June 15 to 25 sailing to Savusavu, Fiji

we left Opua at 2:30pm on June 15.  where have our sea legs gone?  we motored for several hours, then the wind came up and we started sailing about 4am on the 16th.  the stars have slid low in the sky hanging like ripe fruit ready to pick.  we sailed through a couple squals that kicked the winds up to 25kt briefly and we made good distance running in the 7s and 8s.

it’s cold.  i’m wearing 3 layers of pants, 4 layers on my top and foul weather gear, 3 head pieces, a neck warmer, boots and ski gloves.  the effect is an inflexible Pillsbury dough girl.

by June 18 it’s getting a bit warmer, no gloves or hat and i could sit in the cockpit in just 2 layers and face into the sun.  wind began to build at 4pm and by 7pm we were pounding into the waves.  impossible to sleep in the v berth from all the turbulence.  i can feel the boat shiver from the wind force.  by 12:30am on the 19th we sort of hove to as we pulled in the jib, had 3 reefs in the main and crept along at 2kt.

June 19 winds as high as 42kt, confused seas building, water gushed from the hatch over the stove and it felt unsafe to move around down below.  Jim put up the hankie jib but we were overpowered and took it down.  we’re making very little progress at 1-2kt.  autopilot kicked off several times.  it’s raining hard enough to flatten the seas, then they grow back.  lousy weather and it’s impossible to do anything but sit or read in the cockpit where it’s wet.  big rollers come by and sound like a freight train.

June 22 we’re gliding across a big blue plate, its edges stuck against a rim of dusty blue clouds.  it’s 7:30am and the sun pierces the corner of my eye.  still no wind and the motor hums in the background.  350+ miles to go and Jim says at this rate we’ll arrive on fumes.  at 8am we got wind, shook the main, put out the big jib and turned off the motor.  finally we’re sailing again.

June 23 we’re still sailing, winds are strong and at 4pm put in a 3rd reef and the main sheet block came off the traveler.  eek.  no clevis pin the right size but we’re making do with a bolt.  good thing it happened in daylight and glad we put in the 3rd reef.  at 7:20pm winds are up to 25kt and we’re hauling in the 7s.  in the daytime no gloves or foul weather gear top or hat.

June 25 we arrived in Savusavu and grabbed a mooring at Waitui Marina by 12:30pm.  Aseri helped us with the mooring and brought customs, biosecurity et al to the boat by 2pm for our easy check-in.  Time to rest.

rain coming toward us

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