Bula from Fiji
31 August 2015 | Lautoka Fiji
Our departure from Nieafu in the Vavu group of Tonga was a quick decision in the dinghy on our way to send off our advance notice of arrival to Fiji. So a white out was promptly added to the bag of paperwork to alter at the cafe. From a departure date of 28th to arrive at Lautoka on 31st or 1st Sept, the notice now read: departure on 25th to arrive at Vuda Marina for check in on 28th. We did most of the check out on the Monday for an early departure Tuesday but they insisted we take the boat to the dock and they weren't opening until 8.30am. I guess they were still a little shellshocked after the previous day checking in 16 boats. The trip was mixed...started off accompanied by whales breaching near us, and the wind was up but almost on the nose. Now what happened to the SE of the forcast? Those weather forecasters are the same all over the world. Don't believe what they say!! We left because of a wind warning coming up at the weekend, so we hope the direction changes and speed stays the same. Wrong again!! A rough night and water over the boat was not in the plan but the wind did swing to the SE, the speed however thought it was already the weekend....20+ knots and increased for the rest of the trip, with our last 24 hrs 30+ knots surfing off the following seas and clocking 15 knots of speed over the ground at times. What a wild trip, luckily we had prepared meals so galley work was to a minimum. Once we were inside the reef we called up Vuda Marina to let them know we were arriving only to be told that they couldn't accommodate us and we would have to go on to Lautoka. Now, what about the forward paperwork with our clear in port as Vuda Marina? Called up the port authorities in Lautoka and asked for advice and was welcomed to anchor off Queens wharf and while it was Friday afternoon they could arrange for someone to stay and clear us or wait for Monday. This what we chose to do to avoid overtime rates for the officials. So we are now at anchor much relieved to be able to cook dinner ( fresh Mahi Mahi ), a couple of well earned drinks then an uninterrupted nights sleep. By the way Anne, my watch was from 11pm to 2am and even though there was cloud around, I never did see the Mars thing.
We now have crossed the 180* mark and from having west positions we now have easterly positions. We also have a time change again and we are now only 2hours ahead of Aus.