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Really the last day in Fiji

The first part of the morning was spent readying the boat for ocean sailing. That mainly meant tidying things up a little more than normal as well as putting on the jack lines around the boat to allow safe movement around the deck in bad weather. On the way over to our ‘secret’ location our problem with one of the baton holders recurred. I spent a little while working out a fix yesterday and hopefully have the issue now under control.

Once the boat work was complete, Lissa and I went ashore to feel terra firma for a while. Helen, perhaps feeling a little anxious about the forthcoming passage, wasn’t feeling brilliant and stayed aboard. I took my running shorts with me and went for a run around the perimeter of the island. I had intended to run two circuits but when I hit the soft sand on the back leg by own legs felt very wobbly so one circuit was enough this time. I think I really need to get into a bit more running when I can.

We spent the rest of the morning hanging out and telling jokes, most of them coming from Don from Coramundel.

We returned for lunch and later in the afternoon I went ashore on my own to deal with our surplus wine.

At 5pm we all went ashore. Helen and Lissa were soon being looked after by the locals and ended up playing a passive part in the ‘cava ceremony’ put on for the arriving visitors. Helen, again, looked incredibly nice and Lissa looked pretty good too.

Regular blog readers will probably have a very good idea where we are right now so here are a few pics from last night which will totally give the game away.

The current weather forecast couldn’t look any better. If the real weather matches the forecast weather we’ll be on one tack all the way down to New Zealand. The first few days should be in relatively light seas although there is a chance of the seas picking up towards the end. We are absolutely and definitely leaving today. We’ll go ashore for breakfast but on our return the dinghy will be prepped for passage and we’ll be off.

Drunk on Life

I was feeling quite emotional yesterday morning. While at Robinson Crusoe island we’ve been in a very pleasant limbo. The place runs itself as a family and long term visitors get sucked in. For a while we’ve forgotten the outside world. But the prospect of leaving brings the outside world back in. In my mind were thoughts of the passage to NZ ahead, visiting sorely missed family in November through February in South Africa and the UK and the prospect of becoming grand parents in January. Stirred in were the feelings of sadness for leaving Robinson Crusoe and, not too long from now, Fiji. Front and center were very warm feelings for Helen brought on from watching her dance the night before. It feels like when we first met 28 years ago.

I first went ashore on my own to pick up some T-Shirts, a DVD and settle up. I treated myself to a cooked breakfast, something I’m not allowed on the boat unless I’ve been really good. I gave some antibiotics to Clint, the dive instructor, who has an infected boil on his leg as well as some of Helen’s chilli chutney which I also gave to Rie and Don from Coromundel. We have enough to last and the excess won’t be allowed into NZ so we gave it away. I also gave some scissors to the dance group as the ones they’d been using when Helen had helped out were really bad.

Once this was all sorted I returned to the boat to pick up Helen and a USB stick so we could collect some of the music played at the resort. We said our goodbyes, gave a few hugs and made our departure.

The winds were light so we motor sailed. In calm seas we headed north west with the job out for an extra push. We cranked up the music playing Cat Stevens mixed with some of our new Polynesian mix. For some reason, once out at sea there are no regrets. Past and future merge into one, the emotions run. We were drunk on life. I think the South Pacific hook set a little deeper. (On that note it’s worth pointing out we caught no fish).

We only went as far as Momi Bay where we intend to wait a couple of nights before heading into Denaru Marina.

Here we enjoyed a quiet afternoon to ourselves. We watched the videos of our dancing and remembered the fun we had. It’s obvious we don’t have the bodies of the dancers (although in my mind Helen always does) but I think we’re doing pretty well considering our combined ages are over 100. In the spirit of trying anything once we’ve found something that was very personally enjoying.

BBQ ribs for dinner. Mmmmmm.

I continue to look at the wide area forecasts each day. The ‘Big Fat High’ which, 5 days ago was forecast to leave Australia 5-6 days from then, is still forecast to leave Australia in 5-6 days. Maybe it’s sitting there waiting for our departure. Somehow I doubt it. I expect that if I looked at a map of where the jet stream is right now it’s probably snaking around this system leaving it stationary. It’ll be good to watch as it passes as we could well be taking the next one behind it.

Day Show

We woke in a new world.  The rain clouds had gone, the air was crisp and the sky was blue.  After a week of miserable weather the change to the better has a great affect on the soul.

Around mid morning Helen and I went ashore. Helen was hoping to find one of the female dancers to show her some moves. It took a while and eventually it was decided to spend some time today on a dance they will be doing tonight which is easy to learn. In between all the waiting Helen learned and played a few games of Rummicub with Coby from Drifter who spends most days ashore.

Over the last couple of days we’d got to know a young couple of Brits, Matt and Jo. It was their last full day ashore. They had a dive planned but also decided it would be fun to join in the dance. We spent a little while going through the moves on the beach. In the end, their dive clashed with the show so they missed out.

While the day trippers were having their lunch it was time for me to change for the dance. I was given a sulu and a grass skirt to wear and had some black paint applied. I really had to wonder what I’d put myself in for. I have to confess my main motivation has been to get Helen to dance as the ladies in the troup make an effort to dress the guest dancers up. I knew if I didn’t join in, Helen never would, so here I find myself dressed like a plump native with a bad hair day.

Although I’ve learned two numbers, only one of them was on the lunch time play list. So song number 4 was the fisherman dance and I jumped in to join the guys doing the dance. Before we’d agreed that I would sit in the middle of them so I could get the timing right. In the end they connived to put me on the front row.  Yikes.

YouTube Preview Image

It didn’t go so bad.  I was nervous but tried not to look it.  It was kind of fun to do.

I thought I was done after this number but I was dragged into the next dance as it was a no brainer.  I just had to hang onto a palm frond and walk back and forward while the girls danced.  Getting close to those coconut shells wasn’t so bad. The guy on the other end of the palm frond kept mucking about trying to pull me over. I pulled back of course.

Once all was done and over we made arrangements for dinner aboard Dignity.  We’d invited Arnold and Coby from Drifter, Don from Coromandel and Clint, the dive instructor ashore all over for curry and drinks.  We also invited Jo and Matt for sundowners.  Helen and I went back on the boat for a rest and a clean up for me.  I tried cleaning off the paint in the sea but that didn’t work.  I tried lots of soap in the shower and that just made a mess.  In the end it all just wiped off with a tissue.

At 5:30 I went ashore to pick up Clint, Jo and Matt, took them back to the boat and cranked out the G&Ts.  It was a good evening.  I took Jo and Matt back ashore for their dinner at 7pm.  Clint ended up staying the night in our spare berth.

This morning I took Clint ashore and have visited both Drifter and Coromandel to do some computer assistance.

Rubbish

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.