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Back to Nadi

After a very slow morning Helen and I took the shuttle bus into Nadi. Although not quite. We walked up the road to the roundabout where we could catch the shuttle bus avoiding the round trip to all the nearby hotels. While we were waiting, one of the hotel vans picked us up and took us into town for the same fare as the bus. All the same to us.

We checked out the Italian Deli and the nearby butchers before walking into town. We stopped at Mamas for a very tasty and filling pizza. We continued our exploration of the town finding a lot more to it than we previously understood to be there. We picked up a few provisions saving for Monday the big effort to provision for the next month. I did manage to find a variable input (ie AC 100-260V) power supply which could supply a range of output DC voltages. This, hopefully, will solve my problems installing my new network device up the mast. We’ll see. That’s a project for today.

In the evening we went to visit John and Pam on Passages. Just before leaving John and Lucy from Tyee popped by to say hello. They’d just arrived in Denaru and are not staying long intending to head off for Vanuatu next week. Another parting of ways for us. A lot of the boats we got to know crossing the Pacific last year who ended up in New Zealand for the cyclone season have now headed west for Vanuatu. Most of those who are still left are those that have decided to stay for the season and return to New Zealand.

Today we have nothing planned. We’ll probably do a little clean up and I want to try out my new wifi gear up the mast again. If it works, I’ll remove the old one and permanently install the new.

3rd Tuesday on the hard

With the work list dwindling you’d think we’d be having less to do.  It doesn’t seem to be working out that way :

  • I remove temporary batteries I hooked up sitting over the starboard shaft access ready for the techs planned visit.
  • I made my (hopefully) last trip up the mast to file down the epoxy I’d applied to the oversized countersunk holes.
  • The engine tech arrived and told us the second shaft seal was now not expected to arrive from overseas until late May and suggested we try and order one from the US.  I nearly tore his head off.  We then came up with the idea of using the new one and the best of the old ones which is still pretty good.
  • I cleaned and sanded the prop shafts one more time.
  • The engine tech ran into a new problem as the newly machined couplings had been machined in error and needed some more work.  Despite all this, all is expected to be complete on this front by Wednesday.
  • Replaced a bent clip on the dinghy hauling lines.
  • Inventoried genset oil to determine how much more to buy in.
  • Stored around 14 boxes of wine away from the world.
  • Laid out storm anchor.  This is one of those jobs we should have done a long time ago.  We’ve had a second hand para anchor and a brand new set of bridles/lines for nearly two years and we’ve never taken them out of the bags to inspect them, let alone test them at sea.  We removed both sets of lines from the bags and worked out how we would set them from the boat at sea.  We removed the parachute from it’s bag and found it intact but covered in mould.  We hoisted it up the mast for a couple of hours in the afternoon to dry out.  It will have to go up there again today.  Also spent ages trying to untangle the lines to the parachute.  It’s better but not complete.
  • Collected our finished windows.  I took them round to Leu Cat who are considering doing the same project.  They were quite impressed.  There I picked up our two clamshell scoops which had arrived from the US.  Back at the boat Helen was delighted.  We put them into the window frames and checked them out through the plastic still wrapping the boat.  They looked good but we really need to see them with the plastic off.
  • Bottom painting progressed.  Second primer followed by first coat of anti-foul went on.

During the day it was nice to meet John and Lucy from Tyee who’ve just returned from Canada.  Their boat has been in the yard while they’ve been home.  With envy we saw Emily Grace splash/launch.

In the evening it was a pleasure to eat out with Mike and Anne from Callisto at our preferred curry house in Whangarei.  Like us, they like their curries hot so we were able to share five dishes amongst the four of us.  Delicious.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week remains good and all signs point towards a Friday afternoon launch for us.  Today the second layer of anti-foul goes on as will a third application on all our leading edges.  The engine tech should have our prop shafts reconnected and we may even have the hull clean started.  A lot to do yet but it all looks doable.

Found !!!

Tyee are anchored nearby and once we saw them awake we gave them a call to see if they could help. John came over and took me over to the other side of the bay. We almost didn’t see it but our dinghy was up on the exposed coral tucked into a mangrove. No doubt it drifted off around high tide last night and floated into it’s current spot. There was a couple of hundred feet of exposed coral bed between the dinghy and the deep water so we left it there for later. High tide is around 2pm local time. Our current plan is to wait until around midday and take Dignity over and make an attempt to retrieve the dinghy. I still feel like an idiot but at least it’s a relieved idiot now.

Last Day of the Regatta

What a long and fun week this has been. The last day of the regatta finished with a prize giving party at the wharfside hotel in the evening. Before that we did have an interesting day. I spent 4 hours wrestling with the internet at the Aquarium Café. It is a favourite spot, it seems, for cruisers to buy a coffee and collectively wrestle with slow internet connections. It’s quite social as we each wait several minutes for each page to load. I managed to upload a bunch of pictures from the previous day’s events. I also managed to book a flight for Sam to join us in New Zealand. While I was ashore, Ben hosted a chemistry lesson for nine of the kids from Tyee, Kamaya, Stray Kitty & Mojo. Not all his experiments went as planned but from what I heard later it went over well.

Back to the party. At the beginning of the week we had to option to purchase passports which encouraged us to visit places around town and the island gaining points for each visit and even more if we bought things. We gained points for the events we joined in and more if we won any of them. The party included a prize-giving ceremony for the top 11 scorers. As we had stuck together most of the week (and we got Ben’s passport stamped while he was working on the Full Moon Party) we had similar points. Not only did we all make the top 11 we placed near the top gaining a good selection of prizes. Ben and Helen each won two tank dives. I won a 45km 2 person kart ride around the island which I’ll do with Ben. We each earned secondary prizes amounting to a free pizza, a map and a desert for 2 people. All in all this was quite a valuable haul – but very much the icing on the cake for a fun filled week.

The party had some local dancing and a live band. We stayed on till nearly midnight when Helen felt too tired to continue. On the way back to the dinghy it seemed she had a new burst of energy causing her to invite Brian, Brady & Erin from Delos, Jenny from Callisto and Steven and Dorusha back to the boat to carry on the festivities. We didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 – normally (but not recently) quite late for us.

We had planned on scooting out of Neiafu today and seeing some of the outer anchorages. We still don’t have the tracking number for our charger which is getting comical. The Delos crew have invited us to dive on a wreck in the bay here today and we have to sort out and book our prizes so maybe we won’t be out of here after all.

Full Moon Party

The Jackster’s showed up and anchored next to us around midday. We soon had them over to share our experiences of the last few months as well as abandoning our plans to hoist the main sail in favour of a few beers.

Around 6pm we headed ashore to Ano Beach for the ferry service to the Full Moon Party. Sadly, the ferry service was the weak link of the whole evening requiring some folks to wait over two hours for their turn to board and make the passage round to the party. Fortunately we made it over on the second one out so we didn’t have to wait too long.

The party was a lot of fun. A lot of the people we have previously mentioned on our blog were there. Most people on their way to New Zealand this year are either now in Tonga or soon to be arriving. I’m probably missing a few but those that we can put our heads together and remember are : A Cappella, Anthem, Bamboozle, Callisto, Delos, Freezing Rain, Imagine, Inspiration Lady, Jackster, Kamaya, Mojo, Paleides, Passages, Scream, Sea Mist, Trim, Tyee & Visions of Johanna. There were many others and we made some new acquaintances along the way.

A lot of effort had been put into things including three 10 minute shows of which Ben played a part (dressed as a skeleton) in the first and third. Not everything went smoothly but it was all appreciated.

We didn’t get back until after midnight. We didn’t see Ben until the following morning around 11am which I saw him on the ferry. I dinghied over and he jumped in the water to avoid the trip to the beach. He hadn’t slept at all having had the beer and food go free around 3am and partying into the morning followed by helping to clear up.

We have some pictures, courtesy of Ann from Callisto, which will be posted when we can get a connection.

Tomorrow the fun continues so we’ll be off early round to Neiafu.