Dransfields on the high seas

09 November 2010
03 November 2010 | Somewhere off Port Stephens
26 October 2010 | Brisbane River
01 October 2010
20 September 2010 | Bundaberg QLD
07 September 2010 | Noumea, New Caledonia
26 August 2010
11 August 2010 | Musket Cove Fiji
26 July 2010 | Fiji
17 July 2010 | Tonga
15 July 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
30 June 2010
21 June 2010 | On passage to Tonga
25 May 2010 | Tahiti,
20 May 2010 | The Tuamotu Islands
07 May 2010 | Nuka Hiva, French Polynesia
26 April 2010 | En route to the Marquesas
19 April 2010 | The Pacific Ocean
16 April 2010 | The Pacific Ocean
05 April 2010 | Galapagos

Last day in Fiji!

26 August 2010
Skipper JD
We previously wrote about our arrival into Savusavu on after the 4 day passage from Tonga, and then our 10 days with Helen's brother Ian, partner Sue and baby William (aged 11 months) on board.

Since then we look back on our 6 weeks in Fiji with immense pleasure and satisfaction. We've come around the NE side of the main island Vitu Levu, down past Lautoka, to Vuda Point, Port Denarau, Musket Cove.

We welcomed cousin Dean and Chris on board for four days, then my youngest sister Kimberley and her husband Roly joined us for their second time and stayed about 6 days. In that time, we had lovely, sunny weather with days spent swimming and snorkelling and nights spent telling stories over a beer or a Gin and Tonic.

With the guests gone, we made a late decision to haul Nika out at Port Denarau to clean the bottom and repaint the antifouling so we'd have no trouble with Australian Customs. We also took the opportunity to replace the windows on the Dodger, get the jib recut with a higher clew and the companionway stairs and cockpit tables were stripped and re-varnished. Nika is now looking a million dollars and we're very proud of her! With her clean shaven and buffed bottom she is racing along - we feel like we have easily gained a knot of speed!

We had a week to ourselves cruising the Yasawa group of islands which are about 60nm north of Port Denarau/Nandi. We really loved the Yasawas as they feel a bit like the Whitsundays with not so many cruisers around. We had a lovely morning diving into the limestone caves at Sawa-i-Lau Island. I hope the photos we took give some idea of the caves. We also enjoyed meeting the local village people and presenting kava to the chief in a sevusevu ceremony which is the custom.

We also enjoyed catching up with cousin Martin who we had a lovely lunch at Port Denarau. Martin was the main main developing Port Denarau so it was quite special to catch up there together.

Everyone is well on board Nika. We've just lunched on meat pies and sausage rolls fresh from the bakery (Grandma Nades will be horrified) as we're sailing up to Lautoka where we'll go in the dinghy to visit Customs and Immigration to check ourselves out of Fiji. We'll leave for New Caledonia in the morning which should be a 5 day passage. It looks like we've got a pretty calm weather window so it should hopefully be a safe, easy passage, possibly requiring some motoring if the wind stays light.

My dad Peter is joining us in Noumea to sail the last leg to Bundaberg with us. It will be great to see Dad again after 8 months (he left us in the Caribbean) and for him to complete the journey that he started with us 12 months ago from Split, Croatia.

From Bundaberg, we intend to join my Brisbane Uncle/Aunt/cousins who are sailing up to Lady Musgrave and Fitzroy Islands (off Bundaberg, on the Great Barrier Reef) on their big motor yacht, Manaroa Bay.

Then we'll consider going on up to the Whitsunday Islands for a few weeks before returning to Brisbane and further down the coast back home to Sydney sometime in mid November. As you can tell we are really having too much fun and want to hang onto the lovely cruising lifestyle before returning to normality for as long as possible. Hopefully the "landing" will be soft and not too rocky or reef infested!!! Cheers for now!

Vessel Name: Nika
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 46 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Sydney
Crew: Skipper JD, Bosun Boy Jesse, Zodiac Zoe, Captain Tykes, First Mate Hels
About: Hail from Curl Curl on Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches. Love of adventure, and the good life!
Extra: Saturday 6 November 2010 - we arrive back in Sydney at Middle Harbour Y.C. at 1:00 - the end of the voyage...

Nika Profile

Who: Skipper JD, Bosun Boy Jesse, Zodiac Zoe, Captain Tykes, First Mate Hels
Port: Sydney