Monday, February 22, 2016

Post Winston - Curly & The Plan - Feb 21 - May 2016

What happened next is what makes this cruising lifestyle so special.  It was the coming together of this community to help each other.  Spearheaded by Mr. Curly Carswell, a native of NZ who has spent the last 40 years in Fiji

Curly is one of THOSE guys.  He is ever smiling, some say laughable, he is likeable, some say lovable, but no matter what you say about Curly, he is almost always smiling.  Despite his advanced years and not exactly stellar health, or maybe because of both, he is extraordinary in his desire to help others.  He is exactly who and what was needed in the aftermath of Winston to bring the cruising community together and forge a bond between those that otherwise, based on the blame game could and most likely would have been at odds.

Curly starts each day (Monday thru Saturday) in the Savu Savu anchorage with his morning net for cruisers and landlubbers alike.  He starts with his TradeMark...GOOOD MORNING SAVU SAVU (ala, Robin Williams doing his GOOOD MORNING VIETNAM).  Curly provides weather and announcements of local events and offers a wide range of assistance to any and all who participate.

On Monday morning, two days after Winston, Curly announced that there would be a meeting for all the cruisers at the Copra Shed Marina to discuss how we should proceed.  He began the meeting with the words "we are not here to assess blame...we are here to help each other" and thus set the tone for the next two months of intense salvage work.  With Curly's organizational skills, his watchful eye, and supervision of the diggers, line handlers and other helpers one boat after the next was dug out, up-righted, and gently hauled back into the water.  This was an amazing effort with very little cost to any of the affected vessel owners.  Had this work been performed by some of the the Salvage Experts who arrived shortly after the storm, the costs would have been astronomical.  It is safe to say that more than one cruiser in Savu Savu owes more than just the Thanks they gave. 

During our time here we have come to appreciate Curly who lives on his houseboat with his two cats, provided us with a safe mooring, which withstood the forces of Winston, shared his local knowledge of Fiji waters and anchorages and became our friend.

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