Rache May 27th Savusavu Bay , Vanua Levu, Fiji

Already it is hard to think back to our passage from New Zealand to Fiji, it seems a long time go. Fiji time is easy to slip into and easy to just be in the moment here, so lucky I wrote some thoughts during the passage.

Our passage to Fiji was a mix of it all. We left surrounded by a skyline of squalls and although we found it hard to find our best edge for sailing, we started off with some excellent sailing and even felt fast!  At night we glided across the flat ocean under good sails and bright moon, followed by a night under motor when the wind dropped. Then sick of motoring, we just stopped. Drifting, bobbing in the ocean, waiting for the wind, a deep water mid pacific swim, we enjoyed the the sun, met up with fellow sailing (ie drifting) friends from yacht ‘lafiesta’ where Jarrah and Natalie had a between boat swim.

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Surrounded by squalls, leaving New Zealand.

Drifting in Pacific Blue

Drifting in Pacific Blue

Mid Pacific Swim

Mid Pacific Swim

A family swim in the blue, blue pacific. No wind, blue sea and sky, warm, sunny and silky smooth ocean.

Arcturus II, Mid Pacific

Arcturus II, Mid Pacific

After VHF contact, we waited for our friends to join  us.

After VHF contact, we waited for our friends to join us.

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Jarrah and Natalie between the drifting yachts.

Within a few days of leaving Opua we had become aware of a strong weather system further north between us and Fiji. We initially planned to get to North Minerva reef before it hit, and seek shelter there. When the wind dropped out we changed our plan to ‘go slow’ and wait for it to pass to the East before we headed further north – this would mean at least four days trying to go slow.

After a couple of days drifting, the wind picked up and we sailed under bare poles to slow our northerly movement. To aide steering we had unfurled a tiny bit of the jib. As the wind and sea continued to build it felt we were wasting good wind by going slow (although later we were glad we had).  It was pretty yuck sailing with constant rolling side to side, as the swell hit us on the beam. It became hard to slow, with the rising, messy sea and strengthening wind and times when we were mostly inside due to the rain…rolling, rolling.

We sailed on hoping for improved weather and watched for any sign of a break.

Day 6 Squalls

Day 6 Squalls

Day 6 Weather approaching

Day 6 Weather approaching

Rache catching up on sleep off shift.

Rache off shift, catching up on sleep.

On an inside day we watched a wild, mad sea with our heads out the hatch.   Slam, crash into the boat…mountainous grey swollen swell approaching and pushing us, the flotsam aside. Sort of exciting and loved watching with Jarrah and Khan.

Rache and Khan on watch on a rainy day.

Rache and Khan on watch on a rainy day.

Day 8 Watching the weather.

Day 8 Under the Sprayhood, watching the weather.

After a long, wet  and rolly night and day, a bag of chips for dinner on the cabin floor.

After a long, wet and rolly night and day, a bag of chips for dinner on the cabin floor.

From Diary 19th May“Last night when we thought we’d past the worst and were on the home stretch, a reminder to be ever vigilant and ready for a change. In an instant a deluge of rain upon us from above, wind and breaking swollen sea, the moon taken from us by mist and cloud swirling and blocking our night vision.  Hard to get the genoa furled, me at the helm, thunderous rain in my ears and eyes, Justin working hard and yelling at the wind and Jarrah and Khan once again shivering tears and scared at the crashing sound of ripping winds and sea in the sails and against the hull…and mum and dad outside in it”.

“Tonight we are cautious and hesitant, not wanting a repeat of last night, seeing danger in every cloud“.

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Day 10.  After a long night…bed to far away to get to!

Day 10 Some welcome sun to dry off our wet weather gear.

Day 10 Some welcome sun to dry off our wet weather gear.

With some sun, blue sky and calming waters, a surprisingly rapid shift from ‘why would anyone in their right mind think this is fun?‘ to an ‘exhilarating, top of the world feeling, at one with the ocean and extraordinary to be here, what’s not to love?!!

Heaving mountainous ocean rolls up behind then underneath. For a moment we are top of the world, looking down across and down into the valleys of rolling ocean swell. Touch the sky then return gently as the ocean breathes out and the swell passes beneath and away.

Nights under a full ish moon. Slicing through the silvery water, bright as bright. Big moon. Big Pacific. Big adventure. Big fun!
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Enjoying night watch.  So bright under a big moon and light cloud...

Enjoying night watch. So bright under a big moon and light cloud…

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Beautiful today, blue, ever decreasing swell, ride the highs and bask in the wind and sun with clearing skies. Onward.

21st May. First island of Fiji in sight! Let the next chapter begin.

Dolphins welcoming us to Fiji.

Dolphins welcoming us to Fiji.

Jarrah has been ready for Fiji since we left home.

Jarrah has been ready for Fiji since we left home.

Yay Fiji! Savusavu, Vanua Levu

Yay Fiji! Savusavu, Vanua Levu

10 thoughts on “Rache May 27th Savusavu Bay , Vanua Levu, Fiji

  1. Hi Justin and Rachel, the trip sounds very scary at times! You look so relieved to be relaxing in Fiji now. Maybe you can hire some bike’s there and build up your skinny legs again?
    We think of you often when we go out on our Group rides, no doubt you have heard that Robyn and Chuck are engaged.
    Take care , you deserve a long beak in the island paradise of Fiji
    Regards

    Dave

  2. xoxoxoxo wow, sounds, well it just sounds, awesome, scary, exciting, exhausting, inspiring…so many different feelings and thoughts reading about your journey. Well done team, you made it over the longest stretch of your trip, and so many stories to tell, and was great you had some friends for this leg.
    Look forward to chatting soon, have a relaxing blast now you have arrived. hugs n kisses all round xoxo simes n franks xoxo

  3. BULA Harris-Moore family!!!! Well there’s no other words for it, your account of the journey over honestly made me want to vomit. So glad you are all there safely and enjoying some well deserved R&R. Say hello to Fiji for us. Hopefully you can show Jarrah and Khan where we got married!
    Missing you all xxx any chance we can send u anything for upcoming birthdays??

  4. You guys are awesome…what an amazing, daunting, exhilarating adventure…you deserve every second of paradise that Fiji has to offer! Makes flying seem like the wimps way out!! 🙂

  5. Amazing!

    Always great to read your tales.

    Not sure which I would prefer, however: rolling and crashing along the Pacific Ocean or my recent hernia operation. For adventure and scenery, I’d take the Pacific for sure, but I think I’m better off resting my non-sea-legs, and abdomen here in bed!

    Enjoy Fiji! (As if you aren’t already!)

    Cheers,

    Ubaldino

  6. Great experiences you will never forget..the cavalier looks like she’s handling all comers but as a cav owner I’m not surprised..keep the logs coming and keep safe we are watching with envy… Mike and Michelle from BOOTS Geelong.

  7. Hi all aboard the Jolly Roger so glad that you all survived the trip from New Zealand

    we were wondering when we hadn’t heard for a few days that you may have been

    blown back to Geelong It was good that you had met up with other travellers on the way.

    What a wonderful (if not completely pleasant ) journey to Fiji.

    Rachael did they welcome you with their singing like they had for Sarah & Wills wedding?

    Jarrah may have to settle for Coconuts instead of Mangoes while there & Khan looks like

    he will get stuck into the Watermelons & Justin will sit back & enjoy a few stubbies & Rachael

    well maybe take in the scenery from a hammock you may have to stay away a bit longer as

    it is getting down to 16- 17 deg for a few weeks a change from the last couple of weeks

    Enjoy the rest of your adventure looking forward to the next chapter.

    Lots of love for now Keith Gramps Clare Gran xxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooo

  8. And that’s why I like flying!!!! Well done so many experiences and it appears no seasickness and vomiting!!! I have butterflies in my stomach from just reading it.. Take care enjoy the warm ocean swims / fresh food and all Fiji has to offer. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Ady
    Ps Zoe leaves on Sunday for O/S feels like half the family is gone, one day it will be me : ) 🙂

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