[I missed putting this one into the blog it is rather out of order. When back into internet land I will see if Blogger will let me alter the order of posts. Max]
We made landfall in Fiji today after a day and night of broad reaching up the Koro Sea, keeping a close eye on our 'course over ground' to make sure that we did not drive over any ground! We had windy (20+ kts) and wet/squally weather right until we arrived, then it was intermittently sunny for the rest of the day. We were into the marina area by late morning, but loitered for a while because there was already a boat clearing in at their 30 ft customs dock when we arrived. When it was our turn, we basically tied the nose and front half of Fluenta to the dock, and had a long stern line!
It felt so good to arrive and see the other kid boats that we know already here. We thought we would miss Exodus, but they radioed us as we approached the harbour to let us know that they weren't leaving until the morning, and to invite us for a potluck dinner!
Everything looks at once familiar and exotic - lush green trees, busy streetfronts, low hanging mists, hot, humid temperatures. Jesus and I walked around the town (basically one front street with short side streets) and went to the market for pineapple, tiny bananas, oranges, mandarins, lemons, bok choy, tomatoes, and drinking coconuts. With a loaf of bread, a carton of UHT milk, and a couple of bottles of juice, we were set for a couple of days. I am sure we will be back in again tomorrow for more fresh fruits & veg.
All of our in clearances went really smoothly, especially given that we hadn't had the main form while we were underway. Everyone was friendly, and they did not take any food off the boat as part of their biosecurity inspection. We just need to eat what we have brought onboard.
We are glad to be here, and grateful for your good wishes while we were travelling. It has been a long day (!) so I will sign off for now.
PS - you may have wondered why you didn't hear from us for a couple of days. The entire HF radio email system (sailmail) seemed to have stopped working a few nights ago. We use a propagation table to determine which HF frequency to use each day. Generally some frequencies are green at any given time. What we saw, instead, was that all the frequencies were red, even ones which we could typically use. We don't know why this happened, but it seems to be resolved now.
At 5/28/2015 2:03 AM (utc) SV Fluenta was 16°46.68'S 179°18.97'E
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