Fiji Mamanuca Islands 2017

While staying in Fiji in 2017, we decided to go on half day cruise to the Mamanuca Islands. I have done this many years before, but then I was using a manual wheelchair. After long discussions with the cruise staff and more helpfully the dock staff it was clear that the boat normally used had a very steep ramp that was too narrow and too bumpy. Alongside was a large ferry in for repair with a very steep ramp just wide and smooth enough for my power chair. We asked the staff if they could get the techs to swap the boats for us. When we turned up in a couple of days nothing it happened so we couldn’t go. I talked to a lowly dockie who put me onto a higher up guy and eventually we got onto the head of logistics at the marina, Pauli. He had a brother in a power wheelchair in Australia and promised to help. When we rocked back two days later they had swapped the ramps instead of the boats. This is no mean feat since both ramps were solidly bolted down. Oh that was a steep ramp. My power chair started to overheat/conk out just near the top but with a bit of shoving and enthusiasm I got there. The trip was very pleasant, four hour cruise around the islands. There was no way to get off the boat but it was still a lot of fun, perfect weather as usual and beautiful islands. Getting off the boat was a lot easier, as I tilted my chair right back and had no problem, to the surprise and pleasure of all concerned. Another example of patience, planning and perseverance overcoming adversity. Many many thanks again to Pauli and his staff.

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