Work in Progress
Thursday, Nov 1
Pulled out of marina at 6 Ferry was docking Single reef main, 105 jib
Close reach, close hauled for 20nm to pass Namena barrier reef, bigger waves early, flattening further from Vanua Levu, moving we’ll upwind, surprised. Minimal pounding.
Then beam reach 20+nm to Makogai Motor sail 5nm to windward, slowly into anchorage Never more than 15kts all day Superb day sailing Hand steered all the way, electric autopilot would be nice
Chips & salsa for dinner with local rum and mango. The pineapple juice had fermented in my mug
To bed early, sleep came easy
Friday, Nov 2
Woken by Spot of rain at 5a. Stopped minutes later.
Plan is 17nm to next anchorage (Naigani), then just a few more nm to Viti Levu. Forecast is for 20-25kt winds Later today and weekend so we want to get into reef protected water quickly to avoid big seas.
Yup, big winds and seas as expected. Did the 17nm in just a few hours - I hand steered the whole way. Surfing down waves at 7+ kts. Very wet, but no rain. Argued about whether we’d be able to get into anchorage and argued about other passages into reefs at Viti Levu. Arrived and anchored in Naigani at 11:30a.
Had a nice swim at 2p after lunch and a nap. Big gusts in anchorage, but no waves, well protected by reefs. 180 degree wind shifts keep the boat moving all over the place. Good holding in sand, almost no coral heads except close in to beach. verified anchor dug in well.
Killed bottle of Bounty spiced rum and then a bottle of wine. Bed was very wet as expected, but sleep came easily anyway.
Saturday, November 3rd
Up at 6a. iPad charged overnight. If it is broken or discharged we can’t go, right? We don’t have the waypoints in the Garmin and the reefs aren’t on the Garmin charts anyway. Hoping to get to Viti Levu Bay today. 30nm. Clear skies, sun is out, big gusts still in anchorage.
Fuck! Hit a reef! Maybe going 3-4kts under double reefed main and engine. Got off by reversing full when waves picked us up. Steering doesn’t seem to be damaged. Not taking on water, we’ll see what the damage is when we haul out next week.
8 miles to get inside reef. Then smoother sailing. Clouds disappeared as the day went on. Really fast passage.
Decided mid-day to get to Rakiraki today. Anchored by 3pm. Navolau Passage through extensive reef getting into anchorage. Lotsa wind (maybe 30?) in the pass but minimal waves. Big gusts in the anchorage but then totally calm. Odd.
Depth sounder not working for anything deeper than 20ft. Fuck!
Sunday, Nov 4th
Daylight savings time. Sun rises, sets later. Sunset after 7p today.
About 30nm. Lighter winds, fast, flat sailing, all downwind. Anchored a bit before we got to Ba at 3:30p off some beach with a little resort in about 13ft. Depth sounder started working after we anchored, thanks a lot.
Pancakes for dinner with 2 bottles of wine. Oar and Dmb on the stereo. Fireworks in the distance after sunset. Glow of Fires on the horizon at sunset. Maybe burning the sugar cane fields?
Monday, Nov 5th
Plan is to get to Lautoka today. Forecast is for 3-5kts from the SE. might be motoring a bit. 25nm to get there.
Motor sailed all the way to Lautoka. Arrived and anchored at 3:30. Assembled dink and went for dinner/drinks. Lotsa people in the big city. Back on boat before dark.
Bottle of wine, YouTube music. Fireworks after dark.
Plan is to find bus station to Vuda tomorrow.
Work in Progress
October 16, 2018 to October 31, 2018
Work in Progress
Lakeba Pass - recommended by John, used by Kuan Yin Added WP on Navionics, the pass is labeled
Also 2 other options, added markers to Navionics. Southern one looks easy, but would be better for Suva. Northern one seems riskier, more reefs.
Possible WPs? From compendium 17°28’S, 178°36’W 17°31’S, 179°37’W The don’t seem useful, ignore them
The Copra Shed Marina PO Box 262, Savusavu, Fiji T: +679 885 0457 | F: +679 885 0989 VHF Channel 16 Email: email@example.com
10/9 Tuesday Check out Back to anchorage Goodbye to Char, Bear @ Deli Final provisions & pizza @ Bella Vista Final meal Panda Motor to anchorage #5 Stow dingy and all the things
10/10 Wednesday Prepare food for first days Pull up anchor, set sails, leave Vava’u Turned off engine after getting sails up Wildberry passes us Gybed a few times to get out of Faihava Pass Luffed up to let freighter pass Set windvane, head to wp north of Late Island, Pass island before dark Good, easy dry sailing
10/11 Thursday Sprinkle of rain Mostly DDW, poker out jib for a while Didn’t want to use Lee cloths, so one of Us was always sleeping outside, it was dry so good sleeping
10/12 Friday Sprinkles of rain Heave to at dark in entrance, only Moved .5nm overnight
10/13 Saturday Enter Lakeba Pass at first light Very light winds during daylight Rains at night, Constantly watching Navionics Crappy visibility, worried about getting too close to the islands Make it only half way through pass, heave to until squall at 2a, worry about nearness to Island at NW side of pass
10/14 Sunday Morning Heavy rains, Complete journey through pass Turn NW, somehow we’re still DDW with the 30 degree change in course??
10/15 Monday Heavy rains in the morning Hand steering, big waves, great sailing, genoa only Enter Savusavu Bay after 2 gybes to get around reef Raise main, hard on wind all the way into Nakama Creek, only 7 miles Luff up furl Genoa, flake main, contact Copra Shed Marina on VHF
Arrive in Savusavu 12:30p Pull straight into a slip Marina organized our smooth checkin Health ($100USD) Bio security ($85FJD) Customs/Immugration (took our passports!)
Cleared!!! Checkin with marina Move to a different slip, right next to Ichi Ban Cold beer!
10/16 Tuesday customs to get our passports bio security to pay fees Tour town with John
The Blue Water Festival comes to the Vava'u group every year and is sponsored by a few marinas in New Zealand. Many boats head south and spend the cyclone season there. They had a full week planned of activities and some helpful seminars. Although we were not planning on heading to New Zealand, the festival was a great distraction as we were waiting for a good weather window to head on to Fiji. Of course the bonus was eating, drinking and having fun with our friends.
Opening night was Monday, October 1 - a local school's brass band began the festivities with great music. This was followed by a buffet dinner at Mangos.
We also took the time earlier in the day and did our pre arrival paperwork for Fiji with Greg at Tropicana.
The following day we had breakfast with the Bay of Islands - they offered weather information on the passage to New Zealand, suggested passage routes, and had a few biosecurity officers present to give a briefing on what and what you cannot bring into New Zealand. Most importantly the new regulations on boat bottom cleanings. It's quite strict.
The festival has a race every year and our friends on Zensation were very serious about winning and getting their name on the plaque. They were looking for crew and Dave was happy to volunteer. Not so serious about racing the ladies from Zensation, Aloha, and Love joined forces with the crew on Starlet. Starlet is a motor trawler that has been traveling around the world. Entering under its own category there was a very good chance of winning and it was a fabulous way to view the race. Zensation did in fact come in first place!! The evening ended with a fun BBQ at Basque Tavern.
By far my favorite activity during the Blue Water Festival was visiting a local school. The school is set up to help those children who are a bit behind in reading and math skills. The children's family provided a huge feast pot luck for us and the kids put on a great performance. At the end we had fun dancing and playing with the kids.
The last day of the festival ended with the typical Friday evening race (these occurred every Friday during cruising season, sponsored by Refuge). Dave once again joined the crew of Zensation. The closing dinner was a delicious Tongan feast followed by dancing and maybe a few tequila shots.
Saturday - Sunday
There was one last activity from the festival that the boat yard sponsored on Saturday afternoon. A great sausage sizzle with endless amounts of cold beer.
Now it was the weekend and time to get serious about our onward journey to Fiji. We made market trips and discussed routes with Helen and Jean (Shamata). Had a lovely dinner on Love with Blackie and the Mermaid before getting serious about setting out.
Monday - October 8
Rosie did final provisions. David fixed a misbehaving sheet winch (thank you Jean for the tools), filled the fuel tank from our single jerry jug, tensioned the alternator belt, and organized.
David would like to brag about one thing:
We're still using the fuel we bought in Hawaii! There's not a lot of awesome things about being on a small boat, but low fuel costs is one of them. A big boat needs a fuel truck to fill up; Crazy Love needs Davey to walk down the street with a 20 liter gas can. We use the motor as little as possible and our engine uses less than a liter per hour, so the fuel we carry (60 liters) lasts a long time. From June to November 2018, we used less than 30 liters.
We stopped at the little blue house boat for our last fish and chips with Bear at Hideaway.
Tuesday, October 9th
Exit papers were obtained. According to the officials we were leaving Tonga by 4 pm - otherwise we would have had to pay 100 TOP to receive the papers a day early. We said our final goodbyes around town and left Nieafu by 4 pm as promised.
However we just moved on to Anchorage 5. We stowed the dinghy and enjoyed our last night in Tonga as the only boat in this tiny, quiet anchorage, with some skinny dipping in the moonlight.
Wednesday, 10 October
Left early morning for Savu Savu.
Money spent in Tongan TOP / Officials and Harbor (not including mooring fees)