Wet and Wild

Tue 25 Nov 2003 22:38
    After a couple of minor fine adjustments to the windvane (with a hammer) and a quick run around the market of Lautoka (I don't
 think they are mangoes Mr Unmack!) Avalon was already to tackle the 650 miles to Noumea, even if her crew wished to stay in
the tropical paradise of Musket Cove. The winds were forecast to be strong but coming from the south east so would remain aft of
the beam all the way.
    This turned out to be true and Avalon surfed her way happily at above hull speed towards New Caledonia. The crew on the other
 hand were not so happy as the 25 knots of wind kicked up a short confused sea that slapped and sprayed everything out side the
 companionway in a layer of cold salt water.
    Never the less Ian soon got used to the routine of waking up all through the night and even found that he slept better on a
bouncing boat than he did in his own bed! George on the other hand was quite pissed off at the grey skies and ever increasing
leaks that plague a 30 foot boat in 15 foot seas.
                                  Cooking at sea is always a hassle, but Unmacks fish cakes were well worth the effort!!!     
     Fast progress and slowly weakening winds had Avalon in sight of the coast on the fifth evening after finally seeing the sun again
 that day. Navigating in the pitched black night between reefs made both the crew happy for all the modern technology of cruising
in the 21st century.
    Dropping the hook at 4 am in the first sheltered cove we both slept soundly for several hours of welcome uninterrupted peace.
Statistics: Lautoka to Noumea 640 nautical miles, passage time 4 days 15 hours, average speed 5.8 knots, best days run 156 nm
                (6.5 knot average) Engine hours 0 (wind gen provided all the power) Number of times the crew said F%#&! as a wave dumped
                into the cockpit and on them, uncountable.