Well we are finally in Suva, Fiji... it seems that I have been looking forward to this for quite some time... I had Fiji as a marker in my head that we have finally made it across the Pacific.... and now we will be here for a few months waiting for the weather window to go south. I think I can almost claim to be a sailor now... only a little but I am taking baby steps and everyday adding a little more to my sailing resume...
It will be nice to be in a place that has so many beautiful islands to explore and wonderful people to help point the way. We came into Suva 2 days ago around 10pm at night. Usually we don't come into a port at night but Suva is so well marked that we knew we could do it... it is really weird coming in and not being able to see to much and being blinded by the city lights... We aren't in Kansas anymore Toto... When I woke up we were surrounded by huge fishing boats, navy boats, cargo ships, cruiser's boats, ship wrecks literally on the reefs in front of us, and little fishing boats zipping around the harbor. This is a mega port for the islands and it is extremely active.
It has taken us 2 days to clear into customs, immigration, and health. In almost every other country this process has taken us a few hours... welcome to Fijian time... it gives a new name to laid back.. but everyone is always so helpful, warm and welcoming. We were finally able to get off the boat and so we all climbed into the dinghy to make our way to the big town. Boy do I feel out of place. It has been since June that I have seen any building more than two stories, more taxis than New York (almost) and people everywhere... I felt like almost pulling a Mary Tyler More and spinning in circles and throwing my hat in the air... Okay... i just really dated myself... and I wasn't quite that happy in fact I felt really overwhelmed and a little anxious. We first needed to run to the market to get Kava to take with us as an offering to the chiefs on the outer islands so that we can hopefully get their permission to anchor and be on their lands. This ceremony is called Sevu sevu and you need to sit down with the chiefs to get permission... sometimes this can take up to 5 hours of the men drinking the Kava drink.. we will see how chris processes the kava soon... it is suppose to be a pretty wild drink that doesn't taste all that good. The market here is amazing and I haven't seen such colors of fruits and vegetables in one place since tahiti... The kids were running from stand to stand shouting out what they saw... Oh mom... Carrots! Apples! Watermelon! Octopus! What?
Then onto the Fiji National History Museum for a field trip to make up for our lost school day. Hee Hee.... the kids loved learning about the cannibalism practices.. especially how when they were eating a person they started with the feet and then went up the body... trying to keep them alive as long as they could... Hmm.... The little girls favorite part were the wedding dresses made out of tapas paper from the plants...
Canoe they used up and down the rivers to take goods to and from the market..
Amaia liked the mailbox
We ended up running around exploring a little and looking through all the windows in the shops and then Chris and I took the little girls to a movie while the bigger kids went back to the boat with their friends... The taxis here give New York a run for their money. There are more taxis than private cars and they are amazingly cheap.
We also found some computer repair stores, got our sim cards for our phones, data cards for our internet and some food from a real grocery store... crazy. I actually had more than 2 choices for cereal. The prices for the cereal ranged from $5 Fiji dollars to $20 for one box.. It is funny how you learn to just grab what ever is available on the shelf and learn to like it. The prices are hit and miss... like the celery I thought was really funny. They broke the bunch apart and sold them 2 sticks wrapped in celery for $6! needless to say I didn't get celery. Brocolli was $20 for one head.. okay so I am going to go get more fresh veggies from the local market tomorrow.
It is fun to have so much at our disposal, a little overwhelming but the kids are loving running around. So we will most likely be here for one more day of running around and playing and then we will do an overnight passage tomorrow night up to Musket Cove for the famous sailing regatta that we signed up for. It is 110 miles and should be mostly motor sailing and only on passage that we need to really watch for... I am looking forward to the postcard Fiji... we will be sailing over on the west side which is suppose to be warmer weather for quite some time. Oma is coming to visit on the 18th and we are all counting the days until she arrives. Super excited! We will try not to load you down to much with boat parts this time Oma... Hee Hee... okay maybe just a few :@)
Love and Hugs to all at home and hope all is well.