After a night drifting around in light breezes waiting for dawn we found it challenging to make the North West coast of Tofua which is where Bligh's Cave is situated. The wind was from the west and the ground swell made any approach impossible. By mid morning we decided to anchor on the Northern coast and carefully sailed in to drop our anchor in deep water coral.
During the night we had damaged our tracking system test light and pulled the VHF Aeriel of the mizzen mast so there are a list if things to de before setting out from here. I am surprised at the ongoing damage we are getting but we are prepared for it. The camera support boat has followed us here to film and will come no further returning to Nuku Alofa maybe tomorrow night.
The westerly winds are no good for us as we only sail about 70 degrees into the wind so there is no way we would be able to head to Fiji till it s wings around so we are stuck here like Bligh was waiting for weather.
Chris decided to swim ashore to explore the island,I replaced the rudder pin toggles with bolts as they were falling out,set up a safety line for moving forward onto the bow, repaired the tracker and caught some small fish for bait. Quilter kept busy doing plenty of odd jobs and checking the anchor. As I write we are running anchor watch all night as I am worried that the rope will cut on the coral.
At about 3pm Stuart our camera man wanted to trek to Bligh's Cave as a local living on the island knew where it was...I stayed with the boat for safety reasons but the others headed of..it turned into the epic it was not meant to be? climbing down cliffs and finally returning to the beach well after dark..with some tall stories but they got to the Cave!
I was worried that they would eat food outside the TBB rations but it was only a coconut..they stank when they got back obnboard with me though as they broke the rules and had a bath..salt water..on the support boat! Dave Wilkinson who is having really problems with the lack of food and other issues broke the biggest rule and used the toilet and paper on the support boat which really annoyed me as that is not the spirit..but what can I say..for me it was in the water for a swim and go to the toilet at the same time..no paper needed!!
Looks like we will be here for two days then off to Australia..I hear the Google earth maps are up now...you can see the volcano and us..I am in the cockpit under the volcano writing this..it has been steaming all day and is now going OFF!! the red glow is illuminated in the steam..amazing place this!!
Strange thing..with our small rations I am coping ok and still have a ships biscuit left...I ammo full..true!!...Don