Thursday 22 October 2015

Passage to Paradise (Well, Paradise Resort anyway)

We enjoyed our time in Savusavu but it was time to get moving again.  My parents live in Taveuni for part of the year so we had an opportunity to see them and "deliver" them from Savusavu to Taveuni.  Thankfully the messy weather from the South Pacific Convergence Zone sorted itself out and the Tropical Depression went away and fizzled so it was off to sea again but in the calmest conditions we have seen in Fiji.

Stop one about 46 nm out of Savusavu was Paradise Resort on the southern tip of Taveuni.  It is very pretty facility and the staff are very friendly.  Very yacht friendly too.  It was fun to visit as well as we were here eight years ago visiting my parents well before any notion of heading out on a boat.

Arrival in Paradise

A parking spot by the pool please.

No spearfishing here.


A nice dinner by the water with my parents

and of course, the kids keep reading.

Driving the bus the next day up the Somosomo Strait

My parents looking for the anchorage.

While Johnathan reads ... (yes, I am rather behind in my varnishing ...)

And Victoria does crocheting.  

Monday 19 October 2015

Passage Preps - Up the Mast in Savusavu

Part of our pre-passage SOP is the rigging check up the mast.  Also a good excuse to take some pictures.  While I was up there I also replaced one of our spinnaker halyard blocks and fixed the windex that the red-footed boobies bent.

Looking to the east further into the bay

The view to the west from the Copra Shed Marina.  Can you see Exodus in the distance ?

Watch out below !  You can see our little fleet with Trickle, the RHIB ("Torrent"), our kayak. and the SUP.

"F" for Fluenta in SOLAS reflective tape.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Fuelling in Exotic Locations

Of course, cruising is more than margaritas on the beach at sunset (Mexico seems like a long time ago ...)  We are actually tied to a dock for the first time since leaving New Zealand in May to sort out some logistics before the passage back to New Zealand.

Normally we do not use a lot of fuel but our amble through the Yasawas to Savasavu was against the trade winds and our buddy boat had a schedule so we used rather a bit more fuel than usual ...  Being at the dock made the usual routine of ferrying our three jerry cans by dingy and then by foot to the petrol station and back (repeat as necessary) easier than normal.

Here we are loading the fuel.  Victoria helped by tying on a line so I could easily lift the 25L containers (from the fuel company) to the deck and Johnathan did yeoman service as we hand pumped 300L through our Racor funnel filter.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Yoyaging with Kids and Yachting World

Occasionally we receive questions from families that are looking to head out cruising.  One of the families that provided the most guidance for us as we started was Jamie and Behan on Totem.  They, along with two other cruisers, have now published a book - Voyaging with Kids - that is getting great reviews.  Liz was asked to contribute a few sidebars on baby related issues such as diapers and breastfeeding.  The book is available here and it published by Lin and Larry Pardey,

In other news ... our friend Jess from SY Adamaster has been published prolifically in a wide range of sailing publications.  You can see Liz quoted in Jess's recent article in Yachting World.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Bua Bay and Coconut Point and More Maintenance in Exotic Locations

On our way to Savusavu we broke up the trip by having short stops in Bua Bay and Coconut Point.

Bua Bay was nice and relaxing after our somewhat tenuous anchorage on the east side of Yadua.  Great protection from the sea, shallow, no reefs and tons of swing room.  Minor downside ... no access beyond the mangroves so this was just a spot to let the winds calm down a bit before heading further south.

Coconut Point was also a short stop on the way after a few hours in classic wind against tide unpleasantness..  Not as much room to anchor but still solid in the more settled conditions.  Coconut Point has an important ferry terminal so it was a bit busy and noisy with the comings and goings.

Bua Bay - Not as pretty as Yadua but I slept better

Great holding in thick mud - Johnathan cleaning the anchor chain.

Bua Bay to Coconut Point - Classic wind against tide conditions straight into wind between the reefs

Meanwhile Benjamin doesn't care about the seas.  He has the iPad.

Arrived Coconut Point - time for a swim

Benjamin's playground

Of course we went spearfishing ... Tim got a coral trout.  

We are anchored just downwind from the ferry dock so a tad noisy

Time for maintenance - Victoria whipping lines.

Of course we needed a jackline between Exodus and Fluenta.

Not fair says Benjamin

More maintenance in exotic locations - dyneema chafe guards for the lifelines

Liz repairing our dodger while Benjamin tests the electronics.

More walu !

Great filleting by Victoria

Creative location for chin-ups


Saturday 3 October 2015

Namena Marine Reserve - Sea Life

Of course, the highlight of the Namena Marine Reserve  is the sea life.  In our short time there Tim and I dove on "Chimneys" and "Grand Central".  Liz, Deanne, Victoria and I also did a short snorkelling trip on the west end of the island as well.

Amazing to see the difference no fishing makes: compared to our snorkelling only 25 nm away there were significantly more and larger fish.

Some pictures:

Soft coral

No lack of small fish

A snorkel-mouthed victoria fish

None of my shark photos seem to be much good this season.  A grey reef shark in the distance ...

There were lots of large grouper.  Here two amble by knowing they are in a marine reserve.

Can you see the octopus ?  He was flashing white and blue.

The Exodus boys on the hooka. 

More soft coral