Fixing For Fiji

Tuesday 25th April 2017

Slowly and painfully I unwrap my legs and wrestle myself upright, I have spent the last hour and a half wedged between various bits of rigging and the outside rail cleaning the brightwork (stainless steel fixtures). Fifty six foot seems very large when armed with just a duster and a toothbrush. My stiffness was not helped by the couple of hours I had already spent crouched and bent cleaning the bilge in the bottom of the engine bay. Rick’s in a similar state having spent one half of the weekend bouncing about, mostly upside down, replacing cables and tidying wires in the dingy, the other half dismantling and manhandling a heavy washing machine off the boat and today removing and servicing the water maker high pressure pump. We are not the young flexible things we once were. Why we ask ourselves, after six months in New Zealand is there still a last minute rush.

Polishing the brightwork


Fiji everybody assures us has quite good shops and services and it’s unlike leaving Panama, sailing out into the unknown, we now know we can easily survive on very little, life at anchor is in fact a very simple affair. Still, with a possible weather window opening up early next week, it’s difficult to resist one last visit to the big shiny supermarket, one last purchase of possibly essential spares or one last download of books on to our Kindles.

Preparations have been mostly going well, stores are topped up and stowed, Rick has completed a dozen tasks that he’s been meaning to do for months, I have started cooking and freezing passage meals and routes and cruising research is well underway. However, there have been a couple of untimely breakdowns, firstly the battery of my trusty iPad has started to fail. As anyone who has spent time on the boat with us knows, I love my iPad using it for everything from downloading weather and emails, to keeping up to date with friends on Facebook and writing my blog. At sea it’s our connection to the satellite, it acts as a secondary chart plotter, it gives us vital information on tides and distances and its Goggle Earth app helps us navigate through treacherous coral reefs. We decided we couldn’t risk being without it, so, fingers crossed, it’s ordered replacement will arrive Thursday and I will find time and enough Internet to download everything we need to get us running again.

Not so easy to replace is the second breakdown, the washing machine which has seemingly been on its last legs since we left the UK two years ago, finally gave up the ghost on Friday, it’s corroded inners irreparable. It’s a compact model, it’s diminutive size essential to allow it to get through the door of the bathroom where it lives. After an extensive search it appears there is only one such model sold in New Zealand and the country is completely out of stock. So life in the islands will be further simplified, it seems the best we can do is to replace my washing machine with a bucket. Cleaning the length of the boat with a toothbrush suddenly seems quite easy.

Dead washing machine

6 thoughts on “Fixing For Fiji

  1. I bet you can’t wait to get sailing in the open ocean again It will blow those cobwebs away and you must be looking forward to Fiji Remember I told you it never rains in Fiji. Have a great sail and good luck on your new adventure Best wishes Bet & Doug x
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  2. Looking like a scrap metal yard – amazed Rick has managed to create so many pieces – it’s only when you go to remove the washing machine on a boat you realise how big, heavy and awkward they are ! We are just doing the same – but we are ‘lucky’ as our is in the saloon and a standard size machine – I am sure the stainless outside will sparkle with your touch and attention to detail – I still remember seeing you on your knees in Las Palmas cleaning the Davit bolt heads with a toothbrush and being amazed. More patience than I have ! Safe passage – from the FB comments re gin – maybe time to buy a fresh 25 ltr Gerry can and fill it with Gin – paying $168 a litre is just not on and running out equally terrible! -C

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    • Yes took him a while to take it a part but made it easy to see the problem, completely corroded and falling apart inside and meant we could manhandle it off the boat quite easily. Gin stocks being increased.

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  3. Now, after all this time I feel sorry for you! I m afraid I’ ve been able to picture the scene going forward having borne witness to my mother circa 1970 having had to do the same. You ll be bent over a sink ( in your case an impossibly small one – the bucket being only fractionally larger) heaving sheets and towels in and out of soap suds, after which you’ ll have to perform an arduous ‘rinse’ cycle, then ther’s a ‘spin’ cycle to replicate and finally a monumental peg out…. by which time you will probably have pegged out. My advice…STAY UNTIL THERE’S A NEW ONE In TOWN!!! Xx

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