Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Minerva to Fiji Day 4.5 - ANCHOR DOWN SAVUSAVU - WAITING FOR CUSTOMS

Greetings from Savusavu!

We just did what we don't love doing, which is anchoring in the dark. Last year when we arrived in Savusavu (first time, no local knowledge, no tracks) we spent several hours going back and forth near the mouth of the pass waiting for daylight. The conditions were wretched (windy/rainy/misty) and we had our foulie jackets on right until we docked. This year, under a clear and somewhat-moonlit sky, with absolutely wind, we glided slowly in along the channel and picked a spot on the edge of the anchorage, wearing only light fleeces. We are flying our "Q" flag, and we will go onto the Quarantine Dock when it opens in the morning.

Today was a lot like yesterday, except with scenery. We sailed slowly up the Koro sea with the wind and slight swell behind us and islands all around us. It was rolly at times because we were wing-on-wing, but otherwise, it was absolutely benign. Benjamin even spent some time in his bathtub in the cockpit, it was so calm. My last watch was 2300-0245 (at which time I woke Max and we had "all hands on deck" for the entrance) and it was lovely. We were moving at about 5 kts with only the mainsail, (so as to extend the journey and maximize sleep for the off-watch) and part-way through my watch a smiling 1/4 moon rose on the horizon to light the rest of our way. Victoria had asked to be woken for our arrival, and she and Miriam were eagle-eyed spotters of buoys, etc in the water as we were approaching the anchorage.

The highlight of the day was the yummy "experiment" Victoria produced in the galley. It was our anniversary, and much to her chagrin, she was on a boat with no eggs, a small amount of mayo (often used to replace eggs in our baking) and hardly any sugar. She was even less happy when she asked me what she should do and I told her to wait until I went to the grocery store, and that we could celebrate on the Canadian version of our day! Despite these hardships, she managed to make us some tiny cakes that she individually coated with melted chocolate and decorated with microscopic pieces of jelly candies that she carefully cut up. She added to the fun by using food colouring to make several different colours of batter that she mixed into each cake. Can you tell that she spent lots of her time at Pier 21 watching videos of how to make fancy cakes?? It is lovely to have children who remind us to take time to celebrate special days; what a delicious celebration it was!

We didn't catch any fish on this journey, but when we pulled in our lines, it seems that we had had some strikes - one of our hooks was missing, and the other had a piece of something hanging on it. The kids will start daily "fishing gear inspections" on our next passage!

We should be back to regular (Internet) communications today or tomorrow, so I won't likely be writing many notes until we are on passage again. Thanks for your emails to us while we were underway - it is nice to know that we are not alone, even when we travel so far off the beaten path.

Love to all,
Elizabeth
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At 2016-05-23 5:25 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 16°46.62'S 179°19.68'E
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At 2016-05-23 8:57 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 16°46.62'S 179°19.67'E

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