Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bashing our way to Suva!

Bashing - motoring into the wind and waves.  Something we try to avoid for sure.
Relaxing in Momi Bay

We left Port Denarau Marina and had a nice short trip to Momi Bay.

Momi is a pretty bay with good holding and easy access to the Navula Passage, which takes you outside of the Fiji reef system into the Big Ocean.

Inside the reef = no big waves.  I like that!

But, to get to Suva, you gotta be brave.  Outside the reef, plus you are heading into the prevailing winds and waves.
Close encounter with a cruise ships - yikes!

We attempted to leave Momi Bay at 6pm - after the winds were supposed to die - and headed out the passage. Nope, the ocean was still pretty shook up and the winds hadn't died as forecasted.

So, we headed back to Momi. Just in time to get up close and personal with the Pacific Pearl cruise ship.

The Captain was very nice and just ask us to move over so that he could have the middle of the channel - Yikes!
Early morning take off

So, we regrouped and enjoyed Happy Hour on Moondance, plus a good nights sleep.

We left again at 6am this time. The wind forecasts were supposed to be on our nose, but light and the waves should be down. Not!
Fish On!

Instead the winds jumped around from 12 - 24 knots and the waves increased.

Great for sailing, but not for motoring.

Picture waves crashing over our bow. That's just not nice!

But, Moondance and crew did well. Just hunkered down for a long, slow ride to Suva. Only 90 miles, but weren't able to average our usual 5+ knots.
Beqa Passage

Plus, we had to traverse the Beqa Passage at night - us and a big freighter and a fishing boat. Another Yikes!

We made it to the Suva Harbor channel around 2am - at the same time a Big Ass freighter was exiting.

The Captain politely blew his horn and we got out of his way!
Moondance moored at Tony's place

The harbor is very deep and very busy, but we were happy to find a place to drop our anchor with no more excitement involved.

Happy Hour started at 3:30am.  Oh my!

The next morning, our friends on Interlude dinghied out to show us the way to the moorings at Tony's place.  So nice to have good friends where ever you go!

Tony's place in Lami Bay, is a pretty bay with free mooring balls.  A little industrial, but we are very comfortable here.  Well except for the dinghy dock - it is dangerous!  But, surrounded by the Maritime Police, so we are safe.

We will be in Suva about a week - waiting for the next weather window.  We weren't ready for the first one - hah!

Suva is the capital of Fiji and a big city, so we are going to do some exploring.

Plus, hanging out with the Yachties at the Royal Suva Yacht Club, of course!

1 comment:

Sarah and Darrell said...

Wonderful account of your adventure and we are really missing bent at sea. Taking El Tib back to Mexico.