Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Rain in Fiji

The rain in Fiji is mostly falling on us at the moment – and this is supposed to be the dry season. We've had drizzle interspersed with heavy showers for the last couple of days which has rather curtailed our plans to explore Fulaga. However, as you know, every dark cloud has a sliver of lightning, or something like that, so we've collected lovely clean rain water into our tank and, with the absence of sunshine to charge the batteries, we've run the generator for long enough to have the bread-maker on to bake a lovely wholemeal and multi-seed loaf. The availability of 240v AC power also allowed Graham to get the sander and vacuum cleaner out to sand and re-varnish some worn areas of woodwork in the pilothouse; three coats of varnish have been applied and we're slightly now high on the fumes. The results look good but, having made a shiny bit, we'll have to carry on with other areas that need refreshing over the coming weeks.
After being cooped up in the cabin all day yesterday, it was lovely to go across for supper last night on a catamaran called Quixotic. Ed (from Oregon) had been hunting for lobster in the shallows, guided by one of the local fishermen, and his wife Leila (from Israel) cooked them beautifully so we had a wonderful supper. Ed and Leila are both keen card players (their first question was "Do you play Bridge?") and put up with our novice attempts at Contract Whist.
As soon as the weather improves (soon, we hope, though it's still raining on day three – it's like a summer holiday in Galloway) we'll go back into the village. Sunday's church service was entertaining – a real fire-and-brimstone sermon from the preacher (in Fijian) and some great singing – and was followed by a wonderful lunch with Jiko, Meji and various other family members. Dianne had baked a carrot cake which the family really loved; little 16 month old Jima sat on guard beside the plate and entertained us all by pushing away the hands of her brother and cousins when they tried to take a piece. After the meal we showed them some photos and videos on the laptop – shots of home in the snow, pictures of some of the places we've visited and even the Yeo Valley TV adverts which they found very funny.
Meanwhile a couple more boats have arrived in the anchorage though one, unfortunately, ran aground on the reef at the entrance to the lagoon. We headed out in the dinghy to see if we could help but, thankfully, they managed to wiggle free after a scary five minutes and anchored safely with a few scars to the keel. Another reminder that these are difficult waters...

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