First Mates Log - Chapter 1 6 July 2003


Well I’m writing this at 0020 that’s 20 after midnight for the uninitiated while on watch about 10 miles out from sigatoka and another 40 miles until we reach Musket cove…..


Why well why not!!! Today has probably been the most magnificent day up here without a breath of wind (not all that great considering we are doing a 109 mile run from the Great Astrolabe to Musket cove) but heh you cant win them all… as I was saying …no wind no see in fact the sea was glassy in patches before sunset and looks like it is still in the glimmer of a brilliantly starry night. The Southern Cross is peaking over my left shoulder and all is well with the lights on the mainland keeping me happy to my right (starboard)…. It’s a bugger isn’t it but heh someone’s gotta do it and it may as well be Waldo..


Opps hold back in a minute just gotta check we’re not gunna crash into stuff…..


…back again and all is well


What has Waldo been up to this last few weeks…. Well bugger all actually my last confession was just before I embarked on my first offshore sojourn on Ramps and obviously that was successful… quick rundown for the trip

6 days 11 hours total travelling time, fastest speed 13.1 knots (which is bloody good for the ARC bus formally known as Rampart) 4 seasick crew… some worse than others but all overcame it, 1 bottle of gin and 2 bottles of Rum some how went missing over the journey, 1.5 showers each average, and a bloody good time… We left third got in third was 6 days ahead of the last boat, saw a huge pod of dolphins (maybe 100 or more) and I was the first to see land… even though everyone thought I was taking the piss… now why would they think that.


So there the work part of the trip ended and the actual holidaying began … with boats arriving daily it would have been rude not to join them at the bar of Dive Kadavu so we did, and we did and we did……


Rod left to head back to reality… we are assuming he got home and isn’t ‘stuck’ in Fiji somewhere and the girls came up for a week to sun it with Barb before heading back home and eventually back to school.. well for Anna and Ellen anyway.


After the 25 odd boats arrived and the prizes had been sorted it was time to bid a farewell to new friends both yachties and locals and move on or though not very far up to Ono and into Nabouwalu bay. It was a strenuous Two hour motor up the coast but we caught a little tuna and lost another and arrived with half the fleet off the Village of Manuku


Hold on another scan of the horizon to make sure there is no Ramps to any bloody thing that could do damage interaction…


Back again now where was I… yep village, well there were 18 boats in there and the chief asked us all in for a Lovo (like a hangi…or feast) a little money spinner for them and a bloody amazing dinner with all kinds of local fare on offer from fried fish to Palme Salme (don’t know about the spelling) and curried crab… interesting to note that there aren’t any Indians on these lower Islands just native Fijians… we also walked across to the school on the other side of the island only about 45mins FIJIAN time….


Also did a bit of snorkelling so far too lots of little fish and bits of coral but large patches of dead stuff too..


And from Ono it was up to the great Astrolabe Reef and related Islands .. we made Yaukevelevu our base … a small deserted island that had some magnificent beaches and had previously been used to film the British program Castaway.. kinda like Survivor but not so hyped up. So that was us for the last few days looking busy doing nothing (very Fijian saying) more snorkelling, little bit of rockclimbing, fishing and walking around the Islands… and that what we say is that … so from here it is on to Musket Cove where I will hopefully be able to send this little literary gem.. he he eh … and to pick up Leanne and Steve for a little R&R but until then it is slowly slowly ( yet another Fijian saying appropriated by yours truly) and just taken it easy…




Well we arrived in Musket Cove this morning, after a night of relative boredom and much star searching (I saw about 7 shooting stars) WE got through the outer reef and headed over to an anchorage to wait out the dawn.. we actually made good time and got there before schedule 4:30am . After breakfast we had an uneventful trip up to Musket in glassy seas with wicked surf breaking on the outer reef.


Oh and we caught 2 Barracuda and have several other strikes all in the middle of the night… so Rampart can catch fish!!!!!


So to all you suckers that aren’t here I hope all is well and that if your in the NZ or OZ then its not too cold for you guys as I hear the weather has been running pretty shitty down there recently.. and to all the rest in the northern hemisphere summer take care and keep in touch y’all….


This is Waldo signing off – where on earth will he pop up next ?


Waldo aka Aaron


PS ahhh the cellphone thing died a watery death on the way up so looks like a no go for texting a stuff but heh shit happens.


PPS and for all those computer disabled people if you are going to reply ( and I know you all will) then please send it to my Hotmail address not to the address that this is being sent to you by I get my mum to forward it so I don’t have to spend hours on the internet sending a resending it to y’all… ta…

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