Sunday, January 13, 2013

Get Me Out of Here!!

Well, I can't blog about what we're up to now until I cover some of the other things that have been happening in the past few weeks (besides Spider Wars). (It's the law of blogging, doncha know, and what's killed more blogs than you can imagine). Besides, this blog isn't for YOU, my dear readers, but for ME. If I don't cover the mundane, then how on earth will I REMEMBER the mundane 10 years from now?

First off, probably time to mention that I've somehow let myself get elected to the Board of Directors of the Seven Seas Cruising Association. (Mary from IWanda... you are a silver-tongued devil!) The argument had mostly to do with making sure that (a) Real Cruisers and (b) Women were represented on the Board for SSCA.

Well, even though we're 10,000 miles from "HomeBase", I'm volunteering for SSCA... are you??? Have you even renewed your membership this year?? Even for cruisers out actively sailing, SSCA is still a great organization and a great deal. And if you're part-timer or a "wannabe" full time cruiser, if you're not an SSCA member, you are REALLY REALLY missing out. It really is the best cruising organization in the world. (Visit and join today--I'm serious--you'll never regret it). What a great organization!

One of the really great benefits of membership is the SSCA Equipment Survey, where cruisers, both coastal and OUT THERE DOING IT, weigh in on what gear works best for them... what things are essential, and what the failure rates are on essential and non-essential gear. In the past, SSCA produced a paper Equipment Survey every 4 years or so. But in 2008, with the help of a number of volunteers (thank you, especially, Mark Cain s/v Magic Dragon), the Equipment Survey was put online. The results have been outstanding, with over 1,000 members responding to the survey in the first year.

The only problem is, when Mark Cain wanted to turn management of the survey over to another Volunteer, no one was there. So though 600 surveys have been taken since August 2009, the survey results on the SSCA website still reflected the last report that Mark did. So, at the Board Meeting in December, after the Melbourne Gam, in a moment of extreme insanity, I volunteered Dave and I to take on the "Equipment Survey". Both to make it live again, and to undertake, with the help of lots of other SSCA VOLUNTEERS (yes, YOU!) massive task of revamping the "2008" survey--tweaking a few things and adding in new equipment and manufacturers. We've been spending a lot of time on this. I'm happy to report that the Survey is live again, and the 600 accumulated surveys that have been taken since 2009, are now online at SSCA. SSCA Equipment Survey

We also managed to "attend" a Board Meeting last week by Skype... from Fiji. Pretty cool. For those of you wondering about logistics and costs.... The Board Meeting lasted an hour. My internet connection was good enough that I could follow the whole thing and contribute where appropriate. For people wondering what it costs in Data to Skype for an hour... the 55 minute Board Meeting took 80MB of Data. At Fijian Pay-As-You-Go rates (~$15US/GB), the call cost 80MB, or about $1.20 USD, plus another $1.50 in Skype fees. Not too shabby considering it was an hour phone call, from my boat in Fiji.

The second thing occupying my time is that our good friends in Fiji--Jim and Kyoko of Also Island (formerly s/v Also II) have asked me to help with their website. Check it out at (still under development). They are into producing Virgin Coconut Oil in a big way now, and want some help marketing what they are producing. Jim has just invented a "coconut dryer" which seems to be revolutionizing the Virgin Coconut Oil business in Fiji. They also have sponsored one Fijian child through high school and college, and now he's headed for Medical School in Suva (with some major sponsorship from another cruising boat). A second kid who wants to be a teacher is up and coming and some sponsorship too. So I'm helping them revamp the website, and set up a second site just for the Virgin Coconut Oil. Coming soon... More on this as it develops.

I am really feeling fortunate that Fiji has decent internet (we're using Vodafone cellular data). Most of this wouldn't have been possible in Tonga, and may not be feasible in places down the road. Though I am retired and plan to stay that way, it's fun and stimulating to do a few things in my spare time.

And of course, I'm still the "go to" computer person among the Savusavu cruisers... that also takes a fair bit of time... installing OpenCPN and updating charts. Teaching people how to make "Google Earth" charts for those seldom-visited and poorly charted areas.

There's also the plain mundane... shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. It all happens in 3/4 time here in Fiji in the middle of summer. Savusavu is a great "cyclone hole" and a great hidey hole during the "tradewinds" months, but it really sucks in the summertime heat... hot and sticky and wind-less. Think Florida, mid-summer, no A/C, and no swimming.

And of course the social life. One of the best things about Savusavu is the bar at the Copra Shed. Where all and sundry can afford to hang out and have a drink or two. (Note to people in Ecuador... NOT as good as Puerto Amistad in Bahia de Caraquez, but almost). It's a breezy spot (when there's a breeze), drinks are reasonable, and they have both a gourmet and "budget" restaurant. And steps away are 4-5 more restaurants with offerings in the $4-$6 range.

We usually head ashore around 5:30 for a hot shower and a drink, with possibilities for a reasonably-priced meal out.

We obviously love Savusavu, but we are here in Fiji during cyclone season for the DIVING, not the socializing.
Sherry & Dave
In Namena Diving

At 01/17/2013 6:16 PM (utc) our position was 17°06.73'S 179°05.56'E

No comments:

Post a Comment