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Getting Ready To Sail From Fiji

By Kate “Bob” Addison

July 31st, 2014

The Picton Castle has been at anchor in Suva Harbour, Fiji, ever since coming off the slipway some weeks ago. We have had our big old fashioned port anchor down as it holds extremely well. This is a good thing when a ship is laid up. But an anchor down that long is going to grow some marine wildlife on its chain here in the tropics in that amount of time. And we are sailing very shortly. So, we picked up the port anchor scrubbing the chain free of all sorts of marine flora and fauna and, of course, mud and we set the starboard anchor in its place. Also to make sure no drama lifting the hook tomorrow as after this long at anchor it could be fouled as well.

It was like a very successful marine biology experiment, the chain having been down for a couple of months now – there were all sorts of crazy critters living on it. Some weird squishy pocket things that squirted sea water out when poked, a bunch of weeds and mud and some little scuttling crab thingys that looked a bit startled. All scrubbed and hosed down now and the gang are washing the gunk off the decks.

The monomoy had a cracking day for a sail so Amy and crew rigged her up and took starboard watch out for a few hours in the afternoon. Sounded like a great sail, everyone switching places taking a turn on the sheets and helm, plenty of wind – though not quite enough to have to reef, they took a fair amount of spray and some water over the rail and came back to the ship soaked and cheerful. Port watch’s turn today, though winds are lighter so they might have a less exhilarating sail, but less bailing too!

Still planning to get underway tomorrow, our agent is arranging for us to fuel up in the morning with diesel fuel. He still has some of our passports that needed visas sorted, but has promised we can get them back today. That’s all we’re waiting for really, so fingers crossed we really will actually sail tomorrow! Everyone’s excited….

Life on the anchor chain compressed

Life on the anchor chain

Scrubbing the chain compressed

Scrubbing the chain

Starboard watch sailing monomoy compressed

Starboard watch sails the monomoy

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