Wed Jul 24 7:00 2019 NZST
Run: 40.3nm (72.9km)
16 48.6S 179 17.3E
Weather: Wind SE 4-6, Bar 1014.5, Sky 80% cum & stratocum, Sea flat with riffles inside the bay

At anchor off Cousteau Resort inside Savusavu Bay

Very calm and comfortably cool this morning. Dawn overcast is thin and may burn off as sun rises.

We motor-sailed yesterday from Viani Bay to Coustea's - the anchorage off Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Resort just inside Savusavu Bay. We had light to moderate south-east winds, as predicted on Windy ECMWF model. Motoring was uncomfortable until the southerly swell from the past three days settled down.

The big excitement and tragedy was catching a mahi-mahi and watching a second mahi-mahi chase it, clearly trying to get the red squid lure. But we lost it due to poor gaff technique. Quite disappointing.

Today we will go into Savusavu for a refresh & re-provisioning visit.

Tue Jul 23 7:00 2019 NZST
16 44.8S 179 53.6E
Weather: Wind S 7-10, Bar 1013.0, Sky 80% stratocumulus, Sea small wind waves and scattered whitecaps

At anchor in Viani Bay, Fiji

Wind has dropped overnight. It's much less bouncy in the bay, but still the wind funnels right into the bay. No rain to speak of. We depart for Savusavu this morning.

We had a very nice lunch yesterday at Dive Academy ashore. Dive Academy is a small boutique dive resort on the beach among the coconut palms. Only four bure's. All supplies must come in by boat, but Naqara village with grocery stores and a fresh market on Taveuni Island is just across the Somosomo Straight. Lunch was served at small communal table and the same menu for all 10: 4 yachties and 6 guests/divers. It was fun to meet other people and hear their stories over lunch.

In the cabin: 26c and 66% RH. In the pool: 29.5c ( the swimming pool of water that we're floating in). Hot coffee and all is well on board.

Mon Jul 22 7:00 2019 NZST
Run: 13nm (23.5km)
16 44.8S 179 53.6E
Weather: Wind S 11-16, Bar 1012.5, Sky 100% stratocumulus, Sea wind waves & whitecaps, Water temp 29.5c

At anchor in Viani Bay, Fiji

The forecasted trough passed over at 1100 yesterday bringing heavy rain and strong southerly winds. Viani Bay opens to the SE, so we three yachts and the one superyacht anchored here had little protection. Strong and gusty winds continued through the afternoon, with a short respite near sunset. South wind, with a touch of west in it, has resumed early this morning, with light showers. It's bouncy in the boat. In the cabin: 26c & 79% RH.

Yesterday rain filled the dinghy hanging on the port side, which had to be launched and bailed. Later we hoisted and stowed the dinghy on deck in preparation for moving. But this morning's conditions are not inviting us to go anywhere.

Wed Jul 17 7:00 2019 NZST
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind SE 1-3, Bar 1012.0, Sky 50% cumulus & altocumulus, Sea flat, Water temp 29.8c

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Fiji

Northerly breeze all day yesterday, 7-10 and nearing 12-14 mid-afternoon. But very clear sky. More clouds today, especially altocumulus bank to the east. Fabulous moonset this morning during during twilight. Five boats left last night around 2100, presumably for Vanua Balavu under a full moon and nearly no winds on an overnight passage.

We go diving & snorkeling here today.

Tue Jul 16 7:00 2019 NZST
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind ExS 4-6, Bar 1012.5, Sky 20% cirrus & stratocumulus to SW, Sea riffles w/ low swell

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Fiji

Clear sky with few clouds. A big change over the weekend as the low trough that brought frequent rain showers last week finally moved on. Now we're hoping for a window to sail the 65nm southeast to Vanua Balavu.

Yesterday we went into the main town on Taveuni, Naqara, for provisions, leaving at 6:15 am and back before noon. An enjoyable local road trip off the boat.

In the cabin it's 22c and 81%RH this morning. Very comfortable.

Fri Jul 12 7:00 2019 NZST
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind SE 11-16, Bar 1015.7, Sky 70% cumulus, Sea low roll and riffles ~1m outside

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Island, Fiji Four boat here.

More wind than yesterday, again. Stronger SE winds have kicked in. It's 29.8c in the water, 26c and 82% RH in the cabin. It's been raining periodically as thick cumulus with squalls pass overhead.

Thu Jul 11 7:00 2019 NZST
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind ESE 7-10, Bar 1015.5, Sky 70% altocumulus & cumulus to west, Sea riffles with low roll

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Island, Fiji. Five boats here

More wind than yesterday, nice light breeze. It's 29.8c in the water, 26c and 83%RH in the cabin. It rained overnight and thick cumulus to west show rain below.

Today we will tackle a few chores on the list and enjoy the resort. We might discuss where to go next.

Wed Jul 10 7:00 2019 NZST
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind SE 1-3, Bar 1013.7, Sky 80% stratocumulus w/ altocum above, Sea low roll here ~1 m swell at reef

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Island, Fiji. Four boats here.

Quiet morning. It's 29.8c in the water, 26c and 81% RH in the cabin. Heavy cumulus over the mountains of Taveuni promise more rain today. Rolly all night as a swell wraps around the SW tip of Taveuni, but not bad as the period is long.

Yesterday was "Resort Day". Hanging out with Paul and Karen of Gigi. A great lunch under the shade of a vale, protected from the showers but open to the breeze.

Tue Jul 9 7:00 2019 NZST
Run: 39nm (70.6km)
16 56.1S 179 54.0E
Weather: Wind SxE 4-6, Bar 1011.7, Sky 50% cumulus & altocumulus, Sea flat w/ low swell, Water temp 29.8c

On mooring at Paradise Resort, Taveuni Island.

Yesterday was clear with light and variable winds, but for a strange bout of easterlies ~12 knots building to ~15 knots mid-morning. Then that died back to light and variable by noon which lasted all day. Very light NW at sunset. Squalls around yesterday, but clear overnight. Brief shower here at dawn this morning. Sort of consistent with the EC model on Windy, but for the easterlies. Less wind than the GFS model on Windy.

Yesterday we motor-sailed from the anchorage off Cousteau Resort beach inside Savusavu Bay to Paradise Resort near the southwest tip of Taveuni Island in company with Gigi. Leaving at 0600 we were moored at 1430. The big excitement was catching a large mahi-mahi yesterday on a home-crafted lure I bought from a local character. Nose and tail were turned up at the ends of our small cockpit.  Half was shared with Gigi, enough for 4-6 meals for each boat. And, four dolphin joined us for a bit as we approached Paradise Resort.

Fri Jul 5 6:53 2019 NZST
16 46.7S 179 20.0E
Weather: Wind SE 4-6 with gusts, Bar 1013.7, Sky 30% altocumulus & cumulus, Sea riffles, Water temp 29.7c

On the dock at CopraShed in Savusavu, Fiji

After raining overnight it seems to be clearing this morning. It was quite still last evening, but now there is a nice breeze from the SE. Mixed level altocumulus from the east and dark thick cumulus to the west. Inside the cabin it's 23c and 82% RH. Yesterday we washed the boat. Lots Magpies are leaving evidence of their presence. Flying foxes are back, hunting insects over Nawi Island in the evening. Last year they were scarce, due to the construction on Nawi Island having cut down their roosting trees. It's amazing how resilient nature can be, if we humans give it a chance.

Thu Jul 4 7:09 2019 NZST
16 46.7S 179 20.0E
Weather: Wind SE 1-3, Bar 1015.5, Sky 20% cumulus, Sea glossy, Water temp 29.7c

On the dock at CopraShed in Savusavu, Fiji

Another fine morning after a cool night. This morning 23.5c and 81% RH in the cabin. Yesterday we put up the harbor awning to shade the cockpit and pickled the watermaker, so it seems we will be here for a few more days. A good time to check off items on the task list. All is well on board.

Wed Jul 3 6:57 2019 NZST
16 46.7S 179 20.0E
Weather: Wind ENE 1-3, Bar 1015.7, Sky 80% cumulus, Sea riffles, Nakama Creek water temp 29.7c

On the dock at CopraShed in Savusavu, Fiji

Hints of cumulonimbus developing above the cumulus. Went to the fresh market yesterday and got papaya, the especially sweet little Fiji pineapple, bananas, kalamancis, passion fruit, and eggplant.

Tue Jul 2 6:49 2019 NZST
Run: 0.4nm (0.7km)
16 46.7S 179 20.0E
Weather: Wind E 1-2, Bar 1014.2, Sky 20% altocumulus & cumulus to west, Sea flat, Nakama Creek water temp 29.4c

On the dock at CopraShed in Savusauv, Fiji

It's a beautiful morning. We moved from a mooring to the dock at CopraShed Marina yesterday. A lot of boats left Savusavu yesterday, the first good weather wind to move around the islands in over a week. Being at the dock allows us to wash the boat with fresh water, and easier access to markets, laundry, etc. And, especially to take on diesel fuel, which is done by jerry jugs. Fortunately the fuel station is, for all practical purposes, across the street. We'll be here for a week or so. It's been great to reconnect with folks here after being gone for seven months.

Sun Jun 30 7:00 2019 NZST
Run: 7.5nm (13.6km)
16 46.6S 179 19.7E
Weather: Overcast, no rain now, but squalls on the horizon to the west.

In Savusavu on a mooring after a 16 day passage, including 5 days at S Minerva Reef. Savusavu is full. We picked up the last open mooring, and the first one near the mouth of Nakama creek.

Boats are here due to the weather, waiting for better conditions to cruise inter-island. And the ARC rally has arrived, as a group. All is well on board.

Sat Jun 29 6:48 2019 NZST
Run: 96.2nm (174.1km)
Avg: 4knts
24hr: 96.2nm
16 52.7s 179 22.1e
Weather: Wind SE 17-21, Bar 1011.8, Sky 90% cumulus and altocum, Sea 2m SE, Ocean water temp 29.7c

Sailing west along coast of Vanua Levu. 5 nm from reef pass into Savusavu Bay. Port broad reach under staysail alone.

Yesterday and last night a mix of sailing and heaving-to in order to time entrance through reef pass in daylight. The challenge has been to go slow enough to not arrive at night. Broad reaching with the staysail alone saw 5-6 knots. Late afternoon and through the night brought 3 meter seas. Squalls came at the rate of 2-3 per hour, bringing rain, gusty winds and more waves. The swell never did lengthen and smooth out, due to the frequent squalls I believe. Breakfast will be at anchor near Savusavu. All is well on board.

Fri Jun 28 6:48 2019 NZST
6 kts
Run: 155nm (280.6km)
Avg: 6.4knts
24hr: 154.7nm
17 58.0s 179 43.4w
Weather: Wind 22-27 SE, Bar 1015.8, Sea 2m SE, Sky 80% cumulus, Ocean water temp 29.6c

Sailing northwest in the Koro Sea, bound for Savusavu, Fiji Starboard broad reach under double reefed main and staysail.

Motion not bad but for occasional 3m swell that knocks boat around. Some waves slap the hull and send spray over the cabin top.

Sky is mixed low level cumulus that behave like mini-squalls bringing blasty gusts and rain. Altocumulus above that in clearing patches.

Venerable Aries wind vane is steering very well. All is well on board.

Thu Jun 27 6:45 2019 NZST
6 kts
Run: 153.8nm (278.4km)
Avg: 6.5knts
24hr: 156.4nm
20 08.1s 179 06.9w
Weather: Wind 17-21 SE, Bar 1017.5, Sea 1.5m E, Sky 40% cumulus, Ocean water temp 28.6c

Sailing north bound for Savusavu, Fiji. We left S. Minerva Reef at noon on Tuesday.

Starboard beam reach under a deep reefed main & yankee jib (80% working jib).

Intermittent squalls all night. None very large or strong, but all brought increased wind, some rain, and then dead zone afterwards. Still some smaller cumulonimbus around horizon. Also overnight stretches of clear sky with bright stars and dense milky way. We've now passed Tavuni-i-ra and Ono-i-lan, the first small islands at the southern tip of the Lao islands geography. We're in Fijian waters now. It's 26c and 79%RH in the cabin and the aft stove gymbal squeaks. All is well on board.

Wed Jun 26 7:09 2019 NZST
Run: 116.3nm (210.5km)
Avg: 4.9knts
24hr: 116.8nm
22 18.7s 178 37.3w
Weather: Wind 7-10 SE, Bar 1020.3, Sky 100% stratus, Sea 2m SE swell, Ocean temp 27.5c

After strong SE winds yesterday afternoon and overnight, wind has eased at dawn. We're rolling in large swells and lighter winds. Sailing under yankee jib (80%)and double reefed main. We'll shake out a reef when all crew are up. All is well on board. Brownies are a nice consolation.

Tue Jun 25 7:15 2019 NZST
23 56.1s 179 06.2w
Weather: Wind 7-10 ExN, Bar 1021.0, Sky 100% stratus and sprinkling rain, Lagoon water temp 27.0c

Anchored in lagoon at S. Minerva Reef: Beautiful afternoon yesterday with no swell at low tide, no wind and bright blue sky. Rand went snorkeling with Citrus Tart and Gato Go. Ruth baked fresh bread and brownies for the upcoming passage. Overnight brought a front with strong and gusty winds, rain and SE winds. Wind has settle back to easterly quadrant, for now. It's likely we leave today for Savusavu, Fiji. In the cabin it's 24c and 75%RH All is well on board.

Mon Jun 24 6:45 2019 NZST
23 56.1s 179 06.2w
Weather: Wind 7-1- NNE, Bar 1018.5, Sky 40% cumulus & altocum varied levels, Lagoon 26.7c

Anchored in lagoon at S. Minerva Reef: Yesterday was mostly overcast with a few smallish squalls. No real sun. This morning's sky looks more promising for nice weather with large patches of blue and pink undersides to the altocumulus layer. We prepared the boat for a passage to Fiji in possibly rough weather. It appears that a 'squash zone' of compressed isobars might be coming bringing strong winds, but in a favorable direction for our passage.

All is well on board.

Sun Jun 23 7:21 2019 NZST
23 56.1s 179 06.2w
Weather: Wind 11-16 ENE, Bar 1017.3, Sky 90% stratocumulus complex levels, Lagoon 26.5c

Anchored in lagoon at S. Minerva Reef: Day 3. After a beautiful afternoon and evening a front come in early this morning bringing gusty winds and some rain. The sky is mostly overcast with complex layers of clouds: low and thick stratus and some altocumulus visible through the gaps above. There are a few blue patches. Definitely a change. Four boats remain in the lagoon. The sportfisher left yesterday morning. We'll be spending the day preparing for the next leg north to Fiji. While departure is still a few days away, a shallow trough could bring rainy weather, unpleasant for working on deck.

We watched episode 2 of Voyages of Discovery last night. It's about Lt. Cook's first major voyage. This was the first circumnavigation completed by the captain who began the voyage. Cook was the first captain to effectively prevent scurvy among the crew, even though no one really understand the cause yet.

All is well on board.

Sat Jun 22 7:24 2019 NZST
23 56.1s 179 06.2w
Weather: Wind 11-16 ENE, Bar 1017.5, Sky 40% altocumulus, Lagoon 26.5c

Anchored in lagoon at S. Minerva Reef: Day 2. Quite windy with gusts all night. Wind is backing to ENE. Lagoon is rolly at high tide, when some swell comes over the reef, and quite flat the rest of the time. The water is clear: We can see the bottom in 17m of water. Cabin 24.0c and 73%RH.

We watched the first episode of BBC Voyages of Discovery last night, about Magellan. It felt very appropriate, anchored here with no land is visible at upper tides. Eat your fruits and vegies!

Fri Jun 21 6:54 2019 NZST
Run: 26.9nm (48.7km)
23 56.1s 179 06.2w
Weather: Wind 11-16 E, Bar 1018.0, Sky 60% cover, Lagoon 26.5c

Anchored in lagoon at S. Minerva Reef after seven day passage from Marsden Point, NZ. Windy with gusts here, windchop and a few white caps. Cabin 24.0c and 77%RH. Five boats in the lagoon, and one large sea bouy fetched up on the reef.

Thu Jun 20 6:24 2019 NZST
Run: 146.6nm (265.3km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 146.9nm
24 13.9s 178 49.6w
Weather: Wind ESE 4~6 kn, Bar 1018.0, Sky 50% cover, Sea E swell 0.5 m, Ocean 25.8c

Motor-sailing in light easterlies for past day. Rand saw a larger meteor burn last night. Comfortable days and beautiful nights, but for lack of wind. Passing to the east of S Minerva Reef, leaving it to our west. We positioned the boat east of the rhumb in anticipation of close-reaching north on strong easterlies. We've had a few hours of that. Hope to anchor in N Minerva Reef today. All is well on board.

Wed Jun 19 6:27 2019 NZST
6 kn
Run: 134.8nm (244km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 134.2nm
26 20.5s 179 04.3w
Weather: Wind NE 4-6kn, Bar 1018.5, Sky 20% mostly dark bank to north, Sea 0.5m E swell, Ocean 25c

Motoring north towards Minerva Reefs. We hope to get there before strong northeaster winds develop. A beautiful full moon rise just after sunset in clear skies all night. Light chop from NE breeze. Half-way through batch of departure brownies. Cabin 22.5c & 72% RH, very comfortable. All is well aboard.

Tue Jun 18 6:21 2019 NZST
6 kn
Run: 118.9nm (215.2km)
Avg: 5.3knts
24hr: 126.3nm
28 01.5S 179 49.3E
Weather: Wind SE light and variable, Sea nearly flat, Sky clear, Bar 1021.0, Ocean 24.7c

Motoring since 1730 yesterday. Great sailing yesterday. Slow at 3-4 knots, but smooth seas and warm dry weather. Home-made dyneema soft shackle replacing wire bail for pole topping lift clip point worked great. Then wind died near dinner time. All is well aboard.

Mon Jun 17 7:45 2019 NZST
4.5 knots
Run: 104.2nm (188.6km)
Avg: 4.1knts
24hr: 99nm
29 13.6S 178 25.2E
Weather: Wind S 6-8 knts, Sky 40% alto-cumulus cover, Sea 1m SW swell, Bar 1021.7, Ocean 24.4c

Past 24 hours very light as wind backs to S. Uncomfortable yesterday rolling around in sloppy seas and light wind. Seas have now diminished and life is easy aboard. Sailing slowly NE while waiting for wind to fill in. Good breakfast in the forecast. Rumor has it that some of our positions this passage are showing in the northern hemisphere. Please disregard Rand's fat-fingered data entries. Be assured, we are about half-way between NZ and N Minerva Reef, in the southern hemisphere.

All is well aboard.

Sun Jun 16 6:30 2019 NZST
5.5 kts
Run: 85.6nm (154.9km)
Avg: 3.6knts
24hr: 87.1nm
30 39.5S 177 52.5E
Weather: Wind 11-16 WSW, Sky 20% cover, 1M SW swell, Ocean 22.8c

Wind is backing, as predicted, sailing nearly due north. Will need some sail change this morning to sail further east. I want to be south of the Minerva reefs when the wind shifts to the southeast. Last night a series of squalls swept through. Lots of wind and rain, but sky is clearing now, and barometer rising. It appears that the frontal band Gulf Harbor Radio was predicting for us did come, just a few hours early. Velic is sailing well. Still under double reefed main and staysail, an amazingly resilient configuration. All is well on board.

Sat Jun 15 6:54 2019 NZST
5.9 kts
Run: 288.3nm (521.8km)
Avg: 11.9knts
24hr: 285.9nm
30 35.8Es 176 26.2E
Weather: Bar 1011.5, Wind 17-21 SW, Sea 2m SW, Sky 20% cover, Water 21.9c

Sailing fast since mid-yesterday, pretty much in direction of rhumb line to Minerva. A few squalls have passed through with rain and classic calm behind. So, a number of sail changes. Now sailing on port broad reach under double-reefed main and staysail. Took down yankee jib at midnight. No more boats visible on AIS. All is well aboard.

I don't think it was a YIT hiccup. I think Velic put "e" latitude and "s" longitude by misstake. I've done that myself.

A hiccup at YIT shows Velic at 30 degrees north, but im guessing the saturday latitude was actually about 32 south.
Fri Jun 14 6:42 2019 NZST
5.8 kn
Run: 92.7nm (167.8km)
34 30.8S 174 43.9E
Weather: Wind light and variable, Bar 1008.7, Sea 0.5 W swell, Sky clear w/ ring of clouds on horizon, Ocean 20C

Motoring in very light conditions. Rolling side to side from swell but no wind. Clear sky promises a nice day. Cabin 20°C 79% RH. Motoring is boring and noisy, but we are goind in the right directtion. All is well on board.

Wed Jun 12 7:49 2019 NZST
Run: 3.3nm (6km)
35 50.23026S 174 28.14331E
Weather: Cool and high overcast

Velic is now in a berth at Marsden Cove Marina. Weather patterns look good for a departure tomorrow, Thursday 13 June, bound for Fiji via Minerva Reef. Today will be filled with final preparations for offshore sailing.

Safe travels Ruth and Randy! We may see you when you get here in Savusavu.
Mon Jun 10 18:18 2019 NZST
Run: 8.4nm (15.2km)
35 47.382S 174 27.806E
Weather: Overcast, light NW wind, bar 1024.0

Anchored in the Nook arm of Parua Bay, near Marsden Point, NZ.

Tomorrow we'll go into Marsden Cove Marina and begin final preparations for clearing out on Thursday, 13 June. The weather window continues to look good for a few days of southerly quadrant winds, helping us sail NE towards Minerva Reefs and Fiji.

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