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Cruising again
Michael and Jackie
16/05/2010, Fawn Harbour

We decided to check out of Savu Savu on Saturday. You have to clear customs, even though it is an internal trip. Then you clear back in again when you return. Our plan was to head out a couple of miles and anchor off the Jacques Coustea resort and then leave on the Sunday morning. Saturday it poured with rain but we headed out in any case, and enjoyed a pleasant swim as well as the quite refreshing rain. Quite a few other boats, Liberation, Ivory Quays, Destiny and Just in Time, came out for the weekend so we thought we would see out the rain and move on on Monday. In fact it would have been a perfect day for heading East since there was a light Westerly wind. Unfortunately the Westerly wind made the anchorage very uncomfortable, so we all retreated back into Savu Savu for the Sunday night and had a party on board our boat.

Monday morning arrived and we headed off again. Deployed the fishing lines, sadly to no avail. Last year I caught two mahi mahi near here. However, we had a lovely relaxed sail in light winds and calm seas, only doing about 5 knots to a place called Fawn Harbour.

As you head towards the anchorage the waves start to pile up. You're looking for a small gap in the reef marked by a couple of poles. Despite the hurricane the poles were still there and with some relief we slipped through the reef. The harbour is basically a series of mangrove lagoons behind the reef with calm water. We dropped the anchor and enjoyed the roar of the waves on the reef and watched fish breaking water, chasing and being chased. Further in there are a few small houses but there is not much here apart from the sandy cays and mangroves. The wide horizons give a 180 degree panorama of reefs and ocean behind which we sat safely anchored enjoying the peace and calm.

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Back in Savusavu

After a wonderful relaxed night moored outside the Cousteau resort, we went into Savusavu bright and early next morning. All went wonderfully smoothly with customs etc. Health arrived first, plus a trainee doctor to see if we were free of vermin and disease. Lots of form filling, but all very pleasant. Next came Customs and Immigration, with lots more forms, but no interest in how much booze we were carrying. Finally we did Biosecurity - but he very nicely allowed us to do this over our curry lunch ashore, so didn't come on board. A great relief as although I had hidden most of our food you still worry in case they decide to do a big search.

After our wonderful curry and Fiji bitter (all costing next to nothing) we wandered up to the hospital, a mile or so outside town, to pay our charge for the health inspection. It was good to walk again, even though it felt very hot. The staff were very pleasant, but I certainly wouldn't want to be in hospital there!

We are currently waiting for our cruising permits to come through before heading out to the islands, but it's not a hardship in this lovely town with such good restaurants etc.

Thinking of having my dreadful haircut tidied up by Regi, but he/she wasn't there when we walked past on Monday - more news later.

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In Paradise
Michael and Jackie
09/05/2010, Savu Savu

We've arrived!!! Phew.

We rounded the buoy which marks the Savu Savu reef, in calm flat water - This must be a first! Just inside the reef there is a lovely protected area where the Jacques Cousteau resort is situated. We dropped the anchor here and wow. We had forgotten just how wonderful the tropics are. We jumped into a warm sea, swam round the boat, got out of the water into warm enveloping humid air. The sea is calm and quiet, and we are going nowhere. At least not until tomorrow when we head up stream a mile or two into the town to our mooring where we will do customs. Our plan is then to have a lunchtime curry, last year 8 fijian dollars (v cheap!) and celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss.

It seems strange to have lost the noise of the waves hitting the boat and the wind through the rigging. At present he only noise is Clapton " You look beautiful tonight" followed by Hendrix's Wind screams Mary on the IPod, which are accompanying our pre prandial bottle of NZ champagne.

Life is good.

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11/05/2010 | justin Morris
I don't know if Fi's been in touch but Happy Anniversary from the Morris's. Warm air, warm sea, a good curry and some booze sounds perfect!
Fiji islands in the dawn
Michael and Jackie
08/05/2010, Koro Sea

Dawn came with the sight of some of the many Fijian islands. We rounded Gau and turned North for Savu Savu. We only have a light wind about 8 knots and are motorsailing. The sea is flat and the air is warm. The main island Vanua Levu is covered in clouds. This part of Fiji tends to have a lot of rain. This will not be altogether a bad thing since the boat is covered with salt so a good dose of rain water will be very helpful. It seems strange to be in such a peaceful spot after a long crossing. We're both looking forward to a good night's sleep and a meal at anchor.

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Getting Closer
Michael and Jackie
07/05/2010, South Pacific Ocean

We should have only one more full night on this passage as we are getting within range of Fiji now. The wind is gradually easing so that we now are experiencing a pleasant 15 to 20 knots. The sea remains a bit bumpy but is a lot more settled than it was. We are properly in the tropics now so the nights are warm and boat gear is tee shirt and shorts. Goodbye to the warm weather gear for a bit. We are both doing fine but getting a bit tired now and looking forward to being anchored or moored in Savu Savu. Working your way upwind is never as relaxing as true down wind sailing.

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Too much wind
Michael and Jackie
06/05/2010, South Pacific Ocean

We had a tough night, last night. The trade winds became more and more powerful until they were averaging between 30 and 40 knots. We even saw some wind speeds up to 50 knots. Luckily we had got our third reef in about an hour before they got really bad. However, the winds whipped up a rough sea, and the noise of the wind was quite scary. We went for an instant meal which proved surprising tasty a backpackers Thai curry, perfect. Once we had secured items which we normally don't need to we sat the gale out to a reading the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy. Somehow the Vogons destroying Earth seemed kind of appropriate.

This morning the winds have dropped back to 25 knots which seems mild by comparison but the sea is still very rough. Our new mainsail did very well the third reef once we had managed to get it in slowed us down really well and made the storm manageable. We are now moving along quite fast at about 7 knots with the second reef in. The trip from New zealand is at best a beam reach. On this occasion we have been sailing into wind which accentuates the bumpiness of the trip.

This morning we had to do some instant repairs. A couple of securing nuts had disappeared from the mainsheet cars, resulting in the loss of a pin. But after some tricky work the sails are up and working again, and we are on schedule for a Sunday arrival in Savu Savu.

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