigational needs, we periodically take out the sextant and practice our skills at Celestial navigation. Most of the time we are able to prove that the GPS is working correctly.

It took us three full days to sail to Fiji arriving Thursday afternoon but too late to clear Customs and go ashore. As such, we enjoyed our peaceful anchorage initially by watching Dave, Barry and Charlie convert their undefined facial hair into styling lamb chops sideburns. They now resemble the sea captains from two centuries ago. (Martin may be responsible for planting the seed which grew into these new looks when he first donned a Mohawk and then eventually a clean-shaven head earlier in the week!) We later enjoyed drinks and a lovely dinner on deck followed by some games that literally "stretched" the participants. As we end this day (Thursday, July 19) and prepare to begin our exploration of Fiji in the morning, I am ending this VC log chapter. We will come back to you with a later update on what this group of islands unfolds over the next several days.

   [Back to Part 1 Click here ].

V146 : see pictures  - on deck through French Polynesia! Here.

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Here is 1st Mate Sally Anderson's Weblog report of the voyage from the Cook Islands:

"The Cook Islands were an absolute delight. Tranquil, easy going, relaxed and inexpensive. V.B at the bar and a cinema!!! The crew were ecstatic. MORE....

VC John Anderson's account Part 2 of the previous voyage from Bora Bora to the Cook Island and their stay in Rarotonga HERE "Visually Bora Bora is magnificent. It is probably the most photographed island in the South Pacific, and rightly so. Entering the lagoon is stunning, and as we did the cloud cleared revealing the island in all its splendour.......

Also here  is Voyage Crew John Anderson's account (Part 1) of the  voyage from Papeete to Bora Bora - Click here!

But click here for new shots of Soren in dry-dock at Tahiti.

Bora_anch.jpg (10289 bytes)Bora Bora
anchored off the Bora Bora Yacht Club.





(A word about Crew Mail here.)

Click here for the Web Log report Pitcairn / Henderson to Marquesas.

Click here for  the Web Log report Easter Island - Henderson.

Below are links to Sally Anderson's Web Log reports from the Galapagos to Easter island:
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Part 1 tells of their passage from Panama to Cocos island - 7/12th Feb. Click here.

Part 2 covers from Cocos Island to the Galapagos - 13/18th Feb.  Click here: 

Part 3 recounts their journey between Galapagos and Easter Island, and their experiment in traditional navigation methods,   22 - 28th Feb:

Part 4: Continues the passage to their arrival at Easter Island, 1st-19th March: Click here.


VOYAGE CREW RETURNING HOME:  Scan and email or post your pictures of your voyage! If you have an account of your trip or a special moment then let us a know. Your tales can be included in the Voyage Log!

Email to escape%40sorenlarsen%2eco%2enz (send max 4 or 5 picture per email)

Soren Larsen Voyagers Log: P.O.Box 310 Kumeu, Auckland 1250 New Zealand

For a Feedback form to give us your thoughts and suggestions on the voyage click here.

Contact our Auckland HQ:
Phone 00 649 411 8755
Fax 00 649 4118484
Email : escape%40sorenlarsen%2eco%2enz
Postal address P.O.Box 310 Kumeu
Auckland 1250 New Zealand

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Voyage Crew
UK - Tenerife
NEW: Across the Atlantic
Pacific Wedding 96
Soren's Xmas Card

Check The Time on board: HERE


Sally's reports:
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19 Cooks -Tonga
18 Tahiti Drydock
17c Pics Society I
17b Bora-Cooks
17a Tahiti-Bora
16a Tuamotos
16 Tahiti
15 Pitcarin Island
14 Easter Island -Pitcairn
13 Sally's reports,
Panama-Easter I.

12 Pieter's Report
11 Galapagos 2
10 Galapagos
9 Panama
8 Panama Pics
7 Venez Islds

6 Grenadines
5 Caribbean
4 Mid Atl 1
3 Santa Cruz
2 To Madeira
1 Bay Biscay

Voyage Crew Memory Modules:

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Paul Huisking reflects on his
Auckland -Panama
Ocean Passage
last year.
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Southern Ocean Picture Gallery
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Voyage Crew Memories
Ian Marshall's Atlantic Crossing Voy 142, Dec 2000
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See pictures of the Curacao - Panama voyage at V. Crew Bob Lewis' own webpage


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See pics from John Homes and Alan Murphy of the Grenada-Curacao leg.

Leaving Charlestown
Picture page.
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ReRigging Topmast

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UK Refit 1:
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Archived Voyage Logs:
A look back on our Year 2000  Global Odyssey from Auckland to the States and Europe...

Auckland to Easter Island

Easter Island to Panama and Miami

Miami to New York

NY, Halifax to

For pictures of
London Voyagers Club reunion
Click here

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Tourism Awards
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