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After provisioning in Suva and waiting to high tide to refill our diesel tanks, we took off for an overnight sail to Musket Cove.
Several friends were in the area, and we got to participate in the Musket Cove Regatta!
After the race we were beat. A few days at sea and then hours in the sun will do that to you. We didn’t partake in any other festivities, and opted for an early bed. The next morning we had Ginger and Lanny from Swiftsure over with her parents who were visiting and made a special french toast breakfast.
After breakfast we took off for Denarau. There’s a small grocery store in Denarau, plus the nearby town has a butcher. It’s just a 15 minute cab ride to Nadi, so it’s great for picking up our guests – my family! Mom (Lisa), Bob and Uncle Phil flew into Nadi on Friday the 22nd. We spent time shopping and having some breakfast before we loaded onto the boat.
Mom, Bob, and Phil brought us a TON of stuff. Firstly, like every good guest, they stocked up at the duty free store on their way in. We are now well stocked with vodka and gin, plus tequila. My Uncle Phil is famous for his margaritas, so a bit of good quality tequila and Cointreau was critical.
Next we had boat parts….lots and lots of boat parts. Our main cabin shower pump sensor was broken, so we had been showering in the guest cabin the past few weeks. David quickly went to work on replacing the sensor so we could have our shower back. My first project was the transducer. Several weeks ago our paddlewheel stopped reporting, and the water temperature stopped working. Thankfully the depth sounding was still working. I tried to clean the transducer but it didn’t fix anything. For those of you keeping track, the new one is our third transducer on the boat, since our our original one broke in the Bermuda Triangle. Our grill has been out of commission for who knows how long – we don’t use it very often – but a replacement burner got it in working order. When we had to replace our zincs in Tonga, we had to use our spares. Mom and Bob brought us new zincs so we once again have back ups! We had a custom made rudder bearing built to prevent the rudder bar from rubbing against the starboard partition FP installed. We’ve had a bit of trouble with our propane system, so David ordered some spares for when it finally kicks the bucket. We JUST realized (whoops) that our aircons have a water strainer filter which needs to be maintained. We haven’t had any issues, but now we have spare filters aboard. Our multi-meter broke back in Tonga, which is a pretty critical tool. In prepping for our guests, we used a repair kit for the Jabsco head, so my family brought us a spare. Tika Travels raved about their hand held depth sounder, so we got one. We added a spare fuel lift pump to our critical parts inventory. And finally (probably not finally, because I’m sure I’m forgetting things) we bought a second hand-held VHF. It occurred to us that when I go out kayaking, I take the handheld VHF with me, but if I ever needed a rescue, it might be critical for David to have a hand held in Little Dipper to communicate with me during the rescue. Most of the time the new VHF will live in our ditch bag, but we will be able to dig it out for emergencies.
Whew! As if that wasn’t enough, David and I ordered entirely new photo and video gear. Our gear was all about four years old, and David’s Canon camcorder had suffered from a few run-ins with gravity. I upgraded my Nikon D5200 to a full frame D750. David’s new camera for videos is a Panasonic Lumix GH5 (which is also excellent for stills). We got new hard drives (I’ve taken about 250 GB of stills this year so far). We upgraded from the GoPro Hero 3 Black to a GoPro Hero 4 Sliver (OMG a screen!!). All of our SD cards got an upgrade. This is big for my astrophotography. My previous SD card was slower, at 45 MB/s, which meant that I was taking 30 second shots, and needing about 30 more second to write the image to the SD card. My new SD card is 95MB/s and writes an astroshot in a few seconds – this is really important because the Milky Way moves surprisingly quickly. Our flexible tripod broke, so we got a new one. And finally, we went for the big one and got a Nauticam housing for David’s Lumix. Holy cow those things are expensive! In our discussions, we really felt like our underwater photo and video had a lot of room for growth, and we hope we can share some of our new and improved quality video here shortly!
Now, my absolute HANDS DOWN favorite thing my parents brought for us? THIN MINTS!!!
Ok that’s not true. The best things my parents brought was them. The thin mints are in second place though.
After unpacking and putting away (most) of the new items, we took off to explore the wonders of Western Fiji. First stop, Navadra!