Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 56 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Sunday, 1st July 2018 - Musket Cove Marina, Fiji

We were due to take the two Hobie cats out this morning but before we got our act together someone else had taken one out so pointless trying to race with one boat so we waited for an hour until he returned it by which time the other one had been booked, whilst we were told we were unable to book it - there are definitely some rules for some and some for others around here, it just depends who you speak to! Maybe we will try again tomorrow as it looks like it will still be windy enough.

Our French buddies PreTaixt came into the marina this morning so it was good to see them again and Emily Morgan we spoke to on the radio, so the fleet is congregating.

We went for a snorkel around the reef - not too much interesting coral but a few nice fish to look at, and later on went for a competitive swim in the pool as there was someone else in there who was obviously a swimmer so that was fun, especially as I was quicker, that was until he started to do butterfly! As I was getting bored reading, I wanted to go for a run but found my running shoes were ringing wet as Gary thought he would do me a favour by washing them in fresh water - I'm sure they were not smelling that bad! So, I dried them out in the sun and breeze then went around the island later on.

Spaghetti Marinara for tea - I had bought a bag of frozen seafood in Port Denarau and Dave went and bought a bottle of white wine so it all turned out rather splendidly, except I made so much of the it we all got entirely stuffed and still had some left to feed to the fish. The others went for a post dinner drink in the yacht club, but I just read my book for half a minute and went to sleep!

Monday, 2nd July 2018 - Musket Cove marina

The long-awaited day for our private Hobie challenge! Guess what, not enough wind! Alternatively, we went and had another round of golf as we still had all our balls, and indeed Gary had found a couple more when he and Marian had been for a walk around the course yesterday. It was really great, in fact so much so we went around again, well Dave, myself and Gary did anyway while Trevor went to the pool. Dave was much improved on 61 from 74, Gary went downhill with a 72 from 67, Trevor 64 from 67 and I improved dramatically from 52 to 51! We had a couple of beers before the second round and it really is remarkable how much more difficult it is to hit a golf ball when you can see two of them on the tee……. But at least Gary improved his morning score - alcohol obviously improves his game!

It was Fijian curry night in the resort tonight, a curry buffet - not as good as the pig roast but good value and loads to eat - I can recommend the Fiji lentil soup with whole chillies. Maybe it will create enough wind tomorrow should we take the Hobies out.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018 - Musket Cove marina

Gary got me up really early this morning as today it was the day for England v Columbia in the World Cup. That was until we got there and the game on the telly was Japan v Belgium! Gary had got the days wrong but the game itself was cracking, especially when Japan went two nil up in the second half and then Belgium went on to win in the 5th minute of added time! Best second half of football I've ever seen!

Very little wind again this morning despite the lentil soup yesterday, so the Hobie challenge was postponed yet again. So as an alternative, I decided to jump on the fast cat ferry to Port Denarau as I needed to get onto the internet - it is either non-existent or comes with a hotel room at vast expense here. I was told that the fare was F$80, i.e $40 each way, less a 'Lifetime' yacht club membership discount of 25%, so $60 total return which is what I paid. However, it transpired that on trying to board the ferry for the way back it was going to cost me another $60 regardless of the fact that my ticket said 'return'. Apparently, the fare used to be F$40 each way but now it was F$80 each way - quite when it went up I really don't know but I think it must have been at lunchtime!

I had a marina gate card still from when we were last in the marina so used it to have a long shower before sitting in the Rhumba bar next to the marina office. It turns out that the wifi in the bar was better than the marina connection, so I had my PC linked to the marina network and my iPad and phone on the Rhumba network doing accounts, vat returns etc all day. I had breakfast there followed by a beer every half hour so as not to outstay my welcome. I admit to being a bit wobbly on the way back! I think I did my vat return correctly but I'll check it later.

Back in Musket Cove we had been invited on board Finnegans Wake, an aluminum Allure 52 for sundowners and I presented Derek and Di with a bottle of white wine I had 'smuggled' aboard the ferry. Whilst Gary and Marian took Dave and Wendy out for dinner, Trev and I retired to the yacht club bar for gin and tonics and ate half a cold pizza someone had left on the bar - perfect! That's eating out in style, and a lot cheaper.

Wednesday, 4th July 2018 - Musket Cove marina

We were up super early today as apparently, so Gary confirmed, England were indeed playing Columbia in the World Cup. I felt for the resort manager as he could only get the commentary up with no picture whilst there must have been thirty or so English in the room waiting to see the match; he was chasing back and forth pulling and pushing wires, pressing remote buttons for all he was worth but eventually he got the picture too after 10 minutes - at least it was still nil nil. But England, being England, had to lose a goal in the last minute of added time forcing extra time and penalties - at least it wasn't Germany, so the outcome was not a foregone conclusion! We did however contrive to go one down before winning it with our final kick! It was never in doubt obviously……….

What a beautiful day it is today. Still no wind for the Hobie cats though so I took the dinghy out for a row around, then went for a sea swim then a snorkel. The marina is slowly filling up with Arc boats as many have targeted today as to arrive, presumably in time for the Arc 'Sports Day' tomorrow! Good to see so many familiar faces, some for the last time as they drop out of the rally at this point. We all put up the bunting today so the pontoon looks very smart and colourful.

It transpires after a week that the water piped to the dock side here is not potable! We have been using it since we got here for coffee and tea so maybe it is alright if it is boiled first but let's hope so!

I popped up on deck early afternoon to see a number of people staring down into the water so I thought I should have a look to see what was of so much interest. They were pointing at something they decided was a sea snake eating a small octopus and most declared that was the last swimming they were doing if there were sea snakes around as they are extremely venomous. So I went back to look at it again after everyone had moved off armed with the boat hook to give it a prod, as you do. It did move but not very fast so I hooked it and lifted it out of the water. It sagged down either side of the boat hook like a couple of sausages in a string - it was a sea cucumber minding its own business so I gently returned him to the water. Sea snake, I ask you!

The fleet were invited to a Kava party on board Mad Monkey late afternoon. He had an original Kava bowl and Rick from Amara had an industrial supply of Kava powder, so Mark became the 'Chief' and Rick the 'Leader' on his left mixing the foul potion. Everyone has to sit and the Chief fills a Kava cup which looks like half a coconut shell, passes it to the Leader who then passes it to the first man on his left. He then has to clap once with cupped hands, says 'Bula' and then downs the liquid in one when everyone then claps three times and the cup is passed back to the Chief and it is refilled for the next man…..it is very sexist as all the men drink before the women. The Kava is a brown thin liquid which looks for all intents and purposes like muddy water and tastes not dissimilar, pretty horrid really. It is supposed to be a mild relaxant and make your lips go numb, but it had no effect on me whatsoever after two cups. However, locals could sit around for hours drinking this stuff and end up comatose!

However, I did dress appropriately for the occasion as I had bought a 'Sulo' from Port Denarau, a traditional Fijian wrap around in black. Having just come back from a run, I had a quick shower and donned the 'kit'. It is actually really smart and very comfortable to wear although one does have to learn how to sit and leap off boats etc rather more delicately to maintain one's modesty! Dave reckoned I looked like a girl but then I doubt very much if he would lay the same accusation on all the Fijian chaps on the island wearing the same stuff, most of whom were even bigger than me!!

We moved on from the Kava party to a welcome drinks reception sponsored by the marina and then on to a barbeque, so I was stuffed again! It's a good job I'm back exercising.