With beautiful places like Natadola Beach


and endless coral reefs along the appropriately named Coral Coast


Fiji was just as as I expected. Inland on Viti Levu, the biggest island, there is also lush, green forest and mountains. But with temperatures in the 90s and humidity right behind that, there was no chance of me straying too far from the waters.

Off the wind on this heading lie the Mamanucas


A beautiful group of islands that we sailed through one day on the Seaspray


We stopped off at the island of Yanuya to meet the locals, and in Fiji that means a kava drinking ceremony. Derived from the kava root, it is a peppery, gingery concoction resembling dirty water. Watching the brew being prepared


It supposedly has some health benefits, and there is no doubt that it’s quite potent. You have to clap once and say “Bula!” before accepting the bowl, drink it all at once, hand the bowl back, and then clap three times. It seemed I was the only one in the group who went on for seconds and thirds. Soon I realized, three bowls of kava will steal your face right off of your head, and make you feel like there’s nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile


Bula little fellow!


The island of Modriki looked like just the place to cool off


The waters there are magnificent, with fantastic snorkeling


If you had to be a castaway, this wouldn’t be a bad place


Tom Hanks probably had a good time here making the movie.

Tucked away behind the rocks for a bit, it’s easy to start wondering, “should I get back on the Seaspray or should I stay?”


But with an ice chest full of complimentary cans of Fiji Gold on board, it wasn’t long before I was running to the tender waving my arms and screaming “Wilson!”


There was slight concern within the ice chest as the scorching heat had turned the ice cubes to cool water, with many hours of sailing to go. Not good. But it turns out the Fijians don’t mess around. Apparently no matter where you are in Fiji, the iceman cometh


Out of nowhere the Dau Rogokagi appeared, and offloaded an enormous plastic bag full of ice. With the heat and humidity, the bag had this steamy, mystical aura to it. Apparently my concern was shared by others, an English guy started clapping and screaming “brilliant mate, brilliant!” And it was. The band started to play


and we were on our way. What a day.

With over three hundred islands in Fiji, I can see coming back again to visit more of them. Plus the Fijian people are friendly, laid back and fun to hang out with. But sadly for now, I must go.

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon here in Nadi. I’ve just been lounging around the pool today, and after sunset, it there are no clouds, I’m hoping for one last glimpse of the Southern Cross constellation. I still haven’t gotten tired of gazing up at those stars.

Around 10 p.m. tonight I board an Air New Zealand 767 for the ten hour flight to L.A., where, after entering a portal in the time-space continuum, I arrive at noon on Saturday. Or is it the international date line? Either way, I get two Saturdays in a row, which is alright by me.

And just like that, it’s all over. Yesterday on the Seaspray I was telling a guy from Sydney that even though I’ve seen that opera house a hundred times on film, I still had a big grin on my face as I walked up to it for the first time. And the same can be said about so many places that I used to wonder about and now I know about. This trip used to exist only in my dreams, and making it a reality has been incredibly satisfying and a damn good time.

For everybody who tuned in here every now and then to see what was going on, posted comments, sent emails, text messages or called – a huge thank you. Although the iPod was a truly faithful travel companion, this journey wouldn’t have been the same without all of you. After an absolutely glorious eight months away, I do find that I miss my family and I miss my friends. And right now, that’s what brings a big smile to my face, knowing that I’ll see you all soon.


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