Home    Journal    Boat    Crew    Articles    Links    Contact    Site Map

Awaiting Parts & Boat Projects in Musket Cove

Written by Cathy Siegismund
August 2003

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 the lazarette.

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, & Kay

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 sunset

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.

Copyright 1999-2003. All Rights Reserved.