There's been a nip of autumn in the air in Northland lately, especially when the South wind blows. I like it. We've been playing music, getting back into some boat projects, and I've doing a bit of "real" work here and there. The water's warm, the anchorages are empty, and there's a feeling of change. I get homesick in autumn, and it's sort of funny that it's Spring where I'm homesick for now. Spring's pretty good too! Anyway, the autumn nip has us looking northward and we're starting to firm up some of our destinations over the next several months, so I thought I'd share some of our thoughts.
So far, we haven't deviated much from our original plan. We still plan to leave mid-May - ideally before our visas expire on May 15, but if we have to ask for an extension because of weather, we'll do that. We'll sail to Fiji and spend perhaps a month and half there, starting in the Lau group and finishing in the Yasawas. Fiji sounds really big. We hope to have Piper join us there for a bit. From Fiji, we plan to sail to southern Vanuatu and then start making our way north through the Vanuatu island chain. We'd to spend a month near Luganville doing some work with Oceanswatch while we are in Vanuatu. I think we should leave Vanuatu by October, so we've got time to explore both Fiji and Vanuatu, hopefully.
From Vanuatu, we might hit the eastern Solomon Islands - reef, duff, Santa Cruz, perhaps, and from there to Micronesia (Pohnpei, Kosrae). If we don't go to the Solomons, we'll probably sail from Vanuatu to the Marshalls, going through (maybe) Tuvalu and some of the Kiribati atolls - Tarawa, Abaiang, Butaritari ... I'd love to check out other Kiribati islands after our visit in Fanning. We'd want to be in Majuro in time for Christmas, and then explore the outer atolls. At some point, we'll head West through Pohnpei and Kosrae, then to Guam, the Mariana Islands, and Japan. And from Japan, well ... homeward bound I guess! Looks like we'd want to leave sometime in June. The end is still a bit vague, but we do feel pretty certain about Fiji and Vanuatu! We'll keep you posted.