Duplicat's Diary

Day 1 to Fiji
by Rick at 20:18:59, 2019-06-06 (day 1859)

We had a slow start to the day, as we were timing the tides in the pass to the south of the Ile of Pines. We hoisted the screeches, put the SUP and surfboard away and generally got ready to go. We have a failing anti-siphon valve on the starboard engine - a replacement awaits us in Fiji, so I plumbed the leak into the bilge so it didn’t drip on things. All done, and ready to go.

However, once we got out, we opted to go north. We could sail earlier rather than motor into the swell for an hour, and it didn’t cost us that much in distance. Once we reached the pass, we had some nice current with us and the sea state was very pleasant. The sun even put in an appearance for a change!

Just after Ania had gone to get some rest, we hooked up on both lines. I called her up to give me a hand and we landed 1 large big eye tuna. Just as we got it on deck, the second got away. Dang - but we have LOTS of lovely fresh tuna - we had about 1/5 of it for tea, got some ready for tonight and froze the rest. Lines back in and BANG the port line ended up on the deck. Something big had hit it and taken the lure and trace in its entirety.

The wind was mostly S or SSW, with the occasional SSE - so a very handy angle for a change. We made good progress holding south of the direct line to Fiji just in case the wind goes more ESE as we approach.

It was a very dark night - cloudy and a new moon, and during the night the swell built from the storm thats hitting NZ at the moment. However, for me it was pretty good, but Ania is not so sure. We were making good speeds and it was easy to see lights from other boats. There was only one - a ship anchored on Reef Durand. An odd place to stop. We could see their lights from over 10 miles away - it looked like a small town!

This morning, we’ve changed course to aim directly at the Navula pass - its well lit so should be easy to enter in the dark. I have not used it before - we used the smaller unlit ones when we left last year, but I don’t fancy them in the dark. The swell is now more behind us, the wind too (as its still a S6). Forecasts suggest low 20s for winds today and into tomorrow, then easing for Sunday and Monday. We still hope to arrive Sunday evening/Monday morning.

Under 500nm to the pass.