Friday, April 27, 2012

The Passage From New Zealand To Fiji

Twister departed Opua, New Zealand at1240 local time Friday April the 13th. Check-out with customs was a breeze. New Zealand has had the most professional and courteous officials I’ve encountered so far. Both check-in and out were quick and pleasant (and free).
We had beautiful sailing the first couple of days. In the afternoon of Day 1 we put out the fishing line. When dinner time came around and no fish was on the line, we cooked up some pasta with pesto sauce. Of course just as we finished eating, we got a skipjack tuna on the line. Gaz filleted him up and as we still had ice in the cooler, saved him for the next day.  Day two we had 12 knots on the beam (on the side), little swell, and Twister was doing 5 knots. The second night we were becalmed for a couple of hours and dropped the sails to keep them from flapping. We found flying fish on deck already on Day two. For the rest of the passage, there was so much water coming over the decks the flying fish didn’t have a chance to accumulate.

By Day 5 the air and water were noticeably warmer. For the first 6-7 days we were accompanied by Black Petrels, Black-browed Albatrosses, and what I think are Shearwaters. The winds and swell gradually grew and by Day 7 we had 30 knots of wind (fortunately from the southeast, so just behind the beam) and 12 foot swells. Same on Day 8. The petrels had abandoned us and we started seeing Boobies and tropic birds.  Around midday of Day 9, we rounded Cape Washington on Kadavu (pronounced Kandavu) Island. The last 55 miles were lovely as we were sheltered from the southeast swell by Kadavu and the wind eased to 15-20 knots. We sailed into Suva Harbor just after midnight and were anchored by 0130 Monday the 23rd, almost exactly 9.5 days after departing Opua. 1060 nautical miles (nm)/229 hours = an average speed of 4.6 knots (112 nm per day), considerably slower than the passage from Suva to Auckland, but still faster than I had expected.
Tomorrow (Saturday the 28th) Soko and I will sail around the south coast of Viti Levu to Nadi. Fiji requires yachties to check in and out every time one moves from one port of entry to another. Once that is taken care of, we plan to cruise around the Mamanuca (pronounced Mamanutha) Islands for about a week. 
Here are the latest photos from New Zealand and some from Fiji

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back in Fiji

9.5 days after departing Opua, NZ we arrived Suva Harbor at 0130 Monday morning (night). Aside from being becalmed for a few hours on the second day, we had favorable winds for the whole passage. It's nice to be back in the tropics. More on the passage soon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On The Road Again

The weather forecast looks good for a Friday (the 13th) departure. My friend Gary from the boat La Cueca (which is in Fiji which is why he's sailing to Fiji with me) will be joining me on this passage. Will be nice to have some company on the way. I expect to arrive Suva around April 24 and to stay there for not more than a week (then spend another 3-4 weeks cruising in Fiji). If you would like to mail me anything, you can send it to:

Lars Thoresen
S/V Twister, Yacht InTransit
c/o Royal Suva Yacht Club
GPO 335
Fiji Islands