After our jib sail was out, we spent a while meandering west to await a squally system to pass to our north. We gradually turned northward after it supposedly passed and started making way toward Fiji again. We were going mostly downwind with following seas and making slower speeds than normal. So the ride was pretty comfortable.
During the day, we spotted our friends on s/v Sea Mist on the AIS. Since we had slowed down, they had a chance to catch up. They were about 12 nm behind us. Called them on the VHF and chatted a while. They were doing fine, but had experienced harder conditions than us.
After relaxing much of the afternoon, we decided to try putting on our storm jib so we could balance out the sails and maybe make for our NE heading to Savusavu. We were excited to find it worked quite well in the 20 knots or so of wind we were experiencing. We were making 7-8 knots on course!
Later in the evening though, we had some squalls appear. Winds built rapidly up to 30 knots. We turned off the wind to reduce our apparent wind and were making 10+ knots steady and occasional surfs to 13-16 knots! We had the full mainsail out at this point. As soon as the squall passed we reduced the main to a double-reef. The rest of the night was spent turning back to course only to quickly have to go back downwind with 30+ knots of wind.
Finaly, at 5AM the winds started lessening as forecasted. So we are headed back on course gradually. We are hoping for some better weather today.