Saturday, December 19, 2015

Haul Out - Completed!

Besides completed, we didn't have any unexpected "surprises".  Which is always good news!
Great view from the hard

Plus, it only took 3 days.  That's our fastest haul out (and cheapest) ever.

Life out of water requires climbing ladders...

A Big Thanks to Kiti and Yuve Marine for keeping everything going well and on schedule.
Hanging in the sling

Besides having our bottom sanded and applying 2 coats of antifouling paint, they waxed and polished the hull.
Back in the water - yeah!

Moondance looks wonderful!

Mo's team at work - no ladder required
Plus, Thanks to the staff at Vuda Point Marina for keeping Moondance safe and her crew happy.

To Mo's crew for making the haul-out as stress free (as possible).
Lovely Ladies!

And to the office staff, Nikki and Maria, for taking such wonderful care of us - as always!

Doug tackled a few projects while we were out of the water - like shining up the prop, greased the thru-hulls, replaced zincs, patched the dinghy, and lots of little stuff.

He was a busy guy!  My job, sanding, painting, and hauling.  Oh boy!
Sunset Bar - our favorite!

During the haul out, we got to spend some quality time at our favorite Fiji Bar - the Sunset Bar.  Great staff; great food; great view.

And a great gathering place for the Yachties at the end of the day, plus love their specials - like Happy Hour, 2 for 1 pizza night, and more.

Experts at work

What do the Yacthies do when they close the Sunset Bar for the night? Throw a BBQ - why not!
Yachtie BBQ - always a good group

Great company and conversation and lots of food.

They are a good group and we are looking forward to seeing most of them out at Musket Cove for the Holidays.
Karen (and Cheryl) helping us out again

Now, we are back at Port Denarau Marina re-grouping and provisioning.

We hope to head to Musket Cove on Wednesday - Christmas is almost here.  Yeah!

PS:  A very special Thank You to our good friends Cheryl and Karen on s/v Interlude IX who are always there to help us when we need it - and always with a big smile!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Made it!

And it only took 3 days to move from Vanua Levu island to Viti Levu island!
Early morning take off - not our favorite

That is very fast for us and means getting up early and long days - well long days for us.

But, we had beautiful sunny days and calm seas.

Plus, we got some good sailing in.

Unfortunately, no fish were caught (or eaten).  Guess we have lost our touch!

Malolo island

Now, we are back moored at Port Denarua Marina - which feels like Home Sweet Home!
Beautiful sunset over Port Denarau

We spent so much time here last year that everyone knows us, plus we have all of our favorite places to eat, drink, and be merry.

Like Cardo's where we spent our first night relaxing and eating their tuna - hah!

Now, we need to get ready for our haul-out and bottom painting job next week at Vuda Point Marina.

It will be nice to get all that over with so we can start celebrating the Holidays!

PS:  It is pretty quiet around here - most of the Yachties have sailed away for the summer!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nice sail today across Bligh Waters!

You never know.  Our path across from Vanua Levu to Viti Levu is only 27 miles, but it can get pretty roughed up.
Mountains around Tavua Bay
So, we were very happy to have a nice/fast sail across - very comfortable.

Now we are anchored in Tavua Bay off of Nacilau Point on the island of Viti Levu.

Anchoring was a bit of a challenge tho. 

We tried a new spot and we quickly went from 60 feet to 10 feet and found lots of rock.  We re-anchored quickly!

It is strange (in a good way), we haven't seen another cruising boat since we left Savusavu.  Very quiet this time of year.

We are getting closer to Port Denarua Marina - maybe tomorrow?  Depends on how early we hit the road!
Pukalani (hole in the sky)

So far, we have hooked a barracuda which we shook off, a mahi mahi that broke the hook (rats!), and caught a bird (stupid Booby).

It would be wonderful to catch some fresh fish for dinner.  One of these days!

Looking forward to drinking cold beer at Cardo's!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

On the move again!

I know, strange for us, huh?

Captain Doug in action!
We finally left Savusavu and are heading to Port Denarua Marina on the big island of Viti Levu.

It will take us about 4 days of harbor hopping, but it is sure a good time to travel.

As you can see, we have nice flat seas and spent most of the day sailing along.

Very nice!

Calm coming thru the Nasonisoni passage - yeah!
We have big plans.

Getting hauled out at Vuda Point Marina and getting our bottom pained.

Plus, celebrating the holidays at Musket Cove with a bunch of Yachties.

Nabouwalu Village (Cocoanut Point)
Sounds pretty good!

Plus, we are looking forward to catching up with old friends and visiting old haunts.

We haven't been in that neck of the woods since May.

Hope the rest of our trip is as smooth!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Moondance is for Sale!

Finally!  I know we have been talking about it for awhile, but now it is Real.

Please pass our listing (see link below) on to all of your friends and family - a great boat in a beautiful location!

For our next adventure, we would like to buy a trawler in Mexico and travel around the Sea of Cortez and the Mainland Mexico. Trading a sailboat for a trawler just makes sense. More comfort and space, plus the wind never cooperates in Mexico. Of course, this will make us "Trawler Trash", but we are OK with that.

Plus, we want to do some canal boat trips in Europe - why not?

This move will bring us much closer to our Family and Friends (yeah!), plus we have missed Mexico. 

Until Moondance sells, we will continue to enjoy beautiful Fiji!

For all of the details: YachtHub Listing

Friday, November 27, 2015

Futuna Run Done!

And we are very happy about that.
Good Morning, Sunshine!

The Fiji Government requires that all foreign vessels have to leave Fiji waters every 18 months - it was our turn.

So, most of the Yachties sail to the nearest foreign country - the small French island of Futuna north of Fiji.
Rainbow along the way

Futuna is only 250 miles away, but it takes 4 nights for us to make the round trip.

Some of it we are navigating through the Fiji reef systems; some of it in open waters.

Our journey

We (Doug) spent weeks and weeks analyzing the weather to ensure we had a good/comfortable trip. Which we did!

We ran into some really heavy rain, had to fight some currents, ran into a 3-hour squall, plus a couple of days of sunshine and great sailing.

Overall, it was a good trip, but we were pretty pooped when we got back to Savusavu. 

Wish we could have spent more time in Futuna, but the anchorage is too rolly.  The people are sure nice and accommodating tho - even on their day off.
Futuna Harbor
And, the best news,  we don't have to repeat the Futuna Run again until May, 2017.  Yahoo!

Now, we are getting Moondance back in shape, working on projects, and lots of relaxing.

Plus, planning our Turkey Day Potluck with the Yachties, of course.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by all of your favorite people and food!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Anchored in Futuna - the French Island!

And very happy to be here. It was a squally day at sea, but all is well on Moondance. We should be heading back to Fiji later this afternoon!

TIME: 2015/11/21 02:48
LATITUDE: 14-17.66S
LONGITUDE: 178-09.65W

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Motor sailing to Futuna

And all is well on board. The seas are calm, but we are getting some pretty good rain showers and had quite the lightening show last night!

TIME: 2015/11/19 20:25
LATITUDE: 16-16.27S
LONGITUDE: 179-36.95W
SPEED: 5.4

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Futuna Run - not today!

We actually made it out of Savusavu - 8 miles out - on our way to the French island of Futuna for our annual get-out-of-Fiji run.
Broken toggle - not good
But, it wasn't meant to be.

Staysail coming down

We noticed that our staysail furler was swinging around and we weren't even using it - not good
Goodbye Dancing Walrus

So, we turned around and headed back to the Copra Shed Marina.

Too bad, it looks like we finally head our good weather window - well except for the big waves we were hitting yesterday - yikes!

Catching a rainbow
The Customs officials weren't too excited about seeing us again so soon, but they checked us back into Fiji.

Doug quickly found the problem -  a broken lower toggle on the inner forestay.

That's our Ferry

Even quicker, Doug was able to buy a replacement from one of the Yachties.

Much cheaper than ordering from the States - even better!

Ready to get off the Ferry
Once the fix is in place, we will start looking for that good weather window to Futuna - again.

Hope you get a kick out of the pictures below - we have been having some fun since our return from the USA!

Cheryl and Karen enjoying the Melbourne Cup
Being Goofy

Ready for the big race!
Tanga sailing away

Happy Diwali!
Beautiful Dolly and Priti

Copra Shed Ladies ready for the Diwali celebration
Vili, SS sailing school,  big competition soon

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Only my Family could have this much fun!

The Clan
It doesn't happen often enough, but when the Clan gets together it is wild times for sure!
Badminton, anyone?

And, we can cram so much fun and laughter into a few short days - love it.
#60 already?
We all gathered at Phil and Danette's lovely home in Pasco, Washington.
Mom and Pops decked out!

Celebration time - Mom and Dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary!
The Band

So, we got all dressed up in our finest 50's attire (Thank You Goodwill).

Plus, cooked up a big batch of Mexican food and margaritas.

Gavin and Mom dressed up

We also hired a local band to entertain us, The Knutzen Brothers.

Dance-A-Thon? Yikes!

They were so much fun and played all of our favorites.

Ness and Pops

That's how you get a party started!
Crazy dancing!

And, of course, we had to do some dancing and singing - oh my.
David with a twist!

Our favorite - dancing a jig to some of the songs from the O'Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack.
Lovely Danice and Garrold

Check out our YouTube video - we are terrible, but laughed so hard.

We all had a wonderful time and really enjoyed seeing family and friends celebrating together!
Goofy Bexs and Pops

Besides celebrations, we spent a lot of time just visiting.
The Warren Brothers - looking good

It has been too long since we have all been together and we had lots of catching up to do.
Lots of cooking

Plus, lots of cooking, eating, and drinking.

Working the WASGIJ

The kitchen was always busy and there were daily trips to the stores for provisions!

Pool shenanigans

A favorite, solving the crazy WASGIJ puzzles.

Cousin time
They are so much fun and challenging - try one.
Ken after his nap

The weather was so nice in September, we even got some pool time.

Pool time!

Everyone loved the chance to splash around one more time before winter arrives - yikes.
Off to the Rodeo

Plus, we went on a road trip.

Collins enjoying the Rodeo

All the way to Pendleton for the famous Pendleton Round-Up, which started way back in 1910.
What a great show!

It draws more than 50,000 visitors each year and is one of the largest rodeos in the country.
Indian headdress - amazing

They put on a great show for all ages.
Looking good, Ryan!

Of course, for the grown-ups, you have to check out the Let'er Buck Room.
Selfies at the Rodeo

Just leave your camera behind!
Wild West Show

And, just to show you how crazy the Warren's can be, we threw a Denny Dimwit party!
Warren's celebrating Denny Dimwit!

If you don't know who Denny Dimwit is, Google him.
Ethen gone Denny

He is quite the character - you are going to want to throw your own party - hah.
Looking good, Lisa!

We had a few snafus with our props, but Mom did an excellent job making the costumes.
Ryan and Eric - love those ears

We had so much fun dressing up and laughed so hard - we are so easily entertained!
Love this picture of Ethen and Krystina

And before you know it, it is time for everyone to fly home - way too soon...
Steve and Wanda - great friends and pizza chefs

But, we loved all of our time together and looking forward to the next Clan gathering - hope it is very soon.
Thanks Danette and Phil!

Thanks Danette and Phil for letting us take over your home and making us feel so welcome!

Enjoy the rest of the pictures...
Stories around the fire

PS: We are now back on Moondance in lovely Savusavu looking for a weather window to head to Futuna. Oh boy.
Collins go Western!

Gavin enjoying the pool

Gavin and Pops - pool sharks

Ken hard at work

Beautiful Krystina

Tyson and Ethen