I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said that guests are like fish - begin to smell after 3 days. However, I think we can take exception with the aforementioned gentleman as we’ve always seemed to be blessed with lovely guests. However, mostly that’s because we have people staying who we know very well. This changed this season.
Yvonne was a friend of Ania’s who we met briefly for a meal in Jersey. I extended the invite as I figured it would be fun for Ania to have her friend onboard, and we did get on well over dinner. And indeed, as you can probably tell from this blog, it worked out very well and I’ve be very happy if Yvonne was able to come and crew again.
On a roll of the dice, we invited Louis to join us and that worked well too. A very easy going guest who not only caught fish, but prepared it too. And of course, we never had to pour our own wine! On our sail from Denarau up to our first stop in the Yasawas, Louis caught fish. Over the time he was onboard we caught 2 skipjack and he caught countless other fish which he released (as he mostly does). He left me some lures and also gave me some pointers as to where we may be not as optimal as possible (eg. Tuna can see the wire trace I tend to use).
Not many photos at the moment as my phone battery decided to swell alarmingly, sorry.
After a few days with Louis, we dropped him at a resort just north of the Blue Lagoon as Doug and Joy were arriving the next day. He got a good deal, but later told us it was because they were about to refurbish the resort and had no electricity or hot water. He was better looked after on Duplicat!
Doug and Joy arrived on the Yasawa Flyer the next day - just as a period of inclement weather was to start. Oh well. I worked with Doug a long time ago and hadn’t seen him for over a decade as I’ve not been in the US. It was great to catch up. Joy had decided she wasn’t going to be a burden in anyway so had brought everything you could possibly think of. I do mean everything. They had a SUP, but also clothes pegs, laundry detergent, lots of food (most of which I’m not sure how they got into the country!), collapsing sieve, collapsing storage containers, seasickness tablets etc. Most of this they have left onboard with us - which is incredibly kind and useful!
We hopped down the Yasawa chain with them, stopping at Drawaqa where we saw manta rays so large Doug thought he was about to be eaten! Joy got a refresher dive course in there, so she was happy then to come diving with us. Then we moved on to Navara (above) which was beautiful.
We spent a night and day on Castaway reef again - not quite the flat calm conditions we had hoped for, but very close. We drift dived the reef twice - once with Ania on possibly her last dive in Fiji, and once with Joy.
From there we went to Musket Cove where I was finally able to catch up with Bla Ellinor - the boat I had line-handled for in the Panama Canal. It was great to see Dan and Asa again. I gave them some details on diving in Vanuatu and hints and tips for there and New Caledonia.
That evening, we went ashore for a lovely meal at Musket Cove. Roast piggie - something I do miss from the UK (not that there are that many these days). The 3 pina coladas before the meal meant I was feeling very mellow :) It was a lovely evening and the last with Doug and Joy onboard (as they were headed to a hotel for a few days).
The next morning was a bit manic. We headed to Denarau again, and Ania was delivered to the dock to head to her surf camp for 5 days. Then back to relax a bit before loading up Doug and Joy and their luggage and heading back in. They headed to their hotel, and I headed to the airport to collect Amanda. Her flight was delayed, but we were finally back onboard Duplicat catching up on everything thats been going on since I last saw her in March!