A high intensity passage followed by a peaceful private bay

Big winds were forecast so we wanted to get moving to prevent getting pinned down for a few days. The plan was up at 4:00am for the 50-ish mile passage to Matagi Island (a small horseshoe shaped island with a fancy resort (opposite side of the anchorage)). Like clockwork, both Carl and I popped out of bed and jumped right into preparing to leave. The previous night we had independently reviewed the route and then reviewed it again together since we would be leaving in the dark and there are many reefs and bommies that must be avoided. We had good tracks from our arrival but still made some additional adjustments for added clearance. So with that the anchor came up and we followed our route precisely. Little did I know that after exiting the Bay of Islands, the actual pass in the atolls reef was new to Carl. We had excellent satellite maps but no tracks of our own to follow, so that added a bit extra apprehension. The two laptops, one tablet, and the chartplotter gave us excellent cross references and backups. Still it was a relief to be out into open water where we quickly raised the main (reef 1 and jib).

The first sixty percent of the passage required a few gybes but we sped along in moderate sized, following seas that were quite comfortable. The hours flew by and soon enough we had to make a few turns around other tiny coral reefs all the while keeping the sails full and our speed looking great. Our last leg moved with the wind 90-100 degrees apparent our speed shot up, seeing a maximum of 9.3 knots for awhile. It was a glorious sail, smiles all around.

The next concern, would there already be another boat in our planned anchorage. This was a small spot and that would be a huge bummer. So it was with a sigh of relief that we turned the corner and found yet another empty anchorage.

A bit of downtime and we both jumped in the water to check on the anchor and to see the reefs that closely surrounded (at a safe distance) Sky Pond. The sun was filtered through clouds so the lighting wasn’t idea but the reefs didn’t seem to have the incredible colors that I have grown accustom to (yes, I realized I am beyond spoiled) but the variety of fish was probably the best yet. A favorite today were groupers just trying to blend into the coral with their spots. It was a nice snorkel, made even better by the fact that we could swim from the boat.

Dinner was a bit of special treat, the last of our butter and a lemon we found at the Planation a few days ago, transformed into shrimp scampi over spaghetti. Yum!

No Comments

Leave a Comment