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S/V Tender Spirit: Ocean Cruising
Join us as we cruise amongst the Islands of the South Pacific with plans.....what plans?
Off Shore September 13
Joan
09/12/2010, Off Shore heading to Tuvalu

We played squall games yesterday with shifting winds and some good downpours. It sure cooled the boat off! It also kept us from maintaining our courseline. But we are back on it again. We have 245 miles to go. The wind is E15-18 knots so we are moving right along in the 5.5-6 knot range. All is just fine on board. We are enjoying an uneventful passage so far....our favorite kind!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Off Shore September 12
Joan
09/11/2010, Off Shore heading to Tuvalu

We have about 325 miles left to go. It sure was a squally night. Winds have been in the 17-30 knot range. It's supposed to die down, but we'll see. The weather reports are quite far off from what we are experiencing. I figured we would have to do a bunch of motoring in light wind, but the winds certainly have given us lots of speed!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Off Shore September 11
Joan
09/10/2010, Off Shore heading to Tuvalu

We are making some good progress as we have 438 miles to to this morning. East winds in the 20 knot range and seas are 6-8 feet. All is well on board. I managed to catch a cold, so am not feeling very perky this morning. Oh well. The sun is out and looks like a fine day.

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
On our way
Joan
09/09/2010, Off Shore heading to Tuvalu

We cleared customs yesterday morning then raced daylight to get through the reefs and off shore. Fiji has their latest decree with immigration. Once we check out we have to be gone within 1 hour! That sure put a rush on the morning getting the dinghy out of the water, lashed and the anchor up. We didn't make it in one hour, took us 1.5 hours. We did clear the reef in daylight. That was what was more important to us. We had a nice first night off shore. Dark, with no moon, but lots of stars. It's good to be off shore again!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Finally!
09/07/2010, Denarau

The weather report looks great this morning so we will be able to leave this morning for Lautoka. The off shore forecast is actually improving, so we should be on our way to Tuvalu (Funafuti atoll) in the next 24 hours. Our passage from Lautoka is 635 nautical miles. If all goes well we should have the anchor down around September 16.
Chuck and I both have the same birthday, September 15, so it looks like once again we will be off shore. Our timing for this rots. We've been off shore every year since we left Alaska. We were really trying to be ashore this year but that's how is goes. Maybe next year!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
09/08/2010 | mary and john
Really enjoying your blog. Hope when you get to read this that you both had a good birthday and can now celebrate!
Weather
Joan
09/06/2010, Denarau, Fiji

The long term and off shore weather reports are looking great for leaving Fiji. We were all set to do a day sail to Lautoka this morning and start the exit paperwork until the latest local weather report arrived. A strong wind warning with winds 20-30 knots for the local area doesn't sound like much fun while navigating through the reefs, so we will wait one more day. That will also give us a chance to finish a few little projects around the boat. I'll even have more time to organize the paper charts and prepare the plotting pad.

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Weather & Spice
Joan
09/02/2010, Denarau, Fiji

Well, the weather looks questionable for the next 4-5 days so we decided to stay put until the easterlies die down a bit. Since we need to make some easting on this passage, it doesn't make sense to start the passage going to windward in 25-30 knots of wind. Meanwhile we are continuing to enjoy the finer things in Fiji, and for me, it's the big Nadi farmer's market. I love wandering along amongst all the fresh produce, but I also love the spice booths. We were directed to Booth 9 by a nice Indian lady's recommendation. What a great surprise. The nice Spice Man took me under his wing and I learned all about the masalas and curries. I didn't know there were so many different mixes. I also discovered Dahl....and the many varieties of lentils. We were invited to come back the following day and sample a variety of Indian dishes. What an amazing experience! I hung out in the spice booth surrounded by spices and lentils, enjoying great hospitality, the sharing of stories, while eating and learning about Indian cuisine and culture....a foodie's fantasy indeed! This is what cruising is really about! I will surely treasure the memories of today forever! Tender Spirit is loaded down with an array of lentils, rices (There are so many varieties available besides just the choice of brown or white!), tropical fruits/vegies, and my new treasures of spices. The inexpensive food and great quality makes it a lot of fun to try new foods without putting a crunch on the grocery budget. Fiji is definitely a very difficult place to leave!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
A Few Extra Days
08/30/2010, Denarau

We rafted up to a fishing boat called "Bubba" to get our welding done. We also discovered the fresh water spigot! Yes, finally, ample fresh water. The nice folks at the marina office offered to let us stay for awhile at their "anchorage prices" so we quickly said yes. We are now busy catching up on all those water intensive chores. We've scrubbed down the deck, cleaned the "not-very stainless,stainless steal". We even washed and dried the asymmetrical spinnaker. It was living under the dinghy but now we can store it below. That is our least used piece of gear, but we sure like it when we can fly it!
Well, anyway, we will be here probably most of the week taking advantage of not just the fresh water, but all the marina trappings and enjoying the easy access to town. Oh, and eating out at a few places. We discovered the "Hard Rock Cafe" and some other fun eateries. There's a nice Indian lady that walks down the dock first thing in the morning selling rotis to the local workers. Well, it's about my favorite thing right now. Very tasty, and at only a $1 (US) a great buy. I'm always a sucker for "street food". My strategy is simple. I see that a place/vender is surrounded by local buyers so that I know that they have a reputation for good (and safe) food. So far I haven't gone wrong. Some of the best local foods I've tasted has been from the small venders selling to the local folks.
Chuck just returned from the bakery with a large loaf of bread and some rolls for breakfast at $1 US. Time to dig in while the rolls are still warm.......

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
08/30/2010 | Betty Richter
Joan! Wow! School is back in full swing at KGH and I see that you are still making your way around the world on your sailboat! I'm amazed! Keep enjoying life - its the only way to live! You are inspiring! Please give my best to Chuck also!

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