Dear F&F, August 27th – 28th
We set \”sail\” for Pacific Harbor, but as it was a 90 mile journey, we weren\’t sure we\’d make it by dark, so left staying over one night in Suva Harbor, Fiji\’s Capital a possibility. It was a pretty bumpy and long ride. When we were finally able to turn and run before the wind at Nasilia Point, we realized the stop at Suva would be our best option for the night.
Fiji is \”technically\” under Military/Marshal Law and as such, the government here wants to know everything that foreigners are doing while \”in country\”. As such, we were supposed to clear into and out of Suva if we stopped there. As we\’d planned on only staying one night, we felt that asking for forgiveness instead of permission would be the best use of our time instead of a half a day to clear in and back out of a place we\’d be for less than 15 hours! Imagine being in Los Angeles and told that you had to \”check out\”. Then upon arrival in Santa Barbara or San Diego, you had to \”check in\”. The Fijian\’s blame the British for their bureaucratic background, but I suspect keeping a paycheck in more hands is the actual reason behind the bureaucracy\’s continuation.
The anchorage at Suva was a bit industrial, the holding very good, the wind blew, the rain came. We saw Sam and Shaz from s/v \”Yanti Parzi\” and did some quick catching up. Shaz would be leaving soon for \”OZ\”. Something about having to get back to \”life\”. Sam was trying to get some crew using \”findacrew.net\” which is how I\’d found Sandrine.
We took the dinghy for the short ride to the Royal Suva Yacht Club where we had a few drinks, mediocre food and hoot watching old Ed Sullivan shows and a Queen concert on their big screen.
The next morning, we made the quick trip (20 miles) to Pacific Harbor in preparation for our shark dive the next day with Peter and Diana. It would be Peter\’s birthday and Anja made him a cheesecake. YUM! We ended up sailing most of the way but to our surprise upon arrival, we discovered that Pacific Harbor was anything but….a harbor!
Pacific Harbor as it turns out is a river, about 60 feet wide and 7 feet deep at the entrance! This was a major surprise. No facilities and the dive shop said, \”no worries\” you can anchor off our dock. Problem is, they didn\’t take into account that there was a bridge which made getting our 78 feet of mast (off the water) more than an impossibility to get there. We were going to literally tie off in the mangroves on the side of the river as it was blowing a gale out in the bay and there was no close anchoring option.
In the nick of time, \”Charlie\”, a local live aboard diver operator, saw our plight and invited us to tie up to his dock for the two nights we\’d be there. This was a gift, as Charlie had the only dock there that could handle \”Beach House\”. The river had a current which switched with the tide and we would have to have anchored bow and stern or tied off to trees to prevent swinging.
That night we had dinner with Peter and Diana at a lovely restaurant a short walk from the hotel that they were staying in. They took a taxi from Port Denerau (about a two hour drive) which would be our next and soon to be last stop on the island of Viti Levu.
Scott with Anja