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And then there were two

The highlight from Wednesday was reuniting with Ken and Laurie from Trim. We had a fabulous meal with them at a nearby Mexican and even more fabulous conversation. They’re currently off on a road trip to central Australia. This is on our bucket list so we’re looking forward to meeting up with them again in the New Year to learn of their experience. We won’t have time to do a road trip on this visit to Australia but we now have so many reasons to return one day that this must happen. For us, this really is the way to experience Australia and Uluru (Ayers Rock) as opposed to flying in with a gaggle of tourists.

I have spent a fair bit of time working on connecting to the UK health system, in particular, getting connected to the consultant I want. We’re not there yet but the fight is on and I intend to win it. I am confident I will.

Helen and I went out yesterday to buy in our last pressies and stock up on seasonal refreshments. That’s now all done and everything wrapped, except for the things still on delivery. And that leads me on to ….

In my last blog I asked how can life get any more exciting. Well. When I learned that Ben had indeed received my Nexus 4 in the US I cancelled the order here. Twice. Once through a support ticket and once through the online support chat line. Just to be sure. This morning I received and email informing me they had shipped the unit. I have discussed this with Helen. If it is delivered, she’s going to have one too. The second one of course. Life is more exciting. We’ll now be able to play scrabble, without a board, just like Sarah and Russ.

Bloody Hell. It’s nearly 6.

Where has the day gone?

Rewind to yesterday. I did get some sleep eventually. I even slept through the end of my chemo and most of my blood test only being woken to press the plaster at the end. We’d agreed Helen should get some rest and come in after the rush hour so she appeared later than normal for her hospital visit. Having learned about the free parking around the hospital she left every now and then to move the car. It may seem a bit pedantic but it broke the day up for her and she used the trips to do other things too. Including bringing me lunch from the public food area in the hospital. Nice.

The blood test came out fine so we were discharged late afternoon and back with the family by dinner time. Helen and I were both pretty wiped out so we bade an early goodnight and headed back to the flat.

The rest since then has simply been back to stuff. I won’t do a big long list as going has been a bit slower due to tiredness and chemical wooziness and I’m sure there’s only so many lists one can take. A few highlights though :

  • We’ve connected with our cruising friends Ken and Lori from Trim who happen to be working a couple of miles from here.  We’ve arranged to meet up upon our return from Brisbane.  A lot to talk about from Palmerstone to Melbourne.
  • Sorted out another visit to our friends Brian and Janine in January – perhaps just as we leave the country.
  • I have ordered a Nexus 4 which may get to us before the end of the year – ahead of what the google play store seems capable of.  If it’s not delivered I can cancel and get my money back.

I feel like I’ve responded pretty well from the latest blast of chemo.  I’ve been a little confused/distracted from time to time but that seems to be fading.  Had an afternoon nap which seems to have freshened me up a bit.  A heatwave hit late afternoon so we’re now ‘enjoying that’.


Around midday, along with all from Delos and Jackster, we dinghied over to the end of the bay we’re in and dove on the wreck there. The surface waters were calm and murky but from about 20 feet down visibility cleared. The wreck is of an old transport ship a few hundred feet long. The highest parts of the structure are at about 60ft deep with the stern deck around 70ft. The base of the holds which can be entered sit around 110ft deep. There were plenty of fish around the wreck as well as many large majestic jelly fish. The iron deck has plenty of holes allowing us to peer into the depths of the ship. Because of the depth it was a short dive of around 30 minutes which was perfect for Helen.

Freezing Rain next to us invited us over for G&Ts at 6pm. We went ashore an hour or so earlier to cash in our free pizza only to discover they don’t light their oven until 6pm. We ended up at the Sunset Bar having their wood fire cooked burgers which were pretty damn good.

Leaving Ben aboard to get in some more piano before we have to hand it back we headed over to Freezing Rain where we also met the Trims and the Worral Winds.

Today we’re out of here. As much as we like it in Neiafu we do want to see some more of the islands around here. We’re off to Port Morell for a couple of nights before pushing off to the east side of the group for the weekend. We still don’t have our tracking reference but have people lined up when CatCo work out how to send an email. Ironically Leu Cat just sent us an email this morning saying they’ll be in Neiafu today and are hoping to see us. This is not the first time we’ve passed each other by. No doubt we’ll see them around here soon.

We’re feeling a little wrecked ourselves after the last week or so. We need some quiet time to recuperate. Maybe not tonight though because there’s already talk of a beach bonfire.

Full Moon Party

The Jackster’s showed up and anchored next to us around midday. We soon had them over to share our experiences of the last few months as well as abandoning our plans to hoist the main sail in favour of a few beers.

Around 6pm we headed ashore to Ano Beach for the ferry service to the Full Moon Party. Sadly, the ferry service was the weak link of the whole evening requiring some folks to wait over two hours for their turn to board and make the passage round to the party. Fortunately we made it over on the second one out so we didn’t have to wait too long.

The party was a lot of fun. A lot of the people we have previously mentioned on our blog were there. Most people on their way to New Zealand this year are either now in Tonga or soon to be arriving. I’m probably missing a few but those that we can put our heads together and remember are : A Cappella, Anthem, Bamboozle, Callisto, Delos, Freezing Rain, Imagine, Inspiration Lady, Jackster, Kamaya, Mojo, Paleides, Passages, Scream, Sea Mist, Trim, Tyee & Visions of Johanna. There were many others and we made some new acquaintances along the way.

A lot of effort had been put into things including three 10 minute shows of which Ben played a part (dressed as a skeleton) in the first and third. Not everything went smoothly but it was all appreciated.

We didn’t get back until after midnight. We didn’t see Ben until the following morning around 11am which I saw him on the ferry. I dinghied over and he jumped in the water to avoid the trip to the beach. He hadn’t slept at all having had the beer and food go free around 3am and partying into the morning followed by helping to clear up.

We have some pictures, courtesy of Ann from Callisto, which will be posted when we can get a connection.

Tomorrow the fun continues so we’ll be off early round to Neiafu.

Last day in Niue

Saturday was a tidy up and rest day. More so for Ben as he was a little hung over from the night before. Helen and I along with Ken from Trim dove “The Chimney”. It turned out to be a great experience. Helen encountered four snakes (she was counting) and easily kept her distance. After an initial wrong turn we found the entrance to “The Chimney” at 90ft. After a short horizontal stretch the chimney rose up to about 20ft. It was narrow and full of nooks and crannies, a sort of upwards Alice Through the Looking Glass experience. Ken kindly refilled our tanks so we’re good to go on our next dive.

We did go ashore to fill our water jugs and to pay off our tab at the Niue Yacht Club. We ended up with NZ$5.40 after everything so we bought a couple of ice creams to blow the rest.

We are now en route to the Vava’u Group in Tonga. It’s a 250nm passage practically dead down wind. We’re taking it easy with the head sail up only which will allow us to arrive some time Wednesday.

The timezone in Niue is UTC-11. In Tonga it is UTC+13. That means our clocks won’t change but our calendars will. We will lose a whole day. That’s how a two day passage takes three calendar days.