Suva 2004

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May 13, 2004 - Day 8 - arrival in Suva Harbour, Fiji

We anchor Sequoia in Suva Harbour at 10:30am, however we were are in quarantine until the inspector arrives at 1pm.  We have lunch aboard, then Craig and I deploy the Zodiac dinghy, and he goes ashore to clear customs and immigration.

Approaching Suva from the south, outside the reef Suva Harbour & City

It is 84F and very hot on Sequoia's deck in the tropic sun. Barbara and I stay below in the cabin reading and resting. We discuss our plans for the next few days while we wait for Craig to return from his trials with the Fijian government bureaucracy.  It ends up taking him most of the day to obtain our clearances and permits.

May 14, 2004 - Suva

Today has been a bit of a whirlwind. First the Johnstons and I had to finish up some business at Customs. They had to see my onward airplane ticket, so Sequoia would be able to leave Fiji without me aboard. As we stepped outside the government office, there was a parade commemorating the importation of Indian sugar cane workers to Fiji 125 years ago.

Police Band - Parade Police Band - Parade - photo by C&B Johnston Parade - commemorating 125 years ago importing Indian sugar cane workers

Craig and Barbara walk back through the Suva Market, and purchase some produce, spices, as well as several half kilo packages of yangona (kava) roots.  These will be offered to the chiefs of the villages as the Johnstons make use of their waters when Sequoia circumnavigates Viti Levu (the biggest Fijiian island - the one Suva is located on), and some of the other nearby islands.

Sunset in Suva Harbour Royal Suva Yacht Club (centre), Suva city & harbour (left)
Yangona roots being weighed and packaged Indian spice merchant

While Craig and Barbara are off shopping, I made contact with my Fijian family, who I have not seen since my last visit in 1975.  Through some perseverance and good luck we managed to make contact just a few days before I left home on this trip.  Epeli Naua picks me up from downtown Suva, and we have our first visit  (see Naua Fijiian Family 2004).  When they return me to the Suva Yacht Club, they come aboard Sequoia for a short visit.

Iniasi, Epeli, Josefa, Benijamini, Joe, Craig approaching in the dinghy - photo by B. Johnston Craig, Epeli, Josefa, Benijamini, Joe, Iniasi aboard Sequoia - photo by B. Johnston

Boats in the harbour today:

bulletOnra - George Town, BVI - a 75' blue-hulled sailboat with a crew, owned by two German men.
bulletGetten - Japan - a Japanese man sailing solo around the Pacific.
bulletHannakin - our English friends Clive & Jean

Ben from Beqa - photo by C&B JohnstonMay 15-16, 2004 -  Beqa

We sail and motor to Beqa, the nearest island to Suva which will offer us safe anchorage and an opportunity to snorkel.  This is a real treat for me, and I take lots of underwater photos, so please browse the 2004 Beqa web page.

May 16, 2004 - Suva

After we return from Beqa today, I had planned for this to be my last day aboard Sequoia.  However we didn't arrive back in Suva harbour until 5pm, and we are invited to dinner aboard Hannakin at 6pm. I didn't want to miss the dinner with Jean and Clive, so I decide to stay aboard Sequoia for one last night.  It is great to see Jean and Clive again, and to have a tour of their sailboat.

Boats in Suva harbour this evening:

bulletElecktra - Amsterdam
bulletNo name - France

May 17, 2004 - Suva - Auckland

Rebecca Naua (Epeli's wife) and their daughter TaleiThis morning I confirm my Air Pacific flight from Suva to Auckland, and then I have some time for one last visit with my Fijian family, since my flight doesn't depart Nausori Airport until later in the evening.

Epeli and his wife Rebecca put on a lunch for me at their houseIt is great to meet Waisle and Lavinia again. We exchange gifts before I leave - a Fijian tradition.  See Naua Fijiian Family 2004 for photos and narrative.

Both my cousin Cheryl and Craig's cousin Gail arrive within a few minutes of each other this afternoon. Gail is replacing me as crew for a couple of weeks aboard Sequoia, and Cheryl is travelling through Fiji on her way to Brisbane, Australia to visit her friend Pamela.  We all go to the Yacht Club for a nice dinner before I leave for Nausori Airport and my flight back to Auckland.

Gail, Barbara, Craig in the Suva Yacht Club Cheryl & Pamela, Brisbane, Australia - photo by C. Carruthers
Buildings & grounds - Suva Yacht Club Sunset over the dinghy dock - Suva Yacht Club


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Next >>> Auckland-Warkworth

Side Trips to >>> Naua Fijiian Family 2004, 2004 Beqa, Fiji - 1975

<<< Previous: New Zealand to Fiji - open ocean passage




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