Off Shore September 13Joan
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!
Off Shore September 12Joan
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!
Off Shore September 11Joan
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.
On our wayJoan
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!
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.
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.
Weather & SpiceJoan
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!
A Few Extra Days08/30/2010, 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!
Adventures of Tender Spirit