Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sailing Bligh Water from Viti Levu to Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Here is some video I promised for the rough passage from North of Lautoka, Viti Levu to Yasawas.

We got underway at about 0600, the winds were light from the North East. About 1100, the winds increased almost like an explosion from the North. Soon we were in gale conditions with growing seas, striking us hard on the beam. So much that a wave that had stacked up to over 12 feet broke on us, filling the cockpit to ankle deep with warm seawater.

Now things were serious. At Lynne's suggestion we donned our float coats and got busy being serious about this situation. She got out of our way (She was never in our way, and she is quite capable sailor, herself). But she went below for a nap and to stay dry.

We are in this very shallow patch of sea called the Bligh Water, named for Captain Bligh's charting safe passages for sailing ships in what really looks like nothing but coral reefs.

Our passage through here is made difficult because we must stay on our planned course or be wrecked and killed on the jagged coral. The passage led us through narrow corridors of deep water, we were usually about 200 yards on either side of reefs.

Plus, the shallow waters stacked up to make nice sized waves.

Bligh Water:

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The hard part of the voyage was about five hours in length. we arrived at our first choice anchorage only to find wind gusts of over 48 knots coming from all directions. This was due to the venturi flow through
the hills surrounding the water. We went on to Malakati, keeping in the lee of the winds and hoping to 
find good holding outside of the village.

Malakati Anchorage

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Anchoring took about three tries and we settled into 6 meters of water with a danforth in sand. The wind would calm to about ten knots, but every thirty seconds, or so, would rise in a fury to about 32 knots. 
This went on for the next two days.

There are videos for that, later.

Approaching Malakati

A reward for the strenuous day

Later on, a refreshing sunset;


Buck said...

I'll pass on the "Bligh water," thank ya very much! But the reward looks appropriate and fitting.

What's up with the formatting below the video? All the narrative runs off the page... no reading possible.

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Who f*&^% knows. Mac and Blogger seem to want to fight me every so often.

Thanks Buck, for coming by, anyway...