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Our three day passage from the Vava'u group of Tonga to Suva, Fiji was sort of a challenge, but also a delight. As we left Tongan waters, we had to motor, and when we did find wind, it was from the southwest. We found ourselves beating west! But the winds were light, and stayed that way for awhile, so we got used to the unusual situation and gloried in the clear days and nights. We made the passage through the treacherous Lao Group in eastern Fiji at first light, like we had planned, and sailed on west to Suva with following winds for the next day and a half.
The first couple of these newsletters are what we emailed out while we were actually underway, except that now they're illustrated. After those, the newsletters are what we sent (without the pictures) during our months cruising in Fiji. The cruisers' letter is a copy of what we sent to the Seven Seas Cruising Association Bulletin for publication after our visit to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands during cyclone season. Jon, our intrepid engineer who claims he can't write, wrote most of them.
Cruisers thinking of making the seemingly simple passage between Tonga and Fiji should check out our Passage Dangers page, as it lists some 59 hazards that exist between these 2 delightful island groups. Those cruisers using MaxSea might also want to download our 'User Data' file that automatically plots those hazards as an overlay for you (that file also includes lots of tracks and info on Tonga). Also, those cruising western Fiji with MaxSea might want to download another 'User Data' file that includes some tracks and notes on islands and navigational issues. If you download either of these files, save them in your MaxSea folder (usually \Program Files\MaxSea or \Program Files\I&M\MaxSea). In MaxSea, click File, Open..., and in the dialog box that appears select User Data as the file type (near the bottom). Select the file you downloaded and the new data should appear. You can modify the data using MaxSea if you want. Selecting File, Close, will remove the displayed data without affecting the chart underneath. Other MaxSea Layer files (tracks and chart notes) are available from our Cruiser Information page
We sailed through the Lau Group from Tonga, but were not allowed to stop.
We actually sailed between Suva and Savusavu 3 times, stopping in Makogai each time.
Grid lines are 1 degree, or 60 nautical miles.
|Mon 4||18° 39'||173° 59'W||0||447||Depart Neiafu, Vava'u Group, Tonga|
|Tue 5||18° 34'||176° 16'W||132||315||Light winds, beautiful days. Slow down to arrive dawn in Lao Group|
|Wed 6||18° 27'||178° 52'W||160||155||Shake the reefs and put up the chute!|
|Thurs 7||18° 14'||178° 38'E||141||14||Wing & wing. Crossed the Internat'l Date Line. Now Longitude East|
|Thurs 7||18° 07'||178° 25'E||14||0||Arrive Suva, Fiji. Anchor off Royal Suva Yacht Club at 15:20|
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