Robinson Crusoe IslandJoan
06/14/2010, Likuvi, Fiji
We are at Robinson Crusoe Island....and love it here! The hospitality is splendid, and the dance group here amazing with fire walkers, fire, knife, and traditional dances. The management and staff welcome cruisers to hang out and enjoy the activities. Easy entrance through the reef, and good holding since we have arrived. We are now the only cruising boat here! Our Pactor modem is giving me problems plus the propagation seems to be poor as well, so if you don't hear from us, that is why! I think we will be hanging around here for awhile....definitely a fine place to stop for some beach time and water fun!
Beca to Robinson Crusoe IslandJoan
06/13/2010, Suva, Fiji
We did a short day sail over to Beca, a small island just south of Suva. We discovered a deep bay that was once a crater to a volcano. It nearly bisects the island. The jungle was lush, lots of bats and birds calling back and forth. It was peaceful and quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of Suva. The bay was muddy and fringed with mangroves. There were some beaches, but too far to dinghy out from the anchorage. While we certainly enjoyed the jungle scenery along with the peace and quiet, we were keen to find some sandy beaches and snorkeling areas, so we pulled up the anchor yesterday afternoon and did an over night passage to Robinson Crusoe Island. We threaded our way through the reef and are now tucked into a sandy island that sports a small resort like establishment that caters to the modest budget. Just our kind of place. We are ready for some beach time and some underwater time as well.
06/10/2010, Suva, Fiji
After much trouble shooting, and engine bleeding, we now have our new fuel lines and cleaned out tank up and running. We are preparing to leave Suva for the nearby island of Beca June 12. This is one of those countries where we have to check in and out of individual ports. That will take part of today, then on to the markets for provisions and a supply of kava for formal presentation to the village Headmen. We are all looking forward to a quiet anchorage and plenty of beach and water time!
Road Trip and a Guest!Joan
06/08/2010, Suva, Fiji
We hopped on a bus for $22 Fijian to Nadi on the other side of the island. We sure enjoyed seeing the land change from rain forest jungle to sugar cane fields and open grassland. This sure is some beautiful country! My sister arrived at Nadi from Fairbanks, AK so I spoiled her at one of the local resorts for a few nights. I found a great deal on line for the Radisson Resort. Talk about luxury! We really enjoyed all the pools and also some excellent fine dining. Meanwhile, Chuck has been sorting out our fuel issues. He found a person with a pump and barrels to remove the fuel. We wound up docking at the fuel dock at high tide, then sit in the mud and muck. The Fuel tank is now empty and squeaky clean. Today Chuck will replace the fuel line with new hose, and hopefully we will be ready to head out to the outer islands in the next day or two for some beach and diving time and less boatwork time! I promised my sister sandy beaches and swimming. She has really enjoyed the sights and cuisine of Suva, but is getting a chance at boatwork in exotic locations, and is now ready for those fabled beaches!
05/26/2010, Suva, Fiji
Suva is the largest city and the capitol of Fiji. It is a city of contrasts. The people are friendly and helpful, but the city is also rife with crime. We are constantly on guard for petty thieves and pick-pockets. We have to be also on guard for less than honest taxi drivers and store clerks. It appears that tourists are a target for much of this crime. It is frustrating when the shop keepers tend to double the price or more unless it is clearly marked. This has become my least favorite place since starting on this adventure. We are looking forward to finishing up our fuel tank repairs and leaving. The Royal Suva Yacht club has become a "has been" item. The cruising guides speak highly of it, but it is basically a place for an inexpensive drink at the bar or a meal. The atmosphere is lacking, repairs about impossible to perform. The marina has no transient moorage. We are charged daily to anchor in Suva Harbor by the Yacht Club in return for use of their facilities. The dinghy dock is definitely handy and fairly secure. There is no laundry facilities, but a local lady will do it for you for a price. The showers, well, even the guys won't use them!!! It is clear why many cruisers avoid this area for reasons beyond the rainfall. I will say though that checking into customs and all the officials has greatly improved over what has been previously reported. It was simple, and the officials professional. It is such a shame that Suva has these problems because it could easily be a favorite location for cruisers because of the easy entrance into the harbor and the sight seeing possibilities. My Sister arrives at the end of the month so as soon as she gets of little taste of the big city, we will start exploring the outer islands and reefs. I am really looking forward to some time under the water snorkeling and beach walking!
05/18/2010, Suva, Fiji
Well, We got checked in yesterday afternoon, and were finally able to leave the boat. Clearing customs, immigration, and quarantine went very smoothly. About 6 people boarded the boat and we filled out a lot of papers. I didn't think we could fit that many people in our salon plus Chuck and I! We then put the dinghy in the water and made a short foray into town for some fresh food. Also we have a tradition of eating out after a passage. Our first impressions of Suva waterfront reminded us of old town Mazatlan with its old buildings and pitted roads. The taxis and buses seem to go at a suicidal speed darting in and out of congested traffic. We went in at quitting time so the sidewalks were filled to capacity with folks getting off of work or out of school. With help from the taxi driver we found an ATM machine and got some local Fijian dollars oh, and some fresh food for a day or so, then back to the Suva Yacht club for a cold beer and a bite to eat. Today we will begin by me going to town and finish our checking in procedures...ie. paying the customs/quarantine fees while Chuck starts investigating where we can get our fuel tank clean and a few parts and pieces.
Safe Arrival at Suva, FijiJoan
05/18/2010, Suva, Fiji
We arrived at the mouth of the bay last night, just after dark so decided to heave to until daylight. We had the anchor down by 8AM This morning. It sure good to be in port once again! The officials will be out to the boat today sometime. We are just happy to look around at this congested commercial port. It is definitely busy. We were sandwiched in between a freighter and a cruise ship as we came through the narrow reef this morning. As you can imagine, all is very well this morning on board!
May 18: The Sweetest SoundJoan
05/17/2010, Off Shore Northbound to Fiji
Ah the sweet sound of the Yanmar coming to life! Yes, the fuel by-pass system works! The wind finally laid down enough to unlash a jerry can and connect our new system. We sure whooped for joy when the engine started, and continued to run! So, we are motor sailing in very light, SE winds, about 3 knots. We have enough fuel to motor sail into the bay so we are a very happy ship this morning!! We have about 60 miles to go to reach the entrance of Suva Bay. I doubt we can make it before nightfall, so we will wait until morning. We sure will be happy to have the anchor dug into Fijian sand!
Adventures of Tender Spirit