Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 15, 2007 - Enroute to Tonga

Yesterday morning we looked at the latest weather forecast and decided that we had better depart from Beveridge Reef that afternoon if we wanted to do the 370 mile passage to Tonga this week. So after one last snorkel trip we deflated the dinghy. While Sten finished tidying things on deck, I whipped up some passage food. This time I went old school - chicken casserole made with cream of mushroom soup. It isn't haute cuisine, but it does a nice job of coating the tummy. By 3pm we were underway.

During our six days in Beveridge, we had one fantastic day of light wind and sunshine. The rest of the time it either poured down rain or the wind was piping. Yesterday the 15 knot breeze created moderate seas outside the reef, which leads to current inside the reef at any time other than dead low tide. So, even though it was a sunny day, the snorkeling was difficult because of the heavy current coming over the reef. Beveridge makes you work for your pleasure.

We were talking about it yesterday, and we both agree that having some other people there to while away the rainy days with would have made it a better experience for us. It can be desperately lonely out here. Several times over the past year I have been in tears from missing friends and family. I'm much more extroverted than Sten, and I tend to feel the urge for company long before he does. But then the other morning we were listening to boats check in on the radio net. We heard a boat give a position near us. After the net, we hailed them. Switching channels to chat, Sten suggested that they might stop in at Beveridge to take a break from their squally passage. In the midst of describing the reef and the anchorage, he stated that "it is pretty lonely here." And I had thought I was the only one feeling isolated. The other boat didn't end up stopping - poor visibility caused by the rain made the reef pass into the lagoon too risky. I can only wonder how much different our experience at Beveridge would have been with some company.

The other disappointment was the fact that we didn't find any lobsters. The combination of bad weather and high seas made lobstering on the reef difficult. Sten hunted for lobster several times, but it wasn't to be. We wound up eating a lot of steak instead.

Sten, lobstering on the reef

We are glad that we stopped at Beveridge and that we stuck it out for 4 days of terrible weather waiting for that one good day. We saw some really great stuff but we are disappointed that we did not have better weather or have anyone else to share the experience with.

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