We have finally made a break given a somewhat calm weather window and we are working our way back to Musket Cove with hopes to catch a fun regatta week. It was sad saying good-bye to our new friends on Jemellie, Lindsey and Steve, as well as Beth and Ken on Eagles Wings. Of course, we hope to see them again and most likely we will; that is a wonderful part of cruising. On our way out the pass from our anchorage at Cousteau's we both were smiling, excited to be on our way one more time, but also knowing just how much we enjoyed our time there in Savusavu; it is a great town with lots of wonderful people who truly feel and share the Bula spirit
The wind picked up and off we motor-sailed, thinking we were going to try to get to Makogai Island, but the refrigeration stopped so we decided to head to Namena instead. What a gift that ended up being. A boat was just leaving as we pulled up to the mooring at the island and there we were, basking in the beautiful sunshine, sitting in the most gorgeous clear water ever......all by ourselves. The birds welcomed us back and after a quick refer fix, we took a deep breath and just sat for a long while. It had been a long time since we had been able to just enjoy a calm, sunny day and we felt blessed. With snorkeling gear on, we worked for a while, cleaning Sidewinder's bottom, and later that afternoon went for a wonderful dive near the island. It was great to have the time to relax in such a paradise as this. We left the next morning for the south western point of Vanua Levu, where there is a pass into Bligh Water, with our next destination the Yasawas, a chain of islands on the west side of Viti Levu. Unfortunately, we discovered a new/old saltwater engine exhaust leak and we sailed our way to the town of Nambouwalu near the pass. Fortunately we had a great sail downwind with flat water and most of the afternoon was nice. The rain moved in as we anchored, David began tackling the problem and after much time, grunting and groaning, it still leaked. New plan. We would not go to the Yasawas at this time and head directly for Latouka and Port Denerau, where we can fix this engine problem.
David worked again this morning, not wanting to give up, and finally did succeed at getting the leak to stop. YAY! He is such a hero! We are still heading back, though, knowing this is just a temporary fix and with high winds and rain expected in the next few days, it will be a good time to really get this problem solved. With this new plan, Sidewinder headed out the pass into Bligh Water, notorious for high winds and waves, and we had a magnificent sail back to the islands on the north side of Vitti Levu, where we first started our journey north, early in July. The winds were mostly 13-18 kts and we averaged 6.5-7 kts, first in the misty rain and finally with lovely sunshine and patchy blue skies. It is a quiet evening here by Nananu-i-take Island, even though the wind is gusty and howling. Hopefully the morning will greet us with sunshine and just enough wind to help us wind our way through the inside reef channel and we hope to make it most of the way tomorrow. Love to all, Suzi