After completing a few odd jobs, getting the hulls cleaned of barnacles from the nutrient rich waters of the Bay of Islands and enjoying a few of our favourite bays we decided it was time to do final food provisions and say farewell to NZ. We’ve had a great time catching up with old and new friends all around NZ.
After checking out the weather models in Predict Wind we chose a window to go to Fiji and started the process of checking out with customs and getting John (my father) and our first ever crew member up to speed with SW. In NZ you have to give 4 days advance notice of departure and of course the weather models changed in that time so it was hurry hurry …. wait! Oh well the weather was good in the Bay of Islands still so we all hung out, had the odd jobs to do ready for passage, enjoyed some hiking trails to get some exercise and of course the nice weather.
For our passage we took the N – NW winds prior to a front to make some Easting and then we turned North when the winds turned to the West and then around to the South. The first 3 days we saw constant winds of between 9 & 20knots with 1-1.5m seas so SW cruised along. We entered a small area of squalls and behind that very light to no winds so motor sailed for 2 days until the SE winds kicked in and we could sail on towards North Minerva Reef.
We chose North Minerva Reef as a stop for 4 days as it was a little more protected than South Minerva and thought anchoring in the middle of the ocean at a reef for a swim and some lobster hunting would be a treat on passage. Yes it was! No lobsters seen but some fish life and giant clams to see while snorkeling.
From North Minerva we had downwind sailing and as the SE trades gathered momentum we continued north with some very lively seas especially at the end of our passage into SavuSavu on the Northern Island of Vanua Levu. We were ready to clear in with Waitui Marina and were their first boat of the season but the 7th to check into SavuSavu.
Having 3 crew aboard for the passage meant we were able to get a lot more sleep at a time……ah bliss! What else do we do on passage….not much as John soon realized!
All in all a very good passage given it can be renowned for being quite nasty. I think John will miss our evening sessions playing Sequence and strategizing against one another. Thanks Jeanette for the Sequence heads up.
Once we were checked in we were all ready to use those feet again and walk to the various agencies in SavuSavu to pay our fees, have a meal and drink off the boat and get a decent nights sleep.
Before John left we organized an excursion with Sharon Wild of Naveria Heights Lodge into the jungle to go river tubing and for a swim in a hot volcanic natural pool. A lot of fun and very refreshing.
Well lots of sunsets to come fo us. John enjoying his last before flying back to NZ. Thanks John!
What now? Provisioning at the local fresh fruit n vege market and heading out of SavuSavu to enjoy the diving, snorkeling and people of Fiji.
But we couldn’t miss the local rugby game where a team from Suva came over.
Now it’s time to get out and enjoy Fiji 🤗