After clearing into Fiji in the Lau group and free sailing for a few weeks, the World ARC fleet reunite in beautiful Musket Cove. The festivities began on Wednesday night with welcome drinks and a Fijian barbecue on the small island of Malolo Lailai. The warm hospitality of the islanders was certainly a great way to get everyone together to swap stories of their cruising adventures.
Bright and early on Thursday morning many of the sailors joined together to explore and take a walk/jog around the island. The route went up a small hill offering a lovely vista of the bay and around to the dirt airstrip where small aircraft and helicopters land daily. It was a nice way to greet the day and get some exercise before attending to pre-passage boat chores. Later that afternoon the fleet gathered on the beach for an entertaining afternoon of sports activities. Pat, the marina manager of Musket Cove Yacht Club led the festivities and was the official judge. The highlight was blind folded kayak races which had everyone in stitches belly laughing! It sure was hilarious to watch some of the curious routes their “non blindfolded navigator” was directing them. Competition was serious!! Closest preliminary race was had by Howard and Ros of Misto vs. Bill and Audrey of Owl with Owl edging out the win!! Alex of Take Off and Jeffrey of Altair put up a tough fight in the final round, yet Edwin and Bianca of Zeeland were the victorious champions!! The cheering section was rowdy and it really was great fun. The wet and wild kayak racing was followed by a serious Tug of War!! Teams were equally matched and fiercely determined to win. Overall, the participants had a fun afternoon of friendly competition!
Thursday afternoon Yachts Exit Strategy, Shamal and Hanna arrived the yacht club just in time for the evening celebration. Musket Cove’s restaurant Dick’s Place and pool provide a picture perfect setting for a beachside celebration. Watching the sunset, the World ARC participants gathered together for a fabulous Fijian feast. After a delicious meal, Stefano of WCC Rally Control said a few words thanking the staff of Musket Cove for their hospitality. He also presented plaques to the five boats staying in Fiji. Sailing yachts Atla, Exit Strategy, Shamal (who will all rejoin the World ARC 18/19) Laura Dawn and Sumore. We wish them all well as they continue to explore the incredible Fijian Islands and beyond. Additionally there are two boats re-joining the fleet in Fiji, Aint Fancy and Take Off. Dirk, Bettina, Jorgan, Louise, Alex and Inez were enthusiastically welcomed. Special southern chocolate cake was prepared for a birthday celebration for Sam of Lexington. The fleet also got together to send best “get well wishes" to Lars of Sandvita and Nellie of Taistealai who were unable to attend. The evening concluded with energetic music and dancing from the locals.
On Friday 7 July, the fleet will conduct clearances with local officials who are being brought in from the mainland and have a Skipper’s briefing as they prepare for the passage to Port Resolution in Tanna, Vanuatu. The official race start is 1000 am on Saturday 8 July.