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Landfall

Our last day at sea was less eventful than the forecast had led us to expect. The winds had moved a little to the north so our recent easting was beneficial. There were a couple of times when the wind dropped enough so our ETA went beyond 3pm. Rather than risk arriving late we ran a motor to help us along. In the end we arrived at 1:45pm. Within a couple of hours we’d been boarded by all the officials and cleared into the country, wine cellar and all.

All that was left was to spend the rest of the day decompressing from the trip. We all needed it. We took the dinghy to the Waitui dock and checked out the marina. We visited the butchers and had some meat set aside for today when we can return with cash. Next stop was the cash machine and then a chat with the folks at Courts to get access to the chap who can fix the internet connection on my PC. I had managed to grab and respond to some emails as we passed the resort at the tip of the peninsular but my old Fiji Vodafone dongle is not working. I need some local help.

The restaurant where we planned to eat that night was full up with some function so we retired to the Coprashed Marina to decide where to eat over sunset and some drinks. In the end we all ate burgers there. Great spot.

Today we have to get busy sourcing parts, fixing internets, paying bills back home, etc. No rest for us.

NZ->Fiji: Day 7

Land was first spotted by Paul shortly after 10am. Off in the distance Matuku faintly emerged from the mist. It took sevaral hours before we made our closest approach by which time Totoya and Moala were both now visible too. It gave us a sense of arrival but reminded us we still had a days sailing to go. We are all getting fed up of falling over while putting our underpants on.

Being Sam’s birthday Helen cooked up some treats for lunch and dinner. For lunch we had some steamed pork dumplings and dinner was one of her superb curries.

The seas in this area are subdued compared to out in the ocean, almost certainly due to the islands around us. The winds have died down a bit too. Not wanting to miss our Tuesday arrival we agreed to put on the motors whenever our ETA went beyond 3pm . That resulted in about 3-4 hours of assisted wind yesterday. All worth it. We need to stop.

NZ->Fiji: Day 6

I’m trying hard to remember anything that set yesterday apart.

We started the day with a lot of squalls which caused a lot of activity aboard the boat keep the boat and crew safe. As a result we decided it wasn’t good to have my shift overlap the morning radio call so we all got an extra 15 mins on a shift which pushed the shifts all forward an hour.

Helen and Paul both had a bout of queasiness around dinner time. The seas have been a little rough recently and the boat movement had become tiresome. We are all ready for land.

Today is Sam’s birthday. Helen will cook up a curry which will no doubt please him no end.

Tomorrow we plan on making landfall around midday. Oh, the excitement of it all.

NZ->Fiji: Day 5

A very typical mid passage day. Hard to distinguish it from any other. We did catch another mahi mahi, slightly bigger than the last. Some of it went on evening sashemi which went down well with the boys. Helen, unfortunately, is not so keen on raw fish.

It’s definitely getting warmer with the last two days each breaking previous records. When we started our min/max was 14/20. The last 24 hours it was 23/24. Nice. It still feels cold when we’re outside and wet though.

Blog today has been a little delayed as we’ve been dodging squalls all morning. It’s been quite hard work. We had VHF contact with another boat, Kite, also on their way to Savusavu. They’re on their way to Australia this year too so I suspect we’ll be seeing more of them. Certainly we expect to see them in Savusavu for a beer or four.

NZ->Fiji: Day 4

No problems today. In fact, quite the opposite. We caught a small but dinner for four sized mahi mahi which Helen cooked up very well. I also had an excellent response from my efforts to source and deliver new battens for our head sail. After lots of offers from friends up in Opua and Whangarei we now have spares aboard Endless who, due to our mutual schedules, we’re certain to meet around Denarau in June/July if not sooner.

Haven’t made any progress on the batten cars as I’m not getting any responses from the guy I last conversed with on this. Ordering parts for the traveller repair will have to wait until Savusavu.

A milestone passed yesterday was the halfway point which is now over 100nm behind us. With better second half speeds we should be in Savusavu next Tuesday.

The winds have moved round more to the east than the forecasts suggest putting the wind ahead of us and making the ride a little bumpy. We’ve kept two reefs in the main overnight, despite rarely needing any, to reduce stress on the traveller. It’s all holding up ok so far. If it all survives this trip we can look to have spares sent to Denarau where we’ll be in June.

All is well aboard.