Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good Travelers

I find myself enjoying the company of all sorts of people who happen to be sailing around the Pacific on their own boats.  There are those who burn for the limitless space of the ocean and pour themselves into epic passages one after another.  There are the family crews, of course, balancing navigation and engineering tasks with bedtime stories and nappies and home schooling.  There are the mellow retirees, happily not working while they follow the trades on a life-long dream realized.  And every now and then there are the mad adventurers, who are tilting at windmills of vast ocean and seemingly inadequate boat, perhaps because these challenges are more tractable than the ones they find in their own heads.

My very very favorite sort of sailor, though, might be those ones who are obviously just good at traveling.  They extend themselves, they put themselves in interesting situations, they interact with the locals, they make friends, they understand something of the places they visit.  Marinas bore them to the point of anger.

We had the good fortune of crossing paths with just this sort of sailor here in Savusavu, an American singlehander who has just gone back to the States for the birth of his first child (there's a long back story).  This guy has found nothing better to do with himself in recent years than to sail everywhere in Fiji, well off the beaten tradewind path, and to vigorously get down with the people in every village along the way.

So, for us, sitting down in the cockpit with this guy and a chart and letting him just talk about Fiji was quite a treat.  We regretted our short season here, and started to wonder about our chances for just one more season in the southwest Pacific so that we could start to do Fiji and Vanuatu justice.

No idea if that will happen, of course.  But, more immediately, listening to this new friend talk about how good Fiji has been to him has done serious damage to my desire to want to sail to Australia this season.  We could flog ourselves to get all the way to New South Wales before we turn around and sail to New Zealand - or we could just enjoy an extra month in Fiji...


We so rarely leave the sight of water on our travels.  So it was a pleasure to load the kids into a cab the other day...

...for some highland eco-tourism.

We managed to behold the collared lory (that's an endemic parrot of Fiji) and the Fiji green tree skink.  And we heard heaps of barking pigeons.  That's a pretty good tally when you're birding thick forest with a three year old...

It was also our 12th wedding anniversary.


  1. Happy anniversary guys! Have another 12 just as interesting. Love the birding tally - how DO you keep a 3-year-old quiet in thick forest? Also loving your South Pacific stories, and from our point of view, hope they continue for another month!

    1. 3-yr old quiet? what do you mean?

      I suppose you should know that we count you among the rarified company of 'good travelers'.

      Sorry about Oracle beating Emirates. We'll race Galactic against Enki for the re-match whenever our paths meet. Meanwhile, what about the rumor that the Whitsundays are the challenger of record for next go-around?