Monday, October 17, 2005

cutting losses

Alright, there's no reasonable chance of updating this blog with what has happened in the past month, and attempting it only leads to intimidated procrastination. So I'll cut my losses and start from now, and you can all just read my memoirs to fill in the details later (which this was supposed to be notes for --- I'm sure the tale will improve as my memory fades.)

So I got back to Fiji late Saturday night. Had an adventure unpacking my surfboard (wrapped in 2 wimpy sleeping bags stuffed with all my clothes around the fins.) My phone didn't work either, so I couldn't call the hotel without buying a ripoff phone card (80 cents a minute).

I couldn't find a cab that didn't want to gouge me either, but when you're white, at the airport in fiji at midnight, have 3 pieces of luggage and a surfboard and no phone, you're vulnerable.

But at least the Wailoaloa resort was kind enough to be open for me (and give me the fair rate.)

Sunday morning I ran into town first thing to the Vodaphone office to try to get my phone fixed, because I knew Kelsey was going through international calling cards like Carol goes through licorice (or Matt through Kit Kats), and also I want to get ahold of my contacts in Fiji and make the most of my last week and a half.

I lucked out and got offered a lift by two indian dudes sharing a spliff. Before I could even get a cab or minibus, no charge.

Well, everything's closed on sunday, and I knew that, but there was no way in the world I knew it was sunday. So I made a stop at the internet and the grocery (my cattle were in the muck) and back to the hotel for a lazy sunday since I didn't have my sunday clothes and backed out of spending $20 on a sunday shirt to go to church, after all, that's breaking the sabbath.

So I went swimming.

Met a local family who was staying there and made friends with the little girl by chasing her around the pool and nearly splitting my skull (I did split my nose.)

By the way, you can see their photos at:

Also some that were taken by my crew mates at

Monday I got into town, fixed my phone, by paying the bill, and caught a minibus to Suva. Getting out at every stop along the way and unloading my surfboard which blocked the door. I must admit, I can't really complain about the shape it's in, though the first 2 days I had it, it seemed like it was destined to be shreds of glass and foam before I ever use it (which I haven't yet).

I hope to remedy that by going to Kadavu, at midnight tonight, on a cargo vessel, with Dodo, and staying at his cousins, or their cousins, something like that. Laisa's family. I've got a grocery list to take to them, which includes 5 kilograms of cucumbers, and I've got to take a barrel of Kerosene to someone, too.

So I better finish this email and go shopping. Oh yeah, I need to get some pirate DVDs as well. Check out "Sweet Samoan Wedding" and "The Tongan Ninja" I haven't seen either yet, but I'm putting money on the Samoan Wedding for much funny.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

There and back again

Well, I made it to Australia, spend about 24 hours there, and came back to Fiji.

Probably no one is reading this anymore, anyway. I've got several posts I'd like to write, but I think I'll go to church today. I forgot it was Sunday and went into Nadi Town to try to get my mobile phone working, which for some reason, is not. Got a free lift with a couple Indian guys smoking weed and pitching tourism ideas to me, much the same as my own, but instead of on a beach, doing highland tours in villages.

I'll try to write some more later, and since I'll probably have all afternoon to sit in my hotel doing nothing, I can compose letters on my own computer.

If anyone reads this, sorry for such an anticlimactic return post. Send me some ideas of what you'd like to hear.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Now it's personal

Okay, now I'm on a quest to find out if it's even possible for me to sail from Fiji to Australia. I don't care what it takes, as long as I can get back in time to get back for Halloween.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I think I'm leaving today

I think I'm leaving for Australia today. We'll see. I moved my return ticket back to Oct 10, which I really didn't want to do, and it cost $50.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fed up

Okay, I'm in Lautoka, and I'm about fed up. If we don't leave by
Monday, I'm going to jump ship. There's too many coconut trees to be
climbed and fish to be speared to wait around for a free trip to australia where I won't even have a couple days to visit.

I got an email from Brett today that cheered me up. He's the only one besides my Mom and Kelsey (and Joe) that's writ me.

Had a really high tech curry with roti for a late breakfast. Way too much food too early in the morning however tasty. I saw my reflection in the mirror at the restaurant and nearly jumped back. Looking a bit wild, and no doubt no sweeter smelling.

At least it keeps the ladies at bay.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Musket Cove

I thought I'd posted at least 1 more letter but it's not showing.

I've been in Musket Cove on Malololeilei island the past few days. It's pretty deluxe. It's a fancy resort, but we stay for $10 a day, moored in the harbor. $5 gets you a yacht club membership, and you can use the pool, and all the equipment, which includes free windsurfers, but there hasn't been any wind the last couple days.

There is great snorkling around here, and nice beaches if you're into that sort of thing.
I made a spear from a stick and tried my hand at spearfishing, to no luck yet. I think I might buy some elastic rope and fashion a spear gun. I dove deep (about 20 feet) to get a cowry and see if I could.

I've mastered climbing coconut trees and opening coconuts with a machete. The german girl Alan picked up as crew calls me a monkey. The Spaniards we met, Pablo & Miguel & Paola, who's a real beauty, and a Canadian girl, call me a real adventurer. They want to do my survival tour when I get it going. I think they think I'm a real life beach comber. I'm starting to look the part, with a shaggy hairdo, about a weeks worth of beard, a red face and tan, and various battle scars. The one think I'm missing is a flat belly, having eaten remarkably well all the while.

I've been fetching & opening coconuts for resort guests and taking people to the nice corals for diving and identifying fish. I should probably get paid, or at least be allowed to play on the staff volleyball team, which thoroughly trounced the yachties and resort guests in a tournament yesterday.

There are hobie cat races today, but I spent all morning scrubbing the hull of the boat with a brush and my snorkle. My knuckles are bloody from the barnacles. I also managed to bung up my elbow, and I've been limping with a gash in my right foot from treading on corals I think. I want to rent a windsurfer, but there's been no wind.

We (the german girl, Sabine, and me) were eaten alive in the village we found on Malolo island across the channel when we went exploring. Not by the villagers; by mosquitos. But there's practically none at the resort. They must spray. She's teaching me to play guitar. I'm working on "One" by U2. She wants me to teach her the riff from "Smells like teen spirit." That should take 2 seconds, though she doesn't understand power chords, having learned the propper way to play already.

We should leave for Lautoka to pick up the (hopefully repaired) starter motor and a new autopilot tomorrow. And then check out and leave maybe Friday or Saturday. I'm not getting my hopes up. Alan likes it here and is in no rush, and I suspect the autopilot may not work still.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

No, not really

I knew it! We're still in Fiji, but in Nadi. Alan likes it alot better because there's plenty of sun and islands with nice reefs and beaches. But they're starting to look for someone to throw overboard to remove the curse.

What happened was, in the middle of the night, while me and Alan are piloting in shifts, the port engine breaks. So after going miles south, we turn back north to Nadi and limp back in to Fiji. Turns out to be the starter, and we got it fixed the first day, but it meant going back up to Lautoka and checking in to customs and

Anyway, it looks like I'll miss my New Caledonia time except for a day or two, but we'll spend it in the west of Fiji anchoring off resorts and snorkling and spear fishing (as opposed to doing the same off of remote island villages in New Cal)

Also, alan decided after 1 long night to go ahead and order a new autopilot so that we don't have to have any more long nights followed by tired days. We're also taking on a new crew, some dude from Oregon named timothy. Me and Alan were both hoping we'd get a reply from the swedish gal who had a posting.

So we'll stay here for a week and wait for the part and catch the regatta at Mustket Cove this weekend which should be fun. And probably bump into Tony there or at Beachcomber, where I think we're going tonight.