With SV Roxanne and SV Free Spirit, we motored to Kavala Bay on the NW side of Kadavu island to get ready for the sail to Beqa Lagoon. As we motor-sailed through Ono Strait, dolphins joined us.
After an amazing pizza dinner on SV Roxanne, we got an early start the next morning so we could get to Beqa in the daylight. We hoisted the main sail before hoisting the anchor and Dina was motoring out of the bay while Malcolm was down below. The charts here are not very good, and depth went from 17 metres to 1.8 metres – Good as Gold draws 2 metres. We hit a reef.
Fortunately, we were not moving too fast. Malcolm dropped the main sail and jumped in the water to assess the situation. He could see there was no damage to the boat. Tom, from SV Roxanne, and a local fisherman, took a couple of lines in their dinghies and drove away to heel us over and we were able to drive back into deep water. Dina was relieved there was no damage to our boat, but she felt terrible about hurting the reef.
We continued on to Beqa sailing downwind with the main sail and gennaker, a 7-8 knot breeze and sunshine. The wind picked up (not predicted) and we were soon overpowered with the stern being pushed around in the large swells. We wrestled the gennaker down as Roxanne passed us and took some photos.
|Malcolm at the mast, after releasing the sheet|
|Snuffer coming down over the sail|
|Snuffer half way|
After a few hours, the seas calmed down for a lovely sail to Yanuca Island in Beqa Lagoon.
|Sunset in Beqa Lagoon|
The next day we continued on to Robinson Crusoe Island. It was almost directly downwind, so we sailed with just the genoa. It looked like it was going to be an awesome 6-7 hour sail. Again, the winds picked up higher than predicted and the last two hours turned into a hairy ride as the winds gusted over 30 knots. The bay at Robinson Crusoe has good protection, there was still lots of wind but the water was calm. We anchored and dinghied ashore. The staff remembered us from our visit in June! We had drinks and stayed for the weekly feast and fire dancing show.
|Free Spirit sailing along towards Robinson Crusoe Island|