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S/V Tender Spirit: Ocean Cruising
Join us as we cruise amongst the Islands of the South Pacific with plans.....what plans?
Musket Cove
Joan
06/29/2010, Musket Cove, Fiji

Water! Yes, we can now fill our water tanks with fresh drinkable water! We arrived in Musket Cove and even got a mooring ball in this busy tourist place. Lots of cruisers hang out here and we sure can see why. It has all the comforts of a marina with both a med-tie dock and ample mooring buoys. There are a 40-60 boats in here now that are participating with the ARC...Around the world rally. They will be dashing off in a day or so to continue on with their circumnavigate in less than 3 years. Musket Cove has some lovely beaches. One can walk for quite a ways from one resort to another. There is even a small landing strip for aircraft, and daily ferry service to the mainland. The coral reefs have some fun snorkeling with lots of fish to view. We even saw some squid yesterday. The best part about being here is connecting with cruising friends we haven't seen in awhile.

We will stay here until my sister leaves. We are planning on a few dives but will go by ferry on a packaged plan to a place known for its manta rays before she leaves back to Alaska and her day job.

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
07/03/2010 | Fiona Corby
Glad you like Musket. Good idea doing day trips for your dives. Found the name of the place in Vanuatu for you - Havanna Harbour. Will keep checking up on you all every now & then. Hope you're grateful for all that warm weather!
Dive Certificates
Joan
06/25/2010, Likuvi, Fiji

My sister and I finished our dive classes and now are certified divers. the last dive we did was amazing as we were able to observe a very large turtle. The water was fairly clear on the outer reef here, but quite turbid on the inside making anything impossible to photograph. The anchor is quite buried in the sand here, but we will dig it out in a few days and leave for Musket Cove. It will be a sad parting as we have really enjoyed the people here. This is definitely a great place to get serious about diving as it is the most inexpensive place we've found so far, and the people are great to work with. Now to save up for some gear!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
06/27/2010 | Fiona
Hi guys! Great spending time with you yesterday and watching the fire show. Back home now and have our polar fleeces on. Inside of the house was 11oC when we walked in this arvo! Bit different to this time last night! Good luck setting sail tomorrow.
Steve, Fiona & Travis
06/28/2010 | Bria
Yeah! Isn't diving great? I can't WAIT to get back in the water...perhaps I'll get my cold-water certificate and try diving in AK. ;-)
It justs gets better and better!
Joan
06/19/2010, Likuvi, Fiji

We are really enjoying Robinson Crusoe Island so decided to stay an additional week. The hospitality is amazing towards cruisers, and definitely a must see place for anyone wanting a nice slice of Fiji. This low budget resort takes after its name, a bit rustic for those staying at a dorm or little bures. The showers are cold bucket showers, but after a hot day on the beach, quite deluxe. After all it is Robinson Crusoe Island....not Hilton Island. The day and evening "cruises" to the island are chocked full of fun activities. The best part though, is the dance group that performs some of the finest dancing we've seen so far in the South Pacific. It includes dances from across the Pacific, fire dancing and knife dances. Fire walking is also demonstrated, which I find amazing. The little island is totally surrounded by nice beach, which is great for walking, but the better diving is along the reef fringe just a few minute's skiff ride from the island. The dive shop here is also friendly and reasonable, so reasonable, that my sister and I signed up for dive classes so we can get our open water certificate. We are busy doing the book work now and have already had one dive off the reef that really had some nice coral formations. Not as many fish as some places we've been to, but definitely worth a look. Another reason we are staying awhile is that the anchorage is well protected from swells and the holding is very good. We are the only cruisers out here so we've had lots of space in the anchorage, to the point that we are really ready for some cruiser company! After we are finished with the diving classes, it will be time to plot a course to another fun place to anchor; just when or where, we haven't decided yet. This is what we really love about cruising!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
06/28/2010 | Bria Chimenti
This sounds beautiful! I love that you are still enjoying the South Pacific. ;-)
Robinson Crusoe Island
Joan
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!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
06/15/2010 | s/v Ocean Blue II
Just a quick comment to let you both know that we check your blog & enjoy your posts. Keep living life & we will see you guys soon. We're going to spend another summer here in the Sea of Cortez, then will cross come March.

Steve, Johanna, Stephen, Skyler & Lucy
s/v Ocean Blue II
Beca to Robinson Crusoe Island
Joan
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.

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Success
Joan
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!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
06/10/2010 | Lauren
We have your blog linked from ours, so we are trying to follow your travels. Please write more details of your trip. We are reading!

www.sailingtrainingwheels.blogspot.com
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!

2010 Touring Fiji, North to Marshall Islands
Suva
Joan
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!

2010 Northbound from New Zealand
06/08/2010 | Bria Chimenti
HeHe And they like blondes! Safe travels...

Love ya

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Who: Joan & Chuck
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