The Fiji islands have been a delight to visit. Beautiful beaches, many islands with no visible signs of development, awesome volcanic rocks and mountains, and tropical vegetation covering the landscape. The local people, especially in the eastern part of the country, take the good parts of their culture to heart. They are very friendly, welcoming you into their villages, and excited to meet people in places where foreign people rarely visit. There seems to be little to no crime on the outer islands. Even in the towns most of the people are happy, and are often willing to stop and talk, and tell you about their lives.
Another aspect of our travels in Fiji has been traveling with other cruisers. Over the last couple of years, we have met many other cruising yachts traveling to the same places. We now know many crews of boats pretty well after numerous social occasions and rendezvous in different ports. There have been dozens of boats we know traveling in Fiji this year. In Fiji, we have spent many days and evenings hanging out with friends from other boats. We have hiked on trails to hidden waterfalls together, searched for diving and snorkeling sites, hunted for lobster and fish, dived through canyons and caves of reefs, climbed mountains, met with local chiefs and village people, cooked foods on beaches and our boats, occasionally helped one another with a boat problem or computers, and shared all these experiences that will form memories of a lifetime.
We have had such a good time, it is hard now that most of us are beginning to change gears and begin preparations to leave Fiji. Many of us are going to head west to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. But, some will stay here for a few more weeks or months, and then return to New Zealand. We have already had to start wishing some of our friends well as they go separate paths. Some will go with us after Vanuatu and New Caledonia to Australia. Others will go different routes where we may meet up with them in Indonesia a year from now.
We have left Musket Cove and are now on the main island of Viti Levu. Back to civilization. Last night we heard a siren for the first time since we left New Zealand in May. We rode in a taxi yesterday afternoon to visit Lautoka. Today we move down to Port Denarau where our package from the US is waiting for us to be picked up. The package has boat parts and supplies we could only get from home. Next we begin a week of doing tasks to prepare the boat for our departure. We need to re-provision, we need to buy some things only available in the bigger markets and stores, we need to get to a dentist and barber, we need to buy fuel for the boat. Back to the mundane and work for a while for the crew of Tahina.
But, soon we will be making a passage across the big blue seas of the Pacific. Back to the adventure of approaching a new island country and the totally unfamiliar. We’ll be immersing ourselves in yet another culture. And, we’re sure we’ll meet up with some of our other cruising friends, and maybe meet up with new boats and make more friends both on land and in anchorages. We are forever grateful that we have this opportunity to see and learn about these very remote parts of our planet. Hopefully, some of you following us will be inspired to do the same someday.