Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Thu 2 Jul 2015 05:59
Position: Musket Cove Marina (FIJI)

Musket Cove is a holiday resort in the island of Malolo Lailai. It has a small marina for shallow draft boats and offers holiday makers (mostly from Australia or New Zealand) a relaxing experience. There are no hotels other than the one low-level resort reception area where guests are allocated their own little shalets that are tastefully dotted around with grassy areas, palm trees, a swimming pool and white beaches with reefs beyond. The island is tiny and you could probably walk round it in half a day. We are very pleased to be here, for it is the first place where one can truly feel on holiday. Luckily, the weather has improved dramatically, although still cold at night. One could easily linger here for quite some time….

We arrived here on Tuesday after a 17 mile sail across a lagoon-type sea from Denarau, where we had our diesel tank taken out, cleaned and a second inspection hatch welded in. The sludge in the bottom was waiting for the right moment to block us up again, as it did in the Vigo river near Baiona in Spain when I most needed the engine to perform. Having a clean diesel tank is a great relief and the risk of blockage has now been minimised. While we were in Denarau, we spent one day travelling back to Suva to collect Julia’s repaired Macbook Pro. It was 4 hours there and 4 hours back, a truly bumpy ride in the minibus to Suva, but a more comfortable ride back by taxi. Julia took the opportunity in Suva to add to her collection of goodies for the people of stricken Vanuatu and has made up 10 vegetable garden packs of 17 different kinds of seeds and fertilisers, all contained in 10 separate buckets. She has made up 10 beautifully designed labels listing the contents of each. Half the supplies that we bought are being taken by the largest boat in the fleet, a 62-ft catamaran, while the other half is stowed in the heads.

We took Sunday off from the stress in Denarau to visit a botanical garden, but found it closed on arrival. A Japanese family, who had arrived at the same time in a hired car, were also disappointed, but suggested that we all went to the hot spring mud bath a mile further down the road. It was truly amazing to find hot rivulets and warm mud baths with people covering themselves from head to toe. We abstained, but found a taxi to take us back to the marina.

Cyclone Rachel developed only 450 miles from Vanuatu and its trajectory had been uncertain. We were looking forward to spending more time here in Musket Cove, but the cyclone has now tracked away and we are clearing out tomorrow to start our passage to Vanuatu on Saturday.