July 13

Its been 9 days since my last entry. My only excuse is severe depression. But now all is well and I can happily report we have completed our repairs and are ready to get out of this godforsaken marina and find a nice, quiet anchorage in some nice secluded bay with a beautiful white beach and relax for the next few weeks before we have to fly back to the US.

Although our new transmission arrived last Friday (a week ago) it was not until Wednesday night that the installation began. By Thursday evening it was installed and tested and by Friday at noon all the rest of the equipment which had been removed to make room to work on the transmission had also been re-installed. Everything looks great and we are all set to go.

We had considered leaving Saturday morning, but on Friday afternoon we got word that our new inverter had arrived in Fiji (at the airport). Since it was to come the next morning we decided to wait one more day to install it. As expected, the UPS man arrived this morning, in the familiar brown van (UPS is not really big here, most people have never heard of them - DHL rules in the Pacific countries).

It took about 5 hours to get it all installed. This because we have to first remove the fixtures in the sink (aft head) then removed the cabinet to access the compartment where the unit lives. Then I had to re-wire it and re-mount it on the wall. The second part turned out to be more trouble then I expected as the mounting holes seemed to be just slightly off. Much fiddling with the brackets was needed before I could get even one of the 3 bottom screws in. After that it went well and we now have AC power again after 9 weeks. We use AC for the microwave oven, the washing machine, the rice cooker and for charging batteries for small handheld items like VHF radios, the handyvac and other similar things. We do have a 400watt unit we bought off another boat and have been using that to charge the handhelds and the laptop computer (which Jonah uses mostly for game playing and DVDs).

Living without the microwave was not as hard as I expected, but it will be nice to have it back in service. We mostly use it for re-heating leftovers. The rice cooker was also a huge problem as we have been using one for 15 years - I had to learn how to cook rice all over again. After the first few soggy attempts I was able to finally master it, but the rice cooker is SOOOO much easier (and it saves propane which is a bonus as refilling them is sometimes a hassle). As for the washing machine, it turned out we didn't miss it since we've spent the entire time at a marina where they have a Laundromat. If we had been out cruising in remote places it would have been more of a hardship.

That's all for now. We are leaving tomorrow morning. We may go to Yandua or perhaps to Waya which is closer. We will decide in the morning. First we will stop at the fuel dock to top off our tanks then off we go.