Starblazer - 15/07/2014 - Must do better.
I am so sorry that I haven't written a log for two weeks, somehow the time has disappeared and we have done quite a lot in the intervening days.I'm sure my Report Card would read 'Must do better' under the subject 'Communications'We finally received an e-mailed copy of the missing paperwork early Wednesday afternoon so cast off to make our way to the rendez-vous at Musket Cove.It was great to catch up with friends whom we hadn't seen for several weeks but also sad to have to say goodbye to them. At the dinner on Thursday evening we were given a plaque to record Starblazer's participation in World ARC 2014/15, our final event of the rally.We join up next year with the World ARC 2015/16 rally.On Friday, a day earlier than planned because of a threatened weather system near Vanuatu, the. read more...
Starblazer - 02/07/2014 - Second impressions of Fiji
Everyone we have met has been smiling, helpful and efficient, rather at variance with the bureaucracy.Never mind, we must move on.Quarantine helpfully e-mailed a copy of the receipt....The cruising permits arrived by 0900, quicker than we had been led to expect.Kevin, a friend of Jonathan and Donna, was waiting on the dock for them when we came in on Monday evening.He had a hire car so, first thing Tuesday morning, he kindly took Donna, Elizabeth and me shopping.Most men try to avoid grocery shopping with their wives but Kevin was extremely helpful and patient (he was amused by three women's reactions to seeing a very good supermarket for the first time in months!).After the supermarket we went to a good butchery where he was recognised because he used to live and work here.From there we. read more...
Starblazer - 02/07/2014 - Order, Counter order, Disorder!
Sunday was a challenging day in many respects.We motorsailed all day, trying to maintain 5.5 knots, and finally switched off the engine at 1650. The wind didn't last!It taunted us, switched direction causing us to drop the main after dark, and finally gave up at 2305.At this point we were playing catch up, both Chez Nous and Caduceus were ahead but we could just make out their lights.During the morning Chez Nous called us to say the fish were biting, they'd landed a Yellowfin Tuna and a Bluefin Tuna.Shortly after that, while I was in the shower, John shouted that he had a fish on the line.It fought, John fought back, I reeled in the slack as John pulled the line in.Halfway to the transom the fish got away.During the afternoon Chez Nous called up to say they just caught 2 Mahi Mahi, some. read more...
Starblazer - 29/06/2014 – Halfway around the world.
I was correct, in that the day’s run to 1000hrs Saturday morning was slow. We covered about 115nM, an average of just under 5 knots, and that was with the help of 6 hours of motoring at 5.5 – 6.0.The engine stayed on for the rest of Saturday though we did get a little drive from the mainsail from about 2000 onwards.We spotted Totoya Island from nearly 40 miles away though didn’t reach our waypoint between the two islands until 2200, now we are on a course to a waypoint in the middle of the Kandavu Passage.It was lucky that we weren’t depending on the navigation light, allegedly visible for 20nm.Someone forgot to put the money in the meter, or change the light bulb or…The island was totally invisible in the dark.We should reach the next waypoint in daylight.We are still on track to reach. read more...
Starblazer - 28/06/2014 – A slower day
Sometimes it is advantageous to sail slower, let me explain.The Fiji waters are dotted with hazards, not all charted, so it is best to arrive in any tricky area in daylight.Our first 24 hour run to 1000 hrs yesterday was a stunning 156.6 miles, an average speed of 6.5 knots.If we had continued at this speed we would definitely have arrived in the dark, we needed to average just over 7 to arrive Sunday evening, which is only achievable with half a gale behind us!We weren’t worried because the wind was forecast to drop.It slowly subsided during the day and our rapid progress was hampered, eventually John put on the engine at 0345, probably several hours later than necessary.We are now in Fijian waters, having reached our waypoint a safe distance south of the Lau group at about midnight.Our. read more...