Latest episode of Solodamu Street
Hibiscus III, Bay of Islands, Fiji 23 July 2011
Sitting onboard enjoying the balmy afternoon Lami sun. Boys are having a lego plane session after playing hard at Mosquito Island, and Pete’s just got back from a Lami market shopping mission (bananas, pawpaw, pineapple... etc). Such a lot has happened since I last wrote a blog – had the usual mad rush in NZ to get Hibiscus ready for sea (9 weeks in Dockland 5 alongside Doug & Angela on Solstice). Sad goodbyes as always to Andrea, Sue and Kerri. Then the last minute call that we were sailing – complete with new supercrew Manu and Monica.
Bit of a frustrating trip up to Fiji with northerlies most of the time. But sounds like we had better trip than most this year (especially Wayne on Tapasaya who we last heard talking to Des having shredded his sea-anchor after 3 days of 50kts). Manu, Monica and Jack took advantage of a few hours calm to take a dip in the middle of the Pacific! Caught a couple of nice maimai south of Kadavu then into Suva and of course lunch with Nana, Eva, Gavin, Pate and family – a pleasure as always to catch up. We headed off to catch up with Sam at Lawaki beach (and to get a bit of a tan before heading down to Solodamu) – a nice friendly introduction to village life for Manu and Monica before their “immersion” in Solodamu! Then to Solodamu:
‘Solodamu Street’ update: great to see everyone so well and happy – shame Seco (junior) couldn’t remember me and screamed his head off the first time he saw me this trip - clothes, toys and books all delivered and well received as always. We had a great Sunday with Doug and Angela (Solstice) – Pete surprised Big Ben by turning up for church dressed in sulu (shame we didn’t get photographic proof) followed by Sunday feast at Dan and Etta’s then the usual afternoon round the grog bowl.
But then the drama – following a rather windy night sitting on anchor Doug unfortunately stuck his hand into his wind generator (attempting to get the thing down). A quick trip to Vunisea hospital (thanks Dan & Suli) then both Doug and Angela ended up on plane to Suva – think they take the record for shortest visit (2 days!). Luckily they managed to save the thumb and finger that Doug tried so hard to sever. I’m sure Doug will tell you all a different story about a shark or enormous barracuda ..... well sounds a little better than admitting you stuck your hand into a wind generator spinning at full speed (one of the downsides of renewable energy I guess). We did pretty well though as Angela bought far too many woodstocks to accompany her thank you dinner for us (Pete and Monika and boys sailed Solstice back to Suva while Manu, John and I brought Hibiscus back). I know I can’t remember how I got back to Hibiscus and Cap’n Ron can’t recall how he got back to Lela or how he got so wet so must have been a great night.
Said ‘moce’ to Manu and Monica (supercrew of 2011) this week as they head off to Oz – I know they’ve enjoyed their time in Fiji and meeting our friends at Lawaki, Solodamu and in Suva.
Thanks guys – a pleasure to have you along!
So latest Fijian Crew news is that Little Ben and Sisi are still on Uti ni Yalo heading for San Fran (who would have thought when we left them onboard last December that by now they’d have sailed to NZ, Tahiti, Hawai’i and off to America!) We’re so proud of both of them (I’m especially proud of Sisi - watch captain!!! Go girl!!!). Can’t wait to hear all their stories when they get back to Fiji in September!
Pete’s been busy meeting people and reading and putting together powerpoints and more and more we’re convinced that the time for sailing commercially is now. Check out the “story so far” page. So a bit longer in Suva before we head off for a bit more sailing. Tune in next month for latest episode of Solodamu Street! Moce Ali