Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fiji: A View from the Marina!

Trillium at the wall
After a four day sail by ourselves from Tonga to Fiji, we are in Vuda Marina at Vunda Pointe. I was told in the Fijian language, the "n" is silent so it is called Vuda Point. (Later I learned that they leave it out of the English spelling, but the locals put the "n" in the word when they speak.) It is a nice little marina with a good working yard. That is just what we need as the water maker needs help! It seems we have blown a seal on the high pressure pump so we can't make water. Many of the boats are having water maker trouble so we are not alone. It is just the normal wear and tear when you are sailing everyday.

The staff here is the friendliest we have ever met! Nikki and Maaria in the office should have the "Employees of the Year" Award. There can be 10 people lined up and asking for 10 different things and they manage it all with a smile and wonderful attitude.

Looking out from the marina basin

This marina has a couple of restaurants and offer special events: Monday night movies, Tuesday night half-price pizza, Thirsty Thursday Half Price Drinks, and  Sunday Night live music on the lawn. Also, The First Landing Resort is next door where we use the swimming pool. They also offer fine dining under the stars with great music every evening!

And! There is a spa! Merc and I have a girls' day planned to have a manicure and pedicure and lunch! I can see being here for repairs will not be painful! At least not until we have to pay the repair bill!

Protecting the wind generator during haulout
We are hauling out to clean the bottom, change the zincs and clean the barnacles off the propeller. The amount of stuff that grows on the hull even when you are moving is amazing! This is just normal maintenance. We may not be mowing the lawn and cleaning the house, but we have similar boat jobs!

It was a very tight fit with only a few inches of clearance!
The haulout process was hair-raising! The TravelLift was smaller than the ones we have used in the past. They couldn't lift the boat high enough without crunching the wind generator to have much clearance under the keel. There was only about two inches between the concrete and the keel. Now we will be living on the hard for a few days while we complete the work ourselves. In the meantime, the mechanics are working on the water maker

Dennis up the mast for a rigging check!
There is always a certain amount of "on the hard camaraderie" when fleet boats are working on projects. It makes for good (and sometimes frustrating) Happy Hour conversations!

Our Germany friends Wolf and Sebastian
 from S/Y CHICK-aLU savoring our
engine room! Maybe a little envy???
The plus of being here is that there are about 10 other World ARC boats here for repairs. The many miles traveled have taken a toll on generators, water makers, rigging, sails, etc. When you think about it, we have all put about five years worth of normal sailing but in more severe elements than if we were just sailing at home! And most of the boats had crossed the Atlantic before starting the World ARC.

Crusty and tough little barnacles on the zinc plate!
It is amazing to see what grows on the bottom of the boat and the propeller! Crusty little barnacles that are hard to dislodge seem to be on with super glue! We scraped and cleaned the propeller and the zincs that did not need to be changed. Fortunately, the great bottom paint put  on before we left the BVI worked beautifully. We had the cleanest bottom around!.

Propeller before cleaning.

The results of many hours of scraping and polishing!
We will head over to Musket Cove for the World ARC Rendezvous and to say "until we meet again" to the boats that are keeping to the World ARC 16-month schedule. We are dropping out for a year - along with eight other World ARC boats to travel to New Zealand for their summer (Michigan's winter) and then back to Fiji or Tonga in April or May 2015 to join World ARC 2015. Then we will continue on to the finish line in St. Lucia sometime in April 2016!


  1. Fascinating!! Thank you for posting - I love following your progress!
    Safe travels,
    Mary Stephenson

  2. All is well on Beacon Hill! I can tell the new owners LOVE your house.
    I have enjoyed reading here of your travels. It turns out that I saw it when Marney Ramsey put it on FB.


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