Nuie Island (August 2006)
Sunday, September 10 we left Tonga for Fiji.  The motor was on almost the whole way because we had no wind.   We have found that we either have too much wind or no wind.  It is nice that Blue Sky can hold 300 gallons of diesel, so if there is no wind we don't mind motoring.   To the right is Late Island, which is still and active volcano.  Just passed Late there was a small island with smoke streaming out of the peak, it was quite a site to see, a new island being formed.
Because of all the "hot spots"  we travelled over, there was a huge pummice field.   Floating rocks on the ocean is a sight to behold, it lasted for three days.  People were concerned that we had our engine on, as it was so calm, we had no dammage with the pummice, just a few specs in the strainer.  We did catch a nice Mahi Mahi one day for dinner.  This is one of our favorite fish. .
We arrived at Suva Harbor, Fiji on the morning of Thursday, September 14.  It was just after sunrise, and after a night of squalls, one just passed over and we were trying to find the entrance.  We heard the  US Warship 52 hail the harbor and could see them ahead of us.  Jim  hailed them on theVHF to request permission to follow them into the harbor, after two minutes of silence they said it would be alright.   We didn't want to take any chances with a US Warship.  It was nice to follow a boat in as you can see the photo on the right shows a ship wrecked on the reef, this was one of many..  The harbor was full of old derelect boats.
Our first meal, McDonalds, the kids were in heaven.  As they would say "Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba I'm Loving it!"  You would thing they would forget this jingle after one year away from TV. 
Suva was a large city and we could find pretty much anything we needed there. Above we visited the University of the South Pacific campus,which was very nice.  This is one of the large carvings from the carving class, they also had dancing classes and anything else you could think of.  Phoebe and Drake are standing under a shark scupture.  They had a great book store, which is why we went there to begin with.  The middle right is a photo of the local market.  It is pretty typical of all the local markets we have been to, a hundred differest stalls selling the same fruits and veges. 

Phoebe is showing off her stupid human trick to the waiters.  They all loved her, and she continues to impress them.
One other boat showed up into Suva that we knew, Tawanda.  We spent a couple nights with Lene and Jens from Denmark.  We had met them previously on our travels and it was nice to get to know them.  Like everywhere else it rained and rained in Suva, so we would keep dry in the Yacht Club.  Above is our neighbor on fire, typical of Suva Harbor.  To the left is a beautiful photo of a rainbow.  Try to guess what that is.  We were over come by the smell of diesel, thankfully after seeing this spill on the water I knew it couldn't be coming from Blue Sky. 

With Suva behind us we headed toward Musket cove.  The books all say that the entrance into the reef is an all weather easy entrance.  Unfortunately we arrive after dark and could not decifer the range lights with all the other lights, so we did laps all night until the sun rose.  It was still pretty difficult then.  We finally arrive at Musket cove, to meet Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Ed, Emma's parents.  This photo was taken as we arrive.
Grandpa and Grandma awaiting our arrival, and Emma bringing Phoebe and Drake ashore to greet them.  They were all so excited to see each other.  Below left is a photo of the view from their room, which conveniently had a dinghy dock in front for us.  Also pictured is Grandma Ruth, Grandpa Ed, Phoebe, Emma and Drake.  It was wonderful to see family again, and to have a hot shower! 
Drake finally gets a hair cut, now we didn't shave his head, but we wanted to.  Above is the lagoon where the hotel room was, with Jim and I in the Dinghy.  The kids had their own bedroom and slept there every night.  Blue Sky is anchored off Musket Cove, we picked up a mooring ball a few days later, as the winds picked up.  Musket cove was a very peaceful place. 

At low tide you could walk between the islands and the shelling was great.  Phoebe taught Grandma to look inside and make sure there was nothing alive in them, as we don't keep the live ones. 
Phoebe found a beautifully crafted boat made out of a coconut shell on the beach.  It made us stop and think where it could have come from and who made it.  There was a sand spit that was visible at low tide and covered at high tide.  It was a great dinghy ride out and there was good snorkeling around.  You can see the tide rushing in above. 
The kids played in the pool everyday, and took a break to go snorkeling with Dad.  To the left is the Island Bar, they had five large BBQ's ready for people to grill on, with plates, utensils etc. for everyone to use.  No washing up and a bar right there, very civilized..  Plus we could see Blue Sky at Mooring Ball number 1.  
The photo above is me changing another light bulb.  I can't believe how often I've had to go aloft to do this.  The photos below and right are our "bus man's holiday".  We joined Grandma and Granpa on a charter boat to Castaway Island Resort and stop off at a snorkel spot.  It was actually nice not to be the Captain for once.
This is the island that the movie "Castaway" was filmed, with Tom Hanks.  (Not called Castaway Island)
Grandma is pictured at the Castaway Island Resort.  There were so many resorts in Fiji.  Phoebe went for a Kayak ride with Rene and Amy.  She loves to Kayak and is getting very good at it.  Drake obviously can't read, as he is jumping where it says No Diving.  The Musket Cove Resort had a pig roast, which was very good, that was one happy pig. 
Grandma and Grandpa take a stroll on the beach at low tide.  We walked across the island by the small airport, luckily no planes came it at the time.  Just beyond the airport is the golf course, and yes once again a golf game was arranged.  Drake even participated, he was excited to ride in the golf cart, that is until he fell out.  (We think he jumped.)  The golfers are Nancy and Paul from s/v Encore, Steve from Shiraz, Grandpa, Jim and Drake.  Drake did a good job collecting all the balls when they got on the green.  Oops.
Our time with Grandma has come to an end, Phoebe cried for an hour after she left, we had such a wonderful time.  Grandpa is staying on board until Sydney, I don't know if he is brave or not very smart to want to spend that much time in such a small space with us!  We look forward to it.
Grandma and Grandpa spoiled the kids rotten, by bringing them toys and clothes, it was like Christmas.  A rare moment above with Phoebe and Drake holding hands.