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  • Writer's pictureTwo Drifters

Sailing To Fiji – The First 48 Hours…

Mixed emotions are we leave French Polynesia – for the second time!

It’s been such a kind country to us during extraordinary times; allowing us entry when the maritime borders were closed in April 2020; giving us a long-stay visa post-Brexit and access to Covid-19 vaccinations. Not to mention, a wonderful year of sailing and exploring so many beautiful islands and atolls.

But our nomadic itch needs to be scratched. And we are eager for an adventure in pastures new – a little difficult when borders around us are closed! While Fiji’s airport is still closed to tourists, it’s maritime border is open to yachts and crews who follow their strict arrival protocol. The good news is that time-at-sea counts towards their 14-day quarantine period. And we’re planning on a 12 to 14-day sail, so the timing should be perfect.

And so, we left Tahiti on Thursday afternoon and motor-sailed past Mo’orea and Huahine. As Fri day morning dawned, the light wind gave us the ideal opportunity to cut through the gap between the islands of Ra’iatea and Ta’haa and to also enjoy a brief respite from the three-metre swell as we traversed the calm lagoon.

We have friends on boats at anchor in Ra’iatea and we let them know that we would wave as we sailed by. Having taken our PCR tests, sadly there’s no stopping allowed for us until we reach Fiji.

As we motored towards the far pass of Ra’iatea, we were greeted with loud cheers and horn blowing from our friends who were waving across from their anchored boats. It was a rather brief, and very emotional, shouting of hello and goodbye to people we have shared special times with. s/v Askari, s/v Capall Mara and s/v Tintarmarre, we thank you so very much for the impromptu send off and we hope to see you all for that cold beer one day.

We enjoyed some light winds as we by-passed the beautiful islands of Bora Bora and Maupiti . By now, it felt like a farewell tour of our favourite French Polynesian islands. However, by nightfall, we had to drop the mainsail as the wind had all but died and the boom was slapping around with the swell.

The trade winds briefly kicked in on Skipper’s shift at midnight and we managed to sail well for a while. But, someone seriously needs to sort the sea out as it’s a tad confused, rather rolly and still with a large swell.

On a plus point, the stars are amazing and next week we’ll be night sailing during The Perseids which, according to NASA, is “the best meteor shower of the year!”

Total miles sailed in 48 hours: 252
Dates: Thursday 5 August to Saturday 7 August


Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

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