08 November 2008 | Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
30 October 2008 | Waya Island, Yasawa Group, Fiji
29 October 2008 | Drawaqa Island, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
23 October 2008 | Somo somo Bay, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
21 October 2008 | Blue Lagoon, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
16 October 2008 | Blue Lagoon, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
14 October 2008 | Sawa-i-lau, Yasawa Islands, Fiji
12 October 2008 | Musket Cove, Fiji
09 October 2008 | Vuda Point Marina
11 September 2008 | Vuda Point, Fiji
03 September 2008 | Musket Cove, Fiji
29 August 2008 | Suva
26 August 2008 | Nadi, Fiji
21 August 2008 | Lautoka, Fiji
20 August 2008 | In transit to Fiji
16 August 2008 | Uoleva, Haapai Group, Tonga
11 August 2008 | Lifuka, Haapai Group, Tonga
07 August 2008 | Haafeva, Haapai Group, Tonga
01 August 2008 | Nukualofa

Tonga contrasts

30 June 2008 | Vava'u, Tonga
Surprise Susan
Lest you wonder if we have disappeared underwater, here's a brief update on our surface activities. We've been in four delightful anchorages and back into the town of Neiafu for supplies and laundry. We were there on Friday but the race was cancelled for lack of wind, so we didn't get to defend our title. While we were anchored in the cove at Vaka'eitu Island we visited the small village on the island of Lape. As we pulled up to the coral jetty a woman came down and opened the lid of a cooler to offer us bananas. We didn't need any but bought a bunch anyway-as Steve termed it-an entry fee. We asked permission to walk about, and she told us how to find the primary school. There are six students (photo), in forms 1, 3, and 5 and their teacher, a young man trained in Neiafu. As you can see the children are neatly dressed, and the classroom was spacious and tidy. There was a solar panel outside the church, but the woman living next to the church was cooking over an open fire fueled by coconut husks. She and another woman were preparing pandanus leaves for weaving-a craft which is functional and also provides items to sell to tourists. They weave interesting placemats and baskets. A village like this is, I'm told, pretty typical of the subsistence existence the more remote Tongan villages have. In addition to fishing and raising taro, bananas, manioc and cassava, they live on remittances from overseas relatives. In contrast, six miles away, there is the Mounu Island Resort-four units and a common bar/restaurant on a stunningly lovely small island. Shallow turquoise water and a white beach surround about six acres of garden and palms. There are a couple of moorings for yachties who wish to have a meal there. We did and it was delicious and beautifully presented. But I guess the tropics have a long history of palangi (foreigners) who've imported their lifestyle into an idyllic climate-side by side with the natives who begin to straddle both worlds. Last night we dined at La Paella, another strange juxtaposition. Five Spanish cruisers sailed in here over 15 years ago and stayed. They built a restaurant and a tradition of a complete Spanish meal followed by guitar music and flamenco dancing. Since there were just the two of us last night we didn't get the dancing, but had varied tapas, gazpacho, cheese croquettes, tortilla Espanol and paella, with a guitar serenade, under bullfight posters. Time to get the cook back into the galley!
Vessel Name: Surprise
Vessel Make/Model: Schumacher 46
Hailing Port: Richmond, CA.
Crew: Steve and Susan Chamberlin
About: Varies by voyage.
Surprise was built in NZ by Davie Norris at Franklin Boatbuilders in Christchurch in 1997. 2 Pacific Cups, Mexico, B.C. and Alaska. Next stop South Pacific. She is a performance cruiser designed by the late Carl Schumacher and, in racing trim, carries a PHRF of 6. Fractional rig, no overlapping [...]
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