Monday, August 10, 2015

Taking Care of Business in Fiji

What a happy weekend with family for a great event!
Unfortunately, we missed seeing the Lau Group of islands, which are very primitive, due to our trip to the USA for Nicks PhD graduation. The family time was well worth it, though! So our main business in Fiji this time was to have the boat hauled out and the antifouling paint applied to the hull. We need fresh paint to clear in to Australia where they are super-strict about the biosecurity. I find this amusing in a way because Oz (as Australia is called out here) has more dangerous creatures than any place on the globe!

The other item of business was dealing with a black pearl pendant with a local businessman in Nadi. Ali, our driver, takes people to merchants where he gets a little commission. That is fine. What wasnt fine was the representation that the piece of jewelry was white gold! The pendant is, but the chain wasnt even silver! It turned black on my neck.

While he did replace the chain with what he said was a silver one, I have great doubts since he took it off a rack that is sitting out in the open. First of all, if it is a sterling silver chain, it would tarnish in the open air and secondly, I dont think it would be out of the case. When I challenged him on whether or not it was sterling silver, he said it was silver. I asked if it was silver plated. He said it is silver! We will see when I start wearing it. I think I will be buying my own white gold chain. He had a lovely one, but I was not about to give this guy more money!

When we have a driver; we run numerous errands: Vodafone top up, provisioning, pharmacy, fresh market, etc. so we get it all done in one trip. It costs less than renting a car for the day and Ali knows where to go and how to deal with the traffic. And it is much less stressful for us!

We sailed over to Musket Cove to participate in the World ARC events before the 2015 WARC left for Vanuatu. It was fun seeing our friends who are leaving us and heading to Australia with the WARC, plus meeting current WARC sailors. Our intent was to hang out at Musket Cove for a few days and then explore other islands.

The Musket Cove Resort entertainment.
In an overnight decision, we decided to go to Vanuatu with the WARC! Feeling a little torn about not hanging on the hook in Fiji for a couple of weeks and participating in the WARC events in Tanna, we went for Tanna. So we quickly readied the boat for the three day passage to Port Resolution, Tanna, Vanuatu. We were not fully provisioned as I had planned to return to Lautoka at the end of July to stock up for the Vanuatu month! Hopefully there will be good provisioning when we get to Port Vila in a couple of weeks.

So off we go again   No sad goodbyes in Vuda Marina as we did not go back there. Fortunately, we were able to fuel up in Musket Cove. I do wish I could have said goodbye to all of the ladies at Vuda Marina and Millies group, but I think it would have been emotional knowing that we wont see them again. Vuda Marina was a home away from home. Vinaka!

This will now give us more time to work with the people on Avokh Island in the South Maskelynes of Vanuatu. We have a boat full of things for them and plan to install solar lighting in their community building. It looks like we will be in Vanuatu for over two months - if they let us!



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