At 0630 this morning, we entered Navula Passage, giving us access to the lagoon on the Fijian island of Viti Levu. The water is flat calm and the wind has dropped to less than 10 knots.
Even though the forecasts had said we were going to have lighter conditions yesterday, the wind was still blowing 25-30 all day and night. The seas continued to be in the 3-4 meter range, frequently completely awashing Rutea's decks. It was less than comfortable. We were trying to time our approach to the pass entrance for dawn but we were going too fast. We reduced sail to just our storm trysail and we were still doing five knots!
Poor Rutea! Large, dark rust stains now mar her hull at every scupper and all the deck hardware looks old. It's going to take weeks to get her back in shape.
We've just got about 20 miles to Laukota, where we can check in with Customs. But first come showers - I can't remember ever going this long without one.
Our thanks go out to all who wrote while we were whining about our conditions. Your emails really bolstered our spirits.
At 4/22/2012 9:27 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 20°13.00'S 176°42.16'E
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