On Friday, October 9, we left our slip and pulled into the boat lift. Chris from sv Wind Dancer came on board to help us with the lines to hold the boat in position while George swam around the boat making sure that the lifting straps were in place. Moe is the travel lift operator and did a great job lifting the boat from the water.
The boat was moved to the wash down pad where George used a power washer to clean the bottom and propeller. We were very pleased that there was very little growth on the bottom and no growth at all on the propeller. We had “Prop Speed” applied to the propeller in New Zealand, and it was well worth the price because Steve did not have to clean it once.
The next step was to place the boat into the pit that was dug in the ground. After making sure that the hole would accommodate our keel and rudder, Moe carefully lowered the boat while George guided him. When she was sitting correctly, George placed stacked tires around the hull in order to hold her in place. When she was secure in the pit, George released the lifting straps, and Moe pulled the travel lift away from the boat.
We got a bure at the First Landing Resort right next door and then spent the next three days cleaning the interior, removing lines from the deck, and covering important items with plastic to protect them while we are away. I also cleaned the interior with vinegar in order to keep the surfaces clean.
After that work was finished, we began moving items from the deck down below. The dodger and bimini were removed and placed on the forward berth, along with our sail bags. We also moved our cockpit cushions below to keep them out of the sun and to prevent them from blowing away in the event of a storm. Anything that could blow away or cause damage to other boats was removed and stored below. Steve also placed storm boards over our large port lights in order to keep them from being broken by flying objects.
I cannot list all the work that is involved in leaving the boat on the hard during cyclone season. It takes a lot of work to get the boat prepared, and that is why many cruisers never leave their boats for any length of time. Our effort was complicated by two days of heavy rain that soaked everything, and storing wet items below is just asking for mold problems.
We finished our work on Tuesday, in the rain, enjoyed a chicken curry lunch at the Yacht Club, and then took a taxi to the Nadi Airport where we booked a room for two nights. John and Renee from sv Scarlet O’Hara joined us until their plane left for Los Angeles that night. The Raffles Gateway Hotel is a nice place with lovely swimming pools; however, we are now anxious to be home.
Because we will be off the boat for a few months, I will not post another blog on December 1. We will leave Fiji on Thursday. I will spend four days in San Diego with Brie and Drue, but Steve will continue on to Albuquerque. We will then await the arrival of our granddaughter Riley around the first week in November, and that makes all the hard work required to go home worth it.