I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

BULA! (again)

BULA from Fiji! It is steamy hot here but I am enjoying a cold Fiji Bitter as watch the rain pouring down, so it is bearable. I have been in Fiji four days now, and things have been… interesting… to say the least.

First of all, I was blown away at how easy it was to get from Auckland, New Zealand to Nandi, Fiji. No weather reports, no provisioning, no seasickness, no days upon days of tedium on the open ocean. Man, it was awesome. Granted, Dad and I did leave for the airport at 3:00 AM, but I hopped on that flight I sat back, relaxed, and arrived at my destination three hours later.

As I walked off the plane I was greeted with a blast of hot, humid air. It put a huge smile on my face. Ah yes, tropics, I have missed you. I have not missed dealing with airport customs officials though, who were not happy with the fact that I was importing ten pounds of coffee into their country. They tried to charge me $400 (Fijian) but I managed to charm my way out of it by offering to serve the officials coffee on the boat some time. I gave them my email address but have not heard from them yet.

Sean picked me up from the airport and gave me a debriefing on the Slow Dance situation. Ron's (the owner) girlfriend is flying into Nandi on Wednesday, and we have to have the boat ready to go on charter by then. The plan is to head to the outer islands after she arrives, but the boat is having some serious maintenance done to it and it is going to be a race to see if we can finish everything in time.

Which leads me to what I have been doing for the past few days: cleaning, organizing, dusting, washing… and drinking. A normal day starts sometime around 8:0 AM when we get up, drink coffee, and talk about what we are working on for the day. By 9 everybody is at work. My first task was organizing the engine room which, for the past few months, has been thrashed. The actual job was not so bad, but it is hot outside and the engine room is even hotter - a stuffy 95 degrees or so. The only god thing about working in the engine room is that it makes everywhere else seem cooler.

Everybody drips sweat all day. I drink three or four liters of water per day and hardly pee at all. Gross, I know. Fortunately Slow Dance has air-conditioning that is turned on at night, so sleeping is possible. Otherwise, during the day you have to sit totally still with a fan pointed on you not to sweat.

But nobody is sitting still for too long around here. Sean, BJ, Victoria and I are busting our asses so we can get out of here on time. Victoria and I are cleaning the shit out of the boat, BJ is finishing sanding blisters out of the deck, and Sean is running around fixing things like he always does.

By the end of the day everybody is extremely thirsty and heads up to the bars at the head of the marina for a beer. Sean and BJ have made good friends with the crew of the mega yacht Noble House tied up next to us, so we share beers with them most nights. It is funny to see the differences between paid crew and cruisers - paid crew work hard every day and play hard every night, while cruisers are much more relaxed. The other night a bunch of us were drinking at Cardo's and our tab came to over $2,000. Glad I was not paying.

I would love to tell you that I have surfed Tavarua, gone for a dive, or even gotten in the water for a swim, but I have not - YET. This week is all about working and preparing the boat so we can get the hell out of here. I understand that, although I am going a little crazy not being able to get in the water. Breathe.

I was very excited because the guys on Noble House surf and offered to take me out to Tavarua with them (Google "Cloudbreak") on the mega yacht's Sportfisher tender. Unfortunately it does not look like the surf or the weather are going to be very good this weekend. I am not too bummed though, I will get plenty of time in the water. We are going to be here for a while.

Speaking for being here for a while, it looks like I might be on Slow Dance a little while longer than I anticipated. Sean said "a month", but a month in Fiji and then a delivery to Australia takes a little time more than that. And you can't forget Vanuatu. Just gotta go with the flow.

One more thing before I go - I will try to update here as much as possible, but tropical internet is slow and difficult. As for pictures… well… maybe someday.

1 comment:

  1. Glad your charm convinced the officials otherwise. Work work work and no surf...makes a corie not so stoked. I hope u can get out there soon!