Monday, August 6, 2012

Overnight to the Northern Lau Group

July 22

We pulled anchor from our anchorage on the west side of the islands at Budd Reef at 4pm, and motored in light easterly winds out the south pass (16-33.18S / 179-41.01W). We had scoped this area on the way in in good light, and knew it to be pretty much wide open. The only thing we had to avoid was an area of coral close to the NE of Raranatiqa Island, which we cou

Once outside the reef, we headed straight for our waypoint NE of Motu Lailai, a small reef we needed to pass before we were in open water. Continuing on this course would take us straight into the NW pass at Vanua Balavu. But for two reasons, once clear of Motu Lailai, we opted instead to head for just west of Kanacea Island (just west of Vanua Balavu). The first reason was that this was a much more comfortable point of sail for us, and the second was that we expected to arrive about 2am, and it would be more comfortable killing time in what was forecast to NE at 20 kts, in the lee of Vanua Balavu and Kanathea, rather than off the NW tip of the island.

The 20 knots never materialized, but we were still glad we had taken this choice. The one boat that was trying to head for the NW pass eventually gave up and follow us, as they weren't having much fun beating into the wind and seas.
Once in the lee of Kanacea and Vanua Balavu, we took down most of the sail and spent the rest of the night slowly jogging upwind in the comfortable conditions in the lee of Vanua Balavu.

At 8am we were outside the Adavaci Pass. The light was in our eyes, but the conditions were good, and the waypoints were good (see the Fiji Compendium for these waypoints), so we just proceeded slowly with a good lookout on the bow, and had no problems.

From the pass, we headed for the southern tip of the island just to the east of the pass, and from there straight east into the Daliconi Village anchorage.

We had about 5 boats all arriving at Daliconi from various points on this nice weather window. Our friend Kennedy on Far Star finally caught up with us from Savusavu (carrying 4 SCUBA tanks and some supplies for us), Chesapeake joined us from their anchorage in Matagi, plus 4 of us from Budd Reef. More on Daliconi on the next update..

At 07/22/2012 10:25 PM (utc) our position was 17°13.14'S 178°58.00'W

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