On 26th October our two boats, Lapita Tikopia and Lapita Anuta, slipped into the water without a hitch. Blessed with a few words and a splash of coconut milk from Klaus and James they were heaved down a beautiful white-sand beach and into the Pacific. For Hanneke, James and Klaus it was the culmination of almost 3 years of dreaming, designing and planning. I don't think that they could really believe that it's finally all come together.
Andy Smith and the boys from Junction Boat Yard in Panglao have done us proud. The boats look stunning; the sleek lines of the hulls, paint job, build quality and lashings are all fantastic.
20 minutes after the boats were launched we were sailing out across the Bohol Sea. Apart from very light winds and one slack tiller we had no problems. Each boat was filled with friends and well wishers and yet they still rode high above the water line. Hanneke´s hand-stitched crab claw sails performed well to windward and no-one fell in getting in or out of the little outrigger canoes we will use as tenders. Not that it would have mattered - the water is about 27 degrees and so clear you can see the starfish on the reef below our hulls.
Now they sit in front of the bars and restaurants along Alona Beach drawing a considerable amount of attention. Most tourists look at the boats and can´t believe that we are going to be travelling 4000 nautical miles on them.
And today, 1st November, we all I move aboard the boats to begin the final preparations and provisioning before we depart in few days. In the meantime we have the nightlife of Alona Beach to look forward to.
- Matt Fletcher