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***PS Today is my step-dad Bob’s birthday! He, along with my mom and Uncle Phil, are here with us celebrating in Fiji!***
Getting to and from Fulaga is challenging. There is a supply ship that comes on a (somewhat) regular basis, but it makes stops along the way. Tui told us it took him 5 days to get to Suva via the supply ship.
The other option, which our new friend Alifreti has taken multiple times, is to hitch a ride with cruisers. Alifreti and Koroi were trying to get to a Johovah’s Witness convention in Suva. Alifreti’s wife had already been in Viti Levu for three months!
Time was running short for the men to find a ride to Suva and the supply ship had yet to turn up. We initially offered a ride to our destination, Musket Cove, which Alifreti accepted. It’s easy to get a ferry to the mainland from western Fiji. However, David and I discussed and changed our minds – we would take them right into Suva, which would give us a chance to fill our diesel tank.
Alifreti and Koroi showed up with gifts to pay for their passage – each man had made a wooden carving for us, plus they had prepared food and brought us coconuts and papaya. Rummer had gotten around how much I love coconuts, and Alifreti brought 9 husked coconuts for me! It was only days later that David confessed that Alifreti had brought more unhusked coconuts for us but David told him it was too many. Hmmf.
We took off at low tide again, squeezing through the pass. Aliferti passed out lunch, which was a sweet and dense bread made in his lovo, underground oven. The bread was flour, sugar, coconut, and coconutmilk mixed together and folded into a leaf and baked. Yum!
In the early evening, whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiirrrr the line went off! Alifreti and Koroi rushed to help us fight and pull in a FANTASTIC bull mahi mahi!
One fillet and the head went in a bag to send with the men, and the other fillet got chopped up and most went into the freezer.
The next morning, we spotted dolphins three times! We hadn’t seen dolphins since the Bay of Islands in New Zealand so this was a special treat.
Alifreti and Koroi were wonderful to have on board. They help us with lines and entertained themselves with a chess board. And we will cherish our carved gifts!
We picked our way through the Suva harbour at night and dropped Koroi and Alifreti off at the Royal Suva Yacht Club. We stayed the night at anchor, and while we waited for high tide to go into the fuel dock, I went to SaveULess (like a Costco!) and restocked our provisions. Once we filled our tanks, it was time to take off to Musket Cove to meet up with a very special boat!