Friday, June 15, 2007

Done in Fiji

Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji Islands
coordinates 17.36.029S,177.26.535E

We are all done in Fiji. We have a lovely last week. Rather relaxing time all together here which was just what we wanted. We filled our mornings with some great school work. The boys have been really motivated lately! We tried to keep the afternoons as fun as possible with swimming and wake boarding and of course, projects of one sort of another. We received our new water maker membrane and new fuel uptake valve. We even received a new hand held mic for the outside radio so we are back in
business. Unclogged a clogged head, cleaned the bottom of the boat a bit, changed the alternator again,
the list goes on.

A final field trip to the local school on Malolo Island was a fun treat. The island itself it connected to Malolo'lailai Island by reef at low tide so we had a choice. Either walk across the reef and around the island to the villages or time it just right with the dinghy to arrive around high tide. We opted, successfully, for high tide, with Kelly girl from s/v Moorea watching for depth and Laura from s/v New Dawn at the helm of her dinghy, and Lisa raising and lowering the outboard as needed
to avoid hitting the prop on coral. We didn't realize that when we met up with the head school master one day and asked if we could come for a visit we would end up being the "guests of honor" along with the villages minister. The whole school was celebrating their version of "Earth Day/Arbor Day" with oratory competitions between students, singing and a flag ceremony. All their art work and recent writing projects were hanging about on display for all to view just like at home. The theme of
the day was their environment and the protection of the resources. They are doing great work there, and head master Philipo runs a wonderfully fun and tight ship. We had the opportunity for view our first Kava ceremony.

Kava or yanoqa (aka grog), is a drink made from a local pepper plant. Although we haven't tasted it personally, we've heard it tastes like dirty water and makes your lips and tongues go numb. It is non alcoholic but we've heard different stories claiming it's tranquilizing capabilities. It is an integral part of their culture and daily lives and is passed around between the head men of the village with a bit of ceremony and lots of clapping. When entering any new village we were to brings gifts
of the kava, specially wrapped as an offering or sevu sevu the village's chief. Though we were never able to give any away either, it was still fun to witness the ceremony.

Officially checked out of the country, we are on our way to our next destination of the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.
until next time,
Lisa and the boys


Anonymous said...

Hi - we have been reading about your journey with interest and we admire your sense of adventure and your pioneering spirit . We have been planning and saving to go off-shore ourselves as a family for 4 years and are now at the stage of buying a suitable boat. There are 4 of us Steve (Dad), Caroline (Mum) Holly 10 and Zach 7. We live in Napier NZ and own an Ice Cream Parlour. We sailed from Napier to Bay of Islands as a family in Jan 07 and Steve has crossed the Atlantic - US to UK. Caroline is doing her RYA Coastal skipper ticket at the moment. We are considering a 1999 Catalina 42 Mk2 (2 cabin) called "Windriver" which is currently for sale in Auckland. It has all the gear needed and sailed out from SFran. If you were to do it all again would you stick with your Cat. or go with something like a 1990 Hallberg Rassy 42? We are also considering a steel boat called "Finale". if you have the ability and the time we would appreciate your comments. Regards Steve

Anonymous said...

PS our email address is