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!