Pacific Odyssey 2010/2011

Follow the Larsens from Seattle to Australia and back.

14 February 2011
16 November 2010 | Australia
14 November 2010 | Ballina, NSW
10 November 2010 | Scarborough, QLD
02 November 2010
22 October 2010 | Brisbane
16 October 2010
15 October 2010
14 October 2010
08 October 2010 | Vanuatu
01 October 2010 | Noumea, New Caledonia
28 September 2010
28 September 2010
26 September 2010
25 September 2010
23 September 2010
21 September 2010 | Lautoka
19 September 2010
18 September 2010 | Musket Cove, Fiji

Crossing Fiji

14 September 2010 | North Viti Levu
Eric
We are making our way westward across Fiji toward Musket Cove on Malolo Lalilali Island where we hope to spend a couple of days snorkeling and exploring the nearby bays. Fiji is tricky to move around in as there are many reefs. Many, but not all, are well marked. Another challenge for us is that you can't go ashore in most bay unless you get permission from the village chief (typically by offering a gift of kava). It is not always clear where the village is that owns a particular beach we see, so unless we stay multiple days in a bay it is not possible to seek permission. It is very hard for the kids to see a beach but not be able to play on it. The Malolo area is more liberal and more accessible to cruising boats as an expat bought the area for 50 muskets and some gold long ago.

Our first day out of SavuSavu we hugged the southern coast of Vanua Levu, and anchored off Coconut Point. This leg was our initiation into Fiji sailing. We are limited to sailing during good daylight due to the reefs and channels. We are typically sailing near land and inside the main barrier reefs. Sometimes the channels get narrow, but we have consistently had an easy time seeing the reef in daylight, as they reef areas tend to be less than 5 feet deep, dropping off quickly to 50 plus feet deep. These passages are like a maze, and without a chart it would be exceptionally difficult to find a path through and not continually backtrack from dead ends. We have relied on local knowledge for bays providing good anchorage, as with the reefs and mountains it is not always clear which spots have good protection and holding.

The second day we crossed Bligh Waters to the northeast corner of Viti Levu. Today we followed coastal channels on the north side of the largest island to a bay near Lautoka. It was a tiring 48 mile trip zigging and zagging through channels. Tomorrow we will have an easier day, 25 miles to Malolo, much of it more open water. While it might seem easier to sail near land, it is land that sinks boats, not water. I have more peace of mind when I know ships and debris are my main risk.

During our trip across Fiji the landscape changed dramatically from the windward to leeward sides of the islands. SavuSavu was lush, while Lautoka is arid. The hills here in northeast Viti Lev remind me of the Methow valley in Eastern Washington.

I am keeping my mechanics skills sharp with unplanned projects like fixing the transmission control cable. When anchoring the other day I found that I did not have access to reverse. After setting the anchor without it I discovered the cable was loose (and worn), I have fixed it enough to engage reverse with just the right gear shift bump - I will fix this properly in Oz. I have a growing list of such items. As I have said in a past blog, most of the people I know out here are getting by with some broken gear - cruising is hard on boats and parts are hard to come by. While I brought many spare parts, space, cost and weight imposed limitations. I have gotten more relaxed about not having the boat in perfect working order. Still I am looking forward to entering a well stocked marine store.
Comments
Vessel Name: Jenny P
Vessel Make/Model: Hans Christian 33T
Hailing Port: Seattle, Washington
Crew: Eric, Christine and family
About: Sophie 10 Finn 7 Freya 5
Extra: After sailing in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years, we are preparing to sail to the South Pacific
Jenny P's Photos - Main
16 Photos
Created 17 November 2010
43 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
27 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
11 Photos
Created 16 November 2010
40 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 9 October 2010
62 Photos
Created 11 September 2010
94 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 21 August 2010
76 Photos
Created 18 August 2010
1 Photo | 12 Sub-Albums
Created 4 August 2010
6 Photos | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 26 July 2010
21 Photos
Created 24 July 2010
7 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
10 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
Time Ashore
35 Photos
Created 29 June 2010
13 Photos
Created 28 June 2010
Photos of our floating home
9 Photos
Created 20 May 2010
10 Photos
Created 12 May 2010
Pictures as we left Seattle
5 Photos
Created 11 May 2010

Who: Eric, Christine and family
Port: Seattle, Washington