June 11

It's Tuesday today and we have been in Fiji now for exactly one month. And except for the 3 days we spent at Yanutha in the Mbengga Lagoon (which were admittedly fabulous if not overshadowed by the stress of planning where and how to move the boat with no engine) we have spent the entire time tied to a pier, first at the Suva Yacht Club and now at Vunda Point Marina. One thing I can say with certainty, I am glad we were not stuck the entire month in either one of these places! Although if I were forced stay a whole month I would rather be here at Vunda.

Suva was fun though and I enjoyed trying the cities different restaurants. Its amazing what you can find and in this case we found one of the best Chinese restaurants I have ever eaten at. And I don't say that lightly. It is called The Great Wok Of China and is out a bit from town on a hill. It was well decorated (something most Fiji restaurants seem to pay little attention to, or they were decorated 20 years ago and allowed to run down) very clean and had excellent service. The most memorable thing we had there was whole Sichuan fried fish, simply awesome. They also mad a lovely stuffed eggplant and a really nice chicken thing prepared more like a duck then chicken normally would be. Enough, I am salivating.

Alas, the culinary opportunities here at Vunda Pt., and in Lautoka in general, are few if they exist at all, we have barely left the marina complex. Here there is one restaurant situated out on the point overlooking the entrance to the channel, a small cafe serving breakfast and lunches and a general store which is fairly well stocked with food items. There is also a small marine chandler about the size of a good walk in closet which is well organized and nicely stocked by Pacific Island standards. Then there is the hotel next door, the First Landing Resort (reputed to be the spot where the first canoes of immigrants who arrived in Fiji from points West) which is very friendly to yachties. They allow us to use the pool without charge once you pay $5 for a key to the gate between the marina and the hotel. Of course, they benefit because we use the bar and restaurant while at the pool, so everyone is happy.

This morning Jonah and I put together his bicycle. It's a two-wheeler we bought in NZ. It was stowed in a waterproof kayaking bag in the port cockpit locker, disassembled of course. It took me 5 minutes to take it apart in April before we left NZ. It took an hour and a half and much cursing and swearing to re-assemble it. He insisted I put on the training wheels - I was hoping he would give it a try without them. He really is not ready though, so I guess it will wait.

We had cheeseburgers for lunch aboard and now we are going to the pool at the hotel next door for some heavy relaxing and lolling about. We still are not decided about what to do with the shaft. We had a guy come in this morning but the moment I saw him I knew it was pointless. He was a nice fellow, but dressed much to nicely (silk shirt, black shoes, nice linen pants, all very clean and pressed). He did get in the locker though and poke around. He said it couldn't be done, we have to take the shaft out of the boat. Perhaps he is right but I still think it possible to perform some basic examination at various points along the shaft to at least make some basic assessment. I will see if I can find anyone else to take a look, there are several other cruisers at the marina who may have the knowledge necessary to help. There is another fellow who is out of town and we have arranged for him to come on Friday which is a long way off.