And so begins the adventures of our new boat ALULA, formerly called “The Rose”. We had the chance to travel to Fiji in May 2019, and while we were there, we met Pat and John, and The Rose, the most beautiful and lovingly cared for Kelly Peterson 46.
It was our first time visiting Fiji, and we didn’t want to waste one minute. We landed at 6:30 am and went to our hotel on Denarau Island to drop our bags and walk to meet Pat and John for breakfast.
It was hot, humid and gorgeous. It’s so strange to me that after sitting in a plane for 13 hours next thing you know you’re half-way across the world in the South Pacific drinking a fresh fruit smoothie.
We went out for a sail with Pat and John and were blown away with how beautiful The Rose is. The side decks! The beam! What a lovely boat! We kept whispering to each other and giving each other wide eye looks. Can you imagine sailing on this boat…?
After a great first day, we went back to our hotel for dinner and to get some rest. We woke up early, jet-lagged (which I love) and walked the beach and caught the sunrise.
We were heading off with Pat and John for a few days of exploring Fiji by sailboat. It was a pinch yourself kind of moment. We sailed over to Musket Cove, a well-known cruiser hangout, navigating the reefs through the clear, beautiful water.
We pulled up to a mooring buoy and looked across and saw a familiar boat. You know those moments when you see someone you know, but totally out of context? I knew I recognized the boat, and it hit me all at once that it was Jean and Helen from Shamata, a couple that lived aboard in the same marina we lived in the summers in Vancouver, BC. We could not believe it! We had said goodbye to Jean and Helen one and a half years ago from Vancouver and gifted them a bottle of Prosecco as they began their journey to the South Pacific. Now here they are! We are in Fiji for six days, and in all of the bays in the South Pacific, and all of the mooring buoys we pick in Fiji, they are the next boat over, no more than 30 meters away. Unreal.
The few days gave us a tiny glimpse of cruising in the South Pacific; clear, turquoise waters, gorgeous sunsets and a warm breeze pushing The Rose through the water. We were in heaven. We had a fantastic few days on The Rose with Pat and John, who are such lovely people. We had a blast spending time with them and felt like we had known them for much longer than we had. We fell head over heels in love with The Rose. The few days that we spent felt longer than they were, and we dreamed of staying in Fiji, and at the very least, returning to explore.
Over the summer, we would finalize the details for purchasing The Rose, and the official sale would happen as we left Fiji in October and entered international waters as we sailed to New Zealand.
It might have been the jet-lag, but when we think back to these moments and the decision to buy The Rose, it was a massive fork in the road moment. In front of us, we had the boat of our dreams, in the South Pacific, with the dream previous owners, and all we had to do was say ‘yes.’ I remember feeling overwhelmed, scared, and incredibly excited. We have talked so often of our dream to go off on a sailing trip, and this was the moment that we would take decisive action to make that happen. If we didn’t say yes now when would be a better time? Those conversations were pivotal for us, and we were surprised by the emotions it brought up.
We knew that The Rose would bring us great adventures and exploration, and the first stage was to move her from Fiji to New Zealand in the fall of 2019. This would be our first time really sailing The Rose AND our first time offshore.
SPOILER ALERT! We did it. It was awesome and we had the best time. Stay tuned for a post and video about that adventure coming up shortly.