Friday, August 18, 2006


Somewhere on Tellus, but far from home.

So, here we are in Suva, the capital of Fiji. We have left Polynesia and entered Melanesia. The passage from Tonga was quite eventful with volcano eruptions, stony seas and whales but the sailing itself was rather uneventful. We've been lucky to chose the right time for the passages. The cold fronts with strong winds have been coming once a week here, and as soon as we anchored here in Suva the front came over us with strong winds and rain. Here in Suva there are some 170 000 inhabitants so it seems a big city to us coming from Alofi and Neiafu. And it feels good to be in a city again. It's very friendly people here, "bula" (hello) and smiles everywhere. However, Fiji was formerly known for it's cannibalism and among others the Swedish adventurer Charles Savage (is that a Swedish name?) was on the menu here in the nineteenths century.
Captain Bligh was more lucky. During the mutiny on Bounty in Tahiti, he and some of his men, was put in a 7 m rowing boat. Arriving in Fiji the cannibals attacked them in their canoes. But they managed escape and now the sea between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu is named Bligh Water. I guess the Fijian's was a little bit impressed by his escape. Eventually Bligh and his men arrived in Timor having made one of the most spectacular open boat journeys of all time.
Fiji has 850 000 inhabitants with indigenous Fijians making up half of the population and Fijian Indians the other half. Formerly a British colony Fiji gained independence 1987. But they still drive on the left side and serve bacon, baked beans, eggs and toast for breakfast. Suva seams to be growing, on the expense of surrounding island, and here you find old tradition mixed with modern technique and western style.
The annual Hibiscus festival started today, a festival quite similar to the Heiva in French Polynesia. Beauty contest, dancing, singing and exhibitions. We have had good timing when it comes to festivals.
Sitting here on the boat I'm surrounded by old cargo and fishing ships in the harbor. Some derelict vessels but some used as homes I guess. Right in front of me now is Massachusetts, an old rusty freighter, with washed clothes on a line to dry and a man having his dinner on stern deck. Not many sailing vessels here though. Fredrik and I have sailed pretty fast, leaving many of the boats we met behind.
Soon we'll take a taxi into town and join the celebrating people. Taxi is really cheap here. Ten Swedish kronor (a little more than a dollar) for two kilometers into town.

Hellre lyss till den sträng som brast
än att aldrig spänna sin båge.

Sorry "engalanders", this is written in the beautiful Swedish language.


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Blogger LA Söderberg said...

Bula,Håkan!Poor mr Savage,can't envy the man ending up as a Fiji Hamburger... Lord have mercy on his adventerous soul..
Håkan ,sorry to remind you,but I´ve
booked you for some working" doctor emergency sessions(jour)",in september,early, fucking autumn,,
You'd better be there in time,son../L

9:53 AM  
Blogger lusi said...

Great blogs, just reading through them now what fun you and the crew must have had. Just wanted to say though that Fiji gained independence from Great Britain on Oct 10th 1970. May 1987 was the first Coup in Fiji. Safe sailing... moce

11:44 AM  

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