October 18, 2020 ; 9:32 PM
17°77’S, 177°38’E – Port Denarau Marina, Fiji

Time is ticking until Gracie Girl’s haul out. So, despite a LOT of rain and head winds, we left Musket Cove for one more trip through the Yasawas to explore the caves we missed the first time around.

On our way north, we stopped for two nights in Octopussy Bay, a stunning beach with a closed resort. We explored the resort a little, snorkeled, and walked down a long, gorgeous, white sand beach between rain showers. It was a much-needed relaxing day after a weekend of activity at the Musket Cove Regatta.

Next we stopped in at th Blue Lagoon, hoping for another evening of beer, rugby, and chatting with locals and other sailors at The Boat House. But the only boat out dodging rainstorms and plowing through head winds/waves was Amazing Grace. Instead, we had a nice afternoon to ourselves discussing plans for the haul out over beer and sammies.

Finally, we made it to Sawa-I-Lau to explore Fiji’s famous caves. Unfortunately, the rain made us spend the first day on the boat- but the sun finally came out that evening. We made our way to the beach for sevu sevu, but there was no one outside. It felt like a ghost town. We walked around yelling “bula, bula” until we found someone to take us to the chief. Lucky for us, he accepted our kava and we were able to visit the caves with a guide the next morning.

Despite drudging through the rain, wind, and waves to get there, the caves were so worth it. It was like being in a natural cathedral in every direction.

We swam through an underwater tunnel to get to the next chamber, where the caves got dark and small. My favorite part was the roaring echo. We took turns whooping and hollering with all the funny noises we could think of. When spoken in a cave- the accent on my whale gets entirely lifted out! 😉

Then it was time for one last sail to Port Denarau. We spent the night Waya, grilling our last BBQ chicken in a gorgeous bay with the sunset.

Our final day of sailing was gorgeous. Sunny and warm with plenty of wind, it was tainted only by our disappointment that the journey is coming to an end. Oh, and a few fuel and fishing line-related snafus. If it’s predictable, it’s not sailing.

Now I’m sitting in Port Denarau Marina, a drink in my hand, celebrating an incredible journey coming to an end. Less than 2 weeks from today, we’ll be USA-bound. My emotions are all over the place…

-Kristen Pankratz
First mate, Amazing Grace

TLDR: If you take yourself too seriously to yell your head off in an echoing cave… this journey isn’t for you- and you can’t sit with us!


  1. What an incredible journey you have taken us on Kristen!!!
    Thank you so much. Your pictures are priceless!!!
    Safe travels home and hope to see the Family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ditto to what Penny said! Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Safe travel homes. I’m looking forward to a long conversation with you about all of this! (Even though you have kept us well informed every step of the way.} Love you all!

    Liked by 1 person

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