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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Party in Paradise

Carolyne turned 16-years-old on Halloween. The week before, Jim hit 50. I always feel exhausted after October and sometimes - elated it won't come again for another year. We always try and keep our celebrations simple... a nice dinner at a favorite restaurant and thoughtful SMALL gifts. Living on a boat, there's not room to accumulate "stuff" - yet we always seem to. For Jim's birthday, we invited sv Evenstar to our boat after we shared a dinner together at a favorite restaurant. B.J.'s birthday and Jim's birthday were the same day.
Danielle's cake she made and decorated. This girl is so talented!!

B.J., Kathy and Danielle - sv Evenstar
Halloween isn't celebrated in Fiji. Usually I can piggyback Halloween functions and Carolyne's birthday and it's pretty easy. This year I didn't know what to do. The marinas in Savusavu are all very different. Savusavu Marina is in the way back of the estuary. It's a great place to have a party, but too far away from the center of town for many people to venture out on a rainy Saturday night. And, it's the beginning of cyclone season, so many cruisers have already departed.

The Copra Shed is the fancy marina. It has two restaurants, a couple of hotel rooms and a very nice courtyard with picnic tables and a bar. The staff is cordial and professional. There are docks in front of the marina. We have been staying with Copra Shed since our arrival in July and we've loved it. But because the restaurants are open to the public, it's not a good place to have a private party.
Birthday girl

Fairy Leila and her ukulele

Carolyne and Danielle in their costumes at Waitui Marina
Waitui marina isn't fancy, but it has lots of character. It's rustic, doesn't have docks, has one small Indian restaurant and has picnic tables under a corrugated metal roof... which may leak once in a while. The manager, Jolene, is the draw to this marina. She is unmistakably the most lovely person to work with and to know. The only helix moorings available when we arrived in July were at Waitui - there were two left - and we snapped one up immediately.

I went to Jolene last week and asked about having a little get together for Carolyne's birthday at Waitui. Jolene was agreeable and I explained Carolyne wanted to keep it small and sweet - no big celebrations. I soon learned with Jolene, there is no celebrating on a small scale. When we arrived to the marina last night, the outdoor eating area was dressed for a party.

Ninja Caleb and his sparklers

Blue Sea owner Nathan and his son
 160 colorful balloons lined the gutters, a handmade sign was lit with bright lights and Jolene arrived with a beautiful chocolate cake. The kids dressed up and played Twister and lit sparklers and threw loud banging poppers. 

Nathan, owner of the Blue Sea Restaurant, brought out a sound system and played pop tunes and rock and roll. We ordered very reasonably priced dinner from his menu and drank wine with our Swedish and American friends. Some of the employees brought their children. 
Ella, Danielle and Caleb playing TWISTER

Jolene surprised Carolyne with a beautiful cake

Eleanor waiting for lollies

Carolyne had been dying to make pinatas, a yearning from years living in Mexico. She made three small, globe-shaped pinatas and painted them. She taught the Fijian kids the art of smashing and gathering lollies afterwards.

Ninja in full dress

The grown-ups... sort of

Carolyne setting up one of her three pinatas

The aftermath

Because it's close to Diwali Day, sparklers and poppers were for sale


  1. Happy belated birthday to our sweet Carolyne! I look forward to the day when we can celebrate some of these birthdays together again!

    1. Thank you from Carolyne. She had a wonderful day. And yes - we can't wait until we're able to celebrate with your family in the future!