Day 94, Year 2: From Denarau on the Mainland Back to Musket Cove
Date: Friday, July 27, 2007
Weather: Another Beautiful Day; Windy Tonight
Latitude: S 17 degrees 46.219 minutes
Longitude: E 177 degrees 11.325 minutes
Location: Malolo LaiLai Island, Mamanuca Group, Fiji

At exactly 10 PM last night, as I sat in Windbird’s cockpit, I watched a plane take off from the Nadi International Airport. I’m sure that was Steve’s flight as there is only one 10 PM departure. In just a few hours he should be landing in Miami, Florida. Unfortunately he had a ten hour lay-over in Los Angeles today so I know he will be exhausted when he finally reaches Fort Myers. We miss him already and hope that he will be able to join us again somewhere along the way. We have more miles
to go than we have come already, so he should have plenty of chances. We had just an incredible time while he was here and we are going to miss him.

Early this morning Mark took the dinghy in to the Denarau Marina to pick up the repaired alternator bracket. We were anchored outside of the marina and it was almost a two-mile dinghy ride in. You can go in to the marina dock or you can anchor inside, but the depths in the anchorage area inside are very shallow. He returned with the bracket and had it installed in minutes. We then both went back in to make some Skype calls using the marina office internet connection.

Anytime we come to land, I have to call my kids. We tried Heather, but she was not online. We then called Justin. He was online working and we had a short but great conversation with him. The connection was not great, but we got to see him and his new puppy, Alphie, via the webcam. His wife, Jo, was not home, so we will have to see her the next time we come to land. They have found a wonderful little two-bedroom ranch to rent in Albuquerque for half the cost of an apartment in Los Angeles,
so they are happy. I then had to have my grandma hit, so we connected with our daughter Heather. Again, the connection was not great, but we did get to see our grand baby Sam. He was much more interested in the computer keyboard and the webcam than he was in us, but that’s understandable. He is so determined, and he really wanted to hold the webcam. Heather and Jed already have an old keyboard for him to bang on as he always wants to hit the keys. So now I guess they are going to have to get
a webcam “dummy” for him to play with. He is unbelievable cute and so curious. He is now six months old and seems so grown-up. This past week, Heather and Jed bought a home close to where they are presently living in Falmouth, Massachusetts. They will be moving at the end of August. After we talked to them, we went to their Picasa site and got to see pictures of the home. It is a beautiful little Cape and I know they must be so excited to finally own their first home. We are very happy for
them. We made one last call to my sister Patsy in North Carolina to get the family news. She and my brother Dickie now both live very close to the beach on the North/South Carolina border, so they have had lots of family visiting this summer. As always, I can’t sing the praises of Skype enough. It is so wonderful to be able to talk to family back home and even see them. Unbelievable. After our conversations, we checked our website and our land-based email. We only get to the see the comments
sent to our website when we are on high-speed internet, and we always enjoy reading those comments. We downloaded our land-based emails and then headed on in to Nadi to do some shopping.

I went to the fresh food market while Mark went searching for a fuel pump. This is an auxillary pump to enable fuel to be pumped from one tank to another, and in the process the fuel passes throught the fuel filter which “cleans” the fuel. We used this pump to clean fuel for the first time a couple of weeks ago and discovered that it had a leak when used in this capacity. Mark was successful in find a new pump and I was successfuly in buying what felt like 50 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies.
We had agreed to meet back at the grocery store on the main street and we both arrived within minutes of each other. I had to get a few items in the grocery store, and then we took a taxi back to the marina. We could have taken the bus for only 50 cents, but that 50 pound bag convinced us that we should pay $10 for the taxi.

All of this took much longer than we had hoped, but we were on our way back to Musket Cove by 1:30 in the afternoon. The wind had really picked up while we were in town, and it was blowing a good 20 knots all the way. Since we had to run the engine to recharge the batteries after our alternator problem, we only rolled out the headsail and motored all the 13.5 miles back to Musket Cove. We are now here and the wind is really whipping through the mooring field. It was a beautiful afternoon, but
late in the day it looked a little like rain. Right now it is really quite blustery, but no rain. So sun, rain, or wind, We are planning to sit tight here for a few days. I want to work on organizing all the pictures we took while Steve was here, do a little laundry, reconnect with Bob and Dianna of White Swan who are here, start researching Vanuatu, and just relax. I’m hoping we can do a little snorkeling as well.