Sunday, July 29, 2012

David's Post from Paradise

We leave this paradise tomorrow afternoon and are returning to the village where the locals are giving all the cruisers a party. It will be a fund raiser for them and a good time for all of us. Sort of win, win and the cool thing is one our young cruising couples are getting married here as well. Not sure how all that is going to work out legally but they will be married in their eyes now and will probably do another celebration when they get back to the states.This place has been so bitchen !! The weather has been killer, the fishing is such that even I have caught a few with one of them being a 3 ft. + long waloo which is like a Spanish mackerel and taste excellent. We have had a number of meals from it prepared a different way each time and it's all been good. Mornings are spent top side with coffee in hand watching the color in the clouds as the sun comes up. Then it's out to drag a jig around the small islands that are everywhere around here hoping that some poor fish goes for it and winds up being dinner. Suzi has been taking long stand up paddle board paddles with a few other cruisers Ladies and lots of the small islands have little bays that wind around making for perfect paddling scenery. There are also caves and arches in the islands with some of them allowing for passage in and under. Very cool with the water crystal clear and warm with very little wind. Then it's time to load up into the dinghies and head off for a snorkel. The evenings have included parties and music on one of beautiful little beaches that are near by or aboard one of the boats for pot lucks dinners and more music. These poor folks are music hungry around here and they even think I have a good voice and that my harmonica playing is superb. Ignorance is bliss .... Suzi on the other hand has really raised her guitar playing up a notch, she has improved so much over the last few years it's amazing. So as you can see, boredom isn't something we need to worry about right now.
After the wedding and dinner tomorrow we plan on heading over to the other side of the main island and continue on south seeing more of the island that are on our way to Kadavu. Time is running out and we have even thought about leaving Sidewinder here in Fiji again this year. It's just talk at this point but there is still so much to see and do around here that who knows ???

Monday, July 23, 2012


Hi there! What a beautiful place in which we have found ourselves anchored!  We had a wonderful, fast sail from Budd's Reef down to Vanuabalvu, in spite of trying like crazy to slow Sidewinder down; she was just so excited to do a beam reach at night, we couldn't do anything about it! Since we left the pass at 4PM, we arrived outside the pass here around 3AM and hove-to for a few hours while waiting for dawn. We then motored up to the entrance, where Soggy Paws was waiting, along with s/v Secret Agent Man, Guava Jelly right behind us. We went through the pass in a caravan just fine and anchored in front of the village at around 9:30. What a nice bay we have for all of us. With Challenger and Chesapeake coming in a bit later, we all waited until noon, when the chief, head-master, and other village officials were ready to welcome us with sevusevu, the giving of the gift of the kava root. We were welcomed with the Bula spirit whole-heartedly, and in their very organized fashion, we were given a book to write down whatever contribution we wanted give toward which category of need: education, transportation, energy, etc  The council of tribal elders are trying very hard to organize themselves this year, because this Lau Group of Eastern Islands have just opened to the yachties and they want to do the right thing for their people and for those who want to come. I am shortly making a trip into the school to give them some supplies and talk to the class of 7-8th graders; I visited yesterday and they said they would love to answer my questions about their culture, a subject they themselves are studying.  We may move up to the Bay of Islands this afternoon. Love you, S & D

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Budd Reef

Had a great sail over to the main island of Yanuca at Budd Reef yesterday, and Willie, the chief's son, picked us all up in his long boat and took us to the village for sevusevu, the giving of the kava roots to the chief and having him welcome us to his village.  We are with Eagle's Wings and three other boats, Soggy Paws, Chesapeake, and Challenger.  We went on a significant hike on the little volcanic island nearby and then Willie took us snorkeling at the northern pass; it was quite cloudy so the light was pretty marginal, but the coral reef is beautiful out here and we look forward to more.  Due to more wind than anticipated, we moved over to the west side of the smaller western island, and it is a really nice, calm anchorage. David is very happy he was finally able to venture out with us and we are definitely looking forward to a peaceful night.  Hope all is well on the home-front.  Love to all, S & D

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taveuni Touches Our Hearts and Souls

Our week at Beverley Bay with Ken and Beth from Eagle's Wings included great evenings at the little restaurant on the hill above the bay, as well as fascinating experiments with anchoring the dinghies.                                     
                          Lovely Berina supplied us with yummy fresh veggies when we walked into Matei.            
 From the yachts, we would ride into shore and catch rides to our destinations.
   Harry owns the land up the hill and drove us south to the carnival last Friday.
 The carnival at the Secondary School near Somasoma Village celebrated culture and student talent.
 The wonderful performances brought back some very fond memories from teaching high school.
 These kids danced and sang to help stop drug abuse; seems to be a common concern to people everywhere
 The Warrior Dance was done with precision, pride, and high energy..
 Sidewinder was able to fill her water tanks with the help of Captain Dave :)
 Suzi and Beth had a great time cooking a delicious Fiji feast on Eagle's Wings
 What a great evening we had!

             Spectacular sunsets soothed our souls!
 Sissy loved her visit to Eagle's Wings on Sunday.  Sonny is a talented artist and we all have a part of him now on our boats. What a great family and we will keep in touch with them as we travel on.
Sherry has bright eyes and a contagious smile. She does a great deal to help out her fellow Fijians on Taveuni.  We will carry our new friendships with us and someday, we hope to see them again.

Beverley Bay Hang with Eagle's Wings

We are now leaving for Budd Reef after spending a wonderful week hanging with our friends, Ken and Beth, on Eagle's Wings. in Beverley Bay, Taveuni. David's infection has cleared and the winds have finally settled down. Over the course of the week, we shared great quality time enjoying a Sidewinder movie night, a special Beth-Suzi traditional Fijian meal,  and tea with Sherry, Sonny, Cynthia, and Sissy on Eagle's Wings. We have met so many lovely local Fijians, along with some Kiwi friends who live neayby during their winter, and we were fortunate to take in a special carnival at the local secondary school on the island. Our forced stay certainly turned out to be nothing but magic and we take along with us some great memories. We hope to sail from Budd Reef, which is northeast from here about 18 miles, over to the Lau sometime next week. Many new adventures to come and Eagle's Wings is doing part of the journey with us. How fun to share with them some more quality time as well.    Love and good health to all.   Suzi and David

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Taveuni to Qamea to Matagi and back to Matei

 These two pretty angels welcomed us to their church; the Fijian singing on Sunday was so soulful.
 The interntional dateline goes right through Taveuni and here it is, on a rugby field.
It was great fun surprising Kris and Marc when they first arrived on Taveuni.
 What a good feeling it was for me, to hug my very dearest friend, Kris.
 Their exquisite bure was nestled at the very end of this beautiful beach; a perfect place to celebrate life!
 We snorkled in the magical Matangi Bay, where Sidewinder stayed, and enjoyed our time together
 In celebration of birthday, anniversary, and special friendship, we shared a private Matangi beach picnic;
this included an afternoon at the little honeymoon bure on the beach, delicious munchies, and  fine wine.
 We certainly do know how to have fun with such good friends.  I miss my dear buddy already!

What great adventures we have had since leaving Viani Bay, ending with our wonderful rendezvous with special friends, Kris and Marc.While waiting for Kris and Marc to arrive, we ventured down the west coast of Taveuni and checked out a few of the sights: the beautiful,old Catholic church, and the international dateline. While Marc and Kris stayed at the fabulous Matangi Bay Resort on the island of Matagi, we found wonderful Namata Bay, on the northwest corner of Qamea; we also stayed a few days inside the exclusive Matagi Bay.We are now back in Matei, Taveuni, where there is internet connection, waiting for the infection on David's right foot to heal and our lovely little treehouse on 8th Ave, South Laguna, to be rented for another year, now that our present tenants have to leave. Our trip to the Lau Group has been delayed a bit, but, with patience, our journey will contnue on. This is not a bad place to be stuck for now!  Life is good.