From Samoa to Fiji
Roughest trip so far - 6 days of 25 to 30 knots. Approaching Vanua Levu the northern island of Fiji the wind builds to 35-40 knots in the afternoon and then all night. The going gets tough and we are down to 2 hour watches as high concentration required for the helm. At 6 am I awake for my watch and Capt'n Max says - all calm now have another 2 hours sleep. So at 8 am I am up and Max says "we will have an easy day to day"- it is quite calm. That afternoon it blows up and we have a severe storm from 4 pm and into the night with winds to 55 knots. We can't turn south to run down Bligh Water for Lautoka and can only run with the wind so we are blown away of course, until Max can get up on deck and manually bring in the mainsail. He manages to do all this in a 50 knot wind whilst I am trying to steer a straight course. Eventually we have all sail down and can motor into the wind and waves to seek shelter in the Yasawa Islands (northern part of Fiji). The way the wind was blowing it was taking us all the way to Vanuatu.
Eight hours later we negotiate reefs into a sheltered anchorage in the dark arriving at 1.30 am. Well that is what Max called an easy day". He did a fantastic job!
The next day is calm and we motor/sail down the west side of Yasawa Group, find an overnight anchorage, get a full night sleep and arrive easily in Lautoka the next day for customs and immigration check in.
We have been moored on Malolo Lailai Island at Musket Cove Marina and very nice thank you. Had my first shower in 3 months off the boat in a real shower - so good but didn't smell too much, also found a laundry for the smelly clothes.
Penny has arrived for a week of R&R as haven't seen her since May 6 (4 months). disn't realise how much I have missed her!
Tracey is already here. Boat has gone up on the hard stand to have the bottom painted (called anti-fouling) as this is now a requirement for yachts entering Australia, to have clean hulls and don't bring in any waterborne yukkies. Also a number of repair jobs need to be done which is all part of being a boat owner so Max and Tracey are staying at a resort near the boat and are attending to these tasks whilst we are at Pacific Harbour down near Suva having our R&R.
Fiji is very quiet at the moment with all of the resorts we have visited having very few guests in fact some of them are virtually empty. Apparently the Interim Government have re-instated martial law, although nothing seems any different, but when this happens foreign governments issue travel warnings and people don't come and conferences are cancelled. This is a real pity as there are so many lovely places here and the people rely so much on the tourist trade.
Leave for Vanuatu 18 Sept, then Bundaberg for Oz customs and immigration check-in and Mooloolaba early Oct - Yahoo!!
This is Penny
I have joined JC in Fiji for a week. It is almost 4 months since we saw each other when I waved the boat off at Aruba. We have had a lovely week sleeping and relaxing. JC was exausted as on the boat now with only two they never get more than 3 hours sleep at one time. I was exhaused as I have only been home for a week and trsvelling for 6 months without a break really tires you out when you( especially when you are getting old!!!) We have treated ourselves to 2 massages during the week and have read lots of books. Tomorrow we are back on the boat for the weekend and then i leave on Sunday evening. Jc and captain Max have another 3 weeks before they reach Bundaburg where they have to do all the immigration etc formalities to enter Australia. They will then sail down the coast to Mooloolaba where the boat will be moored.
I still have a couple of write ups and photos to download on Frankfurt and Turkey. Fiona my daughter is due to have a baby on 21st Sept so I may get busy baby sitting for a while when I first get home.