Sailing to Suva Fiji 27/5 -8/6 2017

Opua to Minerve northern reef 27/5-3/6

Time used 7 days 21 h, Distant 818 NM, SOG 4.8 avg, 7.4 max, TWA 216, TWS in knots 9.4 avg, 29.1 max

Day1 27/5

Early morning tank tax free diesel, clear out with Gerry at Customs, payment at Harbor office and finally lunch at the cafe for the last NZ$.

After leaving the Bay of Islands large swells met us out there on the South East Pacific Ocean. We sat optimistically mainsail and jib. Lars got a beautiful gold mackerel on the hook. We had it a couple of days later when we had gotten sea legs. At 21 hour the autopilot stop to work. We had to hand steer the rest of the night.

Day2 28/5

Water temperature 18.4. In the morning Lars could open the aft compartment and find out that a fuse to the auto computer was out of order. Luckily we had a couple of them on board so after installing one the autopilot worked again.

Beautiful day on the ocean with light clouds and only rain a short while when I could test my newly impregnated sailing gear. It was better but not good enough.

Lars had problems with small navigation computer and the modem. Electrical cord off.

Day3 29/5

Water temperature 19.2. First night watch 00:03, orange Strom rum hat on, thermal underwear, fleece trouser and jacket. A lot of wind up to 30 in the gusts early morning. During the day sufficient wind from SW.

Lars had problems with small navigation computer and the modem. Electrical cord off.

Lovely new moon. No wind so start motor at 20 hour.

Day4 30/5

Water temperature 20.0. The motor run good. Aft lantern went out and Lars change bulb during the day. Blue sky and a few clouds. Lars try to fix the connection to the modem but no held. God mackerel for dinner tasted good!

Day5 31/5

Water temperature 20.2. Foggy night with stars in the beginning of the night. Soon it is clouds all over the sky. Still on motor. 13.50 main and jib up.

Day6 1/6

Water temperature 21.9. Stars up and sailing on the beam with winds from NW. Start the motor 7:40 and furl the jib and continue with the main out. Light clouds and patches of blue sky.

Day7 2/6

Water temperature 24.0. At midnight the wind have turned and is right on the nose. Motor sailing. We can not reach Minerve south before dark so plan to reach Minerve north tomorrow instead. Time for baking rye and whole wheat bred. 13:30 one of the two diesel tanks are now empty. The rest of the day is tough sailing against the wind up to 30 knots in the gusts. Main sail goes up and down. We tried everything to sail good. We had a couple of strong reign showers also. Bred for dinner. Not much sleep.

Day8 3/6

After midnight we were lucky because the wind turned to westerly. Now we could point directly on Minerve north reef entrance and reach the entrance at 10:30 in the morning. We sail down to the south part and drop the anchor close to the light house. After cleaning up traditional chips and beer after landfall. Well deserved nap at 12:00. The water maker, that had not been running for a long time, was running for a few hours and the water was used for washing cloves. The next day it made excellent drinking water.

4/6

Second day at the reef. We took the dingy to the reef and walked on top of it at law tied. It was beautiful. We so no crayfish. On the way back we stopped at SY Lady and got invited on board for coffee/tea by Jenny and Charlie. Hope to see them in Fiji. We moved up to the north reef and in the evening we had an exiting cray fish hunt with Cran during evening. We learned that a sharp torch is very important when hunting crayfish. Thanks for the crayfish. They were delishes.

Minerve reef north to Suva Fiji 5/6-8/6 2017

Time used 2 days 22 h, Distant 372 NM, SOG 5.4 avg, 8.7 max, TWA 145, TWS in knots 11.1 avg, 23.2 max.

5/6 Day1

Coffey on Lettin’go, snorkel at the reef in 23 degree water, shower on the platform and sailing out of the reef in the afternoon and we are on our way to Suva Viti Levu Fiji. Motor sailing, no wind. Cloudy but the moon can be seen once in a while.

6/6 Day2

Motor sailing, nice sunny morning. Launched main sail 9:30 wind 14-20 knots. Moon and stars can be seen once in a while.

7/6 Day3

Water temperature 25.2 wind lower in the gust. Beautiful yellow moon on the way down. The sun is coming up behind the clouds. Strong swells and 20 knots. We take two reef at 8 o’clock. Later on stay-sail and sailing on the beam 6.2 knots. Generator / water-maker, laundry in the bag. Moon is seen once in a while behind the clouds.

8/6 Day4

Water temperature 25.7. 100% cloud-cover. Pass the island Kadavu. In the massive cloud-cover a little bit off blue sky is seen. Lars prepare Fiji courtesy flag with a string for launching together with the yellow flag. Run generator and water-maker for an hour. At 14:30 we drop anchor outside Suva. Custom and quarantine came to Alexandra and soon we could take the yellow flag down. Health came afterwards and that was easy don too. They were all nice and friendly.

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