Fiji Week 12+

Sunday July 25, we forgot it was Sunday again, no pancakes.

Late morning we flew the drone, the reef was spectacular.

After lunch we took the dinghy out to the sandbar, at low tide it’s quite visible. It’s a popular place to hang on the soft sandy beach. Musket Cove has more of party beach atmosphere unlike the remote islands of Fiji. There are several resorts here, however they currently are COVID closed. Now there are 32 boats anchored here.

We connected BJ on s/v Discovery anchored here. We met him when we first arrived in Fiji. The three of us had dinner at the popular Musket Cove Resort. The dining area has several teakwood table sets with seating for four on the back deck as well as several clusters of love seats, chairs with stylish wide blue and white striped cushions with red accent pillows and a coffee table. On the lawn all the kid boat families had gathered around a big screen TV that was playing the animated movie Brave. There were also a few cruisers there we had met before.

Monday July 26, departed Musket Cove 20 minutes before sunrise following our path in to get out. The navigation system saved our track if. Destination Denarau.

By 10am Trance was out of the water and had a power washing. Later she was prepped for painting. We are also having another through hole put in dedicated to the water maker. No more sharing with bow pump. This should be better pressure, increased volume for the water maker.

We were told we could stay on the boat but chose to get a hotel room. We would be unable to use the water on the boat as the sink drains all exit to outside or the water. The Palms Resort is walking distance to the marina. For $169 Fijian per night $85 USD, we are in a one bedroom apartment style room. Endless hot showers and a bed that doesn’t move!

Tuesday July 25, The water maker is now properly installed, hopefully it will work better!

Wednesday July 26, work completed, Trance is looking great!

Thursday July 28, The few times we taken Trance out of the water we’ve had to remove the forestay as the wind generator sits too high for the lift for the cross bar, to properly balance the boat on the straps. The staysail then acts as a forestay and keeps the mast from falling down. Before we remove the forestay, the back stays need to be loosened. Painters tape is put on the threads to mark their location so we know how far to tighten it later.

Trance was put in the water just after I arrived at the marina.

Neil Tower from Oceania Water Group Fiji, delivered to the boat watermaker parts we ordered. They are a Spectra authorized dealer and servicer. The membrane was removed then reinstalled with the new parts. We had the marina added 2 fiberglass support blocks epoxied to the hull for it. The watermaker sits in starboard (right side of the boat facing foreword) lazarette, a storage compartment located in the cockpit. Hopefully we will have better quality water going forward.

Friday July 30, Trance is being detailed today. The deck is being cleaned and polished by Admond and Seka.

Sundowners on s/v Sea You, Fabienne and Dominique from France.

Saturday July 31, a gray rainy day here. Spent that time rearranging winter clothes, they are going deep in the boat. Food in glass jars need extra protection, rearranging snack cupboard to be the glass jar cupboard. I typically avoid buying items in glass for fear of the mess if they should break in rough waves.

The existing canvas on the boat, the dodger and the Bimini, really need to be replaced. So much sun exposure has deteriorated the plastic windows, they are very brittle. We’ve replaced almost all the zipper pulls with plastic ones as the metal ones broke, the canvas is showing wear. We have done many repairs to the dodger. Twice a wave has separated the plastic on the windshield from the canvas holding it in. The windshield looks like it is sewn in but it’s glued to the canvas surrounding it. The only adhesive we could find here is the 3M 5200 Marine Sealant. Add a new dodger and Bimini it the list of things to do when we return home.

Sunday August 1, in the morning our time we video chatted with Ben, Rachael and Cora. Followed by a chat with Luke, Mecca, Autumn, Alyssa and Madison. Always good to see their beautiful faces! Beth and Danielle are “glamping” together at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Camping with amenities and resort-style services.

I ordered fruits and vegetables from FarmBoy for delivery tomorrow. It is a premium fruit and vegetable store that delivers.

It rained off and on in the morning, by afternoon all was dry. I took several of our cockpit enclosure panels off and repaired some areas on them, sewed new Velcro straps on most that had deteriorated from sunlight. we washed all the windows and reinstalled the windshield.

Monday August 2,

Another project we had the marina do was add a bar over the exhaust pipe as the dinghy had ripped the rubber flap off, this bar makes it easier to raise the dinghy over the sugar scoop, or swim platform.

When we first arrived in Fiji in Savusavu, we were in quarantine with s/v Swell from Hawaii. Today our last night in Fiji, here in Denarau, into the marina comes Swell and is docked next to us again.

Sundowners on Swell, fun times!

Tuesday August 3, Happy Birthday Max!

Vinaka Fiji! After 12 weeks we say good to Fiji. We are off to Marina del Ray in Lombok Indonesia. This will be our longest passage to date, about 4,000nm and it’s expected to take about 35 days. Especially interesting will be the passage over the Great Barrier Reef and through the Torres Strait on the north side of Australia. Till then, you can follow us on our Iridium Go. https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/Trance

You may send an email message while we are at sea to: trance@myiridium.net
Note: text only email messages, i.e.: no attachments, no photos, no signature images, etc.

Fiji Week 11

Sunday July 18, pancakes for breakfast!

The drone was flown this morning, launched from Trance. The beautiful Bay of Islands on Vanau Balavu.

Another ride around on the dinghy at low tide.

Late morning, s/v Coral Trekker departed and s/v Estran arrived, Oscar, Philippine and their three children from Belgium. They are also part of the rendezvous. On our way back we stopped at s/v Olena as Oscar was there too. 5 of the 6 children between the 2 boats were aboard s/v Estran. It was entertaining to watch them play running about the boat deck.

Monday July 19, there are several coral “bommies” in the shallow waters in the South Pacific. Bommies resemble a column, that is higher than the surrounding platform of reef and may be partially exposed at low tide. These areas in addition to the reefs are great snorkeling. In the Bay of Islands the water for the most part is crystal clear. At low tide the “bommies” may be very visible. While in the dinghy, we put our GoPro on a long stick in the shallow water, to video the fish and coral.

We left our serene anchorage late morning for one on the other side of the island, Bavatu Harbour. It was about an hour trip. The Royal Exploring Isle Yacht Club is in the bay. We were told it’s the smallest Royal Yacht Club in the world.

Tuesday July 20, Dan and I walked to the top the hill where to the Nabavatu Plantation. It’s just over a mile walk up hill from the water on a wide red clay 4-wheel drive path, with a few cement sections. They own 80 head of cattle, sheep, pigs and horses not to mention the chickens and roosters roaming around. There is also an abundant vegetable garden. Two houses sit up there on the hill belonging one each to the partners who own the plantation. Also on the property is a village where all the workers live. The plantation will sell you a butchered animal for the meat, we do not have enough freezer space for that much food. Our friends on s/v Olena and s/v Coral Trekker shared a lamb they purchased for $50 Fijian ($25 USD). There is also a lookout through a wooded area, with a wide ATV path, where you can see the other side of the island.

Departed our anchorage by 1pm, heading back to Savusavu for a day or two to provision.

Wednesday July 21, arrived back in Savusavu around 9am, docked at the Copra Shed Marina. The majority of the day was spent inventorying food then provisioning with the exception of produce.

In the evening we dinner with Barbara, captain of s/v Islander and Christina, one of her all female crew. They are next to us in the marina.

Thursday July 22, blog posts uploaded, emails checked, propane tanks filled, Dan got a haircut, more provisioning. We take our Costco wagon with us when we shop. There are 6 stores here we typically have shopped at, as they individually have different items. The wagon is used as our shopping cart in stores. This requires us to stop back at the boat after each purchase.

After our last trip back to the boat mid afternoon, we ran into Floss and Dez on s/v Fat Susan from the UK. They had recently arrived in Savusavu. They were headed to the yacht club bar so we joined them. We first met Floss and Dez in Nuku Hiva, bumped into them again in Tahiti. Soon after we were joined by Kelly and Cristina, crew on s/v Islander and Joerg from Germany on s/v Aurelia who is currently solo sailing.

Later we all ordered dinner from the restaurant here, they will deliver to the bar as they as right next door. Floss and Dez’s two teenage sons, and had also joined us. It was a great evening!

Friday July 23, departed Copra Shed Marina by 7:30 am, destination Musket Cove. Mid afternoon we received an email from our agent in Indonesia, attached were our eVisas to enter the country. What a relief to get them, as just yesterday we all read Indonesia had put a temporary hold on issuing them due to a lockdown in Jakarta.

Most islands in Fiji are surrounded by coral reefs. To get to an island, there are natural passages through reefs deep and wide enough for boats to navigate. Yet due to tidal currents, some passages may have lots of water rushing in or out. Also if wind is opposing the current, large standing waves could form… all this makes it dangerous to sail or motor through passages. The solution is to transit passages at slack low or high tide when there is little or no current.

Today we transited two passages at perfect times, one at slack low tide and the other at slack high tide…thus no worries. All the islands we visited, we timed the tides near perfectly to enter and exit.

It turned-out to be a splendid day sailing with winds at 10-15 knots, minimal waves and lots of sunshine.

Almost a full moon tonight, which brightens-up everything making night sailing more enjoyable.

Saturday July 24, by morning we had reached the north shore of Vita Levu. What a contrast to the rest of Fiji which is green and very lush. The hills are very brown with little vegetation.

We dropped anchor mid afternoon in the area known as Musket Cove on Malolo Island. There are 25 boats anchored here. It is about 15 miles from Denarau.

The main Fiji island is Viti Levu. It has been pretty much in lockdown because of COVID. We are going there to Denarau to a marina to have some work done on our boat. We will have Trance pulled from the water, repaint the bottom as well as have some work done on the water maker. We will not be able to go to any other islands within Fiji without a 14 day quarantine and COVID test. Our plan is to leave Fiji for Indonesia when to work is completed.

Fiji Week 10

Sunday July 11, blueberry pancakes for breakfast. It was the last of dehydrated blueberries.

Flew the drone this morning at high tide.

Dan went snorkeling at the northern pass with boats s/v Indego2 and s/v Enola. The water is cold here, too cold for me.

Later we borrowed s/v Enola’s kayaks. We also saw Kate and Graham out in their Inflatable 2 person kayak.

Monday July 12, in the morning at high tide, Dan and I dinghyed back to the village through the maze of islands to purchase gasoline from them for us and two other boats. At lower tides the waterway is dry.

Mid day along with s/v Barracuda, s/v Venture Lady and s/v Enola, we moved to the other anchorage here. They wanted to snorkel on the reef here.

There is a fabulous small picturesque pristine sandy beach here, partially hidden by an island, like one you’d see pictured in a magazine. The sand was fine, soft and velvety. The downside, thousands of mosquitoes!

Sundowners on Barracuda with Kate and Graham, Alison and Andy, and Nina and Scott, followed by a cards.

Tuesday July 13, anchor up by 8:15am heading north to Namuka along with s/v Indego 2, arrived around 2 pm. Sundowners on Indigo 2.

Wednesday July 14, *Sourdough Note* started a Belle loaf, to bake this evening or tomorrow.

Our plan for the day was to walk to the village to do Sevusevu with the Chief. A yellow long boat visited us this morning with Semiti and his son Leuda who is 11 years old. He said we were not allowed to go to the village. We paid a $50 (Fijian dollars) anchor fee, gave him empty glass bottles with caps as well as some kava. He gave us 3 coconuts, said he will bring us fish later.

Together with Liz and Chris, we took our dinghies around the small island to a shallow area to snorkel.

After lunch we flew the drone from the beach.

Sundowners with Liz and Chris on our boat.

Thursday July 15, our dinghy has wheels that when lowered assist in pulling it onto a beach. Yesterday, while Dan was trying to put more air in tire, the nozzle broke off. Luckily we have a spare inner tube on board.

Meanwhile I was working on the coconuts we received yesterday. The outer shell had already been removed when given to us. We removed all the water storing it in a 2liter bottle, then into the refrigerator. Dan had cut them in half with a machete. Using a sea shell, I scraped the gelatinous white coconut out of the shell. These were very “green” fruits.

The coconut is in the sun drying, later we will fry them and make chips.

Dan and I took a dinghy ride part way around the leeward side island in search of a beach, none was found. We discovered later it was on the northern side of the island, too much wind and waves for a dinghy ride.

The next few days it will be quite windy, 20 with gusts to 25 knots from the Southeast going East as it progresses and with 6 ft waves. There is a South Pacific high pressure system just north of New Zealand driving the wind. Accelerated winds on the top of a high are referred to in the Fijian language as a “Bogi Walu”, an eight day wind. We are in a comfortable protected calm anchorage. It’s not a bad weather event, just not a pleasant sail.

Friday July 16, Semiti came by this morning selling live lobsters for $15. Liz and Chris purchased 2 but he gave them 3. We did not buy any, mostly because they were very large crustaceans and we don’t have a pot big enough to cook them in. Later we had a wonderful potluck lunch of lobster and tuna salad with Liz and Chris on s/v Indigo2, before we depart for Vanua Balavu. Our sail should take us about 15-17 hours to get there. Anchor up at 2:30 pm.

Saturday July 17, arrived at Vanua Balavu at 10:30am entered the pass just as the sun came out after a rain squall. We anchored in the area known as the Bay of Islands. Also anchored here are Laure and Stephane, a family boat with 3 kids, on s/v Olena from Switzerland, and Sumi and Robert on s/v Coral Trekker also from Switzerland. We met both boats while at Savusavu. After catching up with them we took a dinghy ride around the bay to see the mushroom shaped limestone islands. The bay has numerous small islands with a maze of coves and is bordered, as most of the island is, by limestone fjords.

The village here is in lockdown, we were told not to come go to the village , there will be no Sevusevu. COVID cases in Fiji have been drastically increasing over the past month.

Fiji Week 9

Sunday July 4, 🇺🇸 Andy (from the UK) on Venture Lady said it best this morning on the “net”, “Happy 4th of July, the original Brexit”.

*Sourdough Notes*

Baked a Belle, I was a bit concerned as the Levain took 24 hours to rise, normally it’s 6-12 hours, and the consistency was different than usual. I’m guessing it’s all temperature related. My starter came from Hawaii, it was very active there and in French Polynesia. The temperature here in Fiji is a good 20 degrees cooler, although it is winter here. In the end the bread turned out great!

The afternoon was spent on another dinghy ride around the lagoon looking at the rocks. We arrived back at the boat just as a downpour of rain came bringing with it 25knots of wind which continued all evening and into the night.

For dinner I made chicken with sun dried tomatoes over Orzo. It tasted a lot better than it looks!

Monday July 5, we all went on a hike guided by Soki, along with our Rendezvous group. He took us to the highest hill on Fulanga, the view from up there is spectacular!

Afterwards he and his family provided a lite lunch.

5 boats, s/v Hoodoo, s/v Rondo, s/v Barracuda, s/v Estran and us. met on the beach near the sandbar had an enjoyable mesmerizing sunset bonfire.

Tuesday July 6, Happy Birthday to me! It was a quiet day, followed by cards on s/v Barracuda. Kate and Graham along with Alison and Andy.

Wednesday July 7, at 1 pm s/v Barracuda, s/v Venture Lady, s/v Estran, s/v Windflower, s/v Quokka2 and us, all met at the landing to have a feast with the villagers. Because of COVID restrictions, they did not want us to go to their village so this was held at a neutral location. It was a pot luck meal with the villagers supplying a pig that was cooked in the ground. After lunch music was played and songs were sung a little bit of dancing too.

A few of the older women in the village asked if any of us women had spare reading glasses and possibly perfume and shampoo. (Not sure why I even had a bottle of perfume on the boat, haven’t used it over a year, I’m sure it will be well liked.) In exchange we were given hand woven items such as bags or rugs. I chose the small bag.

Thursday July 8, *Sourdough Notes* baked a Belle loaf this morning. I kept my starter out of the fridge since Sunday, fed it every day. It seems much happier now. It was being fed once every 5 days stored in the fridge.

Departed Fulanga by 12 pm heading for Ogea, about a 2 hour sail. We are anchored in a protected cove in 9 feet of water. 6 boats traveled here, s/v Windflower, s/v Venture Lady, s/v Barracuda, s/v Indigo, s/v Enola and us, others to follow soon. Sundowners on s/v Enola.

Friday July 9, we took a dinghy ride around the lagoon at low tide, flew the drone from one of the beaches.

Saturday July 10, All land in Fiji belongs to individuals, little is owned by government. When arriving at a remote island in Fiji, it’s customary to visit the Village Chief for a ceremony, and present gifts of kava root and other useful items (rice, bottles, gasoline, sometimes money, etc.) for the villagers. During the ceremony the Chief will grant permission to remain and explore the village’s portion of the island. This now makes you an accepted village member. This process is known as Sevusevu. It’s asking permission to be there on their land and water. In other words, you wouldn’t “camp” in your neighbors yard without permission. In normal times, prepared kava or grog would be shared with all to drink using a communal half coconut shell. Kava or grog is a mild narcotic drink. Typically a male thing, kava is consumed at the end of a work day, men would gather sitting cross-legged and drink grog. However because of COVID, villagers are asked not to share the beverage.

We walked a bit over 2 miles one way through a narrow path in the woods to the village. We met Chief Sili and presented him with 5 kava roots, one from each boat. Additionally we gave him empty glass bottles with lids, the villages uses them to store coconut oil and a kilo of rice.

The village had several brightly colored homes as well as a lime green school house. We saw several children about playing, the village store and men carving kava bowls.

Fiji Week 8

Sunday June 27, Dan went on a hike today with a couple of other boats, they we gone about 6 hours. I stayed on the boat, did some cleaning and had some nice quiet time!

Sundowners on Barracuda with Kate and Graham, Alison and Andy (s/v Venture Lady), Ally and Mike (s/v Cachalot) and Lisa and Mark (s/v En Passant), she is from the US, he’s from Ireland.

Monday June 28, departed Viani Bay for the island of Taveuni, where we anchored off the Paradise Resort. Along with 3 other boats, we hired a van for a trip into town to pick up some produce. A few stops were made, one to spot where the International Date Line crosses the island, the second to a natural stone waterfall slide. Later there’s was a group dinner at the resort.

Tuesday June 29, the fleet is off, 9 boats, including us, are sailing to the remote island of Fulanga in the Southern Lau Group. Our estimated time of arrival is tomorrow afternoon. It’s a 93 mile trek. We will have no internet for a few weeks.

Wednesday June 30,

Destination Fulanga, alternate spellings, Fulaga or Vulaga. We arrived just before slack tide then motored through the pass. Our group of boats is anchored just south of the sandbar. At 4pm, low tide, arriving by dinghies, we all had sundowners on that sandbar.

Thursday July 1, each morning at 8am on VHF channel 8, the net, We have morning announcements, weather and just in general what’s everyone doing today. Rotating through the boats in our group, all are taking turns to start and manage the conversion each day.

The forecast is for rain and wind all day as there is a low pressure trough passing by. Good day to bake banana bread with walnuts. Bananas have been sparse here as the cyclones early the year destroyed them as well as other crops.

An afternoon of cards 313, and a game of Farkle on Barracuda with Kate, Graham, Alison and Andy.

Friday July 2, several boats went to snorkel the entrance pass, Dan did, I drove the dinghy to follow him as it was quite windy.

Afterwards we took a drive in the dinghy to see some of the fabulous limestone mushrooms shaped rock formations.

Dan and I took a walk along the beach and had lunch sitting on a fallen palm tree hanging over the water. John on s/v Wildflower took a photo of us from his boat.

Sundowners on the beach starting at 4:30 till just past sunset.

Saturday July 3, Another drive around the lagoon in the morning.

Purchased lemon grass from Ty, a local villager, we met on the beach. He was also selling pumpkins and bockchoy.

Bought bread and traded gasoline for a large bunch of bananas from Soki and Ba.

It was arranged for the villager to meet us at neutral location, they brought wood carved items all made by them as well as they had some fruit to sell.

We purchased a bowl made by Mini. The legs of the bowl are sharks.

Sundowners on s/v Quokka2. Liz on s/v Indigo ll, wrote a song about us all to the tune of “I am Australian”, 32 second video of the chorus.

Bula Rendezvous, with love from Liz on Indigo ll.

Here comes the good ship Windflower, a Scotsman at the helm Loquacious and assertive, he guides the fleet so well His charming wife sheds laughter over gatherings near and far- These two have great connections in every town and bar.

Two Kiwis on Enola have grabbed their dream and sailed.To Fiji in the tropics, where sun and warmth prevailed. They set a pace that’s hard to beat at sea and on the land. Their kindness always ready to lend a helping hand.

On Quokka 2 are Aussies, full of music, fun and jokes. They both love red-hot chilies and Fiji’s friendly folks. With flute and ukulele they will serenade us all, their songs and rhymes and ditties will drive us up the wall.

Chorus: We are one, but we are many. And from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream, and sing with one. voice I am, you are, we are all sailing.

Estran is full of kids who speak more languages than one. When older folks go rambling, those kids just love to run. They’ll ride the horses, they’ll eat the crab, they’ll swim until they’re done. But cornflakes just don’t cut it now, they much prefer a bun.

Now Trance is from the USA, a monohull so fine. With plans to sail around the world, she’s had to stretch her time. For COVID closes borders and imposed new constraints…Another nasal swab test and another patient wait.

On Indigo are two old salts, birdwatchers to the core. They might be deaf and cautious but they’re keen to see much more. From sand to rocks, from trees to ferns, from reefs to fish galore. They’ll label everything they see, to understand it more.

Chorus

Barracuda hails from Scotland’s north, from heather-covered moors. She’s sailed the North Atlantic waves to Caribbean shores. Then on to Pol-y-ne-sia where COVID caused a pause. Until the Blue Lanes drew her in to Fiji’s sunny shore.

The team on Venture Lady are sailing around the world. They’d like to cruise New Zealand, but it’s gone to COVID hell. The rules say spend a fortune to secure a summer spell. Or else you must continue west, your story still to tell.

And so we come to Rondo, another family boat. The kids on board so active they keep the dream afloat: To hunt and gather in the wild, that is their challenge now, to harvest what is growing here without causing a row.

Chorus

Fiji Week 7

Sunday June 20, we participated in long boat fun races today, a lot harder than it looks! These are the boats we raced, four person crews.

During dinner we were entertained by the Copra Shed Marina staff performance of traditional Fijian dances, followed by a fire dance and songs.

Later in the evening the karaoke machine was set up, Julian and Debra on s/v Quokka2 performed a great rendition of “A Whiter Shade of Pale”.

Monday June 21, lunch pool party at Daku Resort, it was a very refreshing afternoon!

Our friends on Andy and Alison s/v Venture Lady, we met in Tahiti arrived here on Friday. Today they were allowed out of quarantine and are docked next to us in the marina. We went to dinner with them along with Kate and Graham.

Tuesday June 22, I bought a new sewing machine! (Like I need another one) This one is a new hand crank Singer, made in China. No electricity needed, which is great because there will be no drain on the batteries.

We did provisioning today after a trip to the doctor. We needed letters from a doctor stating we are in good health and have no COVID symptoms. This is for an eVisa for Indonesia. $30 Fijian dollars ($15 USD) total for the visit. He did take our temperature and listen to our hearts.

Dinner at Surf n Turf with Kate, Graham, Alison, Andy and Michael from s/v Peregrine, he’s from San Francisco.

Wednesday June 23, more provisioning for our sail to the southern islands of Fiji. Dinner with Alison and Andy, then played a couple rounds of the dice game Farkle with them.

Thursday June 24. Interesting lesson learned trying to do financial business in a foreign country. Bank wire transfers, not credit cards is the method to purchase between countries, but it comes with an pricy bank fee on our end.

More provisioning today, perishables. Dinner with Alison and Andy, a card game of 99.

Friday June 25, departed Savusavu by 6:45am. It was a rough sail, quite windy, 25-31knots. Arrived around 3:30pm back to Viani Bay, as the majority of the rendezvous group is here.

The rest of the afternoon we submitted papers and forms to obtain an eVisa to enter Indonesia, it may take three weeks to receive it. Chatted a bit with our friends on s/v Falbala who had just arrived in New Caledonia. We will hopefully be buddy boating with them to Indonesia and beyond.

We opted not to join in the Lovo, hosted by the Dive Academy, had a quite evening just the two of us.

Saturday June 26, A few cruisers went on a hike yesterday before we arrived in Viani Bay, to the village of Korodogo. It’s up and over the hill behind the Dive Academy, about 1.25 miles one way. They invited everyone back to a traditional Fijian meal to be held the next day. Everyone brought a dish to pass as well as gifts to the villagers like food, clothing, kava and money presented to Chief Solo.

Fiji Week 6

Sunday June 13, it’s a rainy windy day.

Our family had a picnic at Bens house, (actually it was on Saturday East coast time, Sunday, Fiji time). The adults received the souvenirs we mailed to Bens house, from Tahiti. For the girls a black pearl strung on adjustable length leather rope, the guys a Hinano T-shirts (Tahiti beer) and koozie.

Late afternoon we went over to s/v Barracuda, played cards for several hours with Kate and Graham. Fun night!

*Sourdough Notes* baked a Belle loaf this evening. Ah, the aroma of bread baking!

Monday June 14, 🇺🇸 pancakes for breakfast, I thought today was Sunday! It rained on and off the entire day with breaks of blue sky with sunshine. Back to Barracuda in the evening for more cards.

Tuesday June 15, another great snorkeling afternoon.

For dinner there was a potluck hosted by the Dive Academy, 4 of the 5 sailboats attended. Everyone brought delicious side dishes. Fish, chicken and sausages were grilled.

Wednesday June 16, anchor up by 6:30am, on our way out we were escorted by more than a dozen dolphins.

Destination, back to Savusavu, the Copra Shed Marina. We joined the Bula Fiji Rendezvous when we were in Tahiti. Majority of the boats sailing from French Polynesia and New Zealand have recently arrived. There are several planned activities for the group.

After the welcome ceremony, dinner was served buffet style on the deck, we were entertained with traditional Fijian dances.

Thursday June 17, today’s activities included a walk to the hot springs and the KokoMana Farm and Chocolate Factory. We only did the hot springs as we previously went to KokoMana.

The hot springs here are used primarily by locals for cooking. These springs are also chloride springs fed by sea water, where as most hot springs contain sulfur fed by ground water.

Friday June 18, Bula Rendezvous bus trip to Lambasa. Group photos, one at the Savusavu Bay overlook, the second at the Snake Temple. It however was COVID closed.

We walked around downtown Lambasa then bus ride to the Palmlea Farms Resort for lunch.

Saturday June 19, Happy Birthday Beth!

Waking tour to the market this morning, as well as we found the post office. On the way back we stopped at a Kava mill, where they grind the roots to make Kava Powder.

Fiji Week 5

Sunday June 6, blueberry pancakes for breakfast! For dinner the marina hosted a barbecue for all the boats here.

Monday June 7, provisioning in the morning, then off to Fawn Harbor for the night with Kate and Graham on s/v Barracuda.

Tuesday June 8, departed Fawn Harbor by 8:30am for Viani Bay, arrived around 12:30pm. We had dinner at the Dive Shop along with the 4 other boats that are anchored in the bay.

Wednesday June 9, boat cleaning day. Dinner on Barracuda with Kate and Graham. Kate made a delicious lasagna we brought over a tossed salad.

Thursday June 10, lazy boat day here anchored in Viani Bay. We flew the drone a few times. I was the “catcher”.

11 second video

Friday June 11, another fabulous snorkeling day in Viani Bay!

Another drone flight, 10 second video, Trance

Dinner on Trance with Kate and Graham. I made Chicken Cacciatore with Rice, Kate baked a lemon cake for dessert. No leftovers from this dinner!

Saturday June 12, Dan was about to lubricate a squeaky Ronstan block… with very little effort, the 3/8” screw head broke off. Just “surface rust”? You can loose your head over it!

Sundowners with Ding on s/v Chiquita.

Fiji Week 4

Sunday May 30, blueberry pancakes for breakfast! We video chatted with all our kids. Boat cleaning day, dinner with Mike and Sue here at the marina.

Monday May 31, the infamous FedEx package finally arrived to us! Our friends Kate and Graham on s/v Barracuda of Islay brought along from Tahiti. The package arrived after we left. Our Visa had expired we couldn’t wait for it. It contained movies, important mail, photos, a watch and toilet seat hinges we were unable to find anywhere in French Polynesia.

For dinner, 6 of us went to the Daku Resort, Mike, Sue, Kate, Graham, Dan and I. Small world coincidence, the owner of the resort stopped at our table, turns out she went to school with Kate!

Tuesday June 1, Today we say farewell to our buddy-boat Mike and Sue on s/v Ocean Sapphire. We met them in Tahiti on April 13th, and sailed together for the past 7 weeks. They are sailing home to Australia.

Another rainy day, took a trip to the grocery store for a few items,

Wednesday June 2, another rainy day in paradise! Apparently it rains a lot in eastern Fiji.

Thursday June 3, and another rainy day. Dan went back to the doctor today for his ear. He was given a few different prescriptions. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather myself. Might have been a touch of food poisoning.

Friday June 4, feeling better today but still not back to normal.

Saturday June 5, Kate and Graham rented a car for the day. We went with them on a road trip across the island to Labasa, the largest city on Vanua Levu.

For dinner 12 of us, 5 boats, went to dinner at the Daku resort. They had a pre fixe meal for us, starting with pumpkin soup, then chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables finished with a fruit pastry. There was also vegetarian option, stuffed sweet potato.

Namena Bay

Sunday May 23, we arrived in the Bay by 8am, dropped anchor near the island. We are not allowed to go ashore. Namena Bay a Marine Protected Area. It is a barrier reef system home to a variety of rare species of fish, invertebrate, and coral. In February 2016 the eye of Cyclone Winston passed directly over Namena destroying all the buildings. All the trees were knocked down in the strongest winds ever recorded in the Southern hemisphere. It is also a migratory pathway for bottlenose and spinner dolphins, minke, pilot, sperm and humpback whales. Namena is also a major seabird nesting site with approximately 600 pairs of protected red boobies.

Blueberry pancakes for breakfast, today Mike and Sue joined us. We’ve been teasing them for weeks about our Sunday breakfasts. Later we snorkeled.

Monday May 24, it seriously rained most of the day! Where we are anchored is quite protected, with the wind and waves the boat was rocking. A lazy day! We watched a few episodes of “The Big Bang Theory”, we’re now on season 11, the movie “Hillbilly Elegy”, and the four part documentary “This is a Robbery, The Worlds Biggest Art Left“. Also with buttered popcorn of course.

Tuesday May 25, another rainy day here in paradise. Dan slept most of the day. He has an ear infection probably from all the swimming, we have antibiotics on board he’s been taking.

Wednesday May 26, *Sourdough Notes* 1 Belle loaf in the works.

We took a dinghy ride around the small island here in the lagoon.

Later, Mike and Sue came over for sundowners.

Thursday May 27, *Sourdough Notes* baked the loaf of bread in the morning, just as it finished baking, the tank ran out of propane. Good timing! Meanwhile Dan went with Mike and Sue on their dive. Dan was their “driver”, he stayed in the dinghy following them as there is current along the edge of the reef.

Sundowners on Ocean Sapphire. We were joined by s/v Cachalot, Alison and Mike. She’s from Scotland he’s from New Zealand. They arrived here this morning, but have been in Fiji for more than a year.

Friday May 28, another rainy day, Sundowners on Ocean Sapphire with Alison and Mike too.

Saturday May 29, 7:30am we departed Namena, arrived back in Savusavu by 1pm.

Dan was able to see a doctor for his ear, our diagnosis was correct. An outer ear infection, swimmers ear. Liquid antibiotic drops were prescribed.

For dinner we went to the Surf and Turf restaurant on the north side of town. We were joined by four other boats that are here at the marina. There were 15 of us, and were the only patrons there. We are all in the same “bubble” been on boat for more than 14 days, quarantined and COVID tested upon arrival.