25 April 2011, Fiji! (Adam)
We have made it safely through the pass into the protected lagoon of Viti Levu, Fiji! As always the last little leads weighed heaviest. It was a rough night. Leonie had 40 knots of breeze, Jon had uncharted reefs, and I had a ship that came out of a rain cloud and lightning right over our heads. There were hardly any naps during shifts and that made it a challenging night. By sunrise however, a perfect day unfolded. Light breeze, calm seas, Sharon talking and walking (!), and even eating breakfast, and making jokes, and washing dishes, and wiping Kents bum. She's back!!! We caught a huge fish, but it managed to wiggle free after a short fight.
The rest of the day was just great. The kids had an egg hunt, and magically the Easter bunny had managed to escape unseen through the front hatch. No questions asked however, too busy hunting eggs. We celebrated our "we're almost there" with white wine, Edammer cheese and great Salami. And yes Sharon was there and drunk a glass of wine too! As the night fell, still miles off shore, we could smell the scent of coal fires from the land. Fijians preparing diner. We were getting close to land, and after a week of sea breeze it was a welcoming change.
Against the rules we navigated the pass through the reefs of Fiji by night. We consulted with our old sailing buddies "Small Nest" and "Endless Summer", both said it was easily doable. We called port control and they too said all was well marked and should not pose any problems. We did some circling around the entrance before we were sure we we had it all right and without any troubles got in. It is now an other 15 miles of motoring to get to our clearance port Lautoka.
In 7 days and a couple of hours, we have sailed 1181 miles. It has been a great journey. Rough at times, but quick. We had multiple 90-100 mile 12 hour runs, we've hardly had to use the engine, and nothing (touch wood) has broken down. Top marks for Jon who has done an amazing job at keeping up his watches, minding two kids, and being nice to Sharon who in this case couldn't really help him. The kids did an awesome job at keeping themselves and us entertained. Elena did well, as ever, and deserves a quiet night with all instruments turned off. And we succeeded in keeping spirits high, the kids fed and happy and keeping the boat safe. Thanx guys it was a great pleasure to sail with you.