Fiji 2016 – Vuda Marina

17 40.873 S – 177 23.213 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb :

dennys-birthday-2016We have been in Vuda Marina since November 1, Denny’s birthday. We celebrated his birthday at the Sunset bar with our good friends Barbara and Michael from Astarte. The bar must have known it was Denny’s birthday because they had half price pizza. Denny didn’t have a birthday cake as we were en-route to the marina and I didn’t seem to have the ingredients to make a cake (not that I am such a great baker anyway). But Denny did get to savor a pack of Oreo cookies!

We have been sitting here at the marina preparing for our passage to NZ. We finally have the weather window we need (at least we hope so) so we will be leaving as soon as we check out with customs and immigration. Check out scheduled for November 8th. We will do our usual en-route postings. We hope to get to NZ by November 21 and then back to Canada/USA for December.

We will be seeing some of you soon!!dsc_7152

 

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 15 – Balulailai

October 28 – 31

16 44.918 S – 178 29.199 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb :

It was a smooth slow sail to Balulailai. This would be our jumping point to Vita Levu and onward to Vuda Marina. When we arrived at the reef pass for Balulailai it looked a little risky. It was low tide and the passage looked very narrow with large rocks jutting out. But we had no trouble getting through and no trouble anchoring although there wasn’t much room. We could see 2 people on shore but they quickly left and we didn’t see anybody for the remainder of our stay.

We did the usual snorkel, dinghy rides and kayak trips. Our dinghy propeller is not working 100% again. Denny hit another rock in Naviqiri transporting locals back to shore.  Balulailai was a peaceful quiet anchorage. It is freehold land and from what little we could find out about this place it is a 9,999 acre estate owned by foreign owners. So this meant no villages and no power boats. But we were surrounded by goats, cattle and horses. They  disappeared during the heat of the day and didn’t re-appear until the next day.

The plan was to leave by 6 in the morning, pending weather and head to Vita Levu, a 10 hour sail. Every night at midnight the wind would pick up and it would rain heavily. Twice we postponed our departure. The third time we just decided that we would leave although the rain was heavy at times.

This was our last anchorage on Vanua Levu and the end of our cruising in Fiji. We did everything that we set out to do when we decided to do the north of Vanua Levu. We hiked, snorkeled reefs, kayaked, fished and caught fish, visited villages, explored remote places, explored busy cities and tried to learn more about the Fiji Culture. It was amazing that once we left Rabi Island we did not see any other sailboats. It’s this isolation that maybe made the people on this part of Fiji so welcoming and genuinely friendly. We loved every minute of our time here in Fiji.

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 14 – Naviqiri

 

October 22 – 28

16 39.266 S – 178 35.329 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb & Dennis:

We pulled anchor and headed to Naviqiri on a fairly windy day so we had a great sail to our next anchorage.dsc_6884 As we had arrived late Saturday evening we spent the Sunday hanging out in the boat and occasionally we could hear the 4 part harmony from the numerous church services through out the day. On Monday we headed into the village and completed our Sevu Sevu ritual. This was a more animated process with it ending in a chorus of chanting and claps. The kava was quickly pounded and shared with anyone that sat around the bowl. Denny had a quick tour of one of their sources of income; selling of their pine trees to outside saw mill. They were paid $10 per tree and basically did nothing as the trees were cut and hauled out by the sawmill operation.

dsc_9859

Our hosts Freddie and Sera and their grandson!

I had tea and hung out with some ladies for a little while. We were invited to share lunch with some of the locals and it was as a Thank You to me and other ladies  for helping to roll the Voi Voi leaves in preparation for the drying process. The lunch was a bok choy, fish, tomato, noodle and spicy chilis soup. It was so good!! dsc_6882There was lots of activity as they were preparing the site for their once a year Naviqiri Day. We returned to the boat with a usual supply of papaya and lots of mangos as it was growing in abundance. We were invited to the special day which would take place on Thursday. They wanted lots of photos taken.

 

 

dsc_6894-1The next day we were hanging around the boat and Barb yelled that we had company coming.   We watched as we saw three people paddling in our direction.  as soon as it was obvious that they coming to our boat, I jumped in the dingy and drove out to them and asked if they wished to come and visit.  It was three girls paddling using a board and stick to paddle out.  So I towed them back and they came on board and had some Coke and cooks.  They look at everything and are really intrigued by it all.  I think they are more interested in us then we are in them.  It is so fun to share.

dsc_6955We were a little late for the special day thanks to a surprise visit by some young boys from another nearby village. The boys wanted to hear all about USA as it was their dream to someday go there. When we arrived in Naviqiri we were greeted by Sera and Freddie our hosts and given very fragrant Leis to wear for the day. Everybody was dressed in their finest and their temporary sun shelter was decorated with Voi Voi leaves and flowers. We were rewarded with a tapestry of vibrant colors as the Fijians believe in bright, sunny colors. Lunch was the traditional fish with cassava but it also included a very nice spicy tomato salsa and spinach cooked in coconut milk. Everybody, except one particular lady wanted their pictures taken. dsc_9907Denny was often surrounded by kids asking for more pictures. We promised we would send them the pictures of the day. We took about 400 pictures and it took Denny hours to sort and flag the pictures to print and mail. We donated some money to their fund raiser which was flush toilets for the few homes that didn’t already have it. We ate, drank cava and danced for most of the afternoon. And that was the end of our Fiji village experience for 2016. And now just a mere sample of the hundreds of photos we took:

 

dsc_7123 dsc_7137 dsc_7094 dsc_7079 dsc_7064 dsc_7034 dsc_7026

The only lady who didn't like getting her picture taken

The only lady who didn’t like getting her picture taken

dsc_7134

The effect of Kava

dsc_6963

Fundraising Committee

dsc_6959

Preparing the meal

dsc_7149

Hot chocolate break with Sera and family at her home

dsc_7022 dsc_7012 dsc_7004-1 dsc_6997 dsc_6978-1 dsc_6961 dsc_6951-1 dsc_6939-1 dsc_6937-1dsc_6938-2 dsc_6948 dsc_7050 dsc_7061

Barb Learning local dancing

Barb Learning local dancing

 

 

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 13 – Dreketi River, Nabekavu, Navidamu

October 18 – 22

16 31.569 S – 178 52.474 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

We had a beautiful wing on wing sail and anchored in 10 ft of water in heavy mud bottom. The anchorage was not well protected but at least it would be great holding. Even at 10ft of water we were still quite far from the villages and from the Dreketi river. We were nearby 2 villages and each village had about 10 power boats. So for such a small area this meant a sea highway of continued boat traffic and some with large coolers in the middle of their boat. We had the usual ‘bulah’ and drop in’s with invitations to come visit their village.

dsc_9809-1Our first excursion was a dinghy ride up the Dreketi river. It was very different from our last river trips. Very jungle like and we felt more like we were in the dsc_9792-1Amazon. Dreketi is the deepest river in Fiji ( no worries about hitting a rock with our newly fixed dinghy prop). We meet a few ladies up river washing clothes in some pretty murky water but other than that there was very little traffic. On the way back it started to rain quite heavily. It rained heavy enough to set afloat new growth seeds.  We were soon quite drenched. We made a stop into Dreketi to refuel and bought a few fresh tomatoes, bread and a few potatoes.

Our next stop was a visit to Nabekavu village. We brought our Kava and met the head of the village. He accepted our kava but then asked us to show our cruising permit. That has never happened before. We agreed that we would return with the permit. There really wasn’t any Sevu Sevu performed at this village, our Kava just disappeared. On our way back to the boat we were stopped by the Methodist pastor and he asked us to ‘hang out’ with him. dsc_6750And from there local men started appearing all dressed in their finest and we were told that there was a fundraiser to pay their portion of the Methodist district church van. The fundraiser was a Fijian lunch packet which included a whole fried fish and a couple pieces of cassava. While the lunch was being prepared in a gargantuan pot we sat around and drank Cava. dsc_6738Three hours later we left with our lunch packets, papaya and pineapples and we promised to return in the evening for the Youth Church service. It started to rain later in the afternoon and our trek back up the hill to the village turned out to be a muddy challenge as our footwear collected layer upon layer of clay as we made our way to the church. The service started late and it was practically empty. We thought we were in the wrong church until the Methodist pastor made the closing statements (he must have been delayed by the ongoing kava drinking as he showed up late and backup pastor did the sermon). We think that the kava drinking may have affected church attendance. Despite that the 4 part harmony was still beautiful despite the limited attendance and we were made very welcome. Denny even had to get up and say a few words!!

Our fundraiser lunch packet along with some fruit gifts

Our fundraiser lunch packet along with some fruit gifts

Our last stop at this anchorage was Navidamu village. From the beach we were taken to where a house under construction. Considering the minimal tools they had at their disposal I thought they were doing a great job.  The Lay Pastor gave us a very organized tour of the village. Pictures of some our stops:dsc_6758

what would OSHA say!!

what would OSHA say!!

 

First stop - Methodist church. In need of a few repairs but brand new, great sound system

First stop – Methodist church. In need of a few repairs but brand new, great sound system

dsc_9838

Stop 2: Visit to a house to show us how the Voi Voi leaves are prepared for weaving

Stop 3 :Breadfruit lunch preparation

Stop 3 :Breadfruit lunch preparation

Stop 4: The makings of straw brooms.

Stop 4: The makings of straw brooms.

Stop 5; Preparing the Voi Voi for the drying process

Stop 5; Preparing the Voi Voi for the drying process

Stop 6: Weaving at it's finest

Stop 6: Weaving at it’s finest

Stop 7: Hello to a lady who was 114 years old.

Stop 7: Hello to a lady who was 114 years old.

Final stop: Lunch of cooked mango with our tour guide and family

Final stop: Lunch of cooked mango with our tour guide and family

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 11 – Luvaibulu Reef

October 14 – 17

16 19.218 S 178 58.692 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

View of Kia Island from our anchorage

View of Kia Island from our anchorage

We left Nukubati early in the morning and the first thing we did was put out our fishing line. And Voila we got a bite but unfortunately Denny lost it. He was sulking most of the way to the reef. It was a hunt for a good anchorage at the reef. It either had too many reef bommies or it had a steep ridge where we needed to drop the anchor.

Dinghy ride to our snorkel adventure

Dinghy ride to our snorkel adventure

We finally anchored quite a distance, 1 1/2 miles, from our intended snorkeling spot.  But our outboard prop was fixed so it was a doable dinghy ride. Our first attempt at the snorkel was a bust. A variety of fish but nothing spectacular.

Watching Denny take reef pics

Watching Denny take reef pics

Our second attempt at snorkeling was a success. It was a little easier as we just had to go where the resort wedding party were snorkeling and we mingled with the 50 other people there. It is probably one of the best snorkeling that we have done in Fiji. We returned the next day when there was nobody there to do some more exploring of the wonders of this reef with it’s vibrant colours and a huge selection of reef fish.

We had our usual visit from a local boat. They were fishing at the reef pass and dropped by to say Bulah on their return to their village, Yaro, on Kia. Denny invited them on board and we made our apologies for our quick exit out of Kia. They invited us to return to Kia and stay for a month. They would be very busy on Monday with installing flush toilets with the help of Australian Aid. It was hard to say no to such an enthusiastic invitation but we were running out of time and needed to continue along the coast. Yaro’s main source of income was fish and their diet was mainly fish and Cassava. But they did understand the importance of fish conservation and did not practice night time fishing.

Denny caught the fish but I get the picture

Denny caught the fish but I get the picture

We made our return to Nukubati anchorage and this time when we dropped our fishing line and Voila again, another bite. This time Denny brought it on deck and we first thought it was a Tuna. We later learned that we had caught a Giant Trevally or GT. It almost ran out all of our line and I had to turn the boat towards the fish so Denny could reel it in. Denny worked hard to get that BIG one on board. He definitely wasn’t going to loose another one. This fish had the same texture as a Mahi Mahi, white meat, but it was a little fishier tasting. So now in our freezer we have remnants of a Dorado, Wahoo, lobster and now a Giant Trevally.

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 10 – Nukubati

October 10 – 14

16 28.139 S – 179 01.749 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

As we headed to our next destination the wind started to increase and it started to rain. At first we were both excited as we hadn’t seen rain since we started our cruising around Vanua Levu. The decks and everything on deck had layers of salt so a good rain was what we needed. By the time we were near our intended stop it was a torrential rain and we couldn’t see 10 feet in front of the boat. We nearly t-boned a local power boat that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. We had to wait and do circles with a constant eye on the depth until the rain stopped or lessened long enough for us to pull in and anchor. By the time the anchor was finally buried in good mud we were quite drenched but the boat was clean. We arrived near the Nukubati resort on our first anniversary day so we were in a good spot to enjoy a tropical drink at a nice bar. But that would have to wait until tomorrow as Denny felt ‘done in’ after a stressful passage.

dsc_9731The resort was beautiful and we enjoyed a couple of evenings chatting with the owner and some guests. But the staff were all very pre-occupied preparing for the weekend Fijian wedding of the owner’s son. Family were arriving every day and on Sunday the official Fijian wedding would take place with 400 guests invited. On the menu was a pig cooked on the spit and beef. Extra locals had been hired to prepare all the food.

dsc_9726We stayed out of the way and finally managed to put a coat of Teak Oil which was long overdue. Denny had to stand in the dinghy and float along while carefully brushing on the oil. I had to do the portion accessible on the deck, easier but damn hot with the deck radiating heat absorbed by the sun.

We had a visit from the school boat driver and his family. They were amazed at how good our de-salinated water tasted. They would cautiously take a drink expecting salt water. They were amazed at how our salon chairs could be pulled out and turned to a bed and the topper was Coke made by our Soda stream. dsc_6722They liked the taste but we knew it wasn’t something they had before when they proceeded to dip their cookies in their drinks! I made paper airplanes and boats with the kids and they left with extra sheets of paper so that they could show their friends. They left with lots of invitations to come visit their village.

dsc_9732We did a little bit of snorkeling but the coral was dead. I did however see my first close-up look of a turtle. It was feeding below me and it took a little while before he realized I was hovering over him then he disappeared pretty quick. We did a little exploring of the outskirts of the resort. We found some pretty large Mangos which Denny decided to devour. He was sorry he did once he realized he had no way to clean his sticky hands until we reached the salt water edge.

It was a busy anchorage with lots of locals going to and from the resort, probably as a result of all the wedding preparations, with the constant wave or ‘Bulah’ yell. We decided it was time for a quiet reef anchorage but we would return to do a visit of the nearby village Nasea as we promised we would. On a final note we would like to say that despite the busy, special family wedding celebrations, the Bourke family, owners of the resort, made us feel very welcome.

 

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 9 – Kia Island

October 8 – 10

16 13.966 S 179 05.974 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

This was our Murphy’s Law anchorage. We attempted to go to Kia mid day with a plan to anchor on the reef mid-way. The chart showed some areas where it may be possible to anchor. When we did arrive there were just to many coral heads for anchor chain to wrap around even if we did float the chain. So we had to make a quick decision to continue to Kia and arrive in the dark or go back to Malau and head to Kia Island early in the morning. We opted for the safer choice and headed back to Malau. When we finally made it to Kia we decided to anchor on the east side of the island where there was no village.  As it was late Saturday evening we didn’t want to be in front of the village on a Sunday.  At least on the other side we could play in the water without being disrespectful of their day of worship.  After 7 tries to set the anchor it finally grabbed something!!

If you look very closely you may see Denny on the top of the knob!!

If you look very closely you may see Denny on the top of the knob!!

On Sunday Denny climbed the nearest knob to get a good anchorage picture. He came back with a few, very itchy spider bites (no poisonous spiders in Fiji). The wind was starting to pick up but I decided to do a kayak trip to a nearby small rock island where Blue Footed Boobies seemed to be hanging out. I hoped to find an interesting nesting ground. Half way between the island and the boat I managed to roll the Kayak. The swim back to the kayak was a long one and of course it would be the only time I chose not to take the VHF radio. I made it back safely without any shark bites and got right back in the kayak to try again (Denny was oblivious of my peril still nursing spider bites). I managed to circle the island which did house a lot of birds but by the time I got close the only evidence of any life was the stench of years of well-aged seabird poop.

Denny's picture from the hill of our anchorage

Denny’s picture from the hill of our anchorage

The wind continued to grow and by Monday morning instead of heading to the village to do Sevu Sevu we decided we had to leave our not so protected, not so great anchor holding spot and head to our next destination.

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 8 – Malau

October 4 – 7 

16 21.734 S 179 21.586 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Dennis:

Our exit from the reef to Malau went kind of as planned with Barb as lookout on the bow.  Only Barb was doing a lot of yelling “Port! Port!,  Starboard! Starboard!”, as we wove are way through the coral heads that loomed just below the surface.  It was quite exhilarating to finish the reef passage unscathed. We anchored just off the village of Malau in a comfortable twenty five feet of water with a mud bottom .(water so murky we couldn’t see anymore than 2 feet below the surface).  We were between the buoys for the propane terminal and what looked like an abandoned jetty for the saw mill.  This was not going to be a quiet place at all.  As we found out it is also were the local nearby villages come to catch the Labasa bus so we had boats going by all the time.  Everything about this anchorage was in contrast to our last stop.

We were able to watch a propane tanker come in and offload  some propane, not quite the same technique that would be used in the USA but it works.  Also watched a ship come in at high tide and beach himself in the soft mud next to the jetty.  He stayed there for a couple of days while they loaded and off loaded materials.  

The first day I went to shore and took in our propane tank to get filled.  The first guy said no they didn’t have the correct fittings to fill the tank. But as I did not seem as though I was going to go away another guy said he would check. He went into a shack and came out with a hose that would adapt to fit US tanks.  He proceeded to take an old piece of wire and scrape off the crust and dirt. I was a little skeptical but my options were few.  He then took the hose over to a large 200 pound tank and connected the hose to it and opened the valve and let liquid propane shoot out the end of the hose, a good reason not to smoke.   He screwed it to our tank and removed the bleeder screw and opened the valve and he sat there with liquid propane flowing down the tank like lava and a propane fog filling the air.  When the it was full and a stream of liquid shot out he installed the bleed screw and wallah we had a very very full  tank.  I am sure it is fuller then any time in the past, all for $11.60 Fiji, less than $6 US and I am sure that more of it went into the air than went into the tank. 

The next day we caught the bus into Labasa and searched out the Yamaha dealer to fix our outboard prop. The prop was now slipping so bad that we could no longer go faster than an idle.  The dealer said he did not have one but could order one from Japan and would have it in a month or so, for a mere three hundred dollars.  We said no thanks and asked if anyone else would have one.  He sent us to a back alley shop that tried to sell us one that was for a fifteen HP and was at least twice as big as ours.  This guy sent us to another place deeper into the alley to an old blacksmith shop that had opened in 1911. dsc_6681-copy As we entered the place it had one four foot fluorescent fixture hanging in the middle and there were piles and piles of old junk everywhere. In the back sat the original forge. I can’t even imagine just how hot it must get in this old tin building when they fire that thing up and get it hot enough to work steel.  I asked the guy if he could fix it and he said it would be $28.00 dollars and to come back at three and he would have it done.  When we returned it was almost done and as you can see, it was no great work of art (3 new brass bolts), but it would get us by until we could get to a place, the US probably, where we can get a new one.  dsc_6721

 Grog pounding.                                  A very happy place to work

Grog pounding. A very happy place to work

dsc_6687-copyNext we stopped at the Grog Pounders just so I could take a couple of pics of them pounding kava.  It was another dark dingy place and I walked right past the counter into the back and took a couple of pics.  I don’t think anyone else had ever done it before because the women working were really glad to have their pictures taken.  It made their day!  People here love to have their picture taken, it goes with just how friendly they all are. dsc_6688-2 Now off to have lunch at a local restaurant,  I had sweet and sour chicken, which was more like sweet and sour batter balls, Barb had Chop Suey, a much better choice.  Then it was off to the market and replenish our veggies, (cucumbers, tomatoes, bok choy and lemons). 

We sat in the shade to escape the heat while waiting for the bus. As  we sat there an old man came up to me and asked me were I was from.  When I said the US he got all excited and asked if I could do him a ‘BIG FAVOR’.  I could tell by the look on Barb’s face that she thought we were really in for it now.  So he started by telling me that he wanted help from Muhammad Alli to set up a boxing club in Fiji. Barb quickly explained that Muhammad was dead. But he was aware of that and he had sent the letter to the family via the mayor of Louisville Kentucky a month ago and had not heard back from him yet.  He was hoping that the mayor could talk to the ‘Alli’ family and get some help for his boxing club.  Now since I was from the US and so close to Louisville, maybe I could talk to the mayor and the Alli family. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and gave me his address so I could write him back after I had checked with them.   His wife was chatting with Barb and Barb was saying how hot it was. The woman got up and went over to a stand and came back with two big ice cream cones for us.  After which they said goodbye and went off to catch their bus leaving us to eat these dripping, sticky ice cream cones.  Fiji hospitality, barely making it day to day with little income but yet choose to buy us ice cream.

The last place I went was to the plywood plant to get a tour as I had met the supervisor the day before.  OSHA (for our non US friends it’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has never been near this place!!  Not one piece of equipment has a guard or any type of safety device.  The tour started with the logs entering the plant and going to the peeler where a log is reduced to a coil of thin veneer in thirty seconds.  This is done while a guy walks above pulling out the poorer pieces.  The veneer then goes to dryers and sanders and then it is glued and  pressed. Only the smaller press was working, the larger one was broken (who knows how long it has been out of commission).  It is than sized and graded.  All this is done with a lot of manual labor and with equipment that is so old.  An example is the final inspection and grading which is done by two guys that flip over every sheet by hand and stamp each one using an ink pad and a rubber stamp (there was no reject pile at all). The people are very proud of what they do , take a lot of pride in their work place and love to show it off.

On our last evening we had our first home BBQ hamburgers with fresh lettuce and tomatoes!! It was so so so good after all the fish and Fiji food! Malau was an interesting and entertaining stop.

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 7 – Cakau Reef

October 02 -04

16 13.237 S – 179 24.973 E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

cakau-reef-passage

Our GSR passage charted on OpenCPN

We did not want to cruise the North side of Vanua Levu without at least one anchorage on the ‘Great Sea Reef or GSR’ (The world’s third longest continuous barrier reef and runs for over 200 km).  Before we left Denny had charted us a route from our anchoring point to our planned destination. Once inside the reef I stood at the bow to circumvent any uncharted ‘Coral Bommie’ hits. But we pretty well motored through the planned route.

An anchorage with the water a crystal clear, teal blue color pallet . Where does water end and sky begin. A picture simply  cannot capture the beauty

An anchorage with the water a crystal clear, teal blue color pallet . Where does water end and sky begin. A picture simply cannot capture the beauty

We anchored in deeper water the first night as we couldn’t really see well under choppy water conditions and waning daylight. The next day, under flat, calm sea conditions we moved the boat closer to the reef and anchored with 8 – 10 ft of water under the keel. This made it easier to explore the reef with our still ‘unhealthy’ outboard. What a beautiful anchorage with Sting rays traversing under the boat, the vivid blue, teal, crystal clear sea, the vibrant sunsets and the sensation of being all alone.

We went looking for some good coral reef snorkeling but never really found it. It seems like the threats that were identified 10-15 years ago such as siltation and over-fishing are still threats and the coral continues to slowly die. I did see first 5 ft. reef shark of 2016 but it seemed to be more scared of me than I was of him. There were a couple of local boats at the pass and of course Denny had to investigate. Maybe they had some knowledge of where we should explore. What we found was another American influenced industry. There were 2 manned boats assisting 4 or more scuba divers who spent 5 – 6 hours per day, 6 days a week underwater netting little fish for American household aquariums (they throw a net over a rock then use a stick to scare the fish out from underneath and into the net). They were getting paid $600/week, given access to free fuel and scuba tanks to catch these little fish that were trucked to Labassa flown to Latoka and then on to the USA. Many of the local divers now suffer from the ‘Bends’ or Decompression sickness. Something to think about the next time you see Tropical fish sold in pet stores. The boat attendant, after learning Denny was from the USA, of course had to ask about Trump ???

Wearing clothes is optional at the reef

Wearing clothes is optional at the reef

At 6 am the next morning we heard the now soon becoming annoying ‘Bulah’ cry. We scramble to get dressed and see the usual Fijian power boat and about 4 locals hanging on our Starboard side deck (not something we expected at our secluded reef anchorage). They asked if we had any tools they could borrow so that they could investigate the problem with their outboard motor. It turned out to be the ‘recoil’ and with a temporary fix which was a piece of ‘line’ for the ‘rip’ cord, which Denny provided, they were on their way back to the Labassa for a permanent fix. Considering the wind had picked, the dinghy wasn’t working properly and we were getting short on fresh vegetables and fruit we decided it was time to head to Malau where we could easily take a bus to Labasa. There we could re-stock and hopefully fix our broken outboard propeller.

 

dsc_6671

Fiji 2016 – Anchorage # 6 – Veravera bay

September 29 – October 2

16 14.701S 179 31.826E

Link to Google Maps

Posting by Barb:

 We had a beautiful sail using just the 160 jib from Tilangica to Veravera Bay. The Sau Sau pass was easy to navigate through and we anchored just outside of Wainikoro River. We intended to do another river tour but this time it would be with a ‘not so heatlhy’ outboard dinghy motor. Denny hit a rock at our last anchor while navigating thru some coral. I did my usual Kayak tour first and explored the surroundings. It was a mixture of white beaches and white maybe Gypsum rock. A small rock island nearby was home to sea snakes, crabs and small eels in the low tide pools. I had intended to climb to the top until I saw the sea snakes doing the same and that made me think twice. On the main Island I joined Denny who was exploring via dinghy. He found a small pineapple patch. The pineapples were still small and growing.

We did a slow dinghy tour up the river on a very hot day. The villages seemed to be mostly Hindi and area by the river banks appeared to be mostly sugar cane and cattle country. The cattle were tied to ropes, no shade and little greenery which doesn’t fit in well with the Hinduism concept of no-violence or well being to all life form (but I guess they must also be eating the beef). This part of the island has not seen much rain! We had to get out of the blazing heat so we had a picnic in the dinghy under the shade of some large trees with our usual snacks of sardines and crackers. dsc_6665We loitered there for a while until the afternoon heat was not so intense. There was some boat traffic  but the people seemed to be busier with day to day and not so interested in a quick chat. On our way back Denny took a detour through the mangroves and after many twists and turns I felt a little lost. I didn’t want to know if Denny felt the same, luckily his sense of direction is much better than mine. He did lead us to a dead end where my videotaping came to a crashing end (the Mangrove roots are hardier and denser than they appear). We exited the river from a different point and then had a very wet dinghy ride home. We both agreed it was time for change and so our next planned anchorage would be a reef stop.