Mischief - Up to Mischief Log 57 Further adventures of S/Y Mischief through the eyes and ears of Chas Baynes

Thursday, 5th July - Musket Cove Marina, Fiji

Gary and Marian are leaving Mischief this morning which is a great shame, as they continue their circumnavigation by land, sea and sky heading this time to San Fransisco. The only upside is that I get to have a cabin again after weeks in the saloon! They will join again in Grenada I believe.

Sports Day at Musket Cove!! We started off with a walk/jog around the island which was very pleasant as a warm up. Then at 11am the sports commenced with 'blind' kayaking which consisted of two-man kayaks with a blindfolded paddler sat behind a navigator who shouted instructions as to where to go, the course being from the beach around a flagged buoy 100m off and back to the beach. I was paired with Steve of Spirit of Catherine, the A team if ever there was one. The heats of three started with canoes spreading everywhere but the direction required which was hilarious but showed us what effect the wind was having and where to start on the beach, so for our heat Steve and I started far left and went around the buoy leaving it to starboard whilst others went the other way around. That caused a bit of an issue as we collided head on with another boat as we headed back to shore, but we were a long way ahead by then and won our heat by a whole leg!

The finals were a little different though as we shot off from the beach with stiff competition from Dieter of Catherine with Galen navigating but we reached the buoy first, rounded it and ran straight into Dan and Agnes of Smoke and Roses which stopped us dead and allowed Dieter to take the lead. Steve was shouting directions which you could hear all over the resort and his wife Sophia on shore shouting "Come on Charlie" at the top of her voice, whilst filming the whole event. I didn't need too much encouragement and paddling at 65 to the dozen we almost got the canoe up onto the plane with Steve leaping up and down in his seat urging the boat forwards and shot back into the lead crashing up the beach in first - brilliant! I think my heart rate hit around 180 bpm at the end there and arms were bursting with lactic, but hey it was worth it! Competitive, who me?

We then moved onto the tug-of-war and we split teams evenly, but our opposition were one fat man short of a ton and we lost that one, so had to make it back with the volley ball match. All in all, great fun. There was a follow up volleyball match in the afternoon with under 50s v over 50s but when I looked over to the court at the appointed hour there were only youngsters there, all the over 50s were having a sleep I suspect! Besides the sun had gone in, the wind was up, and it was threatening rain. Everyone was walking around in jumpers and rain jackets and all the boats were closed up as it was so cold. I was going to have a quick snooze but Dave who had been fitting a new impellor into the generator as a precautionary measure (turns out it was needed so a wise move), told me that Dan next door had dropped a mosquito cover under his boat and asked if I would retrieve it for him. Not a problem, so I donned my fins and mask and dived down under the boats in limited visibility, to fetch it back. I got cold so had a hot shower only to be told that he'd dropped it in again, so I repeated the process - I think he's no longer bothering trying to fit the things now.

We had a farewell pig roast barbeque on the beach in the evening which was well attended, with everyone wearing jumpers and jackets as it was so cold. There were various boats leaving the rally at this point so there were presentations made to each and an opportunity for them to say a few words which got quite emotional; the words 'Trust' and 'Lifetime friendships' were mooted several times which says it all really.

However, there was also talk of the weather for Saturday's start of the next leg to Tanna, Vanuatu whereby the forecast was for 30 knots winds reducing over the expected three days, but a lot of wind all the same. Some were already contemplating a delay to their start as a result, but it does seem to change quite quickly around here so we shall wait and see. Anyway, most went back to their boats quite early on to warm up, me included!

Friday, 6th July 2018 - Musket Cove marina

I went to the loos at 6.15 this morning and on the way back I was invited for coffee on board Spirit of Catherine by Steve and Sophia. They ought to open a coffee shop as various other passers-by joined us. We ended up discussing the forecast for tomorrow that seems to have reduced slightly even though it is still windy outside now, albeit with the sun out. We also learned a few more Australian phrases from Steve's push button toy which we pressed in turn and all repeated the expression in unison, "G'day mate".

Trevor announced that he was off to Port Denarau this morning on the ferry as he had a dental appointment - he has developed a tooth absyss, which is the first we have heard of it, but he would not want to undergo a longish passage with roaring toothache that's for sure! Let's hope it gets sorted for his sake, but a dose of antibiotics should be sufficient. Talking of which, we are due to start taking the anti -malaria tablets in a day or two as Vanuatu has been designated a malaria area now by the WHO. Dave has distributed them anyway this morning.

Spent the day not doing much other than swimming laps in the pool and reading until the Skippers briefing at 4.30 which got quite feisty when the Arc team announced that the start was at 10am tomorrow regardless as that was what had been agreed with Customs. The trouble is low water is at 0713 in the morning and there is a shallow ledge into the marina over which the deeper boats won't manage leaving by 9am. The response was that we should have gone out onto anchor in the bay already which really got on some Skippers backs and there came a lively exchange of views. I suspect the outcome will be for the Customs people to allow a short delay to the start and that will solve the issue.

Whilst awaiting the start of the Skippers briefing I went through the books in the book exchange and found a perfect one for Steve on Spirit of Catherine following this morning's Aussie phase session - an Australian dictionary of words and phrases with English translations! One of those 'saw this and thought of you moments', so I presented it to him in jest.
So, we retired to the yacht club bar for the last time and ordered a pizza and I sat chatting to Tommas of Adrienne for an hour or so; really interesting as he was a former 470 sailor on the international circuit and the Austrian national Laser coach in a former life and is now just about to achieve 100,000 miles at sea with his wife, Tanya. Quite an achievement. Plenty of stories from our mutual dinghy racing days - could have talked to him all night!

The weather forecast looks to be windy for the next couple of days but reducing before another system comes across but we ought to be in Vanuatu by then with any luck. But we would appear to be short of sea sick tablets - I had one in the Galapagos and it seems to have lasted quite well to this point. It would appear that Rob, who got off the boat in Tonga and who was sick constantly on the boat, must have taken about 100 of the things - no wonder he was ill, it wasn't sea sick but an overdose of Stugeron! Either that or we have lost a load of the things maybe……..

But it seems now that it is time to move on. Musket Cove has been great and a brilliant break from island hopping for a while.