Monday, August 16, 2010

The big day finally arrived. We got the new cushions. They are a hit, we both think they did a great job and we are happy with the colours we have chosen. It makes the boat look so much better.
We are back a Vuda Point Marina, we had a fairly uneventful trip back, just a couple of minor, gut wrenching moments. One of them came making our way through a pass and I almost had us going through the middle of a reef. Barry was smart enough to say that it didn't look good and we got turned around without any damage. The other time we were going to stop at a resort and do one last dive in Fiji. Barry wasn't too keen on the idea because it was really windy. As I was pulling down the main sail as we were close to dropping the anchor Barry said, you know there is no water coming out of the engine. I asked what I was supposed to do about it and the reply was, just so you know. A moment later Barry yelled to roll out the jib, the engine temp was climbing, so we turned around and sailed off into the sun. Barry thought it was an impeller problem and sure enough when he checked it had chaffed in half. He popped it out and put one of the 6 or 7 spares we have on board in and then turned on the engine to make sure the repair worked. It did, by this time we were a couple of nautical miles away and I didn't even ask it we could turn around and beat back into the 30 knot wind to make a last Fijian dive. That night we anchored in a spot we had been in before and I thought we were far enough to one side, it was a small anchorage. Barry put out a lot of chain for the 3 meters of water we were in and just before we retired for the night we heard a grating sound, yup we scrapping the bottom, we upped anchor and set it again and I actually slept pretty well that night, although I am not so sure about Barry, he was in a big hurry to leave in the morning.
We have been working really hard making repairs before we set off for Vanuatu. The weather looks good to leave this week and we are hoping to get away on Wed. Today we got the new cushions, re caulked the toe rail, went up the mast to see if we could fix the non-functioning, expensive new wireless wind instrument, Barry installed a new fresh water pump for the galley, we topped up our diesel in the boat and bought more, and we filled up a propane tank. Tomorrow we head to Latoka to check out of the country, provision, hopefully fill my prescription and check out malaria medication, oh yeah, I also need to repaint the anchor chain so we can tell how much chain we have out, the paint we put on in NZ in wearing off and Barry needs to make a new snubber line for the anchor. The snubber line takes all the weight of the anchor and distributes the weight evenly on both sides of the boat instead of just one spot.
We are planning on crossing with Mike and Liz on Argonaut, the same couple that we went to the Yasawas with. Mike really knows his weather so it will great to have him close by. Also it will be nice to have another boat to talk with on and off during the day to compare notes and give a hand to if help is needed.