November 1, 2006 Wed

We arrived today in the evening. It was a bit hectic coming into the harbor, it was much busier than we thought. There were at least 5 boats Jason was in contact with while coming in. We successfully anchored out and we will move closer in tomorrow morning.

Monkey's Business in Suva, Fiji's harbor

Laurel in front of the prison in Suva

November 2, 2006 Thurs

We had to check in with customs in Suva today. We went to 2 different locations in order to find the correct customs but made the best of it by getting to see the town and picking up our oven part from the post office. Once checked in we requested our weapons be delivered from Savusavu in preparation for our departure. According to Customs, the ones who take the weapons from us in Savu Savu said the police, who are the custodians of the weapons, would be responsible for delivering the weapons from Savu Savu to Suva. This I questioned but was assured was the procedure and all I was responsible for was letting customs know 72 hours in advance of our departure. Now in Suva at customs they put me on the phone with the police who ask me how I want our weapons delivered and tell me that I am responsible for the transportation of the arms and the police officer (about $150). Without agreeing I ended the call in which the Suva customs tells me they should not charge us. So off to the police armory we go (about an hour walk away) to see if we are getting scammed. We asked Sergeant Kumar the Armorer of the Fiji police Force about this fee. He then showed us on the wall a printout of charges for transporting the arms. Apparently, there is a charge for transporting weapons but this information is not provided to Customs the ones who collect and return the arms. Dave who is vice president of the Suva gun club was in Kumar’s office when we were there and we started talking. He invited us to come out to the range on Sunday and go to a brewery pub afterwards. This worked to our advantage because Kumar (who is also going on Sunday and is a member of the association) alluded to us that we would not have to pay for our transport and that they would arrive tomorrow. We explained to Kumar that we did not mind paying the fee if we knew in advance or we would have checked out of the country in Savu Savu to avoid this huge charge altogether. We took a cab to the movie theatre and went to see a movie. We had not been to a theatre since David, Panama. It was so fun. We ate tons of popcorn and candy. Jason ended up getting sick from all the popcorn.

Out to dinner in Suva.

Jason putting up the dingy at 2am. It needs to go up every night!

November 3, 2006 Fri

Jason went to meet the customs guys early in the morning, and after waiting a couple hours for them to show up, we still ended up paying $50 Fijian anyway. We worked on the boat a little today and then went out for a little while to get some groceries. We had plans to go out to dinner with another boat, but not until 8pm. We were back and ready to do something at 6pm so we decided to kill time by having a beer and watching a movie. We went to this hip little area of town to have a beer. It was a neat place. It felt like we were at any nice restaurant in any city including Denver. Strange for Fiji, what we have seen of it so far. After our drinks, we realized it was almost 10pm that we had better get some food before the kitchens closed. We went to the Indian restaurant across the street and it was fabulous!! I had the vindaloo it was outstanding. We closed the restaurant down. They made the best garlic naan too. My vidaloo was super spicy, the first time I have thought it was very hot since we have arrived in Fiji. We went to another place after dinner for a drink and some ice-cream. We closed this place down as well. We were going to go out dancing but Jason had a headache so we decided to call it an early evening.

Laurel crossing a bridge in town.

Jason and Laurel at the Irish Bar, go Guiness.

November 4, 2006 Sat

We decided to go bum around town today. While we were walking out of the yatch club, we noticed all these people's cars with flags on them. It looked like a game was going on, which there was the final rugby game was being played at their stadium. We decided to go and see if we could get tickets. We walked some of the way there and decided it would be better if we took a cab. We arrived and the lines were insanely long. We waited in line for 45 minutes and they stopped moving. The game had already begun. It seems we would not make it in. More people were showing up as well, but we decided to leave. It was a bummer, it seemed so exciting. We decided to get some pizza and beer. The pizza was more Sicilian style but it was good. They make their pizza's very spicy here. It was good. After we finished our ridiculously large pizza, we carried half the pizza to the Irish pub and had a few Guinness. We were the only ones there since it was only 5pm. The bartender hung out chatting with us for a while and playing different music. It was fun, we were all singing. We decided a 7pm to go home for a little while and maybe come back out later. The bartender only charged us for one of our rounds; the first one was on him. He also invited us to come by on Tuesday to watch the horse race. Ross also told us about another Fiji custom, called carrie carrie. Carrie carrie is something a Fijian says when he wants something from you. Like carrie carrie your TV. You are supposed to then give it to them. He was telling us a story about a boy who came in to work and told him he had to quit. When Ross asked why, he said because my father is carrie carrie my wages. So, they set up a separate account where some of his money would be transferred so his dad couldn't carrie carrie them. It goes for anything here.

Jason at the shooting range.

Laurel at the range.

November 5, 2006 Sun
Happy Birthday Mom!! Wish we were there to give you a big hug and celebrate! We got up this morning and went in to call Dave to pick us up to go to the range. He picked us up at 11am and we went and spent the next 3 hours shooting. We shot a 22, 45, 12 gauge. Jason did the trap shooting, I just watched. It was fun and we met the world champion, who will be in the Olympics, Ross. Afterwards, we left early to go to the pub with Ross. We finally had a micro brew beer since leaving French Polynesia. The beers were so good. I preferred the dark. It was really interesting talking with Ross. He is from Australia but moved to Fiji 8 years ago and now he travels around doing competitions for Fiji. We had a really nice time. We may get together with Ross on Tuesday for a horse race, the biggest in Australia.

Jason holding Glen's, who is World champion and heading to the 2008 Olympics, perazzi gun.

November 6, 2006 Mon

Happy Birthday Dina!! Hope you had a great day!! Wish we could have celebrated with you! Since we have blown off our chores for he past 5 days, It is time to work all day! I hate those days!! We had to do some laundry by and, put our bed back together (we have been sleeping in the salon while our steering ram was being fixed), Clean the whole boat, and get the boat ready for departure the longest journey we have sailed just the two of us. Jason was working on the generator when he noticed we are leaking fluid, more importantly deisel, from our main engine!! This is very bad. He was unable to fix it. It appears we have to take this long journey to NZ with a deisel leak. We have $110 left to spend on groceries and going out while we are in Fig, I think we should just eat canned stuff and party it up while we are still here!!

November 7, 2006 Tues

Our oven is working again and to celebrate we made some brownies in it!! They were very good. We got a little work done on the boat in the morning and then left to go to the Holiday Inn. There was supposed to be a big party for the Horse race there. People were really dressed up and there was a private event going on. We looked around for Glen, but did not see him. We failed to stop by his shop yesterday and call him. We thought we would check it out anyway. We stayed a while to listen to the band and have a glass of wine. We decided that this was not our scene, and that wondering around the city would be way more fun. We walked around and looked in the shops and had lunch at an Indian curry house. After walking off our lunch we decided to go to see an Indian movie. We bought a smaller popcorn this time to avoid Jason getting sick, and settled in for our movie. Indian movies have singing in them and are very long. It was over 3 hours long. After the movie we walked around and had a sandwich from one of the street vendors and headed home. It was a nice day.

November 8, 2006 Wed

We finished getting the boat ready this morning and went to the internet cafe to upload the website and to fill out our paperwork alerting New Zealand of our impending arrival. After we finish at the cafe it will be off to the grocery store. After we finish at the grocery store, we will head to the Irish bar to spend the rest of our Fijian money (if we have any left and if I have my way!). Tomorrow we leave for an island about 50 miles away to clean the bottom of the boat. Well, we finished uploading the website today with all the pictures and downloaded our financial information. We then went shopping for our groceries for the trip. We ended up having no money left over for a stop at the Irish Pub. We went back to the boat and finished getting her ready for our sail tomorrow. We are getting up super early to leave.

The village on Beqa their grave site.

November 9, 2006 Thurs

We decided to stop at a closer island, Beqa. There was little wind out there and we would not make it to Kadavu today. We anchored by a little village on the island and put down the dingy and rowed into the beach. We were greeted by some locals and they showed us the graveyard of the village. It was in a very pretty location with a cliff overhanging the graves. We then walked with them to the village where we sat with the chief. We gave him some cava which is customary and he and a bunch of men from the village sat down and had cava with us. We hung out drinking cava for an hour. The chief told one of the young guys to take me on a tour and I ended up having 5 guys take me on the tour. It was cute. They showed me where they bathe and where they do their laundry. I met all the people in the village as I walked through. When I got back we sat down to some more cava before heading back to the boat before dark. It was a nice day.

The island by Beqa, where we hung out for a day

Laurel getting ready to snorkel

November 10, 2006 Fri

Went spear fishing after Jason cleaned the bottom of our boat. He said the bottom was filthy and had tons of organisms living on it. He scrapped them all away. He took some pictures; we'll see if they turn out. Jason speared a parrot fish and we snorkeled a little. After spearing the fish we decided to go somewhere else so we would not be bothered by sharks. We took the dingy over to explore Christmas Island. The island was perfect. It is the perfect island for a day at the beach. The beach around the whole island was perfect. The sun came out while we were walking around it. I was wishing we had one more day so we could hang out here all day relaxing. We haven't had a lazy beach day in quite some time. This is the best beach we have been to in quite some time as well. Some rain clouds were approaching so we decided to head back to the Biz. I prepared some Poisson cru for dinner. It was yummy. Just as we were finishing up our dinner we heard our names being called from shore, Jason went above deck to check it out and sure enough the young guys from the village were calling us. Jason went to shore to see what they wanted and came back to tell me they wanted us to come to the village and hang out for a while. I decided to stay home and have a little time to myself (it is in short supply, alone time). Jason watched the news and an old MacGyver episode. They drank lots of cava. Jason came back by 9pm since we had a big sail to Kadavu tomorrow. We were getting up very early to leave to make sure we arrive before dark.

the Biz in Kadavu, Fiji from our friends home

November 11, 2006 Sat

Left for Kadavu at around 6am. We had a nice sail over there. We arrived and were anchored by 4pm. We caught 2 mahi mahi's on the way in through the cut. We decided that we should give one of them away. Maybe we could trade it for some fruit. We do not have a good supply for our trip. We also need some butter for baking. We asked some people that were fishing and they said it was far to go get fruit from their farms but for us to go to the grocery store and ask there. We took the dingy over to the store and ended up selling it to them and then using all the money we just made to buy some groceries. After all we can't take the Fiji money with us it will serve no purpose. We were planning to leave tomorrow if we had a good weather window. We walked a little and then went back to the boat to make some dinner. We watched a movie tonight and just relaxed.

Laurel jumping in the waterfall pool!

Hanging out in the waterfall!

November 12, 2006 Sun

I was saying mass in my room when some locals were approaching our boat. Jason called down to warn me and he was getting a rope ready to throw to them to invite them aboard. They had brought papayas with them. They came on deck and I brought up some of the chocolate cookies I had made and some tea. I now make tea like the Indo-Fijians do with regular black tea and either dried ginger powder or Marsala spice. It is very good with a little milk. It is my new favorite tea. The powdered ginger makes it, but the Masala is also spicy since it is a mixture of black pepper, cardamom, cassia, cloves, and dried ginger which sounds weird but is heavenly. Anyway, the boys talked a little hard drive while we drank our tea. They spent a couple hours hanging out with us it was fun. One of the guys invited us to come over to his house and he would take us up to the waterfall on a hike. We got ready and took the dingy over to his hotel (the airport hotel) and sat on a mat and had some coconut water and chatted. We were now on Fiji time so we would not leave for our hike for another hour. He did not join us but some guys our age did. The four of us left on the hour hike up. It was fun. When we got to the water fall one of the guys stripped down to his undies and jumped from the top into the pool. Jason followed and then of course I jumped in as well!! It was so fun. The water was invigorating. We swam around for a while. This waterfall was beautiful, it was smaller than the ones on Taveuni, but the rocks were beautiful that made it up. We took pictured sitting on the rocks and the waterfall flowed over us!! We had a ball. After we were exhausted from swimming around, we had a snack and started on our way back down. When we arrived at the house again we sat around chatting for quite some time. There were more papayas and some bananas awaiting us. The two guys came back with us to our boat to check it out and we ended up playing music and drinking a few rum drinks. We were exhausted so Jason took them back around 9pm. It was such a fabulous day!! We all hung out for a couple hours.

Lunch at the house in the hills.

View of the town from their house.

November 13, 2006 Mon

We went to shore this morning to meet with our friends to go on another hike this morning. I guess if you hike to the cliff and you are part of a certain tribe you can sing for the red turtles. They were going to see if they could find someone to take us and call forth the red turtles. Unfortunately, they were unable to find someone to do it. We instead took a hike up to their friends house in the mountains. It was a nice walk by the beach and then up the hill to their house. The were so sweet and invited us in for some coconut water and meat for lunch. They grow all of their own stuff at their house and have a garden as well. The woman was from Suva and was a city girl before she married her husband and now lives with no city luxuries. She was telling me it was an adjustment but that she loves it. All she has for entertainment are her books and a radio. She cooks on an outdoor wood fire. They have a beautiful view of the bay that is amazing. When we left they insisted on giving us vegetables and fruits from their garden. They gave us casaba, green beans, papaya, coconuts, and some taro. They were so nice. She wants me to write her. She loves to read so when I went back to the boat I gave her husband a bag full of books for her. The guys wanted to have a barbeque that evening with us so they insisted that Jason go spear fishing with them in the evening. We finished preparing the boat for our journey and around 7pm Jason left to go spear fishing with them. He did not get in the water because he did not think it was smart to spear fish at night!! There are too many sharkes for his comfort. They got back around 11pm and we went to the beach and cooked fish, taro and made some rice. They played the guitar and sang for us it was so very cool. We had a wonderful time and had to drag ourselves home at 1:30am so that we could still leave in the morning. fishing at night, and had bonfire on the beach. We exchanged addresses from the guys so that we can all keep in touch and we really want to make it back here next year. Many of the guys work on their farms in the mountains and have to spend the night there out in the open subject to the elements. We were talking about the idea of camping gear for them and they asked us if we could get them a tent. They were telling us how hard it is to get a tent so we told them we would try to find one and send it to them. They of course want to pay us. We figure that we must know some people that have tents they do not use anymore or that they are going to give to good will that we can get to donate to these couple of guys in Fiji. We has such an amazing time here we figured it was the least we could try to do.

November 14, 2006 Tues

We slept in after our late night on the beach. We went in and exchanged addresses with one of the guys and he gave us some more papaya's for our trip. We caught a big yellow fin tuna on our way out. It was big. I guess we'll have sushi for the next few days and seared tuna!! yippee!! I was getting tired of always eating Mahi Mahi and Wahoo.

November 15, 2006 Wed

We are having great winds and weather. We are making anywhere from 6 -9 knots. I can't believe how fast the Biz is these days!! We saw dolphins swimming with the boat but they did not stay with us very long. I made 2 loaves of wheat bread and chocolate chip cookies!

We had a visitor while at sea!

Another picture of our visitor November 16, 2006 Thurs

We had sushi today and I made some oatmeal cranberry cookies. The cookies were my grandma's recipe. They turned out perfect!! We had spicy tuna rolls, tuna rolls, and sashimi for dinner. Sushi is so very healthy but delicious. We are still making great time and are having good winds and seas. We made over 400 miles in 2 days which is a record for us!! It was so gorgeous out tonight. I could see all of Orion, sword and all. There were so many stars out and it was very clear. I love my night shift so I can just gaze up at the stars and listen to good music!! sick from all the popcorn.

a beautiful sun rise

November 17, 2006 Fri

Jason figured this morning that we are averaging over 170 miles a day. That is super fast. The grib files show that if we make 150 miles a day that we may hit a patch of no wind. I hope the grib is wrong or delayed so we can continue to have such a wonderful trip. We are doing our same shifts with mine being 9pm - 3am and then I sleep and Jason is on from 3am to 9am. During the day we try to do 3 hours shifts but it is super flexible, if you are tired you go take a nap no matter who is on shift. We are both on deck all day, unless I am cooking or cleaning below. I love having my oven back and I think tomorrow I will make oatmeal toffee cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I have to use up all of the oatmeal before we get to New Zealand I believe it is one of the many things they will take. They have such strict laws about all kinds of things including foods (meats, veggies, beans, rice and more), shells, and many more items. Hopefully, I will get to keep the sand I have been collecting from every place we go. We have not been fishing since we caught the tuna. We now have a tuna and a mahi mahi as well in the freezer which is plenty of fish for the week. Jason said he is going to fish tomorrow though. We had seared tuna (garlic chili oil, white pepper, and some sweet and hot chili sauce) with some cassava (boiled in chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and savory then crisped in a pan on the stove). It turned out really good. That was my first attempt with the cassava which is a staple in Fiji and many other pacific islands. It is a root. Weather is still holding out. The winds are not as strong so we are going only 6 knots but it is still good speed. The grib files are showing a change in weather in 48 hours so we shall see how our trip rounds out. We are already over half way there. Yippee! sick from all the popcorn.

This is what the sun looks like rising at sea!

November 18, 2006 - November 23, 2006
Well we have had quite the change in experience this trip. We went from complete sailing bliss of 9 knots and near perfect sailing to no wind to wind on the nose. We have gone from sailing 9 knots to floating around to motor sailing to just motoring to sailing the wrong way and then just sailing to arrive. It has been an incredible journey. The only thing we did not have was strong winds and stormy weather, which we appreciate. sick from all the popcorn.

My only picture of Thanksgiving and not a good one at that!

November 23, 2006
It was fortuitous that we arrived on Thanksgiving Day, though it was evening. We were so concerned about the fuss of customs and it turned out to be nothing. It was one of the easiest arrivals yet. There were no charges which we were very shocked about and they took almost nothing that was not fresh except for dried beans. Anything from the United States was ok, ergo all of our canned goods. After our super friendly check in with customs we motored over to anchor. We are anchored in a whapping 8 feet of water. We did have to change out our anchor but we believe it is a mud holding so it should be a very good anchorage.

We went over to the yacht club they were having a Thanksgiving dinner in honor of all of the American boaters that have arrived. We took our dingy in and walked over there. It was getting pretty late at this point and we were starving. We were super excited over the discovery of microbrew beer, we tried the red brew and the dark brew, and both were delicious. We ran into many other boaters that we have met along our journey through the Pacific Ocean. It was nice to catch up with a few people. We had a mediocre dinner of turkey and the trimmings and a huge buffet table of desserts. We left stuffed like an ordinary thanksgiving at home at around 1am.

New Kiwi friend at the U2 concert!

Our theme for our trip and U2's!

November 23, 2006 Friday
Our friends arrive today and they are still trying to get us to go to the U2 concert that is this evening in downtown Auckland which is a 3 hour drive from Opua. Jason went to meet them when they arrived to say “Hello” and see what the scoop was. We all decided to rent a car and drive down there we had only 1 hour to get everything ready to go. I can’t believe that after ten days of sailing with no sleep and staying out late last night partying we are heading down to the U2 concert!! I am so for it!! We all jumped in the car with a few drinks for when we arrive and left for the long drive to Auckland. There was a crash about half way down and we pulled over to re-evaluate. Carson was saying well there is an alternate route but we will miss the beginning of the concert (a little discouraged) and Jason walked up with a pep talk stating “We must not let a little detour deter us!!” We all jumped in our cars and kept on going. It turned out to be the scenic route and was an amazing drive. It was a fun road trip down. We parked got our tickets and in the concert we went. We walked first to the bathrooms and then to get a beer to find out they stopped serving!!! I could not believe it, a concert and no beer to be had. We had missed the opening act and it is customary in New Zealand to stop serving before the final act comes on stage! We made our way to our “general admissions” standing area. It was at a big rugby stadium and we were on the field. We found a great spot and were standing around talking about Denver, when a guy turns around and says hey did you mention that you are from Denver we were just talking about Denver and there began a new friendship!! They were so kind after hearing our story and offered us 2 of there beers, they only had 6 left. We hung out all night. They shared everything they had with us it was amazing. We can’t believe how incredibly nice people are here in Auckland!! U2 was just outstanding; I was completely taken aback by their performance. They still have it after all these years!! Because of being next to New Zealanders, they were kind enough to give us the scoop on the song “One Tree Hill”, which is written about New Zealand. I guess one of their groupies died while they were doing a concert there and so they wrote a song about it. We learned many tidbits about New Zealand. We were going to try and find a spot to sleep for the evening since we were all exhausted from our sailing journey but could not find a place open and decided to just drive back. Carson and Jason drove and I helped them stay awake while Mike and Chantal slept! We arrived home as the sun was rising and realized that we did not have a key to get into the dock doors to get to our boat. Jason and I walked down to the end of the dock where the yacht club is and noticed there were some canoes that were not locked up and decided to barrow one to get us to the boat and grab the key to unlock the gates. Mike rode the canoe to their boat to get the key and Jason and I took it back with our dingy. What an incredible evening. We really entered New Zealand with a bang!!

November 25, 2006 Saturday
Today we slept in most of the day. It was super nice to finally catch up on sleeping. We woke up around 4pm and decided to have some food and watch a movie. We did not have much on the boat but were too lazy to go into town so we just had some fish. After the movie it was back to sleep!!!

November 26, 2006 Sunday
We went into the marina do to our laundry today. We have about 8 or more loads to do from our trip. We have not done laundry since Tonga!!! I spent most of the day there. Jason met me and we went for a snack at the little shop. I had a delicious brie cheese and ham Panini and Jason had a hamburger that was great too!! After we slept in we went to the store and ran into Chantal and John, we met them originally in Soworro. It was good to see them. They have already bought a car and we were getting the scoop from them on how to do it. They invited to come with them tomorrow to go into town to go to the tourist office and they were going to go check out an around the world ticket with 2 stops that cost only $1400NZ which is super cheap. I can’t wait it should be super fun.

November 27, 2006 Mon
We went into town today with John and first went to the travel agency. We found out about the trip around the world and the cheapest one has 2 stops and is only around $1400 and you can stop anywhere. We are going to look into it, but I doubt it will fit in our budget. It would be fun to go to Japan though and possibly Estonia to visit our friends we met in Panama. After the travel agency we gathered way too much information and pamphlets on New Zealand! We have information booklets on all parts of the North and South Island so we can plan our journey. We have a lonely planet as well. It appears if you stay at any of the camping resorts or parks that it costs $15 a person to tent camp. We are still thinking of getting a van just for ease of traveling and because we will have so many guests visiting!! We spent the rest of our time in town walking around and going in all the shops. It was fun. We haven’t done that in quite some time. My favorite was the meat market!! It was a great butcher’s shop. We bought steaks, skewers and some smoked meats for the car when we travel around. I can’t wait to get home and cook I am starved!! When we got back to the marina, we realized there was an open house going on at the shops. They had free food and wine/beer and a bunch of different booths with information around for you to check out. It was fun too. We did a lot of purchasing for our repairs on the boat as well as socializing. We got back to the boat late and were so excited to cook up our steaks we purchased at the meat market. I was so tired I have still been waking up for my watch around midnight and having a hard time sleeping after that, so I was laying in bed after dinner thinking of going to bed early when Jonah stopped by and wanted to get together tonight!! We were so excited to see him, it has been since Tonga! Of course, we invited him and his friend to come over. They brought some Monkey Bay wine that they found and a surprise of M&M’s for me!! It was nice to meet his friend and they stayed until midnight! They are leaving to go traveling in the morning, so we will probably meet up with them later.

November 28, 2006 Tues
Today was a laundry day again. I was in there half the day since there are only 2 washing machines that do hot water. We had so many things that are just not that clean due to hand washing for so long we just wanted to really get them clean. I washed everything in warm or hot water. After I finished my laundry Jason came and picked me up. As we were walking around, we ran into Chantal and John and they invited us to come to the beach town for a walk. We jumped in and put our laundry in the trunk and went for a long walk on the beach. It was so nice we also walked around the shops as well as got a delicious ice cream. We did not get back to the boat until 7pm and then had some dinner and watched a movie.

November 29, 2006 Wed

November 30, 2006 Thur

November 29, 2006 Wed
Jason and I worked on the boat all morning until Jason left to go on the bus excursion. They are going to another town to listen to 2 speakers on being the Mayor. They will have a barbe and will stop at the store on the way home. I stayed home because I could not get a ticket. I was lucky yesterday in the laundry room I ran into a girl named Cindy, who had an extra one. I bought it from her and Jason was super excited that he gets to go now. We are hoping he will get a cell phone (incoming calls are free to us so all you that would like to call us feel free to call and talk as long as you like!) and maybe even a car or at least a lead on one. I worked on cleaning up a bit our boat is in shambles from working on it, and of course catching up on the logs.