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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Back in Fiji!

We had a wonderful time with the family in Texas - our 5-week vacation just flew by.

Fall is here!
It was a beautiful time to visit - still warm, but the leaves were starting to fall.

We split our time between Plano, Granbury, Kansas, and the Oklahoma Casino - hah!

For my Sister Becky's birthday, we dressed up as witches (her idea) and played the Wizard of Oz video game for over 5 hours.

We had so much fun and everyone wanted our picture, plus we won money. Yeah!
Me and Sister Becky at the Casino - we were a hit!

We took a road trip to Kansas City, Kansas, to see Ryan (nephew) and Catherine.

What a beautiful drive thru Indian Nation, Amish Country, and "Bleeding Kansas". We had a great time just playing games and visiting!
Hanging with Honey, Ryan, and Catherine!

Then down to Granbury to spend some time with Mom and Dad where we are always spoiled by excellent home cooking and gifts, plus a round of poker and a visit to the American Legion Hall.

 It was also Doug's birthday, so lots of special treats to sneak back to Moondance.
Love spending time with Dad and Mom!

Then things really got crazy.  My youngest sister, Anessa from New Mexico, surprised us for the weekend.  We loved it!

Ryan drove down from Kansas to see the family.

Then Phil and Danette from Washington joined us and the party really got started.

Mom, Aunt, Sisters, and Cousins - how fun

So we had to have a BBQ and invite some more relatives - why not?

We had an excellent time just sitting around catching up and telling old stories - and eating of course.

We were sad to see the party end!
Fun Family Times!
After the weekend guests left, we did some touring with Phil and Danette.

We drove to Fort Worth to check out the historic Stockyards and Billy Bob's - world largest honky tonk.

Can't even imagine how stinky this place must have been with all that livestock around - yikes!
Strolling around the Stockyards in Fort Worth

Then downtown Fort Worth hunting for the best BBQ. Found it at Bailey's - a small little red building in the middle of all those high rises.

A family owned business since 1931 and serving excellent BBQ - be sure to check it out.

Touring Fort Worth

We had a fun day just site seeing and catching up with Phil and Danette - just like old times!
Bar hopping with Phil and Danette
Plus, we got to spend 5 weeks with Becky and Dave.  On the hunt for all of our favorite foods, good beer, shopping, and watching tons of football and baseball and laughing all the way.

Thanks Becky and Dave for sharing your beautiful home with us - loved just hanging with you.  Sure miss having family close by all the time!
Love the Guty's!
Now, we are back in Fiji where the mango season is getting started, the Flamboyant trees are blooming, and most cruisers are sailing away to New Zealand and Australia.
Flamboyant tree

There will be a few cruisers staying behind with us, but it is going to be so different. We have lots of projects on the list to keep us busy, plus we plan on doing lots of swimming, fishing, sailing, tennis, golf, and anything else we can think of.

Summer in Fiji - it is going to be very interesting!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wild Times at the Musket Cove Regatta!

We had a wonderful time at the 31st Annual Musket Cove Regatta.
Fiji Bitter Pirates

This is our first time at the Regatta, so we weren't sure what to expect but loved it all.
Musket Cove Marina - jammed pack

The Musket Cove Marina did an excellent job of accommodating all the Yachties.

We heard there were ~80 boats involved - anchored, moored, and squished into the marina.

Lots of boats coming and going all the time.
Dinghy Dress Up

Plus, we had a full schedule of parties, games, races, singing, dancing, and eating and drinking - of course.
Fun and Games

We spent so much at the Island Bar visiting with our buddies and meeting new ones.

It was a wonderful blur of fun, fun, and more fun.
Elaine and Doug racing the Hobie Cat

Some of the highlights -

Elaine (s/v Mazu) and Doug racing the Hobie Cat.  This was Elaine's first time on a Hobie and it has been many moons since Captain Doug was on one.

They didn't win, but they did complete the first round - so they were very happy.

This was a very competitive race and took 3 days to complete all the heats.  We saw some great racing!
Costume party - too cute!
Loved the "M" Costume Party.  All costumes had to start with an M and we saw lots of creativity.

Monitor Girl
Mario Brothers, Monsters, Mummies, a Mango Tree, M&M's, Mermaids, and so many more.  It was quite the parade.

Doug was a Manhole Cover; I was an IBM Monitor.  It is amazing what you can do with cardboard you find in the trash!
Race around Malolo

We joined Jenny and Dave on s/v Alexis for the big Race Around the Island - so nice of them to let us tag along.

It was another competitive race that involved lots of tacking through reefs and coral heads - yikes!

Doug squishing the sponge

We didn't win (and didn't come in last), but we had a wonderful time and enjoyed spending the day with Jenny and Dave. 

They are sailing back to Australia - we are going to miss them for sure.

Our friends on s/v Margarita won the multi-hull division - WELL DONE!
Moondance and a beautiful sunset

There was a full day of fun games - egg tossing, coconut bocci, crazy kid activities, tea bag toss, and more.

Doug's team - the International Team - won the sponge/water/bucket race - very fun to watch.

And that is just part of the activities and social events.  We are happy to say we survived!

Now, we are off to Texas to see the family and enjoy all the luxuries of the good ol' USA!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Futuna Run - Done!

And we are glad it is over!
Waiting for the next splash!
Fiji requires that all foreign boats have to check out of the country every 18 months.

For us, that means once a year since we don’t want any long trips during the cyclone season.
Walking the streets in Futuna

The closest country to Fiji is the French/Polynesian island of Futuna – about 200 miles northeast of Savusavu where we had to check out.
Beautiful island
So, off we went.  We haven’t done an overnighter since last year, so Moondance’s crew was a little rusty.

We had great sailing wind both directions (sometimes too much), but the sea was confused.  Lots of splashes in the cockpit and difficult to sleep!
Rocking and rolling

Futuna has 2 beautifully lush islands, but we just couldn’t stay there.  The anchorages are unprotected and lots of swell rolling in.  We had problems even launching the dinghy to get to shore.

Too bad – we would have loved to do some exploring (and resting).  Instead, we left the same day and headed back to Fiji.

Sunset at Copra Shed Marina
As soon as we got back into Fiji waters, the seas flattened out, the winds settled down, and we had the most wonderful starlit sail through the islands and reefs – plus got some sleep.  It was perfect!

Now we are back in Savusavu hanging with the Yachties, provisioning, and doing some R&R'ing.  We were pooped and it is so nice to be back on solid ground!
Bilibili - fishing boat for the creeks

We leave in the morning heading back to Musket Cove for the Regatta.  We should be there on Thursday – just in time for the kickoff.  It is going to be a hoot!
Mangos are almost ripe!

Then, our vacation starts - we are flying to Texas on September 14.

So excited to be back in the good ol’ USA surrounded by family and and all those wonderful treats – like IPA’s, pizza, cheeseburgers, etc. Yum!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back in Savusavu

Rainbow over Nananu I Ra
It took us 5 days traversing the north end of Viti Levu and the south end of Vanua Levu, but we made it! 

The weather for the trip was “mostly” fair, except for the last day when a storm decided to blow in early.  

Of course!  So, we pulled up anchor and bounced and rocked our way into Savusavu.  We were lucky though, only got a little wet!
Enjoying Saturday Market

New resort?
So, nice to be back here at the Copra Shed Marina.  It was our first stop in Fiji last September. 

So many of the people that we met last year are still hanging around. 

Squash fundraiser - cold water!
Love being surrounded by familiar faces as soon as you go ashore, plus this place is very social.  There is always something going on.

We have been catching up with the Yachties, visiting our favorite places, and enjoying the cheap eats and drinks again. 
Enjoying my carrot cake
Sunset Selfies
We can eat a great dinner out for less than $10 a couple (excludes beer of course). 

Cheapest we have found in Fiji!

Now, we are waiting for a weather window for our trip to Futuna. 

It will take us 4 days to make the run and we are hoping for a good sail – both directions.

It will sure be nice to have this trip over - it has been a long time since we had to do any overnighters!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Time to get moving again!

Shopping for parts
We made the most of our delay in Port Denarau – as always.

Doug hired All Engineering to fix and modify our generator, plus they provided the muscle to move it. Every seems to be working just fine so far.
Lots of muscle
He also rebuilt our Windlass, so no more pulling up the anchor and chain by hand – yeah!

Fire Dancers at Cardo's
Plus, we have had some fun – of course. 

Cardo’s (our favorite place at Denarau) has had some great entertainment this week. 

Polynesian and Fire dancers have Wow’d the crowds, plus lots of life music.
What a voice!
My favorite, this lady. 

She can really sing – a beautiful bluesy voice!  Too bad she doesn’t sing at Cardo’s more often.
Only 5 stitches Mom!

Also, a little drama to go along with the fun. 

I was helping our boat neighbors back out of their slip and things went bad quickly. 

They were going all over the place and I tried to help, but got hurt in the process.  It was pretty ugly, but only took 5 stitches to put me back together again.

Lesson:  Never put your hand between an anchor and a piling!
Oldies, but Cuties

Now, time to head north so that we can do our quick trip to the French island of Futuna (Fiji Customs requirements).

We should be back in plenty of time to join in on the fun at the Musket Cove Regatta in September!

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Well, we are supposed to be sailing north towards Futuna for our annual get-of-Fiji run, but things happen!
Rebuilding the windlass

First, our windlass (used to pull up the anchor and chain) died while we were at the islands.

Our friends Kathy and Debbie got to experience what it is like to do it all manually.  Great exercise!

Then, our generator broke a bolt on the drive pulley that attaches it to the fly wheel.
Our new neighbor
Doug spent a day just getting it all disconnected and it took him and 3 Big Guys to get it off the boat.   

Doug also decided to do some small mods to the pulley system.  It should perform much better after all that work. 

The rest of the neighborhood

So, we are now docked at one of our favorite places - Port Denarau Marina.

We are enjoying all of the luxuries of marina life like showers, laundry facilities, plus lots of good places to eat, drink, and shop.
Dining at Cardo's
We have gotten to know the staff at Cardo's very well and told the owner that we had a bottle of Jose Cuervo we would like to give him.

He offered us dinner in exchange, plus we threw in some brownies. We dined on Mahi Mahi, Ribeye steak, and a good bottle of wine.  It was an excellent trade!

We also got some paperwork done, which was quite the process and involved lots of bus and taxi rides, plus lots of walking.

Happy finding the Northern Club
After, five 2-hour trips to the Immigration office at the airport (and $112US) .  We now have our 2-month visa extensions.

Then to Lautoka to visit the Customs office.  We were seeking approval for having batteries shipped from the States. We got it - yeah!

While walking around Lautoka, we found the Northern Club. A great ol' plantation style club that serves beers for $1.50US and great lunch specials for $6.00US. An excellent find!
Sunset at Smuggler's Cove

If all goes well with the generator and windlass, we should be heading to Futuna within a week.

We are anxious to get the run over so that we can get back for the annual Musket Cove Sailing Regatta in September.

Lots going on here in Fiji!