Just a quick update from Fiji before we set sail for New Zealand.

I flew into Fiji on October 21, where I immediately rendezvoused with Skipper Tom and fellow crew Di and Nikki.  It was 7:00am, so we had a crew breakfast at our favorite spot, Rhum-Ba, overlooking Port Denarau Marina. 

After breakfast, we headed down to the boat, sailing vessel Avalon.  She looked great!  Tom and Di have been cruising Fiji this summer, so the boat was ship-shape.

Nevertheless, we have spent the last week or so cleaning, organizing, testing, checking, planning, etc.  We took Avalon out for a shakedown sail so that Nikki could familiarize herself (and I could re-familiarize myself) with this particular boat’s operations.  Every boat is rigged differently and handles differently.

Meanwhile, Skipper Tom has also been diligently watching the weather – working with multiple sources to identify a favorable weather window for our 1,200-mile sail to New Zealand.  This is tough passage and weather forecasting is super important.

We now seem to have a good window, and Skipper Tom has made the call:  we depart this weekend! 

The exact time will depend on local conditions.  Once we checkout with Fiji Customs, we have to make the tough transit through the outer reefs.  We want to do that in light wind and daylight if possible.   

As always, I’m honored and thrilled to be part of this voyage.  I’m filled with excitement and anticipation.  We hope for the best during the passage; yet, we know we will face challenges along the way.  As a 4-person team, alone in the open ocean, we will work through those challenges and figure it out.  We’ll take care of Avalon and each other. 

That’s it for now.  I have to be focused on the passage, not Facebook or website updates, so this will be my last post before New Zealand.

I’m signing off and setting sail!

 SV Avalon.  She's ready to go, and so are we!

SV Avalon.  She's ready to go, and so are we!

 Up the mast!  What a view!

Up the mast!  What a view!

 Yikes, pretty far up.  (About 60 feet!)

Yikes, pretty far up.  (About 60 feet!)

 Don't let go!  (No, I actually have two harnesses, two halyards, secured with both bowlines and shackles.) 

Don't let go!  (No, I actually have two harnesses, two halyards, secured with both bowlines and shackles.) 

 An evening at our favorite sunset bar, Travellers.  Funny that each table has a dog.

An evening at our favorite sunset bar, Travellers.  Funny that each table has a dog.

 My go-to hotel, the Tropic of Capricorn.  (But the last two nights, I splurged and stayed at the Westin.)

My go-to hotel, the Tropic of Capricorn.  (But the last two nights, I splurged and stayed at the Westin.)

 The last two nights before departure, I splurged and stayed at the Westin.  

The last two nights before departure, I splurged and stayed at the Westin.  

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