We went shopping at The Arts Village in Pacific harbour, about a 15 minute walk from the marina...great (by Fiji standards) supermarket and a couple of nice cafe / restaurants. We ate at Baka Blues cafe, great food and fantastic music, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Roy Buchanan, wonderful !
Wednesday 6 June
we left Pacific harbour and had a rather slow sail to Somosome bay just up the coast...good anchorage but nothing to see.
Thursday 7 June
left Somosomo Bay heading W, no wind, motoring. 1400 anchored in Likuri Harbour, home of the Robinson Crusoe Resort(?). By 1700 the wind was up from the NE 30-40 knots and the anchorage was quite uncomfortable. the sky was black and in that little bay there was a sea running which got worse as the tide came in. When the tide was going out, the current was so strong that we were bow into the tide and stern to the wind. Not very nice at all.
Friday 8 June
a lot calmer in the am, we left Likuri harbour into a moderate swell with SE of about 15-20 knots and sailed with the genoa up to Navuli point, the entrance to Nadi waters and anchored in Momi Bay which is a very good anchorage.
Saturday 9 June,
we stayed all day in Momi bay watching thunderstorms passing just to the S of us.
Sunday 10 June
heading for Musket Cove after defrosting the frig.
Monday 11 June
washed all the Moroccan rugs that cover the upholstery in the saloon..bright sunny day. met Yvec from a US boat BEAR, they left Florida in 2011 and went to Scandinavia then back across the Atlantic to Panama and then across the pacific in 2017 and now here..Mum Dad and 3 girls...oldest about 14?
Tuesday 12 June
Bright sunny morning...Gunilla who can spot Scandinavian flags miles away suggested we go and visit the Norwegian boat Sannsipapp, which we did - Axel and Tove and three boys oldest 15....the boys from Sannsipapp and the girls from Bear are back and forth in dinghies all day !
We stayed in Musket Cove for a few days
Thursday 14 June
Mark, Yvec and Jennifer from Bear come over to talk to us about Yasawas and Vanuatu. It seems they only have Navionics charts on iPads and for the Yasawas at least they are dreadful. Severe lack of detail, showing reefs where there aren't any and vice-versa...these charts are dangerous ! Suggested if they want to go to the Yasawas, at least they need the paper chart F5, and don't go anywhere unless the sun is high. So with that and some advice about approaching and clearing in at Port Vila, that was that.
Musket Cove is getting boring so we decide to head off to Mana Is, but when we got out the wind was a bit fierce so we bailed out and came back. By the time we anchored of course it had all calmed down, mais c'est la vie sur la mer.
Friday 15 June 0900
leaving Musket Cove for the Yasawas. had a great sail up to Castaway Resort with gennaker out one side, main out the other and the mizzen same side as the gennaker, gybed around Castaway and heading for the reef exit on a reach...just lovely, not fast but very nice...and then of course the wind died, so motor on and we motpred all the way to Soso Bay where we anchored for the night.
Saturday 16 June
It was quite a rolly night in Soso bay, so at 0900 we're leaving, sails up and anchored in the Blue Lagoon at 1130.
There are a few boats in here notably a Dashew FPB 64 (OCC member) Australian Dennis and Canadian Jaqui...they told us that tomorrow night one of the locals is putting on a lovolovo dinner (like a maori hangi - earth oven), we decide to go and actually meet up with Sammy who's doing it at the Boatshed Nanuya bar whilst having a cold beer.
Sunday 17 June
quiet day, did some washing. at 1700 we're off to shore for the lovolovo. Met up with Vito and Daniella from a 40ft sloop Artemisia....they've been away 9 years and go back to Italy every 4-6 months. Dennis and Jaqi arrive - usual yachtie chat about the weather, anchorages etc and then the food is served...and it was good ! Chicken, fish, potato salad, baked spinach in coconut cream, coleslaw (sort of) and other stuff....very nice evening had by all.
Monday 18 June
Just stayed in the Blue Lagoon, fixed (well thought so) the leak from the high pressure feed to the watermaker, went in for a happy hour beer at 1700...did i mention we ran out of beer at Musket Cove ?
Tuesday 19 June
Left the Blue Lagoon heading north. Quite breezy from the E which makes it a hard beat up to the top.At one stage we had 3 reefs in the genoa and two in the main and mizzen but we're doing 7 knots into the wind at 40-45 apparent, so that's pretty good !
By 1300 we have the anchor down at Yasawa-i-rara, arguably the most beautiful spot in the Yasawas.
Wednesday 20 June - what a day !
we went in to the beach at about 0845 to see the chief and do sevusevu...there was hardly anyone about. We found one guy who pointed us in the direction of the chief’s house, went there, no-one home, then we saw a guy waving at us so went to him and he told us the chief is away but his son is here, you can present sevusevu to him, so we did on the grass outside his house.
The chap that waved to us said now you can go for a walk there’s a road up the hill behind the village comes back down at the other end. Come back here at 10, there’s a wedding, we will go together.
So we went walking...hiking more like.. and back at 10....now we have to go and have tea and cakes in someone else’s house. We discover that the women in this house are acting as the family of the bride as she comes from Lakeba in the Lau Group. So we have tea and cake...and wait....they clear up we go outside...and wait. Finally our man turns up, with a few others. Everyone is getting dressed up...we aren’t and feel a bit downmarket!
The stunning bride, in her magnificent traditional wedding dress, and her entourage appear and start walking towards the other end of the village. We all fall in behind and chatting to everyone. We meet the father of the bride Timo, who says you must come to the wedding...I say, we’ve been invited 6 times now....then you are more than welcome he says. Nice man.
There’s a bit of a performance at the end of the trail as our lot (brides party) have to present credentials to their lot (grooms party), ask permission and so on, so there’s a lot of talking and clapping and stuff.
Finally that’s over, the groom and best man appear, also in magnificent traditional garb and we all move off to the covered area and the wedding ceremony takes place. That takes about an hour, the last half being the minister ranting about God (remind's me of a wedding I went to not that long ago) in Fijian. Gunilla became the “unofficial” wedding photographer and swapped email addresses with a few folks for the pictures. That’s all over and the wedding party line up, we all shake hands...Timo is quite emotional and gives me a big firm handshake.
Meanwhile the grooms families are preparing all the food. I have to go and sit under the trees with the men and drink kava....2 cups of yuk, dirty dishwater and that’s it, I can’t do it anymore, and get up and go and sit in the shade with the grooms mother and her sister.
Then its food time, "Come" Timo commands and we go back to where the wedding ceremony was held. There’s a table with 12 chairs for the bridal party...but they insist that 2 of the chairs are for us and we MUST eat with them. So we sit down and the food !..Fish, salad, spinach balls wrapped in taro leaves (delicious), diced beef, chicken, marinated fish....and a number of other things I never got close to.
Then there was singing and dancing...a couple of the old ladies got up and started twisting away...they were hilarious.
After that there was more official stuff with the bride...mumbling and clapping and so on....when that was over it was clear that people were packing up, so we said our goodbyes and promised to send photos. Timo insisted on shaking my hand forever and thanking me for coming. I said i felt honoured to be invited and to be a part of it all.
As we were leaving we noticed that most of the men that had started drinking kava at 1300 were still drinking it and making more!
So back on the boat at 1600 – won’t need dinner tonight that’s for sure!
Something that is different here now is the advent of electricity and the mobile phone network. The Vodafone 3G network is everywhere. we haven't been out of internet conatc since we've been here. All the villages have solar panels for each house and batteries, nearly everyone has a mobile phone and the older generation shake their heads at the young folk who sit glued to their smart phones operating with their thumbs !
So it’s been quite a day...oh, and the watermaker is leaking again, but from a different place, it’s behind the control panel somewhere, so that will have to come out and be sorted...but not today !
Thursday 21 June
Big yellow boat arrived delivering stuff - building materials mostly, and people arriving and then loading the people leaving.
In the meantime, I managed to get the watermaker control panel out of its spot in the galley bulkhead, that was a job and a half, and saw where the leak is coming from..yup high pressure hose connector that feeds the needle valve...OK, now it's all fixed...and hey, we have no leaks !!
The yellow ship is now leaving and passing quite close to us. Everyone is waving goodbye, some locals are in little boats motoring alongside, waving and shouting. As the yellow ship goes past I see Timo on the deck waving at me with both hands. I wave back with both hands,he puts his hand over his heart and waves with the other hand, I return the salute and the yellow ship steams off to the NW, obviously heading for Bligh water.
We'll go south tomorrow.
Alan and Gunilla
At 21/06/2018 04:46 (utc) our position was 16°42.51'S 177°34.44'E our speed was 0.1 knots and course 041T