Montag, 15. November 2010

Bluewater Sailing from Fiji to Vanuatu

This is now my first trip over the Pacific. I have heard so much about Bluewatersailing that I hardly can expect to start.

But before we leave we and the boat must be prepared: Bryan is checking the engine and all equipment.Sails,rigging,electrics, and I prepare enough food for the first step. And so we leave Fiji later than thought.

The sea is very rough, the wind blows strong and the waves are much higher than thought. But we are on the way!

After a short time I realise: I am seasick! I try to eat a banana - reverse! A bit of the fish - reverse! Something to drink - reverse! O.k. - I have to hold a diet for 4 days. I believe: No problem!

The watches are easy going: One of us is sleeping - the other stands watch. And after a while we change. We have a lot of energy around us. The wind blows sometimes more than 45 knots and the waves are real high. But the feeling onboard is well.

At the 3th day we have the first big problem: The autopilot does not work. So I have to stay at the wheel and Bryan is searching for the reason. In this moment we have till 47 knots wind and so the work at the wheel is hard. After 5 hours searching Bryan is at the end. He cannot find the reason. We send emails to New Zealand - but get no response. A short break for both and then Bryan has a last idea: To check inside the computer box which is under the rear berth .And success! A fuse has blown A fuse for less han 30 cents has created the problem.

Bryan pays tribute to Heike.This lady stuck at the task to control the yacht,in very difficult conditions without hesitation and never a complaint,while i searched for a solution.Her courage and tenacity will always remain a very strong memory of this trip.

At the next morning I know some new muscles in my body. And I am tired. And feel sick and so I try again a little to eat. To eat nothing and then standing more then 7 hours in this wind at the wheel - the food must stay inside! And I have luck. I can eat a little and have no reverse.

We reach our waypoint in front of Vanuatu at 1am. It is a dark, dark night. And we have to manage the sails. And then it happens: I am standing on the cockpitroof and hear Bryan calling: „Come! Immediately! I am stuck“ And really: A rope has Bryan fixed at the mast. So I have to leave the cockpitroof and put off the rope from Bryan's foot. And then back to the main and we can pull it down. The entrance to Vanuatu is small and we need the radar to pass. Then I fall asleep and awake 4 hours later! Bryan is laughing: The wind has changed and he was able to set the Genoa. A friendly wind blows us directly to Luganville!A most wonderful sail,on a broad reach for the last 40 miles.

Arrived in Luganville we both have only one wish: A shower, a beer and a bed!

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