Day 21, Year 2: Making New Friends
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Weather Today: Sunny Again
Location: Suva, Fiji

Judy’s Day: cutting Mark’s hair, going ashore to take a shower, saying goodbye to Ranger, doing laundry by hand, defrosting the freezer, making ratatoulle with veggies given to us by Ranger . . .

Mark’s Day: getting his hair cut, going ashore to take a shower, saying goodbye to Ranger, going to town to take the bent stanchion for repair, taking a bus to nearby Lami to go to the chandlery, rechaulking a starboard chainplate . . .

That just about sums it up for today except for our dinner aboard S/V Serannity. When we went to shore this this morning to take showers, we met Ann and Lew. Lew needed some help getting getting a gas tank into his dinghy. Mark and I were nearby and Mark went to help. We talked for a few minutes and found that Ann and Lew were leaving Suva tomorrow morning for Vuda Point on the other side of Viti Levu to leave their boat there while traveling home to the US. Ann explained that she was going home for a “grandmother hit” and we instantly became friends. She invited us to Serannity for dinner tonight and we accepted. We just got home from dinner and we had a delightful time. Actually, Ann and Lew will not be leaving tomorrow morning as previously planned as the Yacht Club has given them a good deal on leaving the boat here. So we will be seeing more of them before they fly home next Monday. Ann was a special education teacher in upper New York state and Lew was in construction. They retired in the late 1990’s and cruised the Caribbean, the north coast of South America, eastern Mexico, and Belize before going through the Panama Canal to the Marquesas, Tahiti, and then up to Christmas Island and Kiribati. They arrived here from Kiribati shortly before we arrived from New Zealand. Evidently Mark’s theory that you can’t get two teachers together without talking about education is correct. As dinner progressed, we got further and further into conversations about education. We also enjoyed touring their boat and learning of their adventures. We invited them to have dinner on Windbird on Friday night, so we will learn even more about each other then. Ann and Lew will be going to New Zealand at the end of this season, but it is possible that they will be joining the Sail Indonesia Rally in Darwin, Australia in July of 2008. If so, we will see them again then.

Today Mark was able to buy a replacement winch handle for one of the two that we lost on our way here. He also bought a cam-cleat so we can cleat off our staysail sheet and free the winch if we need it for the headsail. If we had this device last week, we wouldn’t have had our accident that resulted in the loss of our solar panel, two cockpit enclosure panels, and two winches handles. We are hoping to spend tomorrow on Windbird. We need to write a formal request for visiting the Lau Group here in Fiji, but before we can do that, we need to do a lot more research on anchorages there. Our request has to be fairly specific, so we really do need to know where we want to go and when. It will be interesting to see if we really get to spend the day doing research. Somehow, different demands come into play and we often don’t get to do what was planned. Maybe tomorrow will be different.