We have stopped for the night, 60 nm to Savusavu, Fiji

We have stopped for the night We are continuing to keep regular watch, and have set an anchor alarm. Our sea anchor is allowing us to drift 10,000 feet (approximately 2 miles) every two hours. Fortunately, we are drifting towards our destination of Savusavu.

Tomorrow, at sunrise, we will be continuing our journey.

This afternoon, the kids had hoped to have a mid-ocean swim. But it began to rain, the kids began to bicker, and maybe the parents on this ship were feeling a bit unsure and cautious.

Yesterday, Karen saw a shark beneath our boat while she was swimming. Karen loves sharks. She described yesterday’s shark as being about 5 feet long, about 15 feet below, and looked like a black tip reef shark. She said it was definitely not a bull shark. Yet, we were nowhere near a reef and the water was thousands of feet deep. Here is a photo of Karen in French Polynesia swimming with a black tip reef shark.

At about the same time as Karen was making her shark discovery, I was just about to get in the water. On the surface, this photo is not nearly as boring as it might seem, considering the shark was probably just passing under me at that moment.

Photo taken seconds before shark sighting

My kids were disappointed when I asked them to leave the water. “But, the shark was swimming away from the boat,” said Karen. That might have been true. I didn’t think that this reasoning would pass muster with family, friends or the authorities if one of my kids did get bitten by a shark. So they got out. That said, seeing a random shark in deep water seemed to be a bit of an unusual sighting. I’m not going to be neurotic. We will talk to locals before we swim in Fiji.

I’m going to head to bed now. Because we have been sailing 24 hours a day, we have not had full night’s sleep in 10 days. We are not unique. There is another boat in our exact predicament at the moment.

This evening, just as we were about to set our sea anchor for the night, Rick responded to a Pan-Pan call from a catamaran called Skedaddle. A Pan-Pan call has some urgency to it, but it is not as serious as a Mayday call, which is used for life-threatening situations.

The catamaran was calling to say they had lost a rudder. I think they may have wanted to alert other cruisers that they were arriving and may need assistance.

We will likely meet the people on the Skedaddle catamaran tomorrow. They are just ahead of us. They are also taking a rest tonight and will make an early start.

We will check into Fiji in the afternoon, and hope to see friends on another sailboat from Germany. There is a natural, social magnetism amongst boaties who have experienced similar routes, weather challenges. It’s a little bit like finding someone who speaks your language in a foreign land. We have met many other sailors who are following a similar route. We meet them again and again on our travels, country after country. We have met some really wonderful and interesting people. It’s fun to swap stories after sailing thousands of nautical miles.


  1. So exciting for Karen. I’m more like you though, first sighting and I am out of there.🦈 I sure enjoy reading about your adventures.


    • If I pay money as part of a tour I feel oddly buffered in the water. Likewise, I feel safe if other tourists are diving with sharks and not getting eaten by the day. It’s when we see sharks in a reef and I’m not with other people that I start to levitate.


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