19 July 2016 | Suva
18 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
17 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
16 July 2016 | Levuka, Ovalau.
15 July 2016 | Levuka
12 July 2016 | Makogai
12 July 2016 | Makogai
11 July 2016 | Makogai
10 July 2016 | Makogai
02 July 2016 | SavuSavu
30 June 2016 | Fawn Harbour
29 June 2016 | Naqaiqai
25 June 2016 | Viani
23 June 2016 | Fawn Harbour
22 June 2016 | SavuSavu
15 June 2016 | SavuSavu
13 June 2016 | SavuSavu
08 June 2016 | SavuSavu
06 June 2016 | SavuSavu
05 June 2016 | At Sea


19 July 2016 | Suva
Love wandering around Suva, it is a busy dirty town, but always plenty to see and eat. You can get a good size portion of fish and chips or a curry for less than a pound. It is a predominantly 'Indian ' town with loads of shops selling exotic jewellery and wedding outfits, richly embroidered in gold threads and beads. Normally l love wandering around the shops here where you can always find unexpected items such as onions or chutney in the hardware shop, but feeling rather sorry for myself, as the abscess did not settle even with antibiotics so had tooth out today. Dentist said trouble was probably caused by poor work on the original root canal (it had not been filled properly). Now have to continue with antibiotics (which I was taking anyway for the leg) and then back next week for Chris to have a crown.

Leg rest day again

18 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
Daylight and the moorings have definitely all gone but the water is shallow and we seem to be anchored OK. Decided on a quiet leg rest day so went ashore to Suva Yacht Club to take in laundry, shower and register. Membership fees had risen somewhat so we had to scratch around to raise enough money as nearest hole in the wall is a taxi ride away in town Early night as we have early start tomorrow.

Late arrival Suva

17 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
Looked for the leading lights last night and could only see one, but this morning on departure the leading marks (red triangles) were clearly visible on top of the church and up the hill, so for the moment the light on the church is not working.
We expected to arrive Suva late afternoon but as dusk fell we had to put the engine on to speed our progress. When we arrived in harbour the sun had already slipped behind the mountains but left us just enough light to anchor (the moorings seemed to have disappeared)

World Heritage Site

16 July 2016 | Levuka, Ovalau.
This is the old capital of Fiji and a World Heritage site. It is an old whaling town and while we were there the smell of smoking fish was very invasive.Everyone was very friendly and greeted us with Bula or hello. The town is very pretty from the sea but was a bit disappointing mainly because it needs a lot of restoration work after the cyclone and many shops had closed down. When somewhere is declared a world heritage site who pays for the upkeep? A small community like this obviously will not have enough funds itself (especially after the cyclone)and at the moment there do not seem to be many tourists. It was still an interesting visit, there is a library with a rather strange assortment of books and a small museum in one corner with a rather eclectic collection of items. The childrens section was probably the largest part with a good collection of books, cosy cushions on the floor and loads of drawings and cut-outs by the children. Luckily we did not need meat as it was a choice between frozen chicken bits, frozen chicken bits or frozen chicken with some fatty lamb for a change, but being Saturday there was a market with stalls set up on the grass between the shops and the sea. There were plenty of vegetables fern, tomatoes, cucumber, taro leaf and root, sweet potatoes and beans. Many of the stallholders still wrap their products in large leaves tied with raffia rather than using bags, the older ladies getting rather impatient because the young ones are not wrapping fast enough or neat enough. In common with much of Fiji there was very little fruit as it has been damaged by the cyclone.
Loads of little shops mostly looking rather run down, but I bought some beautiful fabric while it was measured and wrapped Chris chatted with the owner who was very well informed on Brexit and the state of the pound.
I had hoped to have afternoon tea, a pee and a leg rest in the oldest hotel in Levuka but although I wandered around inside could not find anyone to serve it and left disappointed


15 July 2016 | Levuka

Yesterday had a rest day with leg elevated, it seems OK but quite sore still. Had intended swimming for non weightbearing exercise but the stinging made it too uncomfortable to stay in. Had a cooked breakfast this morning and moved on to Avalau, the capital Levuka is the original capital of Fiji and a World Heritage site so am looking forward to exploring the town (if I can manage to get ashore that is) Chris went on his own for some beer but I hope it will be less roly tomorrow. We sailed the whole way and found our way through the reef The leading lights are supposed to be the best in Fiji and usually working

Vau leka (magic leaves)

12 July 2016 | Makogai
Joined the school bus (longboat) on the 2nd run today. The Beach House is nearly completed, the yellow paint has run out so part of end wall will have to remain unpainted, it should be ready for occupation tomorrow. We started the day with a cup of tea to recover from the effects of a very wet bumpy passage, even though clothes were soaked so you could wring them out they dried quickly in situ and were quite effective in keeping us cool. The external boarding was completed yesterday (36 sheets)and we started on the internal ones which have to be completed today so they are ready to go up as soon as the roof goes on. Had only just completed the first board when I fell through the floor (well one leg went through) I caused a bit of a stir and needed help getting my leg out of the hole. Luckily nothing broken but the knee was grazed, swollen and quite painful, ankle twisted, and wrist when I put it out to break my fall. One of the volunteers (Ozzie Doctor) applied a pressure bandage and Loma (a lady from the village)brought some 'magic leaves' called Vau leka and a prayer and I re applied the pressure bandage over them. I was put in a chair and told to keep weight off it so that was the end of my work contribution for the day. Was quite surprised to see Chris arrive with a box of ice (they had sent longboat back to the anchorage for ice as there were no cooler packs in the first aid kit) the trip did not do his back any good as it was very bouncy so he opted to return to the boat on foot even though it was an hours walk.
Spent the day reading about the history of the island (it was an old leper colony) very interesting I must try and get the book although I expect it is out of print (Makogai, Image of Hope by Sister Mary Stella, SMSM.) The return trip was not as bad as we were not crashing into the waves and had to go slower because of engine problems yet again, we only got slightly wet which was lucky as we would not dry out as quickly after sunset. Chris cooked and I reapplied the leaves and bandage, they seem to have been very effective as although still painful there was not as much bruising or swelling as I expected.
Vessel Name: Esprit de la mer
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau
Hailing Port: Milford Haven
Crew: Chris and Penny Bates
Chris Bates is a Haverfordwest GP retiring at the end of March after 28 years at Winch Lane Surgery. Penny is a nurse in outpatients at Withybush Hospital and retires at the end of June. [...]
Capt pictured here with his pet seagull says 'Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it is lovely to be silly at the right moment' and thinks it is far more important to find him a name so we are running a competition to find him a name and guess the miles he will have sailed by [...]
Esprit de la mer's Photos - Antigua
Photos 1 to 15 of 49 | La Gomera (Main)
1 2 3 4 Next
Rather strange, a shell on a twig attached to another twig a tied down with grass or fine root
Rather pretty coloured hermit crab fell out of tree in front of me
He emerged from shell and scuttled off, lucky I did not try and pick him up as a much smaller one I found later was really aggressive and attaked with his pincers
Beach in Five Islands Bay
Yes the sea really is this colour
Shell collectors paradise
Second part of the shell trap
Seeds from Sea Bean
Pretty but unidentified beach flower
Another unidentified beach flower (I need a better flora and fauna book)
Pelican fishing
Lonely coconut palm, recently washed in and now growing well
Beautiful shell, would love to have taken it but very delicate and would only have broken
Crab Beach in Five Island Bay
Chris cooling off
1 2 3 4 Next