Day-to-day life aboard our yacht.



Fiji to Vanuatu, May-June 2011


Date: 28 May 2011
Location: 1821.10'S / 17005.26'E

Last night around 11 local, on Philip's watch, wind found us. Glorious wind. We've been making good time all night and should make landfall tomorrow. GRIBS show wind holding and even moving a bit NE. Mostly cloudy but Fleet Code (synoptic chart) indicates trough moved over us last night.

Winds are almost directly behind us, making it a sleigh ride. Jake crawled in the off watch bunk last night and braced himself in Leslie's legs. Cats gotta get their sleep!

We're really looking forward to Vila and its reputed European flair and historic beauty AND its well protected anchorage.

Date: 27 May 2857 UTC (0657 Local)
Location: 1850.01'S / 17130.58'E

We only made about 35 miles to the good in 24 hours. Very frustrating. Sloppy seas, little wind. At least at this moment, we're moving forward; overnight we spent about six hours going backwards. The good news is that the skies are - for the moment - clear and we've adjusted our sleep patterns so we're "in the groove" and feeling better. Jake enjoys the calmer winds and he's more affectionate than usual (or maybe it's that we're expected to entertain him). We've changed our destination to Port Vila (Efate) as Port Resolution (Tanna) would be open to northerly winds expected with a passing from on Tuesday. We're disappointed but realistic. We were looking forward to experiencing the much admired expedition to Mt. Yasur, one of the world's most accessible active volcanoes. Carina is fine, though the transmission or its flange are squeaking a bit. Doesn't appear serious but will have to be looked at once we are at anchor.

Date: 26 May 2010
Location: 1840.24'S / 17323.48'E

After a slow start, enhanced trades and huge seas found us and stayed with us for over 24 hours. The first night there was no moon, no phosphorescence and thin puffy clouds obscured the milky way. Sailing was like riding a galloping horse over bumpy terrain while wearing a blindfold. You never really do get used to these types of conditions. Saw a few large fishing boats, aglow in lights, at least one of which was directly on our rhumb line and it seemed to take hours for us get around them. The contents of the cabin (especially the V berth) have been shaken up a bit. Jake was not amused at the flying books though he's taken to curling up in the loose clothing.

At 0400 local this morning the winds suddenly departed to be replaced by rain and calm, then a wind shift to the N and rain. Motored a bit to charge the batteries. Hated to warm up the cabin but it's important to keep the batteries topped up. Running the radar all night makes us feel safer and we don't want to abandon this practice just to save a few amps.

Making bread today.

Underway Fiji to Vanuatu
24 May 2011

The sun is out, the sea sparkles and gurgles, and we're sailing; it feels great. Especially after we waited for six days because of weather. Going through Wilkes Pass was a bit unnerving with the big ocean swell concentrating its energy just as the pass narrows. As we passed through, to our port were surfers who pay some un-godly price to ride the break here and stay at the surfer resort on the tiny motu. We motored with the staysail and trysail up for about an hour in sloppy seas and just whispers of wind. At about 11 am we finally put out the genoa and slopped around a bit going little more than 2 knots but by noon we were sailing smartly and surfing the waves ourselves.

Philip is doing well,little mal de mer, and Jake has finally found a secure little hole to nap.

At 5/24/2011 and 02:08 UTC (GMT) our position was: 1755.10'S / 17653.36'E