|Perry as seen from a bay near Avea in the Lau Group|
Savasavu has a population of a little over 3,000 people. To put that number into (somewhat morbid) perspective, almost as many people have been shot this year in our hometown of Chicago (and some people think our lifestyle is dangerous!). But after five weeks in the remote islands of the Lau Group, Savusavu feels like a bustling metropolis to us.
|Another shot of the same bay near Avea. Most of our days|
in Savusavu have been rainy and much less scenic than this.
A week in the 'big city' has provided ample opportunity to part with our cash, despite the very favorable exchange rate and the relatively inexpensive food. Besides buying lots of provisions (Fiji may be the last place we can stock up on many items for awhile), we have been fixing things that need fixing: sewing a separated stack pack seam, having the broken stop solenoid on our engine welded (so we can stop the engine with the button, rather than going down to the engine dungeon and sticking our fingers into areas with lots of moving parts), having a leaky high-pressure hose for our water maker re-crimped, replacing a leaky water filter, calibrating the secondary autopilot, and replacing the motor on an electric toilet (that would be the third and final electric toilet motor on the boat that we replaced after re-splashing). That last task was a beauty that required Matt to kneel on an injured knee and inadvertently place his face in some stray pee left behind the seat (I won't say by who but it is someone who stands up to pee). I thought it was funny; Matt, not so much.
Our iPhone 4, which Matt describes as older and more valued than our children (therapy is in their future), had something akin to a stroke and entered a vegetative state--still alive, but not performing any useful functions. Radical surgery (also known as opening the case and poking at wires and connections) failed, so we removed its feeding tube and it slowly withered to a 0% battery. As it was our primary method of accessing the internet in most countries, we needed to replace it. We are having a new one (meaning a new iPhone 4, because we already have a waterproof case for it and because 10 year old technology is super cheap on eBay!) as well as a castoff phone from my Uncle Gideon sent to us in Fiji by my parents. Some things are simpler when you're cruising but many others are not.
Matt also visited the doctor (the pricey private doctor- costing all of $10 USD) in Savasavu due to an infection in his knee that seems to have been triggered by all the kneeling he did while helping to build the rowboat in Boitaci. While we were still in the Lau, his knee ballooned to the size of a grapefruit, got really warm, and was agonizingly painful. We were able to get advice from Pete, our doctor friend, and my brother John, also a doctor, and chose a couple of antibiotics from the selection we carry on board. The doctor in Savusavu added a third antibiotic to the mix and the infection seems to have subsided. No need to amputate, which is somewhat disappointing to Mark on Amelie IV, who had his Sawzall ready.
We're off to Kadavu and Astrolabe for a week or three and may not have internet for awhile.