22 October 2021 | 'S: 'E, Grand Chancellor Hotel, Brisbane
15 October 2021 | 27 26.662'S:153 06.434'E, River gate marina, Brisbane
12 October 2021 | 26 18.073'S:156 00.246'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
11 October 2021 | 25 41.635'S:158 24.609'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
10 October 2021 | 25 03.764'S:160 40.921'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
09 October 2021 | 24 16.537'S:163 21.449'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
08 October 2021 | 23 23.005'S:166 09.112'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
07 October 2021 | 22 12.270'S:168 20.490'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
06 October 2021 | 21 00.046'S:169 58.439'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
05 October 2021 | 19 49.684'S:171 35.302'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
04 October 2021 | 18 37.463'S:173 06.679'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
03 October 2021 | 18 11.767'S:175 05.347'E, At sea from Fiji to Brisbane
02 October 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
18 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Port Denarau marina , Fiji
16 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
15 September 2021 | 17 46.369'S:177 22.935'E, Denarau, Fiji
14 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Denarau, Fiji
13 September 2021 | 17 44.915'S:177 22.373'E, Quarantine anchorage, Denarau, Fiji
11 September 2021 | 17 14.384'S:178 18.007'E, At Sea to Fiji
10 September 2021 | 17 32.600'S:179 35.350'W, At Sea to Fiji

Back to the future

11 September 2021 | 17 14.384'S:178 18.007'E, At Sea to Fiji
11/12th September

17 14.384 S

178 18.007 EAST!

Weather; dull and overcast with rain showers, wind 2 to 30 knots, waves 2- 4 meters


So the DeLorean has passed into the stratosphere and we are right there alongside it, having time travelled into the future, it didn't hurt a single bit, there was no beam of light, no weird sounds or unusual flashing colours, in fact it seems pretty much the same as it was back in the past!. I am now calling Gerry Marty McFly - because that's how my sense of humour is rolling today! We crossed the international date line around 8.30pm last night, I was asleep and totally missed the excitement of the moment. Marty and I had spoken at length about making sure we got a screen shot of the change over from West to East longitude and we were both geared up to get the screen shot if we were the one on watch when it happened. I was a little disappointed to come up for my watch and hear the news that it had happened whilst I was sleeping and worse was to come - Marty had epically failed and not recognised the change from West to East for quite a while after it happened, so there was no screen shot. It seems very strange to think that we were sailing into the sun set and now we are sailing into the sunrise whilst sailing in the same direction and without a complete turnaround. So what does the future hold for all of you folks who are still in the past - not too much difference really, the weather forecasters still can't get it right, there are still no fish left in the sea, Covid hasn't been cured, world peace hasn't yet been achieved and we aren't quite at our Fiji destination.
Our night was a bit of a mixed bag after changing the clock and day, we had really slow winds for the most part of the night and had to run the engine to keep moving along. I spotted a trio of lights when it was my turn to keep watch, this was cause for excitement as we had seen nothing for the last 14 days. There was no moon and it was quite dark so I watched carefully to see if the lights were on land or on the water, turned out they were on land - the first lighthouses we would see as the Fijian Islands began to surround us, we were now going through a whole lot of coral lagoons and small uninhabited rocky outcrops which make up the Fijian Islands, still quite a way off to the big main islands, where we are headed. I went down for my last sleep and left the watch in the care of Marty, I was woken up when the boat began to bang and crash through the waves and roll violently from side to side. I scrambled out into the cockpit to find it was pouring with rain and the wind was howling through at 30 Knots (nowhere in the weather prediction was this mentioned). Marty had furled away all but the main sail and we were roaring along in the pitch black with rain pounding at us, good job that George had it under control! We had 2 hours-worth of this and managed to get just about every seat inside the cockpit wet as the rain found its way through the small gaps in the enclosure that are necessary to allow lines etc to pass through. We also had a few waves break over the top of the enclosure which didn't help matters. Marty had checked the radar to see how big the storm cell was and we were astounded to find it was 8 miles in every direction - a pretty big storm which had obviously been building during all those quiet calm days we have been seeing! Just after 8.30am it stopped and everything calmed back down enough that we could make coffee and drink it without wearing it. The clouds hung around for a whole lot longer but didn't produce any more rain and the sea became much more pleasant to be on, eventually though the wind disappeared and we were back to wallowing until we turned the engine back on to help move us along. As the morning wore on we began to pass more and more Islands and coral reefs eventually we were alongside the main island - so close to our destination that we could smell it even though we still have a long way to go before we reach the target. We have done a couple of gybes to try and keep the wind in our sails and we have put the spinnaker pole away - we won't be using it for the rest of this passage, of course it rained whilst we were putting it away. In just the last hour we have seen a few patches of blue sky and the sun is trying its best to poke through the clouds. It looks like we have broken (or it's just come undone) the first reefing line on the main sail but we aren't going to investigate it until we are safely in a marina - it'll just be one more job to add to the list!. As we have had to run the engine there was suddenly a bit of a cough and splutter earlier this afternoon, Marty was in panic mode for a while and changed out the 2 fuel filters and happily that seems to have settled the engine back to normal running. Presently we are motor sailing as we are back to less than 4 knots of wind - where is this weird weather coming from???? Out of our port side we can see the hilly coastline of the main Island, we just need to ravel along it and through another lot of reef before we arrive in Port Denarau. On a very sad note we are now out of chocolate so it's a good job that we are almost there before the withdrawal symptoms check in.
We have covered 124 NM in the 24. Hours and of that 9 hours were mechanically assisted.
By this time tomorrow we should be securely tied up in a marina berth, thank goodness!
Vessel Name: Opal of Queensland
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 52AC
Hailing Port: Bundaberg
Crew: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
About: Motley mostly, especially the cat
Opal of Queensland's Photos - Main
30 Photos
Created 22 October 2021
10 Photos
Created 16 September 2021
25 Photos
Created 14 September 2021
57 Photos
Created 7 August 2021
44 Photos
Created 17 July 2021
69 Photos
Created 11 July 2021
41 Photos
Created 10 July 2021
33 Photos
Created 13 May 2021
49 Photos
Created 3 May 2021
59 Photos
Created 9 April 2021
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
9 Photos
Created 5 April 2021
68 Photos
Created 4 April 2021
21 Photos
Created 12 March 2021
26 Photos
Created 27 February 2021
plenty of broken bits and things to fix in Colombia
44 Photos
Created 25 February 2021
25 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
27 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
29 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
36 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
20 Photos
Created 13 February 2021
13 Photos
Created 5 December 2020
Wind indicator replacement
12 Photos
Created 24 November 2020
15 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
leaving Port Louis marina, travelling to Spice Island Marine yard and hauling out to do the anti fouling
60 Photos
Created 3 November 2020
10 Photos
Created 29 July 2020
20 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 5 July 2020
28 Photos
Created 26 June 2020
62 Photos
Created 20 June 2020
10 Photos
Created 4 June 2020
155 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
104 Photos
Created 4 December 2019
55 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 1 November 2019
The life and antics of Miss Priss aboard Opal
27 Photos
Created 1 November 2019

Who: Nicky, Gerry and Priss
Port: Bundaberg