DAY #21 End of Passage - Friday May 22nd, 2015
LTY Stats update:
LTY (local) time: 15:00 Friday May 22nd, 2015th (LTY time = UTC +12)
LOCATION: At the Customs dock of Copra Shed Marina in Suva Suva
POSITION: 16 46.664 S 179 19.911 E (can cut & paste into Google Earth)
SOG: ZERO!! We’re stopped for a few days now! (SOG = Speed over Ground)
COG: Zero (COG = Course over Ground, our GPS based compass heading)
WIND: 15 kts SE
SEAS/Swell: none tucked inside a small reef that juts out from shore
WEATHER: Beautiful sunny day with continued high winds and seas the whole way across to Savu Savu
SAILS: Combinations of motoring, motor sailing and sailing as we wound our way through the rest of the inside passage across the SW coast of Vanua Levu and across the straits up into Savu Savu.
AIR TEMP: 75.7F 24.3C
SEA TEMP: 84.4F 29.1C
DISTANCE TRAVELED today: 46nm
TOTAL DISTANCE TO GO: (to Fiji): Made it! Another passage in the log books. 2048nm in 21 days Now on to explore Fiji.
Day #21 End of first passage of 2015
A bit late (2 days) getting this written up and posted but no less delighted to let you all know that Learnativity and all aboard made it safely to Savu Savu and are now officially checked into Fiji. We had one last sunny and boisterous day of sailing, motoring and motor sailing as we meandered our way along the often narrow passage between the south west coastline of Vanua Levu and the many reefs that lie just off it. In spots it was a bit reminiscent to Christine of the ICW or Inter Coastal Waterway that winds is way down the SE coasts of the USA which she has travelled all of over the past forty years. There were several spots where we had strong currents opposing the higher winds that ranged from 20-30 knots which produced that that “washing machine” or rapids type of sea action with tall vertical waves and lots of wind right on the nose but we powered and bucked our way through it all with no problems. However we were able to sail our last leg crossing the Koro Sea up to Savu Savu as we had a course of about 50 degrees which is NE and the winds stayed SE so gave us a good angle to sail very quickly at and was a lovely way to end this passage.
We are now in Savu Savu which is a wonderful little town and the place where I first set foot ashore on Fiji way back in 2010. There is a small estuary (I think that’s the term) here that is formed between the peninsula that juts out on the SE corner of Savu Savu Bay and the small island of Nawi which is only about 200 meters across and filled with great areas of mangroves. The town, for me, is very Goldilocks as in “just right” having a small but plentiful fruit and vegetable market every day, a good assortment of little grocery and hardware stores ashore, ATM’s and a handful of little restaurants of different flavors from Fijian to Indian. All this occupies about 5 blocks stretched out along the water. Within that span there is the Copra Shed Marina where we are and a second smaller Waitui marina beside us. We were first directed to tie up to a “dock” to make it easier for all the officials from Customs, Immigration, Health and Bio-Security to come aboard. Fortunately the winds were not too strong in this little protected spot as the “dock” was an old wooden floating dock about 20 feet long which didn’t give our 52 feet of steel too much room to tie up to but it all worked out and we then moved over to our mooring ball in the middle of the estuary.
Tallying up some of the figures in our passage log book, we covered 2048 nautical miles from our mooring at Eneko Island in Majuro to this mooring ball in Savu Savu over a span of 21 days, exactly three weeks. If you’d like to see our actual track on a map check out the digital breadcrumbs our Iridium GO! device sends up via satellites every 15 minutes at http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Learnativity
Those 21 days includes the 2 days we anchored in Funafuti lagoon in Tuvalu hoping for some wind and BOY did we get what we were hoping for! I guess one of those “careful what you wish for; you may just get it” kinds of situations. Weather wise it was the most unusual passage of the many I have done up and down between Fiji and the Marshall Islands over the past six years. Not so much the variation of the winds from zero to 35 knots but for the length these lasted and most notably for the almost complete lack of rain the entire passage. We had very low to no winds or seas for the first two weeks from Majuro to Funafuti and then nothing but big winds and waves for the leg down from Funafuti to Savu Savu. Overall it worked out just fine although during the last week down from Funafuti I discovered that apparently I am no “gentleman” as I was viscerally reminded why there is the traditional marine saying that “Gentlemen don’t sail to weather” as sailing into the wind is the most uncomfortable and busy point of sail! However I am very anxious to become much more of a gentleman sailor as both Christine and I hear ports of call to the west calling our name the loudest and think we will bring these north/south passages to an end for a while and start meandering our way westward for the next few years. Of course as usual with us these are merely our current “intentions” which we only write in the sand at low tide so who knows where our rich life of adventure will find us over the next few years?
Wherever we end up deciding to go, if you’re interested, for comedy relief if nothing else, you can follow along with us via the many different sources we use to provide these updates. Now that we are in Fiji we are very well connected to the internet via cellular data and WiFi that pretty much covers all of the thousands of square miles of Fiji and her 350+ islands. We are therefore back to using our Gmail accounts, FaceBook, Twitter and the like so you can communicate with us through any of these you prefer. We will also now start trying to post more pictures for you, both of the past passage and more so our new explorations of fabulous Fiji over the next few months. Luck for you I won’t continue to post these daily updates and go back to just posting as things happen and doing so via FB and the Learnativity blog. So for those of you who only receive these updates via Email you may want to either “friend” Christine and I on FaceBook or submit your Email in the “Subscribe” box that you’ll find in each of our blogs which will then ensure you automatically receive an Email update anytime we post a new blog article. See below for the full set of links and Emails and pretty much every one of the many ways you can connect with or follow us as you wish.
Shorter term, we will stay here in Savu Savu for the next few days to finalize all our paperwork and get our internal cruising permit which allows us to sail to any of the over 350 islands that make up this incredible country. Fiji figures very prominently in both our lives so it seems very apropos that we are back here. Christine first sailed in here back in 1976 aboard the Islander 44 sailboat Kathi II with her soon to be husband Jim. They didn’t stay too long as they were making their way up from New Zealand and back to California via Hawaii but there are several spots here she remembers very fondly so we will certainly be checking those out. As for me, Ruby and I first sailed in here back in 2010 having come up from New Zealand to Niue and then over through Tonga, Wallis, Futuna and into Fiji and checked in here at Savu Savu. Since then I’ve been sailing in and out of Fiji every one of the past six years staying six to 14 months at a time. Of all the places I’ve sailed so far this one seems to keep pulling me back the most and now with the opportunity to discover and rediscover even more of Fiji and do so with my best friend, life of my love and wife Christine is almost too good to be true.
Longer term we think we’ll probably enjoy sailing around Fiji for most of the rest of this year. We will be flying back to the USA around the end of October so we can join Tim and Ashley in the celebration of the arrival of our second grandbaby and first grandson, who we just learned will be named Liam Kling. Not sure if we’ll leave Learnativity here in Fiji or sail back up to Majuro and equally unsure of just where we’ll go once we get back onboard in December or so, other than as I mentioned before it will be westward and likely through some combination of the islands of Micronesia, Solomons, Papua New Guinea and over into Indonesian waters.
Then again, living on the no plan plan, we are also having fun talks about having completely new and different adventure journeys. Maybe we’ll try out building a new boat for ourselves and trying out a go anywhere/go everywhere power boat this time rather than sail and one that would likely be very similar to the FPB series like the “Dream Machine” http://www.setsail.com/fpb-78-the-dream-machine-new/ that Steve Dashew has designed and is building in New Zealand. Or maybe we’ll “swallow the anchor” for a bit and try out some land based travel adventures by building an “Overlander” global expedition style RV that is essentially a land based version of a go anwhere/everywhere, no roads required traveling home for us to explore the world by land. Maybe something like this http://earthcruiser.com/ or this http://globalxvehicles.com/global-expedition-vehicle-pangea-4x4-rv/ perhaps?? And yes, I’m still contemplating building an entirely new class of “air sailing ship” that could roughly be described as an overlander/yacht body attached to a blimp. All just fun dream out loud talk for Christine and I right now and you’re welcome to join the conversation anytime and anyway you like with comments, Emails, calls or whatever. No such thing as a “stupid question” when you’re dealing with me!!
So that brings us to a close of this first 2015 passage of the good ship Learnativity and her crew. We really can’t thank you enough for enhancing it significantly by joining us vicariously and virtually via these LTY Updates and we do hope you’ve enjoyed them. Happy sailing through life to one and all of you!
Wayne, Christine, Barnacle Barney the SeaDog and Ruby the WonderDog
PS. We will still receive any Emails you send to us at our sat based Remote/on Passage Emails but we will now also get Emails that can include attachments, photos, etc. at our Regular Email addresses which are listed below. If in doubt just put in both Email addresses and we’ll be sure to get them.
aboard the good ship Learnativity
Currently moored in Savu Savu Fiji
16 46.664 S 179 19.911 E (can cut & paste into Google Earth)
Find our current location on a map at any time at http://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Learnativity
REGULAR Email: Wayne.firstname.lastname@example.org
REMOTE/ON PASSAGE EMAIL: (Iridium satellite based)
NOTE: If in doubt simply send to BOTH "regular" and "at sea" Email addresses
FaceBook page: www.facebook.com/wayne.hodgins
www.facebook.com/ChristineKlingAuthor (Christine's Author page)
Christine's "inKlings" web site: http://www.christinekling.com
Christine's Sailing Writer blog: http://www.sailingwiter.com
Learnativity blog: www.learnativity.typepad.com
Wayne's Off Course - On Target: http://waynehodgins.typepad.com
Sat phone #: +881651486713
World Phone Voicemail: +1-501-492-9634 (has voice mail that is forwarded to me via Email)
FIJI cell phones: Christine: +679 900-5325
Wayne: +679 (will provide later)
Other contact info: