Under way to Anatom now, the southern most island of Vanuatu. Exited the Navula Pass out of Viti Levu's outer reef yesterday (Tue, 13AUG) afternoon around 1730 local time. A bit of bumpy start after that but now the wind has backed from SSE to SE, making for a more comfortable ride. About 380nm to go. All is well aboard, stay tuned...
11 - New Zealand to Australia
Lots has been written and said about "Cloud Computing" where you have storage and computing capacity available "on tap" as a service via the Internet. Sounds very abstract and we've always wondered where the likes of Amazon and Google keep their respective "clouds" with gazillions of terabytes of storage. Well it's not so abstract after all: We found the Google Cloud right here over Waya Island in Fiji's Yasawa island chain! It may not be covered by the NSA's backup service but you can clearly see it on the Google Earth image above.
A bit of background and explanation:
When we were in Panama's San Blas Islands, almost two years ago, everyone was eagerly awaiting the "veggie boat" as fresh supplies were running low. It never showed while we were there...
...but today it came - 20 months later in Fiji's Yasawa Islands! A local family does some small scale fruit and vegetable farming on one of the islands in the lagoon and they stopped by this afternoon, offering papayas, cabbage and other goodies. We love Fiji!
Last Monday (29JUL) the weather was right and we left Volivoli Point on Viti Levu for an overnight sail to the Yasawa Islands, WNW of Viti Levu. We dropped the hook 98nm later off Nanuya Levu - also known as the "Blue Lagoon" for the 1980 movie that was filmed here. We had heard stories of "tourism overload" in this spot but were pleasantly surprised to find a very relaxed atmosphere. There is a small resort on the island, but it comes across as very low key and friendly.
After a month "away from civilization" we were starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel of our supplies - even flour and rice were starting to run low... That state wasn't helped by the fact that over the past week we had three big fish strike the lure we trawled behind Namani only to free themselves just before being hauled aboard (we have now beefed up our lure...).
After 6 weeks of zig-zagging up and down the eastern portion of Fiji we left our anchorage in Vanua Mbalava yesterday (Monday, 22JUL) morning to sail the 130+nm to the east side of Viti Levu, the "other" big island in Fiji. After a bumpy but swift overnight sail to windward we dropped our hook off the little island of Naingani, just off the eastern coast of Viti Levu. With a bit of tacking we ended up having just over 150nm on the log, including a few hours of motorsailing at the end, when we got tired of the tacking game.
We left our anchorage at Taveuni at 1500 local time on Thursday afternoon (28JUN) right after the rain from a passing front/trough had cleared and are now (29JUN, 2345 local) about 35nm from the pass into the lagoon of Fulaga Island in the southern Lau Group. Last night had us motoring in light and variable winds but today we got lucky and could sail for most of the day on a comfortable beam reach. The wind died again just before sunset and we are now under engine again, slowly moving over what looks like a giant duck pond.