2013, 05-05 Travels with Dee
Bills sister Dee arrived in Fiji after a whirl wind of days in New Zealand. Her holiday in New Zealand helped her adjusted to the time difference and jet lag so her first day here went really well despite the rainy weather. She arrived here at 4:00 pm April 25th but her body was still trying to tell her it was 10:00 pm April 24th! Right off the bat she showed her moxie when without fear or frustration she courageously climbed aboard (from a quay you have no finger pier to step from but must negotiate the tides with a bit of a tight rope show.) Early the next morning we set sail for the short hop to Port Denarau then on to Nadi via the “little yellow bus.” Umbrellas in hand we peeked into a handful of tourist shops to look at carvings then toured the Hindu temple and shopped a bit for groceries before stopping for curry lunch at one of the local Indian restaurants and filled up on roti and chicken Korma. Back at the boat I set about teaching her how to play Baja rummy –an intricate card game I have just recently learned to play and love- where she proceeded to grandly stomp me into the ground.
The next day Bill set off for Lautoka on a hunt for a gas tank set up for our new outboard motor while Dee and I grabbed the bus for the botanical gardens at the Garden of the Sleeping Giant. The taxi drivers at Vuda marina wanted $60 to take us to the gardens and wait while we toured but we took a $1.60 bus ride and picked up a local taxi for a $15 roundtrip visit. It poured down rain but with our trusty umbrellas we thoroughly enjoyed the gardens and loved saving a chunk of money too. Day three came and finally the clouds lifted, the rains let up and we set sail for the anchorage at Musket Cove. At Musket we stayed several days at anchor snorkeling and riding around in the dingy and whiling away the afternoon heat playing cards. We ended our cruising with a night at a new anchorage on the NE side of Malolo Island and a nice sail back to Vuda.
Having visitors aboard is always a little unsettling to the ordinary boat life routine and before Dee’s visit she and I had never met face to face, in fact we had only spoken on the phone once or twice and shared a few emails. Having heard many horror stories from other cruising friends who had “strangers” aboard as crew I had been a little apprehensive about the visit. She turned out to be such an easy guest and we had so much fun together that when she left I felt like I had gained a sister-in-law and a good friend. She seemed to really enjoy Fiji and its friendly people and settled right into boat life. My only complaint is that she must be a truly accomplished card shark because she managed to win far more than her fair share of the afternoon card games.