May 8

Today started with a big disappointment. We began the day with a few hours of squall evasion therapy after which we realized that it was a bad day to visit Minerva Reef, it being 100% overcast with roving rain squalls to contend with. Further, land based weather forecasters (whom I am in touch with via HF radio) forecast that we should expect NorthEasterly wind starting on the 10th, so if we were to put in to Minerva we would most likely be stuck there till after the SE wind returned, which could be a while.

In any case, we decided to skip it and here we are at 8pm on Wednesday still at sea. The crew's spirits, however, are very high and we are all excited about visiting Savusavu again (esp. Jonah who remembered the fabulous pizza right where the dinghy dock is).

Most of the day we have been motor sailing as the wind has been very light (less then 10k) and from the SSE giving us wind on the stbd quarter, a slow point of sail. Whenever the wind has picked up to 11k or more we sailed and then went back to motor sailing when our speed dropped below 5k. Currently we are sailing nicely in 10-14k from the SE and are making about 6k over ground.

Our first potential landfall in Fiji will be the Southern islands of the Koro Sea (an area bounded to the North by Vanua Levu, to the West by Viti Levu (Fiji's two largest islands) and to the East by the Lau Group (aka. the forbidden group). Most of the islands in the Koro Sea are part of the political subdivision called the Lomoviti Group (the Central Group) however several of the islands in the Southern part of the Koro Sea are politically part of the Lau Group and are therefore also off limits to foreign boats.

It is now 3am and we are making 6-7k in about 15k wind from the SE. All is well.