South Pacific August 2010

Hi there back with more, Bora Bora is a great place to stay for a short time but it soon became Boring Boring for me anyway. We remained in the anchorage for a week and then decided to move with just 1 rudder. To get  from the anchorage to town was a bit of a mission and Moe, Liv and I had a altercation with not 1 but 2 reefs on our way back in the dinghy the first night. Town is all set up for the dancing competition with all grass huts with restaurants and bars, all pretty cool. There are duty free shops selling pearls, banks, T shirt shops, bars and supermarkets and you can get pretty much all you need. Chin Lees supermarket sells everything and is the bottleshop and baggette supplier. The good old baggette is one thing you get daily and if you let it go stale, about 8 hours, then slice it up for toast it is a winner. We have lived on that for brekkie since getting to FP. Got the rudder in with help from Walter and Ilanor, couple of Austrians, good dudes and celebrated with a few beers then went for a test drive. All good. Went around the island inside the reef and checked out where the girls and I rode pushies. The ride around Bora Bora would have been OK if we hadn’t listened to Moe who thought the pretty red bike was for her, so we all got heaps of shit, no gears and my seat broke making for a horror time. We all got back to the boat and went to bed, 35 kms.

Next day, Jen and I loaded up and went to Bloody Marys for lunch and a few and got free water and ice, bargain, the girls climbed the mountain which was a horror effort taking all day, they slept well that night too. Next day said our goodbyes and headed out for Western Samoa an 8 day passage. We all caught a mahi mahi each and Liv caught her first big fish, they were all about 15kgs and put up a good fight. Only killed 1 let the rest go. 2 days out the spinacker ripped again this time pretty terminal so Moe got yelled at, but after a day or 2 I got over it. Liv found that the seasick pills worked good although she still got a bit crook. Moe and Liv did watch from 1800 to midnight and I did it from then to whenever they woke up and Jen cooked, so it all went well.  We didn’t see another boat after FP so we could have slept the whole way anyway.DSC02380

We pretty much had easterly winds all the way there so jibed backwards and forwards downwind the whole way. We got to Samoa in the afternoon and got led into the marina and as it was Sunday we had to wait for clearing in the next morning along with 5 other boats. The customs and immigration people were great, on time and quick so we were allowed to leave the marina by lunch time and went with Andy our new self designated taxi driver to a Chinese restaurant and then to the slippery rocks. You pay about 2 bucks each and you go and slide down these really steep rocks into a pool. They would ban it in Australia. After my first go I just drifted around the pool with a fake smile on hoping that the pain from my balls would go away. It took a good 10 minutes. Moe and Liv got into it, Jen wouldn’t go near it and just swam in the pool at the bottom of the hill. DSC02434
                                                       We went and checked out the whole island and had a feed at the southern end where the tsunami hit. Now that was sad about 150 people were killed mainly children and grand parents. They are making roads up into the hills for people to relocate and also as an escape route. Poor buggers, real sad. We saw some hooting waterfalls, caves and towns and for the cost of $150.00 it was cool as I didn’t have to drive all day. Got the taxi driver drink driving again and had some breadfruit that his wife cooked, not much chop.

To fuel up you can either take jerry cans or get a minimum of 1000l in a truck from the wharf duty free. I sweet talked the girl into letting us just get 700l which still ended up 170l to much but a couple on another yacht soon had 8 cans and bought it off me, good deal all round saved .50cents a litre and didn’t have to go back and forward in a taxi 10 times. Taxis are cheap though. We did a shop at the markets and supermarket and left Liv with the guys on a boat next to us for the night so she could fly out in the morning , and set out at about 1500hrs around the top of the island headed for Fiji.

Good sail but could have done with a bit of south in the east but not to be. Sat on 7 knots  for 4 days the whole way to Suva. The last day was a motor as it was like a millpond so we had the lines out. Caught a Bonito, lost a Mahi Mahi  at the boat and something else that just took off with my lure and line. Need to get new line as it is all twisted and stuffed. Got into Suva 1800 once again on a Sunday so wasn’t meant to leave the boat. Moe and I did a commando raid and got some drinks from the Royal Suva Yacht Club. We had to keep a low profile but got stuck next to the number draw in front of everyone, so much for the stealth. Next day customs came out at about 1600hrs and did their stuff. All went good but apparently you need to let them know you are coming 48hrs prior to arrival. Said we were sorry and thought nothing else of it. They moved to other boats and we hit the bar where we got stuck into it with a couple of locals, Phil and Kerry , had a beauty.

Next day organised  spinnacker repair and new GPS  then went to town to get our passports stamped as they forgot their stamp. I waited for an hour or so and then got told to wait more as we had breached Fiji laws and it needed to be sorted out by the boss. He give it to me but I just kept nodding and bum licking till he finally had a guts full and let me off with my first and last warning, phew up to 10000FJD. Suva is a pretty old place but has really good food and shopping, lots of people, most things you need and the RSYC which is over the road from the jail. Everyone wanted to marry Moe but not on, Imagine having an Indian taxi driver as a relly, on par with a bloody kiwi. The Fijian’s drive taxi’s at night and the Indian’s during the day so they don’t get robbed. The taxis are all rooted with the standard cardboard on the floor, open the door from outside when you are inside and lock the door with the window down to stop it from flying open when going round corners. The roads are rough as guts so all the cars rattle as well.

We had a ball, yumcha, chilli crabs and more yumcha. Bought half a dozen muddies for about $20 from the markets and the veges are superb. Pineapples, pawpaw and watermelon. This is my type of town.                                                                                                                                We bought 2 wraps of Karva for the chiefs on the islands we want to visit and the barman mixed up a brew for us on the boat. Tastes like crap and didn’t really do anything. We left Suva 0700 with the old repaired spinnacker and a new smaller one. We got round the bottom and it was 18kns up the bum so we decided to pop the new one. I attached it to all points and checked that there were no twists then raised it but the wind got in to where I had been checking and the bloody thing launched itself. The boat was in autopilot and then we saw the sock and its rope at the top of the kite. Horror. Not good as that is pretty essential to get the prick of a thing down. At least there were no twists and we now know it is a smart spinnacker. We were doing 13kns and the wind reached 20kns then 23 and then 25kns and we were doing 15kns and then a storm came in and all around us was white water and the white caps were pluming, we were now doing 14kns in the lulls and hit our highest ever speed, 19.7kns and believe me I was getting worried about my heart. Jen was shitn Moe was sleeping and Boomerang was planing in front of the waves. I took it for 3 hours and the waves were getting a bit bigger and all I could think of was that cats don’t capsize they cartwheel and that I was shaking so we made a plan, I let go of the sheet and Moe fed it then we ran to the front to try to drag it in, fat chance so we set Jen her job to let go of the halyard which she did and bolted inside, don’t blame her, but the cleat hadn’t been released. The noise was unbelievable. I got dragged  almost off the bow, Moe sussed the problem and released the cleat and down it came into the water. One of the happiest conclusions we could have ever hoped for. Moe’s comment after we had retrieved and packed it away was “That was never going to end up good” was horribly accurate.

We motored into the Port of Nadi, Port Denarau, at about 2100hrs, pitch black with no GPS and going with the flow of the day I drove us onto an unmarked rock and being super low tide we managed to clip it with the starboard keel. The boat stopped us dead in our tracks, lucky we were only doing 2kns, we reversed off and then we did 2kns to the entry of Port Denarau channel then had another brush with the bottom, this time mud and soft. I was just about to give up and anchor out in the bay but Luke and Luke were waiting for us in the bar. So we had another shot and cleared the bar by just over a foot and headed in to a very impressive marina and anchored up. Happy Fathers Day. That was the most full on day I had ever had as el Capitaine of Boomerang. We had a few beers with the boys and went back to the boat and carked it.

We checked out Nadi, Lautoka and a few tourist sites. We ended up at a mud hot spring, and had some fun. First you get down to your jocks then get into a filthy brown pool and reach down and grab the slime you are treading mud in and smear it on your head. You then get out and cover each other in mud you collected from the pool. You then stand in the sun to dry then back into the horror pool to clean down then into a hotspring to end it off. It was really good and you felt tired just walking to the car. We had tea, Karva with the band and all carked it early. We left for Musket Cove next morning and moored up to a buoy and went and checked out their slips. We decided to pull it out next morning and proceeded to get on it at Dick smiths Yacht Club. It was soon late and with no food we were pretty messy as we headed back to the boat and bed. At about  0300 I woke with the worries about pulling the boat out on the big trailer, didn’t get another wink but all for no reason as it went like a dream. We repaired the hole with the fiberglass gear I had bought from America, good job. Cleaned all the barnacles off and antifouled  bits that needed it. We finished at sunset and got do right in at the bar. That night we slept in the only high rise in Musket Cove. Putting it back in went well and we stocked up with ice and stuff and headed out to see the sites. Once again the reef is average although the fish were cool and we found a sea horse and a crown of thorns starfish. Ugly things they are. We then headed for Tanna Island but pulled up at a small isle and were confronted with about 10 dolphins that put on a show that was unbelievable. They were jumping 6ft into the air and belly flopping or diving back in perfectly, swimming on their backs and clapping their tails on the surface right alongside the boat. This went on for about half an hour, it was like they had escaped from marine world or something.  After they left Luke spyed a family of squid next to the boat. They were coloured black like the antifouling and were very lucky we didn’t have a squid jig. We tried catching them with all sorts of things but they weren’t that keen on our bait, chicken of the sea, we just call it tuna. Yanks. We swam around the island, a pretty good swim that just got longer and longer at every point we rounded. We finally reached the beach and found Jen in a pair of boardies and the mal on the beach. Had the usual beers and headed for Tanna Island and try to get to see the Dockers in the final. We ended up listening to it, bummer game after all the effort to get it. We went to Beachcomber Island, not much good and headed back to Port Denarau. Bought some pots and went crabbing with immediate results. Ended up catching 4 and stashed them for later. We stocked boat and said our goodbyes to the band, had one last Karva with Skins and the boys, and pizza. Cleared out next morning at Laurtoka and headed west .

The Ranga’s



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