Arriving in Fiji
11 May 2013 | Suva, Vita Levu, Fiji
We arrived in Suva, on the island of Viti Levu, Fiji about 4 days ago. We were too tired to post earlier, but we both made a quick phone call to our parents, to let them know we had safely arrived. After dropping anchor, we called Port Control to let them know of our arrival. After waiting about 5 hours for someone to show up at the boat to clear us into the country, we received a call asking us to meet customs, immigration and biosecurity at the local yacht club. Because it was raining outside, they didn�'t want to come out to our boat, so there we were, in a good downpour, hoisting the dinghy off the deck and into the water, and loading the outboard onto the dinghy.
After meeting with the authorities, we walked down to a gas station, got some money, cookies and chips. Our welcoming pizza and beer celebration has not happened yet, but we are keeping an eye out for such a place.
Thursday, we had the mission of trying to find customs. We needed to give them one last piece of paperwork before they will grant us a cruising permit. So, 2 cab rides and 3 buildings later, we found where we were supposed to be, inside of International Affairs. We were told that all the officials were in a meeting and to come back tomorrow.
One of the cab drivers was very informative about Suva. He pointed out the Presidents house, Parliament, and the Fiji Museum. We plan on checking out the museum at some point. We also asked the cab driver about the local Fijian food. He said it�'s all Chinese food, which we can say, we have seen a lot of Asian cafes. We did ask him about pizza, and he pointed out that McDonalds sells pizza! Didn�'t McDonalds try that in the USA and it failed?
Friday, we headed back downtown, to take care of our cruising permit, then just roam around town, pick up some fresh veggies and hopefully find some non-McDonald pizza!
This was our favorite long passage so far. Mostly good winds and fair seas. Except for Tom getting some cuts from a rampant fishing line, no injuries.
A note to the cruisers that have yet to leave NZ for Fiji (we know of two of you). To make your entry easier, call or email Fiji Customs prior to departure from NZ. Secondly, if checking into Suva, drop your hook in the medical quarantine area marked on your charts then call port control to notify them you are here, then call Royal Suva Yacht Club on 16 and ask them to arrange your clearance. They will contact Biosecurity, Immigration and Customs and arrange all the times and contact you with the apt time.
Update: We found 2 pizza places in the downtown area! No internet yet, so we haven�'t been able to check our emails but atleast we can post via our satellite phone.
Today, being Sunday here, we want to say Happy Mother�'s Day!