Thursday, May 28, 2009

Suva, Fiji!

May 29, 2009 and we have now had our first good nights sleep in two weeks!  After the 50 kt winds and big seas that struck us as we approached the Koro Sea, and then losing our engine, we are relieved to be here safely.  We did have to be towed in but that is working out well as the engineering firm that ran the salvaged tug also lent us one of their mechanics to help diagnose the engine problem.  Seems the cork gaskets they used to seal the access hatches to the fuel tanks in Mexico disintegrated and clogged the fuel lines.  The good news is that no damage was done to the injectors and the fuel pump did not fail, either of which would have been expensive to repair.  So the engine is running again and we only have to clean out the tanks and replace the gaskets.  Another post-Mexican poor quality of work symptom!
So though we are anchored in a dirty busy commercial port in Suva, the capital of Fiji, we actually really like it here.  It is very 'real'!  The little yacht club is friendly and the Fiji Gold beer is cold and cheap.  You have to watch for hustlers and pickpockets if you go downtown but most people are very pleasant.
We will get the engine sorted out and think about exploring some of the more remote islands next week!  Sorry for the delay in communications!  Had very low battery power after attempts at engine repair at sea!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The camel's back!

Toketie is diverting to Suva. The best efforts of the skipper to get the old diesel engine running were defeated. Becalmed and adrift for over a day in the Koro Sea, we are now underway, slowly to meet a tow that will take us into the port. All is well on board, though if pressed we may admit to a bit of fatigue!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Twas a night!

Most wind we have ever been in (so far)! Seems a small High Pressure system developed locally and no one forecast it. We clocked 47 knot winds but rode it out under trysail fairly comfortably. Seas were very large with spume blowing horizontally off the tops! Quite impressive really! Now back down to normal and making our way to Savu Savu. Have not had a chance to figure out why the engine quit a few days ago!

Friday, May 22, 2009

last leg

Still 200 miles to go through the Koro Sea among the islands of Fiji. Forecast is for headwinds so we will have to work for it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 10 NZ to Fiji

330 nautical miles to Savu Savu, Fiji. Steady 20-25 kt winds from SE for days...making good time but hanging on in big seas is tiring! Reading lots of books...Agatha Christie to Sir Walter Scott!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wonderful sailing!

The milky way spills through the night sky, alight with a billion stars! The seas are kind and one could wish for naught but that tall ship, the fair wind and a GPS to steer her by!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 8

Passage from New Zealand to Fiji! We seem to have finally picked up the tradewinds. Nice steady 20-25 kt from the South East. Great sailing overnight and still holding today. Making better progress on the rhumb line to Fiji!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rockin n Rollin!

Wind came up in the night! Gusts to 35 kts! Had to go out in the rain and reduce canvas. Seas building. But we are now heading in the right direction and making better progress. Love that trysail! Mate is in the galley making pancakes...she is a keeper! :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We have now covered about 50 nautical miles and have about 800 to go to Savu Savu, Fiji. That takes into account the extra 120 or so we went West to avoid a low pressure system. We are now back on track and at least pointing towards Fiji. Of course the wind has been coming from that direction but has just clocked around to the South and is behind us again. It is forecast to stay South and East of us now for the rest of the way! We can only hope!

Snailing along!

Very little wind at the moment! Motor-sailing way too much. Eating well though and getting more sleep. The passage rhythm has taken over.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

S/V Elusive

Sad to report that last night S/V Elusive reported to Pac Sea Farers that they were taking on water. Within 2 hours she was abandoned. Steve, Wendy and son Allan are all safe on board S/V Scarlett O'Hara who were nearby to assist. We are now sailing on the S edge of a low that is giving us strong winds and big seas. We hope to go around it by tonight and then get back on course for Fiji! All well on board Toketie...though somewhat tired!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Birthday Greetings!

Not quite what we planned for Linda's bday but seems we cannot control the weather! Beautiful sunny calm day out here! No wind and motoring West! Yes, West! Fiji is NE but we are going West! Why? Because all of a sudden their seems to be a very deep low forming directly ahead of us with with strong winds and big seas. The boats ahead of us have actually turned back and are headed south! So this must be the calm before the storm! Expected to hit us about midnight tonight but by going West we hope to stay on its 'good' side! Say your prayers tonight eh! :) Oh for a life on the bounding main...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

3rd day out

Had a great overnight sail! Clear sky, half moon, gentle breeze! We are in passage mode now and forecast ahead is light winds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Toketie en route!

We cleared customs early Wed NZ time and are now about 130 nm offshore en route to Savu Savu, Fiji. Good winds all night, lumpy seas but we are sailing and making good progress. Looking forward to warmer weather!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Adieu NZ?

The large very disturbed low pressure system that has been bringing strong winds and heavy rains to most of NZ is predicted to move off on Wednesday (Monday today)!  And about time too!  So even though it may leave a trail of sloppy seas and unpredictable winds in its wake, we are tired of 'provisioning' for the last time so unless they forecast a tropical storm, we intend to clear out and head North.  Meanwhile we left the mooring in the bay today for a couple of nights at the dock.  We can plug in and charge the batteries, plug in the electric heater and Linda can even use her hair dryer!   The dinghy is hoisted and stowed on deck.  The anchors are lashed down.  Time to get the TV out and watch another episode of 'The Tudors'!!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

wither the weather!

Missed a pretty good weather window but were not ready!  Another low pressure system on its way so might have to wait for it to pass and try to ride the back of it out of NZ...maybe by the weekend!  

Putting the fire on at night and in the morning to take the chill off.  Heavy fog yesterday!  Fall in NZ!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ship Trak position reports

Check this out!   Seems Pacific Sea Farers that we maintain radio contact with when on passage also update this site with a google earth background.
Enter our callsign VA7DXF in the callsign box and watch Toketie's track across the Pacific!
Yotreps and Winlink Position reporters will be active again when we leave NZ but they drop the record if you do not report for a week.