Everyone loves "champagne sailing" - its what we all imagine its ever going to be. But when its crap its bloody hell - like the last 24 hours - smashing into a 1 -2m swell, really rough sea and the wind crept up to 27 knots at about 1am, at wgich time I was stuiffed and ready to call for a taxi to get me the hell out of here. I took down sail and took down sail till there was a scrap of headsail only.and that was a mistake becasuse now the boat headed offwest rather than south but at least the boat wasnt crashing and banging and shrieking and rocking. I lay on the bunk in the hot wild oppressive dark and imagined the worst. I cursed so many things, most especially the Givernment officials who forced me out, who dealayd my departure, the wind that went from infront to infront when I turned around at Futuna, the GRIB that forecast 20 maybe, the guy who warned me about light winds and said "take all the diesel you can"...I imagined having to sail over the top of Fiji and try to enter from the other side, or maybe I would end up in Vanuatu...
The wind eased off to 22 by dawn and I reset sail and I am more or less back on track. The rain went and the sky is clear, we have all the 110 Jib out and two reefs in the main. Our heading is 180 but we are moving west of that and just managed to slide in under Cikobia Island to the north of me now, and its tail of reefs that looked like were inour path earlier....next in our path are two more reefs. one is Cooks Shoal, might pass to the north of the first then motor sail into the wind pass b ewteen nit and Cooks then turn back southy and pass Cook Shoal ntto its south.
Then theres a long stretch of open water that we will bash through overnight towards Somo Somo strait, a narrow passage between Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Should be daytime by then..
Bruised and battered, till tomorrow
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