Bye Fiji - 19:20.280S 172:35.540E

Alex Belmont
Mon 10 Sep 2012 23:22
Once again I have neglected to post any updates for 2?,3?, I don't know how
many weeks. In that time, Carley sadly had to fly back to California while I
met up with Frank. We left Moondance in a marina for a few nights and hung
out on land at a backpacker hostel. A good time was had. It was strange to
be off the boat though. I haven't left Moondance alone for a night since
February while still in La Paz.

After a few days of being on land, it was good to get back aboard, take care
of a few little projects, and start moving again. I decided to fill up with
diesel as long as we were in a marina with a fuel dock. We ended up motoring
more in Fiji than anywhere I've sailed before. Sailing in that area at night
was completely out of the question. With the often light wind during the
day, the motor was usually put to use in order to make the next safe
anchorage before dark. One day, while Carley and I were sailing through an
area shown by the charts to be deep water, clear of reefs, I spotted a half
mile long reef just below the surface a couple hundred meters off our bow.
Luckily we were keeping a good watch, and were able to tack the boat and
find a clear path around the dangerous unmarked reef. Other sailors in the
area have similar stories. I don't like motoring, but it's better than
trusting the charts around here and trying to sail at night. Even with all
this motoring, it only took 39 liters to top up the tank. Not too bad
considering I last filled up in Mexico.

Just another ~165 miles to Anatom (Anietyum) island, Vanuatu. The passage
started out slow, with very light and shifting winds, but the past 36 hours
we've been racing along at a good rate. 6.5 kts most of yesterday. Early
last night we were surfing at over seven knots, so I decided it was time to
hand the main and staysail. Even under just the jib we maintained almost six
knots. All this wind in making for some sloppy beam seas and a rather rolly
boat. I'm going to sign off for now while I have still managed to stop my
computer from launching itself across the cabin.