Alongside Vuda Marina

13.00 position: 17 40.916 S 177 23.166 E
Alongside Customs Dock, Vuda Marina
Wind: North West, F2 – gentle air
Weather: overcast, hot
Day’s run: 80 nm

We have arrived in Fiji, we have yet to clear in and I write as I await for the customs, quarantine and other officials to arrive. As I tied up, about seven of the staff were all on the customs dock when I came alongside, one of them with a guitar which I didn’t think much of, but then, after securing my lines, they all line up and start singing, a key word of which was “Bula”, which I presume means welcome. After 25 days on my own at sea I was a little overwhelmed, especially after a long and tiring night bouncing around in Bligh Water, tacking back and forth, awaiting for daylight, and getting very little sleep.

This morning when I went to connect the tiller pilot it beeped a few times and died. It would appear to have water in it. So that is a priority, to strip down and clean any salt out of it for it to have any chance of surviving. Consequently I have been tied to the wheel for the last six hours motoring the 30 miles of reef bound channels between Bligh Water and here. I was hoping that I might have been able to sail much of this forenoon as the south east winds would have been mostly favourable, but this morning dawned calm. So, after that minor ordeal, I think the welcoming committee that the marina provided was the nicest I have ever experienced.

While I wait for the officials I will start stripping down the tiller pilot.

All is well.