Last year, Fredrik, a Swede who was relocating from San Fransisco to Brisbane, and his uncle Hakan, sailed Fredrik's 36 foot yacht, "Maiken", across the Pacific, stopping at many South Pacific islands along the way.
After leaving Tonga for Fiji on August 12th, they came upon a very curious sight.
No, this was not a shoal or a beach, but rather a "raft" of small pumice rocks floating on the ocean's surface. Pumice, as you know, is an igneous rock produced when lava from a volcano cools very quickly above ground. It is actually a kind of glass and some samples are so full of air pockets that they float on water. Somewhere on the sea floor near their boat was an active volcano called "Home Reef" that was erupting and making the pumice. Comforting thought.
As they sailed through the pumice, leaving a cleared path in the boat's wake, the rock acted like sandpaper, removing a little of the bottom paint at the waterline.
The volcano was erupting, and they watched in amazement as it broke the surface of the ocean, creating a new island right before their eyes.
They took several remarkable photos, more of which can be found on their blog, linked at the end of this post, parts of which are written in English and Swedish.
The new island is located south and a bit west of the Vava'u group of Tonga, which is where Robert Bryce lives, who wrote the guest post for Pacific Islander: "The Kingdom of Tonga - A Paradox In Paradise".
The island created by "Home Reef" volcano is located in the lower left corner of the red box, near the island "Late" (la-tay). The Vavau' group is further up and to the right and is only about 100 km from the new island.
Satellite images show the island as about 500 meters wide and 1500 long, with a water filled crater within it.
A fountain of lava shoots straight up into the air - or perhaps it is where Maui, the Polynesian demigod said to have fished the islands up out of the sea, is pulling on Home Reef to create a new land.
Be sure to check out the blog of Fredrik, his uncle Hakan, and Jenny (who joined them in Fiji), with posts and pictures of their entire voyage: Fredrik and Crew on Maiken.
Their story sure stirs my wanderlust and has me longing for a sailboat and the South Pacific!
the things that you didn't do than in the ones you did do.
So throw off the bow lines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.