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Last day in Savusavu

In the morning we went ashore to clear out and buy some fresh veg. On the way back to the boat we stopped off at a few friends to say goodbye. Amongst those we met were Gary from Inspiration Lady, George and Claudia from Dreamtime, David & Jackie from Jackster, Petr from Endless, Bruce & Alane from Migration, Paul & Maurine from Callypso and Ed & Cornelia from A Cappella. It’s amazing how many folks we know here in the creek at Savusavu. Everyone asked how I’m feeling which is a little better than before. Some progress.

Helen and I stayed on the boat for the rest of the day. Sam went ashore a couple of times to hang out with some of the folks he’s met. He returned the second time around 10:30pm. His arrival woke me up so I went upstairs and chatted with him for a while.

Today we head west on our first leg to Lautoka. I have 5 legs plotted which we’ll more or less follow.


In the morning we really didn’t do too much, just hung around, read, played, relaxed. After lunch we moved the boat into Savusavu so I could visit the doctor. We ended up anchoring at the head of the creek as all the moorings were taken up.

I was able to contact the doctor fairly quickly and soon had an appointment. I went ashore and visited the doctor. I don’t think he had a clear idea of what was wrong suggesting possibly scurvy. He gave me a number of supplement, mainly vitamin C. I’ve started them and, oddly enough, am beginning to feel a little better.

While in the anchorage we got in contact with Inspiration Lady who we’ll probably meet up with tonight. We also ended up chatting with Evi on Wonderland who is here in the creek. We also noticed Endless in the anchorage and on the way back from the doctors I went over to visit. I ended up going aboard where Petr gave me a beer. We chatted for a while and agreed to go out together that evening along with George and Claudia from Dreamtime. I was able to collect the battens he’d brought up from New Zealand.

At 6pm we went ashore to the Coprashed meeting up with everyone there. It was nice to get back together again and catch up. We then went to the Back Deck to eat and have a few more beers. A good evening all round.

Sam met up with some locals and may end up staying out tonight. Apart from that we have a few chored to do around the boat which we’re not doing just yet due to rain. We’re back in Savusavu.

Not all going to plan

A little less satisfying day. Somehow we stayed busy but progress didn’t seem so apparent and there were a few set backs…..

I had a morning trip out in the rental car. I visited the auto shop and picked up 3 x 5 litre bottles of distilled water – one to give back to Peter on Nymph. Next I picked up a stiff 5 litre container for my water maker project. Final stop was the other side of town to visit scrap metal merchants who picked up my old motors (not the ones I first visited). NZ$127 is not a fortune but it all helps. A good bit of news is that they offered $5 per kilo for my old battery cable – a lot better than the $1.20 the first lot offered. Still not a good price but it’s not an insult.

Back on the boat I took a look at the placement for my new container for the water maker project. I realized it wouldn’t be high enough and my current idea won’t fly. I came up with another couple of ideas for placing the container but both require a fair bit of extra work. Not sure how badly I want this done now.

Dan, who’s helping build the battery box, was interested in a lot of our old battery cable ended up taking quite a lot. This will help pay for his time on the box and gel coat work. It’s not an easy task fitting a strong box to a curved hull and I’m glad we’ve hired him for the work.

Just before lunch I lowered the dinghy and fit the outboard to test it out. It started ok but the throttle had seized. Specifically it looked like the cable (very much like a bicycle brake cable) had seized. I sprayed in some WD-40 to see if that would sort it out over lunch. Unfortunately it didn’t. When I started to take things apart a screw head sheared off. At that point I decided I needed a professional on the job.

So I drove round to the folks who serviced it last year and discovered they’d moved elsewhere. The folks next door turned out to service outboards and I told them of my dilemma. They told me to paddle over in the dinghy at the next high tide so they could take a look. That turned out to be the following day. Given that they may have to order parts and every day counted I decided to bring the outboard over in the car. Which I did. All fingers and toes have to be crossed on this one as this could delay our departure until next week.

I’m a bit peed off by this. I should really have tested the dinghy as soon as we were in the water and perhaps saved a day or two on this. Oh well. We needed the weekend off.

Joel and Bertrand popped by on the way to the airport to drop off our warranty and to say a final goodbye. It was nice to see them again. I gave them a DVD of the pictures I took while they were working.

We still turned out to have a couple more slow leaks on our fresh water circuit. I decided that enough was enough and put in our pressure reducer. Now the leaks have all gone but the showers aren’t so much fun.

I reread the manual for our sail drives resulting in a return to the auto shop so I could buy a foot pump and hoses necessary to blow the oil out of the sail drives. Got all this done for about $30 so I was quite pleased.

A couple of successful tests. I managed to send and receive email over the single side band radio in the evening. So that’s looking good. Even better, the radio doesn’t interfere with the new stereo. The last one used to make all sorts of buzzing sounds when I used the short wave. There’s even signs there may be better reliability at lower frequencies. In the past the USB serial device used to disconnect when I used lower frequencies. It hasn’t happened yet. Could just be luck but who knows. Something to watch over time.

I also tested our final handheld GPS (previously buried in junk) on my new nav station setup. It powered up and communicated fine. Great stuff.

Helen continued to clean and reorganize the boat. It’s hard work. She even made me reorganize my cluttered desk top by the nav station.

In the evening we had (Division II) Amy and Dan’s kids over to play on the XBox/Kinnect. They’d given us a lot of their monthly internet bandwidth to download one of the games that came with the kinnect. I didn’t realize it had to be downloaded as otherwise I would have sorted it all out in the Uk. Here it is a pain. I’d done the download along with everything else on Monday. Unfortunately the USB stick I’d put the 4.6GB game onto had gone corrupt so that turned out to be a waste of time. Because the kids will get a little less video for the next 3 weeks I had promised to make up by letting them play. Despite the setback I still owed them this. They had a fun time jumping around in front of the kinnect and they ended up going back nearly an hour late. With the way things are going we may have them back again before we leave.

We had a nice surprise after they left when Petr from Endless popped by to say hello. He was visiting the next door boat and saw us. So he came over for a quick meet and greet. Turns out we have similar plans for this year so that should be good.

The last set back for the day came when I headed down to our berth at the end of the day with my laptop. I dropped my wireless mouse and now the buttons are a bit stuffed and the wheel won’t turn. I’ll have a go at fixing it today but I’m not sure about it. We’ll see.

Chance Encounters

It took another two hours of work but in the morning I managed to sort out the email set up messed up the day before. I feel relieved. Only thing left is a bit of education as the root cause boiled down to large numbers of huge attachments resulting from scanned documents being sent out. I need to talk to his wife and work out a better way to do what she’s been doing which I can do this afternoon.

In the afternoon Helen and I decided to walk to Abbey Caves, about three to four miles out of town. It was a very pleasant walk through rural countryside and a bit of a climb giving us good exercise. About a mile from the caves we were passing a home and just arriving was Neil, who we’d last met when he was a guest aboard Endless and joined us on the river trip at Likuri Island. What a pleasant surprise. We were soon chatting and it didn’t take long before we were invited in on our return from the caves.

We eventually found the caves area further along the road though much further than our map suggested. Unfortunately there was no information whatsoever available, not even a map of the area to give us an idea of what to expect or find. We followed the path in and found ‘Organ Cave’ into which we descended and waded along an underground stream to where there was no light whatsoever except for our torches and that of the glow worms when we turned the light off.

We explored the area a little further finding an interesting rocky zone called the Rock Garden. Little did we know, we’d completely missed two other caves but at least we’d seen the biggest one.

Heading back we stopped by Neil’s home and met his wife, two kids, dog and cat. We sufficient arm twisting we reluctantly agreed to a few beers too while we chatted about our experiences in Fiji and other things. Neil then took us over half the way back showing us a great view of the town. He would have taken us all the way in but we insisted we were out for the exercise. From there we walked back to town and ate out at a Thai restaurant in the town center.


The weather continues to be pretty iffy with bouts of strong rain interspersed with cloudy skies and the occasional peak of sunshine. It looks to be much the same for the next few days.

On the subject of weather, yesterday morning we saw signs of a ‘big fat high’ predicted to form and leave Australia. This is often the herald of a good sailing window down to New Zealand. This mornings forecast reinforces the picture and, being a day later, gives us an extra days forecast on it and making the forecast more accurate. Had we been sitting here waiting to go we would be watching this one very closely, perhaps to leave in a couple of days. For now, we will watch it, and it’s aftermath, to learn something of the local weather.

We had a few visits in the morning. Petr from Endless popped by to say goodbye as they were off. Arnold from Drifter popped by to return our hard drive and lend us his. Don, Hannah and cat visited from Coramandel for a chat. Don’s a long time cruiser and Hannah is his current visitor/crew. He’s a jack of many trades including chiropractics. We agreed a swap of some of our surplus wine for some bone crunching later in the day.

Later in the day was around 4pm when we headed ashore. Don gave us both a good session on the massage tables here at the resort. The right hand side of my back was stiff. Apparently this was due to tension on the left hand side of my back which was caused by my left leg being shorter than the right which in turn was caused by my preference to step down onto my left leg. Plenty of action was taken on these causes and symptoms. It’s wasn’t overly painful but some strange things were done.

The Ireland v Wales match was on at 6pm but we forgot the summertime switch in NZ which hadn’t happened here. Therefore the match started at 5pm and we missed most of the first half. A few of us congregated around the resort TV to watch the rest of the match.

It turned out that Wayne, one of the resort owners, had Sky TV in his home within the resort. He let us go there to watch the England v France match. What a load of rubbish. England are now out. The second half had it’s excitement but we watched with our usual despair at our home team.

We are anticipating today’s match between South Africa and Australia with much excitement.