We spend all morning searching for various government departments as we try to obtain our cruising permit for the offshore islands They taxi dropped us at the wrong place so we have a couple of kilometres to walk.
On the way we pass what we assume is Government house just as the Guard is changing, Fijian style, and quite impressive. Eventually we have our permit written in Fijian which allows us four months to visit all the islands.
Changing of the guard.
On more stop into the docks to visit Customs then back into the covered market to buy Kava root suitably gift wrapped in old newspaper and colour string as presents for the various Chiefs on the Islands we will visit. The outer islands are very traditional.
Kava root gift wrapped
Checking on the internet reveals that Lars’s dead computer has 7 days left on its warranty. The Computer man was introduced to us at the Club and has taken it overnight to diagnose the fault and see what is salvable from the software.
We meet at ten for the verdict which is not good and he very kindly drives us off to the Agents to see what they can do. After being suitably admonished for handing over the machine without a protective cover (They can’t be responsible for any damage or scratches that may be incurred!!) we effect a handover while they inspect and will let us know the result tomorrow. We do know it will take up to 7 days to get any parts from Australia as they don’t appear to have any stock.
Off shopping to stock up for our trip, we find the Flea Market and I take advantage of the shoe shine boy at the entrance who works wonders on my "Docksiders".Two dollars and half a tin of polish later they’re like new. Entering the market and find ourselves on the street of a thousand Barbers.
Drying Kava root Shining like new
We are invited to enter one of the establishments, so casting care to the wind we accept. The shop is about the size of an average bathroom, has five chairs requiring a bit of a squeeze as we approach like lambs to the slaughter. The demon barbers are extremely emaciated young men (Fortunately in view of the space constrains) who set to work with a vengeance. They start with a number four cutter, progressing down to a number two and finally the cutthroat razor that is applied, bluntly and without shaving cream.
Lambs to the slaughter
Suitable shorn of hair and money we return to the boat and then up anchor and head into the Club to refuel and water. We approach just before high tide with a little apprehension as the depth sinks to 2.3 metres, equalling our draught.
Arriving at the dock, the large modern fibreglass version of a traditional pacific catamaran is still moored alongside. We had told them when we we’re coming in and advised them of our tide window. Next thing we see their crew making a mad dash from the Club house and just in time pull off to let us in.
We’re and impressive sight taking the total length of the dock, “Dawnbreaker’s” mast dwarfing the coconut palms. All done, we invite the Commodore aboard for a beer now that he’s finished his meeting with Customs officials at a dockside table.
Tight fit on the Yacht Club dock
Taller then a coconut palm
No time to linger, we’re off again just before the tide changes. Were now fully loaded and the depth is just on 2.4 metres. The Commodore tells us later, that we left a very impressive muddy trail as our propeller stirred up the bottom when we left. It should have increased the depth of the channel by a least half a metres he said!
Dinner at the Club and were invited to Sponsors night tomorrow to watch the big Rugby league game between Queensland and Western Australia which they will be showing on their big screen tomorrow night.
Bob the Blog