Monday, August 31, 2015

Getting ready for our vacation!

I know, you all think our life is a vacation.  Okay, well maybe it is!  But, we still get excited about going on a real vacation - taxis, motels, airlines, restaurants, rental cars - wahoo!

 Floating on a Bilibili - traditional Fijian bamboo raft
This time, we are traveling to the USA for a family get together in Pasco, Washington.

Guardrails - not required
It has been a long time since the whole family has been together, so we are going to have a great time and make some wonderful memories.

Including celebrating Mom and Dad's 60th Wedding Anniversary and lots of birthdays!
Kava drying on the roof

Plus, checking out my brother and sister in-law's new winery - Tucannon Cellars.

We have missed those great wines!
Nice looking goat

We will be leaving Moondance in Savusavu on a hurricane mooring ball where she will be well taken care of.
He was a beauty

So, we have been busy getting her ship-shape. Which means lots of cleaning, organizing, and fixing (of course).

Plus, getting rid of lots of stuff/junk we just don't need (or want).
Having too much fun!

In our spare time (hah!), we enjoyed spending time with our friends on s/v Blinder and s/v Obsession. They are so much fun!
Making Carla Lasagna

We have got them hooked on playing Mexican Train.

It took us 3 nights to finish one game, but we weren't in a hurry - we were having such a great time.
Dinner with friends

And dining out of course. Savusavu has such great cheap eats, you just have to try them all.

Our favorite is still the curry at the Taste of Hidden Paradise.  Just bring your own drinks.
Listening to Elena - what a voice

Plus, the Copra Shed Marina had a guest performer - Elena Baravilala.

A local, award winning, singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice.

We enjoyed the show even with the technical difficulties!
Big papayas

We will miss Savusavu and our friends, but will enjoy every minute of our vacation.
Sunrise at Savusavu
Our itinerary so far: 
  •  9/5 - long taxi ride over to Labasa where we overnight at the Grand Eastern Hotel
  • 9/6 - hop a small plane over to Nadi with an overnighter at the Jetset Accommodations
  • 9/7 - late night flight to Los Angeles where we are renting a car for 5 hours so that we can find a great burger joint - and beer of course
  • 9/8 - Midnight arrival in Pasco.  Hope someone picks us up!

We have been making a list of all of the yummy places we will visit and food that we are going to chow down on.

Doug is going for chicken gizzards at Sam's.  Oh my.

So looking forward to seeing our USA Family and Friends again - we have missed you!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Birthday Week!

I had a great time celebrating my Birthday Week (#58) in Savusavu.

Enjoying the gardens
Too big event for just a day - hah!

It was also a good excuse to be wined and dined and do some tourist stuff.
My special card
Plus, balloons, cards, presents, and Yachties and locals singing and wishing me Happy Birthday.

Balloons and presents!
What a wonderful treat.

Not sure why people avoid birthdays, I thoroughly enjoyed mine!
Doug enjoying his massage!

Doug and had I lovely massages at Una's house. $50 (FJ) for a one-hour massage.
Walking the plank to Una's!

It was excellent and we highly recommend it.
Birthday dinner with friends

Friends from s/v Ranganui and s/v Bonaparte joined us at the Hot Springs Hotel for dinner and dessert (of course).

Then homemade ice cream for second dessert (why not?).

Bottle Palm

We had a very nice tour of the Flora Tropica Gardens.
Beautiful palms

Over 300 different types of palms from all over the world - started from seed.
Baby Honeyeater

Plus, excellent signs identifying the palms, native habitat, and if the species was threatened.
Cruising kids having fun

$5 (FJ) for a taxi ride, plus $20 (FJ) for tickets, that included a guided tour.

And more palms, of course
Plus, you get a nice walk.

Check it out next time you are in Savusavu!
Circus in Savusavu

Nothing to do with my birthday, but the Drifting Circus came to town and performed at the Copra Shed Marina.
Music and entertainment

There were about 20 performers from all over the world that arrived in Savusavu aboard 3 sailing boats.
Spanish music anyone?

They had some excellent musicians and singers, plus clowns and jugglers that entertained the crowd.
Mystery flower

The best part, watching the Fijians belly laugh thru the slapstick comedy routines - too funny!
Waiting for the bus

As you can see, I had a wonderful Birthday Week in Savusavu!

I wonder where I will be celebrating #59...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Plan X

We are both tired (and cranky) after spending 3 weeks in Savusavu watching the weather and planning our trip to Futuna for our annual "Get Out Of Fiji" run.

Girls Night Out

Gang checking out Curry Night at Waitui Marina
We have already blown thru Plans A, B, C, D....

We are now on Plan X and we think it is going to work!

Our Fiji Visitor Visas expire on August 17.

We were hoping to make our Futuna run and extend our Visa's all at the same time.
Getting our daily exercise

Well, that didn't work because of the weather conditions.

So now, the plan is to pay for additional 6 month visas.

Cost is $667 (FJ) which covers both of us because we are married.  Plus, $190 fee (FJ) for my additional application. 

Late night New Zealand/Australia Rugby Match
We will be in Washington State for Family Fun from September 7 - October 21.  Yeah!

Sunset over Savusavu

We have been licking our lips over big ol' burgers, pizzas, steaks, and of course lots of good beer and wine.

So excited - family, food, and fun!

When we return from the USA in October, we will sail to Futuna. 

No timeline, no pressure, plus hopefully good sailing weather.

 Now, we are going to relax and enjoy the rest of our time in Fiji.

PS:  Sorry for the whining.  As you can see by the pictures, we have been keeping busy and having fun.

Lots of socializing, games, activities, and dinners with friends.

Life is good - even when you are stuck!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Still in Savusavu...

Along with a lot of other Yachties!
Moored off the Copra Shed Marina
I know, we have been here two weeks already, but the weather is still crazy.

There has been high wind warnings, fronts, troughs, lows, all kinds of fun stuff coming thru Fiji this year.

Making a rain catcher
Captain Doug is tired of looking at the daily weather reports!

But, at least Savusavu is a good place to be stuck.

Savusavu Sailing School
We are surrounded by lots of old and new friends - all  doing the same thing - watching the weather.

So, we have been very social!

Row row row your boat!
Plus, working on projects (of course) and lots of shopping.

After 6 weeks of touring the Lau Group, Moondance's lockers were empty.

Since big rains are expected, Doug has been designing a rain catchment system.

Still in prototype, but we think it is going to work.
Celebration flags

Good thing, we are almost out of water and you really shouldn't run your watermaker in a marina!
Hooked a big one

Then, our dinghy engine stopped working.

After rowing around for a few days, Doug called Sanjay.

Touring Nawi Island
After one day and $80 FJ, Sanjay got it running. Yeah!

So, Moondance and crew are fueled up and ready to go.
Enjoying the view from Nawi Island

We just need to be patient and wait for the weather to settle so that we can make our Futuna run.

Very short parade!

Just want to get it over with so we can can explore more of Fiji.
Rainbow over the mooring field

Until then, we will just relax and enjoy Savusavu.

We will keep you posted!