Day 40, Year 2: A Really Windy, Ugly Day
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2007
Weather: Totally Overcast, Really Windy, Rainy Day
Location: Vaga Bay, Beqa Island, Fiji

Yesterday was an interesting day, and today was an unbelievable day. We never saw a trace of sunshine and the wind blew relentlessly all day. Clouds hung over Beqa Island and Windbird all day. I have never felt like such a wimp. Here we are at anchor, but I have never been this nervous on Windbird. The winds picked up during the night and blew a steady 25 knots all day with gusts in the mid to upper 30’s. And there was no reprieve. We heeled at anchor and just had to endure the sound of the
unrelenting wind. So far, our anchor has held, but we are at the ready to start the engine and motor to get away from the reefs if the anchor should give way. Fortunately the winds tend to be from a direction that will blow us away from the shore and the reefs.

We have been pulling the dinghy up at night on the side of the boat using a harness with a block and tackle. She sits beside us all night and is then lowered in the morning. But all day today, we had to adjust the lines and listen to the terrible banging of the dinghy on the hull. Before sundown tonight (we saw absolutely no sun today), we lowered the dinghy, pulled up the motor, and put the dinghy on the deck like we do when we are sailing. If we should break anchor tonight, at least we are
ready to go.

I worked on the computer all day. I entered information on boats we met in New Zealand to our “Boats Met on the Voyage of Windbird” Excel spreadsheet and recorded notes from our last cruising season. Mark and I then started going through our “contacts” list on our two different computers to get our information synchronized. Some contacts on his computer are more up-to-date, while others are more up-to-date on mine. We could have done an electronic sync, but we were afraid we would lose the correct
information. I baked bread today and made vegetable soup. The bread tasted sooooooo good. I don’t think we have had any of our homemade whole wheat bread since we arrived in New Zealand in November. We have made bread for 33 years and it was good to get back in the groove. It made things a little hot down here in the cabin, but the taste was worth it.

Life is a little better at the moment. As soon as we raised the dinghy this evening, the winds subsided. That was about three hours agao and the winds are now only blowing in the teens, with gusts in the lower 20’s. Sometimes there is almost no wind. I can handle this. We just checked incoming mail and our weekly Weathergram from New Zealand indicates that things should moderate this week. The Fiji report says that there is still a strong wind warning for the Kadavu passage (our next destination)
but that should subside tomorrow night. Of course, as I am writing this, the wind is once again picking up, so who knows? We heard from Ranger this evening and it is rainy in Suva as well. But Marie did say that she thinks Safina is leaving for Kadavu tomorrow. Jean-Pierre really watches the weather, so I am hopeful that this means things really might moderate by tomorrow or the next day so we can move on as well.