Yesterday, Sapphire came out of the water and went into a ditch. She is resting on old tyres. Over the weekend I had been doing my best to get everything dry, and today did the final tidy up after removing the sails and the bimnini cover. I filled up the diesel tank to the top and taped over all the little slots in the mast that halyards emerge from to minimise the lielihood of rain getting into the boat through them and lastly, as you can see in the photo I laid a cover over the boom and tied it to the toe rail in the hope of further reducing the likelihood of rain getting in. It was suggested I buy Kitty Litter and leave it in the boat to absorb moisture but I couldnt find any in Lautoka when I visited on Saturday.
However the best thing that Ive done in terms of getting Sapphire ready for the long lay-over and trying to make sure I dont return next year and find her in a mess again, is to recruit a charming elderly Indian man called Bharos to keep an eye on her for me. I came across him last Friday as I was wandering round the marina inspecting the boats that are here both in the water and already in the Trenches. It transpired he was doing the rounds of a handful of boats that he was keeping an eye on for their absent owners, and later after further enquiries I learned he was well regarded and so asked him if he could add Sapphire to his List.
He comes to the marina every day except Sunday so will air the boat frequently and also keep leaves from blocking up the cockpit drains, birds from making nests under the dodger and of course wasps from making theirs in the Hydrovane! If water does get in he will get rid of it - and all this for $50 a month. Now I feel so much more relaxed about leaving the boat here.
Apart from doing stuff on the boat I havent done much more than take the Bus into Lautoka a couple of times just to check it out and buy a few things.The Bus trip was fun as it went down a couple of No Exit roads that were rough and bumpy, past Cane Farms and the rural homes of mostly Indian people. ON the return on Monday the bus was packed with happy laughing school kids - in fact everyone here seems really happy! Lautoka was busy and had a much larger shopping district than I was expecting. I was surprised at the "Indian" feel of the place, as most of the shopkeepers seem to be Indians, and often one passed Indian restarants and takeaway places that scented the air nearby with spice and the unmistakeable smells of Indian cooking. I had a haircut for$4 ( $2 Australian) and later was told I paid double the usual Price! ( But the cheapest haircut Ive ever had was in Ethiopia - 24 cents!) There is also a huge Market where Fijians sell a massive variety and volume of local produce including all sorts of fish. While I was there on Saturday a huge Parade with marching Bands blocked off traffic in the main street for half and hour - it was a Rally for Jesus!
Drumming for Jesus
Ive really enjoyed my little holiday here at Vuda Point - everyone is wonderfully friendly and helpful. Ive also enjoyed staying in the only "Apartment" at the Marina - I couldnt resist its nice little kitchen, bathroom, double bed and elevated view across the Marina, or the nearby Coffee shop and Restaurant. So I have slept well and eaten well, but now its time to get moving again.Tomorrow I fly to Auckland and at the end of the following week to Darwin to start work again.