Category Archives: Motorcycle Travel

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Savusavu to Bua Bay – Catamaran Racing, Diving, Kiteboarding and Motorcycling!

After a few days in Savusavu doing boat projects we headed out to Cousteau’s resort for a few nights. We met some new friends, Bob and Julie, who just built a new house here. We offered to take them sailing and when we were out we hooked a 100+ lb yellow fin tuna!  It was a herculean effort by Bob and I to bring it within arms length of the boat. When I had the leader in my hand to bring him within gaff shot range the knot snapped at the swivel!!  There was much screaming and lamenting but we all enjoyed the fight and were happy that the beautiful fish got away……this time. We then enjoyed a pleasant evening aboard QUIXOTIC with delicious appetizers, an amazing Mahi dinner and fun with new friends. See you guys next year!

We then caught up with Bruce and Jenn on SKABENGA. We all decided to race the two cats to Namena Island. We invited our new neighbors Bob and Anna to join us. We prepped them and pulled the hook the next morning. QUIXOTIC and SKABENGA are both South African-built catamarans and were very evenly matched. We averaged between 8.5 and 9.0 knots during the 25 miles course and both had huge waves and spray flying over the boats as we pushed hard upwind into the swells. It was a blast with much goading over the radio. Almost to the finish line, Bruce hooked a Marlin and effectively forfeit the race to fight him in, ensuring our victory!  Once we were anchored we donned SCUBA gear and explored the underwater world. Namena got hit hard by Cyclone Winston and it shows beneath the surface; it’s still beautiful but we hope it fully recovers soon. Another great night with good friends ensued into the evening.

The next day we sailed for Bua Bay. It was a relaxing downwind sail, wing-on-wing, around the SW end of Vanua Levu and into protected and picturesque Bua Bay. We came here to load our shipping container that Bruce very graciously gave us and brought out here. I also had to fit in one last motorcycle ride before tucking her away for the cyclone season. The ride was epic and the scenery gorgeous. I was less than 15 minutes from our property, surrounded by tall pine trees, and it felt like I was in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California; the only thing that reminded my I was in Fiji was the heat and humidity (see pic below).  I rode the southern coast of the island and beat both me and the bike up on the rough roads. I passed friendly frantically waving locals, shared smiles with kids on the side of the road and steered clear of the wandering cows and sheep. The landscape turned from rolling hills of pine to lush jungle and lined with palms with the sea as the backdrop. There were beautiful churches in the middle of well-manicured villages and set on rocky fresh water rivers. I only had to turn back when I realized I left without grabbing any money for fuel!  It was a great last ride for the season.

We “winterized” the bike, spread bug and rodent poison around and locked our container, said thank you and goodbye to Bob and Anna and returned to QUIXOTIC. We were going to sail west today but are staying put until a low pressure trough rolls through. We just put out 100 feet of chain with a new (more stretch) snubber system and we’re anchored in 9 feet of water over good holding mud – we should be fine here while the weather passes over us.

This morning we also continued our New Zealand passage prep. Today we prepared the parachute sea anchor system as if we were deploying at sea. It’s much easier to do here in a calm anchorage then out in big seas in storm conditions. We are going to run the parachute to 10 feet of chain shackeld to a 250ft nylon rode tied to a 60 foot nylon bridle. The bridle will be led through the cleats/fair leads on the crossbeam and then aft through blocks to the cockpit winches. That way we can adjust the lines and manage chafe from the safety of the cockpit. It looks like it will work – only real world deployment will tell. We hope to manage the weather forecasting and routing so we avoid storms but you can never be too prepared. 

We are planning to depart early next week and sail for Viti Levu via Yadua Island. We have one last errand to attend to before looking for a weather window to sail to New Zealand. Stay tuned.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. We miss you guys!  

L&A

Bua Bay, Vanua Levu, Fiji

Anchored: 16 50.858 S, 178 36.673 E

We realized we haven't uploaded any interior pictures so here are a few
We realized we haven’t uploaded any interior pictures so here are a few

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The Mermaid working her magic in the galley....I'm SO spoiled!
The Mermaid working her magic in the galley….I’m SO spoiled!
Appetizer platter!
Appetizer platter!
QUIXOTIC cockpit with Bob and Julie
QUIXOTIC cockpit with Bob and Julie
The fight with the monster tuna!
The fight with the monster tuna!

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Exhaustion set in after the fight....hammock time was mandatory
Exhaustion set in after the fight….hammock time was mandatory
SKABENGA trying in vein to keep up with us ;-)
SKABENGA trying in vein to keep up with us ;-)

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Jenn, Bruce, Bob, Anna in Namena
Jenn, Bruce, Bob, Anna in Namena
The whole crazy Pirate crew
The whole crazy Pirate crew

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wing-on-wing
Bob watching the lure and channeling Walu
Bob watching the lure and channeling Walu
Arriving Bua Bay
Arriving Bua Bay

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Drying the kiteboarding gear
Drying the kiteboarding gear
Kite shade tent!
Kite shade tent!
Inspecting the sea anchor
Inspecting the sea anchor
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Mermaid inspecting chafe gear

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CA or Fiji?
CA or Fiji?
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Amazing trees on the property on Bua Bay

 

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Quixotic Update and Vanua Levu Motorcycle Adventure!

Progress marches forward as our elite team of Fijian fiberglass artists continue repairing Quixotic. We have removed all the damaged glass and prepped the areas for new glass, which we’ll apply this week. The weekend was busy as we hired another group of locals to deep clean and remove all the fiberglass dust – and there sure was a lot of glass dust! They showed up on Saturday afternoon a bit daunted by the task at hand… I was also a bit confused by the “team” they brought as the average age of the “workers” was about 10 years old… But any moral dilemma I was harboring was quickly dispelled when the Fijian child forces got to work! Those kids can sure clean fiberglass dust!  Is it still wrong??  Anyway…. by Sunday afternoon Quixotic was cleaner than she’s been in months. I’m sure the guys will be impressed with their clean work environment tomorrow morning.  

Today I had an epic motorcycle ride into the interior of the Vanua Levu and over the highest mountain range. I am blown away by the beauty of this island. The rugged, gorgeous peaks, the pine forests spread over lush foliage, the tidy and colorful villages with friendly waving locals, the powerful rivers cutting through valleys; and the icing on the cake: a smooth, twisty, well maintained highway with almost no one on it! I have died and gone to biker heaven. I even found an overgrown dirt road up to a cell tower that I followed and was rewarded with a panoramic view of Savusavu bay. My ride today ranked in my top ten best bike rides of all time. I’m excited to explore the rest of the island.

Here are some pics of (part) of the cleaning team and from the ride today.

Cheers from paradise!

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Epic Sail back to Savusavu & WE HAVE THE BIKES!!

We had an awesome sail back to Savusavu with Jason and Eric, our new neighbors. Despite the impressive lure spread of half a dozen teasers and a variety of lures we didn’t catch fish – we all agree that our spread was just TOO good and the fish were so impressed that they couldn’t even bite. We covered the 58nm during daylight and sailed through the Nasonisoni pass, where the first picture was taken. Thanks again for your help guys! You’re welcome back aboard anytime!

As soon as we dropped the hook off Jacques Cousteau resort, we headed up the hill to enjoy a great evening with Bruce and Jen at their awesome new house! It is incredible and has expansive views over the bay. If anyone is interested in rentals check out Fiji Beach Shacks dot com. It’s the pod and bamboo houses.

We came back to Savusavu for provisions and some business. It’s nice to have amenities again and Alyssa is in heaven with the veggie market and unlimited hot water showers!

In other news, after three long and completely exhausting days in Viti Levu, Bruce and I finally have the KLRs in Savusavu!  It took 3 ferry rides, two dirty hotels, a ton of back and forth, mountains of paper pushing and a serous “Fast and Furious-style” bike ride through busy Suva; but we got the bike here and plated!  Tomorrow me and Alyssa plan to go for a nice Sunday ride up the hibiscus coast.

Stay tuned for another seriously exciting update to come next week. I don’t want to spoil it just yet.

Cheers from Savusavu!

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Fiji Property

We’re Headed back to Fiji!! With Motorcycles and Big Dreams!!

Bula Bula Amigos! Hope all is well out there. After a whirlwind four months in the States we have accomplished our primary mission of obtaining professional yachting qualifications so it’s high time to hop a flight back to the land of warm trades and warmer smiles! We are flying back to Fiji via Australia at the beginning of March and will be reunited with lonely Ellie. She is still doing well, albeit a bit lonely and perhaps a bit moldy as well. They sell bleach in Savusavu so I think we’ll be able to get ol’ Ellie girl cleaned up straight away. We are coming back with a few checked bags stuffed with much needed boat parts. Sailors in the states have no idea how spoiled they are with the abundance, selection and price of boat hardware and supplies. I’ll let West Marine know they should open a branch in Savusavu….not sure they’ll go for it though.

In other news, the Pirate (Bruce) and I have concocted an awesome plan to get some adventure motorcycles back to Vanua Levu. I spent the past week buying two KLR650 dual-sport motorcycles, riding gear and a ton of spare parts, crating and shipping them. They are due to arrive in Suva, Fiji at the beginning of March. If all goes well we’ll be exploring hidden waterfalls and secluded white sand beaches with our new exploration vehicles! Stay tuned for some epic pictures and video!

In other, other, significant news, we have potentially found some dirt to buy! You know how we said we loved Fiji so much we were never leaving….well we decided to make Fiji our home base, so we have found some Fijian dirt to call home. We are under contract to purchase an entire peninsula of waterfront land! We will be visiting the property straight-away upon our return and if all goes well we will be the proud owners of a Fijian peninsula in a few months! We bought some bug screens and rain fly’s for our hammocks so we can get to the property via motorcycle, string our hammocks and see what it would be like to live on our own private peninsula! Stay tuned for exciting pics and updates!

Thanks to everyone who has been helping us. Allan and Rina for allowing squatters into their home. Ryan and Kristina for helping with the bike logistics. And the Pirate for taking care of Ellie and for funding the awesome bike endeavor!

Hope all our sailing friends are doing well and living it up. We look forward to seeing everyone during the upcoming season. Take care and sail safe with fair winds and calm seas.

Vinaka,

Lewis & Alyssa

February 1, 2016

Landlocked in California, USA

Fiji Property
View from the Peninsula
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Crating the bikes!