Day 99, Year 2: Busy, Busy Day
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Weather: Rainy Day
Location: Denarau, Viti Levu, Fiji
It was a busy, but productive day. Marie of Ranger and myself motored into Denarau Harbor by 8:30 this morning, dropped off one of our propane tanks to be filled, and started walking the half mile to a place where you can catch a 50 cent cab instead of a $10.00 one. We first went to the butcher shop to order meat and have it vacuum packed and frozen, ready for pick-up tomorrow morning. Next we walked to a bus stop and took a bus north to Namaka, a town north of Nadi. Here we shopped for groceries
in the big MH store. We filled the back of a taxi and were back at the marina by 11:30. While we were gone, Mark and Paul brought the boats into the Denarau Marina from the anchorage outside. It was rainy and windy, so they both got on Windbird and brought her into the dock first. They then went out and brought Ranger in. By the time Marie and I returned they had just gotten both boats docked and were waiting to fill up with fuel and water. Marie took her things and went down to the dock and
sent Mark up to help me. The place where taxis have to drop you off here is far from the docks and I had way too much stuff for even two of us to carry in one trip. Somehow we ended up with four of the new shopping center security guards helping us to carry all of our groceries. I can’t believe it took six of us. I’m not sure how we will eat and drink that much food in six weeks!
Shopping is just the first step. Finding a place to put everything away is the real trick when provisioning for long periods of time. I barely got started putting things away when Mark called for help in filling the fuel tanks. One of us fills while the other one stands by the fuel tank vent to catch any fuel that might come out. This was a high pressure fill, and it easily blew fuel out the vent. Finally the fuel and water fill-up was completed and then we had to move the boats off the dock
and out to an inner anchorage. The wind was blowing the boats hard against the dock, so getting off was not easy. We tried walking Windbird backward along the dock, but this was very difficult with the wind. Three Fijian workmen came to help and it was amazing how easy they were able to push the boat off. We anchored Windbird and then Paul came out in his dingy to get us to help get Ranger off the dock. The workmen had gone to lunch, so they weren’t there to help, but luckily the wind died and
getting Ranger off was much easier. Mark and I took our dinghy out and I picked up Marie for the second round of shopping. I left Mark on Ranger as they were going to have to re-anchor in another location. By this time it was after 2 PM, so we walked fast to get to the place to catch a cheap cab. This time we were headed into Nadi to the fresh food market and to do a few other errands–check on exchanging money, trying to find a new dinghy anchor for Ranger, buying a few more small items at the
grocery store, and the buying all the fresh veggies and fruit. The passage to Vanuatu is only four or five days, but where we will be coming in to the country, we aren’t sure we will be able to buy fresh food. So we are stocking up.
By 4:30 we were in a cab and on our way back to the marina. Now there was more stuff to be put away and by 6 PM we were on our way to dinner and to a Fiji fire walking show. I must say this was one of those evenings that just didn’t pan out to be what we had hoped. We ate at a new Indian restaurant in the new Denarau Port shopping center. Dinner was fine, but nothing to rave about. We then hopped on the free Denarau Village shuttle and got to the Westin Hotel just before 8 PM when the fire walking
show was to begin. We had been told it would cost $15 per person, but it cost $24 per person. That was a bit of a bummer, and then we saw that a Fijian cultural show was just about to end and we realized that we were also paying for seeing that. We saw two minutes of “culture” and 22 minutes of fire walking, costing us each $1 per minute. I didn’t want to leave Fiji without seeing the fire walking, so now I can saw I have seen it. At least we were able to catch the free shuttle back to the marina.
As one of us noted, that might have been the highlight of the evening.
The weather appears to be changing and we might not need to leave here as quickly as we thought yesterday. Tomorrow’s first job is to go into town to the internet cafe to check weather and talk to our kids via Skype. After checking the weather, we will make a decision whether to rush on to Lautoka tomorrow to check out, or whether to stay here until Friday morning and then make the move. More immediately, I am sitting here looking at piles of canned food that need to be put away, so I had better
quit writing and get to work.