Right before covid hit, we took our family on 2 holidays.... one to northern Australia where we chartered a little sail boat for a week and went sailing for the first time in 10 years and then another trip in January 2020 to New Zealand to visit family. Boarding the flight home from NZ on 1st Feb 2020, I remember being very worried about the people coughing around me, but otherwise oblivious to the pandemic that was about to bring the world to a standstill.
Two trips in 6 months felt a little extravagant at the time, but once covid kicked in and had us locked up at home, I sure was grateful we went.
So now almost 4 years on from that last trip, I had no guilt about taking the family on an adventure.... and to Fiji of all places was a dream come true. I first visited Fiji back in 1978 as a 7 year old. My Aunt & Uncle had a yacht and were anchored there, so my dad took me with him to visit them. It was a memory I will treasure, and for sure that trip deeply shaped the sailor girl life I went on to lead.
Magical memories of the biggest flowers I have ever seen - the giant hibiscus that was bigger than my face. Friendly Fijian smiles. Here is a photo of me on their boat in Suva Harbour in 1978.
How cute is this old passport photo of me at this time.
This trip was equally nostalgic as we planned to stay with friends on their sailboat. Now these friends were old cruising buddies from 20+ years ago.
Back in the early 2000's we became friends in St.Maarten, we were all young and free. No kids, just girlfriends & boyfriends sailing around the Caribbean. The boys surfed, the girls hiked and snorkelled, it was amazing.
At the time I fell pregnant with my daughter Maya (nearly 20) and we went home to get married and have our baby. While we were gone our friends Pete and Christina set sail for the Panama Canal and through into the Pacific. They had babies along the way but have remained cruisers all this time.
They now live the summers in New Zealand (to avoid cyclone season in Fiji) and then winters in Fiji (to avoid the cold NZ winter) - seems like the best of both worlds.
We just loved being back afloat and hanging out with old friends, and Fiji is absolutely STUNNING.... it did not disappoint. We took just 12 kgs of luggage each, and because WIW is so lightweight I had a LOT more clothing than I actually wore. My favourite thing to wear though was definitely a sarong with our new Classic Tank Top that has just landed for 2024.
We stayed in Musket Cove, which is a big anchorage with islands on one side and coral reef on the other side, so you are completely protected from the ocean swells, beautiful flat turquoise waters, no boat rolling and no seasick kids. We took so many beautiful photos, because Fiji is just so spectacularly photogenic.
We had turtles surface right next to the boat and stick around for a while to check us out. We snorkelled on reefs that were rich with sealife. There is nothing quite like seeing your kids snorkel through a huge school of tiny bright blue fish. The highlight of these adventures is watching my little Evie, (12) who is always nervous about trying new things - her catch phrase since she was 2 is "its too risky" .... so she would be scared at first and want to hold a parents hand, but by the end of the snorkel she was off on her own, diving down alone to look under coral shelves and pointing out little "Nemo" fishies. Just magic to give her a taste of adventure.
Our son Jordy (10) thought a coconut palm tree would be easy to climb up and bring down a coconut.... apparently not haha.
So now we are back home, and getting back into the fast pace of our usual life. School. Dancing. Basketball. Cooking. Cleaning. Mountains of laundry. But I for one sure am grateful for that time away, and feeling all inspired about starting the next collection. Yes isn't that crazy, we are about to launch the 2024 collection, but now I need to start designing 2025. Hope you guys are ready to help me!!