A helpful development at Vuda Marina has been the ability to check out from Customs and Immiugration right there, instead of going 5 nm up the coast to Lautoka, going ashore for the formalities and then headiung back down past Vuda Marina to Navula Pass about 15 miles south. Whats unhelpful is th office at bthe Marina doesnt open till 10am, and when I got there at ten to ten there was already someone waiting so I was second in the queue. Whats even more unhelpful is the Official didnt turn up till qurter to eleven, he had lost his key and well I didnt get out of there till 12.
The wonderful Marina staff came to the boat with a guitar and sang a loveley song to farewell me as I backed out of the berth, left Vuda marina for the last tiume, even Bharos was there waving as I headed out into the Bay to pull up sail , bring in the fenders and tidy all the lines away.
The wind was strong and gusty, and naurally comng straight at me from Navula pass so I was close hauled and tacking into gusts up to 27 knots and short sharp seas with lots of water everywhere and a reef in the main and few rolls off the headsail. Bashing down slowly to the Pass hoping to get out by sunset hard work and the boat getting a serious work out. Shortly after 4.30 with 3 miles to go I suddenly noticed the inner of the two stays holding the mast up from the Port side was swinging freely i8n the breeze...and we were on port tack so the port side stays were doing all the work but now there was only one instead of two....I could lose the mast at any minute...
I dropped the main, rolled up the headsail and motored into the lee of the land where the gusts were only 18 knots. I continued south to Momo Bay right opposite Navula Pass and dropped the anchor in 5m just as the sun set. The wind was still gusting to 20 knots on occasion. There was one other yacht already at anchor.Its an isolated place with no sign of life around the shores.It appears that the bolt holding the stay to the deck fitting has either snapped or unscrewed itself. Nothing seems to be broken. I will stay here tonight even though after clearing customs one is supposed to leave the country forthwith an hopefully in daylight will be ale to fix the stay with a new bolt, then continue on my way to Tanna. Once through the pass the course should be closer to a beam reach tomorrow, much more comfortable sailing.
Now lets see if Sail Mail is receving us here...
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