Updating the Plan

Tim will be rejoining in Australia. Bob is working out well as crew, but with Tim returning and Jesse joining we won’t have a berth for him between Australia and (somewhere in the vicinity of) Singapore. He’s planning to head home for that interval, and then rejoin. I’m thinking that I will fly home from Singapore along with Jesse, in early December. I would spend two and a half months at home, while Tim and crew cruise in SE Asia. Then back to Singapore around March 1st, and Tim and I and presumably Bob will continue westward across the Indian Ocean. Got it…?

Backing up to Australia, we have logistics to be worked out there, too. When will we arrive? What flights should Bill and Bob book from there? What flights should Hallie and Jesse and Tim book to get there? Hallie, Jesse and I want to explore some of Australia by land. What part(s)? How long can I afford to be away from the boat? What work will we want done on the boat during this interval?

But first we need to make some choices for the near term. We had our new sail and the replacement pump for the autopilot shipped to here. To our surprise they both arrived very quickly. Monday we have an appointment with the mechanic to install the pump. The wind is predicted to go light, so we’re also hoping we can raise the new sail to check it out. Then we have a few more days in Tonga before we head for…

…Tokelau…? That is my goal. But it is north and east of here, and thus probably to windward (and thus uncomfortable sailing in the ocean waves). The reasons to go there are threefold. First, it is one of the places most threatened by sea level rise; it is on Jimmy’s list of important Blue Planet Odyssey destinations. Second, almost nobody goes there; it would probably be the most remote stop on our trip. Some may see that as a reason NOT to go there, but I see it as an exciting departure from the “milk run” — the standard route that most yachts follow. The third reason to go is that Drina will be going there. Drina successfully negotiated the Northwest Passage, and this will be the first chance to rendezvous with her. And Jimmy’s daughter Doina and her son will be aboard Drina, adding to the fun.

The downside of heading north to Tokelau, and then to Tuvalu, is primarily the added distance — about 900 miles. It also means we would not visit Fiji. And another issue for us is that our food supplies are dwindling, and there is little or nothing available in Tokelau or Tuvalu. We would have to stock up here in Tonga, which seems to have less than anywhere we’ve been so far. Or an alternative would be to stop in American Samoa, on the way to Tokelau. Excellent provisioning there, but a pain to clear in and out of another country.

Bill and Bob have agreed to give Tokelau a try. It all depends on the weather. We’re not going to “knock ourselves out” trying to get there if the winds make it difficult. Everyone is talking about it now being officially an El Niño year, and this will manifest in unstable and unpredictable weather. We shall see…

3 thoughts on “Updating the Plan”

  1. Thanks for the update on your plans. Tokelau sounds like a great island to visit knowing it is so endangered and not on the usual path for yachts . Meeting Drina and her crew would be interesting too.
    Fair winds and calm seas to the “tree amigos”.


  2. You all need a timeline just to keep track of all the crew comings and goings straight, never mind where you will be and when over of the next several months. Phew… It will be terrific, though, to have you back in the ‘hood for a little while this winter.


    1. Some crafts are sent to Tahiti, since the tourist market is much bigger there. Some craftspeople move to Tahiti. But most is local and offered through coops and at special events, and sometimes simply on roadside tables. In addition to visiting boats there are some other tourists, including French people who are living/working in Tahiti who visit on vacations. –Z


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