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Sea Child: Big Cat Sailing Around the World
Tales of our journey around the world aboard our 56' Catamaran, Sea Child.
Planning for Vanuatu
04/25/2012, 17 46'S:177 11'E, Musket Cove, Fiji

Fiji has been an amazing adventure for Sea Child! We have loved the diving, anchorages, people, yachites and all the memories we have made here. But the time has come where we move on towards Vanuatu and the western South Pacific Ocean. We repaired the mail pulley that had pulled away from the fiberglass deck above the starboard stateroom. Halyards have been changed and a new mainsheet and traveller sheet have been installed. Sea Child is just about ready to head west, 500 miles and approximately 2 days to Vanuatu. So as we enjoy our last few days in Fiji, we are excited at the new adventures that lie ahead in Vanuatu! Expected departure from Fiji is Tuesday, May 1, 2012.

Circumnavigation
Back to Sea Child
high overcast skies
11/09/2011, Vuda Marina, Fiji

We returned to Sea Child after four months away. Opening up the cabin doors, we were greeted by the most awful smell ever! All the damp rid containers were full and moldy, but the biggest discovery was the food storage under the setee. We had 4 cases of beverages stowed there, and over a dozen of them had exploded. Nothing like the spooge of 12 cokes and 10 diet cokes that mixed together probably shortly after we left in July. Every food item had to be removed from the locker for clean up, and we lost about 95% of our stores. Yuk, no fun to clean the mess in the heat and humidity of Fiji.

That said, we received our cruising permit and expect to be heading out within a day or so. The outer islands await our discovery, and we are eager to head out for some diving, fishing, and relaxing in the beautiful islands of Fiji. It's nice to be back here, new hip and all. Now where is that freezer repair man? 9:00am is turning into noon. Guess this is what you call island time!

Spinnaker Course
07/10/2011, 20 22'S:177 46'E, 146 NM to the reef at Fiji

We are now just a little over 24 hours from Lautoka, Fiji. The spinnaker has been set on a beautiful tradewind day, with winds from the south at 15 knots, seas slight chop, skies clear, boat speed 9 knots. We are making good time now on our last expected full day at sea. The last 24 hours were light winds, and when we could sail, the winds would push us westward rather than north. A highlight from yesterday was the hookup of a nice size tuna, only to have it work itself off the hook. A few hours later, we caught a beautiful ono, approximately +20 pounds. Dinner was of course this excellent fish, prepared blackened and sushi! Tonight Karen will prepare one of her Kiwi specialities which we are all looking forward to!

We are excited that we have been able to set the spinnaker and enjoy the sailing today. This eventful crossing, from Opua, New Zealand to South Minvera Reef, Tonga to Lautoka, Fiji, will be remembered for the distance we have sailed, the remote reefs we have visited, and the new friendships we have made. Smooth sailing never felt so good as is does right now.

07/12/2011 | Mom @ dad
Are you there .? please write or call us Anacortes Love M @. D
Into the Tropics
07/09/2011, 22 56'S:179 18'W, 321 Miles South of Fiji

Visiting Minerva Reef yesterday was an experience not to be forgotton. While there, we took a dive into the clearest waters, where the sand bottom was bleached white and some of the corals were dead. However, as we swam around, the corals came to life, as did the giant moorish idols and parrot fish, as well as some lobster under rocks and swim throughs. The sun finally came out around noon, awaking the colors of the reef, the blues and greens. After lunch, we finally said farewell and continued our journey towards Fiji.

After a westward push on a course of 270 with shifts taking us down to 220 degrees, we had to jibe early this morning onto a course of 326 for the reef at Fiji. The winds have died and the seas are calm on a sunny, warm day. We are motorsailing now on one engine, making barely 6 knots, and crossed into the tropics at 8:30am this morning. The warm weather is a great welcome after the chill of New Zealand. Motor-Sailing on, our current ETA to Fiji is 2 days from now. We are praying for southeasterly trades at 15-18 knots. That would be sweet.

07/09/2011 | Mom@Dad
We love hearing from you every day! Tell us when you Will be back on Maui. All is well with us. love you all!
Minerva Reef
07/08/2011, 23 56.4'S:179 08.0'W, South of Tropic of Capricorn

Sailing into Minerva Reef yesterday was pure magic! South Minerva appeared on the starboard horizon about 3 miles from Sea Child. The giant rollers from a storm to the south broke on the reef, their mist shooting into the air as the waves exploded into balls of white. The navigation marker that showed on our Navionics chart for the Pacific Islands was missing, and spotters were necessary on the bows of Sea Child while Eric sailed us in. This giant figure-8 shaped reef is huge, with waves crashing over the reef, at low tide rocks protrude up and can be seen all around. At high tide, the reef disappears into colorful blues and greens, with the currents from the ocean much more prevalent. The winds are out of the south now, 10 knots, visability is good, scattered clouds. We are rigging up for a dive here at South Minerva, and anticipate an afternoon departure for Lautoka, Fiji, +400 NM to our NE.

Into the tropics
07/07/2011, 24 22'S:179 36'E, 809 miles from New Zealand

At 8:00am this morning, Sea Child is 72 nautical miles south west of Minerva Reef. At our current boat speed, we expect to make the reef by 5:00pm this evening. The grib files show that the weather for the next 36 hours is mainly fine at the reef, which we hope to take a two-tank dive and enjoy for a few hours. If we should slow down, we will wait offshore in the dark for sunrise to enter the reef itself. The sunrise this morning was epic, a gift from God, that lit up the horizon in pastel orange and pink. A large fishing vesel passed our bow within 1/2 mile as it sailed from west to east. After our visit to Minerva, we will sail on to Lautoka, Fiji. Sea Child is doing a fantastic job as we continue on this northern passage.

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