but this time round we have an excellent excuse: we had guests!
Pete and Shannon joined us for their first yachting-experience....and man, we've been very hard on our crew!
we first spent a few days in Savu Savu on the eastern side of Fiji.
savu savu is a little, however buzzing town with a couple of restaurants (which make fierce curries where mild is almost too spicy for me;) hidden in a lush and green vally.
hugely excited we awaited the arrival of our crew we had asked to fly there. if we would have known what kind of airport and what kind of flight was in stock for them, we might have changed our minds....but as it was, we had nooooo idea!
when the taxi arrived next to the runway, which was surrounded by plane-trained cows, we couldn't help but have the biggest laughing fit in a long time.
the airport was a tiny shed, the runway was paved in places, and the plane was coming in just missing the tree tops of the hills. once the plane had landed, the pilots came out, lit a cigarette and almost lost their heads on the still spinning props.
but our crew came out smiling and laughing as much as we did.
after a couple of rainiy days in savusavu, we headed off for the western division of fiji chasing better weather.
even though we had a couple of overnight stops, the amount of miles we did meant we arrived at places late and left early. so for the first 3 days our crew was not allowed on shore.
mark and i did not notice at first being so used to long passage making now...but at the beginning of our trip that would have been rather hard on us...so 10 bonus points for our land lubbers;)
Pete caught a beautiful yellow fin tuna which was sashimied first and then rolled in sesame and nut and done on the bbq later.
we stopped in beautiful places like the blue lagoon and waya island - hoping to find those well protected anchorages we were expecting because of all the surrounding reefs....but we simply did not find them.
one night had me airborne on the front bunk it was so rough - but the next morning: crew still smiling! (by that time i started to check on our kava-stash we had as a gift for the villages....maybe kava does that to you, I thought....but i am happy to report: no abuse of legal or illegal substances was found:)
so after a couple of great snorkels and a definitely not great night at anchor we looked for a calm hide out and found it in musket cove on malolo island
we had great meals out at the resort, had fantastic snorkels on the sand bar that appeared at low tide just off musket cove feeding colorful fish - and Pete and Shannon fulfilled one of my childhood wishes when they invited us for a parasail!
we baked in the sun, got a little bored - as you should on a relaxing holiday - and just like that, the two weeks planned were over again.
we went to port denerau to drop our by then well saltwater proven crew off to fly back home. all our pleading and begging did not help it - they had to go back and we once again got our minds off the recent loss by indulging in boat work.
maloo got a nice little polishing rub and seven loads of washing needed to be done....by the time we wanted to head off for vanuatu the weather had turned against us forcing us to wait another week - but luckily with great internet and the america's cup on, there was plenty to do.
with port denarau resembling a shiny soap bubble of happy tourists and the surroundings of this bubble being full of big holiday houses surrounding a golf course, separated by artificial channels it is easy to forget that you are actually in fiji - which, different from what you might think when being around port denarau, happens to be one of the poorer countries in this world.
a security gate later, when taking the bus to nadi, you all of a sudden find yourself in a colorful but simple neighborhood that feels thousands of miles away from your bubble, and is yet maybe only 1km further inland.
the security gate is like a wormhole that beams you from somewhere up queensland to fiji in a matter of 5 seconds....crazy!
with clearing out procedures changing every day, as it seems, we had to move on to vuda point marina....one of the strangest set up marinas we've ever been in. we currently sit right in the middle of this round shaped boat-pool attached to a mooring buoy waiting to have customs on board tomorrow morning.
we will head for Tanna on thursday the 24th of september. another 3 nighter should bring us very far away from the western world for the last time on our trip. another couple of months and our dream of blue water will come to it's end.
but until then, let us "sleep" a bit longer and explore what there is to explore!
|coral bommie spotting|
|musket cove anchorage|
|Pete's catch of the day|
|....and what we did with it!|
|what a facepaint|