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RoRC report from Vava'u, Kingdom of Tonga via Maine

by Pamela MacBrayne & Denis Moonan 16 Sep 22:33 UTC
Penobscot Bay © USCG/Wikipedia

Having left Glide in early December 2019 in The Boatyard in Vava'u, Tonga for cyclone season, we flew to Hong Kong to visit our son, daughter-in-law and then 8-month old grandson.

While in HK, we were welcomed, as we have been several times, by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club which we highly recommend for anyone travelling there by air or by sea. After a week in HK, Denis and I travelled to Cambodia and Laos then flew to Penang, Malaysia where we met up with the threesome from HK. After five days in Penang, we all flew to Phuket, Thailand for the holidays. We spent the first five days of 2020 back in HK and then headed to the US. Our plan was to spend the winter in Maine and return to Glide in July. Little did we know what was on the horizon!

So, unlike our recent reports as RoRCs, this report will not include accounts of new adventures on Glide, still in Tonga with the country locked down. We are so fortunate that our boat is safe and we were back in Maine when the pandemic exploded. Our hearts go out to all OCC sailors who had to find their way to safe harbours that would accept them and to those who had to devise complicated plans to store their boats and fly or sail home. We extend our gratitude to those OCC members, Port Officers, Club Officers and everyone who stepped up and provided assistance to get our members home or into safe harbours. We wish everyone well as we all contemplate how to keep cruising in this uncertain time.

Our report is more of a who's where now of OCC friends we have met during our travels and who's cruising in Maine this summer than an account of roving in the South Pacific!

Thanks to Neil and Helen McCubbin, Milvina (currently in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala), we have participated in regular Friday afternoon Zoom cocktail parties with a geographically diverse group of OCC members. Neil and Helen are back at home in Quebec, but not for long as they have sold their home, bought an RV and are heading to western Canada. Fredrick & Jeanette Liljekvist, formerly of Bushpoint, are back in Sweden. Having sold Bushpoint in the US, their new Boreal is under construction in France. Terry and Fiona Hill left Sisu in the Rio Dulce and returned home, having overcome much bureaucracy, to Isle of Man where numerous house projects await. Judith Jacobsen and Haakon Lundemo left Touché in Panama and are now back in Denmark until they can continue their travels into the South Pacific.

Bill and Sharon Whitefield, Casa Blanca, are off the boat and back home in Michigan. Adrian and Clare Richards, Flyin' Low of Poole, sailed up to the Chesapeake from the Western Caribbean as did David and Suzanne Chappell, Suzie Too, who then flew home to England.

Bjorn and Jayme Oakma Lee with children Alice and Toren on Sargo, quarantined in the US Virgin Islands, then reversed their intended direction and sailed home to Maine rather than face the uncertainties of continuing their voyage south during the pandemic. They plan to resume their family adventure as soon as practicable. Kai and Emily Curran, with daughter Rev onboard Twig, have also returned to Maine for the summer. Maggie Salter and Al Hickey sailed Sweet Dreams from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Florida where they spent 9 weeks before heading back to their homeport of Pulpit Harbor, Maine. They will be sailing to Roque, Mount Desert and Matinicus Islands and around Penobscot Bay.

Steve Dwyre and Cindy Cady on Willow escaped a three-month lockdown in Roatan, Honduras and then sailed home to Sorrento, Maine. Mark and Lisa Pollington on Wild Iris are visiting Willow in Sorrento and will be sailing in Maine during August. Mike and Ronna Benjamin on Exodus are in Maine and will be sailing to Roque Island and Mount Desert Island, as will Shiera Brady and Allen Roberts on Gemeaux. Marcia and Jeff Larason on UJAM'n have already sailed "Downeast" to Roque and Mistake Harbor and are now sailing westward towards Penobscot Bay.

We had two appropriately distanced visits with Manon Zwart and Stef Vermeij on Long John Silver when they recently visited Camden, Maine. They are heading back to the Netherlands via St. Pierre/Miquelon, Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Also heading to Maine for the summer are Leslie Perreault and Gary Bryan on Spellbound which recently left Antiqua, bound for Maine. Bill & Grace, Calico Skies, were isolated in the Ragged Islands, Bahamas with just a few neighbouring boats. They are currently finishing some boat projects in Annapolis and depart for Maine soon. Ken Smith, Loon, is also working his way back up to Maine.

Ruth and Herb Weiss, Ancient Mariners, are making a heroic effort to get from Florida back to their boat in Portland, Maine. They have chartered a private plane so that Herb, at 100+ years of age, does not have to contend with large airports and crowded planes. They will bring two weeks of provisions with them on the plane and will be met by friends who will get them and their provisions from the small airport to the boat. We wish them a smooth passage!

With all the OCC boats visiting Maine and the large number of members who reside here, it appears there may be a record number of OCC members cruising in Maine this summer and fall. Sadly, the infamous Maine Rally had to be cancelled due to the pandemic but we are looking forward to many small, appropriately distanced and masked visits with any OCC members that find themselves in Penobscot Bay.

Let us know if you are in Maine!

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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