Ringgold Islands

We wanted to explore more tiny islands north of Wailangilala, but northeasterly swell made that seem impossible, so we changed plans and headed westwards to the Ringgold Islands instead to have protected anchorages–or so we thought.
6 emerald islands inside a barrier reef, only one tiny village–on the sat images the place looks perfect. In reality the swell makes it unhindered into the lagoon–in fact it seems that the little effect the reef has is to break it up and make it more confused and annoying. Depending on which side of an island we are we see waves from the NE (wind direction, logical), SW (long swell), but also from the NW and the S–it’s crazy.

Yesterday we first went to the village for the official sevu-sevu welcome ritual (present included) and then went out to see the pretty anchorages around the archipelago and do some snorkeling. The distances between the islands are tiny, but each hop means preparing like for an ocean passage with the boat pitching and rolling. We tried several spots, but most were way too rough to anchor. In the end we had a snorkel-stop on the neighbouring island, slept at the S side of Yanuca (the main island) and now we’re opposite the village again.

At each anchorage we bring out a sling to a rock to align the boat with the swell–a variation of the stern anchor ritual we used to do in the rolly Marquesas of French Poly. Now we have a stainless steel wire living on the stern, attached to our roll of 50 m floating line. We park the boat close to shore, Christian hops into the water, chooses a rock in the shallows, gets the sling in place while I manoeuvre Pitufa’s stern towards that rock. Sling set, we attach the line to the stern cleat–voil√°. What’s quickly explained is quite a tiring procedure and it sometimes takes a few attempts until we got the angle right. Today we found a nice corner, Pitufa’s bow points to the nearest cape and it looks like we’ll be able to sleep in bed in the aft cabin for the first time in a week or so :-)


  1. Anya says:

    I don’t get the Anchorage idea. What where yuo trying to achieve.

    1. Christian says:

      we tried to get to a protected corner by navigating around the island. The stern line is meant to keep Pitufa’s bow aligned with the swell, so the boat is pitching rather than rolling (more comfy).

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