Left Thursday from Honiara. Was a lot of work to undo mooring lines and get the anchor up. There was a lot of chafe on the lines, but at least I got out of there.
For the first day afternoon there was not much wind at all, but once I was around the island of Guadalcanal the wind stared picking up and I was facing into the monsoon. That was steady for a while, with a choppy sea keeping the boat from making much progress. Than in the middle of the night I started to run into some squalls, there was no moon, so now way of knowing what was heading my way. Squalls came with about two hours of 30-35 knots of wind, it as a lot of work for little progress. One time while trying to furl in the genoa the sheet was flapping so wildly that one of the windows in the dodger/sprayhood got ripped apart. In another squall the luff of the main ripped in two places, but that is not a first, and I should be able to fix that.
One day I tried to motorsail when the wind was too light to make any kind of progress against the wind. Did that for a few hours and then the engine overheated, just one more problem I needed. Next morning I had a look at things, and it turned out that the radiator was empty. This means that there had to be a leak. Filled both radiator compartments up and after many attempts I was able to crank the engine (at first it did not want to fire at all). Located the cooling water leak and from then on I minimized the use of the engine, always filling up with water before starting and keeping a close eye on the engine temperature.
Yesterday afternoon I got near Gizo, but from my large scale maps I did not have a good idea about where the anchorage was. Sailed as close in as possible until the wind died and motored the last 5 miles. Then it turned out that the anchorage was on the other side of the island, where I could only get by going around a reef. The chart did not have enough detail for that, so I had to do it all by visual and echo sounder navigation. Got it done safely while at idle speed.
This morning I had a look at the engine, and found that a gasket is broken between the radiator and the engine exhaust. Went to talk to one of the yachts anchored here, and while I was talking to the nice people from Nueva Vida, someone from Polaris came by. This is a German yacht, and they have a roll of gasket material that I can make myself a new gasket from. The engine needs more attention than just that (like setting valve clearance and an oil change), but I might get some help from the yard at Liapari for that.
Gizo is not a big place, hardly a paved road at all, one street with many holes. But, good to be out of Honiara.
I might be heading for Liapari (less then a day sail away) before the end of the week. Spirits are getting a little better, though it does not feel like beging on a vacation.