These are the voyages of the sailing vessel, Wings.

30 September 2021 | Home in Anchorage
16 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
12 September 2021 | Pension Tiare anui
10 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
09 September 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
05 September 2021 | Raiatea
03 September 2021 | Raiatea
01 September 2021 | Apu Bay, Taha'a
31 August 2021 | Apu Bay
28 August 2021 | Bora Bora
22 August 2021 | Bora Bora
21 August 2021 | Bora Bora
20 August 2021 | Now, Bora Bora
15 August 2021 | Faaroa Bay, Raiatea
14 August 2021 | Fare, Huahine
10 August 2021 | Avea Bay
01 August 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
30 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
27 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui
25 July 2021 | Pension Tiare Nui

A Day of Mixed Success

18 April 2015 | Breakfast Room. First Landing
Still tired Bill
What a long day! We were exhausted.

Dear Conni has been dealing with the legal hassles bestowed on her by my deceased aunt. She spent time on her phone this morning, trying to arrange things with a bank in Alabama, for heaven's sake.

We had a better-than-average day in accomplishing tasks. The batteries that we had purchased were delivered yesterday and our work gang humped them up the ladder for us. Thanks, guys!

We removed the old, expensive batteries and replaced them with our new, expensive batteries. I had to fabricate a new partial floor to the battery compartment box, using some 1/2-inch "marine lumber" (high density plastic) that I had on hand, but it was quickly done with my electric jig saw and our Honda generator for power. We were able to run a fan or two below, a game changer in comfort. Imagine lifting two 125-pound batteries from the cockpit, down the companionway steps (step by step), and into a deep compartment in the boat from which you've just removed two old 125-pound batteries. It was difficult for me and how Conni can take her share is always a surprise. I'll add that the next morning, we were both very sore, but no damaged backs or crushed finger or toes.

I repaired wiring in the solar charge controller and got that running, so we can charge our new batteries with the two panels, now. We also tried the new Simrad chart plotter and South Pacific chart, and it works. It knew where we were and the chart is very up-to-date. Very cool! I look forward to having the sonar component working, but at least the chart plotter works.

I worked on the gooseneck, the aptly named component that holds the horizontal boom to the mast, re-drilling and tapping holes for larger screws: it was a straightforward job. I had no success with my work on replacing the mast mount for the boom vang. Now that's an esoteric statement, isn't it? The screws holding this device to the mast were broken in a storm during our Pacific crossing and I've made several stopgap attempts at fixing it, but so far none have worked. We'll try to hire this done.

Conni, meanwhile, worked on cabin cleanliness and washed clothes, again. My last task was to replace the pump on the forward head. This is a nasty job, dealing as it does with "effluent" from the holding tank. I did the best that I could to force the mess into a plastic bag, and was mostly successful. Conni got the jib halyard completely re-strung, and with a minimum of hassle. She's the master of halyard replacement.

We pulled the plug on the day's work at 1730, both exhausted, hot, and dripping with sweat. A shower, burger and beer, and asleep by 2030 ended the day.

Our new charger, at last check on Sunday morning, had reached Australia and was winging its way to us. I expect that it'll reach Fiji on Sunday but not clear customs until Monday sometime. We should have it in our sweaty hands by Tuesday. Since it's an identical unit to the one that failed, replacement should be very easy, part of our decision to buy another one.

It's Sunday morning, 19 April, here in Fiji. We're a day ahead, as you know, since we're across the International Date Line from you. I'm sitting at breakfast, watching the birds eyeing table scraps. I was simply too tired to complete the blog last night. No sooner did I reach the room than I was in bed.

Our beginning days here were so difficult with the battery and charger problem potentially disrupting our trip. Luckily, the Internet exists here and we were able to make the contacts that we needed to purchase the charger. Kudos to West Marine for honoring my discount and having a website that support of international shipping. When one considers it, it's amazing that I can sit at a laptop in Fiji, buy a device online and arrange to have it shipped to Fiji from the US. We also had astoundingly good luck that the local chandlery owner took pity on us and called around to enough battery suppliers to find AGM batteries for us. He got them to us in a day. He'll go on our "shout-out" page.

Conni and I were discussing the great physical beauty of the Fijians. Most Fijian men are, according to Conni (whose taste in men is questionable) at least attractive and many are very handsome. Most Fijian women also fit into these two categories, as well. Many are lovely, and most are handsome, and the flowers in their hair. lovely accents, and constant good nature make them more so. As a citizenry, they are all kind to a fault. I hadn't yet taken my used plate to the bus stand, as I usually do, and a lovely Fijian woman sauntered over (they rarely rush anywhere) to bus it herself. I apologized for not doing so before, and she furrowed her brow and uttered that most Fijian of phrases, "No worries!" And they are, for the most part, a people with no worries. There is no government-sponsored social safety net, but the culture seems to take care of its own. There is poverty, sure, but no starvation. The new government, elected since our first arrival, has written a new constitution specifically stating that if one is born in Fiji, one is Fijian, making it law that there can be no discrimination against those born of Indian or other parentage. Our taxi drivers, all of whom have been Indian-ancestry Muslims, have been enthusiastic supporters of the new government. Their elected government has allowed Fiji to once again take its place at the South Pacific's intergovernmental policy and trade organizations. With four coups in the last 20 years, with dictatorships following, Fiji had been excluded from all of these, and rightly so.

Fijians are naturally easy-going folk, and many businesses and governmental offices went to more motivated non-native Fijians. Each of the four coups has been a dictatorship by and for the native Fijians, removing all non-native Fijians from office and pushing on business to hire native Fijians. Fiji was being controlled by non-native Fijians and they resented it, hence the coups. The citizenry has spoken and the mandate has been for an inclusive country.

Remember that Fiji was officially annexed by the British in 1874, and the Brits sought to grow lucrative sugar cane using local labor. The Fijians, used to the easy lifestyle of fishing and light agriculture, were having none of it. Would you trade a life of luxury for a life of subservient and dangerous work in cane fields? The British, not to be denied, imported the hard-working citizens of the "Jewel in the Crown", as India was called, to act as workers in the fields. So began the influx of non-Fijians and their gradual exclusion from power in their own country. The coups were a natural, if not wise, response. Post-colonial countries have always had difficulties, but the land is rich, the people happy, and there is great optimism about their future.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, we have boat chores that we've been neglecting on this seventh day of work.
Vessel Name: Wings
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Anchorage, Alaska
Crew: William Ennis and Constance Livsey
About: We've been married since 1991, and both retired from our respective jobs (teacher and attorney) after long careers. We live in the most exotic of the United States: Alaska. We cruise on Wings for half the year, enjoying our home state the other part of the year.
We've sailed Wings Southward from Alaska since August, 2010. We joined the BajaHaha from SoCal to Mexico in 2012. We joined the Pacific Puddle Jump in 2013 and crossed the Pacific Ocean. Wings "over-summered" in French Polynesia. We continued our journey through western French Polynesia, [...]
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