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Updates from Fiji and French Polynesia

An Update from Fiji

Since their last note, Richmond Yacht Club members John Dinwiddie and Diane Brown of the Hans Christian 38T Tabu Soro (“Never Give Up”), checked in with an update from their shutdown in Fiji: “Just over a week ago we loaded up on some supplies and headed out to spend some time in the outer islands. What a beautiful place this is to be if you need to keep your social distance! Unfortunately, toward the end of the week, the Fijian government put the country into lockdown.”

Hans Christian 38T Tabu Soro
John Dinwiddie and Diane Brown appear to have found a nice place to ride out the global pandemic.
© 2020 Tabu Soro

“There is a curfew from 10 p.m. till 5 a.m. every day, and they are not allowing any of the ferries, private boats or yachts to move between the islands or out of the main harbors. We headed back to Royal Suva Yacht Club, filled our fuel tanks, and stocked up on food. We have been told by other friends out there at some of the other islands that the fuel docks are only selling to the small ferries that are delivering goods for the locals. Most of the resorts are closed down, and the airport is closed to regular airline traffic. Not sure how long things will last, but we will keep you posted as things change.”

The current global crisis is causing everyone on the planet to readjust their life and plans, but, somehow, making those adjustments in Fiji looks a little easier than in most places.

An Update from French Polynesia

Andy Turpin forwards an update from former Californian Kevin Ellis, now of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services in French Polynesia: “Don’t leave the Americas if possible — not yet. I look forward to a day when I can welcome you here on Nuku Hiva with open arms. However, this is not that time.

“The French Polynesian government is not allowing boats to come to Nuku Hiva for tourism at this time. Should you come here now, you will be required to go directly to Tahiti and not stop anywhere else in Polynesia. Should you be forced to stop, you will only be allowed to get fuel, food and water and make repairs before continuing to Tahiti.

“Everyone in the country is restricted from leaving their domiciles for anything but the bare necessities, which means boats too. All the marinas are closed, as are all of the beaches. All water sports, of any kind, are banned until further notice (no swimming). A curfew is in effect, and it is now illegal to leave your domicile between 2000 and 0500 daily. This applies to boats, too. This is in effect until April 15, and will likely be extended after that, as the number of COVID-19 cases here continues to rise.

“If you would like to stay in touch, I would be happy to let you know how the situation here is developing. We, the people who live here, are battening down the hatches for what will likely be a very difficult few months.” You can contact Kevin at Yacht Services Nuku Hiva, by phone at 87 22 68 72 or by email at [email protected].

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The word 'yacht' has always bothered me. It’s simply too pretentious for my taste. When I go sailing, I don’t go to the yacht, I go to the boat, and there is a distinct difference.