11th June 2013 - Back to the Tropics

Jon & Carol Dutton
Tue 11 Jun 2013 04:14

22:26S 177:37E

11th June 2013 – Back to the Tropics

At a little after 0500 this morning we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn.  Time to start thinking about putting the sleeping bags away.


Percy the Parasailor performed for around 12 hours yesterday but by 2300 the wind had died away to nothing, Percy was looking a bit miserable and threatening to wrap himself around anything he could find – the more inconvenient the better – at the bow.  He’s by and large a good chap – as we all know – but a bit of a handful when he gets either over-excited in boisterous conditions or just plain bored when not enough is happening to keep him out of mischief.  So, down he came to be tucked up in bed whilst Mr Perkins - with nary a grumble - got us going in the right direction at a reasonable speed.   


We relieved him at 0800 this morning, once the wind had returned to give us a pretty reasonable beam to broad reach under mainsail and yankee at around 7 knots. 


So, progress is good enough.  Measuring things a bit more accurately as we approach our destination, we now have 350 NM to go.  It’s now a little after 1500 on Tuesday and sunset on Thursday is a little after 1730.  So, let’s call it 50 hours away in time.  That means we have to average exactly 7 knots to make it into the creek in Savusavu before the lights start going out.  Given the number of yachts currently moored there, it doesn’t seem a great idea to go blundering into and around there after dark looking for a spare mooring.  Being something of a student of Sod’s Law, I’d say that the chances are that we’ll get to Savusavu after, but irritatingly close to, the last safe moment for entry to the creek on Thursday.  In that case we’ll have to anchor off - not terribly easy in the deep (60m or more in most places) waters of Savusavu Bay, outside the confines of the creek - and wait awhile.


That said, we’re currently doing just over 7 knots over the ground.  So, maybe, just maybe.    


Then there is the issue of precisely where to moor once we get in.  We gather that a rally (of Oyster yachts - of all things - surely these are the Devil’s work) currently accounts for a large number of the available moorings and we’re getting no feedback from the Copra Shed Marina despite repeated e-mail prompting.  That’s a bit bad of them really.  But, nobody in this part of the world wants to give you an answer which isn’t the one you obviously want to hear.  So, they try not to do so by pretending not to hear questions, the correct responses for which are likely to disappoint.  At least that’s better than in Tonga where you are most likely to get precisely the answer you wanted to hear.  That’s even if your informant either knows it to be totally wrong or hasn’t the faintest idea either way.  There, accuracy is not a highly prized feature of such responses whilst the evident pleasure of the recipient is.  Any road up, as they say in the north of England, we’ve got Ann and Bob on Charisma, who have been there a week or so, on the case and hope they can persuade someone to tell us something useful.


We’ll see anon.