Saturday, October 26, 2013

Made it to Vuda Point (Viti Levu)

I know it is only about 100 miles from Savusavu, but it took us 4 days to get here.  We do move slowly!

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Moondance's temporary spot
We were hoping to do some exploring along the way, but the weather was not cooperating.  Next year for sure!

So, we just decided to get to Vuda Point where Moondance will be moored until April.
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Captain Doug was pooped!

We are temporarily tied to the wall waiting for our slip to become available.

This place is busy.  Lots of people staying for the cyclone season; lots of people sailing south.

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Our new home - hah!
We are going to spend the next 3 weeks getting Moondance prepped for the cyclone season.

It is going to really hot here – be prepared to sweat! 

But, it is also going to be very social.  We already know so many of our neighbors.  It is a small world.

Then we are flying to the States for our vacation - yeah!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nananu-I-Ra to Vatia Wharf (Viti Levu)

Well, we were supposed to stay put for a day or two and do some exploring, but the weather is supposed to be really wet for the next couple of days. So, we decided to get moving. But, we did have a nice treat from shore last night - fireworks. We always like a fireworks show!

It was ~30 miles to our next spot. So, we spent the day motoring through the channel surrounded by reef on one side and the mainland on the other. It was so calm and flat - I left dishes on the counter. Not our normal cruising day.

We are definitely on the dry side of the island. The terrain makes us think we are sailing on the Columbia River in the Northwest - well except that we are in shorts and there is a big reef around us!

Good thing our waypoints and charting software are good, because our visibility wasn't great - it was overcast and spitting at us all day. But, we did just fine.

Moondance is now anchored off the Vatia Wharf - all by ourselves. So far, there doesn't seem to be a lot of anchorages on the NW coast of Viti Levu. Of course, if it was sunny, we would probably find lots of them. Next year!

A fishing boat came by earlier and offered us fish (we think). But, it didn't look like they had much of a catch (based on their sign language).

We aren't sure how long we will be here - depends on the weather (of course). But, our current plans are to be at the Vuda Point Marina on Monday. Last stop for ol' Moondance and crew this season!

PS: Doug is cooking up a batch of Spaghetti Carbonara. It smells wonderful!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Coconut Point (Vanua Levu) to Nananu-I-Ra (Viti Levu)

Well, the Vatu-I-Ra channel was good to us. We had a wonderful sail across the channel - sunshine, calm winds, and following seas. Just what you see in the movies and what cruisers don't find very often!

It was almost a perfect day except for the last 2 miles when we were trying to enter the channel into the big island of Viti Levu. The winds and seas kicked up, plus Curly's waypoints had us pointed right at one of the small islands. Didn't seem quite right to us!

But, the waypoints were correct and wound us through the reefs to the island of Nananu-I-Ra. We are anchored in a beautiful bay with 1 other boat - our friends on Lauren Grace. They were very helpful getting us through the reef and finding the anchorage - we appreciated it!

Doug caught 4 fish along the way (2 at a time). Unfortunately, they were skipjacks. Oh well - still some excitement.

Nananu-I-Ra island has no roads and the only way to get here is by boat. But there are several big beautiful homes in our bay, plus some small resorts. This the end of the vacation season in Fiji, so the resorts are pretty quiet. Summer is just around the corner and it is suppose to be hot and humid.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is rainy, so we are going to hang out here and check out the island. Why not?

PS: It is so strange (but nice) to have internet at the islands!

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Savusavu to Coconut Point (Vanua Levu)

Yes, we finally got moving. It was very hard to leave beautiful Savusavu and our wonderful friends, Michael and Cheryl, but it was time to get moving.

We only went about 50 miles, but it was a full day. This was our first time to navigate through the Fiji reefs and it was a little stressful - at least for me. But, Captain Doug did an excellent job of studying the weather and entering in the waypoints. We have to say, Curly's waypoints have been spot on so far. Hope that continues.

Plus, Ernie and Charlene on s/v Lauren Grace gave us a some great tips as we followed them to our anchorage and we appreciated it. Plus, they shared their bounty - some fresh Mahi Mahi. Yum!

The Nasonisoni passage was a little intense. It is only ~500 feet wide, ~250 deep, and has reefs on both sides - plus about 1 1/2 knots of current coming at us. We were fortunate to have a semi-sunny day, so the reefs were easy to see and we only got sprinkled on.

Tomorrow, we will get an early start and cross the Vatu-I-Ra channel to the big island of Viti Levu - which is about 30 miles. We are hoping for good winds and calm seas. Cross your fingers!

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Savusavu – a wonderful place!

It is hard to believe, but we have been in Fiji over three weeks already.

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Enjoying Fiji Bitters
We aren’t sure what we have been doing, but we have been having fun, keeping busy, and meeting lots of cruisers and Ex Pats from all over the place.

Plus, spending time with our friends from Hawaii – Michael and Cheryl.

Beautiful Cheryl and Michael
They have made our Fijian experience amazing by introducing to everyone they know and involving us in their wonderful lives.

Very special!
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Frying up some Kasava chips
And their beautiful home on the hill is just what you would expect to see here in Fiji.
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Michael and Cheryl's front yard - amazing

An island home with all of the comforts and lots of style.  Plus, an acre full of fruits and veggies.

And what a view of the island and the Koro Sea.  Love it!

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Town of Savusavu
The town of Savusavu is perfect for cruisers.

Everything you need is within walking distance, plus inexpensive.  Well, except for boat parts, of course.

It has a great fruit and veggie market, plus lots of stores and restaurants.  We are definitely not going hungry here.
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Lots of goodies at the market

Fiji is a mix of the local Fijians, plus has a big Indian population (Indo-Fijians).
Having some fun at the beach party
The Indians were brought here to work in the sugar plantations.

Most of the stores and restaurants are owned and operated by the Indians, so we have been eating lots of curry dishes.  Yum!
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Copra Shed Marina

And the Copra Shed Marina is an excellent place for cruisers (and others). Gift shops, restaurants, marine supplies, and our favorite, the Yacht Club.

They just see Doug coming and they put ESPN on!

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Another rainbow...
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Shredding coconuts - like the locals
Plus, Dolly and her staff at have taken excellent care of us.  Helping us get checked into the country, find everything we need, plus it is so nice having someone do our laundry – what a treat.

Savasavu has been a wonderful place to be, but it is time to get moving again – to our final destination this season.

We are looking for a weather window to the big island, Viti Levu, along with several other boats.

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Our view
Fiji has been socked in by a slow moving weather system for the last week and dropping lots of rain and keeping everything nice and green!

We don’t have far to go, but we want good weather and good visibility to navigate through the reefs.
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Fijian language lessons - we are learning!

So, it will probably take us 3 – 4 days because we plan on traveling very very slow.

Moondance will be docked at Vuda Point Marina for the cyclone season (November – April).
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Whipping up some fruit smoothies!

Moondance's crew will be on vacation – yeah! 

We will be driving around the States and Mexico visiting family and friends. 

Watch out – we might be at knocking at your door looking for a free place to stay! 

Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

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Curly's cruising seminar

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Fiji raft
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Raising the Fiji flag
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The colorful hillside
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Michael and Cheryl's front porch
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Michael and Cheryl paddling
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Sailing club
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What a view from Michael and Cheryl's property!
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Checking out the property
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Carla tomatoes?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Beach Party!

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Michael swinging around
Michael and Cheryl invited us to join them at the SigaSiga Plantation/Resort for a beach party.  Why not?

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Enjoying the party
SigaSiga Plantation/Resort is about 11k from Savusavu.

So we loaded up in an open air taxi/truck for a wild trip across the mountain.  Yikes!

Gene, one of the owners of SigaSiga, was a great host and took wonderful care of all the Ex Pats and cruisers.

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Almost dinner time

Tables, chairs, barbecues, plus a big bon fire.  Everyone brought their own main course and a dish to share.

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Michael and the Band
We ate lots of good stuff and loved visiting with everyone!

We even had a local band play for us and we loved hearing Michael join in on his ukulele.
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Beautiful Cheryl and Michael!

What a beautiful setting and great weather for a beach party…

And a wonderful night for a Moondance – of course!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Celebrating Fiji Day!

Fiji Day is a celebration of their independence from Britain in 1970. 

Doug being marched onto the field
One of the churches set up stands along the waterpark and spent the day competing in all kinds of fun games.

Doug and his Yellow Teammates
We could hear the music from our boat, so decided we had to check it out. 

So happy that we did.

There were 4 teams competing and visitors were invited to select a team and join the competitions. 

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The Bun Race
Doug decided to join the Yellow Team (Steeler colors).   He had a great time – just glad he brought his black and yellow umbrella!

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Ball passing - too funny
Doug was selected to compete in the “Bun Race”. 

What a hoot.  Trying to eat a bun on a string that was constantly moving.  He got 2nd place – pretty good!

I was selected for the water balloon toss, but I am not sharing those photos – hah!

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Coconut Husking
There were all kinds of competitions:  coconut husking/grating, sack races, basket weaving, water balloon tossing, egg carrying race, plus lots of singing and dancing and so much laughter.

The Yellow Team invited us to share their lunch – it was amazing and so much food!

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My favorite dancer
As guests, we were served first.  A big plate filled with taro, rice, chicken curry, grilled pork, and palusami's (onions, coconut milk, wrapped in taro leaves and baked).  We were stuffed!

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Dancing and singing - beautiful

We aren’t sure which team won the competitions, but know that everyone had a great time, plus raised money for their church.

A very fun day.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

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The Committee
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Cooling off
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The Orange Team
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Pretty girl
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Watching the competitions
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The kids loved Doug
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Just adorable
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Basket weaving - Mary won
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Mary celebrating
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The Orange Team dancing
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Sack races
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The Purple Team
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Zack and Ronin enjoying the show
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More singing and dancing