Last few months in Fiji on Ta-b
23 November 2017 | Back in Canada
Jane cold, but at last sunny
Our last sunset at anchor on Ta-b was in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji a few weeks ago. It was, as many sunsets are at sea, spectacular. The last month for us has been an emotional roller coaster. After ten incredible years, moving off our "beloved" Ta-b was tough. However we found her the perfect new owners, Steve and Karin, who have become good friends. It helps to know that she is in such great hands. Ta-b is now in Australia. It sounds like Steve and his two friends had a fabulous sail from Fiji.
Amy and her boyfriend Luke arrived to spend two weeks on board with us during the annual Musket Cove Regatta. We did not race, we never do as Ta-b is/was our home and is a cruising boat, but we enjoyed many of the social activities before heading to Robinson Crusoe Island. There we celebrated Amy's birthday enjoying the fabulous cultural evening they put on. On arriving we found out the event was only on Saturday nights, so we spent a couple of days exploring the area. A river trip on the tender through the mangroves had been recommended and with a walk over the spit we found the Radisson Hotel, a culture shock for sure, but the kids loved it.
From there we had a great sail up to Monuriki (an island that was used while filming Castaway with Tom Hanks) and very beautiful. It is a popular spot during the day, but was all ours from late afternoon. We carried on up to Manta Ray, where we tried to swim with the rays. Sadly we did not see any, but the snorkeling was incredible through the pass. We also stopped in Nalauwaki and walked over to the popular Octopus resort with the help of Sam a delightful kid from the village. The few boats in the bay were really tossing and turning, but where we were there was no swell at all, an anchorage we would recommend. Whilst at Waya Island we also visited Yalobi village. The school was so thrilled with all the "goodies" we had for them that we were treated to a private half hour of dancing and singing by all the school children. It was very special.
In Fiji the children quite often board at the larger island schools during the week. We were taken by the hand and shown all the classrooms, dormitories, dining area, etc. The kids were delightful and so well mannered; we were very impressed. Once they are ready for High School the kids all go to Suva on the main large island and join their parents. On the smaller islands the grand parents tend to look after their grand children, while their parents work.
Amy and Luke left us at Musket Cove after some well deserved R&R. It is an easy place to get to by fast ferry from the mainland, so worked well. It was very special to have them both on board, as Amy says it is "her happy place".
After about a week "Home Alone" next up was Edwin his girlfriend Iva's visit. What a trouper Iva was as sadly she suffered quite a bit of "Mal de Mer". So we ended up anchored off Musket Cove for the last part of their visit. Musket Cove is a great spot and very friendly to cruisers with their own Happy Island Bar by the dock. There were three resorts that the kids could use and with our tender to take to the reefs for snorkeling they had a great time. We even got to anchor off the famous "Cloud Nine" bar although when we tendered in, after snorkeling the reefs, we were told, "sorry we are having a private party".
We sailed up to Blue Lagoon; which was gorgeous. We had some fabulous snorkeling off the anchorage on Nanuya resort's reef. Would have loved more time just exploring the area by tender. Lots of resorts, lovely walks, diving, fishing, etc. to be had, possibly a place to revisit one day. We shared some of our other favourite spots with the kids and Iva even managed to spot a Manta Ray; which was fun.
Yolandi village were thrilled to see us again and we enjoyed presenting Kava to Chief Tom and giving him more gifts from Ta-b. The villages are very poor and although presenting Kava to the Chief is expected, we always found more gifts on board and had bought lots of school supplies to share.
The kids were as delightful as ever and we were able to give some of the boys a spin on their paddle board behind our tender and one of the girls that Iva became friends with came back to the boat. She had never swum in deep water and so was thrilled, when eventually holding Iva's hand; she jumped off the side of Ta-b.
After Edwin and Iva left it was time to sort out Ta-b. We spent time at Denerau marina getting her up to scratch for viewing and selling, before taking her off for a few days before we packed up our boxes and stepped off her. It still seems a bit surreal that we have closed one chapter and opened another. Over ten years we sailed more than 50,000 nm on Ta-b (more than a circumnavigation) and visited 66 countries, she was a truly wonderful home. We now have the most amazing memories to see us through the years ahead and feel blessed that we were able to "Live the Dream" of cruising offshore.
What now? We look forward to living on Salt Spring Island, enjoying our new home and getting to know the lovely community. The plan is to live in the house for a year or two and then rebuild. Russell has a Classic car to restore to keep him busy and I am going to get into gardening (especially vegetables). We have already organised a house swap for February with friends up in Sun Peaks, so ski-ing is in the works and come the Spring we will be looking for a trawler to once again enjoy BC waters.
Will update blog occasionally to update friends as to what we are up to and hope that you have enjoyed our travels with us.
Looking forward to seeing you again soon. We will have an open door for everyone at 310 Old Scott Road, Salt Spring. Just call us on 250 537 6155