Well, been an interesting past couple of days. Looking at the GRIB weather forecasts, and checking with meteorologist McDavitt, we realized we were sailing right into the trough, part of the South Tropical Convergence Zone, that had formed in a line over Fiji and Tonga. This trough promised lots of squall activity, with winds around 40 knots. We thought we'd be smart and heave to for a while, to let the trough pass to the east. Well, we got the idea a bit too late, as we were already in it. The winds built to the hi 20's / low 30's as the sky became 100% dark overcast. It became an extremely wet ride, with continual green water waves washing over the boat. No danger, just damned uncomfortable!!! We decided to heave to and essentially "park" out in the ocean while the thing dissipated. So, with the staysail backed, we began crabbing our way to the north at around 2 knots. The motion of the boat instantly calmed, and we had a relaxing (well, sort of) night, while the 40+ knot winds screeched through the rigging all night. By 5am it had calmed considerably. We simply flopped the sail over to its proper side, and started boogying toward Fiji at 7 knots.
That's what we're doing still, at noon. Forecast is for this nice 15-20 knot easterly breeze to hold till our arrival. Unfortunately that has us arriving in the dark, so will need to slow way down, or possibly heave to again tomorrow for a few hours to ensure a daylight arrival.
Current position: 23d 02m South 179d 34m East
369 miles to Savu Savu
Fishing report: 1 small mahi mahi...released with firm instructions to go invite his big brothers!!!