Passage to Fulaga
As alluded to, we had two unsuccessful attempts at sailing to Fulaga. We left Nananu-i-ra with a forecast of Northerly wind 15 knots and abut 8 hours into our sail we had SE wind at 30-35 knots and so we turned our stern to the wind and flew to Viani Bay. On the second attempt, we left Savusavu with a forecast of light E winds switching to NE and instead they switched to the ESE and so we had a mellow lovely sail to Ono instead of Fulaga. We *could* have made it to Fulaga on that window under power. Indeed, as we talk to people here in Fulaga that is a common passage strategy to get here.
The third time was a charm. We left Ono ahead of a front with NE wind. As the front passed, we bobbed about with no wind for a few hours. Then the wind switched to the S and the SSE and we flew the rest of the way to Fulaga arriving at 4 am and forereaching until the morning low water slack which we made a mess of because it turns out that WXTides has TWO stations called “Moala Island” one of which is apparently not in Fiji. The good news is that we have a fair amount of experience reading passes visually and so we could tell that we were at the end of the ebb and chose our timing accordingly. We went in with still a fair amount of current (and turbulent swirling waters) but no standing waves and had a safe transit into another pass (which we never take for granted). We kept Bravo Reef to port – thanks for the waypoint Adam!
And it was so worth the effort. As we sailed into the incredible landscape of Fulaga’s lagoon, the crazy colors and limestone islets dotting the shallow waters of the entire lagoon, we knew it was worth missing out on part of Ono. It was worth the two aborted attempts and having made it here entirely under sail sweetened the landfall for us intensely. Everyone who makes it here, however they do, has earned the right to be here so we don’t mean to sound like sailing snobs. Still, sometimes working for things makes the accomplishment more precious.