From your humble skippers prospective, I was staring into the abyss of a double whammy in massive proportions. We woke up in a heavy mist with totally overcast sky. The decks were covered in black sooty ash from the cane field burn off over night. We were facing three days of bad weather in a crappy anchorage. Marce looked at me and flatly stated that she wouldn’t be spending her birthday in Lautoka with filthy decks in the rain. Point well taken.
Under pressure, Dear Escapees, I may have overreached. I blurted out,” how about the Blue Lagoon?” Consulting the charts we realized that we’d have to go through large green reefy masses that would make a birthday celebration in the Blue Lagoon a bit of a reach. Marce got that look in her eye, which at first, I felt was a good thing because rather than hearing the daily birthday whinging of,”my birthday’s going to suck again, isn’t it Jack?” she can concentrate on her alchemy of electronic gadgets, sheer doggedness and cruiser scuttlebutt to make a route to the Blue Lagoon.
In fairness there have been 26 birthdays since we met and they haven’t been all bad but Marce claims that it’s just an astrological low point in her yearly biorhythm and it’s not all my fault. I think of it like a grumpy three o’clock afternoon slump every August. So, the problem is with the stars. I…I don’t judge.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. The plan, as best I can understand it, is to zig zag around the islets and reefs of the Bligh Waters to the east side of Turtle Island, intentionally crossing over about a mile of reef, a solid block of green color on the chart, and sail around the corner to the Blue Lagoon. Anchor. Celebrate. Bob’s your uncle.
This was never open to debate even after it started to rain…heavily. We were committed. Not a good place to be with a sail plan this dicey, but with a patchwork of satellite Google earth photos, waypoints gleaned from cruiser blogs, and guesswork using extreme zoom on Navionics charts, she made it happen.
While piloting us through the Bligh Waters Marce even baked everything bagels from scratch, and in her spare time, read Captain Bligh’s logbook out loud about being set upon and chased through these very same waters for miles by “Feejee” cannibals in two catamaran sailing canoes, sporting more outlandish hairstyles than any three episodes of Soul Train.
You can show me all the photos from outer space you want, but turning onto that final reef was a real moment of truth and trust for me. Our first disappointment came when the six promised guide posts didn’t appear but then again the depth sounder never even got close. There was a heavy sigh of relief as soon as we crossed into the deep water of the Blue Lagoon. We anchored in a downpour. We even made it in for happy hour at the Boat House. And I still have a whole day to arrange a birthday celebration. No problem.