Friday, October 28, 2016

Passage to Santo

From Fiji to Vanuatu is about 600 nautical miles.

The planning had to factor in the considerable extra cost in checking out at a weekend in Fiji, or checking in at a weekend in Vanuatu. The original plan was to leave on Thursday 27th October and arrive on Monday 31st. But the Grib files suggested that would feature a visit from the SPCZ (South Pacific Convergence Zone) with plenty of rain, squalls and risk of becalming.

So we decided to 'get a wriggle on' and check out as early as possible on Monday and make a dash to Santo and try to get in before customs closed on Friday.

We did it! 15-20 knots of wind nearly behind us. Using the kite on two days. Hooting along at 7 - 10 knots, we blasted through Selwyn Strait (playing Dire Straits loudly) with a welcoming pod of about twenty Spinner Dolphins leaping around the bow. We arrived in Segond Passage by Luganville at 2 am on Friday 28th. Tired and happy. The final approach was in the black of night hurtling along with negligible visibility, trusting to all the chart-plotters, apps and radar at hand. Exciting and scary. All went well.

So now we are settling in, with checkin procedures complete, provisioning underway, and plans developing for exploring the islands around Santo.

Sunset on the way to Santo