20130601 Saturday – Rain again
The Customs and Immigration arrived en masse in the pouring rain at 3pm, two men and two young lady trainees from what we gather. More money was demanded for the issue of the Pratique, or health certificate but as we had not been ashore and had no local currency we were told we could pay on Monday when we went to apply for our Islands cruising permit.
We polished our parts and hit the yacht club with a vengeance partaking of the local brew as well as meeting up with Peter a guy we had met in Vava’u, the Commodore and several of the locals who seemed quite keen to see new blood on the premises!
Moving on to the restaurant, we attacked the menu with relish and washed down the fare with a bottle apiece. Returning to the Bar we were invited to go out “Clubbing” but by now sated after our two wild days at sea we were overtaken by a fit of common sense, bowed out and returned to base to pass out on our non bucking bunks for a night of uninterrupted sleep.
It’s absolutely bucketing down with water pouring off our sunshades in a continual sheet. At about 11am there’s a brief lull in the storm and after bailing out the dinghy which is 6inches deep in rainwater, dash for the shore and set off into town some two kilometres around the bay.
Rain more rain
Our first site as we walk out of the club is the prison located on the otherside of the road. It’s not a pretty sight with barbed wire on its walls and generally run down appearance. Mounted on top of the gatehouse is one of those old hand cranked air-raid sirens, which we have since discovered is sounded several times a day.
Sponsored prison? All sorts of roots.
We’re lucky and manage to make it to the covered market before the heavens open again. Every stall is loaded with pineapples, three small ones for the equivalent of a pound, coconuts and peppers which are easily recognisable. But then there’s all the other stuff, apart from the Noni fruit we don’t recognise at all.
Tired. more tired.
We then find ourselves in a large shopping Mall where I bump into the lady owner of the yacht club restaurant and after some discussion of where to eat in town she directs us the Irish bar.
The Mall Bob is getting new fishing tackle.
We fail to find it at the location advised but end up in the “Bad Dog” a very trendy cocktail bar come restaurant. The air-conditioning is set on Antarctic as we shiver our way through a beer while waiting for our meal, though this does bring some respite to the constant drip of perspiration when walking in the hot humid air outside.
Across the road I spy what can only be a Cable and Wireless building (My old employers) of the old colonial type and am proven correct with a sign for “Fintel” and a plate on the building declaring it “Mercury House”
Old C and W HQ Old and the new
After a few beers at the club we climb into the dinghy. It’s raining again and a wet bum is the least of our problems for as we approach the yacht we see our neighbour the Tug and Barge combination swinging slowly in the shifting wind and is on a collision course with our bow.
While Lars has a dry time under the shelter of the awning I’m up at the bow monitoring the Barge’s progress. We’re trapped as this combo lies over our anchor which is firmly stuck in the mud bottom. As yet another squall goes through we’re saved as the wind changes direction and finally starts to push them away, so we up anchor and move. Raising the anchor reveals the cause of the problem, as the light winds have driving the boats through 360 degrees our chain has wrapped itself into a large circle having the effect of shortening its length
Despite it being Saturday night, it’s peeing with rain again so we decide to stay in and I (Recently promoted to head chef) cook us Wahoo steaks with a creamy onion and garlic sauce complimented by artfully created instant potatoes, Lars’s speciality!
Most places are closed with the exception of the shopping malls. The Sun has actually appeared and put a whole new perspective to the place as we set out to explore.
The harbour is dominated by large Japanese and Chinese trawlers, work and ferry boats. Many of the trawlers we gather have been impounded for breaching the fishing boundaries and some just abandoned by their owners leaving their crews aboard to fend for themselves or more usually sent back home at Government expense.
wreck Royal Suva Yacht Club
view from the bar. birds?
Others litter the bay victims of the Cyclones which explains the number of wrecks mainly of the abandoned vessels.
Its bucketing down again as we venture out to the yacht club for dinner I’m clad “Charlie’s” best raingear and Lars’s wears big poncho that covers him and his rucksack making him look like Quasi Modo.
We wine and dine and retire early as tomorrow is going to be busy.
Bob the Blog.