Saturday, November 14, 2015

Reentry into Fiji, Nov 1, 2015

Back into Fiji, Nov 1, 2015


So here we are, back again.  Because we crossed the date line twice we lost track of what day it is, but we think it is Monday.  We hope it is because the Customs/Immigration offices will not be open on Sunday   8am.  There should be a cruisers net on the radio.  Nothing.  Oops.  I get on the radio and call the marina office.  No answer.  Finally another cruiser answers my call.  It is Sunday after all.  Now what.  We are not supposed to moor or dock or even anchor until we have permission.  The other boat tracks down marina security to ask what to do and, lo and behold, we are instructed to take a mooring ball.  But we are not to get off of the boat until Monday when Medical and Biosecurity will clear us.  This is fine.  All we want is a lazy day anyway.  We have eggs left, and there is even a bottle of champagne waiting for a good occasion so we treat ourselves to a lovely breakfast.  I go over for a quick swim and then we settle down for a long nap. 

Sometime in the afternoon, there is a knock on the hull and a voice shouting “Rhapsody”  The customs officer is there, very upset.  He had commandeered the dingy of one of the other sailors and come to see what the heck we were doing moored with the yellow Q flag up on a Sunday.  Luckily the other sailor had heard the whole thing on the radio and corroborated our excuse that we had been told to moor by the marina security guard.   After a bit more yelling we were told to launch our dingy forthwith and show up on shore with all our paperwork where we would be met by a customs officer to check us in.  No argument from us.  Off we went and an hour later, after the usual filling out and stamping of papers, we were legal.  Except not really.  We were allowed to buy a cold beer but once we were back on the boat we needed to wait for medical and biosecurity.  Once they cleared us we need to present ourselves at the customs office again for further paperwork. 

Next morning, bright and early, we were told to move from the mooring to the dock but not leave the boat until medical and biosecurity came,  Once again, lots of papers were filled out and stamped.  Then back to Customs to finish the paperwork    Finally legal.  There was one other boat at the dock which had just returned and 2 other boats came in while we waited.  All three had to be towed in because of various problems.  The worst was a boat which had hit something which damaged the prop so badly that they had no steering.


But I think we left a mess in our wake.  We should not have been told to come in and moor on Sunday.  We were supposed to anchor someplace offshore.  So this is an issue between the marina security and customs  Once we were in, we should not have been told to come ashore to be cleared by customs.  We were supposed to stay on the boat until cleared by medical and biosecurity  So all the parties involved will have to sort it out.  Meanwhile, we are cleared to be back in Fiji again.  

As an interesting  footnote, I ran into the customs officer on a walk around the town later and we spent a pleasant hour drinking kava and eating papaya and pineapple.  He acknowledged that we had done nothing wrong, but he had strong words for the marina staff who never should have told us to come in and take a mooring.

Futuna and back, Oct 25, 2015

Futuna and back


Finally, the weather is good and all of our paperwork is in order   We are off to Futuna, a small island country about 200 miles north of Fiji, that is a French Protectorate  The sole purpose of the trip is to renew the visa for Rhapsody so that she can be in Fiji another 18 months.  Everyone who stays in Fiji more than one season does this trip and there are several boats going this week.  The traditional wisdom is to leave in the afternoon, sail up the Koro sea all night and arrive at the pass in the morning, at the ebb tide which should sweep you through.  During the last week, we have talked to the other sailors and collected waypoints which are input into our navigation program so it should be a fairly smooth passage.  The really  narrow part is only about 10 miles long.

As soon as we cleared the bay, we knew that this was not going to be an easy ride.  We were facing choppy seas, swells, a headwind and a strong current  It seemed impossible to make any headway, no matter what tack we tried, even with the motor on.   And I immediately got seasick.  After several hours, I finally put on one of the patches which gets rid of the nausea but makes me very sleepy.  In these conditions Alan would have done the driving anyway, but the face that I was seasick meant that he was not going to get hardly any breaks.  It was a long night but by daybreak we were finally in sight of the pass and I was feeling better.  
 
Luckily, the tide was with us and we cruised through Somosomo Pass with no problems and into a lovely bay between islands.  All day we sailed through reefs and past island, following the waypoints we had been given.   By the end of the day we were mostly out of the trick parts.  Now it was a straight sail of a day and a half to Futuna.  The weather programs had predicted  an easy south east wind, and it was.  What we had not counted on was choppy, confused seas and swells coming at us sideways, so that we constantly rolled back and forth and water crashed over the bow.    It was not dangerous, just very uncomfortable.  We finally put the lea cloth on the settee so that we could sleep without falling onto the floor.  We settled on a watch schedule of 2 hours on and 2 hours off.  Not much sleep but better than nothing.  And it is only for a day or two.

As the sun came up, we could see the island in front of us, not very big, and the entrance to the harbor.  As we had been warned, the harbor is very small and surrounded by reefs.  It looks to be big enough for 2-3 boats at the most.   It is not a very well protected harbor and we have heard horror stories of how uncomfortable, not to say downright dangerous it can be in bad weather.  Luckily there was  no one else there so we had our choice of anchorage spots and the sea was calm with few swells and a light breeze.  We dropped anchor and turned in to get some sleep until the customs office was up and running. 

Although they spoke only French, the Customs officers were very friendly and efficient.  When we finished with Customs we walked up the road to the Gendarmerie where the process was repeated on behalf of immigration.  Paperwork was filled out and we were stamped into the country and out again for tomorrow.  So we have the rest of the day to explore Futuna.  It reminds me a lot of the Marquesas.  The houses are much more substantial and European looking than they are in Fiji.  There is one main road that runs along the coast and steep green cliff rise just behind.  Everyone seems to drive a new Toyota pickup truck.  There is not much of a town here.  Eventually we came to a hotel that advertised a restaurant.  Knowing that Futuna in French, we had been looking forward to some good french food, or at least bread so we went in and ordered a petit dejeuner .  It consisted of a small cup of coffee and several pieces of very good bread, with butter and jam for $20 US.  Next stop was the market, just up the street.  While they would take credit cards but the minimum was $5000.  Unfortunately no one could tell us what the exchange rate was, but after browsing for a while we decided that it was probably 100-1, same as French Polynesia.  We found out later that we could have used out FP francs.  Unfortunately, other than a few jars of pate and cornichons, there was nothing that we really wanted.  So reluctantly we headed back to the boat and left for Fiji the next morning.

Next morning, time to leave, ready to go and the engine won’t start.  We have been having problems on  and off with the starter battery.  One more thing that will have to be sorted out when we get settled for the hurricane season.  Meanwhile, Alan started the ever faithful Honda generator and used it to charge the engine starter battery.  An hour later, the engine started right up and we were on our way back. 

The sail back was as different as night and day from the sail up.  The seas were calm.  the swells were running with us.  the wind was perfect.  We put up the yellow Genoa and raced along at 6+knots.  I was feeling great and Alan actually got a good nights sleep. 

We were back among the reef of Fiji by the next afternoon.  The moon is just past the full, which mens that it will come up about 10pm.  We typically average 4.5 knots which would have put us entering Somosome straight just at moonrise.  I am not wild about going through in the dark but with a moon it should be OK.  Unfortunately, we made such good time that we are here early.  Not only that, but the wind should die when we get in among the island and it was not dying, in fact, we are gong faster than ever, 7.3 knots at one point. I think we must have a current.  i finally insisted that we take down the main sail.  I don’t like the thought of a sudden blast of wind knocking us off course in a narrow channel.  So here we are.  It is pitch black  The moon won’t be up for several hours. There is a strong wind blowing and we are in the narrow pass. Alan says not to worry, we will just follow the waypoints back.  they worked perfectly on the way up so it should be fine . And then the navigation program starts acting wonky.  We have two iPads and neither one of them are working right.  They show the position, but not the direction that we are going.  We can’t figure out what the problem is.  Luckily I had noted the compass heading just before all this started and it is pretty much a straight shot through.   Turned out that we were exactly on the 180 meridian and all of the navigation/weather programs go crazy there.  After about 20 minutes we were on the other side of it and everything started working again but it was pretty hairy for a while. 

After all the drama, we actually made it through rather neatly, as Alan had promised.  But when we hit the other side it was a different story.  It should have been an east wind to take us quickly back to Somosome Bay.  Instead we found ourselves battling what must have been a 3 knot currant.  The tide had changed after carrying us through so nicely.  Even with the engine going full blast, we made no headway for hours.  Alan turned the tiller over to me and I immediately did a 360.  The eddies spun us all over the place.  It was impossible to keep a course.  After several hours, we finally got clear of the island shadow and picked up some wind.  The current eased off and Alan could take a break while I drove.  It still was not easy sailing.  Once again the swells were coming sideways making the boat rock from side to side .  By 8:00 in the morning we were entering Somosomo Bay.

Oct 20, 2015 Savusavu

Savusavu  Oct 20, 2015


We have been hearing about Savusavu ever since we have been in Fiji.  People say it is so different than Vuda, that we will love it, but they don’t really describe it.  We  finally made it and they were right.  It is very different and we do  love it.    First off, we are moored it a narrow bay amongst green hills, right in front of a charming town.  Not is a marina miles from the town. It reminds me for some reason of something out of the old west, with arched colonnades supporting a roof over the first floor shops and wooden stairs leading to the second floor.  There are hardware stores, video stores, clothing shops and Fiji crafts shops and one of the best grocery stores in Fiji with lots of hard to find items, like tortilla chips and dill pickles and drip grind coffee. but without the frantic tourist vibe of Nadi or the hustle and bustle of Lautoka.  Very laid back and relaxed.  As always in Fiji, everyone is very helpful.  We don’t have the luxurious hot showers that we have in Vuda but there is laundry service so i don’t have to spend all day doing the laundry.  The restaurants are small, funky, good and cheap; chinese food, indian food, wonderful cassava chips instead of french fries.  It is easy in and out of the marina without the major production of docking in Vuda so we can go out for a day sail any time.  If we end up staying in Fiji another year, I think we might spend the cyclone season here, rather than Vuda.

Unfortunately, it took us so long to get here, because of the weather, that Alan’s visa expires tomorrow.  We had hoped to be here a couple of days ago, so that we could check out before it expired.  However, we just don’t want to leave immediately.  We need a couple of days to regroup and wait for a good weather window.  So Alan is off to throw himself on the mercy of the Immigration officials.  Luckily, he found a sympathetic officer.  Several days later, after numerous phone calls to immigration headquarters in Suva and the payment of a substantial fee, he is legal for another 6 months.  And the of course the next thing that we do is check out of the country .  The hard won extension is useless.  It will all start over again with 4 months when we re-enter Fiji.  Very frustrating but part of the cost of sailing.

October 13, 2015 waiting out the big blow

Oct 12-17, 2015   Big Blow in Yanutha and on to Savusavu

 The weather system that we have been watching is getting bigger and closer.  It now has an official tropical depression number, although it is not a cyclone yet.  We are not moving until it is well and truly gone.  The clock is ticking on Alan’s visa but too bad.  We are not going anywhere.
Rewa, the big boat that passed us on the way over,  is also anchored here but they plan to move on down farther south tomorrow, before the weather gets really bad.   Early in the morning they take off and several hours later they are back.  Apparently when they got out of the shelter of the island it was really nasty.  By the end of the day, one more boat arrives.  So here we are and here we will stay.

The weather is grey and cloudy.  We can hear the wind howling in the rigging occasionally strong wind gusts toss us around but the water is calm, smooth, no swells.   From time to time it rains.  There is nothing on shore except the green of the mangroves.  Across the bay is a small cluster of cottages with a pier and a couple of boats.  It is just quiet here, very quiet.    For 4 days we sit here, reading, playing internet games, cooking, eating, checking the weather reports checking the anchor.  Luckily we have a good, strong internet signal.  The anchor is in tight and we do not move.  It is actually a very odd time.  There is nothing to do and not much we can do so we just take a vacation from all of the stress and crazyness of the past weeks.

Finally it looks like the storm is gone.  There is a glimpse of brightness in the sky and the internet shows the wind easing off.  Rewa is gone early and this time does not come back.  We decide to give it one more day.  No point taking off while it is still gloomy.

Next morning is glorious.  Glad we waited.  Blue sky, bright sun, brisk wind.  Anchor up and off we go.  It is about 40 miles across the notorious Bligh Water to the other main island of Fiji.  Once we are out of the reef it is a straight sail across and we settle back and relax and enjoy sailing again after all this time.  Of course after all that storminess, there is very little wind and I start to worry that we will not get anchored before dark so we decide to alter course just a little to stop at an earlier anchorage.  We have never been here before so we do not know anything about any of them.  On the chart one looks as good as the other.  However, when we get there it and try to anchor it turns out to be horrible.  After 2-3 passes looking for a good spot we give up decide to go on to the next place.  It can’t be worse.  It is now 4:30.  It gets dark about 6:30 and the next anchorage is 7 miles away  We should just make it.   The coast here is beautiful, so green with steep hills rising up from blue water, very different from the other island. 

The anchorage when we come to it, is very different from the earlier one.  That was just along the edge of the island. This is up into a deep bay.  There is what looks like a boarding school on the side of the hill but other than that there is no one around.  Once the anchor is down and the engine stopped it is quiet, absolutely quiet, the quietest I have ever know.  Just quiet. There are a few bird calls but once the sun goes down even those stop.  Quiet.  Tomorrow is another long day so we turn in early and sleep soundly in the quiet.

Next day the course is across the bay and through a very narrow passage through the reef into the next bay.  The day is clear and calm, the sea glassy.  A quick motor across the bay and we are in among the reefs.  We absolutely love our Navionics app on the iPad.  It is absolutely spot on.  We have totally come to rely on it in Fiji with reefs everywhere.  This passage is one of the trickiest we have had.  There are reefs on both sides as we skirt along the edge of the bay.  Sometimes they are visible as lines of surf or bits of rock sticking up.  Sometimes they look green through our orange polarized glasses.  Sometimes we cannot see anything. I take up my position on the bow, just in case and we cruise right along.  Takes about an hour to get through and then we can hoist sails and head across the bay and into Savusavu at last.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oct 12, 2015

Oct 12, 2015  Across the top of Viti Levu

Up and going after a good night’s sleep.  This time we are prepared for the wind when we turn the corner.  There is a really big wind predicted for the rest of the week so the plan is to get across the top of this island and anchor at the other side to wait out the blow. 

As expected, the wind was blowing 25 knots right on the nose.  Because we were going through very narrow passes among the reef we could not tack enough to make any difference   The short chop and strong swells meant that we were often only moving at 1.5-2 knots, even with the engine cranked up.  Luckily the engine worked perfectly, quite a workout for it’s first trip.  The sun was out most of the time and it was actually a nice day, the kind Alan loves.   I mostly hung out in the cabin to keep warm and out of the wind.  About midday we were overtaken by a much larger sailboat, Rewa, that we knew from Vuda  They had sails up and raced right by us. 50,000 pounds makes a difference. We weigh just half that. 

The last 2 miles were the worst.   The wind was getting stronger and stronger and the anchorage was starting to look like it was not going to be much protection from all this wind, let alone what is predicted for the next few days.  We could see Rewa ahead.  They actually sailed on passed the anchorage we were headed for but then turned back.  We talked to them on the radio later and learned that they had intended to go farther but decided it was too windy, even for them.  Finally, finally, creeping along at less that a knot we made it into the lea of the small island, Yanutha, just south of the well known backpacker dive spot, Nananu-i-Ra.  It does not look like much of an island on the chart but we snuggled up next to the mangroves and dropped anchor in 25 feet of lovely, calm water.   We will spend the night here, talk to Rewa again, check the weather and asses our options tomorrow.

Oct 10, 2015 Finally out of Vuda

As usual, we planned to leave bright and early and did not get away until noon.  It was market day so we treated ourselves to their wonderful bacon and egg sandwiches and bought a few vegetables.  Back to the boat and all battened down ready to go, Alan discovered that the fuel dock was sold out of fuel.  A monster power catamaran had just taken every last dock.  We are only about 10 gallons low, but it would be nice to be full, just in case.  When we get to Savusavu we will need to use jerry cans to fill up.  Luckily, the man on the boat next to us heard us talking and offered us the 10 gallons that he had in a jerry can.  They are not leaving yet and can refill tomorrow.  Transferring it took most of an hour.

Once we were under way we realized that it was way to far to get to the first nights anchorage at  Vatia Lailai so we headed into Saweni for the night

Next day, early start, nice day, jib up, motor sailed through reef, calm and sunny

Came to the top of the island and turned the corner to discover the wind was howling   We had heard that the wind always blows in the Bligh Water (yes, named for Capt Bligh)  and it proved to be  true on this occasion  Luckily we had just taken down the jib.  Several people have said the the best place for the first nights stay was in a fairly deep bay just around the point so we headed in.  The wind dropped a little as we got closer in but it is coming from the east so we are on a lea shore.  And also it gets shallow fast here.  Alan picked a spot and we dropped the anchor and backed down to set it.  With all the wind it was hard to tell if it was set and unfortunately i had forgotten that I had the fishing line out.  There was a sudden jerk that I assumed was the anchor setting but we later found out was the fishing line wrapping around the propeller.  Once the anchor was secure, (as we thought) Alan went over the side to survey the damage.  The wind was blowing and the boat was bouncing, making it really hard to see or do anything. 100 feet of twisted line was wrapped around the propeller, really tight, so tight that despite repeated attempts with a variety of knives and even a hacksaw, he could not get it off.  Luckily it was wrapped around the shaft is such a way that the propeller could turn   Luckily, because while he was diving I started to worry that we were drifting to shore.  We had set an anchor watch app on the iPad but we had not used it before so when it kept going off we assumed it was set wrong.  Finally I got out the hand held depth gage to check.  We were in 7 feet! The funny bouncing and jerking that I was feeling was not from the force of wind and waves, we were hitting bottom!  Next time Alan came up for air, I told him what was going on and we immediately decided to get out of here.   

The wind is blowing so hard, I have to morotr into the wind while Alan raises 150 feet of chain   Finally we were clear and headed out of the bay.   We are not staying here.  Back around the corner we went and as soon as we were on the other side the wind dropped to almost nothing.  We went a few miles down the coast and dropped anchor in 25 feet of water up against the mangroves.  We could hear the wind howling but the water was smooth and we were no longer on a lea shore.

August and Sept, 2015, Repairs and More Repairs

Repairs and more repairs, August 2015, and September

Warning, this is a long one

We are ready to go again.  It is Sunday.  We will go up and anchor off of Lautoka tonight.   Tomorrow we will take the dingy into town and stock up on groceries and then we are off.  We need to get gas first and of course there is someone at the gas dock so we float around waiting our turn and as we do so, Alan realized that the engine is running hot.  It has been a little hot ever since the fan belt broke in Waya, but this is really hot.   Hot enough that we really should not go without checking it out to find the problem.   Darn and double darn.  We fill up with gems and it’s back to the slip.  And off to the bar for a drink or two.  We are jinxed.  We are never going to get to Wallis.

Next day, Alan takes a look to see what he can figure out.  The water reservoir is milky and smalls funny.  The overflow tank is full of black gunk.  Luckily there is no water in the oil.  No obvious leaks, unfortunately.  So it is off to consult with the mechanic.  Over the next several days, bit by bit the engine is taken apart and every piece is tested.  Of course this is accompanied by much swearing.  Bolts break.  Bits fall into the bilge.  Parts have to come off to get to other parts.  Mechanics have other rush jobs and then get sick.  And still no obvious cause of the overheating.  Alan discovers that he has a brand new water pump and impute packed away so he decides to put them on.  He will keep the old ones for spares since they seem to be fine.  About day six, we discover that the thermostat is no good.  Of course this time there is no spare so now he needs to track one down and have it shipped in from somewhere. 

Several days into this, I come down with a dreadful cough and flu and take to the bed for about four days.  Seems as good a way as any to spend the time.  When I finally have some strength back, I head downtown and spend the day getting a hot stone massage, facial and haircut.  Feeling so much better. 

Next day i head to town again, this time to see if I can find a new thermostat.  I have the old one with me so that I can ask for “one of these” and not have to try to explain.  Although it seems like everyone speaks English, when it gets right down to a conversation, it is surprising how often people do not know what it is that I want.  As usual, I trekked all over town.  Fijian do not like to say no, so everyone sent me to another store which they were sure would have it.  Eventually someone told me that there was actually a Perkins dealer, all the way back at the other end of town.  When I finally made my way back there, he said that they could order one, but it would come from Singapore and take about 2 weeks.  He also said that the old one looked like it was working just fine. 

Back at the boat, we decided to put everything back, using the old thermostat and see what happens.  Maybe the process of taking everything apart and cleaning it fixed something.  everything eventually put back.  NOT.  Engine started right up and within a few minutes the water in the overflow bottle was bubbling like a tea kettle.  We summoned the mechanic again and he said that it is probably the head gasket.  Just what everyone else has been saying and Alan did not want to hear.  He says that we need to take it all apart again and he will come and take off the head gasket.  This time I do it while alan supervises.  I love having everything painted different colors.  Makes it so much easier to figure out what I am doing.   When it is all apart, the mechanic comes and takes the head off.  Sure enough, there is rust on the head gasket and several small pits, just enough to allow hot gas to bleed into the exhaust water.  The head and the valves are taken off to be polished while we see if we can come up with a new head gasket.  We know we have lots of spare gaskets that came with the boat but we have never looked at them to see what is what.  Once we did them out we discover 3 all of them rusted.  Way back on the passage from Bora Bora to Tonga, we took several big waves that filled the cockpit and splashed right thorough the air vent into the engine room.  We have since covered the vent but we are still dealing with the aftermath.  We should have ordered the head gasket from the shop in town but another cruiser recommended a place in England called Parts4Engines.  They have a huge inventory and great customer service.  His parts came in 4 days (to Australia).  Should not take that much longer to Fiji, right?  So we sent the order and then we waited and waited and waited.  Periodically we would get travel updated.  Seems our head gasket was taking a world tour; England, Germany, China, Singapore, Australis where it disappeared  for several days.  Meanwhile we puttered around doing little jobs but not wanting to get involved in anything major in case it suddenly arrives.  We are still watching the weather and hoping that we can get to Futuna before cyclone season sets in.

Finally the head gasket arrives, almost 2 weeks later.  We rush to the mechanic only to learn that the head and valves which were sent off to be polished are not back.  They actually seem quite bemused as to why not.  Several phone calls later we are told that they will be on a truck tonight.  Don’t know what truck they were on or where it went but it is almost another week before they finally arrive.  The mechanic brings every thing to the boat and gets to work, only to discover that one of the bolts is missing.  Apparently it was left in Suva  (Suva is at the other end of the island, 300 miles away)  Eventually, finally, it is done.  Alan turns the key and it starts right up.  No bubbles inthe water.  The temperature gage is normal.  We are good!!  We just need to put 25 hours on the engine and then come back to have it re-torqued.

25 hours, not too long.  Out of the marina and across the bay the long way to Denerau  That’s 6 hours.  We go in for beer and shrimp.  Next day, out sailing around the bay, another 7 hours, half done.  Except when we get back we discover way too much water in the bilge.  Something is leaking and it is not the hull.  Next day, after the engine cools, Alan pokes and looks  and cannot find it.  Finally We girls take a look, Jacqui from Jean Marie and I.  Within minutes I find a hose that does not seem to go anywhere, just an end hanging out.  When we trace it back, it turns out to be coming from the anti-syphon valve on the raw water pump.  Apparently the valve is either dirty or broken and is no longer anti-syphoning but is just syphoning all of the sea water used to cool the engine right onto the floor under the engine.   In the interest of getting Rhapsoody going again, Alan ties it into the cockpit drains where it should drain out the back.  We discover the next day, when we again sail around to put more hours on that the drain is not really big enough and instead of just running right out the back it comes up into the cockpit and then runs out.  But it should last until we get back to the marina, where it will be one more thing to fix before we can leave. 

Finally we have enough hours.  We take off for Vuda, across the bay and because we have enough hours, we turn off the engine and sail.  After several lovely hours with a brisk wind, we call the marina to tell them we will be coming in and start the engine.  Except that the engine won’t start, nothing.  We can’t get into the marina without an engine, there are fairly large swells and a good wind.   We will need a tow.  Back on the radio to the marina who tell us to stand by while they send a boat out for us.  There is already another boat on the mooring ball.  We cannot drop the anchor because we won’t be able to get it up without the windlass which runs off of the engine.   So we heave to to wait and wait and wait.  Slowly we drift up the coast past First Landing.  Still no one comes to the tow us in.  We can see that they have gotten the other boat off of the mooring ball and towed it in.  Surely it is our turn.  Finally a small boat shows up, not the shore boat that we were expecting but a small pilot boat.  After checking out the situation they decide that they need to send a bigger boat, because of the wind and swells.   Unfortunately the pilot is in Lautoka having lunch.  They will have to call him and wait until he gets here.  After some more discussion, Alan decides that we can at least sail back and tie onto the mooring ball, now that it is free.   So that is what we do.   Alan does a magnificent job of sailing with  the jib right to the mooring ball and we tie on to have lunch and wait.   After lunch, Alan decides to give it one more try.  Lo and behold, it starts right up.  So we quickly drop the line and motor in where our old slip is waiting for us.

Next day we got the head re-torqued and had an electrician look at the starter.  It got a clean bill of health.  Alan and he finally figured out that we neglected to turn off the alternator switch when we turned off the engine and it drained the batteries.  Alan also was able to buy a new anti-syphon valve and install it so that is taken care of.  Finally, finally 6 weeks later than we planned, we are off to Savusavu and then Futuna.   Hope there are no more problems