Passage to Fiji

All ready to go it was a matter of waiting for a good weather window for the passage to Fiji.

Following the passage of a front with a bit of a blow, the  forecast looked good. Time to go and indeed apart from a windless departure when I had to motor for 8 hours we had good winds.

At some some stage with our rate of progress I reckoned we would arrive in Fiji on a Fri eve or Sat morning. With the Fijian authorities charging overtime, minimum 3 hours at weekends at 100F$ per hour, a weekend arrival is to be avoided.

Anchored at Minerva reef
Anchored at Minerva reef

So although I had not planned to stop over at Minerva reef I now did thinking to stay just 2 nights. However I arrived with one of those squeezes  between a tropical depression to the north and a high to the south. The wind soon picked up and didn’t slacken below 24 knots for 5 days. Anchoring here in these conditions was anything but restful. After 4 days I was fed up of the situation and headed out, leaving later risked another weekend arrival.

I did wonder the wisdom of my decision with 27 knot winds and gusting higher and rough short seas, but Vancouvers are such good sea boats, 3 reefs in the main and staysail she just ploughed on.

Booby aboard

 

Dawn of the 15th day since leaving Opua revealed the island of Matuku, the first of the Fiji group. I would have liked to stop here but you must check in at a recognised port of entry so had to keep going.

Matuku Island Fiji

Closing with my destination and it seemed likely that I would arrive on a Thursday eve  just after dark. Not liking this idea I decided to slow down so as to arrive at first light Friday. Down to just a staysail though I was still going too fast, around 4 knots. Ironic how sometimes you struggle to achieve that speed with all sails set! Still once past Koro island with a decent amount of sea room all around I hove to for few hours. Letting draw later I arrived with good light to spot the pillar marking the reef of the point, rounding this, another few miles in the bay to arrive at Savusavu,

Approaching Savusavu

I picked up a mooring buoy at 09.30, perfect for normal working hours for the authorities.

Savusavu

Checking in was quick and painless, here they come out to your boat, Health pratique, Biosecurity, Customs and Immigration. Given permission to land it was time to find an ATM, pay the relevant fees and then the reward of a cold beer.

Passage of 1257 miles

One thought on “Passage to Fiji”

  1. Wow. Fantastic trip. Currently waiting out 35 kn squalls before a trip round Raasay. Looks like we might not get on the water at all! . Take cafe Skipper

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