Sailing To Fiji – We’ve Arrived!
Our last day’s sail was perfect. The sea was flat, the wind in just the right place and as we sailed comfortably through one of the safe channels into Fijian waters, we were welcomed by jumping dolphins.
After a beautiful sunset, we spent a quiet night, navigating our way in around the islands, arriving at 10am into the clearance port of Savusavu on Vanua Levu.
The final sunset of our passage to Fiji
Now, I have to doff the hat here to the merit and forward thinking of Fiji’s highly successful Blue Lane scheme. You see, Fiji’s international borders are still closed to tourists due to the covid pandemic, but the maritime border is open to pre-approved yachts. Fiji has not only acknowledged the exceptional low risk that yachts present but they have astutely counted time-spent-at-sea towards the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
72 hours before we left Tahiti, utilising a shipping agent, we submitted our passport information and negative covid tests. It was reviewed by Fiji’s Covid Risk Mitigation Taskforce and they gave us permission to set sail.
Arrival procedures are similarly strict but straightforward. The Navy have tracked our journey, so they know we have spent 13 days at sea. Adding a day to turn around an arrival PCR test and we will have met the 14-day quarantine period with perfect timing.
As we arrived, we were escorted by the Navy to a quarantine area where the two very friendly chaps helped us moor up by attaching long-lines from the boat’s bow and stern to the land. They also gave us a welcome pack, which contained some beauty products, coffee – and an internet SIM card. How marvellous is that?!
Later two ladies from the health team came to the boat to give us a PCR test. Results should be in tomorrow, but until then we cannot get off or move. Once we have the all-clear, we can then complete check-in procedures and will be given a Blue Lanes flag, which we must fly at all times, indicating we are official and are covid-free.
Skipper takes it up the nose!
It’s a great system and I just wish the other Pacific nations would take note and also roll out this innovative scheme, as it would enable more boats to travel and avoid the bottleneck areas such as in French Polynesia.
So, back to us, we are tired but ecstatic to have completed our 1,927 nautical-mile sail to Fiji in 13 days. We averaged a speed of 6.2 knots but we reached a top speed was of 15 knots, probably as we were arse-sliding down one of the waves!
Large waves chase Two Drifters
It’s been challenging at times, but so very satisfying to have completed the sail. As always, thank you for all your support and comments…and a big shout out to our land crew, Debbie and Jay, for looking after our Facebook page and comments.
We do hope you’ve enjoyed this journey to Fiji on board Two Drifters. Stay with us as we explore this beautiful new country and just a few of its 300-odd islands!