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Here comes the son

November 15th, 2010 · No Comments

Just fantastic to have Andrew with us, he gives us the jolt we need to get out of THE SHED, out of the yard and off to Fiji. Life in the yard is not much fun and getting out is great. Andrew helps with all the last minute bits and pieces and of course the food shopping for the trip, we expect about ten days but plan for more of course. I do buy cup-a-soups just in case, but happy to say they stayed in their box, will do for the return trip perhaps.
So out of the shed Wednesday, mast up Friday, in water Monday and we sign out of New Zealand on Saturday and we’re off.

Mind you there is a fair bit of tidying up down below to do and Bruce, the customs officer at Marsden Cove Whangarei, cross examined us about our real leaving time. We slipped the lines just about on time.

With a longer trip you get lots of sun sets and sun rises and at sea always dramatic.
It is always a bonus when you have a full moon, and makes the night sailing easier somehow, well it does for me. Having three on passages reduces your watch time, means more time for interesting meals, reading and sleeping. Having Andrew as the third person is especially welcome as he likes and is very good at cooking. Once the fresh meat supply is finished we put out our fishing line. A squid like lure at the end of a thick line, with a bungee cord on the boat end. When the fish bite the bungy cord takes all the strain, tires the fish and all we do is put it in. So after sundowners one evening when Andrew asks if a tight cord means a fish, we reply with “OK pull the other leg”. An amazing Yellow Fin Tuna, what a wonderful fish and will keep us going till Fiji. Having fresh fish is so good any time but seems especially good when on a longer trip. The trouble is we now know what fresh fish tastes like and supermarket fish will never be as good.

The further north we go the warmer it gets even through the night, its tee shirt weather.

Always a joy when land is sighted no matter how good or long the trip has been., Savusavu on Vanua Levu, is our port of entry and we anchor until a mooring buoy is available . Check in is straight forward and all the paperwork duly stamped. Now of course we can explore the town and visit the market, which doesn’t disappoint. Lots of great locally grown fruit and vegetables really happy friendly locals, everyone speaks as we walk along the road. We find the laundrette, frozen meat shop and find prices very good. The average wage here is about £30 a week, so for us prices seem cheap, eating out costs about £6 for a great main meal.

A bus trip is called for and we head over the hills to the north side of the island to Labasa, much bigger busy down to earth town. Its home to the sugar cane mill and the tractors line the road with their load. Today unfortunately, the mill has had a shut down, farmers leave their tractors and lorries in the queue and wait. Also means we don’t get a tour around the mill, but we do have our own town guide who happily takes around. The bus trip back was just as good as the way there, parcels get loaded in and out of windows, snack sellers are there at every stop and everyone seems to know everyone else. No air conditioning on this bus as we have windows.

Back in Savusavu, Andrew is keen to get out Mouse, a little sailing dinghy, perfect winds for a sail around the harbour. He gets a bit of competition when a French cruising lad of about ten gets out his optimist dinghy.

This is Andrew in his fitted wetsuit already to go down and check the mooring, the following day he has more fun spotting fish around the corner at the Cousteau resort. Like all holidays they do come to an end and Andrew has to pack his bags and fly back to Edinburgh. Great having him as always, wish it had been longer in Fiji.

Tags: Friends & Family · Pacific Leg