Watching the sun rise over the island of Viti Levu on the final morning of a month at sea and one of the most hectic passages of my life. Incredible. More photos to come.
After 28 days at sea and more than 3,000 miles sailed, s/v MONGO has arrived in Fiji! With windy trades to Palmyra, I anchored there for one night to recoup and do some boat work before continuing on towards American Samoa. Leaving Palmyra the breeze went southerly and built to 25 knots, which had me beating south towards Samoa and pushed me west of rhumbline. At about 5° south, once the breeze abated, I discovered two vertical cracks at the base of my mast and that the rig was now moving on the mast step; a chilling discovery to say the least. I made temporar repairs at sea and then conservatively continued sailing towards Samoa. 200 miles north of American Samoa, the forecast called for the SE trades to go lighter and back to the east; perfect for me and MONGO. Unfortunately, the breeze re-established itself out of the southwest and then built to 40 knots out of the south and then settled at 30-35 out of the southeast. With a damaged rig and a 27-foot sailboat, it became clear that I would not reach Samoa, which was now dead upwind. You can't fight the universe, so I cracked off and changed course for Fiji, some 700 miles further away. Putting in back-to-back 130+ mile days under storm jib alone, we made relatively quick and consistent work of this additional Fiji passage and sailed into the Navalu Passage on Fiji's west side on August 5 and anchored in Nadi for the night before clearing Customs the next day at Lautoka, a further 12 miles up the coast of Viti Levu (one of Fiji's two main islands.)
This passage was quite difficult and very stressful with the mast damage, but we made it. Fully stoked to be in Fiji!!! Lautoka has been great so far, i've met lots of cool people, both locals and cruisers alike, and I really truly like Fiji a lot! This place is rad! This weekend I will sail for the island of Malolo, where I will be conveniently posting up near some of the world's most renowned surf breaks, including "Cloud Break". This is what i'm here for. I will also need to side-tie to a bigger boat and pull my mast back out and make repairs. The plan is to pull the rig, chop two inches off the bottom, modify the mast step, shorten my shrouds and re-step the rig. Should be as good as new and cost very very little money to do at anchor. The adventure continues...
The full passage log, which is un-edited and very long is below: