May 16 – 24, 2006
We wore fleece under our foul weather gear, fleece socks inside our sea boots, gloves and knit hats, and we were still cold. Very cold. Miserably cold at times. So our passage north began.
We started off with a single-reefed main and 50% of the #2 jib out in rolly seas. Although we saw many squalls around us, we got very little rain. Then the winds grew light, we put out our full sails, and we had a beautiful sail for a few hours. Then we were down to a double-reefed main and staysail. And we repeated this process a few times over the next eight days.
The seas remained rolly for four days, and we didn’t warm up until day six. Day seven was nice, but day eight – the day we arrived Suva – was boisterous and rough. We didn’t take off our foul weather bibs for the first few days, and when we finally did take them off to sleep, we dropped them around our boots like a fireman prepared for a call. Our boat looked like a firehouse and smelled like a locker room. However, we actually had a good passage. For reasons neither of us fully understand, we both enjoyed this passage.
We saw only two other boats along the way – both sailboats we knew – and had radio contact with them. However, we did not see any ships until we were within twelve hours of Suva.
The entry to Suva Harbor is well marked, and we were able to enter mid-day with good sunlight. We arrived at 2:00 pm - eight days and two hours after leaving Opua, New Zealand. That was not bad time considering our winds were often less-than-ideal.
We were directed to drop anchor in the quarantine anchorage, launch the dinghy, and come to customs to begin the check-in process. However, it was almost 4:00 pm by the time we ate and got the dinghy in the water. We asked for and were granted permission to stay on-board until morning when we would come ashore.
We slept very well that night. It is good to be back in the tropics.
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