Saturday, March 14, 2015

We are in the clear!

Tropical Cyclone Pam has moved south as expected and is out of Fiji waters - yeah!
TC Pam's projected path - watch out Kiwi's!

TC Pam is said to be one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall in the Pacific.

It is currently heading to New Zealand, where it is forecasted to be a Category 2 storm.

We are hoping are friends down south are prepared.

TC Pam is still something to be afraid of!

In Fiji, we are still getting some of the affects. Winds are bouncing between 10 and 25 knots, plus some good rain rain storms fly thru. Lots of opening and closing of hatches.

So far, it seems there was very little damage to Fiji. We have heard of some flooding, plus a couple of boats broke loose and one sunk (derelict boat). But, no loss of life. Fiji was very fortunate.  Or as they say, we dodged a bullet!

Doug took this video yesterday from our boat, which is moored at Port Denarau. Watch out - it might make you seasick!

Between the Yachties and the staff at Port Denarau, we were kept well informed and well taken care of.  Thanks to all!

But, we are all concerned about the people and the islands of Vanuatu.  TC Pam was a Category 5 when it hit - yikes.

Reports are still coming in, but it seems to have devastated that poor country.  Fiji Airways has a 737 loaded and ready to haul in supplies as soon as the they get airport clearance from Vanuatu.  Hopefully, soon.

There are also lots of  charities being setup if you would like to donate...  Here is the link to the Australian Red Cross

Below are pictures of Vanuatu from the news - so sad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Pam

TC Pam is growing to be quite the monster and we are watching her very closely.  It is a full-time job keeping up with all of the data!
TC Pam heading south west

We are currently moored in Port Denarau Marina - along with lots of Yachties.

We started feeling the affects of Pam last night. Winds have been kicking up between 15 - 30 knots and starting to get some rain.

The marina has been great about sending daily announcements and working with Yachties to make sure we have safety plan.

Plus, the Yachties gather nightly at Cardo's to commiserate and plan some more.
TC Pam's projected path

As of now, Pam is a category 4 cyclone and soon to be a category 5 - she just keeps growing.

She is projected to pass within 500 miles of our location tomorrow night - unless she changes her mind.

Wind and rain data here in Denarau
Our winds are expected to gust to 35 knots over the next couple of days and then start to die down Sunday afternoon (yeah).

All the Yachties were heading up the mangrove creek yesterday, but the weather didn't escalate as projected. 

We were expecting the marina to remove the "Yellow Flag" and all boats would have to evacuate the marina.

Instead, we stuck to our mooring balls and added more safety lines.

Plus, we had a little hiccup in our plan... A big barge had planted itself right in the middle of the creek - no way for us to get by.  Whoops!

After some discussion with the barge and the marina, the issue has been resolved and we will motor up the creek if Pam decides to head in our direction - hopefully not.

Other ugly stuff going on in the South Pacific
The islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia are expected to be hit very hard by Pam.

Thinking about all of those poor people... Hope they are getting advance notice to get to safety.

Besides Pam, the South Pacific is stirring up other stuff - oh my.

Hope it all dissolves - we have had enough excitement already!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

Not all day, but almost every day we get a good rainstorm in the afternoon, which usually includes lots of lightening and thunder.  Crack, Crack, Kaboom!
Got the Shade Tree working!

We have our Shade Tree awning up, which looks funny but it sure keeps the rain out and blocks some of that sun.

Tootsie Pops melted pile of goo
We love sitting in the cockpit and the awning keeps us dry and cool.

Of course, the humidity still plays its part.  Like melting our stash of Tootsie Pops!
Re-bedding ports - again

And, of course, we got projects to keep us busy.

Doug has been re-bedding ports that were leaking. It is a very long process, but progress is being made.
Doug flying to Vanuatu
I have been doing my spring cleaning - polishing stainless, cleaning moldy canvas, and other fun stuff.

We have also been traveling. I had a quick trip to the States to see the family in Texas; Doug flew to Vanuatu just for the day to renew his Visa.

Throwing a birthday party on Carinthia
There and back in less than 6 hours!

But, we still have lots of time for fun stuff and hanging out with the Yachties.
Dinghy Parking
We are amazed how many are still around here during cyclone season - and more coming this month!

Beautiful Fijian Dancers
Almost every night an assortment of us meet up at our favorite watering hole - Cardo's.

It is fun just getting off our boats and sharing our stories and solving problems - mostly relating to our boats.
Enjoying Superbowl
They are a great group and so happy they are around!
Passionfruit flower - amazing!

So, we are doing just fine.

Still enjoying Fiji and watching the weather daily - just in case a cyclone decides to swing by. Hope not!

We are looking forward to April.

We have company from the USA visiting, plus expecting cooler and drier weather.

Yeah - we are exciting about getting back to Island Life!

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!