After clearing into Fiji on the beautiful island of Vanua Balavu in the Lau group and free sailing for a few weeks, the World ARC fleet reunite at the friendly Musket Cove Yacht Club and Resort. 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 morning the fleet gathered on the beach for a few hours of entertaining sports activities. The highlight was blind folded kayak races which soon had everyone in stitches belly laughing!
In the preliminary rounds, winners included Josh (Mad Monkey
) and Hayley (Cayuse
) showing talent both communicating and in paddling; Inga (Lunatix
) and Fabianne (Le Aum
) displaying strategy and determination; Dan and Agnes (Smoke and Roses
) who eventually prevailed and advanced to the finals. It sure was hilarious to watch some of the curious routes their “non blindfolded navigator” was directing. Competition was serious!! Dieter of Christine
and Galen from Rally Control put up a tough fight in the final round, yet Charlie of Mischief
and Stephen of Spirit of Catherine
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. A lively volleyball game featuring Ocean Bird
’s talented youngsters rounded out the activities. World ARC 2018-19 participants shared lots of fun mixed in with friendly competition!
Musket Cove Resort’s restaurant Dick’s Place and pool provide a picture perfect setting for a beach side celebration. Before dinner, Harry from O’Deline shared a short presentation highlighting his G-cube project which is focused of raising awareness of clean oceans. The World ARC participants then shared a fabulous Fijian feast. After a delicious meal, the evening turned sentimental as we say farewell to the boats remaining in Fiji. Sailing yachts Alora, Bijou, Footloose, Icebear, Libeccio, Solitude and Someday. We wish them all well as they continue to explore the incredible Fijian Islands and beyond. We also say fair winds to yachts Finnegans Wake, Jojo’s Circus and Shepherd Moon who will depart the fleet in Vanuatu and sail in different directions toward New Caledonia and Australia.
On Friday 6 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 7 July.