Friday, July 23, 2010

We have left the main Fijian island of Viti Levu and are anchored on the southwest shore of Vanau Levu, we are on our way to Savusavu. This was our original destination when we left New Zealand but we had to divert to get our lower fixed. We our on the third day of our passage here. The first 2 days consisted of motoring into the wind inside the reef. We purchased a real chart and had some very good way points, so the 2 days of motoring were uneventful. Barry would put on his navigators hat every afternoon and enter all the way points in a route and the next day we would just point the boat in the direction the GPS told us to go. Having reliable way points have made this journey much easier than our trip to the Yasawas. Today we negotiated a pass through the reef around Viti Levu and then sailed for 5 hours in about 15 knots, hard on the wind, of course. Cat’s-Paw IV was grateful for a chance to show her stuff and romped along at between 6 ½ and 7 knots, just flying! We will take 2 more days to get to Savusavu and then decide what else we want to do over on this side of Fiji.
While we were in the marina where we let Bruce off, Linda from Toketie and I discovered an upholstery shop. I found some fabric I quite liked and the shop sent someone out to measure the inside cushions and give us a quote. The fabric is only $10 Fijian a meter about $6 Canadian and labour is really cheap here. It was definitely getting to be time to replace them. The cushions had buttons on to give them shape, but the buttons had steel fastening and they had started rusting., 2 or 3 had rusted off, one of zippers would not do up and the wear was beginning to show.. Once we got the very reasonable quote we stripped all the cushions off the boat and stuffed them in a taxi and headed into the upholstery shop. They have to keep the cushions for 2 weeks, so we are currently cushion less., the inside of the boat looks a lot bigger without them. I guess if we want to do any entertaining on Vanua Levu it will have to be in the cockpit.

Before we left we had to go to Immigration and check out of the Latoka area and into Savusavu. We saw another “Glorious” ship at the dock, if you remember when we arrived the Glorious Maple was there, here is the Glorious Peony, I wonder what the other “Glorious” names are?? The possibilities are endless, Glorious Rose, Glorious Tulip, Glorious Orchid, I don’t think Glorious Fireweed would make the list but it is one of my favourite flowers. ANYWAY, sugar cane is a huge part of the Fijian economy, this picture shows a truck load full, it just drove into the yard. In the next picture I am standing beside the sugar cane train. Our grandson Quinn would be fascinated by this train. The cars were miniature compared to a Canadian train, you can see how small they are, they are flat with sticks stuck up in each corner to hold in the sugar cane when it is loaded. This particular train must have been about a kilometer long. It was very tempting to hop on and ride down the tracks a ways, but I resisted, I must be getting old! The shot below is a huge pile of saw dust, it is massive. They actually have bull dozers that run around on the top of the pile and push the saw dust around, William our other three year old grandson would have loved that.