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Showing posts from May, 2016

Rafting in Fiji

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While in Suva, Tubby’s motor started misbehaving. Malcolm inspected it and it appears the carburetor float valve and the jet had disintegrated (or maybe fell out during the inspection)! None of the marine shops in Suva had the parts, but the Mercury dealer in Nadi offered us a new carburetor in stock that could be shipped to Suva the next day, Friday, or a carburetor service kit that needed to be ordered and could arrive in Suva Tuesday. We ordered and paid for the new carburetor, it wasn’t much more than the carburetor service kit. We had seen a beautiful poster of rafts in a river canyon at the restaurant at the Royal Suva Yacht Club. We looked the river up on the internet and read all about the river rafting trip along the Upper Navua River.
Since the dinghy motor died and we were waiting for a part to be sent from Nadi, we booked the trip. It was a fantastic daytrip! The local company, Rivers Fiji, owned by the US company, OARS, organises a great day, including transport through …

Sailing to Fiji

Our crossing from Vava’u, Tonga to Suva, Fiji was wonderful. We were both a bit out of sorts the first 24 hours, with being offshore and the new sleep pattern, but we quickly got back into a rhythm.
Without batteries, our autopilot wouldn't work, so we hand-steered the first 24 hours in three hour shifts. Then the wind died and we started the engine to find it was not charging the almost completely dead batteries at all. Malcolm fixed the alternator and we got enough battery power to use the small, CPT autopilot. We were able to sit back and relax. After a day of motoring, some wind returned, and the last couple of days were sunny, with smooth seas and we sailed along nicely to Suva.
We arrived in the bay at Suva about 9 AM in the morning. Suva is an active shipping port and an industrial town. It was the perfect place for us as almost every business is related to ships and marine stuff.
After hosting the officials from the Ministry of Health, Customs and Biosecurity, and offici…

Problems in Tonga

We have 4 very large batteries on the boat to run all of our stuff (lights, refrigerator, chart-plotter, radar, radio, …). They should have been fine when we returned to the boat, but something had completely discharged them. We suspect it was a bilge pump with a stuck float switch. After being discharged for a while, they could not hold much charge. We could run the lights and radio, but no fridge or freezer.

We spent about 10 days in the harbour in Vava’u, eating at restaurants and using the Internet to figure out what to do about getting new batteries. Dina caught a virus (probably Zika) and spent three days in bed. She had body aches, joint pain and a full body rash, but there were no lingering effects. Fortunately, Malcolm didn’t catch it.

After much searching online, it was apparent that we couldn’t “shock” the batteries back to normal. They needed to be replaced, and new ones would have to be shipped to us. The owners of The Boatyard confirmed that getting things shipped to To…

Back on the boat

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We flew into Tonga a week ago. The boat survived the cyclone season
just fine and new bottom paint looks good! After a few days in the
boatyard, we were put into the water and we motored over to the harbour.

We're now working on some odd jobs and looking for some nice weather
to head south to the Hapaii group.