So after we turned around to begin sailing again, in that fabulous 15+ wind, we tried to catch up with Shango and Soggy Paws – and actually succeeded! Just as we were wiping the sweat off our brows, about noon, we heard a radio call from a fishing boat. They had a broken engine and needed assistance. What followed was a lengthy radio discussion between Shango, Soggy Paws and Jim about whether or not to turn back and give assistance. It was decided we’d all sail back about 15 miles (for us) and an hour away. Soggy Paws threw some tools over to the fishing boat, Lesila, but they were unable to make repairs. Then Shango offered to pick up two of the crew and take them back to Niuatoputapu where they could make arrangements for further assistance. Since we were the faster boat we went ahead to make radio contact with Secret Agent Man back at Niuatoputapu so he could meet Shango at the entrance to the harbor. It was after 10pm when Shango dropped the men off and we all turned south again, heading for Neiafu.
Normally the sail from Niuatoputapu to Neiafu is one night. It was now Sunday evening and stronger winds were forecast for Monday and Tuesday. Weather hit Monday afternoon as we motored into the wind with squalls and heavy rain. We hove to at 11pm waiting for daybreak. We kept in radio contact with Soggy Paws and Shango. Unfortunately Shango’s engine had quit earlier in the day and they had to sail under adverse conditions. They were eventually towed the last few miles into Neiafu by Soggy Paws.
It felt great to grab a mooring ball, relax and meet up with friends later in the day.