Directions

Our latest entry always comes up first...

Click this link if you want to start at the beginning of our trip from
South Carolina (where we bought the boat) to Lake Ontario Click this link:

If you want to see the story of our 2 1/2 year project getting
Blowin' Bubbles ready for our life on board click here:
FIRST "REFIT" BLOG ENTRY - March 2011

If you want to start at the beginning of our trip:
START OF TRIP - July 2014
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

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!



Friday, August 4, 2017

Suva, Fiji's Capital City

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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


While we stayed at the Paradise resort, Shelley and Ginger (SV Swiftsure) treated themselves to a day at the spa.  For less than $100 fj ($50 US) they were pampered and preened....






I joined the music guy at the resort during happy hour and we played some great music...



The next day we took a taxi to the 3 waterfalls, an important tourist spot on Taviuni.  It was an interesting day.  The locals charge $30 fj per person to visit the falls, and it had been raining quite heavily, so we could only get halfway to the second falls before we had to turn around.  By the time we got back to the first waterfalls, the river was moving so quickly, I got literally swept off my feet!..  A little wet, but OK we made it back to the taxi for the ride home.  As we were driving back we got held up when we came to a bridge that was overflowing with water.  After hours of waiting we finally were taken by water taxi around the river (in the ocean) and driven by the owner of another resort to that resort where we survived on great pizza and beer.  Yet another cab, and we finally made it back to Paradise resort.  Wet, tired and broke, we were happy to be home...

The First Falls...

This was the river on the way up...  The ground at the top of the picture was GONE when we came back!



Lots of RAIN!

The bridge is out...


This guy tried, but failed!

Our rescue pizza oven!

After leaving the Paradise Resort, we headed south and stopped at two out islands, Koro & Gau. Each were interesting in their own ways.

In Koro, we met a large community of ex-pats who have made Fiji their home.  Koro Island was directly in the path of Cyclone Winston early last year and is still trying to recover.  On our walks evidence of the destruction was still almost everywhere. 

The ex-pats gather every Friday for beer at the remains of a closed resort....













We stayed a few days then moved to Gau Island where we visited another village and school.  We had hoped to get some diving in, but the weather didn't cooperate. 



Meeting the Village chiefs and presenting Kava




Mat making is an important source of income.  This single lady will complete a 9 x 12 mat in 1 week.


Children (and dogs) followed us everywhere...



Our tour guide!

The Methodist church is central to village life.

A little girl carrying home a fish for dinner...


Lanny & Ginger (SV Swiftsure)

 Eventually we gave up on diving and motorsailed 9 hours to The Bay of Islands, just outside Fiji's capital city. Suva. Along the way we did get another Mahi Mahi...




Suva is a thriving metropolis here in paradise.  We have seen more cars in the last week, than we have since leaving New Zealand!  The population of the greater Suva area is 330,000 and the population of Fiji is 900,000. This means almost 1/3 of the counties population is in this area.  The good news is that we were able to do a major  provisioning and were even able to pick up some more school supplies.





Oh look, more fishing stuff!

More school supplies...

Every day we watch at least 3 container ships come and go for this busy port.  

While in town I visited the dentist as I thought I might have a couple of cavities.  Those who know me, know that my experience with dentists has not been very good, so going to this local dentist left me more than a little apprehensive.



All I can say now is that I wish I would have found this dentist 50 years ago! i am sure my life would have been better!  The office was spotlessly clean and full of very modern high tech equipment.  Dr. Singh at the Stewart Street Dental Clinic was thorough and actually spent almost 30 minutes talking to me and explaining my options!  It turned out, I did not have any cavities, only two of my previous fillings had cracked.  His charges for the exam, full mouth x-ray, the repair of both teeth, also the repair of a cracked tooth and a thorough cleaning, was $390 fj (or $200 US)!  Not only that he had my teeth cleaned in under 20 minutes using a power dental tool instead of the barbaric hand tools used by dentists at home....

It looks like we will leave tomorrow (Sunday) for more outer islands.  As fun as the city has been, our greatest joy comes from being away from all the hustle and bustle...

More soon!