Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saweni Bay

Hello All,
I know its been a while but haven't done much here, just looking for crew and looking for crew. This weekend I did go out to a bay that is pretty close by. It is 5 miles north of here and myself and Adam that works in the yard here and one of his friends, Bisco, which is a nick name took the boat there yesterday and anchored. It is a quiet bay and had a few boats there. We aired up the dingy and went to the beach. We met a few locals hanging out on there fishing boat and hung out with them till 9 pm last night. We had a great time and one of the yachties came in and hung out to. They fed us chicken Curry and some rice which was very good. we had a few beers and headed back to Vuda this morning. We had a 10 knot north easterly wind so we even got to sail back. Adam went home to see his girl friend last night but Bisco stayed on the boat. He works around here at the marina on boats freelance so has spent heaps of time at sea. We got to talking and seems he is very interested in sailing for a month or so. I will talk to him further here in the next few days.
I am really ready to leave but I need to be patient for a week or so to see if someone turns up that wants to go further than Vanuatu.
I will be here till I leave the country so I will keep in touch.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Back in the Water

Hello All,
I spent 5 days on blocks getting the prop bearing fixed, new bottom paint on, painted a new green stripe on the water line and polished the hull. Everything looked really good, although I did paint last November here. My prop bearing was worn because the engine was out of alignment. On this trip I have had , by my own fault rope wrap around the prop and killed the engine 3 times out of 4. The pressure put on everything tweaked the engine just enough to wear my bearing prematurely. Its all realigned now so should be fine for a while so long as I don't wrap another rope around it, ill do my best.
I am still waiting on a reply from a Fijian guy I met 10 days ago. He sounded very interested in going at least to the Solomon Islands so I hope to hear from him soon.
On a side note, just hanging out here I have met and talked to so many cruisers, hard to name them all, most I just say hello to and some have figured out that I have heaps of tools on the boat so I have loaned out some to a few. That makes friends pretty fast. One couple that I have been talking to heaps is Tom and Colleen on there 38 foot boat "Mokisha" They are from Big Sur California and they are a really super couple. They are doing a major refit to the boat here and wont get out sailing again till next season. They have been sailing around for years and the boat finally was calling there attention when they got here. They invited me to have tacos on there land prisoner ed boat and had a great visit. I talk to Tom every day for a bit, we have heaps in common so we hit it off right away. Jim on "Summer Sky" is from San Diego and he is the one that figured out I have heaps of tools. He is doing some work to his 40 foot boat before his wife returns from the states so they will cruise Fiji a little more. They have already circumnavigated once but they like the Pacific best.
Well I have rambled on enough, you get the idea.
That's all for now


Saturday, July 23, 2011

still looking for crew

hello All,
I am still dry here at Vuda Point. I got the cutlass bearing fixed now waiting for weather to put the bottom paint on. it has rained off and on all day but it is suppose to clear i hope by tomorrow. matt will be leaving the boat to go to Australia by next week on another boat so I am still on the look out for help to vanuatu. I still have a Fijian guy interested so I will meet with him again next week. I hope to leave here by the 1st of August so we will see how that goes and weather permitting.
I have hope that something will work out for the best.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

High and dry

Hello All,
I got the boat on blocks right now doing a bearing on the prop shaft. I bought a new one in New Zealand because the old one was getting worn. It wasent wore out but I figured while I was here I would fix it. The bottom of the boat looks good. I did buy 4 liters of paint for a touch up so I should be good to get back home. We hauled out yesterday and we spent all day in Lautoka getting some supplies today. I should have the bearing installed in the morning and then I will wax the hull. Matt, my crew has been a big help with all of the projects. I hope to be back in the water Monday. Adam, One of the guys that helps getting the boats out of the water has been borrowing my bike to go home at night. He is a really cool guy and has helped me out heaps. We are planning a trip not far from here next weekend to one of the bays and have a BBQ on the beach. Adam has never sailed before so he is really excited about the trip.
Well thats all for now so I will talk to you later.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Returned to Vuda Point

Hello All,
We made it back to Vuda at noon today, As luck would have it we had a very light wind right in our face coming back so we just burned some fuel. It is not very far but that's the way it goes. I have added new pictures to the Fiji Album so take a look and I will be updating my route so you can see where I went.
I have a few things I need to do so I will fill you in tomorrow.
Thats all for now.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Malolo Lai Lai Island

Hello All,
Matt and I took a walking tour of the whole Island here at Musket Cove. It is not very big and the highest point is maybe 300 feet. There is a road that runs the whole ridge so it was easy walking. I took some great pictures of the surrounding area so I will post them when I return to Vuda Point.
After the hike we went to the little bar right by the beach and I was visiting with some travelers. It seems that not very far from here, about 5 miles south there is a world class wave for surfers. We had a high surf warning posted last week and the weekend and from what everyone was saying it has been the best surfing here in 20 years. A few pros showed up and were surfing 30 foot plus waves. Jon my crew talked about this place last year but I never looked to see where it was.
Fiji has so much to offer a visitor. It really is a fabulous place and is basically unknown to us North Americans. Most of the visitors are from Australia or New Zealand. And most of the yachts are from New Zealand.
We will leave here in the morning to head back to Vuda Point. I don't know what we will do today but we will see.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Relaxing at Musket Cove, Fiji

Hello All,
We made it over to Musket Cove yesterday afternoon. We had a nice 3 hour crossing. There was basically no wind so we motored across. We wanted to grab a mooring out here in the bay but couldn't get a hold of anyone in the yacht club office on the VHF so we anchored. It is okay, at least we are hanging out at a 5 star resort for free. We got the dingy aired up and went to shore. This place is like a little town, grocery store, bars and restaurants. The guy that owns this place is from Australia and has really set it up good for yachts. He has dug out some small bays so you could keep you boat here for Cyclone season and be very protected. It is also a Resort that caters to guests from all over the world and your rooms are cute little grass huts. Musket Cove Resort also hosts a few sailboat races in September that go to Australia and New Zealand. It is pretty big time and although I am not into this type of scene it is still amazing to see.
I have seen a few folks here that I met in Vuda Point and I ran into Brad, the guy I met in New Zealand. We just chatted for a bit before he and his crew are off to another Island today.
Matt and I went and did some snorkeling today. Not the greatest but the best we could find with my slow dingy. Most of the good places are miles from here on the outer reef. I am not charted very well here so I am being conservative. I am enjoying myself but I think Matt may be a little bored.
I don't know what's planned for tomorrow but I guess we will see. That's all for now.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Musket Cove, Fiji

Hello All,
I have found a crew interested in being on the boat. Matt is from Italy and has been traveling around Australia and New Zealand and now wants to go sailing, We will go to Musket Cove this morning and stay the weekend. A few of the cruisers I have met here are already over there , they have been leaving one by one this last week.
We have been hanging out with Rob and Guy on Compass Rose. The Sunset Bar has an outdoor movie and Pizza night so we have attended 2 now.
I met up with the gal that was interested in crewing for me across the bay at Port Denarau. We had a nice visit but it seems our plans are not going to mesh so I am down to 2 people interested. Matt is a good guy and has sailed before. We will hang out for the weekend and get some sailing in and see how it goes.
I will fill you in on how the weekend is going in a few days.
That's all for now and will talk to you soon.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Crew Interviews

Hello All,
Sorry its been a few days since I last wrote. I have been just keeping my ear to the ground looking for crew and have been busy visiting with other cruising boats. I have been doing some light maintenance, some touch up varnishing and got out the needle and thread and fixed a bad spot on one of my older sails.
I have visited with 3 people interested in sailing with me, I have a 4Th that I will meet on Monday. So far I havent found anyone committing them selves past November so I may just have to resort to finding people as I need them. It is allot to ask someone to take a year off and come sailing in the less traveled road of the North Pacific.
Next week I plan to take one of the potential crew on a 3 hour sail to Musket Cove. It is a world famous destination in the Mamanuca Island group and it will give me a chance to see how they do.
Talk to you all later.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grocery shopping in Lautoka

Hello All,
Last night I had a great time at the 4th of July party. I got to meet some American cruisers and got to visit with some I haven't seen in a while. We had a great dinner, most of the cruisers brought some food but the Sunset Bar also made some hamburgers and hot dogs for a reasonable price. It was a great time had by all, they even shot some fireworks off , that was cool.
Yesterday afternoon Rob on Compass Rose and his crew Guy came in from touring the Yasawa Group. I ran over and helped them tie the boat up. i haven't seen Rob since we left New Zealand so it was good to see old friends.
Rob, Guy and I all took the bus to Lautoka this afternoon, we were all getting low on groceries so we thought we would all go together. We spent hours in town just looking around and visiting. We got a cab back and split the fair 3 ways so it was cheap.
I was invited to go to an American boat tonight for a sun downer. Micheal and Suzanne on S/V Maamalni, it is a one off 52 foot boat, one off meaning , one of a kind. I met them briefly here last year and they left there boat here and went home to Seattle for 6 months. We had a nice visit and they are very interested in my route to get out of the Cyclone season in the South Pacific. They left there boat here for the last Cyclone season but they said never again. With the humidity and the very warm water it has taken them weeks to get the boat cleaned up so they are looking at the Northern Solomons for this year. They are a very interesting couple and I am sure we will visit again.
I have a few people interested in crewing on the boat so we will see what happens.
I got the dingy cleaned up and put away for now and if the weather holds I will do some touch up varnish work.
That's all for now.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

An American Holiday

Hello All,
Last night we had dinner at Serina's house in Nadi. She was the woman I was telling you about in the last blog. She has been helping manage the bar here at Vuda Point. She is a very sweet woman and we had a great time. Her husband works in the gold mines in the Solomon Islands and works a schedule similar to our North Slope. She also owns a business distributing homeopathic medicine to the states. She is well traveled and even has a friend that lives in Wasilla, Alaska, small world huh.
Alex left out of Nadi Airport this morning to return home to France. His brother is getting married and he hasn't been home in a few years. I was sad to see him go. He was a good friend and crew and helped me out heaps. He will be missed. I am independent on independence day. Speaking of that, Vuda Point Bar is throwing a 4th of July party for all of the yanks tonight. Something most people wouldn't think about in the states is that it is an American Holiday so its pretty cool they are doing that for us. I little piece of home in a foreign land.
I got to speak to my mom and family last night on Skype, we even got to do video so I could see every one. Some of the family from Anchorage and the Valley came down to be with Mom on the holiday. It was really cool to get to talk to everyone.
The weather here has been rain off and on so I hope it clears up in the next few days so I can get a few projects done. I am also looking for crew so I have been getting the word out to the cruisers.
That's all for now. I will keep you posted.

P.S. I added some pictures to the Fiji Album so take a look.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Location updates

Hello All,
Alex and I cleaned the boat up today, was really nice to have a hose with fresh water to rinse the salt off. My co workers in Alaska used to complain about how much salt is put on the road in the winter time and how it rusts everything. Let me put this in perspective, my boat floats in 2 times the amount put on the road so that's what I have to deal with so no more complaining here.
I have settled into Vuda point and am enjoying my stay here. I posted some notices for crew on the board so I hope I hear from someone. This is a popular place for boats so I am sure something will come up.
We went out and had a nice dinner tonight at a resort close by, The First Landing Resort. It so happens that this is the first beach that the Fijian people landed on when they came to the Islands.
I updated my route so you can see where I have been in Fiji, I haven't been everywhere but almost everywhere between the 2 years. We have been invited to a dinner at the cafe managers house tomorrow night so we are looking forward to that.
That's all I know for now.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Vuda Point Marina

Hello All,
We made it to Vuda Point Marina from Latoka without a hitch. I have the boat parked now safe and sound and Alex and I have been taking a walking tour. Not much to see but walking none the less.
I will fill you in on the next few days as they come along.
All is well here and Alex will be catching a plane out of here to France on Monday. I will start looking for crew now and after.

That's all for now.