Elaine decided to take Sunday off - No yacht chores, no yacht projects, no exercises, but rather a day of pampering, which included doing her nails and getting her hair cut. She started her day, though, in the galley - Making pancakes to enjoy with freshly chopped pineapple, yoghurt and honey, along with a side of fresh paw paw. We did, however, also work up enough energy to enjoy a walk to the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa for afternoon coffee and French pastries at La Parisienne - Not that we needed anymore freshly baked goodies.
Yesterday we woke to a very wet day, having rained all night, which then continued on through the day. Fortunately that definitely helped Paw Paw get a much needed thorough washdown after days of black soot descending on her.
While Elaine undertook a final review of all our navigational notes, cruising guides and the officialdom process for Vanuatu, as well as completed all the necessary documentation for clearing out of Fiji and in to Vanuatu, Roy took the bus to Nadi to get some additional provisions as well as some VATUs (aka Vanuatu dollars). Unfortunately, on the latter activity he ran into the most incredulous brickwall.
Although he had gone prepared with all the yacht documentation as instructed previously, he was told that he couldn't purchase any VATUs without an airticket - Yep - You read correctly, he had to have an airticket. It didn't matter how many different ways he tried to enlighten them with the fact that he was actually on a yacht, they repeatedly told him the same thing - No airticket, no money, unless he went to the money exchange at the airport. This was the same feedback he received from all the banks in town.
Completely exasperated, Roy returned to Denarau where he decided to try one last time. His tenacity paid off. A very delightful individual at the Denarau money exchange booth processed the transaction without any fuss. "The mind she boggles!"
Today involved finishing off the rest of our passage paperwork, including our Float Plan, water and fuel management calculations, preparing the deck log, etc, as well as getting the laundry done and installing the new track for the saloon door mosquito net.
At this point we're just waiting for a low pressure system to the north of Fiji to move further east, which will then give us more favourable winds for our departure later this week.
With the temperatures dropping overnight as a cold front passed over Fiji, we woke to a very chilly morning yesterday, so we decided to just stay in bed. When we eventually did surface, the sun was shining and another beautiful day awaited us. Elaine got her exercises done, Roy completed the upload of all our recent photographs to the website Gallery and by then it was lunch time.
A short bus ride took us back to the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, where we enjoyed a tasty lunch, before tackling our first large shop in months - Provisioning, before we leave Fiji, at the Fresh Choice supermarket on Denarau Island. This must be one of Port Denarau's best kept secret, which Roy uncovered by accident when purchasing our new house batteries. For months we've been taking the bus into Nadi to do our provisioning, then hauling the shopping all the way back on the bus or getting a taxi, when all we had to do was visit this very large, well stocked supermarket. Live and learn hey!
Today, we did, however, have to make another trip into Nadi to visit our preferred butcher, purchase a new "communications device" for Elaine, as the existing one cannot keep up with the constant stream of bullshit originating from the White House, it seems, and purchase a few gifts.
Once we were back on Paw Paw we spent the rest of the afternoon doing the usual preparations for an upcoming passage - Refill propane tanks, fill up with diesel, purchase dinghy fuel, etc, all of which we were successful in completing when we moved Paw Paw to our allocated mooring ball in Port Denarau Marina.
In between all of this, Elaine had the delight of dealing with our property management company again, who have simply refused to reallocate a substantial residual amount of costs to the tenant, touting that the damages are as a result of "usual wear and tear" - Allocating only 30% of the cost to have the entire interior repainted, although almost every wall has been damaged, broken locks, a closet door that is off it's hinges, replacing a medicine cabinet that was removed for some inexplicable reason and this is only a small subset of all the damages caused by this tenant for which they are being charged. It is truly appaling and beyond comprehension as to how this is allowed to happen. Anyway, for now we have agreement on everything that needs to be repaired and have paid the upfront cost to get the work underway. Lets see how the rest of this saga unfolds!
This morning we decided to have breakfast ashore, so we took the bus to the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa, where we enjoyed a very tasty breakfast at their French Café. It seemed we weren't the only cruisers with this idea though, as we'd no sooner sat down at our table, when Twocan (Margaret and Barry) walked in.
After breakfast and to ensure we got our exercise walk in for the day, we joined Twocan on their walk back to the marina. Then, while Elaine finished off the last of the sewing, Roy ran a few errands, which included topping up our stock of saildrive oil, purchasing a few more watermaker filters, dropping off our used oil at the recycle area and, finally, making arrangements to dispose of our old house batteries with a native Fijian man whom he randomly met on the dock and who is from a village on one of the outer Mamanuca islands.
It's fair to say that the delight on the faces of the three villagers who stopped by Paw Paw in their outboard powered skiff late this afternoon, on route back to their village, after completing their day of shopping on the mainland, was priceless. They were just so gracious and grateful. While these batteries were no longer able to support the myriad of systems on Paw Paw without us having to frequently run the generator to top up their charge and could not be used as a starter battery, they most certainly could be used in a village home. Homes on the outer islands have solar powered energy that charges a single battery. Then, through an inverter, similar to the system on Paw Paw, powers their lights, TV, microwave, cell phone chargers, etc. So, have extra batteries is an absolute luxury for them. It's definitely a true saying: "One man's junk is another man's treasure".