Posted by: procamnz | October 15, 2008

Blue Lagoon to Musket Cove

On Friday morning we woke to a glorious day, clear sky and gentle breeze. We left by the Western entrance sailing south. Our plan was to stop the night at Natuvalo Bay on Naviti but we were having such a great sail and it was still early in the day so headed south to Yalobi Bay on Waya. All went well until we arrived, went to anchor, and could not get shelter from the northwest swell. By this time we were fed up with rolly anchorages. So turned on the donkey and motored north again to Ceva bay on the south coast of Naviti. By this time it was quite late in the day. Normally we would not travel after 3PM because it is hard to see the reefs but we had been there before and had computer tracks which we could follow. We arrived at about 5PM to a calm, smooth anchorage and had a great night’s sleep. The next morning our plan was to leave early and head back to Saweni Bay but we received a visitor from a neighbouring yacht who asked for assistance with his autohelm. Tony was sucked in and so we didn’t leave until about 11AM. We had nearly thirty miles to travel. After all the windy days what should turn up but a windless day even though a strong wind warning had been issued. We had to motor all the way. Had our fishing line out too but no luck there.
Had a bit of a surprise on the way in to Saweni because the motor did a hiccup and dropped revs. Got a bit of a scare but Tony changed the filters etc once we got to anchor and it runs like a dream again. Must have got some muck in the wrong place but fixed now. Despite being very careful with putting diesel conditioner in the tanks every time we fill up we seem to have a little bit of residue diesel bug. The tanks are over twenty years old now and probably need a clean out. We will do that when we get back to NZ. Also we were running low on fuel which would have accentuated the problem.
We have anchored in Saweni Bay several times but this time we didn’t quite pick the right spot because at about 7.30PM the wind turned and when we checked the depth we had only 300mm under the keel. With another two hours to go before low water we were quite concerned. Tony pulled in about 10 metres of chain. We were then had about 500 mm under us. We were reluctant to move because it was dark and we could have made it worse for ourselves. By 10 PM we were just touching the coral but only gently and then all was well again. Guess we have a few scratches on the bottom of the keel now. We made sure that we moved before low water the next morning.
We stayed in Saweni Bay until Monday morning, then motored to Vuda again
so that we could do a few things like a rig check and buy fuel. We couldn’t believe that it cost over $1200 for fuel (diesel is F$2.28 + 5% credit card fee, NZ$1=F$1.03 after charges). We were getting a bit low on tucker and wanted to stock up on the essentials and went in to Lautoka on Tuesday morning. As soon as we arrived back we set off for Musket Cove, where we are now. We have been doing maintenance and packing up things etc. for the big trip home.
Yesterday we discovered that the water pump for the generator was leaking as a seal had blown and so Tony replaced it at once. Fortunately he carries a spare pump. We can manage without the generator but it uses a lot less fuel to charge the batteries than does the main engine.
As part of our preparations for the trip home I have made bread today and Tony cut it up and I made and froze sandwiches I am trying to make easy food for us. I made some pastry yesterday and today will make a bacon and egg pie and cut it into meal size pieces and freeze them. I will also make a pizza and cook some NZ chicken thighs which I managed to buy at the supermarket. I would have prefered to buy chicken breasts but didn’t want to buy Fiji meats. I will pre cook them as well. Then we wont starve on the trip home.
We have a few more jobs to do, like put on the trysail and the perspex shutters on the dodger windows etc.
Then we will just wait for the weather window and hope that we pick it right. From the sound of other yachties it might be next Monday or Tuesday. But who knows. There are a lot of people just waiting here for the same reason at us.
Have had a swim both afternoons. Can’t work all the time. Also, it is too hot. We meet some very pleasant Canadians in the pool yesterday. He was 82 and his wife, 80. Until two years ago they were still doing Ocean cruising but decided that they were now too old. They are having a boating holiday with their son and wife and their two sons. They have been here for three weeks. What a great couple. They are an inspiration to us all. We will have dinner with them tonight at the Island Bar where barbeques are set up for the cruisers. We can buy meat and veg packs at the little shop. As we are now running out of meat that is a great option for us and the men do the cooking.

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