I’ve been in Fiji for a month now….. time to go through all the photos and videos and put together a blog post.
I’m on the western side of Viti Levu Island, the biggest island in Fiji
There is an international Airport at Nadi, which makes it very easy for guests to fly in and out.
The prevailing trade winds (caused by the rotation of the planet) are east to west, so I am in the lee of them. All the moisture falls out of the trade winds on the eastern side, so little rain here and also little wind, when the true trade winds are blowing.
1. Vuda Marina (pronounced Vunda, the Fijian language has a hidden n in front of every d. So Nadi, is pronounced Nandi).
The marina has a entry channel cut into surrounding coral . I needed to concentrate, to stay in the middle of channel at low tide, and there was no passing room, if another boat was coming the other way.To make the Marina cyclone proof, all the boats are tied off onto a big weight of concrete in the middle of a circular pond, then stern tied to the bank.
2. A $15 Fijian dollars ($10 AUD), taxi ride north from Vuda is Lautoka.
The Saturday market is the place to stock up on fruit and veg.
One of the benefits of the large Indian population in Lautoka, is a spice miller and grinder. No longer am I a convenience meal preparer, now making curries from scratch, rather than out of a bottle.
3. Musket Cove
15 miles from Vuda is Musket Cove Resort. A very cruiser friendly resort. For $18fjd a night, I can tie up to one of their moorings, in their mooring field, out the front of the Marina.and for $15fjd, became I arrived here from an overseas port, I could become a life member of the Musket Cove Yacht Club. Which gave me free access to all the facilities of the resort …… swimming pool, showers, bars. etc.All the cruising yachties came ashore to do sundowners at the Pirates Bar. Where for $2, I can use their BBQ to cook up my dinner (they even supply crockery and cutlery).
As is becoming a regular occurrences, Logic is moored beside yet another Mumby 48, sister ship. This one is called Twocan with Barry and Margaret aboard.My TV does not have any reception in Fiji, but the sunsets and sunrises more than make up for that loss.
Surrounding the Mooring field is plenty of active coral reefs with surprisingly good snorkelingPlenty of colourful fishand a cute banded sea snake
4. There was a dive shop at the resort, which I used for a few dives, in the surrounding reefs.
5. at the northern end of the Mamanuca Islands is the Navandra Group.
A little tricky to get into the anchorage as there is a coral reef “protecting” the middle of the entry into the anchorage
The guide said there was good snorkeling in the lagoon on the south western side and there was
At the southern end of the Yasawa Group of Islands is Waya Island.
6. On the southern side of Waya Island is Yaiobi Village.
When you anchor off a village in Fiji you are expected to do sevusevu, which involves giving the village chief half a kilogram of kava roots (which I bought in the market at Lautoka for $45fjd, per specially wrapped bundle).There is a very involved ceremony for the chief accepting my gift, lots of chanting and clapping.
We all had to be waring sarongs, covering our knees (no photo taking was permitted until the ceremony was completed)
The village was spotlessly well maintained, no rubbish, no weeds, not even any leaves lying on the ground
7. overnight the wind had swung around to the south and picked up to 15kts. Lee shore anchorages are not ideal, so I moved around too the bay on the north side of Waya Island. The village here is called Nalauwaki.
Again sevusevu was expected in acknowledgment for the favour the villagers were giving me by letting me anchor, in their waters.
I thought it would be a good gesture to show my appreciation by taking a picture of the Chief, printing it on the colour printer, back on the boat. Then putting it in a frame for him.
This is the resulting photo of him, his daughter and grandchildren Unfortunately I had not allowed for rest of villagers feeling left out, resulting in me becoming the village photographers.
One of the joyful things about my visit to the village was observing the strong family bondings. The school age children where away at boarding school Monday to Friday, so I did not see them, but the young children where every present with their parents or grandparents (no dropping kids in front of TVs in their culture…yet)
Religion is a big part of the villagers lives. Nalauwaki village is Methodist.
Their church is in the middle of the village
with a traditional “drum” in place of a bell, to signify the start of Sunday Service
If this T shirt is a fair indication, they have a different approach to religious education, that the one I had 50 years ago.
Oh! ……I just remembered, those sadistic old nuns at St. Elizabeth’s primary schools, that loved hitting me across the knuckles with a metal ruler.
The comparison I was thinking of, was the “kumbaya” period of 40 years ago.
A few days later in Nalauwaki village I got to drink some kava.
First it is pounded to a powder, then the powder is placed in a stocking like bag ,that is used to infuse the dissolvable organic chemical into rain water in a special kava wooden bowl.then comes the drinking, with the village elders.
Anchored off Nalauwaki village, there were plenty of squid hanging around under Logic. At dawn and dusk they were very attracted to a squid fishing jig. Even I could catch one, every minute or two.Fresh salt and pepper squid was a perfect breakfast.
The smaller squid, I put on a hook, as live bait and caught a few 3-5kg Giant Trevally (GTs). GTs are not highly prized as eating fish to our spoilt western tastebuds. Usually I would have thrown them back, but the villagers thought I was very good ,when I took them ashore to give away. Plus they were very appreciative of the pair of remora fish I also caught and added to the give away larder. In return they gave me papaya, coconuts and bananas. Definitely a win-win.