Friday, July 31, 2009

Paradise found!

Today we finally arrived in Fiji!  At least it felt that way, the hot tropical sun, the white sandy beaches, the clear water and coloured fishies!  We left the Vuda Point Marina after our two day haulout and patch to the minor damage caused by the reef.  Shortest haulout this year, mind you it was also the third haulout this year!
We motored in very light air across a flat sea to Malolo Lailai Island in the Mamanuca Group.  I can see why people spend extra to fly here.  It is truly beautiful and that's not only because we spent the last two months in rainy Suva!
We are connecting with friends we have not seen since NZ, tonight we went in for the bar b q at the Island Bar where they fire up the pits and you bring your own to throw on the fire.  The climate here is very comfortable with a nice breeze to offset the heat of the tropical sun and it cools off enough at night to sleep!
In fact, we like it so much here we have decided to park Toketie for the cyclone season and fly home to reconnect with family and friends.  
Meanwhile it is time to relax and enjoy this incredible place!  Tomorrow is a beach day!  The first since Tonga last year and we are due, the list of boat chores can least another day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good news!

Today we hauled out to survey damage from going on the reef on Snake Island!

minor scratches to bottom of keel!

what a relief!  After pounding on the reef for almost an hour, this is the only superficial damage we sustained!  Now we appreciate why we have a steel boat!


Seke works for Baobab, the only game in town.  Very professional, very knowledgeable and took care of us same day!  Also a nice guy eh!

primer coat

After sanding down the area with a grinder, Seke applied the first coat of primer!

epoxy coat

same day, second coat of epoxy applied....we are lookin' good!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Snake Island!

At high tide you cannot see the reef but this is where Toketie went aground at 3AM when a squall came through and broke us from the mooring!  No snakes in sight at the time fortunately!

The dock at Tradewinds anchorage

This is what we scrambled up and down on every trip to town.  It was much steeper at low tide!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vuda Point Marina

Toketie is now stern tied with two lines to moorings and bow tied with two lines to the concrete shore.  To get off, we pull one of the forward lines in and step off the bowsprit onto the stubby dock alongside.  We are scheduled to haulout and survey the bottom tomorrow to ascertain whether we were damaged on the reef.  It is definitely sunnier this side of Fiji.  Today the wind is up though with 30 knot gusts out of the SE.  We are safely sheltered in the marina though and spoiling ourselves with hot showers, boat washdowns and a laundromat!  Last night we even found half price pizza night at a nearby resort.  Feels like luxury after living on the hook for so long!  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Keep on the sunny side!

Another 12 hr day saw us around to the W side of Fiji. Even got to sail some of it! Anchored in Momi Bay as the sun set in the sea to the W of us with darkness close behind. Will relax here for two nights before going into Latauko to clear in. Much clearer sky and sunnier here than Suva. Last night a billion stars turned the sky to a magic canopy with the Southern Cross always hanging in the S.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

left Suva!

Toketie has finally left Suva! Almost 2 months gone by there. Now anchored about 40nm West and half way to Lautoka. Weather sun and cloud with 20kt tradewind pushing us along.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Toketie heading to Oz!

We just had multiple entry long term visas approved for Australia so have decided to bypass Vanuatu this year and head for New Caledonia before making our way to Brisbane, Australia or nearby for the cyclone season.  But first we still have to go around to the other side of Fiji and haulout to make sure we did not sustain any major damage to the hull.
If anyone reading this has contact information for John & Masumi or Ted & Helmie in Australia, pls email it to us or post it as a comment on the blog.
Sun shining today!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Still in Suva!

We are still in Suva!  One thing after another seems to delay us.  Getting close to ready now and looking at the weather for a chance to slip around the corner to Lautoka area.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

More tails from the snake pit!

Outboard motor is running again!  Finding pieces of dead snake daily as they come flying out the flywheel!  Still stinks in there so there must be more.  Gearshift no longer shifts so when you crank the engine, its off you go!  Speaking of which, we hope to be ready to go in a few days!