The sun is slowly rising on day three of our passage and the silhouettes of Thitia, Mango and Tuvutha Islands are on the horizon. We have spent an exhausting and stressful night navigating through the awash low-lying reefs of the Lau Group. We were aiming for the Vanua Belavu Passage but the wind pushed us close to the Lakemba Passage to the south. We didn’t have waypoints for the Lakemba but it was three times as wide. The only other negative was that there was not a single palm tree to get a radar return off of. We checked all three of our chart sources and decided it was just as safe as the Vanua Belavu. It was a very nerve racking night as we used our electronic charts to thread Ellie through the reef-strewn waters. We were not able to pick up a radar signature at all until we were 30 miles into the reefs and we finally picked up Tuvutha Island and verified our charts were dead on accurate; that provided a big reassurance to know exactly where we were. I included our waypoints below for those following in our wake.
We’re still running downwind towards Savusavu Bay, 110 nm NW of our current position. We’ll take our time and plan to arrive off the point at first light. We’ll probably take a few jibes up the Koro Sea and come close to a few islands for some entertainment.
But now I need to get some rest. Time to wake up the reluctant Princess.
Cheers from Fijian Waters!
Lewis & Alyssa
August 13, 2015
17 42 S
179 06 W
Lakemba Passage Waypoints Used:
***USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ERRORS OR LIABILITY ARISING FROM ANY USE WHATSOEVER***
17 47.4 S, 178 18.5 W
17 54.2 S, 178 37.0 W
17 50.6 S, 178 53.4 W
17 41.7 S, 179 07.1 W