Friday, December 27, 2013

Celebrating with Family

We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with the extended Scott family in Reno.
Merry Christmas from the extended Scott Family!

It has been over 3 years since we have been here, so we had lots of catching up to do. Plus, the family keeps growing!
Uncle Doug with Vi and Tim
Our nephew, Tim and his beautiful wife Vi did an excellent job hosting the gathering at their house.

Tim slicing the turkey - cute apron!
We had tons of food (and laughter) and Tim cooked the best turkey we have had for a very long time.

What a treat!
Nicky and Kayla hamming it up

It was fun being around family for the holiday - especially the kids.

They were really patient and waited till we all got there before opening presents.

Nicky playing his viola - wonderful
Then the action started.  Nicky was an excellent Santa and delivered our gifts with a big smile.

Thanks for all the cards and gifts, Santa!

A special treat was listening to Nicky play his viola - very talented Nephew we have!
Lynette, David, and Kenny
David and Lynette took excellent care of us (as usual).

Having a good time - as always
They treated us to rooms at the Western Village Casino.

Very nice rooms right next to the casino.  Danger - us being that close to a casino, but we had so much fun and didn't get too wild.

Of course, we spent all the money Santa gave us!

Kathy and Linda
We had a wonderful time with our family and happy to see they are all doing so well.
Kenny and Taylor

But, it is time to get moving again. Next stop - Morgan Hill, California.

David and Lynette have reserved a cabin at the Thousand Trails camp site and we are going to join them.

Our kind of camp out. Looking forward to it!
Sparks Marina

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas Holiday and wishing you all a very Happy New Year. May all your wishes come true!

PS: I have lots of pictures to post of our road trip. Promise to do that soon!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Catching Up

Even in the good ol' USA, time goes too fast. We have been in Washington over two weeks all ready and it feels like we just got here.
Happy Thanksgiving from Washington!
We arrived at midnight in Tri-Cities all tan and wearing our flip flops and freezing - it was only 16 degrees outside and we got some strange looks.

So, we have been busy shopping for bizarre things, like shoes, socks, jeans, and a car - oh my!
Frosty and freezing

Plus, hanging out with family and friends and enjoying all of the comforts and visiting all of our favorite bars - like Sam's Saloon.

I see Dead Animals...

It is so strange to have everything you want - just a trip to town away.

Of course, things are a lot more expensive than Fiji, so we have to have some control.

We aren't very good at that, but we are trying!

Moondance prepped for the season
Our plan is to be in Washington ~10 more days and then on to Oregon, Nevada, California, Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, and end our journey in Texas.

We got a big list of people to visit and it seems to grow daily.  Looking forward to seeing everyone.  

Our gang at Vuda Point Marina - happy hour!
But, we are definitely missing Moondance and our boat buddies in Fiji. 

Rumor is that Masi, our Fijian caretaker, is taking excellent care of our boat.  That is very good news.

Hard to believe how cold we are now compared to how hot and humid it was in Fiji.  I am still trying to get rid of my heat rash - hah!

Cain always with a big smile

Miss everyone and hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

PS:  Below are some miscellaneous pictures of Fiji.

A toast on the beach - thanks Ed and Karen
Sri Siva Subramaniya temple (Hindu) in Nadi

Sefo and Doug at the Sunset Bar
Exit strategy - not easy

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prepping Moondance

Hooking our chain to the mooring
Yup, we have been getting ol’ Moondance prepped for the cyclone season, which has been a bit of challenge.
Interlude in the Graveyard

At Vuda Point Marina, you have 3 choices for mooring your boat:  in the water, on the hardstands, or in the pits (aka The Graveyard).

We chose the water option – mainly so we don’t have to redo Moondance’s bottom next year.
Lots of boats in the marina

So, Doug has been busy securing our boat based on the Marina’s and our boat buddies suggestions.

The Marina is a big man-made circular hole (swimming pool), with a an underwater mooring.
Pretty fancy fenders - not!

You remove the anchor and then the Marina guys pull your anchor chain out to the underwater mooring (no idea what it looks like).

If a cyclone is coming, all the anchor chains are pulled tight to secure the boats.
Exploring Latouka

Then, we tied lots of fenders, plus tires (used of course) to the Moondance’s hull. 

The tires are secured by lines that run underneath our hull.  This keeps the tires from blowing up in high winds – guess this was an issue last year during Cyclone Evan.

And the last step, securing chains and line to the steel “deadmen” on the grass behind us.

Whew - a lot of work for something we hope never happens!

Plus, organizing a caretaker.  There is an approved list, so that helps, but is a little strange. 

Beautiful carving
On top of all that, we have been doing some exploring, shopping, and socializing – of course.

Along with Cheryl and Karen (s/v Interlude) we taxi’d over to Namaka for the Fiji Chef’s competition. 

It was very interesting and we learned a lot.  Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us do any tasting – rats!

Below are some pictures.  I don’t know how it tasted, but they sure did a wonderful job on the presentation.

Flying to the USA on Wednesday.  So excited!!!

PS:  We loved Namaka.  It is a small town, but has a great fruit and veggie market and 4 big stores for provisioning.  Unfortunately, the taxi rides are a bit spendy!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Big day at the races!

All dressed up!
Well, we didn’t know anything about it, but apparently the Melbourne Cup horse race is a big celebration and social event – plus you get to watch some horse racing!
Good spot to watch the race

The First Landing Resort came by and invited all of the Yachties over for a day of “excitement and fun”, plus Happy Hour and free nibbles.  We couldn’t resist.
Lovely Heather

They were also having a Best Hat contest. You know us, we can’t resist a chance to dress up and win some prizes!

So, we joined up with our neighbors Cheryl and Karen (s/v Interlude) and Heather (s/v Kate) and grabbed a good table and placed our bets.
Cheryl and Karen ready for the race

Not that I know anything about horse racing, but I picked the winner – Fiorente. 

He came out of nowhere to take the lead – pretty exciting!

Big Winner!
My $5 bet won me $35.  Yahoo.  Just wished I would have bet more – of course!

Plus, I think I won the Best Hat contest, which got me a free cocktail – a fresh mango smoothie.  Very tasty.

The First Landing staff also put on a very interesting Fashion show.

It was very entertaining watching these beautiful Men all dressed up (as Ladies) and strutting their stuff.

The Fashion Show - too funny!
They really knew how to work the crowd and had us all laughing.
That's a Hat!

All the Men wore these beautiful handmade woven hats – just stunning and the flowers smelled wonderful. 

I admired one of the hats and they gave it to me.  Doug looked beautiful in it don’t you think?

And another one - beautiful
So, we had a fun-filled day watching the Melbourne Races and will definitely join in again next year.

Next – we all headed over to the Sunset Bar for 1/2 price pizza night. 

Why not?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Enjoying Vuda Point

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Moondance in her cyclone slip
As always, we have settled right into the cruising life at the Vuda Point Marina!

We are now in our permanent slip where Moondance will spend the cyclone season.
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View of the Sunset Bar - at sunset

The marina staff, plus our new neighbors Karen and Cheryl on s/v Interlude, did an excellent job of getting into this tight spot.

Backing up is not easy in a sailboat.

We have been working (very slowly) prepping Moondance for the cyclone season.
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Enjoying the pool
The rest of the time, we have been exploring and enjoying all of the activities at the marina, plus the pool at the First Landing Resort - what a treat!
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Great Reggae Band

The marina has something going on almost every night.

Friday night they have a great Reggae Band at the Sunset Bar.  Sunday from 2 – 7pm a 5-piece band plays classic rock – wonderful voices.
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Trick or Treat!
Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday are movie nights on the lawn.

And Thursday is Happy Hour from 5:30 – 6:30.  $2 beers and $3 wine – a great value. 
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Mike and Jennifer (s/v Mahili)

There is also a daily Happy Hour at the resort next door 6-7pm. 

$4.50 a beer, so not such a great deal, but they do have the pool…

We have been hanging out with Mike and Jennifer (s/v Mahili) who we met in Apia, Samoa.  Wonderful people!
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Busing to Lautoka

We all hopped the bus and headed to Lautoka. 
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The market - it is a big one!

It is about 45 minutes away by bus, but the closest place for provisioning. 

The bus is cheap – $1.60 each way.  A taxi costs about $16 each way, but they go much faster – sometimes too fast!
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Need a sari?
Lautoka is the 2nd largest city in Fiji and they have a great fruit and veggie market, plus lots of supermarkets, hardware stores, restaurants, etc..

It is a busy place, but we enjoyed wandering around!
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What a view

So, we have definitely enjoyed our first week here in Vuda Point Marina, but Savusavu is still our favorite. 

In Savusavu, we had provisioning and great cheap eats all in walking distance (plus our friends Michael and Cheryl). 

Here in Vuda Point, we have the marina and resort restaurant and stores, but everything else is a trip into Lautoka or Nadi.
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Evergreen sailing for New Zealand...

But, we are surrounded by our cruising buddies and meeting more everyday.  We will be just fine here.

Lots of boats left his week for New Zealand and Australia – even our boat buddies on Evergreen. 

We were very sad to see them go.  Hopefully, we will see them again somewhere…
Red-headed parrot finch

So, all is well aboard Moondance.

We have lots of prep work to get her cyclone ready, but 2 weeks to finish it all up. 

Plus, we are getting lots of great advice from other cruisers who have been through all of this before.  Very helpful.

Things are going so well, we are renting a car and taking a road trip to Suva. 

Our friends, Michael and Cheryl, are ferrying over from Savusavu, so we are going to see them and check out some more of Viti Levu.  Why not?

PS:  The Diwali Festival (Hindu festival of lights) is tonight, so we have lots of fireworks everywhere.  Love fireworks!