The Ark of Peace Cruising the South Seas
The harbourmaster can be contacted on VHF Channel When you arrive you will need to check-in with Immigration.
Sadly someone decided that the Immigration Office should be co-located with the police headquarters, in Coleman House , about half-way up town towards the Hospital. Enjoy the walk! Yacht visits tend to be concentrated in the first half of the year, perhaps for the better weather on the island but more probably to avoid the hurricane season in the Caribbean and western mid-Atlantic, though you are almost certain to find a mooring even at the busiest times.
If you want to stay on the island and sleep in a proper bed! Sterling is accepted at par i. These may differ from rates advertised on websites and from other sources. Sadly this is a purely local scheme - you cannot use it with overseas credit and debit cards. See our Visitor Information page for more useful information and things to do while you are here. This has the reputation of being an easy passage.
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The most favourable conditions are usually November to April, although the passage can be made at any time of the year. SE winds predominate during the summer, which makes it an enjoyable and fast passage. Later in the year strong NW winds are associated with the fronts which reach the coasts of S Africa. If you are departing at that time of year, watch the forecast carefully. Try to leave immediately after the passage of a front, when the next one appears a long way off, and stay well offshore.
Sailing up this coast puts you into the cold Benguela current and the area is subject to offshore fog. A small number of vessels make the journey down from the north via Tenerife, Cape Verde or Ascension Island. A handful make the journey back to South Africa and the remainder list destinations such as The Azores and various mainland European countries via unidentified intermediate ports. Maybe it was 23 days at sea, but they were just so good. The World ARC is a round-the-world adventure taking place over 15 months and covering 26, nautical miles , run every two years.
Following the classic Trade Winds route, the rally avoids regions of political instability, piracy and the storm seasons in both hemispheres. The pace of the rally allows the fleet to stay together, and to enjoy shore-side activities as a group, mixing together cruising and time to explore. The inaugural Rally also visited in January , where the participants were particularly impressed by our Whale Sharks. For more about our climate see our Weather and climate page. After waiting close to a week for the winds in Cape Town to settle down, we headed out on January 31 st.
Our next stop would be the island of Saint Helena, 2,km to the northwest. The strategy for this leg of the trip is to wait for a few days of light winds in Cape Town and make it as far north as possible before the next big blow comes.
In the case of Cape Town, light winds usually mean knots. This passage is normally quite boisterous for the first few days, and our trip was no exception. We had S to SE winds at knots for the first four days, with a sizable SW swell, and Saviah carried us along at over 6 knots , knocking off Km a day. At this pace, we began to think we could reach Saint Helena in 11 days. On our fifth day out, the winds lightened, which typically happens near the tropics. We did everything we could to maintain our speed, but our average daily run over the next six days dropped to a disappointing km. We sailed with our big spinnaker for two days, until one night a very mild squall with gusts up to 15 knots swept through.
This sail was already near the end of its life, and a little bit more pressure from a gust caused the sail to rip all the way across, about four feet from the head. They are closed for lunch, usually If arriving after hours or at weekends and you prefer to wait until normal office opening times, boats are allowed to stay at anchor, flying the Q flag, but may not go ashore until clearance is completed. For outward clearance, a visit must be made to the Immigration office, upstairs at the only 2 story building on the main road.
Crewing positions A large number of yachts have crew flown in for the return trip to NZ or Fiji or just to cruise our wonderful Islands! There are several ways to bring crew in; 1. Crew member buys the most expensive fare which is fully refundable of course online, comes into Tonga and then cancels the ticket and gets the money back,. May inspect your boat. No general problem.
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Please remember NOT to sell stores from your boat!! Immigration Tel: If phone not working, please visit Immigration Office personally. A passport photo is also required for the first extension. DO NOT give your passport to immigration anywhere in the world in fact , a lot are lost!
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Your boat may stay in Tonga for up to 12 months without having to pay duty - you must then leave for another country, get an entry stamp and you may return for another 12 months etc… Your vessel has a permit to stay for an initial 4 months, then a further 4 months, and a final 4 months. If your leaving your boat in Tonga for the summer cyclone season find a suitable mooring company and arrange a care package that suits you, ventilate the boat, start the engines, run generators, check batteries etc.
All of the moorings providers do this as a service. You must appoint a Master for your vessel while your away though! Sailing Safaris may be able to assist with arranging out of hours clearance. Call on VHF Ch.
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The local radio net, VHF Ch. Please be honest and assist us to improve and increase the moorings. Weekly or monthly rates can be arranged with mooring companies. In the outer anchorages, the moorings are also privately owned, please call them BEFORE picking up a mooring - they may be holding it for someone…. Anchoring If you choose to anchor in the main harbour, please do so far enough away from any moorings. On the western-side there are some good anchor spots toward the north. On the eastern-side there is plenty of room more to the south.
Anchorage space can be a problem close to town because of deep water, except where most moorings are located. Duty Free Liquor Leiola Duty Free on the main road - take in your passport within 24 hours of checking in and also checking out. Will deliver to the commercial wharf area. Please call BP in advance with the amount of fuel required, time, boat name and date of departure.
You will need to show proof from Customs that your checkout is complete — Customs will supply paperwork for Duty Free Fuel. The fuel truck can be pre-booked to come down to the Customs Wharf to coincide with when your boat is alongside.
We strongly suggest you measure the fuel if possible as short dipping is very common with this BP office!!! Price per full tank is approx. Contact them first to make a reservation to come alongside. Be advised there may be additional fees for extended stays tied to the dock. LPG gas Butane gas is available in Vava'u. Bottles with Propane will be emptied for the Butane to be filled.
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Bottles can be refilled at Homegas in the village of Toula at the head of the harbour. A return taxi trip from Neiafu is approx.
A variety of international adaptors are available except Spanish. Staff members set up a variety of clinics covering ophthalmology, pediatrics, gynecology as well as traditional Chinese medicine. During its most recent tour in , staff on board examined more than 4, people in a week in Port Moresby, the capital of Papa New Guinea. Beyond regular humanitarian medical assistance, the ship also acts as a medium for cultural exchange.
While on a visit to Tonga last year, a friendly soccer match was held between Chinese and Tongan soldiers. The ship also organized events for teachers and students from Tongan schools to learn about Chinese culture.
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