22 January 2014 | Vuda Marina, Fiji
I know it’s been almost 2 months since we have posted something on our website, but really, Tanga sitting on a hardstand, in a marina, just doesn’t seem very exciting reading to us.
So, where have we been? After Tom successfully completed his surf trip with only small cuts and bruises, we finished getting Tanga ready for our departure back to the States. We removed all the sails; main, mizzen and jib. We cleaned and tore apart our dingy. And lastly, we tore down our bimini. Now, all this sounds pretty easy, and some of it was, however, it is like 100 degrees here; well not really based on the temperature, however, when you factor in the humidity, it feels like 100 degrees. We drip sweat beginning around 9 in the morning and it continues until around 4pm, or whenever we decide to give up for the day and go sit at the bar, in the shade, where there is a breeze.
Now, all of this stuff has to store somewhere…..somewhere on Tanga. Our v-berth is usually pretty full with stuff to begin with, however the small little floor is usually clear. Well, after storing all the sails and the dinghy, there is absolutely no where to walk in the boat except for the path we have left open to get to the galley, the head, and the stateroom.
Towards the beginning of December, we flew back to the States for the holidays. Our first stop is always a few days in Las Vegas. This gives us time to adjust to the business of the USA, and to catch up on our sleep from the very long flight. Next, we flew to Florida and had a great visit with Tom’s parents. His parents moved to Florida about a year ago, so we had never been to their condo. So, they were very excited about acting like tour guides and taking us all over the place. And, of course, the weather was beautiful! Then off to Ohio to visit my side of the family. We stayed busy visiting with my family and it’s always great to see how our little nieces and nephews have grown.
Also, during this time, we had ordered Tom a brand new surf board. The morning that the surfboard was going to arrive, was like Christmas for Tom. He had to patiently wait for the freight company to deliver it within a 4 hour window. Tom was so excited and giddy!
Then it was time to begin heading west again, which meant, one more stop in Las Vegas before heading to Los Angeles and then on to Fiji. We actually walked away from Las Vegas winners! Tom was on a lucky table of Craps and I was also lucky playing Blackjack. It’s always nice to walk away from Vegas with some new cash in our pockets.
Then it was off to LAX for our flight back. We’ve not had an issue in the past so we didn’t worry about bringing our paperwork (boat and immigration) to the states with us, OOPS! Typically if you have your boat documents and your immigration paperwork, or a letter from Fiji immigration that states you are leaving on a boat in the future (a “one way letter”), you are allowed to enter the country without a roundtrip ticket. This keeps people from arriving in Fiji without sufficient funds to leave the country and become a nightmare for the Fijian immigration department to deport. But since we didn’t have the appropriate documents, we were forced to by return flights to be permitted to board the plane home, bummer ($1800 mistake). We did by refundable tickets, but haven’t yet got them refunded.
We arrived safely back to Tanga and found her just as we left her. The downside was that we both got the flu and for the first 3 days we were in Fiji, we just layed around, drinking lots of fluids, trying to get ourselves healthy.
So, what have we been doing lately? We’ve gotten busy with our projects list.
We’re currently getting all new soft leather upholstery throughout and doing a re-lighting project. We’re also getting new sail covers, halyards and a new anchor light. With those and the new bimini, bottom paint and other misc work, we expect to be back in the water in 3 weeks.
Once back in the water we expect to take advantage of the times between weather warnings with trips to various islands and Tom is anxious to try out his brand new surfboard. If a cyclone does threaten, we’ll be within a day trip to either Vuda, or one of the rivers as a cyclone hole.