October 5

The Queen Jane left Wallis this morning at about 10am. We woke to a beautiful day and a nice wind of 15-18k in the anchorage with only partly cloudy skies. The nicest day we've had in a week. Although we were torn as the anchorage we moved to yesterday is phenomenally beautiful - the beach is spectacular, though plagued with mosquitoes - we want to get moving to Fiji as we have a limited amount of time now since we need to get moving Southward to New Zealand.

The Typhoon season begins Nov. 1st and technically typhoons can occur even in mid to late October, though rarely in Fiji. However, near New Zealand this is the tail end of Winter and at those latitudes winter gales are common and to be avoided. So we try to find a week between the end of winter gales and the first typhoon. Most boats will leave Fiji (or Tonga) for NZ between Nov. 1st - 20th. Recent discussions have convinced me that better passages are made close to the end of November and so we will aim to leave between Nov. 15th and 30th.

It is now about noon local time (00:00 UT) and we are motorsailing in light winds making 8k over ground on a course of 210M. We have 348nm to go to SavuSavu, Fiji (on the island of Vanua Levu). We want desperately to arrive in SavuSavu before dark on Sunday (today being Friday). That would put is in after about 50 hours, just over 2 days. If we cannot sail at 7k or better we will motor sail at 8k therefore ensuring our arrival before dark. Our other alternative is to sail at 6-6.5k and arrive at SavuSavu at about 1am on Monday leaving us 5 or 6 hours till sunrise to heave to or drift. We'd rather get in on Sunday night. Besides, we are loaded with fuel having filled up in PagoPago and done very little motoring since then.

At 2pm we have shut down the engine for now and are sailing with all canvas flying at 7-8k in wind of 13-15k on a heading of 210m. Very nice.

We sailed all afternoon in great wind of 13-15k and make 7-9k the entire time. Just after sunset the wind began to pick up so we took a reef in the mainsail and rolled up the jib a small amount. By 7pm we had 27k of wind and a squall was passing. Afterwards the wind was from the NE for a while but then went back into the SE as before. It is now 8pm and dinner has been finished. The Commander is cleaning the dishes and the galley. The wind is about 15k from the SE and we are making about 7-7.5k over the ground on course.