Day 24, Year 2: Exploring Suva
Date: Friday, May 18, 2007
Weather Today: Sunny Day; Windy, Cloudy Evening
Location: Suva, Fiji

After three days on the boat, I decided that it was time for me to go to shore and do a little walking today. But before leaving, I just had to do a “little” cleaning. We have a sun screen made of Texalena that hangs from the back curtains of the cockpit enclosure. It has been rolled up for the past few months and only unrolled once we reached Fiji. It, of course, had mildew stains, so one of my early morning chores was cleaning that. I made a mix of laundry detergent, white vinegar, and ammonia (this is my standard cleaning mix–a recipe I got from my mom) and wiped it on the front and back side of the screen. Like magic, it was clean. My mom would have been proud. I then got in the dinghy and cleaned the port side of the boat. I used the “mix” to wipe down the topsides, and then rinsed with yesterday’s laundry rinse water. The side of the boat was encrusted with salt, so this cleaning got rid of the salt. Now it was time to head to shore and walk to the Australian Embassy. It looked like a short walk on the map, but then the map didn’t show that the entire walk was uphill. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day for a walk with great views of the harbor. We will be going to Australia at the end of this cruising season and thought we would get a head start on the Visa process, but what we found out was that they really want us to fill out the application online and not do it until just before we leave for Australia. So it was a nice walk and we will fill out the application in New Caledonia in the fall. From the Australian Embassy, we walked back down the mountain to downtown Suva. We walked past the Fiji Institute of Technology and a hospital. I surely hope that is not the only hospital in Suva as it is definitely in need of attention.

Once we were in downtown Suva, we headed to the internet cafe. We didn’t have our computer with us, but we both got online on the computers at the center. Mark checked email on our gmail account, checked on our bank account, and paid a couple of bills. I worked on our website, fixing margin errors in the last few logs and then went through all of the comments we have received since leaving New Zealand. Most of the 500 comments were spam, but there were a few great messages hidden amongst the ugly spam messages. We heard from Judith Stuart back in Concord. And yes, Judith, it is wonderful to have a man than sews. We heard from Doreen and Beth at New Hampshire Public Radio. There were a few messages from a new contact, RichC. I love the questions he asks as they help get at the detail that I sometimes forgot to include in the log. And then there were a number of messages from friends–Patsy Decker writing about Saddlebacks, Tom Porat telling us he was very glad we were out of the bad weather on our passage here, another new contact who has just bought a Tayana 42 (good choice), and an email from Heather Brie Hamilton. Heather, were you born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1975? That would be too much of a coincidence.

Tonight we had Lew and Ann of Serannity over for dinner. They are leaving on Monday for the US and won’t be back here until the middle of September. They will then be taking their boat to New Zealand. We have really enjoyed meeting them and hope that somehow we will meet again along the way. We have promised ourselves that we will take the weekend off and just kick back and relax, but then we might do a little island exploring. I think that counts as relaxation.

070518 Day 24 Viti Levu, Fiji–Exploring Suva