Wednesday, 17th June, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Wed 17 Jun 2015 08:02
Position: 18.07S 178.26E

Run: 47 miles from noon

Because of a weather forecast of high winds setting in on Wednesday, we were quite keen to get into Suva harbour as quickly as we could and sailed with the engine running to maintain at least 6.5 knots of speed. Tuesday had been a fine day, but there was insufficient wind to give us more than 3.5 knots at best. So, with the engine running from 06.45am to 18.45pm, we made the entrance to Suva harbour by about 6pm when nightfall began. Suva harbour is beyond an extensive reef, where only a pass through the reef allows access. Luckily, there were some bright leading lights to help us through the pass, but by the time we were in the harbour, about a mile wide and a mile long, it was pitch dark with background lights obliterating one’s view. Guided by the electronic chart plotter and charts downloaded on my mini iPad, we made our way across the harbour towards the Royal Suva Yacht Club. We knew there would not be any space in the small and shallow marina and our best option was to drop anchor outside. Several yachts at anchor emerged in the dark when we spied a free buoy.

Motoring towards it, we noticed that it was made of a lump of polystyrene wrapped in a net, but because it did not look as though we could pick it up, we motored past it to starboard. To our grand stupefaction the following morning, we noticed that it marked a wreck awash. We had gone in-between the buoy and the wreck with no room to spare for a fish to swim along side. Had we struck the wreck Luna Quest would have been severely damaged. Relating our experience to a couple of people in the yacht club the following morning, one of them remarked that he had welded a stick on the wreck last year to make it more noticeable and was amazed that we had not struck it!

As Julia’s Macbook Pro appears to have given up the ghost, we searched for an Apple store in Suva, but could only find an Apple dealer/technician, who diagnosed after running several tests that the driver had packed up. A new driver has been sent for from Sydney and we hope to have it back up and running at the end of next week. However, all of Julia’s photographic work will have been lost. Luckily, she has kept all her cards.