Cruising the South Pacific with Tackless II
Tackless II, along with her two captains, Don and Gwen, cruise from Fiji to Australia
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
FOURTH OF JULY, 2008 -- Musket Cove Style
We had long hoped to be out at Musket Cove in time for the Fourth of July party our friend Robin of Endangered Species was planning. All of our American friends from last year planned to be there, and never in our wildest imaginings did we think would wouldn't be ready to go on Tackless II.

But we weren't. Instead, we got a ride out aboard Serafin, a Liberty 458 skippered by Linda and Dee, whom we first met in 2002 at Punta de Mita in Mexico. After a big refit in Florida after an onboard electrical fire, Dee had had enough, but Linda still had the urge to cruise. So, taking on as crew old cruising friends for a sequence of legs, she has brought Serafin through the Canal and across the Pacific in two years, arriving with Dewey and Nan (formerly of The Great Escape also from our Mexican era) as crew. A few days before the big party, Dewey and Nan flew out while Dee flew in by 747 for some vacation time in Fiji. Even though bottom paint was due to start on Tackless II, Don was persuaded to go.

Once out in Musket, we stayed aboard the beautiful St. Francis 51' catamaran Quantum Leap. Tom and Bette Lee, from Mobile, AL, are retired from the medical field, and Tom particularly takes a keen interest in the health concerns of fellow cruisers. It was Tom who coached Sheri of Procyon by SSB radio how to care for Randy when he was so sick on their crossing (see > "The Need to Know"). It was also Quantum Leap, of course, that had the watermaker problem that came right at Don's point of overload the week before. One of the best bits of medical practitioner-ing he's ever done was taking us our for a top-notch Indian meal at the elegant Saffron restaurant in Nadi the evening that Don solved their watermaker problem. That, of course, was the same evening we discovered the painters doing the non-skid in the wrong color!

In Musket Cove, I'm quite sure Don would have been happy to veg out with a book, but our friends did not agree. No sooner than we arrived than we were hustled out for a snorkel, followed by grilled steaks as the Musket Island Bar. The next morning it was up for a fast hour and a half walk over the ridge with a gang of about nine friends, followed by an hour of yoga for the ladies and a trip to the bakery by the guys. After consuming the spoils of the boys 'labors.', we returned to the boat to change, and then spent a nice couple of hours visiting with Tricky and Jane aboard Lionheart. Visiting with Tricky and Jane invariably leads to a few adult beverages from their onboard brewery, so we were almost late to get changed for the afternoon picnic which began at 3pm.

Dressed suitably in red, white and blue, we assembled ashore for beach games – from bocce ball, to coconut toss, to broad jump, to tug of war (Randy rashly called for USA against all comers, so we were eventually overpowered when the Kiwi racers kept added bodies (and no women) to the end of the rope!) After that it was more beer and lots of potluck dishes to go with hot dogs on the bar-b, all to the music of great American rock 'n roll assembled on CD by Robin. We even had "fireworks"! Come nightfall Randy, a retired coast Guard Captain, oversaw the firing of expired flares, teaching many people how to shoot them off properly for the first time! And someone donated a little mini, all-in-one fire-work box, that when ignited set of a sweet little low-altitude series of swizzlers. All in all a fine, fine evening!

Early the next morning, Quantum Leap weighed anchor to drop us off back at the salt mines…er, at Vuda!

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