October 17

We slipped our mooring at 6am sharp today and motored out of Savusavu Bay in dead calm conditions. The skies are overcast with about 95% cloud cover. Our goal today is the small island of Makongi about 40 miles SW of Savesavu. The island is enclosed compeltely by surrounding reefs and was once a leper colony. Reports now indicate a clam and turtle hatchery are now located on the island and the scuba diving is supposed to be first rate. We are motoring at about 6.5k and expect to arrive before 4pm this afternoon.

At 7am the wind came up to about 11k and we raised the sails. We shut down the engine and are now sailing at about 6k on a course of 200M. We are going to pass through the reef at Namena Island which blocks our path. Going around the reef means 15 extra miles. On the North side of the reef is a passage called "North Save-A-Tack Passage" and on the South side is "South Save-A-Tack Passage", so it seems clear they were named so that boats passing from Savusavu to points West (which have to pass this way) could save two tacks by going through the reef at Namena.

At 9:30am we entered the lagoon at Namena via North Save-A-Tack and exited via the South Save-A-Tack about 40 minutes later. The North pass was over a mile wide and we barely knew we had entered the lagoon. The South pass was very narrow, perhaps 100 or 200 yds and the reefs on both sides looked beautiful. A "liveaboard" dive boat was anchored a half mile North of the pass just inside the reef. We went through motorsailing at 8k and are now about 15 miles from Makongi. We expect to arrive before 1pm as we are motorsailing at 7.4-8k in about 8k wind from the SE. The seas are very calm with the reefs of Namena to the NE and the huge island of Koro to the SE nice barriers against the prevailing swell, though the seas are fairly calm today even without such proteciton.

We arrived at Makongi and anchored immediately at about 1:30pm. The island is small and lush with very few buildings ashore, which all look like homes. There are beaches on many sides of the island and a couple of smaller islands provide shelter to the North and East. We are anchored in about 50ft of water with about 275ft of chain out. A swim is now in order and then we can relax a few days and enjoy the peace and quiet.