Enjoying the Musket Cove Regatta
18 September 2016 | 17 46.37'S:177 10.96'E, Malolo Island, Fiji
Since our short time in the islands West of the Fiji mainland, we have been having a great time at the Musket Cove Regatta. Our livers are having a tough go with all the drinking and eating, but our bodies are enjoying the socializing.
Instead of sailing Speakeasy, we are sailing the event with our friends Tim and Jerri on their brand new Atlantic 47, Agility. It is a blast to spend time a such an innovative, high-tech boat! For my sailing friends, an A47 has no mainsail. Instead it has two roller furling jibs and two foil masts. You can google to learn more.
A couple of days ago there was a race to Beachcomber island, about 11 miles North. But, there was no wind so we ended up motoring there. More liver abuse took place. In fact, we weren't even allowed to the bar on the island before having a rum shot compliments of the bar! Heading back to Musket Cove we finally did have wind and enjoyed a fast ride back!
Today we have a short sail of about five miles followed by more liver abuse on a sand bar that only appears at low tide. It's a great place to party and guarantees that the party starts and ends on time. At closing time the bar disappears.
Tomorrow we have the longest "race" of the event, around Malolo island. I believe it is about 25-30 miles. Although Agility is a very fast boat, most of the cats here are even bigger and faster. We can't win line honors in a crowd like this, but we do hope for a fast sail as long as we get some wind. FYI, wind has been conspicuously absent this regatta!
Once the regatta finishes in a couple of days, we will either check into a rehab clinic, or sail off to Vanuatu. We are hoping for the trip to Vanuatu but again we are being stymied by the lack of wind. If we had decided to leave yesterday, in the middle of the regatta, we could have made the 450 mile, three day trip in the dying trade winds. However, there are now a bunch of low pressure systems starting to roll below us which are about to completely kill the trade winds. I can't see any end to these systems and as long as they are there, there are no trade winds to carry us to Vanuatu. I can see forecasts as far out as ten days and there are circles (meaning no wind) instead of wind barbs as far as the eye can see along our path.
This lack of wind really sucks for us as we are starting to come up against time constraints to get to Australia. Because of the start of cyclone season, we should arrive on the Australian coast no later than early November. That's just over a month away and we are trying to visit Vanuatu and New Caledonia before then. If this continues we may have to modify our itinerary and skip Vanuatu or New Caledonia, which would be a real shame! Keep your fingers crossed for us.
Picture: The musket cove resort with the cruisers and regatta participants anchored in the background