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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

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Return to Fiji...

After one last beautiful sunset in Tarawa, we knew it was time to get going toward Fiji where we have made plans to leave Blowin' Bubbles in June when we fly home to Canada.


Just after leaving Tarawa we hooked a 38lb (14 kilo) Wahoo!  It put up quite a fight and getting it up our 4' (1 meter) freeboard was quite a challenge.  Sadly, dispatching the fish made quite a mess...
Sorry for the droopy pants.... at that point the fish was winning....


After giving thanks for such a great gift from the sea we nearly filled our freezer and had great tasting fish all the way to Fiji...

We had extremely light winds most of the way to Rotuma.  Rotuma is the most remote of all the Fijian islands and is rarely visited by cruising boats....  We were the second boat in 2018 to check in.




This island represents what cruising must have been like 20+ years ago.  Rotuma is isolated in many ways.  Although there is work being done at this time to extend the runway, it currently sees planes only infrequently and as many get cancelled as arrive.  Supply ships come from Viti Levu about 3-4 times a year, so folks here have learned to fend for themselves...


While they may not have too many of the features of modern living, they proudly say that one could never go hungry in this paradise....  With a population of just over 1900 people here live very differently than their countrymen in mainland Fiji, but seem very content.

Since we had given away the last of our school supplies in Kiribati, we were disappointed that we couldn't leave something for the children here.

There is no public transportation or taxis anywhere on the island so getting around could have been difficult except that anyone going in your direction seemed to be happy to give a ride...  After checking in with the officials, we were told by the Bio-Security officer that he would be happy to come back to the anchorage (10 km from the main village) the next day and bring us to the village...

We met a number of people in town including a very enterprising man who has painstakingly converted a portion of his home into a "Homestay" where for $100fj ($50US) you get a room with a private bathroom, and three meals a day! The only real difficulty is getting here!  But once you are here you would have the experience of a lifetime....





After a few days we determined that there was a decent weather window to travel the last 250 NM to the Yasawa Islands in western Fiji.  We departed around noon and by 2200 it stated raining heavily.  That rain continued almost continuously for more that 16 hours!  No matter how watertight the boat is, some of that rain eventually found its way in...  We ended up with a small leak coming from a wiring conduit on the ceiling of our sleeping cabin!  We did repair the leak but not before the sheets and mattress got fairly soaked....  The joy of living on the ocean ...

Just after dark two days later we arrived at Yasawa Island, the most northerly island of the Yasawa group...  With good satellite images and a careful lookout with an almost full moon shining through the finally broken clouds, we anchored safely and had a good nights rest.

The next morning we read our cruising guide an learned that the people of this particular village charged cruisers $20 per day o anchor in their bay.  Not knowing if this was still the case, and in possession of NO Fijian currency, we decided to move to Nanuya Bay where the 1980's film Blue Lagoon was shot starring the beautiful Brooke Shields and some guy who I can't remember....





We were able to exchange some US dollars at the resort close by and hiked the same trail we did the year before back to Lo's Tea House for decadent chocolate cake...

As we were walking back along the shore at low tide, we saw our sister ship Terrapin motoring into the bay...  Phil & Aimie and their two girls were the last people we saw when we left Fiji in October and it turns out, the first people we saw when we returned...  Cool eh?



We had sundowners together that took us well into the night...  What great way to live...

By now our food provisions were getting pretty thin and we haven't had any fresh veggies for more than a week, we decided it was time to get to the mainland, so we pulled anchor at 0630 in the morning and sailed to Vuda Point Marina where we fueled the boat and tied the boat to the shore (dock) for the first time in more than a year!


We were re-united with Lisa from SV Enchanter (AKA Endless Summer) and enjoyed pizza, wine and beer at the Marina Restaurant... What a treat! The next afternoon, just after getting back from shopping in Lautoka, we heard our names being called...  On the dock was a friend we met way back in Cuba, Kellie (and her friend Tiffany).  They are crewing for a delivery from Tahiti to Australia...  Again, cool eh?


Not too happy in Marinas, we took a day to re-provision, get internet, and clean up the boat before we sailed overnight to Suva, the capital city of Fiji.  We have a dentist appointment on Tuesday this week and we got our broken (for the second time) iPad screen fixed...


We are now anchored in Lami Bay, just outside the city where for $1.11 FJ each we take the bus to town for everything a big city has to offer.

A new dress for our second daughter's wedding in July



Suva is a busy place......
One last bit of news.... Congratulations to our oldest daughter, Kristi and her husband, Garret who welcomed their first child, Glen William into the world on May 3rd...  A big boy at 10lb 1oz, he will make great crew in the years to come...


More soon...


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