Leaving Vuda Marina Fiji - a special farewell
Position 17:40.88S 177:23.21E
Date 1230 (UTC -12) Monday 8 September 2014
We seem to have been in Fiji a very long time and to have spent quite some time in Vuda Marina having various work carried out, fitting new electronics, meeting and waving good bye to family crew and generally chilling out in between. We have also since arriving in Fiji on 30 June covered 815nm around the islands and generally had a great time in a wonderfully welcoming and beautiful country.
The marina staff have made our various stays in Vuda Marina special. Without exception cheerful and efficient but also welcoming and friendly. Our relationship was definitely established when I tried to remove the top of my head in early July when leaving for Musket Cove. Maria and Nicky in the office organised things, Mark the boatman took the injured (i.e. the Skipper - Me) party ashore and Jovalisi (Jo) from security accompanied us to hospital and stayed with Elizabeth until I was stitched and bedded down for overnight observation. Nicky, M<aria and Mark also visited the injured in hospital and brought him some grapes. Definitely going that extra mile because that is what Fijians do by nature.
Our departure had been delayed by a week to allow time to complete the sun awning, the constituent parts for which we had been carrying around for a year optimistically thinking that we would DiY. Marshalls Sails sorted that out, but of course it eventually after 3 test fits arrived the morning that we were leaving. Our departure originally scheduled for Friday was also delayed by the weather forecast, Friday through Sunday showing little or no wind for the passage to Vanuatu and Monday showing a robust forecast, but more of that later.
Finally on Monday morning with our customs clearance completed we were ready to leave at 1230, only 30 minutes later than planned which in itself is a miracle. To our great delight some of the marina staff turned out to perform a traditional Fijian farewell song, think Auld Lang Syne but in harmony and beautifully sung. What a way to go, and thank you all.