Back in Fiji
28 August 2016
With a name like Nanunanu-i-ra you know we're not in Virginia anymore. Sounds like something Mork (from "Mork and Mindy for '70's TV watchers) would say... We are back in Fiji after a fabulous five weeks in the States; five weeks spent enjoying the company of family and friends, keeping our doctors and dentist plenty busy, eating healthy "American-sized" portions of all the foods we haven't seen in months, savoring fast internet access, and enjoying the Republican and Democratic Party conventions (NOT). We had a grand time!
Blue Summit was moored in Port Denarau marina on the west coast of Viti Levu (referred to as "the mainland" by Fijians) and was well looked after by Ali and the staff at Denarau while we were gone. The day after we returned, Blue Summit got the spa treatment by a local yacht detailer, Api and his crew, who set to work cleaning every square inch of the boat from bow to stern. They washed and waxed and polished every surface for two days- and the boat has NEVER in the 2 1/2 years we've owned!
While Blue Summit was getting the spa treatment, Steve and I spent two days tracking down parts, reprovisioning in Nadi, the closest town, getting the outboard on the dinghy fixed, and trying to adjust to jumping ahead 16 hours. We had a slow start to our errands as Monday was a national holiday to celebrate the Fijian rugby team's gold medal in Rio- Fiji's first medal in an Olympic games. Flags were everywhere, banners hung from windows, everyone was wearing rugby shirts, and there were "Rio Blue and Gold" drinks on every menu. Unfortunately most businesses and shops were closed which made provisioning tricky...but it sure was fun to see the pride and excitement on every Fijian's face.
We bid farewell to our friends in Denarau on Wednesday and with a clean boat and stocked pantry, set off to start exploring the Fijians islands at a more leisurely pace than earlier in the summer when we were with the World Cruising Club's "World Arc Rally." We anchored the first night about 10 miles away from Denarau and enjoyed a spectacular sunset and relished being out of the marina. Alas, the wind shifted in the night and ash and soot from burning sugar cane blew our way and covered the boat- our lovely clean boat was clean no more. We pulled up anchor much sooner than planned because of the smoke and made our way around the inside passage of the north coast of Viti Levu. Unfortunately we encountered more of a headwind than anticipated so it was a slow slog to windward which is never fun. When it became clear that we were not going to make our anticipated destination, we found another anchorage as the sun was going down- with a spectacular view of the north shore- and spent the night there. A bonus!
We pulled up our anchor after a leisurely morning, bound for Nanunanu-i-ra and arrived here mid-day- in plenty of time to clean the hulls after six weeks in a marina. Wehoo. Nothing says "FUN!" like a scrub brush. We have spent the past two days anchored here, hiding from a boisterous tradewind, completing a few projects and exploring this lovely island on foot. There are numerous ridge trails with stupendous views of the north coast of Viti Levu- a great place to hike. It's been a whirlwind of a week but it's good to be back on Blue Summit.