Last Few Days in Lami Bay
Last Few Days in Lami Bay
They were spent victualling up with Gas and Diesel from Lami Bay with the help of taxis and an obliging gas supply employee who drove us to the Fiji Gas people and then back to Zoonie with our four cylinders topped up.
We made a penultimate trip into Suva to buy fabric, flowers a cannibal fork and gifts for future use, had a cheapy lunch at the massive MHCC shopping mall top floor and then, for a treat, went to see A Star is Born, with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, American filmmaking at its best with up close camera work a window on the emotions, the evil of Lady Gaga’s manager and her beautiful soulful singing combining to give us a real treat. The pathos of the ailing star’s encroaching deafness reminded me of Beethoven’s similar burden when towards the end of his life he could only hear his music in his head.
The next day we went in between heavy showers to Lami for a last shop for chocolate and rum, and to post a birthday card home. We couldn’t believe how cheap it was to send a card airmail from Fiji to the UK, just 70p.
Climbing up the gangplank to the harbour wall was not too difficult but I was dreading our return as the wooden plank would be very steep down and slippery wet. In fact it glistened with rain as it descended onto the soaked pontoon, itself collapsed at one corner. As I looked down there was a watery, diesel slicked gap of 2 metres between the pontoon and the concrete harbour wall. I turned away and looked to the shore to see if Rob could bring the tender around to the beach when a sturdy hand took mine.
“Wait I will go down first,” said the young overalled policeman. Firstly he moved the top of the plank so it lost its suicidal twist in the middle. Even he was extremely cautious in his unlaced working boots. He stood around a third of the way down and again took my hand giving me a firm grip. Together we made it down, then he returned for our bulging shopping trolley and transferred that too. Rob declined his help, almost losing his balance at the last moment.
Next we checked for sea snakes in and around the tender, all clear and off we went.
In the evening we went aboard Pebbles for a quick drink. We chatted weather as Dean and his crew planned to leave two days after us. We shared the view that the forecast was as near to perfect as we could hope for and looked likely to last for the 10 days or so that we would need it. A massive, virtually stationary High covering all of New Zealand and Fiji and much of Eastern Australia was giving plentiful ESE to Easterly winds and we just wanted to get out there and go sailing.
Our last trip into Suva was to clear out which was done quickly without any fuss in a little office within the dock area, tucked between the road and mesh fence and the hundreds of containers. “Immigration requires you to leave within 3 hours, ok?” We decided we could treat this comment with respect if not compliance as our plan was to depart early the next morning and we thought it unlikely any Immigration vessel would come looking for us as they didn’t even know where we were.
Rob fixed the inner forestay in position and hanked on the orange storm jib, last used for the same passage from Tonga two years ago and I did a big bake, hardboiled some eggs and stowed moveable items below for the passage.
We were nearly ready to leave this lovely place, with some regrets of course and a degree of apprehension that we feel before each deep sea passage no matter what the weather forecast.
So on Saturday 13th October we said farewell in our minds to the market ladies preparing to meet Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the 1500 Fijian soldiers of the British Army, Mere and Jone our host family on Fulanga, Fiji – one of the 52 Commonwealth Countries working on numerous environmental projects and womens’ projects to assist them in small businesses and goodbye lovely Lami Bay; cannot understand why more cruisers don’t drop their hooks there.