13th Sept - Day 11 & 12

SY Saphir -
Jeff & Doreen
Tue 13 Sep 2022 00:48
16:25s 177:47e

The winds have generally been a bit lower for the last two days and our days runs have been & 149.8 & 147.5 so just over 6 knots average. However the sailing has been easy and we have been using the Code 0 from dawn to dusk b both days, quite often with the jib poled to windward. In fact it is quite nice to have slightly lighter winds!

We spotted our first Fijian island at first light yesterday and were in sight of land all day following the coast of Vanua Levu, one of the main islands in Fiji, as we proceeded to the west. There was a strong smell of woodsmoke during the early evening and overnight which is always a good sign that you are near land after a long passage.

We also gave a lift to a passenger overnight on Sunday who stayed with us for 12 hours. Doreen is convinced it was a Red footed Booby. He started at the top of the mast which had me more concerned for my wind instruments than Mr Booby’s welfare but no matter how hard I tried to move him he did not budge! Eventually at some point in the early hours of the morning he relocated to the end of the pole and sat there quite contentedly for some hours until another bird came along and they disappeared together!

However the big thing of the day on Monday was crossing 180 degree meridian. We have been West of the greenwich meridian since we left the UK and now for the first time we are East of it. Crossing it by sea is a first for both of us and Doreen managed to catch the moment on her phone! I guess that really does mean we are on the opposite side of the world to the Uk!

Currently we are at the top of the Yasawa Islands on the outside of the reefs and have about 140nm to go. We should have good winds until early morning when it will die off and I think we will be motoring fo the last few hours. ETA is around 09.00 tomorrow.