Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bula Fiji!

10th June 2015

When we left NZ, we knew we were taking on one of the trickier passages of our journey. It can be nasty and terrible, or have too little wind, or be a mixture of both! AS one cruiser told us, he always plans for a 9 day passage to Suva…. 3 days of wild crappy weather, 3 days of good sailing, and 3 days of motoring… and considers that par for the course.

I suppose that sums up our voyage, with our diversion to Minerva requiring a little more motoring, but being compensated by visiting a quite special, and unusual reef, only ever seen by a relative handful of sailors. Plus we were heading for the most northerly check-in point  in Fiji ( SavuSavu), which is about 100 miles further than Suva, which made our 10/11 days for the passage about what we could hope for.

We have become experts at slowing down to make our arrival early in the morning, during office hours, to avoid the extortionistic bull about arriving in “overtime” hours! 
Scott-Free and ourselves checked at 8.00am at SavuSavu, using the services of the very friendly Coprashed Marina staff, The process was an absolute pleasure, and the Bio-Security, Health, Customs, Immigration, Cruising permit application handled quickly and efficiently by WARM AND COURTEOUS officials!! What a pleasure!

ST and SF still joined at the hip on the Q Dock!
It may appear to readers that we travel side by side for the entire passage.  Not so!
Frequently we are 20 -30 miles apart, with one taking the high road and the other the low. But somehow seem to find each other at least a few times in a passage! Quite amazing when one considers how different the 2 yachts are with their preferred points of sail.

By 10.00 am we were cleared in, out on a mooring buoy,  and putting the dinghy in the water, so that we could go ashore, explore, pay the fees, and track down a simcard for the dongle and cellphone.
Then it was Burgers and Beers with cruising buddies at the local “Surf and Turf”, before returning to Sheer for a Lo o o ng , and much needed kip!

Savusavu anchorage as seen from the Q

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