Nadi, a busy Fijian town with all the normal businesses you would expect, is a short bus ride away. The buses run frequently and the Fijians also use an informal jitney system. Riders just flag down passing cars for $1 F, same as the bus fare. It was great.
We originally planned our trip to Denarau because our batteries were failing, and Bill got some advice from the manufacturer about equalizing them to recover their function. Because Fiji AC power is 240v and our boat is wired 110v, we needed a transformer. Bill got several quotes ranging from $330, $600 and $1700 (Fijian$), all for the same item! We got the $300 one and Bill made some modifications. The equalization (slow charging for 24 hours) worked, so that was a big relief. However,.....burned out... Our mainsail had been really falling apart so we ordered a new one. Doug Christi in Seattle designed it and sent the deisgn to Lidgard in in Auckland to build it and ship to us in Fiji. Doug had just done a sail for Jiminy, a sister-ship in Seattle, so he was familar with the rig. Bill, of course, made thorough measurements and was able to properly specify the sail without the sailmaker needing to visit the boat. It only took a couple weeks to get the whole thing done, and overall the cost wasn't much more than getting it all done in Seattle.
|It takes a village...||.|
|bending on the main, it's.. a big job|
|it looks a lot smaller now|
The first few times we used the sail, it was reefed. So it was a while before we could really see how it looked in action.
Jarana was berthed at the end of a long dock that was also used by a couple large, tourist ,sailing ships that came and went most days. At night some of the crews and night watchmen would have a kava circle on the dock. They would just sit down next to the boat, prepare kava in a plastic washtub, and play guitar and sing. They always welcomed us to join them. On our last night, we stopped for a while and brought some kava to share. They seemed really pleased at the gesture and we had a wonderful last evening with them. Many of the guys are from the remote Lau group. Although, some of them are related, they all miss the their large, extended families far away. Bill gave them our old mainsail to use for a canopy.
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