Tuesday, July 30, 2013

North or South?

No this isn't a Civil War quiz...it is the big question we are now facing. After speaking with people who have traveled extensively in Vanuatu, we have made the decision that we shouldn't rush through Fiji and spend only a month in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. SO...we have decided to delay our Indonesia adventure for a season. The reality is once in Indonesia it is simply too difficult to get back to this area and we spent a lot of time and effort to get here. With that decision made, it makes no sense to go to Australia for this cyclone season. So where do we go? We see two options. One is to head from Fiji to New Caledonia and then back to New Zealand for cyclone season. We could explore more of NZ this time because we have less boat projects to tackle. Perhaps we could make it further south this time and even spend more time in Auckland. After that we would return to Fiji then quickly on to Vanuatu where we would spend most of the season. Option Two would be to head north to Tuvalu, the Kiribati Islands and then spend cyclone season in the Marshall Islands. That would take us back over the equator. After "wintering" there we would then follow the same route back to Vanuatu.

It is a tough call and either option would be okay with us. We are waiting to talk to a boat who has done the Marshall Island route last year. It is certainly the less traveled route and it makes you wonder "why?" Reading about some of the potential weather conditions (too much wind or too little wind and some big time squalls) may be why so many boats avoid this route. But if you read about some of the islands, they are also quite intriguing because they retain indigenous lifestyles. Many of these islands are quite remote and very few cruising boats make this trek. That holds some appeal to us after being on the well-traveled route for so many years. The joy of cruising is that your plans are made in sand at low tide and it just takes a couple of conversations with other boaters to sway your previously made decision. We have to make the decision though before we move from Fiji. North? South? Perhaps we should simply toss a coin and let fate make the call for us! But should we do two out of three or five of seven? Too many decisions...

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