The wind is howling at 20-25 knots this afternoon, which makes sitting in the shade very pleasant. Even in the sun it is not bad with the breeze, but I am sufficiently sunburned and am trying to avoid the sun.
Three days ago we left Port Denerau (gracias adios!) in the afternoon after busting ass to get the final painting and sanding done, as well as packing up the boat. That afternoon we did not go too far, but found a calm anchorage to spend the night in. We were all so exhausted nobody bothered to get off the boat.
The next morning we pulled up anchor and headed to the north side of Viti Levu through the inside passage of the costal reef systems. It was a beautiful morning with sheet glass water and bright blue sky. The inside passage can be a bit intimidating because there are tons of reefs - most of which do not stick up above the water - and can be very hard to see. The charts are also notoriously bad for Fiji.
For the first part of the morning BJ was on the bow watching for reefs while Sean was at the helm. Victoria made a breakfast of French toast, bacon and fruit salsa, while I enjoyed the ride. It is really something to cruise through the ocean on a boat like Slow Dance. There is quite a difference between cruising on 40-50 foot boat and a 80-90 foot boat. Not to say that it is easier on Slow Dance - it is tricky in its own way - but damn, it is comfortable.
By the afternoon everybody had their confidence up and we cracked open the first beers, rocked out to some good music, and enjoyed. It was always hard for me to understand my dad's love for the sport of sailing; he always says going sailing "clears the cobwebs out," and I never really got it. But yesterday, even though we were only motoring, I understood. It felt amazing to be back on the water, away from the dock and marina and town, in the cool breeze surrounded by water and islands and reefs.
In the afternoon we dropped anchor in a nicely protected bay off the island of Nananu-I-Ra. We all packed into the tender and went to shore - Trinny the dog included. Once on shore we found a cute little resort to get a drink at. It looked like there might be some good coral to check out, but by this time it was late in the day. We took a walk down the beach and picked some mangoes off a tree. They taste like candy.
Today was our first full day of rest and relaxation. I got to sleep in until 9:30, went for a swim and had a berry smoothie before we headed out to check out a resort that Rob (Noble House) recommended. The resort was very nice with a pool and swim up bar. We ate brunch and had drinks by the pool, went for a swim and took a little walk before heading back to the boat. Another quick swim, a little siesta, and life is good.