Trillium - S/V Trillium: A Fine Fijian Farewell
A Fine Fijian Farewell
The time has come to say "until we meet again" to our Fijian friends at Vuda Marina. This has been our home base since arriving in Fiji on June 11. Not only have the guys in the yard been outstanding in their service, the gals in the office, laundry, store and restaurant staffs have been wonderful. This is the most friendly customer service focused experience so far on our circumnavigation. They all seem genuinely happy to have you there.
Having scheduled a number of departure dates and then cancelled them due to repairs or weather (either too much wind or too little), we finally committed to leaving on September 1. We celebrated my birthday a day early with Joyce and John from S/V Starblazer, another Hallberg-Rassy yacht, at the Boatshed Bar. Joyce gave me a lovely handmade card which she had cross-stitched.
Once we had cleared out with customs, the Marina staff gave us a beautiful send off. Not only did Nikki show up with a birthday card, but they sang the lovely Fijian Farewell song complete with a guitarist. I have seen the translation and the words are dear. Hopefully I will be able to locate it again. It made me feel sad to leave the "family." Although, our plan is to return next year with the World ARC after we rejoin them back in Tonga. Fiji has definitely been our favorite place.
The winds for sailing to Vanuatu looked like they would be light for a couple of days picking up force as we approach Vanuatu. After the rally legs of sailing from point to point with intensity (although we are not serious about winning any prizes), we are just sailing along with what the wind gives us.
Sometimes we are only moving along at two to three knots, but it so beautiful out here that we don't really care! The sun is warm and the breeze is cool making it a perfect day - day after day. It is great to spend the day reading in the cockpit with an occasional check on the sails. It is peaceful and quiet. Living simply with no agenda. Loving it! I am starting to feel like a real cruiser. Dennis surprised me with a birthday ice cream bar he had stealthily put in the freezer.
We won't make Vanuatu on Friday as we originally thought. In fact, we may not even make it on Saturday, but who cares! We can sit there at Port Vila waiting to check in on Monday, or we can drift along out here enjoying life! There is no schedule right now. Life is good!
Note: the above section was written while happily sailing along on the deep blue sea. Then things changed quickly! Right after dinner on Saturday night about 50 miles off Efate, Vanuatu, the winds kick up to 25-30+. This, of course, created a real problem as we were going to arrive too soon and with heavy winds and swells pushing us toward the shore. We couldn’t sail any slower, so we took in all sails and began motoring southwest away from the island. We continued for seven hours until daylight would allow us to approach the Port Vila harbor safely. Other than the rough 12 hours holding off shore, it was a great passage. Port Vila was a welcome site and we will reconnect with cruising friends we have met along the way. Life is good!
We are so glad the World ARC is set up so you can spend a year or more exploring the South Pacific before completing the passage, We look forward to being the beta group for World ARC New Zealand and are helping to gather information for the event. More photos and details of our Fijian exploration can be found at http://sv-trillium.blogspot.com.
Sherry and Dennis Day