Tonga to New Zealand Passage – Day 11

Tonga to New Zealand Passage – Day 11 Date: Sunday, November 11th 2018 Time: 23:00 UTC (12pm local) Location: 34° 15′ S, 175° 01′ E COG:180 °T SOG: 5.0 kts (Engine on) Distance to the Whangarei, New Zealand: 98 nm 24 hr. Distance covered: 101 nm A DAY AT SEA by Adelaide Vawter Hello, my name is Adelaide and I live on a boat. I am going to tell you what we do to prepare for a passage. A passage is when you sail from one place to another, sometimes for multiple days or weeks. Before leaving on a passage we need to prepare for long days at sea. You need to make frozen dinners like lasagna, pasta, soup and lots of frozen foods like that. Then, you need to make sure that all the pumps and electronics are all in working order. Then, you need to lock all the cupboards, and put things away that could fall down. Once on passage or the night before (it is best to take it the night before) you should take a seasickness pill, some seasickness pills will also make you drowsy. Isa, my sister, and I do get seasick if we don’t take a seasickness pill on the first day. After a few days, you do not need to take it because you get used to the rocking of the boat. It is important to know the phonetic alphabet so you can talk to people and spell out words on the radio. The phonetic alphabet is an internationally recognized collection of words representing the letters in the alphabet. Here is the name of our boat in the phonetic alphabet – BRAVO ALPHA NOVEMBER YANKEE ALPHA NOVEMBER. Daily on passage we check into the Pacific Seafarers Radio Net which all the sailors on the pacific can check into. Things on the radio are not always clear so sometimes you need to use the phonetic alphabet to spell out words. On our trip to New Zealand we did all of these things to make sure we will arrive safely. We are almost there, only 13 hours and 12 minutes to go…according to our current course and speed. By Adelaide Vawter


  1. Scott Gerber says:

    Adelaide- it’s your Mom’s buddy, Scott Gerber from Long Island New York. Your Blog is “FABULOUS”!! You are a great writer, “spot-on” in your prep details and a Blue Water Hero by my standards and I’m certain, all who are following your family!! I marvel at how your Dad is planning your journey, how well you are all getting along and the life experiences you are all logging!! As a follower. Please keep the ink coming. Frozen temps have hit NY and I look forward to going to sleep to dream of the blue Bays you are about to enter and the wonderful “down-under” people you are about to spend time with! Fair winds, following seas and beautiful sunsets to You and Your Crew!! Best Scott Gerber⛵️

  2. Douglas Vawter says:

    Great job Adelaide. Thanks for the explaining the radio communication and your preparation to make an ocean crossing. I bet you are looking forward to Thanksgiving on land and celebrating Oma’s 100th birthday. We love you. Gramps

  3. Barbara Vawter says:

    Well done Adelaide, I especially loved your description of the phonetic alphabet. Isa and you are learning & experiencing so many diverse skills, you are Blessed. You will All love New Zealand, land of the kiwis, beautiful people and country. Continuing prayers from the US, God Bless You All.

  4. Sally Lindsay says:

    Hello Adelaide and all the Vawter family.
    Don and I have been following your blog ever since we met your family at Catalina Island maybe 3 years ago. We gave you some pirate hats and beads. I know you’ve met so many people on your travels, but you probably don’t have any idea how many are reading about your incredible journey and life. You wrote a wonderful addition to your family blog to help us reading it to understand what it’s like to live on a boat and travel so far. Thank you and warm regards to all.

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Hi Sally,
      We remember that very fun evening on your awesome boat! We are so pleased you are following along with us on our journey. When I read your comment to the girls they immediately recalled the time they spent with you. We often thing of the Channel Islands and I’m pretty sure that we will end up there again some day! Perhaps we can have a repeat get together:)

  5. Ralph MYers says:

    Thank you, Adelaide for your post. Happy landfall!! I suspect you will love New Zealand. My brother who has spent time there recently raves about it!

  6. Jennie Cunningham says:

    How good it must feel to see other boats and LAND! I’m curious about the food restrictions for New Zealand. How much of your food stash do you have to get rid of?

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Hi Jennie,
      We had to get rid of a good amount of food. We ate as much of the banned items as possible on our way. We couldn’t bring in any cheese, milk (they allowed us powdered milk from NZ), butter, meat products (they allowed us to keep canned salmon and tuna from the US), mayo (they allowed us to keep the stuff from the US, but not Mexico. They also took any fresh produce (which we had non of), any home prepared meals (which we had consumed). They took all our dried beans, popping corn and seeds (they didn’t take any of our spices which were seeds thankfully). We dumped anything we knew was banned overboard on our way in and then took out anything that we were unsure of and put it on the table for them to inspect once we arrived. They did look into our fridge and poke around in the kitchen but we didn’t have to tear the boat apart to inspect each nook and cranny… which we hear does happen. We didn’t have dogs sniff around our boat, but we did see other boats with dogs on and off, mainly due to the fact that they had sailed through the Gambier Islands which is a known drug rout. I plan to write a bit more about our check-in process in NZ as it is a hot topic before we arrive among other boaters…or, as we are called now (in NZ) Yachties:).

  7. Marianne McGriff says:

    Adelaide, Great job communicating your thoughts and feelings from the Banyan! I LOVED learning about the phonetic alphabet that you’ve sometimes had to utilized in your communications! Thank you for sharing…love to you, Isa, and your parents

  8. Phil Burton says:

    Hi Adelaide, You are having a trip that you will remember the rest of your life. What a great family to have that you all have this great adventure.

  9. Myka Suhr says:

    Nice job! Is Isa going to write one soon? Myka here. How is it going? Are you getting bored of the boat? Guess what!!?? I dyed the last 6 inches of my hair blue! My mom with send your mom a picture. I am reading a series of books called the Wings of Fire. It is about 5 dragons that are something called the Dragonets of Destiny. It is pretty hard to explain, but maybe you can check them out on line. They are by TUI T. SUTHERLAND. They are super interesting. Mudwings, Skywings, Seawings, Nightwings, Sandwings, and Icewings. You will know what I mean if you read them. (You should!) Clay, Tsunami, Sunny, Starflight, and Glory have tons of adventures to go on!

    • Anne Vawter says:

      Hi Myka,
      We have the first Wings of Fire book and we are getting more on their kindles very soon. They are voracious readers and need new books regularly. We will take ANY recommendations you have. I love finding fun books to help give them a love of stories and reading.

  10. SHARON SUHR says:

    Hi Adelaide! Wow, you are getting CLOSE! I bet you are excited. I really enjoyed your post! I did know about the phonetic alphabet, but I never realized that it’s internationally recognized. Thanks for the good info! I’m sure you could write a book about all the things you’ve learned while traveling by sea! Give your parents a hug from me – and Isa, too!

  11. Jeannie Heck says:

    Hi Adelaide.

    I love hearing about the trip from your perspective. It’s a very exciting journey you are on. Now I understand why you had to learn the phonetic alphabet.

    Keep up the great writing. You are already an author. I hope you turn your journals into a book we can buy and read. Maybe you’ll give us an autograph.

    Best wishes.

    From one of your Gramps and Grandma’s friends in Zionsville.

  12. MONICA SUHR says:

    I loved your post! I found it interesting that there is the phonetic alphabet. You are super lucky to be on this adventure. Say hello to your family for me. I hope we can see you soon!!!

  13. MONICA says:

    I loved your post! I found it interesting that there is the phonetic alphabet. You are super lucky to be on this adventure. Say hello to your family for me. I hope we can see you soon!!!

  14. jolie says:

    Hi!!!!! Adelaide hi Isa I hope you have a good time on your boat and you see more fish and cool animals on the way. Oh and by the way I love your posts and I can’t wait to see some more of them 😉 From Jolie Minton

  15. Rachel Wheeler says:

    Love that you shared a post with us. We appreciate ALL of it. And this was something I wasn’t really familiar with. Thank you,

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