Back to the land of internet access

The sun rose as we slowly clicked off the miles to enter the pass of the next atoll, Vanua Balavu. After what seemed like an eternity, around 8:45am, we reached the calm interior of the atoll and with that I headed down to make my breakfast. Eating breakfast I noticed I had cell signal so with Carl’s help I spent the next hour trying and failing to get my Vodafone hotspot service topped off. Thankfully I was successful in the end. We both started taking advantage of the internet access and sailed in to Lomaloma only firing up the engines to anchor. After some time to finish up work items that required the internet, we dropped the dinghy and headed to town to hit the two shops.

The first shop is run by a nice Indian woman named Sasha. We learned the supply ship is coming tomorrow so all that we could pick up was apples, carrots, and a chocolate bar (hey, we are roughing it but still need an evening boost for morale). We chatted a bit about religion and politics before she asked if we had any information on a possible cyclone, as an NGO group had mentioned it yesterday. We hadn’t seen anything in our weather checks but it perked up our ears. After finding the other shop was similarly depleted we took our purchases and headed back to Sky Pond.

Anchor up and on to our spot for the night, it wasn’t long before we raised the sails and turned off the engine. And immediately started digging into this possible cyclone. The Fiji Meteorological Service didn’t have any mention but looking out eight days we could see a low that has the possibility. So it became a mad rush to figure out a game plan. We can make it to Savusavu in about a day where there are two marinas so Carl went about trying to figure out if they would have a spot for us, should we need to head for shelter. And just as luck would have it, in the middle of his phone call we lost cell signal. Fuck. Trying different things for the next hour we eventually attempted to send an email via Iridium and as we approached our anchorage, Carl made another call to the marina and we were left thinking they would send us an email but sounded like we’d have a slip if needed.

We tucked between a huge steep wall of vegetation covered land and a tiny island and into a completely protected bay with steep terrain on all sides. First we tried a mooring ball before deciding to anchor. And finally after a long day and night we could breath a sigh of relief around 2:30pm. I headed to my bunk after a fresh water rinse and doubled my nightly sleep. Whew, what an exhausting 27 hours.

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