02/09/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
I got up this morning and headed out for the bus to Nadi. It's about 14 kilometers south of us where the airport is located. I was headed for DHL to ship back our Data Marine wind gauge as well as a pair of diving boots that we bought last Summer that the seam split on the first time I put them on. The factory had emailed me telling me to ship them back to have them fixed or replaced.
Since I had no boxes for either, I'd called them(thank you Skype) on Thursday to make sure they had plenty of boxes. "Yes" I was told.
Off I went taking the 0745 bus getting to the airport about 0830. I first headed for Customs to get documents stamped for what I was returning for repair so I wouldn't have to pay duty upon it's return. A quick process as I'd typed up the necessary forms the day before.
Once at DHL, I found they didn't really have a big selection of boxes. None would fit my needs for the wind gauge. They did have a bag for shipping back the pair of boots. I filled out all the paperwork and was greeted by a charge of $206 for shipping!!! That's $113 US!!! I only paid $93.00 for the boots in the first place. With that huge amount being said, I looked twice at the guy to make sure I had heard him right. He repeated the $206 price a second time. It was after all door to door service and would be there in 3 to 4 days. I declined their services. I headed to the post office a couple of doors down where I found the price of $26.00 far more reasonable. Now I have no idea when they will get there but I'm not in any big hurry to get them back. It will be interesting to see what the company that is repairing them is going to say once they see how much it costs to get them back to me. Yes, they know I'm in Fiji. Time will tell.
The post office didn't have any boxes either that I could ship the wind gauge in but I found a local importer that did(some cutting will be required) so I purchased one of their boxes and headed home.
I arrived back at the marina just about 1100 to be greeted by a rain storm passing by. Mother Nature decided that we needed lots more rain so she left the faucet in the "on" position for the next two hours. It poured and poured and poured. At 1315, I left the boxes in the marina office that I had gethered in my trip and hiked back in the rain to get back to Zephyr. It continued to rain for the next hour before it relaxed to just sprinkles. There is nothing but rain and more thunderstorms in any future forecast for Lautoka. Guess that's one reason it's so green here.
Stay tuned for more weather forecasts. It's easy. Just say "more rain" and you will be right.
02/08/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Well, it's starting all over again. Lots more rain is in the forecast for the next three days. Up to 7 inches in one day is in the forecast. We're still leaking inside though I have slowed it down some. It just won't stay rain free for a couple of days so the deck can get dried out enough to put some caulk or clay into the seams to stop it where it enters poor Zephyr. So I keep the Sham Wows handy along with buckets where necessary.
Tracy is defrosting the freezer as I'm typing this. No such thing as a frost free freezer on boats. So every few months in she goes to chip off the ice build up. When the ice builds up and get too thick, it can't cool the box enough as the ice acts as an insulator and keeps the really cold temps inside the cold plate. Gotta brake here as she needs my help getting to the bottom of the box.
02/07/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
I know I've been complaining about the rain here with how much we have had but it's got nothing on what some friends of our just went though in Tonga. Here is a link to their website. You've got to read it to see what can really happen no matter how much preparation you do for up coming storms.
This is the address for Soggy Paws website. A great place to look for information about traveling around in the South Pacific. Download their compendium of information from many of us as we traveled the ocean.
Meanwhile, it has finally cleared up here and we are, so far, rain free. Storms surround us but we are clear for a short while. It's only a 40% chance of rain today! That's the lowest we have seen for quite a while. With luck, I'll finish trying to seal the inside of the nav station. I'll let you know how it turns out. Maybe we will be dry for a while.
02/06/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Yes, that's right, we can see the SUN!!! It's pretty much the first time in over two weeks that it has shown down on our little corner of Fiji. We're between storms with cyclone Jasmine to our west and two tropical depressions to our east. One of them hit the north island of Fiji instead of slamming into us.
As of now, the forecasters are saying that cyclone Jasmine will skirt Vanuatu and New Caledonia making a mess of both islands. After that pass, it is supposed to head more southward by passing Fiji. I expect that we will still feel some of the wind and a bit of the rain that comes with it but no where near the high winds that she's packing now. They show gusts to 100 knots.
We're heading into town today to get Tracy's visa expended and buy more food. Yesterday was Mohammeds birthday so everything was closed down all over the island. Even the busses were not running. Lots of the cruisers in the marina are headed in to town now that there is a brake in the weather. I'll be wearing my hat and sunglasses for a change.
02/04/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Here comes the wind. The rain has let up a bit for now but we have some winds coming through the marina. Not bad but we will be watching our lines as we bob from side to side as the wind hits our port(north) side pushing us around. We are set up to allow us to make it to the dock but with still a nice 2 to 3 foot step so we aren't too close allowing the stern to hit it. It's a guessing game with the lines. Let out too much and you might hit the dock. Let out to little and you can't get off the back.
So, again, here we sit. It's Sunday so no busses run into town so we're marina locked till tomorrow. We have to head to Lautoka tomorrow no matter the weather as Tracy's visa expires on the 17th and it takes a while to get the extension that she needs. Since I was in the US for the first two weeks of November, mine expires on the 12th of March. With the extension, that gives us till mid April when we will need to leave the country so we can get another visa upon our return. You can't stay here indefinitely. It's the rules.
We'll see how the weather shapes up this afternoon. With luck, we might actually see the Sun but we're not counting on it.
02/03/2012, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Well, as the weather report at the top says, it's still raining. We got up early this morning and took advantage of two things--the rain had stopped and the wind had stopped also. We wanted to get the large genoa sail down and off and stowed before the next tropical depression comes in. The local radio station is calling for people to stock up on food and to buy some candles. While the local stores may love this(more money in the drawer), the rest of us have a bit of work to do to get ready. We already have food and with our batteries, we are quite self contained on a boat. The winds are forecast for about 40 knots(if you believe them) and lots more rain. Two depressions are set to be in the Fiji area in the next few days. The first is no big deal(just lots more rain) but the second may turn into a cyclone and pass right over Fiji. No one is willing to make that call yet as Mother Nature will tell us in her own sweet time.
We headed out to the bow and took down the tarp we have there to keep the Sun off the deck. It's been two weeks since we have really seen the Sun so no problem getting it down. We took down the spinnaker pole that supported it and stowed it away on the life lines. We clipped some wires that keep different shackles closed and loosened the line that held the sail up and down it came nice and easy. We stretched the sail out on the deck so we could fold it and get it in the bag and put it in a somewhat dry location. Now we are all clear on the bow. If this does turn into a cyclone with all it's big winds, we will need to take the other two tarps down as well as the dodger that covers the cockpit. All this can be done in under a hour so we should have no problems getting the rest down and stowed.
The last thing we will have to do is loosen the lines(3/4" lines attached to chains attached to railroad rails driven into the ground) that keep us attached to shore and tighten up the bow lines to pull us safely away from the concrete walls of the marina. I still haven't gotten to Lautoka to pick up the new lines we've ordered for the bow but Monday is coming. If it really turns nasty, I'll be pulling out the chain that's used on our second(now third anchor) and attaching it to our back up anchor line and taking it out to the middle of the marina and attaching it to the center weight. Then, if the winds really get going, all we have to do is pull in on that anchor line and we will be very safely away for everything.
It's all in the planning. It pays to be prepared. Even if this one doesn't turn cyclonic, if the next ones that come along do, we will still be ready.