To Vanuatu

Thu 6 Aug 2009 23:41
Position,  17.04S  174.15E
At sea again. It is now 22 hours since leaving Musket Cove and we are enjoying near perfect motorboat conditions with light following winds and moderate seas. At the current rate we should should get to the island of Espiritu Santo in 48 hours. The yachts are having a rather hard time of it, with very light winds. This time we have another motor launch travelling with us, and we are both enjoying the current benign conditions.Long may they last
Our time on the dock at Musket Cove was as enjoyable as ever--more like a two-week long party, really. The first week Paddy, Sally and their children, together with Paddy's aunt and uncle, Rob and Marg, were staying in nearbyebures. The ratio of 6 adults to 2 children worked very well, with the kids having masses of space for running around. After the first night of 3-year old meltdown, due to 4 dummies being lost, it was aagreed that employing a baby sitter each night was the way to go. At $3 an hour, the Fijian women must be the best baby sitters in the world.At one stage I had had to leave the kids in the pusher for a few minutes while I bought tickets for the 'bula bus' and when I returned I found two large Fijian security men entertaining the kids.
Once the family left, the rest of the rally yachts arrived and we spent several hilarious days playing old favourites such as 3-legged races, wheelbarrow races and egg and spoon races. The was a very competitive hobie cat regatta, and most important, an international beer drinking contest, with NZ versus the rest of the world, with the women participants being particularly impressive. 
One of the great assets of the Musket Cove resort is the Island Bar, formerly the $2 bar. Each night, and for some lunch times, we would cook our own excellent Fijian meat over a great wood barbecue, using the resort's cutlery and plates. No washing up! Of all the places in the Pacific, Musket Cove excels in making life very easy for cruisers. I can't think of anywhere else where boaties are welcome to use all the resources of a sophisticated resort. And with the recent 20% devaluation, Fiji is now very affordable. It seems crazy to us that Australia and NZ have travel warnings out for Fiji as it's hard to think of a safer destination.
As we were finishing this note two tuna jumped onto our lines and it has taken some time to get them in.