There is talk of an El Niño in the Pacific this year, which should mean softer trade winds, but not so today! For the first time in four years, we are stuck waiting for weather to sail from Fiji to Tonga. The SE trades are blowing hard. Our course is SE. We could smash into 20-30kts headwinds, but life is meant to be fun, so we must suffer in Fiji for now. It usually swings for three days in every ten.
Fiji has always been a cross roads of people playing in the Pacific and I really like the place. It is friendly and very welcoming so we don’t stress about delays. We are on standby to leave and will get to Tonga as soon as we can.
For a change, we came across to Denarau Marina. ‘ICE’ is surrounded by 14 mega yachts, none less than 36m. Two boats over we have the 73m Google boat ‘Dragonfly’, owned by Sergey Brin who, in 1997, with Larry Page founded Google. At 27kts cruising speed, it is the fastest, most advanced long range motor yacht in the world. You can buy her for US$75m or charter it for $750,000 a week. Or you could buy ‘ICE’ and cruise forever for just US$730,000! (Yes, ICE is for sale! More plans ahead!).
But 73m does not rate if you are Russian! Too big to get into the marina, so anchored outside, the owner of ‘Ocean Victory’ uses his 14m tender for transfers. Not wanting to get wet boarding, the side of his ship just opens up as he arrives and he drives the tender to its own floating dock inside the hull! She is 143m long, the 9th biggest mega yacht in the world, just one year old and has only six guest cabins. But that is fine because each cabin has its own swimming pool. Yes, 6 of them up to 8m long. There is an underwater viewing room, beach club, huge below deck helicopter and if you don’t buy ‘ICE’ you are only going to get one day’s charter for your money!
The neatest boat is ‘PURSUIT’, right next to us. It is one of four boats the owner has, but he never sleeps on this one. It is a toy carrier, crew boat only for helicopters, game fishing boats, little yachts, diving things and more! She is no frills glamour that just makes you smile! Well I do anyway! It follows his other bigger boat ‘LEGACY’, tied alongside wherever they go. Now I would be happy to trade ‘ICE’ on that one!
Life on this marina is amazing. When the owners are away, the crew play! Some are away until November so their boats sit! About 60 young fit hip yoga bodies, all in uniform, headset on, music playing, buzzing around, mainly cleaning! The white boat scene is alive and well in Fiji. Jane and Annette were motivated to clean stainless steel and polish! Brownie and Tom happy to be part of the scene! It is a spectacular sight and stunning at night with glamour and light all around reflecting off perfect high gloss shapes. We could be in the Med! It is a unique atmosphere, crews all happy in their career and life on these nautical creations.
Now here is the hook. All these crew LOVE ‘ICE’ and the real dream and hope for adventure she speaks. They ask about her, where she is going, what she is doing, but I am too scared to tell she is for sale. ‘ICE’ is unique, turning heads even in this company and maybe, just maybe, I like her too. Yes I do!
Waiting, waiting, time to sail for TONGA!