Friday, June 7, 2013

Day 10 - Roll, Roll, Roll your boat...

We woke up smiling to see sunny blue skies and a steady 12 Knots from the south. The wind slowly shifted into the SE and Ladybug sped along at 6-7 Knots, the GPS recording double digits as she surfed the swells. We poled out the jib and ran wing and wing more or less on our rhumb-line towards Savusavu. As the swells became larger, the rolling got worse, so we turned off ten degrees to the west. Our fast pace would see us arrive on the weekend, incurring overtime charges for the customs officials, so we reefed to slow her down. At 0215 this morning we took down the pole and ran on starboard tack for a while. The wind varied from 15-18K SE, so even with a triple-reef main we were averaging six knots. Before noon we took down the main altogether as it was blanketing the jib in the rolls. Our speed over ground is still well over 5 Knots.

Sometimes, especially when I am trying to keep my balance in the rolls, I just want to get to an anchorage as soon as possible so I can jump off the boat for a refreshing swim and wash. However, at other times I think we can use the extra few days to do more research on Fiji, i.e. which islands to visit. Customs require yachts to state a rough itinerary in order to issue the appropriate cruising permits and introductory letters to the chiefs of the villages. We will likely clear in on Monday and still pay overtime as it is Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Holiday. Even though Fiji became an independent republic in 1987, they still celebrate her birthday! Public Holidays also include Christmas, Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, and Diwali, reflecting an ethnically diverse population.

Our position at 3pm today was 20 33S 178 38E. We gained 139 nm in the previous 24 hours, of which 135 were in the right direction.

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