- FIJI Voyage
August 2002 - Soren Larsen is near Lautoka, on the western side
of Viti Levu, Fiji. The ship has sailed southabout from Overlau,
their port of entry on the east side of Fiji and the called
at the isaland of Bequa (pronounced Benga) on their way. On
Sat. 3rd the present Voyage Crew depart the ship in Lautoka
- and they will continue with their school project by staying
with the village at the island of Namara in the Yassawas.
28th July 2003 - Capt Davies reports:
Hi all - After departing from Nieafu, Vavau we stopped at Mariners
Cave (as the weather had not been suitable on the way up).
most students snorkeled and managed the underwater entrance
to the cave - and then we took the inflatable boats through
Swallows Cave. [See picture page from the previous voyage here].
It was a good finish to the Tonga part of the voyage.
under sail for our ocean passage to Fiji - light east wind.
Friday 26th July
2002: 18° 28' South and 174°
Sunny weather - Soren Larsen on a starboard tack with all squaresails
set. By the afternoon the wind backs Northerly F2 and Soren
is ghosting along. I choose this as an opportunity to do a Do
MOB (man overboard) drill - we use a marker buoy (!) - which
involves the whole deck in handing sail and launching the rescue
boat and recovering the 'casualty'. At the end of a successful
drill I let everyone go for a ride in the rescue boat to take
pictures of the ship under sail as this is a good ocean photo
- making little progress under sail so I instructed Engineer
Phil to start the main engine. Motoring over calm seas we passed
through Oneata Passage in the Lau group. By 0800 Saturday we
found ourselves motoring against F4 Westerly and had 2 hrs rain
as the weather front passes (so no brasso for the 8-12 today?
1630 dolphins visit us after afternoon tea. Sky clear wind backing
South Westerly - we should sail soon.
ETA Levuka, Fiji 1800 Sunday - we will put back the ship's clocks
1 hr tonight, which will make us the same time zone as NZ.
See sketchs and accounts from the school group Tonga to Fiji
The Coopers Company & Coborn School
Upminster UK joined the ship in Nukualofa for their 18 day voyage
to Fiji on Tues 16th July.
their website at http://www.tallship2002.co.uk
are captain Tony Davies' latest reports from the ship:
Wed. 17th to Sat. 20th July 2002
Their first morning aboard Soren Larsen and the ship is lying
quietly off the wharf at Nukualofa. The new student voyage crew
got used to their cabins last night and as is customary we did
the Captain and 1st Mate's introductions and safety briefings
in the morning and then harnesses were issued and all were taken
aloft for sail training.
Tongatapu we set out on this, the first of our two school voyages.
Conditions were favourable and I felt it would make a good start
to our project to sail off the anchor. This involved everyone
hauling halyards and using the sails to maneuver the ship, without
the aid of the main engine, as we heaved up the anchor and payed
off onto our first sailing tack.
We had a good sail to Nomuka with a ESE F4 tradewind which carried
on through our overnight sail. All landed on Nomuka where we
visited the school & walked across the island. We found
a place of some historical significance - the waterhole or pond
that was used by first Tasman and later by Cook and then Bligh
to take on water supplies. The students found it hard to believe
they drank such muddy water !
the afternoon we moved the vessel across the channel to the
smaller island of Nomuka Iki where again the Avon inflatables
were launched it was all ashore or snorkeling and bush walks.
19th: 0600 we 'up-ed anchor' and motorsailed to Uoleva. There
was great excitement on deck as a pod of humpback whales were
spotted and we witnessed them breaching spectacularly.
Arriving at Uoleva in the afternoon the shore party went to
explore the deserted beach.
20th: Uoleva - This is a wonderful spot to have a beach BBQ
and so Tracey and Nicki packed the lunch supplies into
the Avon for a meal ashore. By 1400
the crew were all onboard after BBQ and we prepared to
get the ship ready for sea. The weather by now was a strong
F5/6, from the SE which was favourable for our course north
to Vava'u but squally with some showers (it strikes me as strange
that the weather always deteriorates when we have a BBQ..)
With 1 reef set in the mains'l we got underway from
Ouleva by 1725 - ETA Vavau Sunday 1100. Our Coopers Coborn
crew are doing well - they are adapting to the ship and the
tropics quite quickly and are keen to join in. My only problem
is their water consumption - 350 gallons yesterday! (However
this will change..)
This being the weekend we did our normal 'Captain's Rounds'
- a cabin inspection and review of general tidiness. The 1st
Mate was only slightly gleeful at the number of untidy items
this inspection collected for our public auction and peer pressure
made for some high bidding among the student voyage crew.
Arrived Vava'u 0800 today. We had a fast a relatively rough
trip up into Vava'u with some great sailing with Soren Larsen
averaging 7-8 knots over the watches. There were some green
faces as the new voyage crew got their first taste of open water
sailing but I thought all did very well.
the day at anchor Pt Maurelle with still strong F6/7 & cloudy.
This morning all hands gave the ship a thorough clean and a
harbour stow on the sails and this afternoon some team games
convoluted challenge involved traversing an egg across the vessel
and into a bucket without breaking tested the teams ingenuity&
a treasure hunt around the deck and rig discovered how much
everyone has learnt about the ship so far. Being Sunday our
evening dinner was a smartly dressed affair but the after dinner
entertainment by students was great - a hilarious
skit sending up the permanent crew.
Tomorrow, Monday, to Neiafu - and V/Crew will ashore to explore
the old town while I go to try arrange Tongan feast and evening
of local entertainment.
The ship's 2nd Mate David Iggulden writes here of the voyage
the 1st voyage of these Sth Pfic travels from Auckland
was contrary winds, driving rain & a lumpy sea that made
Farmer Giles cart track appear like the M4, the present
3rd voyage is the idyllic Pacific Cruise of the holiday brochures
- waves of sunshine, snicking palm leaves, beach bonfires &
the hissing of gentle surf.
between, the 2nd voyage around Tonga was a little of both; a
combination of adverse winds & tropical squalls interspersed
with brilliant sunshine over deep blue seas, allowing for some
fine snorkelling amongst the coral reefs.
present school charter voyage crew have all found their sea
legs, & ALL hoisted their buttocks over the futtocks at
the 1st attempt on the day they joined ship. Deck and entertainment
competitions between the 3 watches as well as the permanent
crew have featured eggs encased in bananas whizzed across hatches
on flying foxes to scenario commentaries worthy of the best
of Tolkein. The permanent crew havent won yet, but theyre
girding their loins for a major effort.
The 22 voyage crew are assessing their individual characters;
the boisterous and effervescent ones naturally came to the fore
in the initial stages of the voyage, while the more reserved
& considering are now allowing their natures to shine and
contribute. There is great humour and banter between themselves
& with the permanent crew, as, perhaps, only the British
& Soren Larsen know how.
few days more in Polynesia - including a traditional Tongan
feast in a village on Pangai Motu of the Vavau Group - and Soren
Larsen sets a course westward to Melanesia & the Feejees.
This ocean passage, assisted by the South Sub-tropical Current,
passes through the exotic Lau Islands, following in the course
of Captain Blighs legendary open boat journey of the late
18th century (the Bounty Mutiny took place in Tonga - Fletcher
Christian set Bligh adrift in the boat's boat near Tofua in
the Haa'pai Group)
NEW! The Kingdom of Tonga V66 page 2 Vavau feast night 11 July
are Captain Tony's reports from the ship of the first Kingdom
of Tonga cruise V166 - here.