Friday, November 22, 2013

New Zealand to Fiji -- May to September, 2013 (November 2013)

It’s certainly been a while since we posted anything. Now we’re more or less on the move again. We left New Zealand for Fiji in mid-May (2013), a passage to windward that featured, among other things, plenty of vomiting on my (Bernie’s) part. The offset companion way on the Mason 43 is nicely situated so that those afflicted by mal de mer can make their offering to Neptune directly on the side deck, which he washes away immediately (which admittedly works best when on a port tack). Other highlights included a mollusk-encrusted dinghy that wafted the smell of death through the dorades into our enclosed and humid cabin, and a pre-cooked chicken that fell behind the stove during rough weather and putrefied for days before being discovered.
In late June, our friends from Canada visited us in the Yasawas. We made them work. Yvette hurt her shoulder climbing into the dinghy; James buggered his knee climbing onto the boat. We think they're still friends, but we haven't heard from them in a long time.

In the category of boat repairs: our nine-year-old anchor light/tricolor gave up the ghost immediately after we left NZ. The damn things are expensive. So this time we cobbled together an assembly of much cheaper and more ubiquitous LED running lights for less than the half the price, which has the additional advantage (in my eyes) of being repairable. Admittedly, it's not very pretty, but it lives at the top of the mast, so who cares.
Momo anchored off the village of Somo Somo, Naviti Island in the Yasawas.

Somo Somo landing party.

Somo Somo kids.

Somo Somo
Somo Somo -- outdoor cooking

Jana's pic of a large spider.

James leads from behind on our trek to the other side of Naviti island to snorkel the WWII wreck of a P-39 aircraft. According to the elderly woman who lives near the site and remembers the event, the plane clipped the trees and crashed into the lagoon; the pilot, armed with a handgun, emerged shortly thereafter and enjoyed tea with her aunt before being rescued. 


Momo spins at anchor.

In the "reinventing the wheel" category, Yvette and Jana destroy my mallet trying to figure out how to get into a coconut.

This fellow was destined for the smoker.

Exploring a sandy reef at low tide, Musket Cove, Mamanucas.
We actually spent an inordinate amount of time working while anchored at Musket Cove. But we had a nice view from the office.

A windy day at anchor.
More from the boat repair categories: the dissected corpse of our inverter/ charger. We replaced it with two 60-amp Sterling Power ProChargeUltra chargers (they can be hooked up in parallel) and a separate TruePower 1000 watt inverter. We figured it was a good idea to have to have two separate chargers for redundancy. The chargers also work on both 110 and 220 volts. The complexity of an integrated inverter/charger isn't necessary and such units also have a notoriously high failure rate. At this point, all of our AC comes from the batteries; the Honda generator only powers the chargers. We bought the units from Bay Marine Supply in the US, who shipped them priority mail to Fiji.

A last look at Lautoka ...
Jana and Michelle get in the way of a photo of Lola reading her Kindle while leaving Fiji.

Goodbye Fiji.