Thursday, September 14, 2017

Saweni Bay, Fiji

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It has been a remarkable change in weather over the last few weeks.  After an overnight sail we arrived at the Vuda Marina and refueled the boat.  We did not want to stay in the marina so motored about 3 miles to Saweni Bay.  

We were here in May and think this is a lovely place with a beautiful beach and access to good provisioning a short bus ride away in Lautoka.

We were able to re-provision in Lautoka while here.  This is the sugar harvest season in Fiji so we have seen tons of sugar cane being moved to the processing plant and almost every night we see fires as the burn the sugar cane fields before they harvest...  Quite a sight!



Burning cane fields almost every night....

We never get tired of the great fresh fruit & veggies here...

While here we have caught up with a number of friends including Sean & Sabina from SV Chevaldy, who you might remember are the great musicians we last saw in New Zealand.  We have gathered a few time on the beach now to play music and have great food....


Ginger (SV Swiftsure) & Sabina (SV Chevaldy)

Me & Sean (SV Chevaldy)

Shelley & Sarah (SV Yinka)



LAnny (SV Swiftsure)
Shelley has come down with some kind of stomach issue.  Fortunately, doctors here in Fiji are excellent and we found a  gynecologist who has figured out Shelley's problem.  Shelley is scheduled for a procedure on Monday morning to make sure there is nothing else wrong, but in a week or so everything should be back to normal.  It turns out that whatever Shelley has, I likely have as well, so they are treating both of us over the next few weeks with medication...


Because of this procedure on Monday, we will not be going to the big sailing rally at Musket Cove this weekend.  We will however spend some time at the national Sugar Festival on Saturday and will post some pictures next week.

Here are a few random extra pictures from this week....

This train pulls up to sixty cars full of harvested cane on a narrow gauge
track from the farms in the area to Lautoka for processing.
We have a new anchor alarm app for our phone... It is working GREAT!


Just another AMAZING sunset!
More soon, Cheers!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Kadavu, Part 2

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All The places we stopped as we circled Kadavu Island....

Kadavu Island has been quite an adventure.  After spending a day in Ono, we moved a few miles to Kavala Bay. It was here that our good DSLR camera failed.  It just refuses to work.  After some internet investigation, we learned that the motherboard has likely failed and that a new one is only $30...  We ordered one and had it shipped to Fiji for $60.....  I know... crazy that the shipping is twice the cost of the part!   It should be waiting for us in Vuda when we get there in a few days....

When things start falling apart on a boat, it seems to keep going.  It was also here that our alternator quit...  Luckily, it was just a loose wire and easily fixed.  We took some time to service all our BCD's for scuba diving and repaired all but three of them...  I guess after three years, that isn't too bad...  


We moved on to Vatulutu Bay and met Carl & Sarah from SV Yinka.  They are a cool couple from New Zealand who spent their winter season in Fiji.  It turned out that Sarah wanted to learn how to dive, so we accommodated her and she is now a newly certified scuba diver!

Trash burn on the beach!

We also found time for a great cookout on the beach!


Sarah & Carl (SV Yinka)

We have done a number of Sevusevu ceremonies along the way.  The Kava never seems to taste any better.  That said, it is always fun to meet many wonderful Fijian people along our way....




Who needs snow to slide down a hill!




We have spent a few weeks circling almost all of Kadavu Island.  Yesterday we arrived in Vunisea where the airport and a few grocery stores are located.  We bought a few supplies to hold us over until we can return to Vuda in a few days...  It turns out that fresh veggies have become a real treat!
You had to be there to see how funny this sign looked....



A really fancy church with PADDED pews!

The parking lot for the grocery store...

One of the local grocery stores...

The Kadavu Airport.... With hi-tech security....


Lanny, Shelley & Ginger


We will likely sail overnight to Vuda on Monday...   Since arriving here at the end of April we have traveled a little more than 700 nautical miles and will have completely circled Fiji when we return to Vuda.  More soon...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kadavu... Part 1

Welcome to our Blog. Our latest entry always comes up first... 

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning:
FIRST BLOG ENTRY
If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP
If you want to see the story of our trip from South Carolina
(where we bought the boat)
 to Lake Ontario Click this link:
  SOUTH CAROLINA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In our last few days in the capital city, Suva, we toured a landmark hotel, a museum, and had an excellent experience at the market where we finished our major provisioning before we set sail to the southern Islands of Beqa, Ono, and Kadavu.

The Royal Suva Yacht Club...






The Nation Fiji Museum
Art on a whale tooth


 Then on to the market...






KAVA!






The run to Beqa was only 20 nautical miles and we caught another nice Mahi Mahi.  Tucked into a long bay, we anchored beside SV Swiftsure.  We spent a week here diving and exploring the bay. 

It is required that as we visit different places that we do what the locals call Sevusevu.  This involves giving the village chief a bunch of Kava root which is a mild drug, that gets mushed up and drank.  Before Cyclone Winston Kava sold for $7-14 per kilo.  Because much of the crop got wiped out in the storm, it now sells for $100 or more per kilo!  

That said, we have been here since April, and it has always been accepted.  However, this first time that we have received an actual Sevusevu ceremony in return.  It seems, that at $100 a kilo, the locals are hesitant to waste good Kava on yachties....





Tema and her daughter, Suru, showed us around the village

The village well.


They are building a new village community center...

The school bus....
 The villiage children leave every Sunday in this boat with a mom from the village.  They live at their school on the other side of the island during the week, and the "mom" from their village feeds them and looks after them until they return home for the weekend...





I repaired one of the ukuleles in the village then played some songs for them... They politely clapped...


The village elder MEN ONLY perform the ceremony....


Fresh chicken for dinner.... he's not even dead yet....

The taste of Kava is like dirty water with a hint of pepper.  The taste is not horrible, but it's not fine wine either....

Our dives were good, but not spectacular, so we moved farther south a few days ago to Kadavu Island.  This is the southern most island group in Fiji and suppose to have the best diving...  They also missed the worst of the cyclone so hopefully it will be good....

These photos belong to Ginger (SV Swiftsure).... Thank you....


A white tip shark...


A Remoura thought Lanny would make a good host to live on.... 

Shelley and I on our safety stop...  
 We drift dive with our dinghies on a 100' reel....



We arrived at Ono Island and were given a tour of their village.  Sadly, our last camera (our good Nikon DSLR) has failed, so we had to rely in Ginger again.... Thank you!



The village bakery!





The view from SV Swiftsure....

More soon!