May/June is hot and dry in Tucson and supposedly the best season for glider pilots. Last year Mike missed out on most of the good flying weather; this year he opted to stay home and try for a few world records and compete in some soaring contests. So I left him to it and instead invited my sister Patty for a mini-cruise in Fiji.
A one-week visit to the boat is always a risk; it is easy enough to land at some faraway airport just about the time a tropical low weather system settles in and serves up rain and cloudy skies for days on end. On longer voyages we don’t really mind bad weather. It gives us a chance to hide away with a book or computer and not have a guilty conscience for enjoying such mundane activities half a world away from home. Regardless, Patty lucked out. A lingering rainy spell cleared out just before her arrival, and except for windy conditions we enjoyed perfect weather for her entire trip. While Mike was enduring 107 degree temps and smokey air blowing in from New Mexico’s huge wildfire, Patty and I were cruising the Yasawa Islands chain, enjoying balmy tropical breezes and crystal blue skies, with just enough clouds to make for breathtaking sunsets.
In a week’s time the AVATAR crew was able to offer a perfect microcosm of the best cruising has to offer, to wit: secluded tropical islands, turquoise water, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, dinghy rides, beach combing, wine and hors d’oeuvres on the flying bridge at sunset, phosphorescence, star and Milky Way appreciation night, Rod’s home cooking and resort dining with Fijian entertainment.
Patty’s take on her experience? “Thank you, thank you! It was one of the best times I have ever had. I definitely can see why you want to spend as much time as possible on the boat!”
Patty is a professional photographer, specializing in high school senior portraits. Usually we the photographers are conspicuously absent from any and all family photos, but this time around we traded back and forth with Patty’s point and shoot and just took some fun snapshots for the scrapbook!
Following is a quick photo tour of a few of the highlights. Click HERE for fullscreen.