Wednesday we hoisted the anchor and headed up to Rabi (Rambi) Island. Our first stop was Katherine Bay. We were able to use Curly's waypoints with no problems. It was an easy run up - more or less. Lots of sail handling as we wound our way through the reef. East out of Viani, then north, then west, then north, then west, then more north, then east and north again into Katherine Bay. We had a bit of confusion right at the end, deciding which side to the mark to go on - not sure what was going on in the captain's mind, but we made it thru no problems. Following Curly's advice we anchored as far in to the bay as we could - ended up in about 30 feet, good holding in mud. We had a quiet rainy evening, watched the fishermen and the "schoolbus" bring the kids home from school. The internet was weak. Good enough to send Sailmail, but not good enough to check email. Josh was not happy.
Thursday we got going pretty early. The weather wasn't looking all that promising, but it did clear up. We backtracked out of the reef and headed up the west side of Rabi to the capital - Nuku. We were told we needed to check in with the police there. Yes, i know we have a cruising permit, and yes it is a fijian island. But, it is inhabited by displaced Banabans (ocean island). They let their home island be mined to death for phosphate, so they were bought this new home. We have heard that initially they were one of the wealthiest groups in Fiji. Sadly they didn't know how to deal with the wealth and were taken advantage of and squandered most of it away. Currently they are the poorest group. Anyway, we stopped to check in. Josh, Paul and I went in while Dennis stayed with the boat. The store there reminded us of Fanning, not much on the shelf. I was able to buy a kilo of flour (we are out of bread, and I donated my flour to Sophie), but nothing else. But, everyone was friendly. We were told hello in 4 languages - english, gilbertese (maori), fijian (bula) and samoan (talofa). Very confusing, but nice all the same. Was a simple check in. i wrote our names and the boat name on their chalkboard, filled out one paper and showed him our cruising permit - done. Vinaka (thank you). We could not find the place to drop off our garbage, so poor Paul hauled it all over and then back to the boat. The anchor was back up and we were on our way to Alberts Cove within one hour. Again Curly's waypoints were good and we pulled in to one of the best anchorages we have been in in a while. Good snorkeling, clear water, pretty beaches. Sadly no internet. Josh was able to get internet on the way up to Nuku and just past Nuku, but Alberts has no cell tower.
This morning we had a leisurely start and then did boat chores. The kids here were out on the beach playing at 0630 this morning. No school today??? They were on the beach having fun all day. Their laughter was infectious. Dennis was able to get the watermaker working properly - YAY! my hero. It has been running all day and so far no problems. After that the boys cleaned the bottom of the boat while I repaired our bimini. After lunch Dennis and Paul finished cleaning the brown streaks off the sides of the boat, while I played lady of leisure and floated around on my floaty. Haven't done that since Zihuatenejo with Sue and Anna. Later in the afternoon we went 'splorin' in the dinghy. Found a nice beach that donated 4 coconuts to the cause. Hungry, Hungry boys for dinner. Seems like my cupboards get bare a whole lot quicker here than they did in Fr. Polynesia. Not sure what is up with that????..... Time for Josh to go spear fishing and refill the freezer.
We are going to hang here at least one more day, then maybe the ringolds and Matengi/Qamea.
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