Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cyclone Season in Fiji

Cyclone Predictions
Well, we are over half way thru the cyclone season and we haven't had any big storms yet - YEAH!

It has been hot and humid - especially on land.  On the boat, we almost always have a nice breeze and stay cooler.

But, the first of February, the weather started changing and made us start paying a little more attention.

Three lows starting forming around us - North, East, and West, plus the thunderstorms started moving in.  Oh my!

The good news - the Port Denarau Marina staff kept us well informed and would send out almost daily reports of the current weather and a 10 day prediction. 

The creek - our haven from cyclones
Plus, the Yachties (those that are left) all gathered together and started planning our path up the nearest creek - Monohulls first, then the Catamarans.

Almost empty...
We also loaded up with lots of water, food, and drink and got our boats prepped.

Just in case...

Doug would diligently spend his mornings checking all of the weather reports - there are lots of resources and it took some time.

The Ichiban Band serenading us

So what do Yachties do?  We throw a Mexican night potluck on the dock - why not?

We had a wonderful time with margaritas, enchiladas, tacos, and so much more.

Plus entertainment provided by Anna and Justin (s/v Ichiban) with some help from Katarina (s/v Miss Goodnight) - how fun!

Lovely flower arrangements
Thankfully, all of the predictions fell apart and Fiji just got a little wind and rain.

But, we felt very secure knowing that the Marina and the Yachties had a plan and were working together.

We are in a wonderful place - just need to keep on our toes!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Field Trip to the Aquarium?

Grumpy Puffer
Well, not really an aquarium, but we did see lots of fish and coral - all shapes, sizes, and color.
The elusive Doug Fish

We were invited to join in a tour of the Walt Smith facility here in Fiji and you know us, we can't resist a field trip!
Did we find Nemo?

The facility is in Lautoka on the island of Viti Levu and they farm and ship reef fish and coral to aquariums all over the world.

They also make their own "cultured" rock, which is quite the process.

Lots of color
Per our guide, they have their own divers on staff, plus contract with several villages on different islands.

Pretty bowl of fish
They are teaching the locals how to capture the fish and harvest the coral without harming the environment.

Love the blue starfish
The company has started a reef system 16 miles off the islands so that it remains untouched.

Beautiful coral
They transplant some of the coral that they harvest there hoping to make it self-sustaining (we hear those words a lot!).

It takes so long for coral to grow, can it keep up with how much they are taking off?  Plus, how do they keep the fish from disappearing?

We have seen so many countries selling off their fishing rights to foreigners or convincing the locals that they are only interesting in improving the environments, we are doubtful.
Like the Mangrove Restoration project in Vanua Levu where they are wiping out the mangroves to put in a marina and resort...

So think about that when you are buying stuff for your salt-water aquarium.

Of course, we could be wrong and this company is good for Fiji - really hope so.

All in all, it was a very interesting field trip - glad we went!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Celebrating the Holidays in Fiji!

This is our first holiday season (for a long time) that we haven't been surrounded by family.
Celebrating Christmas in Saweni Bay with Friends

I was a little worried we weren't going to survive, but we had such a wonderful time - surrounded by the Yachties and the locals!
I am on vacation!

Cheryl and Karen (s/v Interlude) rented a house in Saweni Bay and invited us to join in.

Plus, Bill and Natalia (s/v Island Bound).  The more the merrier I say!
The Christmas Rake!

The house was perfect.

4 air conditioned rooms (luxury), 3 bathrooms, and a big kitchen and living area.
Our makeshift Oven - it worked!

The only thing missing (besides all of you) was an oven, but the BBQ worked just fine!
Our Christmas Grinch!

Cheryl and Karen made Christmas very special. All the traditions, decorations, gifts, food... it was wonderful.

Wonderful Christmas dinner

Plus, Cheryl entertained us all by her interpretative reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  Loved it!

Our dinner had all the fixings - turkey, ham, chicken, dressing, borscht?, and lots of other wonderful things.

So much food, we invited the lovely ladies that worked at the resort to join us.

A wonderful Christmas was had by all!
New Year's balloons - ready to drop

We celebrated New Year's out at Musket Cove - one of our favorite places.
Our Musket Cove waitstaff - enjoying Reggae Night

And, they threw a helluva party!

Reggae was the theme and the Fiji Police Band had the place rocking.
New Year's Potluck

The Yachties organized a big potluck and invited everyone we could think of to join in.

With that much great food - why not?
Ready to ring in the New Year

So we socialized and danced the night away - even made it to 1:30am

Love fireworks on the water
Pretty good for a couple of old duffers!

We hope that your holiday celebrations were just as wonderful and that you were surrounded by all of your favorite people.

Now, like everyone, we are back to our regular schedule.

Working on our boat projects and enjoying life in Fiji.
Hope you all have a wonderful year!

Happy 2015 to everyone - hope it is the best yet!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's Christmas Eve!

And all thru the boat, not a creature was stirring.  That's right, now even the crew!
Moondance's Santa

We will be spending Christmas with friends at Saweni Beach as Landlubbers this year. 

Luxurizing by the pool with our umbrella drinks waiting for Santa to stop by.

What a treat!
Hello Santa!
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday surrounded by friends and family.

We will be thinking of you!

Lots of decorations
From the Fiji paper: Snowman - The snowman is a figure carved out of snow used as a popular decoration and has become an icon of Christmas in recent times. Building a snowman could be a fun-filled activity for you and your family. So, those who live in cold countries with abundant snowfall must try building one this winter. Hah!
Rocking Christmas Trees

PS:  We had a fun-filled December hanging out with friends and working on projects.

Below are a few random photos.
Trying to Paddle Board - harder than it looks!

Fun day with friends
Famous Cloudbreak surf - not today!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Warm Thanksgiving Wishes from Fiji!

Our first Thanksgiving in Fiji and we had a wonderful time!
Happy Thanksgiving to All!

We had a big crowd of Yachties and Landlovers join in the festivities at The Island Bar at Musket Cove on the island of Malolo.

USA, Canada, and lots of other nationalities were represented.
A Real Turkey - yum!
Aaron and Urgee (s/v Wayward Wind) even brought a turkey.

Just adorable
Ernie (s/v Lauren Grace) spent all day smoking it and it was excellent.
Bellying up to the buffet

Everyone brought their favorite Turkey Day goodies.

Not sure where they found all of the ingredients, but everything tasted amazing.
Round of Bocci anyone?

We were so stuffed - we decided to play around of Bocci Ball to burn some calories. It definitely helped and kept us from slipping into a food coma.

What a wonderful Turkey Day - hope yours was just as good!
Rescuing the volleyball

We had guests aboard Moondance for the weekend - Cheryl and Karen (s/v Interlude). Bill (s/v Island Bound) was around too.

We had such a great time and we spent a lot of time goofing off and exploring the island.
View from the top!

We entertained the locals when we played volleyball - our lack of skills and style, plus landing the volleyball in the coconut palm.
Funk Fish resort - pretty cute

We took the dinghies over to the Funky Fish Resort - a great little backpacker resort.
Yummy lunch at the Funky Fish

They have a daily happy hour: 12-1pm and 5-6pm.

Plus, nice people and inexpensive food can be ordered off the snack menu from 10 - 4.

The curry fish fingers and potato wedges (not low cal) were excellent and we plan to go back soon.
Walking off lunch!
Then a hike to the top of the hill to check out the view and walk off some calories - nice view of the reefs!
Sunset over Island Bound

We also spent a lot of time just visiting with everyone - sharing stories and lots of laughs. Amazing friends and an amazing sunset.
Hanging at the beach

Now, we are recuperating - hah!

Plus, getting back into everyday life at Musket Cove.

Which includes puttering around Moondance (projects), exercise (of some sort), and hanging out at the Island Bar with the few remaining Yachties. A pretty good life.
Taking a break

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed all of the holiday festivities, family, friends, and food of course.

We were thinking about you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Fiji Triangle

Yup, we are definitely in the Fiji Triangle - traveling between Port Denarau, Musket Cove, and Vuda Point.  But, we are having a wonderful time.
Anchored off of Vuda Point
Most of the Yachties are leaving Fiji - either sailing to New Zealand or flying home.  So we are spending lots of time saying Good Bye's.

Saying Good Bye's over Happy Hour
Always hard to say Good Bye, but we know that we will see most of them next season.  Looking forward to it.

The marinas and boat yards are full and there is lots of activity.  This time last year, Moondance was going thru the same prep.

Checking out the creeks
But, since we are staying in Fiji for the cyclone season, we are enjoying Fiji Time!

Our big project, ensuring Moondance has a safe spot to tuck into if a cyclone does come our way.

So, we have been checking out the mangrove creeks with our depth sounder.  They aren't very deep, but Moondance should clear at high tide. 

Port Denarau Marina is very organized and we are on their "list" and everyone has our contact information.  We think we are covered - whew.

Nadi Market
Now, we are settling into our regular routine: projects, shopping, exploring, fishing, sailing, and socializing.

Sailing for fun!
Plus, getting back into shape - daily exercising - we need it.

And, we are in a perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, tennis, golf, hiking, and so much more.

Plus, several Yachties are around to hang out with.

Right now, we are planning our Thanksgiving potluck at Musket Cove. 

Hope someone finds a turkey - gobble gobble!
Rescue Team
For Fiji Yachties - mark your charts! 

Below are the coordinates for the unattached mooring off of the Vuda channel (that we found accidentally)!

Doug left the coordinates with the Vuda Point Marina, plus Mo put a line and float on it.  Unfortunately, the line is too short so you can't see the float - hah! 

The mooring and chain are in about 42' of water left of the channel.

Hope you don't accidentally find it too!

S 17 41 168
E 177 22 897