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24 Sep 2012 16:04
Kathie Blanding's Sailing Update - Part 3 
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The ITCZ fought us for the last 5 days, but we are finally anchored in the beautiful Chagos Salomom Islands, behind Fouquet Island. Several species of birds have come out to say hello and the reefs and coconut lined beaches are beckoning but we took the afternoon off for a nap, a few glasses of wine, and then a nice fish dinner with a spectacular sunset. Tomorrow we will explore!

The ITCZ continued to fight us the last night of our arrival. After beating nicely into a 10 kt NNE wind for several hours, a small, squall again introduced a 20 knt West headwind and we went back to motoring until nearly dawn, using more of our reserve fuel for the trip to Maruitius.

10 miles from the entrance, in the dark before sunrise, we noticed a red light behind us. After 15 days without seeing any sailboats, a catamaran was arriving at exactly the same time we were. They are now the only other boat in the Salomon Islands.

As we approached the entrance the sun came out, but when we entered the lagoon another rain squall covered the atol in darkness, eliminating the color-coding of the waters that would show the reefs and coral heads (bommies). Using c-map details, calibrated by radar, we made our way very slowly to an anchorage without incident, had lunch and began to enjoy our new residence.

This is the last atol of Sunflower's circumnavigation and we expect to make the most of it.

Fair winds on your passages, wherever they may take you.