Saturday, August 28, 2010

Arrived in Savu Savu, Fiji!

I am online for a short bit, so i thought I would leave a quick note... Pics to come.

It was a pretty uneventful four day passage from Tonga,  not too much wind so we had to motor sail most of the way. It was about 430 nautical miles underway, the last 24 hours were actually within the Fiji island group.  The islands here are really niced looking, and a true pleasure to be sailing inder poled out genoa and reefed maisail, moving along at six knots in deep blue waters. Even the flying fish came out to play!

Checing in was a pretty slow and expensive process, and we wound up paying 16 bucks in duties for the 16 cold beers in our fridge. Plus another sixty bucks for the 21 bottles of wine in our stash... Oh well, gotta be open minded about this.

Plus; Fiji is under a modified marshall law. The government is in the hands of the Military at the moment, will not be changing for the near term. I don't have a problem with this, but it makes travel throughout the island group to be a bit tedious. We will have to check in with Customs and Immigration at every stop.

The good news; Everything here is wonderfully priced, just like it was 1985. A beer at the club is about $1.50 US for a .375 Liter beer. A large pizza is about seven american bucks. JOY!

There will be photos from the past couple islands coming up tomorrow.

By Friday, we are going to be at the big island, stopping by the city of Nadi (pronounced "Nandi")to pick up our newest crew, the Spousal Unit! After that we shall sail to Musket cove and check out some of the nice anchorages for beer, wine and barbecues.

Thanks for your patience on my delayed entries. Out of the last thirty days there has been about fourteen days of sailing and travel to three distinct countries, all with little or none internet access.

We must all embrace the suck, right?

It is really a terrible drain on little ol' me having to travel in the South Pacific.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ok. I have another Steinlager so I can post more pics

Constitution Day Dancers ready for their turn, Rarotonga
More of them Free Range Chickens at Marias Cafe, Rarotonga
Stanley, the State Farm Bear prepares for his rock and roll tour in Rarotonga.
Maria's Cafe is incredible. She serves tea in her Grandmothers China Teapot.

What can I say...

South Pacific internet sucks the the big one. We are in the middle of nowhere, but I still expect to be in contact with home.

After three weeks, I have flown to the Cook islands, spent six great days meeting wonderful new friends and visited some very interesting places. Afterwards; off to Beveridge Reef, five days and four nights later.

Three fabulous days and we were off to Niue, one very busy night and we arrived at 1030, local. Stayed in Niue for five days and did a two night motoring passage to Tonga.

I'm out of breath. My years of sailing have not prepared me for the South Pacific. No bad people, no thieves or beggars. Just very conservative people trying to eke out a life in the middle of nowhere, and yet they still welcome these fabulously wealthy tourist cruisers.

Yes, to the locals I am a millionaire, but to me I still have to mind my pints and quarts because this all has to be paid for.

Just spent an hour talking with the Spousal Unit via Skype.

Funny how we can be a world apart yet still remain as close as ever. She will meet us in Fiji in two weeks. Ah, how I look forward to spending the eight days together on Beaujolais. More memories for our combined bank of bad habits!

Memories are really all we can have with our loved ones, right?

Here are some pics;
Callisto, an Amel 54 parked next to Beaujolais in Rarotonga

In Rarotonga, Chickens are Free Range and everywhere
Beaujolais in Rarotonga
Gaynor; the owner and proprietess is a wonderful host!

Leaving Rarotonga at 1400, westbound and down; loaded up and truckin'!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beveridge Reef

We were anchored in the Southeast portion, where the cloud shadow rests. I cannot believe how absolutely nice it is here. There are two other boats; Callisto and Dagmar. Population of Beveridge Reef is Seven.

We took the dinghy to the reef, walked over the coral to dry coral and looked for lobsters. All I got was sore feet, so I think the lobsters are more like the hunt for snipes.

Night time, we went to Callisto for sundowners and stayed past the local sunset. Our anchor light was as bright as Jupiter, but there was no seeing into the gloom for the boat in the murky blackness of night.

The next night, we had Dagmar and Callisto on Beajolais for sundowners, which lasted until 2200. It is so neat to be in one' s own world.

Underway the next day at 1030, we were off for Niue on a 24 hour journey which should be a bit easier than the four nights passage from Rarotonga to Beveridge. More on both when the photos are available.

Until then, I will have to represent my loyal readers back home and have as good a time as humanly possible.

Please bookmark and follow Beaujolais Blog for other perspectives on my great cruise.

Ken n Cheryl; After the past week of passages onboard a CSY-44... I really recommend going big and being ready for the nastiest an ocean can push on you. Beaujolais will be for sail in ready to cruise fully refit condition, all spares and gear included for about XXXK. The sale is from priorities changing. In five years of ownership, three grand children were born. More details will come up when I start a blog for Beaujolais sale, but a short list is 1800 hrs on four year old Yanmar, 100 gals Diesel, 400 gals fresh water. Multiple GPS/Chartplotters, Autohelm 3000 and Hydrovane.

As for that hydrovane, we did 12 hours directly down wind in 12 knots and Heidi the Hydrovan steers with precision. I have only had to hand steer about one hour in past seven days in all types of conditions.

I will be back soon, hopefully with pictures and more stories. Thanks, everyone, for being patient with me.

The waters are clear and azure blue... The weather is here!

Oh, special thanks to the Spousal Unit. Without her care and support I would not be out here living the dream, for a second time.
 I am very lucky!

P.S. Hey Mom! I have not forgotten you and Gary out here. I wish I could fly you guys out for a great weekend. Because here in the islands, every day is weekend!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beveridge Reef

OK,  so I am no good at Google Maps but Darryl just called from Beveridge Reef.  It is an Atoll in the middle of the South Pacific.  They are anchored in the Southeast corner in 10M of water.  The ocean outside the reef is 5,000M!!!

He said it is absolutely awesome and he doesn't use the word awesome lightly.  He said it is so dark at night that the anchor light looks like Venus.

Their position is:

Lat 20 degrees 01.291 S
Long 167 degrees 45.469 W

It took them 5 days to get there.  They will leave tomorrow or the next day for the overnight passage to Niue.  They are having entirely too much fun!

More later.....


Position Report

Self TestX
Latitude: -20.02111 Longitude: -167.75778 Stamp: 09/08/2010 00:23 Z 

Darryl has been pretty consistent about sending his position report on a daily basis - just not always at the same time!  Above is the position report he sent yesterday.  They should be nearing Niue and should be there later today or tomorrow.  They got a later start than planned out of Rarotonga.  They said it was due to a lack of wind but i suspect a bottle of rum had something to do with it!
Life has been pretty dull around here.  The most exciting thing is that last Monday someone stole my recycling bin.  So much for being a responsible citizen.
The Cats still miss Darryl a lot.  Mali goes through the house crying for him and is quite needy at night.  I actually started the barbecue Friday night without singeing anything or blowing up the house!  I was quite proud of myself and grilled a nice piece of salmon and some asparagus.
Signing out, SWWBO

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Here is Rarotonga

Forget the Caribbean.  It's all here. Nice people, low prices, great food and wonderful beer.

A person can walk to a bank ATM without worrying about being mugged. There is no begging. Clean, green and modern. There are supermarkets with everything you might need. A beer brewery, Cook's Beer, is brewed in a small warehouse with a modest sign that says; Free Beer, TODAY!

I enjoyed Cook's Lager and the Cook's Blonde. At least six or seven times. You have to pay for the beer after the first three tastes, but at $3.00 NZ (about $2.00), the value is definitely there. A proper craft beer for the fraction of the cost in the NZ/Aus regular beers.

There is only a few reasons why I will come home, but I can get a good sense why so many New Zealanders and Aussies choose to spend time here. It is a real Margaritaville.

And the Locals actually welcome us foreigners.

Yesterday, went to the market for breakfast and watched the opening ceremony for the "Constitution" celebration. Independance from New Zealand was in 1964, but the island is proud of their new heritage and still hold onto the British legacy with much pride.

The celebration started with the hula dances by ladies and men, a dance troupe came in from Slovenia (WTF???) and finally wrapped up the morning with a closing prayer by a Pastor who howled out an amen that sounded very close to a witch doctor's prayer.

Fargin awesome!!!

Culturally, there is so much to describe, and the sticky keys of this internet cafe computer is not helping me in any way.

Boat wise, we are in a very bumpy harbor, rollers are bouncing us around on our Med-Moor. We have to take a dinghy from the ladder to the boat, which is about 25 feet off the seawall.

Air temps are very mild, when cloudy it is about 72 degrees, and windy. When the sun is out it can get quite warm and humid. Luckily, it is winter here, so it is not unlike St Augustine on a warm December.

Last night we went to the National Auditorium for more cultural dances a (They closed wtih the special guests, Slovenia!). The show was handled like a very nicely done High School production, but since everyone knows everyone else here, it had a very nice home feel to it all.

Oh, you could get a plate of homemade dinner outside the Auditorium for 4.00 NZ.

Pictures will be available later, when I can get some bandwidth.

Signing off from Rarotonga, Cook Islands!