Friday, June 11, 2010

We have left Musket Cove and the comfort of semi-resort living. Semi-resort because we still lived on the boat but were allowed all the comforts of a resort. There were restaurants, activity centers, dive shops, grocery stores, bars, swimming pools and shower with laundry facilities. We had an account and could charge everything to our boat, you would just have to say Cat's-Paw IV and then sign a little chit. Lovely, except that is not why I came to Fiji so yesterday we upped anchor and left.
Fiji waters are quite tricky, they are charted but not really well and there are reefs and sandbars everywhere. We left close to low tide when the sun was behind us and we could see all the reefs and shallow spots. It is a little disconcerting when you are moving along and all you can see in the distance are breaking waves. Once we got closer we could see our way around.
The anchorage we are in is about 20 miles from the resort, but there is another resort just 5 miles away. We are in small bay surrounded on three sides by islands. There is a huge swell from the south at the moment that we are protected from by one of the islands but the wrap around swell makes it a little rolly. We have our flopper stopper out to dampen the roll and we are quite comfortable.
I awoke this morning to the cry of a baby goat, one of the islands is quite rocky and they were foraging on the cliffs about 100 meters from the boat. Yesterday after we arrived we went ashore, good thing we rowed rather than put on the motor. As we got closer Barry headed through the surf for shore and bam we were in the drink, the dinghy was upside down the oars were floating beside us and the camera which was in a plastic bag was floating about hither and yon. Barry's Tilley hat was floating between us, I grabbed his hat, (mine was still on my head as I had put on the chin strap), then shoved the oars at him and went to rescue the camera. As I got close another wave came crashing in and as I lunged at the camera it got away from me. I looked back out into the bay thinking it was gone but when I turned back to shore there it was washed up on the sand. I went and grabbed it, we righted the dinghy and pulled it up out of the surf. Barry opened the plastic bag and low and behold the camera was fine.
As we strolled along the shore a large bat flitted about the trees. There are lots of coconut trees, Barry brought a coconut aboard and he plans to drill a hole to see if the juice is still sweet. We walked along a sand spit that runs from one island to the other. As the tide came up the spit would be covered, when we went across waves from each side were washing over it. I felt a bit like that woman in the movie with Burt Lancaster that rolled about smooching in the surf. I did not float that idea with Barry as I am sure he would let me know what he thought of that.
On our way off the island we decided to swim the dinghy off rather than try and row through it. We made it, Barry was on one side, I was one the other yelling at each other every time a wave would go over to keep the dinghy straight and then swim like crazy. Barry was making better headway than I was because he had shoes on and could reach bottom longer than I could, I will not go ashore shoeless again. My feet got scraped up on the coral. I finally just grabbed the painter line and started towing the boat, Barry let go and swam. We got out of the surf and Barry got in and rowed until we were out of danger and then I got in.
When we got back to the boat, Barry just soaked our waterproof camera in fresh water and it seems to be working just fine. Yippie Aye Yeah for waterproof cameras. We plan to be out in the boonies until we have to return to pick up Barry's brother on July 7. Hopefully we will have good weather and continued internet access.

s/v Cat's-Paw IV