Monday, June 29, 2009


Scattered across 333 islands is the nation of Fiji. How many of those we will see is any ones guess. We arrived in Suva, the capital of Fiji on June 18th. Our seven day stop at Minerva Reef where there is reef to walk on but no actual land, turned our trip into seventeen whole days since we left Tauranga, New Zealand. Suva is the capital of Fiji and is a large city with over 100,000 in population. We made landfall in Suva because that was how the wind was blowing those last few days at sea. Suva harbor is not the turquoise water and sandy beaches of the postcards but instead is a very industrial harbor. The cruising boats are anchored in amongst dilapidated fishing boats. Other neighbors in Suva harbor are super tankers and cruise ships. On arrival we were welcomed by the Royal Suva Yacht Club which offers cruiser necessities like laundry service, diesel and cold beer. We were happy to be on solid ground and were very ready to explore.
Fiji has an interesting cultural blend. About half the population are indigenous Fijians while the other half is mostly Fijian Indians (from India). The Indian people arrived in Fiji as indentured servants brought over by the British in the late 1800's. Other cultures include Chinese as well as a sampling of people for other Pacific island, with the odd expat thrown in. Suva is a bustling, gritty third world city. From the amazing amount of curry houses to the craft and farmers markets, there is always something to see. We have been here about a week and stayed a bit longer than we had planned because the high winds have made it hard to move to our next destination. So we are enjoying the sight and sounds of a new world so much different than our life in New Zealand for the last year and a half. . Our dinghy at the Royal Suva Yacht ClubInspecting veggies at the market Suva Yacht club School boys in Fijian sulus
Some lunch time entertainment Lunch on our mini road trip with Asylum and Rasa Manis A beach west of Suva A large neighbor for Scholarship Colo-Suva park in Suva The Kava Shop A stop to buy bananas in the countryside We bought them all. The kids were so fun Little heartbreaker...A man washing his pig A trip up the river near the yacht club
The Suva prison..across the street from the yacht club
The mountain view from the harbor were gorgeous

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Minerva Reef

We left Tauranga, New Zealand on June 1st. Seven days later we arrived almost 900 miles north at Minerva Reef. Minerva Reef is a large circular reef (about 3.5 in diameter) that sits more or less smack dab on the Tropic of Capricorn. Sitting at S 23* 37.029 and W 178* 54.775, we were anchored in the middle of nowhere (technically belonging to Tonga), in thirty feet of gin clear water. The day we arrived, it was flat calm. As we came through the pass in the reef, we could instantly see all the way to the bottom at about eighty feet. We ended up spending seven days at Minerva waiting for the north winds to pass before we could continue the last 400 miles to Fiji. We spent our days fishing, snorkeling and just enjoying being at anchor after a week at sea. We even celebrated my birthday at Minerva Reef. Mark baked me a wonderful carrot cake and the champagne flowed freely in the company of our friends on the yachts, Asylum, Rasa Manis and Nomzano. Next on to Suva, Fiji
Leaving NZ, all bundled up

We had on at least 5 layers for the first 5 days at sea Mark doing some repairs to the mast at Minerva Reef

Pressies on my birthday