Awaiting Parts & Boat Projects in Musket Cove
Written by Cathy Siegismund
When we returned to Musket Cove, the new watermaker membrane had arrived. Ken
spent several days doing engine and watermaker projects, while I was getting over
the worst of the cold I had caught. As we were having very calm and clear days,
I did manage to put a coat of varnish on the cap rail, which was showing some
wear since I had last varnished it in New Zealand.
We made a trip into Nadi to mail some items home, go to the bank, and visit a
good Internet cafe to make some travel arrangements for the following December,
and for Ken to research refrigerators. We also took a cab to the Vuda Point
Marina near Lautoka to return a book we had borrowed from Nik and Jenn and to
say goodbye as they were soon to be heading to Vanuatu and we weren't sure when
we'd catch up again.
The following day, Ken ordered a new Adler Barbour refrigerator from West
Marine, that would take between 7-10 days to arrive. In the meantime,
Ken did other boat projects. He kept patching leaks in our dinghy floor, and
finally after quite a bit of work, had the watermaker making good water. He
also ripped out the old refrigeration system, which included the evaporator and
thermostat in the insulated ice box that is our fridge, as well as the
compressor, condenser, fan, tubing and electrical components, which were all in
the bottom of
We did a few social things ashore. We attended a Mexican potluck dinner
ashore and met some new cruisers.
Old and new friends at the Mexican potluck, Carl, Kathleen, Michelle, Stacey, Garth, Dave,
We also did a shameless amount of DVD watching, as without the energy drain of
running the refrigerator, we had an unusual amount of spare power. Nine days
after we ordered it, our new refrigerator arrived. Ken installed it the
following day and we were on our way to making ice and thankfully putting an end
to our daily ice runs as we had been using our refrigeration space as an icebox.
Ken installing the new compressor component of the refrigerator in his favorite
work spot - the lazarette
The new refrigerator, with a significantly larger, from our prospective, freezer
So far the new refrigerator seems to be doing well. It is making ice, and with
the larger freezer will allow us to have both a month or so worth of frozen
meet, as well as three large ice cube trays; before we often had to
choose between the two. It is using a little more power than our old one, but
not unmanageably so.
We are feeling late, as we had hoped to be in Vanuatu at least two weeks ago, but
now just have a short list of projects to complete before we can check out
and leave Fiji. I made a run into Nadi on the ferry to run errands. We had a few
more items to be mailed and required a trip to the post office. I looked
unsuccessfully for some more glue to repair the seemingly unstoppable leaks in
our dinghy floor, bought some additional fishing gear, and looked for rubber stripping to waterproof our companionway hatch,
which occasionally leaks when we are hit with large waves at sea.
I visited a few of the grocery stores for items not stocked at Musket Cove, got
my high-speed surfing fix at a nice air-conditioned Internet cafe, and picked up
a fresh meat order at a wonderful and inexpensive butcher. I would highly
recommend this place. It was recommended to us by the skipper of the Fiji
Aggressor, and is called Yaqara Meats on Queens Road, Nadi. I phoned in an order
with specific instructions on how I wanted the items vacuum sealed and picked it
up the next day. To give you cruisers out there an idea on their prices, I
ordered an entire large beef eye fillet, 1 kg of premium ground beef (mince), 10
boneless skinless chicken breasts, and 12 pre-breaded veal cutlets for $83
Fijian, about $42 US.
While I was in Nadi, I also took some time to do a little sightseeing and browse
the tourist shops. After several trips to Nadi, I finally walked down to see the
Hindu Temple there. As about half of the population in Fiji is Indian, there
is an elaborate, colorful Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple. I took a few photos
from the road, as photography is not permitted within the temple. Visitors are
welcome, but they ask that you dress modestly, remove your shoes, speak quietly,
and that you have not consumed any alcohol or meat on the day of your visit. There
are four full-time priests performing daily prayers, and devotees praying and
setting offerings at the base of various statues and altars.
Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, Nadi
There was also evidence of the continued sugar cane harvest, which goes
on for six months of the year. There are narrow train tracks paralleling
the road where you will see long trains of sugar cane being moved. There are
also hugely overloaded trucks of sugar cane, which back traffic up
on the two-lane roads around the island.
Sugar cane train
Sugar cane loaded truck
After my full day of errands and a little sightseeing, I headed back to Port
Denarau, to catch the 1700 ferry back to Musket Cove.
Port Denarau has a small marina and anchorage for yachts and is the base for
several ferries, tour boats, and small cruise ships
Returning to Musket Cove that evening the crowded anchorage but a glorious
We are trying to complete our last projects so we can check out of Fiji and head
to Vanuatu early next week. We'll see though. The dinghy floor continues to be
problematic, our "new" spare engine starter stopped working, and our new
starting battery is already starting to go bad. On top of these worries we need
to do some standard passage prep items, final fresh food provisioning, last
minute laundry, check the rig, scrub the waterline, pick up fuel, and fill our
water tanks. We also have one more trip into Nadi/Lautoka to change money for
Vanuatu, pick up rubber or plastic to waterproof our companionway hatch, and
check out of the country with immigration and customs. We then of course need to
make sure we have an appropriate weather window.