The nice thing about being on a sailboat is that we can pick our destinations - even when we are on our way to another destination! Such was the case this week: we were on a perfectly lovely passage to Tonga, approaching Minerva, and beginning the countdown of a few days til we would be back at Big Mama's Yacht Club, when we (I) got it into our heads that perhaps it would be better to visit Fiji all season this year and visit Tonga next year. Even though I assumed that we would meet new kid boats once we got to Tonga, most (all) of our friends from last year were going to spend the early part of the season in Fiji, before moving on to other destinations. The pull of heart and friendship outweighed the pull of logic and planning, so after a quick consult with Met Bob our weather router, we adjusted our course for Fiji.
The "weather window" for Fiji turned out to be a bit dirty, you might say. Unlike the clear sparkling glass of the weather window we had for Tonga, we have had some lumpy conditions once we turned for Fiji. We spent last night beating to wind (the wind was coming to us *directly* from Fiji, and we were hove-to, rolling in the swell all day today waiting for a front to pass and the wind to swap W-S-SSE. Tonight, we have had mixed conditions (to the point that Max even had to motor through some low winds and swells during his evening watch) and for the last few hours, we have been on a broad reach and heading within about 30-40 deg of our course.
Assuming no further changes in our plans we expect to arrive in Savusavu on Friday, where we will spend a couple of days clearing in and provisioning, then we will join our friends on Exodus, Nautilus, Nirvana, and maybe others, in the Lau Group for a few weeks.
Of course, we could have headed for Fiji directly two weeks ago - this would have been much simpler! The thing is that it didn't really hit me how much our kids were going to be missing all their friends (and to be honest, how much I would be missing the keeping-our-sanity contact with the moms & dads) until we were well on our way. We could have carried on to Tonga (which is beautiful, and where we would have known one kid boat with younger kids, and several non-kid boats) but we made the choice to put more importance on friendship than on keeping to our plan. Tonga will still be there next year. It has been a bit of an ordeal to get on a good course for Fiji mid-passage, but we are now heading in the right direction. It is easy to pay lip-service to friendships, but it feels good to demonstrate to our kids that we can also take action to sustain them (and it is never too late to change course). Seems to me that this is food for thought in any context...
On that note, I will sign off.
Love to all
At 5/23/2015 11:10 PM (utc) SV Fluenta was 24°35.00'S 179°44.00'E
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