01 June 2019
A Strange Opportunity:
So here we are, on our way to Fiji. We left Funfuti, Tuvalu Wednesday, May29, 2019 at the crack of noon.
There was no rush as check-out with Customs and Immigration gave us 24 hours to leave and the wind was only expected later in the day. You see, it is all about finding the maximum number of days of wind in this sketchy period/area to motor as little as possible. The drone of the engine is not our favourite thing and of course one can only carry so much fuel on a sailboat. One is supposed to sail! That IS the objective. We had put the dinghy on the deck and took up the outboard the evening before, so there was little to do besides, tie things down, run the lines, and hoist the main. The jack lines are easily secured (what we attach to when we go outside the cockpit). We did some last minute interneting after a hearty breakfast. Well, a normal breakfast because its my favourite meal and it involves eggs 95% of the time. BTW, if you ever need powdered eggs, the EASY Eggs they sell on Amazon are fabulous for omelettes , scrambling and baking.
Well, to get to Fiji from Tuvalu we needed to head south and east. The wind varies of course, so we are always trying to keep our easting when sailing so that we don't have to motor east should the wind drop. Well, today about 3:00 the wind went light and started swirling. So, we hoisted the Japanese Jib (our Yanmar engine). We found ourselves exactly on the International Date Line - affectionately known as the IDL.
Those of you who are on FB and got BDAY greetings from the "other side of the IDL" know it is a favourite place of mine as when on this side, you celebrate twice - once for your " real birthday and once for being on the other side of the world, a day ahead. What JOY! That is, if you like birthdays. I do. Sometimes I celebrate for a whole year, like when I turned 60. I am planning another year long celebration for when I turn 70. Thankfully that is not too far away. I hope I make it. I'm quite sure I will, but, as we all know, it is somewhat unpredictable. So back to a more acceptable and fun topic. So, this afternoon, I was in yesterday and Chuck was in today. We divided the boat in half. I was in the galley (port side). We ran the boat right down the IDL. So I got to cook the meal I was planning to have yesterday and didn't but really got to make it on the same day. The best line came from Chuck, as usual when he said "and I get left-overs".
So how in the world, this wonderful but crazy world, are each and everyone of you? I do get the odd note from people which I so appreciate. Sometimes I wonder if I will still be sending these updates once we are onto the next segment. I guess we will see.
For the moment, I can tell you, the water is the most amazing deep blue, not quite the purple I wrote about when we were crossing to the Marquesas but absolutely stunning. The contrast with the turquoises one sees in the lagoons within the atolls is stark. So night has fallen. We are now familiar with the Southern Cross. The sky last night was black as Hades. Tonight the planets are visible and the moon is waxing. Off in the distance it seems a light is showing itself on the horizon and I am checking to see if it is a ship. No, it is a star appearing.
So what else can I share with you? Perhaps the biggest change we anticipate on our arrival in Fiji is the strict policy on food and alcohol. Usually, to this point at least, there has been little "to do" about ships stores- what you have on board to eat and drink. As long as you aren't transporting large quantities to sell, they pretty much leave you alone as it is one's home. However, we have heard they charge duty on all alcohol except for 2.5 litres per person of anything you choose. And we have heard they confiscate a lot of food.
Hmm. We will see how it rolls out. We have minimized purchasing but it is always good to have a lot of food onboard as when at sea there are no stores.......
I will close for now and wish you all a god night. Most of you will be soundly asleep at present. Sweet dreams to all.