October 26

We finally left Makongai this afternoon at 4pm sharp. By 4:30 we were outside the pass and turning South for the first leg of the overnight passage to Mbengga. The conditions are acceptable but we have about 11k of wind fairly close on the nose at about 20-30 degrees to port. However, after the first 15 miles we turn West a bit and that should put the wind about 40 degrees to port allowing us to motor sail and possibly even to sail the next leg which is about 30 miles. The final leg is about 36 miles and is almost due West so we should easily be able to sail by then. The sea is pleasantly smooth so it is not an uncomfortable ride, though the prospect of motoring all night is always depressing.

At 11:30pm we are still motorsailing and are making good time in calm to moderate seas with the wind just off the bow at 20-30 degrees. We are making about 6.4k over ground. The engine is turning at 2000rpms and the wind is 10-12k from the SE. We are about 5 miles from the SE corner of Viti Levu at which point we will turn SW for the final leg to Mbengga.

At 12:30am we have turned the corner around the big island and can finally shut down the engine. The wind is lightish at about 11k from the SE and we are making only 5k over ground. However, this pace will put us at the entrance to the pass at 7-7:30am which is actually perfect. Any faster and we would arrive too soon for a safe entry.