Oct 11, 2010 – Monday - Suva, Fiji Islands – I set the alarm this morning in order to see our arrival in Suva. It brought back memories of sailing the SV Sequoia through the same channel in 2004, when I crewed the open ocean segment from New Zealand to Fiji with the Johnstons. This time my mode of transportation is a bit more luxurious!
Our arrival at King's Wharf is heralded by the Suva Police Band – they march up and down the wharf playing some very catchy tunes. It is overcast today, so it is not as hot as Pago Pago was (our previous port of call in American Samoa). I call my Fijiian friends several times this morning, but there is no answer, so I find my onboard friends and we go ashore together.
|Ceremonial guard at Governor General's Mansion in Suva|
Despite the cloudy weather, we still find the walk to be hot and exhausting. We stop in town to poke around the few shops that are open. A friendly Fijiian "sweeper" directs us to the shops that sell t-shirts, jewellery, and other tourist stuff. I buy a Fiji Bitter beer t-shirt for FJ$22 (CD$12). We also walk through Prouds, a high end department store, but buy nothing. After returning to the comfort of the ship, I head for the Sea View pool to cool off, and then grab some lunch in the Lido.
|Fiji Police Band - bandleader waving goodbye|
Oct 12, 2010 – Tuesday – Dravuni Island, Fiji Islands – I was awoken by the anchor chain being released this morning around 7am. This is a built in alarm clock for our arrival at an anchorage since I have a cabin in the bow! I went up for a quick breakfast in the Lido, and they we took a tender ashore to Dravuni Island. This island is really idyllic: the broad sandy beach is several kilometres long, there are palm trees along the shore, and the villagers have their houses just set back from the beach under the palm trees. There is a walking trail between the houses and the beach, which is a common setup I remember from other tropical countries I've visited.
|Brain coral & fish at Dravuni Island, Fiji|
I called home this afternoon as we departed Dravuni since this is my last opportunity to use reasonably priced shore-based cellphone coverage until we arrive in New Zealand a week from now.