-- the full on-line record of the 1998-2003 round-the-world voyage of Brec Morgan aboard the Otter!

Note: also "resolves" to this site, so it's easy to remember!
Also, see photos of the St. Maarten Yacht Club's March 17th celebration of Brec's return.
The ceremonial "Tossing of the 'Voyage-End Dock Lines'" went off as planned at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 17th.
Click here to order a copy of Brec's Homecoming Compilation of E-Mailed Reports.

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Block Island Times articles
May 17, 2003-front page
May 17, 2003-full article
March 24, 2001
September 29, 2001

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AP Story-filed 5/17/03
New London Day

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New London, Conn.

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Report Sixteen from the Otter: The Passage from Niue to Tonga

Monday, October 25 --

I did last chores and went ashore for a last farewell visit. I have a tea, fishcakes, and sausage at a small luncheonette that is open for snacks for the church members on their way to a second day of church.

11:00 a.m. Ive folded Runcible and lashed it down on the cabin top. Raise the main and slip the mooring line through the eye on the pennant and sail away. No motor. Unfurl the Genoa. Were running downwind. Away from Niue. Its 250 miles to Tonga. A short hop.

The day goes gray and rainy and the wind picks up to over 25 knots apparent dead astern. Were moving fast.

Later that afternoon Dee and Kosta on Savoir Vivre sail by. Kosta doesnt like running downwind so he is always off by 15 or 20. He only has a bit of his Genoa out and in these seven foot seas hes like a sled.

As he passes I alter course to get some photographs. Later when they are developed its hard to see the noise and wind and seas it just looks like a normal gray afternoon. Seldom do my storm photos capture the feeling of the height of the waves.

Its going to be another gray, windy passage.

I read The Shark that Ate the Sun.

Tuesday, October 26 --

The wind and seas are still high. Weve been surfing all night. The moon came to say, "Hello" for awhile around 2:00 a.m. But by 7:00 a.m. its dark and raining again.

Noon I record Otters best days run yet: 150 miles.

Its only 95-100 miles to Tonga and I dont want to arrive too early. So I furl the main to slow us from 5.8 knots to 4.7 knots.

Nap and check position all afternoon and evening.

More squalls roll by.

Wednesday, October 27, a.k.a. Thursday, October 28 --

This is the day that wasnt, thanks to the International Date Line crossing. Its the day I give back in exchange for all the individual hours I will pick up going westward around the world. Sailors going in the other direction get to repeat a day.

So, in my life, October 27, 1999 will be forever lost. Even though the International Date Line is on 180 longitude, Tonga, at 174 West longitude, wants to be in sync with New Zealand, so pushes the line over a bit. When I arrive this morning it will be Thursday, October 28th.

Im up all night with rainsqualls blowing through and checking our position as we close land. I hear thunder and see cloud lightning for the first time since Panama.

I hear Morvin and Savoir Vivre on the VHG. They are hove-to in the lee of Tonga but still getting hit hard by the squalls.

3:15 a.m. I sight land. A darkness under the gray clouds. This gray night, totally overcast, has a dim backlight from the moon. The radar shows the headland where it should be eight miles away.

7:30 a.m. We are in the lee of Tonga and the nine-foot seas are down to two feet. The day is becoming brighter, the clouds are blowing away, and early sunlight costs long shadows across the gusty water. In the shadows I can see long, empty beaches beneath tall cliffs.

8:30 a.m. I start the engine and turn left between some small, high islands and left again up a long sound before I finally arrive at the town of Neiafu on the island of Vavau in the northern group of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Its been a fast two-day run.



End of Report Sixteen


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Site last updated on 4/05/04.