11 September 2009 | Vuda Point, Viti Levu, Fiji
We apologize for the great delay between blog posts. Quite frankly we really haven't been doing much of interest. However there are some who would appreciate knowing what we're up to- even when it's boring- so I'll put pen to paper (okay, fingers to keyboard) and fill you in. Please try not to nod off as you read. Perhaps a double espresso nearby might help.
After Navadra we, along with Blue Plains Drifter, made our way back to Musket Cove. We enjoyed a couple of weeks there catching up with new and old cruising buddies and helping Jaryd from Tin Soldier celebrate his 13th birthday.
After a couple of weeks we decided to head back to Vuda Point Marina because Tin Soldier was there (making final preparations for their Vanuatu passage) and we wanted to spend a bit of time with them before they left. Blue Plains came with us to haul out and make minor repairs before Jim delivers the boat to Australia where it will hopefully sell in short order.
Saying goodbye to Tin Soldier felt really sad and weird because although we'd parted company before, we always knew it would be mere weeks before catching up to each other further down the "Coconut Milk Run". Hopefully we'll catch up to them in Vanuatu but if not we really don't know when we'll see them again. (Their ultimate destination this season is Australia while ours seems to be New Zealand.)
We spent the rest of our week in Vuda enjoying cheap pizza and the sweet smell of mosquito coils. (Vuda's still buggy!) The girls had fun meeting a couple of new kids and spending everyday working with them on "the fort" they were building across from the marina office, while Tiffany and I became fierce Scrabble competitors.
Once BPD was back in the water we sailed again with them back to Musket. (Yeah, I know- we just couldn't shake 'em... not really. In reality we knew that likeTin Soldier it was going to be a long time before we saw them again and wanted to enjoy our remaining time together. Plus Tiffany developed a wicked case of Scrabble addiction which I was only too happy to enable.... and then her mom sent her Boggle!!!)
A week ago we saw Tiffany off on the "Malolo Cat" which took her to the airport and on to Hawaii for a visit with her mom. Poor Maddie was a bit broken up. There's always been a bit of hero-worship there.
A couple days after that Jim took off for Australia. (Tiffany elected not to make the passage so John from Scarlett O'Hara and Steve from Elusive are crewing with Jim.) It made me blue to see that beautiful boat sail away knowing we'd never be anchored together again.
Okay, still awake? Almost done, we're up to last week.
Last week was the "Fiji Regatta Week" in Musket Cove. It's a weeklong fun-fest with organized activities such as sailboat races, hobie-cat races, kayak races, Volleyball contests, some good clean fun for kids with the Malolo Olympics (Simon Says, Limbo and the like) and some good not-so-clean fun for the adults with wet t-shirt contests and the like. (Yes, we opted out of that sort of thing. We may let our girls play pool in bars but we have to draw the line somewhere, right?)
About the time that Regatta Week was wrapping up John and I realized that our inability to make a decision (about where to go next, when to go, etc.) was becoming almost pathological. (I know, I know, you thought we'd already had all that worked out but really the options are numerous: going north to the Marshalls and spending cyclone season there, keeping the boat in Fiji for cyclone season, heading to Australia, and on and on and on.) So we finally strapped in and made a decision: We left Musket for the last time on Thursday and are now in Vuda for the last time. I made a provisioning run to Lautoka on Friday and have stocked up on food, beverages and bug spray. We'll spend the weekend watching weather and getting the boat ready. On Monday or Tuesday John will cab in to Lautoka, check us out of the country and then we're off to Vanuatu.
You can wake up now.