Heading for Fiji day 2 at sea 17:24.150S 176:59.531W

South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Claes Brodin
Mon 21 Sep 2009 05:52
After a very nice week in the Vavau archipelago,we headed back for Neiafu and spent 2 days preparing Tarita for the ocean again.On Sunday morning we left Neiafu,with gribfiles showing a good weatherwindow for the passage to Savu Savu,and a Bob McDavitt weathergram showing descent circumstances in the South Pacific.We said goodbye to Baker(the weather and cruiserguru in Vavau)on the VHF,and to all our Swedish cruisingfriends(we have been 7 Swedish yachts in Tonga at the same time).Four Swedishboats will follow to Savu Savu starting 1 day later,and we will keep a Swedish SSB-net on 8182Khz.The passage to Fiji has quite a bad reputation and deserves respekt.Every year several yachts are lost during this passage,mainly because they hit reefs in badly surveyd waters,and just recently an American yacht was lost on a reef not at all found on any charts.He was according to "radiorumours",rescued by inhabitants from the nearest island and well taken care of.The "cruisersociety"decided to support with food,but later learned to know that the people rescuing came from Mel Gibsons private island in Fiji,and that the shipwrecked singlehander was well fed by Gibsons private chef!
We are currently sailing in SE tradewinds of 15-20Kts,and estimate to see the first Fijiislands tomorrow after lunchtime.The whole day has been good tradewindsailing with clear skies,but now some dark squalls are approaching from SE.Our first waypoint is just east of Nanuka passage,the most northern of all passages in to the Laugroup of islands in Fiji´s eastern archipelago.Clearing in is mandatory before cruising anywhere in Fiji.