New Zealand>Fiji - Day 7 (2014-07-29 09:00 UTC - 17:37.0S 179:09.6E - DTF 53 nm - Track 1228 nm)
Yesterday evening after some serious deliberations we decided not to try and make it before sundown today 29/7, despite the temptation of dropping the hook a day early, enjoy the safe arrival and have a good night sleep. Main considerations were that even though we would quite easily make it in time to get to the Copra Shed Marina, we might have risked being late for normal Customs hours. The consequence is you’ll have to pay some serious overtime fees. Clearing the next day is not an option, nor is dropping anchor somewhere and pretend to have arrived the next morning. In that case the overtime fees are dwarfed by the hefty penalties for doing so. In order to delay our arrival we could either try to slow down, which can be quite a challenge with some 20kn winds, or execute that little miracle in sailing, heaving to (headsail to windward, main tight and rudder to windward). A manoeuvre that takes some 30 seconds and the boat stops dead in her tracks, the waves and wind hardly affect you, and you’re amidst an eerie calm in the middle of the ocean. We chose the latter at 20.00hrs, had dinner, watched a movie and went to bed for a long night sleep. Every now and then I would do a quick check on our status and go back to bed again. At 8.30hrs this morning I released the windward headsail sheet, tightened the leeward one and off we went again. Every time we do this we are amazed at how simple yet effective this is.
In the early afternoon we decided to try our luck at fishing for the first time this trip, which resulted in a 5kg dorade/mahi mahi. Good for dinner tomorrow, when we celebrate our arrival and Lucas’s birthday, who will make landfall tomorrow morning as well and for sharing with others upon arrival.