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Friday, May 7, 2010

May 8, 2010 - Day 8 Getting Closer, Fiji in sight

Bliss turned into angst as our fast moving progress was plagued with building seas. During the night of the 6th and throughout yesterday the ocean swells became monstrous. It seemed as though walls were forming around Destiny as she fearlessly surfed from one to the next, sometimes turning completely sideways as though skating on a sheet of ice. I informed Frank that the galley is closed for business - no coffee service, no tea service and no meals were being offered especially anything that required the use of knives. So we ate fruits and nuts, carrots, celery, granola bars, apples and yogurt and dreamed of munching down on a big juicy burger or a nice chicken breast.
All in all it has been and continues to be a thrilling ride. These are the kind of conditions one longs for whenever racing. It's just that racing for several days, although thrilling is not conducive to using the toilet, cooking, eating or even just sitting. Neither one of us, however, would trade calm seas and lighter winds for comfort right now. Our goal is to get as far along as possible before the winds abate and we are forced to struggle. So far, the universe is conspiring to get us to Savu Savu. Thank you, God!
Last night as we continued our northward trek, we began to shed the double layers of sweatshirts and pants, going instead for cropped pants and lighter weight clothing. Frank is already in shorts and t-shirts, running around barefooted. Days and nights are getting warmer. The moon has gone into hiding. Although we have encountered numerous squalls and rains, the boat can't seem to get a good fresh-water wash down. With these high seas and the salt spray coming into the cockpit everything is salt encrusted, including us and our clothing. Yesterday we both attempted to take showers. I went in first. It was such an effort, I felt like I was in the ring with a raging bull! When I got finished I was worn plum out, and Frank raised an eyebrow at me as he asked me what on Earth I was doing in there. Then it was his turn. I sat and laughed listening to Frank getting banged and slammed around, groaning and groping. When he got out, he said, "Wow! That was a workout!" I just smiled and nodded. 'Nuff said.
So, today at around 11:00 a.m., off in the distant haze we spotted the first land in over 7 days. It is one of Fiji's small & apparently uninhabited islands. We may not approach any anchorage or shore before 1st clearing into the country. We may have to cheat a little if we begin to get too close to Savu Savu before Monday morning. Fiji's rules are bizarre for arriving yachts. If we arrive outside of business hours then a huge fine (called overtime fees) is levied against us. So if we arrive on the weekend, we will be billed fees of $400 - $800 depending on the day and time of the "encroachment", and the mood of the Customs officials. We love how they call it overtime when they don't actually do anything until Monday morning. Today we can't sweat that stuff. We still have 150 miles to go…it is now 1:20 on Saturday afternoon. If the forecasts are spot on, we won't have to worry about slowing down because nature will take care of that when the expected low comes through some time today or tomorrow. In the meantime, we sail on!

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