inside mariner's cave looking at where we swam through.

a picture from inside the cave!

Laurel after she made through, but not before she banged her head on the top while coming up. you can see the top in the first picture.

October 1, 2006 Sun
We took our boat over to Mariner's cave. Michi, Tobi and Jonah came with. It was very cool. I was very worried about being able to make it without running out of air; you need to dive under about 12 feet to get into the cave. It was so cool on the inside. You could see in the water so clearly the sunlight was shining through it. There was also a mist steaming up through the cave and you could feel the constriction in your lungs. It was very eerie and cool. There were little steps and you could sit on a small shelf but only one could sit there. The way out was a little less scary because you could see the light and where it ended. We swam back to Monkey's Business where Michi was hovering. We had a nice sail back and toasted with some rum drinks. We went over to Toby and Michi's boat for some Papaya salad. It was a Thai papaya salad made with green papaya. It was so yummy and spicy. We hung out talking and drinking and then watched a movie. It was an awesome one with Bruce Willis as a hit man. What a great day and evening. It is fun having friends to hang out with.

October 2, 2006 Mon
It rained all day Today. We worked on the tax return and fixing a few small things on the boat. Our generator is still not working and neither is our oven. Oh well. Michi and Tobi said we could make a cake on their boat.

October 3, 2006 Tues
It rained all day. We went into town shortly but mostly hung on the boat watching movies and working on the tax return and small projects for Jason.

October 4, 2006 Wed
Sailed over to anchorage 16 and went snorkeling. The snorkeling was really pretty and we decided to come back and dive it tomorrow here and around the west side of the island. We had a big bonfire on the beach and a bunch of boats came. Jason and I brought some fish for Michi and Tobi and they brought the awesome papaya salad. It was so fun. We drank rum drinks and hung out until midnight. Jason and I stayed up super late watching a movie afterwards.

October 5, 2006 Thurs
Jason went with Michi and Toby to snorkel and to spear fish. They only were able to get a couple small fish. They were gone most of the morning and did not arrive to the boat until 2:30. We decided to eat a quick lunch and head to the island to go gather some vegetables and fruits with Michi and Tobi. We had a ball. We got squash, lemons, chilies, and coconuts. What an adventure. When we got back we all decided to go diving. It was really pretty we were about 38 feet for most of the dive. We saw a really cool lion fish just swimming around and hanging out near us. They are so beautiful I wished I had a camera. We were on our way back and were at about 27 feet when our air stopped working. The motor must have failed!! We had to do an emergency decent!! I did not even freak out but I have to say the last few feet I had to hurry past my bubbles and I was completely let out the last of my air before I hit the top!! I am shocked I made it. Not an experience I would like to repeat. We were out of gas. I do not think that will ever happen again. We had another bon fire tonight but it was only the 4 of us for most of the time. Iron Bark came over later. We had a nice dinner of tacos and papaya salad and these really yummy rice things that Michi brought. It was another fun evening.

October 6, 2006 Fri
Sailed back to Niefu the main town in VaVa'u to check out. It was raining the entire way back. I was a coward and rested my back watching some TV while Jason had to suffer on deck for two hours. But, I was paid back when we went to dock it was very slippery on the dock. I made the jump from the boat to the dock fine and was able to get us tied off. Jason was about to ram the anchor into the wall of the dock when I ran to push on the boat I wiped out!! The dock was very slippery. I successfully pushed the boat away from the dock and the back end finally came around and Jason tied the stern of the boat off. I was walking to meet him and wiped out again!!! I cut my foot up pretty good this time!! I was soaked all the way through all of my cloths and coat. Jason went to check us out and I went to tend to my wounds. We just barely made it to check out, Jason had to beg them to let us. We went to the mooring and had a successful grab. Tobi stopped by to invite us for dinner on their boat and we agreed. We went over there and they had a huge pot filled with clams. They were the little ones and were so tender and delicious. They also made some Thai chicken soup which was great too. They used the leaved from the lemon tree as lemon grass it was incredible. We watched a movie and stayed up late talking. Michi disappeared sometime during the movie though, which so much reminds me of myself and my disappearing acts! What a great night, I am really going to miss them until we see them in New Zealand.

Laurel, Jason, Michie, Tobi, and Johan at the Tongan feast

Michie and Laurel at Tongan feast

Michie and Laurel with the band of the evening

Jason, Tobi, Johah, and Wil again tongan feast.

October 7, 2006 Sat
Well we had a few things to do this morning one being finishing the tax return. I went to several cafes having problems with the internet when I finally went to Aquarium and had success. It was so nice to have it finished. Jonah came over while I was working and asked if we were going to go to the Tongan Feast tonight. I told him to get Jason to go and I am totally in. We might as well leave tomorrow since it is 3pm anyway. I finished the return by 5pm and had to hurry and change the taxi was already there. We stopped by Michi and Toby's boat to pick them up. They were supposed to be coming to the dinner as well. It appeared they were going to blow it off until we told them we were not going to leave tonight and going to the dinner instead. We ended up ordering another cab because a couple was anxious to get to the feast. We sat at Aquarium chatting with the owners that are boaters as well and young too when Michi and Tobi showed up and ordered an espresso and the cabbie had a coffee too. We finally got to the feast and sat down for some cava and to listen to the men play music and sing. It was nice. There were also a bunch of craft tables set up for people to shop, but we just sat enjoying the cava and the music. They did not play music and sing at the last one we went to. It was so much fun. I am so happy Jonah and Wil got us all to go. The food was amazing you eat with your hands which is fun as well. They had octopus salad, raw fish salad, squash cooked in coconut milk, banana dessert and so much more. It was fun. You brought your own drinks so we had beers and rum. Michi and I did a little dancing after dinner even though no one else was. I like a girl who likes to dance!!! It was fun to wear fun cloths as well again. I wore my pants from Spain and my pirate shoes. I miss wearing heals sometimes, although I can't complain since my footwear usually is flip flops if anything!! On a night as this it seems the world is so wondrous!! Our cab was even perfect with the shades that had electric power and very nicely decorated. We said our goodbyes and dingied back to the boat and put the dingy on deck and the motor so we are ready to go first thing in the morning. I could not stop dancing I was in such a great mood.

A picture of Tonga as we left, you can see Aquarium on the far right, the coolest place in town. October 8, 2006 Sunday
We left early this morning for Fiji. I was able to do palates before the seas got a little rough. We are not having the best sailing conditions and we are going slower than we would like but hopefully things will improve. The night shift towards the end was filled with flapping sails. I hate that sound. It was a little hard doing the shifts the first night. I was tired when I woke up for my 9pm shift that goes until 3am. But, tomorrow will be better. we saw some whales on our way away from Tonga. There looked to be a mother and a child. It was a nice farewell.

October 9, 2006 Mon
It is a beautiful day out today but the conditions for sailing are less than perfect. Our sails are flapping a bit at wings. Jason of course is complaining about how slow we are going. Oh well can't average 7 knots all the time right?! No fish caught today but I made paella with some fish we had in the freezer and chicken. It was yummy. I also made a lot of sautťed bananas for a desert whenever we feel like it on watch. My shift went smooth this evening.

Jason with his huge wahoo he caught while going through the pass into Savu Savu

Jason with just one of the fillets. We ended up giving 1/4 of the fish to the immigration guys.

October 10-11, 2006 Tues&Wed
We spent these two days just sailing, fishing, and reading. It was frustrating the way our sails were banging all the time from the swell. The weather kept changing all the time. It was slower than we would have liked as well. But, luckily it is a slow trip. Maybe this will mean a better trip to New Zealand. We arrived in Fiji by 3:30. It was weird coming in it was so incredibly calm no movement on the water what so ever no wind either. We caught a big Wahoo on the way in. It was huge the biggest we have caught yet. When we were coming a boater called us and warned us of a huge $100 overtime fee that they charged people who came in at 2pm. We were stressed out about it a little. It saddens us when locals feel the need to rip us off. But, we luck would be on our side or maybe it is just our friendly personalities. The customs/immigration and health men came to the boat to check us in around 4:30 and they charged us nothing. We have them some fish that we caught, we cannot possibly eat it all and offered them some old magazines that we have already read but they did not take them. It was odd. We were so happy though. They were very friendly. We decided to stay on the boat for the evening since it was pretty late. I made some dinner and we watched "Xmen II" and were asleep by 8:30pm.

Savu Savu

October 12, 2006 Thursday
We woke up early and the customs people told us they were coming to the boat to pick up some things this morning so we laid in bed later than usual, although Jason screwed up the time and made me think it was 8:30 am when in reality it was only 7am. He was making a comment on how the net did not occur when all of a sudden I looked at the clock and it said it was only 8am. So I guess we got up earlier than I personally wanted to and even Jason. The net was funny, the guy who does it does a good job of sounding like the movie "Good Morning Vietnam" and he is very funny as well. The customs guy never showed up and eventually called to change the time to 3pm. We put the dingy down and decided to venture out in the rain. It has been raining since yesterday evening. We stopped at another boat and got the lay of the land from them. We walked into town to the atm and got some money. It was getting to be well after lunch and we were starving. We stopped to buy some bread and these rolls that they put the cream puff filling in. They were yummy and I think I like them better than cream puffs. We did a little grocery shopping, but they do not have a whole lot of stuff. We had lunch at an Indian restaurant and the food was ok. I was pretty disappointed because everyone says the curries here are super hot and mine was not. After lunch we went and bought a few DVDís. That was fun and a new flashlight for the deck. It was so nice to be in town and we felt very happy. We have a really good feeling about Fiji. The people are super nice. We were invited and given a card by a local from Suva on the big island to come to his house for dinner when we are there. Jason went to a buy a lure and the clerk invited us to his house to eat and to see the lights. It is a big thing this weekend for every one to light up their houses and light off fireworks. This is Saturday so I think we will do that!! We ended up staying in last night we were exhausted after running around all day and I made some bruchetta on the stove top with fresh tomatoes cooked with tons of garlic. I also cooked tomatoes, garlic and wine for the fish. It was a great dinner and we had our last Chilean wine. It was so good. We watched two new movies last night "Fun with Dick and Jane" which was awesome and the "General's Daughter" an old one but it was good too. Well that is a wrap as they say on our first day in Fiji!!

October 13, 2006 Friday
It is still raining here on and off. Oh well. Jason went in to get a part for engine. We could not run it because our sea strainer was broken. Can you imagine a part braking on a boat; just another joy of the boat. We bought new DVDís for burning stuff and realized our computer does still burn them something was wrong with the ones we had. Phew, I was really worried something was wrong with our new computer as well!!

Laurel having her measurements taken for her "sori". Which is a traditional Indian dress.

This is the alterations shop. It was a mine field of mudd and puddles.

October 14, 2006 Saturday
WE had an awesome day today. We went to the shop where Jason met the Indian guy who invited us over so that he could get a lure. I ended up buying the material for a "sori" which I am spelling wrong. It is the traditional Indian dress. The material is so beautiful I thought it would be fun to have one, and it was not very expensive. I went next door to have it made. The ladies were so cute there that fitted me. It will be ready on Tuesday for me to pick up. We went into town in the morning and got some pizza from the bakery. Yes, the bakery sells slices of pizza. It is pretty good too, Sicilian style. Jason met some guys hanging out on the beach when he went to get some fuel for the boat. They invited us to come out with them dancing tonight. We planned to meet at 8pm. We had a couple of beers with them on the beach and then went back to the boat to have some lunch. I made some homemade sauce of fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil and it was so good. We put it on top of the pizza and fresh grated parmesan cheese. It was such a great lunch. We got ready to go out and went to the meeting place around 8:15. We were late and they must have left already. We decided to wait a little while anyway and went into the Chinese restaurant for a snack and a drink. After we finished we decided to start to walk to the club. We met these 2 locals on their way and they said for us to come with them. We got to the club and there was a $5 Fiji cover. They played Fijian dance music. It was really fun. They other guys were there as well and were excited we showed up. All the boys in the club came up to me and asked me to dance so politely. It was cute and I of course danced with just about all of them. I danced all night well at least 2.5 hours. I was so sweaty and tired!! Downstairs at the club there were a group of 10 people just sitting around drinking cava. In Fiji they buy big beers and they drink out of small Dixie cups and drink it as a shot. You can't pour your own either. It is really interesting. We had such a blast I even got to dance with Jason a couple of dances. We were out until about 2am.

October 15, 2006 Sunday
We slept in today pretty late today. Since it was sunny out, we decided to take the goped around the island. The island is way too big to go all the way around. It is almost the size of Jamaica. But, we did make it to end of the road we took which led to an upscale resort. They have nannies there for every family that visits and they have a great kidís area. There own pool, water slide, trampoline, and much more. Great fun for the kids and the adults leave their kids at 8am and pick them up around 4:30 to get them ready for dinner and then around 7pm the nannies come to watch them again until the parents come home in the evening. It is really cool. The nannies are helping the families all the time. It is cool. What a great idea for a resort. Really pretty place as well. We rode back and walked a lot as well. We picked some papaya and some bananas on the way back. We also met up with one of the guys from yesterday by chance and he walked with us for a while before turning back home. We had super fun. We had Carson, Mike, Carson's father who is visiting, and Jolien a girl on holiday from New Zealand. She was on holiday visiting another boater that was a total jerk. He told her she had to be home by 7pm and when she went he was asleep and so she came back out with us. She has had a nightmare visit. She is cool though and we had a wonderful time partying until midnight!!

October 16, 2006 Monday
Jolien was kicked off the boat she was staying on because she staying out past 7pm. He is a complete jerk, this poor girl has been on vacation nursing him (he is sick) having done nothing of what she was promised and he kicks her off the boat for having fun one night. She is staying with the other boat for one night and then will stay with us for two. We are going to go on a sail to the end of the island so she can see something besides the bay at Savu Savu. Plus we are really excited to dive over there it is supposed to be some of the best. Jason and I went snorkeling today it was nice. We stopped at a deserted island and were going to have a barbeque but we noticed there were 2 lawn chairs there and thought maybe it was private. So we just sat and had a snack and then a boat came with some guests it was owned by the hotel for a private excursion on a private beach. I guess they might have been disappointed we were there. The guy was so apologetic about kicking us off the beach and told us where to go snorkeling and spear fishing. He also told us this spot is great for a sunset and if we wanted to come back at 4pm they would be gone. He was so nice. We snorkeled around for about 45 minutes. The visibility was not so good but there were tons of little tiny colorful fish. It was nice to be in the water. I think it was a better dive site than snorkeling but the visibility would be the same either way. We went back to the boat and went to meet our friend Bill that we met to go dancing. We were late and missed him so went back to have drinks with Carson, Mike and Jolien. There were 2 other boats there as well and we had fun. After Jason kicked everyone's butt at darts we went to the Chinese restaurant for dinner. It was good and a really fun time. Carson picked up the bill for everyone which was super nice.

Laurel learning how to put her new "Sorry" on.

Finally after all the millions of folding and wrapping around, pinning the top in place.

October 17, 2006 Tues
Jolien arrived at the boat at around 10am and we went into town to pick up some supplies for our trip. We are going to leave early the next morning. I went with Jolien and Jason to pick up my "sorry" at the tailors and she showed me how to put it on. It was quite complicated and Jason took a ton of pictures showing how to do it. Jolien took us to lunch and I had a huge shake and Jason and I shared a hamburger and fries. We walked around town and then came back and prepared the boat to depart. We left for the end of the bay near the resort. It is a good place to start our sail in the morning. We were planning to go to the resort and see if they were having a show and to have a drink after dinner. We cooked dinner of Wahoo kebabs they were so good (Jason used his swordfish kebabs recipe). We were all tired so decided to skip going to the resort and just watched a movie and went to bed fairly early for our big sail tomorrow.

Jason caught another huge Wahoo it was a little smaller than the other one but we sold it in town for $48 and it was 12.6 kilos!

October 18, 2006 Wed
Jason got up really early and pulled up the anchor and started our sail. It was a beat but we were making good time. Jason was looking at the main sail when he noticed what looked like a crack in our mast. After much deliberation we turned back with the attitude better safe than sorry. We were very disappointed and bummed about this new development. As soon as we arrived and anchored back in the bay by town Jason went up the mast to have a look. To our relief, it turned out being just a grease line. Well now were back and it was too late to leave for the island. We felt bad for Jolien because once again she is stuck near town, but I think in a way she was glad not to have to worry about getting back for her flight. We just hung out drinking and Henry came over for a little while. Jolien and I started on the cayenne pepper baked fries while Jason and Henry talked about our generator. Henry is a diesel engine expert and our generator is not working. After Henry left we cooked up the hamburgers and fries and watched another movie.

Jason, Laurel and Jolien at our curry lunch.

October 19, 2006 Thurs
Jolien, Jason and I went to lunch at a curry restaurant before Jolien left for the airport. I am excited that we will be seeing her again in New Zealand. It was so nice having a girl on the boat to have fun with. Jason and I went to meet up with Shaleem who had invited us to come to his house all day to celebrate Diwali and participate in the ceremony. He told us to meet him on Saturday at 9am. We are very excited to get to experience this with a family on the island. we went back to the boat and took a long nap. Henry came over and they talked more engine talk. We are going to hire him for a few hours to help us fix it.

We walked up to the hot springs resort and took a picture of the harbor here.

you can see Monkey's Business in the harbor on the left in the back!

Jason on the goped on our way up the big mountain.

Laurel with view of the bay.

October 20, 2006 Fri
We woke up early this morning after our long nap yesterday we felt pretty rested. We were trying to make the early bus to the other town on the other side of the island. Unfortunately right before we were going to leave our boat dragged and we had to pick it up and move it. It took two tries since the wind was so strong. We went to the bus station and decided that if we were going to have a long day tomorrow from 8am until late in the evening that we should probably take it easy part of the day for my back. We decided to take the road that takes you to the other side of the island by goped as far as we can. We made it a good 40 minutes when we hit a long and steep uphill and decided to walk it. We made it all the way to the top and decided not to go down the other side. It was a good hour walk so we just goped back through all the little villages we passed on the way. It was a beautiful view and well worth the walk. On the way back we were stopped by the police, but they only wanted to talk about the goped and asked us if we would sell it. We should have bought 3/4 and sold them to other boaters and locals everyone is so interested in them. They took pictures and examined it. It is so funny how much attention we get when we ride it. Everyone waves at us. We went back to the boat to rest for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.

We just arrived at our friends house for the celebration of Diwali.

Jason with Shaleem and his brother at their house for the Diwali celebration having some cava.

Shaleem and Jason (Jason is wearing his traditional Fiji/Tongan sulu) in front of Shaleem's family house. Our destination for the Diwali celebration.

Shaleem's mom and Laurel by the prayer.

October 21, 2006 Saturday
I took a shower and put on my Sorry that I bought and had made a week ago and Jason put on his man skirt and off we went in our dingy to meet Shaleem. He picked us up in a taxi and took us to his house. He has 4 brothers and 1 sister. When we arrived his mother brought us some tea which was so delicious and some cookies she had make for a snack. We looked at family photos and talked. The father joined us and they brought out the cava. It seems that the women do not join in the cava, but Jason insisted they give me some. It is stronger than Tonga and makes your tongue go numb after the first cup. I only had 2 very small tastes. I left the boys to join his mom in her out door cooking area. She cooks on a wood fire and was making all kinds of delicious treats. I helped her and took down a bunch of new recipes. It was so fun. This is my favorite part of traveling; being able to join people in their homes and spend time in their kitchen cooking with them. I love learning new ways to cook and it is fun knowing I can repeat them in my own kitchen. She was feeding me everything as she was cooking it so I could try it. Although, it was never just one taste I had to have many. I was so full before lunch even started. We all sat down for lunch on the floor on mats. We had rice with potato curry, fried rice, and roti. You serve yourself with serving spoons and eat with your hands. It was very fun!! I was so stuffed after lunch we had to take a walk. Then I was back to writing down recipes and asking questions. After I finally finished, I offered to help clean up but was not permitted. We watched some Indian music videos which were very good. It was around 4pm at this time and we forgot our fireworks that we bought for the occasion and needed to go back to the boat to bathe (as is their tradition before the ceremony). We arrived back at the house and Angeline (mom) helped me with my sorry and put a little red dot on my forehead and combed my hair. We had some more tea while we waited for the ceremony to begin over the radio at 6pm. They had an altar or shrine on a mat on the floor and 5 of us sat in the front row and the rest of the family sat behind us. We were honored to have the front seats. They had us participate in the ceremony. They had offerings of all that they eat for example apples and roti. The father also had some of his tools there as well to be blessed. It lasted about 45 minutes and was really neat. I cannot believe how lucky we were to be a part of all this. The parents told us their home is our home and to act as such. They are so very welcoming. We now all went out side to sit on mats on their deck and light off the fireworks. The Christmas lights were all over the house lit up. Some of their friends came over and they put out all kinds of food that was made earlier as snacks. We left with the Shaleem to go on a tour of all the lit up houses for an hour and when we arrived back they sat around drinking cava while Angeline and I sat on the couches out side. We had a really nice time until my back started to spasm up and I started crying and had to leave. I felt so bad that I couldn't stop it with any of my meds and I was worrying them. They had me lay on a bed and called for a cab. I had taken extra medication to make it through such a long day and had already taken on top of this 4 of my break through meds so I was really out of things to take except my zanaflex which means I need to get home soon. We took a cab back. I felt really sorry for Jason they were going to have dinner at 10:30 and it was 10pm. I tried to get him to go back but he refused. Angelina had packed us a big bag of food to take with us, as well as invited us back tomorrow for a meat dinner. She also invited me back whenever I want to come to learn how to make roti and some other dishes she has not taught me yet. I can't believe how wonderful these people are. I am looking forward to returning. Hopefully, I will be better tomorrow. What an incredible day!

Jason and Henry in the engine room. You can see how tiny it is and how pleasent it must be to spend your day in there!!

October 22, 2006 Sun
Jason worked on the generator with Henry for part of the day today. I spent a day resting today for part of the day after the long day of activity yesterday. Jason went up to our friends house and hung out for a while. They are so sweet. They made Jason bring back food for me.

October 23, 2006 Mon
Our friends came over to the boat today. They have never been on a sailboat before and we cooked them dinner. It was fun. The mom of course brought me some more curry and roti for another day. They are super sweet.

Shaleem's father's apprentice climbs up this tree to get us some young coconuts for drinking to take with us on the boat.

He us up in the top of the tree standing kicking down the coconuts!

October 24, 2006 Tues
We went into town today to work on the computer and internet. We need to download some virus protection software and I need to download our financial stuff and finish the budget for the month. We spent a couple of hours there and then went to see our friends to say goodbye since we are leaving early tomorrow morning. We had tea with them. They also climbed a coconut tree and kicked down a bunch of coconuts. I can't believe the tree he climbed. It was so tall. He was up there in no time kicking down the coconuts!! They skinned them for us so it was just the nut and then climbed up a papaya tree and picked some of those as well for us. They are the nicest people. I am really going to miss them we have enjoyed spending time and getting to know them. They are so sweet they invited us to fly in for Christmas and stay with them. We had to leave at 4pm to get back to the boat Henry is coming over again to look at our generator again. After they finished, we all went into town for dinner. It was fun.

October 25, 2006 Wed
We said Goodbye to Savu Savu this morning and sailed out to Viani Bay. We ended up having to motor sail since we were beating our way there. We arrived before dark. We wanted to go diving tomorrow but our guide was in another town until Friday. We decided that tomorrow we would sail to Taveuni and do some hikes and come back Sunday to go diving. The wife of our guide insisted we stop by in the morning for some papaya and bananas. I love the people here they are so generous and kind.

Jason coming down the waterslide, you can see his head where he is passing the two guys on the side of the slide. Jason goes in much higher for the maximum ride time.

Jason coming down the waterslide

October 26, 2006 Thurs
We sailed over from Viani Bay to Taveuni today. It was a nice sail and I did all the work sailing today. It was fun. After we arrived, we anchored and decided to dingy over to the resort to go on a hike. We left our dingy at the resort and went to the front desk for the map. We are going to a natural water slide in the river near the waterfall. It took us about 25 minutes to hike up there and was so worth it. The natural waterslide was so cool. You end up in a natural pool. I only went down twice because it is a little hard on your butt, but Jason went a bunch of times. It was super fun. We walked back through a village and passed the river where a bunch of women were doing their laundry. It is incredible how these people live so simply. They cook over wood burning fires and wash their cloths by hand in the river and grow most of what they eat or raise it in the case of chickens, goats and cows. They are all so nice and welcome you into their homes for tea. After we made it back to the hotel, we walked past it to head to the Catholic mission that the French built here. It was a beautiful church. I am amazed at the stain glass and carved stations of the cross. It was just gorgeous. Looks like you are in France. All the mango trees are full and just about ripe. Jason cannot wait. We picked some papaya, mangos, and coconuts on the way back to our dingy. It is so nice to just pick what you want to eat!! They even have avocado and eggplant here. We made it to the boat just before dark. What a nice day.

In the town they are drying cava . When it is done drying they will pound it until it becomes a power.

The 3rd waterfall! October 27, 2006 Friday
We woke up to rain this morning, but it cleared up when we left to go into town. We pulled the dingy up on shore near the school and walked out of the village we are in toward the bigger town. It only took 10 minutes to walk. There is a nice big grocery store here as well as a Carfore (like a walmart except a micro version). We bought some mixed spice powder to make the tea like the Indian family we hung out with in Savu Savu drink it. It has ginger powder and other spices in it. HMM. We decided since we sold our Wahoo that we would buy some yellow fin tuna and have sushi for dinner tonight. We bought a nice size one so we should have sushi for a few days if we like. We stopped and had a roti and potato curry it was super hot and yummy. After our stroll through the village and hanging out there for a while we headed back to the dingy. I love the walk from the village to where our dingy stays. We pass avocado trees, mango trees, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, breadfruit trees and papaya trees. Not to mention the river, where the woman of the village do their laundry. I love the way they have all kinds of local shops like the bakery, butcher, and fish store. It is fun shopping. When we got back to the dingy our kill switch cord was gone. Someone had stolen it. It was very disappointing. Jason worked on the boat a little in the late afternoon and I worked on my pearls and the website. Tomorrow we get up super early to go to the other side of the island to do the 3 waterfall hike and the coastal hike. Time to make sushi!

Laurel swimming by the 3rd waterfall.

Jason by the first waterfall!! He finaly got in the water! October 28, 2006 Sat
We got up very early and took the dingy to shore. We unfortunately broke one of the wheels on our dingy so we will have a very hard time getting it back in the water. Jason will buy a tool and hopefully will be able to reattach it when we get back. We walked to the next village and caught the bus to the Northern part of the Island so we could do the 3 waterfall hike. We took the 8:30 bus but did not arrive until 11am and the last bus left to go back at 2pm. The first hike was only 15 minutes but from the first to the 2nd waterfall is 30 minutes and from the 2nd to the 3rd waterfall is 45 minutes one way. This leaves us not a lot of time to play in the waterfalls. The first one was huge but I liked the third one the best. It was more secluded and seems that most people after seeing the first skip the 2nd and 3rd and if people do make it to the 2nd they skip the 3rd for sure. Few people went the trail to the third waterfall. It was very rugged and Jason had to use the machete a lot of the way there. I guess people who hike it after us will find it a little less rugged. We saw 2 purple crabs on the way up. They were funny they looked like they wanted to fight us for invading their home. The second water fall was beautiful with a nice pool to swim in. I climbed on the rocks in front of it and we had some snacks but we really needed to get going to the 3rd if we were going to make it back for the bus. The views on the way up were amazing. You could see the water and the other islands. The 3rd was my favorite by far, there were two next to each other. Jason waded in and I took off my shorts and shirt and jumped in and swam as close to the waterfall as I could get. It was difficult, more difficult than I imagined. The force of the fall was pushing you away from it. I was getting tired just trying to get under it and finally gave up right before it. I was going to climb out and jump from the rocks into the water but I couldnít hold on to the rocks the shear force of the fall pushing me so hard away from it. I did manage to disturb a lot of moths though and they went flying at me!! I swam for a while and reluctantly climbed out slipping on the rocks. I chided Jason for not joining me, he was chicken of the cold water!! I quickly dressed and we had to start our decent if we had any chance of swimming in the first waterfall. It was a super muddy trail so we were looking forward to jumping in at the end and cleaning up for our bus ride back. We practically ran down the mountain. It was fun but treacherous. You had to really watch your footing or you would slip on the rocks or mud on the way and fall. It was really invigorating, the whole experience. When we arrived at the bottom we realized we descended in half the time it took us to ascent to the top. Our thighs were shaking a little and we jumped in for a refreshing swim. Again, there was the hard swim towards the waterfall. After we played for a while we dragged ourselves out realizing how incredibly tired our muscles were. Jason of course commented on the difficulty of swimming towards the water fall and how his muscles were shaking after the swim. We walked into town after we dried off and stopped to see if we could get a drink. They had no electricity in this village which meant no cold drinks. It is still amazing to me that these people are so incredibly happy without having electricity which means no TV or satellite dishes, refrigeration, lights at night, computer or stove to cook on. I think some of them may have gas if they like, but most cook on outdoor fires using wood that they gather. It is too expensive for fuel. The have no need for an organic market since they grow everything they eat and raise all the meat they eat. They all live together too, extended families and they depend on each other for everything including entertainment. They have nothing but are so happy. They welcome you into their home for a meal and tea and when you leave you are full of fruit. We bought some cava from one of the people in the village and waited for the bus. The children as usual came to check us out and we shared some of our dried cranberries with them. The bus ride back was much faster than the ride there and the views were beautiful. We were very tired when we arrived to the village where we are staying that we just picked up our bread and stopped to eat some curry. It was really spicy and yummy. We also say a police substation and told them about our part off the dingy being stolen. They said the village where we are leaving our dingy has some bad people in it. They were not surprised that we had something stolen. I guess in the future we will leave the dingy by the hotel like we did the first time we went in. When we arrived someone had knocked down the papaya tree that we had our dingy locked to. Luckily they did not have a tool to chop through the tree or our dingy would have been gone. I was so shocked that someone would go through the trouble of knocking down the tree to steal our dingy. It is also surprising because we have met only wonderful people here in Fiji. Some local boys getting ready to play rugby came over to watch what we were doing. Jason was unable to get a tool to help us put back on the wheel so he tried with his Swiss army knife. It did not work. We asked the boys watching us to help us carry it into the water. They helped and Jason could not help wondering if it was one of them that knocked down the tree. We passed out early tonight.

October 29, 2006 Sun
today we wanted to go scuba but found out our system is leaking gas that is why we ran out of air while in Tonga. We worked all day on the engine and still could not find the problem. It was very frustrating. We decided that we would try one more thing in the morning and if it does not work we will leave for Suva.

On the beach after our first dive having lunch

Jason playing in the water after our first dive on a deserted island

October 30, 2006 Mon
We were working on our 3rd lung motor when a boat paddled up to us, there were two teenage boys on the boat. They had the day off from Catholic school and came by to check us out. They live in the village that we are anchored in front of. We invited them aboard. I was making French toast and invited them to join us. We found the problem with the motor and fixed it. I am so happy because I was starting to get really annoyed it less than a year old. We said goodbye to the boys and told them to stop by later that we would have some cudís made for them. We headed out on the dingy to the little island to go diving. We saw a boat by the beach on the island and asked where a good dive site was. He showed us all three that were there and which were the best and we went on our way to dive. Our first dive was really nice. There was lots of fish of all sizes and colors as well as beautiful soft coral. We were so impressed. I was getting cold so we took a break to go eat lunch on the island. We parked the dingy and made a little picnic. The weather was perfect. There were 4 couples there from one of the hotels having a day trip. They were snorkeling around and eventually played volleyball. We left as they were starting excited to do our second dive. The second dive was even better than the first. Again, there were lots of fish big and little very colorful as well as beautiful soft coral. There were these huge funnel like corals that the fish were hanging out in thousands of them. We saw a huge 6 foot eel swimming from one hole to the other and a white tipped shark. It was so great. I did not want to get out. We went back to the boat and showered and just when I was getting ready to cook something the boys showed up. They brought us a bunch of mangos and papayas and they sat with us while we burned them a couple of cds of hip hop and reggae. They loved them. After they left, I cooked us up some seared tuna and we watched a movie we couldnít finish because we were so exhausted. Tomorrow we will either go dive rainbow reef or sail towards Suva.

This is the man who paddled up to our sailboat right after we arrived on his homemade bamboo raft.

October 31, 2006 Tues
Happy Halloween!! The weather was not so great so we decided to sail to Suva. We are going to stop for the night at an island on the way. It was a rough sail. The seas were 8 foot and it was windy. We made great time though averaging 6/7 knots the entire way. We arrived around 3pm. The island was nice it had a small village. As we were putting things away a guy paddled up on a raft made of bamboo. It resembled the raft from ďLost.Ē He saw us from his plantation and came over check us out. He brought us some bananas and papaya from his plantation and asked if we were going to be here a while and if we wanted to come over to his home. Again, I am amazed at how open and welcoming people are here. We kept asking if there was something he needed and finally he said some rope for an anchor so we gave him 50 feet of line. I also packed him up some canned goods. He was telling us that he takes this raft out to the reef and sometimes canít get back because of the seas or winds and has to spend the night on this open raft in the reef sometimes for days. He has to paddle all the way back. It was just so unbelievable to us. Jason took a picture of him paddling back to shore. It was quite a site. You can check out the picture. He was super nice though and invited us to come back and visit any time. We went to bed early tonight since we have to leave early tomorrow morning for Suva. What a strange Halloween for us. This will be our first Halloween that we did not celebrate it with costumes and parties. We usually celebrate with gusto dressing up and going out. Next year!! Hopefully all of you send us lots of pictures so we can see what you all were!!