Minerva to Savusavu Day 1
Saturday 6th June 2015
Distance run Day 1: 110nm
We lifted the anchor at 14:30 yesterday afternoon and by 15:00 we were safely out of the pass which had barely a ripple in it. We bade Minerva Reef goodbye and headed for Fiji. The winds were very light at first, so we didn’t bother with the headsail, and just motored with the mainsail up. Before long, however, the sea began to slow us down, and we were making only 4-4.5 knots over the ground. With 7-9 knots of wind, we decided to unfurl the genoa and to change course to allow the wind to fill it. This immediately gave us an extra knot of speed and a much more comfortable motion, and we started to rethink our route.
We checked the forecast which was for south easterly winds for a couple of days, backing to east and then to north east for the remainder of the trip. Our original planned route would take us to the west of a group of reefs inconveniently sitting right in our way, and then to mainly follow a rhumb line to Savusavu. This route would now have us beating into headwinds for the last third of the trip, not something we particularly enjoy doing. So we decided instead to leave the inconveniently placed reefs to port and get some easting in while we still had fair winds to do so.
We motor-sailed until a little after 0400, when enough of a breeze kicked in to allow us to switch off the engine and sail at a reasonable speed in peace and quiet. Bliss.