Arrived in Suva
Fun bouncy, followed by boisterous pukey seas overnight brought us to Suva by first light. Franco was on watch and jibed Caramor so that she could point towards the entrance between the reefs. Unfortunately he was standing forward of the traveller and as the main came over, the sheet hit him across the side of the back. I heard his shout, jumped out of bed and came running. He was in severe pain but could move everything the right way.
Suva was the one place in Fiji we had no intention nor desire to visit but we were prepared to give it a shot. We’d read that the main anchorage off the Royal Suva Yacht Club is very exposed. By chance, there is a much better and sheltered anchorage just a short bus journey from downtown, overlooked by the Novotel Hotel.
Franco booked an appointment for another blood test and we headed into town. The doctor’s surgery is on the 4th floor of the Tappoo City mall. At the bus stop we got chatting with a friendly lady who was heading back to work in town. Franco asked her if she would show us Tappoo City when we got there. She looked a little put out and replied: “But I’m not going that way,” which we took to mean that she was getting off before.
The bus came to a final standstill at the bus station in Suva and we said goodbye to our companion. She got off the bus with us and proceeded to help us buy new bus passes (ours from Savu Savu had expired) then she walked with us, pointing out the market and other sites as we went. We got to Tappoo City and she came in with us. At this point I understood; by asking her to show us where the building was, she thought we expected her to take us there and she had gone out of her way to do so! We were of course very grateful but we made a note to selves that sometimes language doesn’t quite have the same meaning in Fiji.
Suva may not be the most beautiful city but it is bustling and friendly, the market has piles of good quality fresh food and the internet speed is excellent, something Franco is making the most of as he has several big Pesda Press projects on the go.
On one day Franco worked from the Novotel Hotel where the lady at reception very kindly gave him a 7-day internet pass (usually the charge is $30 per hour!) and I did jobs on the boat. I had the VHF on so that he could call me when he was ready to come back. I heard a yacht, recently arrived from Tonga and anchored off the Royal Suva Yacht Club, call for Customs. He was told the officers would visit the yacht at 9:30. At 10am he radioed again. The answer: at 12pm. At 1pm he called again, no answer. At 1:30pm he called again, no answer, he called another yacht for a radio check but we could all hear him so nothing wrong there. At 2pm he was told 3pm and at 3:30 he was told 4:20. After 4:30 the officers charge overtime, so hopefully all was well in the end. Listening to his epic I was pleased we’d signed in at Savu Savu where we were cleared in under one hour.
Franco is still in considerable pain (maybe he cracked a rib or two) and our list of jobs is fairly extensive so we will be here a little longer.
Julie, Curtis and Franco at Bavatu Harbour (Vanua Balavu)
Plantation land at Bavatu Harbour (Vanua Balavu)
Vatuvara Island passed on our way to Suva
Caramor off the Novotel, Suva
Suva town centre
Suva town centre