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The Saga of Ursa Minor
Into the Grave
12/09/2009, Vuda Point Marina, Fiji

Ursa Minor was interred at 3:00 pm today in the Vuda Point Boat Cemetery. Undertaking services were arranged by Mo and George. The musical accompaniment was provided by Tom Waits recording "Invitation to the Blues". Disinterment is scheduled for late March 2010.

new photos from our Fiji Thanksgiving
11/29/2009, Robinson Crusoe Resort, Fiji

Check the photo gallery for newly added pics from our Thanksgiving feast at Robinson Crusoe Resort. The crews of several American yachts joined with the houseguests and some of the staff (those who stayed behind while the rest went to the staff Christmas party) to enjoy a very traditional, very tasty turkey feast.

Fortunate Pilgrims

After departing from Anna and the not-so-regal Royal Suva Yacht Club we heading SW for the Bega Lagoon. The small resort at Lalati provided an afternoon of carefree snorkelling on one of the outer reefs. Judy's has photos on her Facebook page. We spent 3 nights in Bega and then headed once again for Robinson Crusoe Island for a Thanksgiving rendezvous with Scarlett O'hara, Deviant and Endangered Species.

Although the island was down to a skeleton crew, manager Wayne and his staff supported our putting together a Thanksgiving feast which included a few house guests from Argentina and Chile, a couple from Australia, the Fijians and assorted yachties. It was a wonderful, eclectic experience dining on the beach. Judy will submit photos soon; some great shots.

We're back at Vuda Point now putting the boat together for our trip to New Zealand.

11/14/2009, Suva

Anna was the first person we encountered when we went ashore on Gao (pronounced 'now'). In fact, she waded out to assist us over the reef on the beach in the very low tide. She introduced us to the high chief for the local Lomaviti island group, a delightful old gentleman named Thalakleni, a veteran of WWII fighting the Japanese in Malaya and the Solomons.

Over lunch back on the boat it turned out that Anna had many friends and acquaintances among the Fijians we had met from Vanua Levu as she had previously worked at several resorts including Cousteau in Savusavu. As she needed a ride to Suva to do Christmas shopping, we said "come aboard" and she made the crossing from Gao to Suva with us. As I'm writing, she is helping us put the boat back in order.

Sleigh Ride
11/06/2009, Dere Bay, Koro

We left the 'garden isle' of Taveuni this morning after two days of exploring. Had the opportunity the visit where the International Dateline - the 180th meridian - passes through the Pacific. I asked a Fijian nearby where he stood and he replied "in yesterday". I guess you can go back again.

This evening we're anchored at Koro after a fast ride south from Taveuni across the Koro Sea. Twenty-five knots on the beam most of the way with eight to ten foot seas. The Koro is one of those bodies of water where you get the wind waves heaping up close together instead of long, spaced-out swells. Exhilarating, but a lot of work when you're hand steering. Look for Judy's pictures from Palmlea, Viani Bay and Taveuni on Facebook.

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Ursa Minor's Crew
Who: Captains Bryan Lane (callsign NP2NH) and Judy Knape
Port: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
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