Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Loving Fiji!

S/V Trilliium docked at Vuda Point Marina, Fiji
Dinner at the First Landing Resort next door.
So far in our 12,000 nm journey, we have found that Fiji is our favorite place! The people, weather and culture are great. There are so many different islands to visit with each group having its own distinct culture. Even though we have spent a lot of time in Vuda Point Marina dealing with the generator, we have come to call it "home."
The beach near the pool and restaurant at Musket Cove.
We are regulars at the Boat Shed Bar and Restaurant as well as the First Landing Resort next door. Their pool is available for us to use, too. We have spent so much time at the resort that they call us by our first names. I have enjoyed the manicure and pedicure and am planning to get a massage before we leave again.

Here at the marina the gals in the office seemed genuinely happy to see us when we came back in from a week long trip to other islands. It is nice to be missed and welcomed back! They greet us with "Welcome Home!." And I can see it will be our home on and off for the 10 weeks or so that we will be in Fiji.

You can walk the beach for miles - at low tide!
It has become quieter as the rest of the fleet has moved on except for the nine boats heading to New Zealand in November. We are all cruising here and will leave in early August to go to Vanuatu and then on to New Caledonia before gathering as World ARC New Zealand at the end of October. Until then, we will be exploring these three countries.
Sondra and Stuart at Rendezvous Dinner. Stuart has
 crewed with us in two Caribbean 1500 Rallies.
Our friends, Stuart and Sondra, from Annapolis joined us for a two week visit. Unfortunately for them, the first week was in the marina dealing with the generator. Fortunately, Sondra loves reading and sun bathing so she just went to the pool for the day. They had a few days at Musket Cove with us before returning to Vuda Point.

The World ARC Rendezvous and farewell dinner for those of us dropping out for the year was held at Musket Cove Marina and Resort. We are now members of the Musket Cove Yacht Club. It is a lovely resort with a nice marina, pool, restaurant and 800 acres to explore. The World ARC has been stopping here for the past eight years.
"Bula, Bula" is the Fijian greeting meaning
"welcome" or "hello." The word for
thank you is "Vinaka."
Paul explaining the marks we will see on the trail.
Paul and Suzanna had a number of events and surprises planned for the fleet. There was one of their famous morning runs where the trail is marked with various symbols to tell you what to do and where to go - or not! Paul intentionally misleads people who think they can win the race! We were just walkers so it was fun to watch people retrace their steps after finding out they were on the wrong track. The message is: don't trust the guy in the bright yellow shirt!

The terrain is varied on the 800 acres of the Musket Cove
Resort. There are cottages tucked into different settings.
There are miles of beach and lagoons to explore and the great tidal change each day makes for an interesting beach area. Many of the boats were on mooring balls outside of the marina, but we were on the wall in a Med mooring slip - as in, stern to the wall. Since the docks were floating, the tide did not make it difficult to get on and off the boat as in some places.

A view of Musket Cove Resort from the hilltop.
It was a bittersweet celebration. Since we were in a free cruising period, the only "prizes" given were to those of us ending our 2014-15 Rally. We received our plaques. There were a lot of hugs at the dinner and on the dock as the fleet left a day early due to weather issues in Vanuatu. Some deep bonds have been made and strong friendships are in place, so it was difficult to say "until we meet again" as we may never see these special people again. There was some lip-biting and glassy eyes fighting tears - that's how special these new friends have become in the short six months together.That is the part of the cruising life that is hard. Although, you just never know where or when someone will sail back into your life! We do hope to visit some in Norway, Germany and Switzerland. And, of course, have extended invitations to come to Michigan and experience the Great Lakes!

Here are some photos of friends we will miss, but the happy times will always remain with us!

My good buddy, Merc! Where is Bob? That's Dave!

Tracy and Tim with their teenagers Brian and Lucy from
Philadelphia on Folie au Duex

We so enjoyed time with Sandra and Tom, the honeymooning
couple from Switzerland on Sweet Pearl.
Dennis with Mimi, Gro and Erhling from Norway on Saphir

Vittorio and Silvano from Italy (not sure where they found
these two ladies!) on Fiesta Lente
Wolf and Sebastian, our German friends
from CHICK-aLU
Tommy on Alpharatz

Pat and Stuart (UK) on Brizio with Imogene and Mimi

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