the journey


Fiji






July 13, 2008 Vuda Point Marina, Fiji

Skimming across the knee-deep tropical lagoon with a perma-grin plastered across my face, it once again hit me. I'm kite-surfing in Fiji! What an amazing feeling and what a sweet location.



Having left New Zealand with only about five hours of kite-surfing lessons and only one day riding my board, I have been a bit nervous and hesitant to fully jump into this new sport. But having arrived to the super-easy "yachty" world of Musket Cove Resort where a sandbar conveniently appears at low tide to form a perfect shallow lagoon, it was time.



When the trade winds filled in for a week straight blowing 15-25 knots through the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji, the kiting crew appeared. Piloting super-dinghy out to the sand bar at low tide along with the other "yachty" kite-surfers, we would set up our kites as the sand began to appear out of the beautiful turquoise water.



It wasn't long before 5 or 6 of us were flying along the waist deep water dodging coral heads. It took a few days to get my foundation learning to fine-tune the kite, change directions, and ride back and front-side on the board. But like any new sport, the more you go, the better you get.



After five days of kiting off the sandbar, my body was aching. I was tired, but satisfied. I had become a kite addict. But, it was time to leave Musket Cove and continue our sailing journey. Hopefully the kite will be flying again soon in Vanuatu.





June 12-24, 2008 Colorado



Best friends are special. The people who come into our lives, burrow in, and create a niche in our hearts add so much joy and love to our individual paths. These are the people we allow to challenge us, share in the process of our struggles, and create our adventures with. Best friends are the people we unconditionally support and love, even when we don't see eye to eye or when we're not at our best. Best friends don't just manifest, they are not common; they don't just appear. Best friends are nurtured through time. Our best friends are the ones we share history through our exploits, our failures, our growth, and our evolution towards our own selves.

Living on a sailboat away from our best friends is challenging. We are able to stay in touch via email and share stories through our website, but it's often not enough. As Nicole and I cruise our little sailing boat around the world, we often struggle with this reality. We miss our best friends. Sometimes so much it hurts. Out here in the cruising circles, close friends are hard to come by. We cruisers are all nomadic; moving from country to country, all on our own schedules. On top of that reality most of the "cruisers" are older than us, and not that thatís bad, it's just often more difficult to connect to our own generation of people, our tribe.

We were fortunate to make it back to California for the Christmas holidays and see our families and some of our best friends. It was a fantastic trip. Three of our best friends, Billy and Deanne, and our friend, Clare, even flew out from Colorado for a weekend to see us. How special is that??!! Then Billy and Deanne dropped the bomb. They were getting married this coming summer. Wow! Both in their mid-30's, our ages, they were finally going to celebrate their relationship and wanted to know if we could at all be part of their special day. We werenít sure we could do it.



Months later they fixed the date on the solstice, June 21st, and we looked at our funny sailing schedule. We were hoping to be in Fiji and, yes, there was a place we could safely leave our boat. Even though expensive and very challenging for us to rationalize our jet fuel and carbon in this day and age, it was more important in our minds to make it to the wedding. Having experienced first hand how special it was for us to have our closest friends at our own wedding, we vowed to always do what we could to make it to our friendís weddings. Like I said before, best friends are very special.



Soon after committing to this adventure, our other best friends from Berkeley, Bronwen and Mike, enquired if we wanted to meet them before the wedding in Colorado to celebrate Mikeís 40th birthday. Definitely. As long as weíre flying all the way back to the States, we figured, we should "be there" for at least a week and have a dual celebration. The tickets were purchased, the journey manifested.

The day after my family left us in Fiji, Nicole and I hopped on a plane ourselves and headed for Denver, Colorado. A red-eye from Fiji and a short hopper from LAX found us in Denver on a beautifully warm and clear summer evening. Oh Colorado! It felt like being home. Though neither Nicole nor I are from Colorado, we have both lived here for many years. Nicole did her undergrad studies at C.U. Boulder, a graduate-level certificate program at Naropa University, plus some time in the backcountry teaching outdoor education. Me, I used to live and work in Colorado mostly teaching Wilderness and Outdoor education courses for schools like Outward Bound, Eagle Rock, and for the Denver Alternative Schools. Rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon, peak ascents in the San Juan Mountains, rafting down Westwater Canyon of the Colorado, powder skiing through the aspen trees in Steamboat, camping in isolated valleys filled with blue columbine wildflowers, and soaking in the hot springs in Ridgeway (you know which ones), all are memories quick to light up a smile on my face as we land back on Colorado soil.



At the Thrifty car rental counter we deliberated our options. We needed a dependable car for 10 days, for 4 people with luggage, camping gear, and enough trunk room to hide all Nicole's valuable camera equipment, as she was shooting the upcoming wedding. It was either a big SUV or the Dodge Avenger, aka "The American Muscle Car". After looking at the enormous trunk space and the sexy lines of the Avenger, there was no contest. "Boris", our Dodge Avenger appropriately named by the four of us, had no idea what that next week would entail.

The next day we rendezvoused with our other best friend, Jake, who is finishing up his studies at Theology School. Another gift. Not only did we get to spend some time with Jake in Denver, he was also going to officiate Billy and Deanne's wedding the coming weekend. That evening, Billy and Deanne drove out to meet us in Denver for dinner at the infamous Sushi Den, and the five of us caught up over Sapporoís and delicious fish. What a great way to immerse ourselves back into the USA.

Mike and Bronwen flew in after dinner, and we drove Boris to DIA to fetch them up. Hugs for all and we were off and away up to Billy and Deanne's house in the foothills of Boulder for a sleepy night.








Morning found us sipping coffee and tea on the cabinís dry, sunny porch, surrounded by ponderosa pines and a lush green meadow. It wasnít long before we were all hanging out like best friends do, joking, messing, and relaxing summer-style. The big hit was Billy and Deanne's bb-gun and their numerous targets of Busch beer cans and bottles, which we could aim at off the porch while we drank our caffeine and watched the hot Colorado summer sun rise in the east.



By afternoon, the four amigos decided to be on our way to the high country where we were hoping to pull off a 40th birthday celebration mountain bike ride from Marble, CO, over Schofield Pass to Crested Butte, CO. It's a big, long, true mountain bike ride through the heart of the Colorado Rockies and over an 11,000 ft. pass. I, of course, got suckered into it by Bron and Mike, knowing surely that I would certainly get my butt kicked so badly. Nicole volunteered for driving shuttle, wanting nothing to do with such an exhausting bike adventure. Unfortunately, we soon learned that we were naÔve about the snow conditions this season. Colorado had gotten thoroughly blasted with snow during the winter and spring, and in the high country there was still an enormous snow pack, great for the watersheds and backcountry spring skiing, but bad for mountain biking. We were all a bit bummed about the reality, but decided to still have some high country adventures and catch up with some close friends living in the mountain towns.



We drove to Carbondale first and had dinner with Daryl and Susan, two of Bronwen and Mike's friends that they used to work with at the private Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale years before. After a beautiful, but chilly, night camping up in nearby Redstone, we met up with Daryl and Susan again for a big breakfast in town and then a fantastic mountain bike ride on the Scout Trail outside of Glenwood Springs. Four hours of mixed dirt road and narrow single-track, vistas of the high peaks and Mt. Sopris, wildflowers everywhere, and an excellent workout for all. It wasnít Schofield Pass, but it was still a gorgeous ride.



Late afternoon found us up in Aspen hanging with other close friends, Jeremy, Lisa, and their newly born baby, Lily. Quality catch up time with them and we were off again, over Mclure's Pass, "Kebler-elf" pass (where the cookies come from), and into Crested Butte. Can you say strikingly beautiful??!!!! Every 5 minutes or so one of us would exclaim, Colorado is so #$%#@ BEAUTIFUL!!! The meadows were lush and green, the rivers and creeks filled to the brim, the glacier lilies, bluebells, lupine, and larkshead flowers in full colorful glory, and the high peaks rose majestically above us still covered in snow under the immense Colorado bluebird sky. The Colorado high country was truly a sight to see.



Boris took us on our leisurely magical journey where the girls had some excellent photo shoots in the aspen forests for Bronwen's jewelry business and Nicole's portfolio; the boys being extremely patient and supportive the WHOLE time. Boris proved to be a trooper the entire way, but we must all admit, his sexy looks and "muscle car" image are unfortunately all a facade. Not to say he isnít sexy, he is, but he definitely didn't live up to the muscle in "muscle car", just in case any of you are considering owning your own Dodge Avenger any time soon.



Early evening came and we were frolicking like little kids on the farm. A real farm. We found ourselves playing with goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, and turkeys, and three of the cutest kids, Hettie, Lolo, and newborn, Andrus, on our close friend's, Mike and Meike's, permaculture farm outside of Crested Butte. All of us had met in the Bay area in years past, and it was a treat to spend a bit of time checking out the world they've created for themselves on this lush piece of land. Living in a yurt and in the middle of building their straw-bale home, they are truly walking their talk more than most people who try to live an environmentally conscious life. Good talks, good BBQ, and camping under the stars again, it couldn't have been much better.



The next day we were on our way back to Boulder. High over stunning Cottonwood Pass, Leadville for an authentic Mexican-food dinner, and inside our tents on the Peak-to-Peak highway outside of Nederland by midnight. We were back at the compound, Billy and Deanne's land and cabin, the next day ready for festivities and Mikeís birthday celebration. Mike decided, along with Jake and Billy, that they would celebrate "Big 40" with a road-bike ride. Not just any ride. They would leave from Billy's cabin at around 8,500 feet elevation and ride down the hill to Boulder, around 14 miles and 3,000 feet in elevation, then back up. Ouch! There was an attempt to rope me in to this charade, but alas, I held strong and the three badass, off-the-couch amigos, successfully pulled off the 40th birthday ride in style! We capped off the day with a big sushi dinner and dancing in Boulder with a group of friends.



On summer solstice, June 21st, we celebrated with our best friends on their wedding day. Over a hundred family and friends gathered up in a Boulder foothills mountain meadow under the rays of the Colorado summer sunshine, where we gave our love and blessings to an amazing couple. Jake held the space with his huge smile and his even larger heart, as he led Billy and Deanne through their special ceremony. We gorged on a spread of mountain-style BBQ and danced to an 8-piece Latin-inspired set of tunes all under the cloudless Coloradoan star-filled sky.



The magical week ended before we could even acclimate ourselves to living at 8000 feet above sea level.



How do you say good-bye to best friends that we might not see again for a year, maybe two? Our journey to Colorado was like that. What a gift to pop in on so many of our best friend's lives; connect, catch up, be in each other's presence. But having to say good-bye again, so soon, is gut wrenching. Newly referred to as "friend hangover", and it sucks.

Days later, sitting back on our boat in Fiji while I write this, I am still sad. It doesn't take much for a tear to try to push its way out. But that is life, and that is how it is. Without struggle, without challenge, without being away from someone or something we love, we can never appreciate what we have, how good we have it, and how important that place or person is. As difficult as it is to not always be nearby our best friends during our sailing journey, we look forward to the next hugs we share, the next adventure we have, and the next important moments we will spend together, wherever they will be.



June 4-11, 2008 Octopus Resort, Fiji



It was a beautiful sunny morning when the Duke and State families rolled up to Vuda Point Marina. The last time we had all spent time together on a "holiday" trip was in March 2007 in Sayulita, Mexico. We felt so lucky that everyone was making the effort to come all the way to Fiji to spend time with us.

With many hugs and smiling faces we greeted each other and then left DreamKeeper in the marina as we headed out to Octopus Resort on Waya Island for a week of re-connecting, playing, and downright chilling on the beach together.



Octopus Resort turned out to be a great place. Beautiful island, nice beach, good snorkeling, excellent food, and clean and cozy bures, we really couldn't have asked for a better place.



My nephew, Tobin, had a blast body-surfing the shore break, playing in the pool, and racing hermit crabs with his new friends. The rest of us spent time lounging on the beach chairs, snorkeling, eating way too much, and walking the beach. Nic and I also did some scuba diving and we even got my sister, Gia, and her husband, Justin, to try diving with us once. My folks were great about long daily beach walks, and by the time we left, my mom had found every hermit crab on the beach.



Snorkeling turned out to be pretty good there too and we would spend hours hanging out with the parrot fish, trigger fish, damsel fish, and schools of goat fish and squid. Nic even found us an octopus and we watched it swimming across the reef and into it's little home. Very cool.



The only thing lacking was enough consistent wind for kite-surfing off the beach. Justin, however, did pull off a sucessful boat launch from the dive boat, and had a quick session in the gusty flukey wind, until it got to be too much. Way too gusty for me. We'll have to wait for a future adventure when Justin, Nicole, and I can all kite-surf the tropical water together.



So after a full week of resort life, we said our good-bye's and returned to DK to frantically pack for a trip the next day to Colorado.



To all my family: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for such a great week together and for all making the time and effort to come see us! We love you all!!


June 1, 2008 Fiji





The alarm beeps at 4 a.m. It is pitch black. The interior red lights get switched on, the teapot heats up on the stove, and the boat engine comes to life. Within half an hour Nicole is raising the anchor and I have a full mug of coffee in my hand at the helm under the stars. After only 30 feet the anchor is stuck. We still have 150 feet of chain out. Not a big deal. We just need to steer the boat in circles until we unwind whatever we've wrapped ourselves around. Around and around we go. Backwards. Forwards. Counter-clockwise. Clockwise. I give it some extra juice. Nothing. After 45 minutes of trying and waking up our sleeping yachty neighbors, we give up. We're stuck, and in the foul and dirty waters of Suva Harbor, no less. Back to bed.

A couple of hours later, we contemplate our issue. We have scuba gear and I can dive it. Nicole does not want me in the disgusting water, and not that I do, but it might be our only option. We decide to see if we can hire a diver to help us out. We set up the dingy again and head back to the Royal Suva Yacht Club. Thankfully we connect with the commercial diving company next door who dive in the harbor all the time and they agree to help us out for 50 Fiji bucks, about 35 U.S. dollars. Not a bad price to pay for me not getting some infection or getting sick from swimming in sewage.

It doesn't take long for the diver to come back to the surface and tell us we're tangled on an old shipwreck. Nicole gets the windlass humming and before long we pull up a huge piece of steel railing that was at one time attached to the ship's deck. We untangle the railing and the diver lowers it down to the bottom again and frees us from the rest of the carnage. After about an hour, we're finally free. Because the passage to Kadavu Island is about 45 miles and against the swell and winds, we decide to attempt it again the next day but this time tie off to a mooring at the nearby Tradewinds Hotel so we won't have a repeat performance.

4 am comes early again, but this time we're off and running. Outside the harbor the large swell is rolling in from the west. We motor-sail into the light winds and over the 10 to 12 foot waves all the way to Kadavu. We make good time and end up in front of the Papageno Eco-Resort a couple of hours before sunset. We've been invited to anchor in front of Papageno by Joseph, the activities coordinator for the resort and a resident of the nearby village who actually own the land and reef that the resort is on. Then after anchoring there Joseph has invited us to anchor in front of his village in the nearby Daku Bay.

We hail the resort on the VHF and speak to a manager. She tells us we can't anchor in front of the resort because it's now a Marine Protected Area, and no, Joseph's not there as it's now Sunday. Shit. It's going to be dark soon and we had planned on being met with open arms by the resort with a comfortable place to drop our hook inside the myriad of reefs around us. Nic and I look at each other with glum faces. We are both tired from our long day and now extremely frustrated by the situation. We know of other boats that have anchored in front of the resort in the last couple of years, plus we had a personal invite from a local villager whose village actually "owns the land" the resort is on.



We call the manager back and ask them if "anybody" is around that can guide us through the reefs into Daku Bay. Ten minutes later she tells us the carpenter is on his way out in their skiff to guide us in. His name is Vasellie (sp?) and he greets us with a huge smile and many Bula's! Slowly we follow him closely as we dodge and skirt through the maze of shoals and dark coral patches until we are way back into the bay in a beautiful calm lagoon surrounded by lush green hills and mangroves. We ask our new friend if we should go meet the chief and present Sevu Sevu that night, as it's Sunday, the big day for Church and family in Fiji. He says we should go, that it's not a problem. I ask him again, "are you sure"? Hoping that we can just relax, go to sleep early, and have the ceremony in the morning. You should go now, he says. At least I tried.

We launch Super-Dingy back in the water, lower our faithful yamaha, gas tank, seat, oars, and pump, and we are off towards the village with our 1/2 kilo of kava root in tow. Super-dingy dances through the shallow reefs while the huge needlefish skim the water all around us. The tide is low and I tow us in the last bit through sand and seaweed until we are on the beach in front of Daku village.



We are met by some large Fijian women and many kids and, of course, so many Bula's! We aren't in Joseph's village now, but the other village that actually owns the bay where we are anchored. Nicole's friend's, John and Amanda Neal, have been here many times and we have read some of their past logs about their visits, so we know the people are very "yacht friendly" We have been told to look up Epi and Kata, John and Amanda's good friends. It doesn't take us long to meet Mariah, one of Epi and Kata's daughters, greeting us with a huge smile and many welcomes.

Mariah invites us over for lemon-leaf tea at her house accompanied by the many kids that squirm all over us with huge smiles and snotty noses, all vying for our attention. Soon, Epi and Kata return from church and we exchange pleasantries while waiting for the Chief of the village to finish his church service so we can go and present Sevu Sevu.

As the sun sets outside and darkness fills the gap we find ourselves sitting cross-legged in the Chief's house facing a Kava bowl. Sevu Sevu in Fiji is a ceremony where a visitor asks permission from the turaga-ni-koro (hereditary chief) to visit the village, swim in the village's local water, anchor in their bay, and walk around their land. The yaqona (kava) offered is a traditional offering. Kava is made from the dried root of the pepper plant. It's ground and mixed with water in a huge wooden bowl creating a tranquilizing, non-alcoholic drink that can numb the tongue and lips. To Nicole and I, it tastes like Chinese medicine tea. Kava drinking is very much a part of everyday traditional Fijian life, occurring daily as men hang out, "talk story", or for more serious occasions like marking births, marriages, deaths, official visits, and birthdays. Women are sometimes involved, but traditionally, it is the men who do the drinking.

Epi and the Chief say many words to each other in Fijian, the Kava root is placed in front of the chief, and he accepts our offering and invites us to anchor in their bay and be accepted by their village. We celebrate around the kava bowl with about 15 other villagers drinking shell after shell of kava and sharing part of our own story and answering their questions. By 9 o'clock we have been drinking kava for hours and the tide is finally high enough for us to dingy away back to Dreamkeeper and sleep like the dead with a full belly of kava.



We spend the next 5 days hanging out in Daku Village. Nicole is most often with the ladies weaving, cooking, and even fishing. I find myself helping Epi and his son, Epi Jr., out in the kava, pineapple, and taro fields, drinking more kava then I ever thought possible, and spear-fishing with the boys.



It's difficult to say good-bye, but by the end of the week we were ready for some time away from all the socializing and traditional village life. As much as we love integrating ourselves into the traditional cultural ways, it is nice to be on our own program, have our own space, and move on to new adventures. Our time in Daku Village was wonderful and all the people there so incredibly generous, open, and warm-hearted. It was a great way to start off our new cruising season.

May 24, 2008 Fiji

BULA! This is the greeting we hear everywhere we go, even in the big city. It is Fijian for hello or greetings. So far, it has always been accompanied with friendly face and a smile full of straight white teeth. Bula has been spoken, whispered and almost shouted by men we pass standing on street corners, old ladies hobbling down cracked sidewalks, round ladies selling mandarins in the market, and shy children hiding behind their mothers skirts. So Bula Fiji and Vinaka, thank you.



Things feel light and breezy in Fiji. We feel welcome and dare I say comfortable. Perhaps it is because of the friendly welcome we have received and that Fijian winter is settling in and the air is cooler and fresher but I think it's more than that. After hearing stories of Suva, the capital being a garbage dump, and that there were lots of thieves and thugs there to watch out for and that paperwork was a nightmare. We crossed our fingers hoping these were merely "cruiser's tales", something resembling "wive's tales". We were right.

Checking into Suva was relatively painless despite the small runaround we went through going from office to office. We arrived in squally conditions, perfectly timed at 0800 local time 7 days and 20 hours after leaving Opua, NZ. The pungent odor of wet earth and burning trash reached us before we could see the city lights. We passed rusting decrepit fishing boats anchored and side tied next to each other, waving at what looked like Asian fisherman peering out of a few doorways and headed in. We circled the anchorage in front of the Royal Suva Yacht Club, official quarantine area, dropping the anchor three times before it held strong in what we thought was deep mud. Relieved and exhausted we headed below to strip off our wet foulies and wait for customs and quarantine to appear.

Gar kept checking his watch and I had to remind him we were on Fiji time, known in other parts of the world known as island time. Everything is slower here, even the rain that continued to fall in giant slow drops. Customs came by at about 10 in an orange official boat and dropped off papers to fill out asking us to check into the country at the customs, immigration, and quarantine offices before 12 noon. Lucky Gar, the freshly baked coffee cake was all his.

Time to pump up and launch Super Dingy for the first time in 6 months. After some challenge freeing the bolts that lock the engine down on the mount we were ready. I couldn't help but laugh a little at our newly painted hopefully theft proof and disguised if not plain ugly 15-horse Yamaha engine. It's now matte black with bright taxi yellow spots and lines from engine cover to shaft base thanks to the captain's artistic attempt to hold onto our engine. (Gar got a little panicky when we heard two engines were chopped off dingy transoms and stolen in front of the yacht club.)

Zipping into the dingy dock dodging raindrops we left the engine, gas tank and boat locked hoping it would still be there when we returned. It was right after that we heard our first Bula. Three security guards at the front gate greeted us and asked where we were going, a traditional Fijian question but also a helpful one as we needed a taxi which they called for us with a loud whistle. "Check in with the office when you return eh?"



We headed to customs first. Dropped off at the incorrect office, we had to walk a couple blocks back dripping rain and dodging muddy showers from oncoming trucks driving through giant puddles in the street. It's always a little surreal adjusting to walking on land again let alone in a new country. We made it. With almost all of our paperwork filled out we were given just three more pages to complete, all of them with two pieces of carbon copy paper slid in between the three pages. (I haven't seen carbon since the 80's. It definitely beats filling out all 18 pages by hand.) Stamped and checked in we were guided to the quarantine building by one of the immigration officers.

The guy at quarantine tried to tell us there was nothing he could do as his boss was on a fishing boat, we explained that we were sent to the office by immigration and he grudgingly began to fill out more paperwork. He selected the two pages out of the stack we had and asked us if we had food on board. Those of you who know me well are certain we have food on board and lots of it. I get a little food stressed coming into a new country especially about things I know are good for me like nuts and brown rice and wheat flour and quinoa. We had food; we had an entire settee full of food. We started to tell him what we had, avoiding things we knew would be risky, even though we were fully ready to give up the dangerous articles like honey, milk powder, and salami if they wanted it. In the end he was satisfied that we would not be eating any of our food onshore. Quarantine, signed, stamped, and checked in.

Heading down to customs we stepped carefully around three men cleaning the stairwell who were more interested in greeting us and having a conversation about where we were coming from. I am sure we left a wet trail down two flights of stairs after we left them, all of us smiling. It was here we met our first cruisers who flamed the paranoia level to help it rise again. They talked about dragging anchor, being helped only to receive a tip, and the thieves in Suva. Their guide who they presumed wanted a tip tried to talk us out of waiting for customs explaining it was their lunch and the guy wouldnít be back for a long while. We nodded and waited for the magic door to open and let us in so we could be done with this process and fall exhausted back to DreamKeeper. Luckily, the boss man showed up. The guard who left his post at the gate to escort them promptly disappeared. Once they had checked in we slid into the office and smiled, filling out more papers until finally we were officially welcomed and cleared into Fiji. We just had to pick up a cruising permit in the next few days from another office.

Bula Fiji.



Whisked back to the yacht club by the always available and very cheap taxis we found Super Dingy right where we left him and gratefully zipped back to the boat for a solid night's rest, we were asleep by 6:30 pm.

Waking up to sunshine and patchy clouds we decided it was a good day for boat chores, laundry, water, cleaning the boat, and emails. We spent the day at the yacht club and I made new friends. Andi and both had to show me how to work the washing machine and drier, as there were tricks to them all. One of the machines didn't work and I needed to pull a Fonzi move to get the drier to start, knee against the base and a hand against the door and a snap of course.

By afternoon we were summoned to DK for a rest. Not wanting to motivate later that evening, we went through the Suva ritual of raising the engine and locking it back down to the base and then raising Super Dinghy and tying him along our port side. Some people can raise their boat and engine in the harness and comfortably lie at anchor. Our dingy is so SUPER, heavy and big, our boat lists with all three hundred plus pounds hanging on the port side, thus the ritual of taking the engine off nightly. FYI, we weren't being particularly paranoid, a security boat came around and told the boats with dinghies in the water to raise them.

It turns out we were also not being particularly paranoid about anchoring. With a fresh gust of wind out of the SE at dusk, we woke from our nap to see a boat dragging and heading towards the commercial pier fast. Gar put a call out to the fleet, as we were useless to help with the dingy secured for the night. Thankfully the owners were nearby and sped out to their runaway boat. Good lesson for us, now we will always leave an engine key in the ignition when we leave the boat at anchor.



Day three in Suva and we were ready for the city and whatever it had to offer us. We headed to the Suva museum first. Here we were thoroughly impressed by the massive Ratu Finau, Fiji's last traditional double-hulled sailing canoe, our option for arriving in Fiji a hundred years ago. It is amazing to see how people of Oceania traveled, small hulls, lashed tightly together, woven pandanus dodger/bimini, shell decorations, brilliant engineering and craftsmanship. I am not doing it justice but I will say, thank you DreamKeeper.

We peered into glass display cases with a variety of designs of cannibal forks, sharp, round, artfully beautiful, four pronged tools. These were Fijians only utensils as they used their fingers to eat everything else. Forks were used as it was thought to be improper to touch human flesh with one's fingers or lips. Who was eaten? Enemies, prisoners of war, shipwrecked sailors, women taken when fishing, most were killed and eaten. The shipwrecked were eaten because they were believed to have been cursed and abandoned by the gods. Eating the flesh of ones enemy was considered the ultimate revenge; one also then gained their mana, their spiritual power.

After a couple of hours of appreciating Fiji's artifacts we too were hungry and found our way to a curry house. Sitting among Indo Fijian families and Fijian businessmen, we had our fist taste of salty spicy delicious curry, rotis and rice. Fully satiated, always a good idea before heading to a market, we wandered to the South Pacific's biggest open-air market.



The pyramids of green, yellow mandarins, stretched forever, piles of coconuts, and rows of taro beckoned from every isle. I of course was called to the chilies, coriander (know to us as cilantro), limes, anything green that could be cooked without the danger of giving us an itchy throat like improperly prepared taro leaves, papayas known as pawpaw, pineapple, cumquats, and the illusive avocado. I never really realize how food crazy I am until I am in a market. My head swirls, I start salivating, become a little jumpy, can't focus on anything, and want to buy everything. We leave, with me looking over my shoulder at what we else I missed and Gar laden with overstuffed shopping bags searching desperately for a cab to get us out of here before I change my mind and go back for more.



After visiting the impressive University of the South Pacific campus and bookstore we returned to the Suva market once more, to pick up a few of those things I looked over my shoulder at but really to buy spindly bundles of kava, a gift to be presented to the chief of any village we visit for sevusevu. Sevusevu is a ritual of presenting the chief with kava and asking to anchor in the village's bay, snorkel, dive, fish, hike, walk, visit the land and sea they own. They can accept or reject our offer. Hopefully tomorrow in Daku Bay they will accept.