Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ni Sa Moce, Fiji!

We hope to see you again, Fiji.  One of these days...

Gorgeous beaches

After 16 years, we sold our wonderful boat Moondance... To our good friends, Sue and Andrew, so we know that she will be well taken care of.
Last time on Moondance...

We were ready for the "next thing".  To move closer to the family in the USA and buy a trawler and motor our way around Mexico and the Sea of Cortez - one of our favorite places.
Hanging with our Besties!

Sad/Happy times for sure!

We spent a wild, crazy week getting all of our stuff off of Moondance, cleaning, organizing, and watching the Chicago Cubs - of course.

But, most important, spending time with all of our friends that we have made in the 3 years we have been living in Fiji.

Going to miss our mates, Jude and Grant

Porking out and laughing all the time!

Amazing people that we will always be in our lives - promise.

Besides our mates, there are so many things we are going to miss about Fiji...
And that beautiful water
  • Relaxing in our cockpit - looking at the beautiful water, the fish, the stars, and everything else that went by
  • Meeting so many wonderful people from all over the world - especially the Fijians that are so very special
  • Walking white sand beaches, hiking lush green hills, and swimming in crystal clear water, plus the funny blue starfish
  • Experiencing new cultures and eating exotic foods
  • And hanging out at our favorite bars catching up with all of the Yachties - like Cardo's, the Island Bar, the Sunset Bar, etc.

Lovely carvings
But, we will always have those memories (and the pictures) that will keep us smiling until we buy our next boat - hopefully very soon.
Touring the Capital

For now, we will enjoy the holidays with the Family in Texas, with a side trip to Florida to see the rest of the gang.

We also have a Big Wedding coming up.  Our nephew, Ryan, is marrying his sweetie, Catherine.  So happy we could be here to celebrate with them.

It is going to be wild and crazy fun and we are so looking forward to it.

Then, we head west to start searching for our Trawler - yeah!

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and enjoy all the time you spend with your friends and family!

PS:  Below is a video of the staff at Cardo's singing the Fijian farewell song.  It brought lots of tears!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fun times with our Besties!

A Lady usually doesn't like to talk about "age", but sometimes you have to.
Our Besties!

Our Best Friends, Wanda and Steve, from Washington State came to spend some time with us aboard Moondance.
Wanda enjoying the view!

It amazing to think that I have known Wanda longer than I have know Doug. Over 49 years!

We met in 8th Grade - how cool is that?
Steve - Balloon Boy!

Steve came into the picture right after High School - we are glad that he did.
Our trip!

So, we gave them the whirlwind trip of Fiji - from Nadi all of the way to the end of the Yasawa Island chain (almost).
Love that clear water

And the weather was perfect. Which never happens when you have company in town!
Happy Birthday, Doug

We fished and did some catching, plus some catching and releasing (mystery fish).

Dolphins came to play around Moondance for awhile.

Never long enough, but such a treat.
Fish on!

Our first stop was off of Nanuyabalava Island - near the Manta Ray Island Resort - hoping to swim with the Manta Rays.

Enjoying the gorgeous water

The big rays were not around, but we did enjoy two days of playing in the water, Happy Hour on s/v Blinder, and touring the island.
View from the top of Blue Lagoon

We spent the next two days enjoying the beautiful scenery and water around the famous Blue Lagoon.

Lounge Lizards
And Happy Hour at the Nanuya Island Resort (of course) and catching up with the Yachties.
Birthday Boy getting his floaty on!

We celebrated Doug's birthday by lounging on the beach, playing in the crystal clear water, and meeting the locals.

We traded cookies and candy for drinking coconuts.

Good trade!
Gang at Malakati Village

Next, on to the Malakati Village on the island of Nacula.

Luki and son
One of the most beautiful white sandy beaches we have seen - amazing.

We negotiated for papaya, drinking coconuts and lobster - yum.
Off to the caves

Plus, we paid for Luki and his son, Ape, to take us to the Sawi-I-Lau limestone caves in his long boat.

A much faster trip than on Moondance.
Sawi-I-Lau Cave entrance

Luki got us to the caves early - before the tour boats arrived - perfect.

We had the caves all to ourselves for awhile - so quiet and peaceful and beautiful.
Going down into the cave...

Wanda and I decided not to go to the inner cave.

Steve exploring the cave
It required holding our breath and coming up on the other side and it was dark - not for us.

But, we highly recommend the cave experience!
Love those smiles

Time to get moving again - to Navadra Island for quick overnight stop.
Sunset at Navadra Island

We enjoyed the beautiful sunset along with a lot of other boats - the busiest we have ever seen it.
The Sand Cay

Next, a short stop for lunch and a snorkel at Sand Cay - just a small island covered with beautiful white sand.

If the weather is calm, you have to stop here. It is amazing!
Some beach time

We spent two nights at Musket Cove exploring the island, BBQ'ing and hanging out with the Yachties at the Island Bar, and relaxing.
Going to be a party

And, much too soon, it was time for Wanda and Steve to fly back to the States.

But, we made so many wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Laughing, playing games, snorkeling, exploring, and eating and drinking of course.

Miss you Wanda and Steve, but promise to see you again soon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Going with the flow...

It is funny, we always have such good plans every cruising season - so much we want to see and do - we make a list.

Enjoying Waitui Marina
But, no matter how well we plan, things come up that affects our plans.

Love those colors
Weather, boat projects, hanging with mates, don't want to miss a happening, etc..

And then there is inertia - or just content to just BE.

To stay where it is comfortable and safe, and where we are surrounded by great friends, good shopping, and a few bars and restaurants - of course.

Up the creek in Savusavu
Sounds like we are getting old, doesn't it?

Well, we are, but that is all right with us!

So, instead of spending a few days in lovely Savusavu, we spent two weeks watching boats coming and going, cheering for the Olympic games, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves - plus a quick vacation in Suva.

Sweet Jolene!
Thanks to Jolene and her wonderful staff at Waitui Marina for taking such good care of us!
Beautiful sunset off of Taveuni

Finally, we pulled ourselves away from Savusavu and headed to Paradise at the southern end of Taveuni.

Our wonderful friends, Karen and Cheryl on s/v Interlude, are there and we are hoping to catch up with them.

Plus, we have bags of Sea Mercy supplies to deliver to Vuna Village that we had collected in Port Denarau.

So precious...
Vuna Village is at the southern end of Taveuni and has ~400 people.

They were crushed by Cyclone Winston... But, with big smiles on their faces, they were very happy to receive our Sea Mercy packages.

Happy villagers

The village has made lots of progress on rebuilding, but have a ways to go.

We are constantly amazed how resilient the Fijians are - Stronger than Winston is their saying!
Happy Hour gang at Paradise

We moored off of Paradise Resort (free moorings) and spent lots of time there.

The famous Tiger Lilly
They were flattened by Winston too, but have done a wonderful job of rebuilding their beautiful resort.

Best Mates

That's my Doug!
Terri and Allan did a wonderful job of making all of the yachties welcome.

Plus giving us access to the resort amenities - like the pool and hot showers - what a treat!
Colorful cabbage

Sue's here - yeah!
Sue, our very good friend from Nadi, is here to visit.  So excited to have her! 

Synchronized swimming - wow!
This is Sue's first visit on Moondance, plus her first visit to Taveuni. 
Dinner with wonderful friends

A special treat, Sue got to experience a rollicking sail from Taveuni to Savusavu. She is is good sport and didn't complain a bit.

So, we have spent the last few days eating and drinking at all of our favorite spots here in Savusavu, plus lots of shop shop shopping.

And lots of fun and games with our best mates - Jude and Grant on s/v Blinder - of course.

But, that's all over and we are starting our trek over to Port Denarau early in the morning.


Not our original plan, but windy weather is coming in and we need to get moving.

Plus, we are very excited.

Our long-time friends from Washington, Wanda and Steve, are coming soon and we need to get Moondance prepped for company.

Going to be so much fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Making Memories!

It is amazing how fast time is going and how much fun we are having exploring Fiji!
Double rainbow over Long Dick's Bay...

Moondance finally escaped the Fiji Triangle (Denarau, Musket Cove, Vuda Point) and started trekking north.

Happily, we are traveling with our good mates Jude and Grant on s/v Blinder - such a treat and so much laughter.

Jude Skurfing and giggling!
We spent our first night at Long Dick's Bay (named because of the shape...).

Great place for an overnighter.

Then continued on to Nananu-i-Cake with hopes of a chance for kitesurfing lessons.

The wind always blows and gusts around here!

Lessons didn't work out, but we still had a great time sharing sundowners, playing cards, and exploring with Blinder and  new friends on Sharpe Focus - so much laughter.
Late night arrival

Next, we all headed out for the island of Makogai.

Capt Doug adventuring in our new dinghy
Almost made it, but we turned back to Nananu-i-Cake.

Blinder was having engine issues and we followed.

They had an amazing sail back to our anchorage.  We motor/sailed and came in just before dark - whew.

Jude making smiles!
A long day for all, but happy to report that all issues were resolved the next day!

Exploring Nananu-i-Ra
No complaints - just gave us more time to explore the Nananu-i-Ra area.

Which included a provisioning run to Rakiraki.
Provisioning trip to Rakiraki

We were out of beer - hah!

And fresh fruit and veggies would be a nice treat too.
Enjoying drinks at Safari Lodge
Thanks to Warren from Safari Lodge for the ride back and forth to Ellington Worth.

Much easier than taking our own dinghies - we would have been soaked.
Cool path to the water

Walkabout around Nananu
We decided to head to Savusavu via a different route across Bligh Waters.

It was a good route from Nananu-i-Ra to Naisonisoni pass, but a very long bumpy day.

Our route  - gotta pay attention
We were very happy to drop our anchors and rest.

Thanks to our friends on Tanga for sharing the route!
Rainbow over Copra Shed Marina

Now we are back in lovely Savusavu.

It is good to be back visiting all of our favorite places and catching up with the Yachties.

Savusavu has changed a lot since Cyclone Winston blew thru in February, but I will talk more about that later..

Tomorrow, we are flying to Suvu for a few days for a mini-vacation. 

Then off to the islands we go.  Hoping to see Taveuni, Rabi, Bud's Reef, etc. 

We need to get moving again!