Saturday, after hitting the market fairly early we and a few other cruisers decided to get of here and spend a couple of days anchored outside of the city harbor so that we could swim and make water. The harbor is definitely NOT a swimming hole, nor a safe place to make water.
Ivory Quays, Liberation, Just In Time and Lady Kay shot directly over to the chosen spot; a pretty anchorage over by Cousteau's Resort. We had a lovely sail out in the large bay, and decided to enjoy the winds a little longer before going directly to the anchorage. Suddenly, the winds blew a squall our way just as we turned to head toward the other boats. We couldn't see 10 yards in front of us. The winds whipped up so suddenly that we reefed in the sails and slowed down until we could make our approach safely. The surrounding area is littered with fishing buoys and floating nets, so we had to have a visual to pass through the gauntlet. Eventually the rain let up allowing us to get settled. I thawed out a corned beef brisket for dinner and then we settled down to watch the rainsqualls come and go for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. It certainly cooled things down for us. The next day was sunny and pretty. Frank and I were sitting in the cockpit contemplating a swim as we watched Michael and Jackie (Lady Kay) dive in and swim by. Jackie was seemingly enjoying a leisurely breaststroke, when she quickly turned and headed back to her boat. I called out asking, "How's the water?" She yelled back that it was fine except for the little stingy things that were attacking them. They both scrambled back aboard Lady Kay. That put a big damper on my desire for a nice swim. I pulled out my book. Frank did the same.
Michael and Jackie invited everyone over for sundowners at 5:30. We thought perhaps we'd go snorkeling over by the reef but then the winds switched direction turning our comfy lee shore into a bucking bronco. Waves were whipping all around us and tossing us to the point that we were getting un-cozy real quick. After chatting up our neighbors, one of them told us that he had checked the grib files and noted that we would be in for a rough night if we stayed here, so reluctantly we all decided to hightail it back into SavuSavu. We were the last boat in the group to weigh anchor, and as Frank was using the boat hook to guide ours in, the darn thing flew out of his hand and away it went into the washing machine (that's what the waves had become). It is a floating boathook, so we felt confident that we could retrieve it. I was tempted to dive in after it but I was manning the helm and could not. We both tried to keep our eyes on it as Frank unlatched the dinghy from the davit and got it deployed. The chop was getting worse and the winds fierce as I was fighting the to keep the helm into the wind so that he could deploy the dinghy. I wanted to tell him to forget about the boat hook, but we really need the darn thing to get back onto our mooring. What a mess. The dinghy was bucking violently as Frank tried to board it. Oh my god. I lost sight of the hook. He did too, and poor baby drove all around searching for it in vain. After about 15 minutes he threw in the towel and then we stared the dance all over again trying to get him back on board Destiny. He looked so defeated. By now it was too rough to get the dinghy back up onto the davit, so he bridled it and we towed it behind. We raised the sails, and enjoyed a fantastic broad reach back to the channel leading into SavuSavu. Once in the mooring field, a couple friends in their dinghies came to help us get the mooring secured. We freshened up, I whipped up a baked brie stuffed with toasted pine nuts, drizzled some apricot preserves, grabbed some crackers and off we went to meet up with everyone for a fun evening aboard the Lady Kay.
Later in the evening, with the help of our new external wifi antenna, I got online to check email, hoping to hear from my daughter. Yes! She did it! She bought her very own first house, and closed on it this very day (actually yesterday). I am sooooooo proud of her. Go Jen!