19 09.248S 178 32.430E
Posting by Barb:
Although it may appear that we spent most of our time with our host family we actually spent a lot of time on our own exploring the beautiful island of Fulaga. The anchoring was ideal with sandy bottom and no coral. We could quickly anchor, go and re-anchor. There were lots of beautiful white unspoiled, untouched, pristine, virgin white beaches. There aren’t many places left where we could walk barefoot, sand between our toes and know that we would be alone, well with the exception of the crabs that seemed to be everywhere. Becky did lay out on the beach but was always on the look out for the little critters.
There were many limestone rock outcrops that made it fun to explore with the dinghy.
Becky and I fished over the side of the boat with bait given to us by the locals. We caught enough fish to throw on the BBQ, Fijian style, the whole fish after Denny gutted it. Ate and enjoyed every morsel. We ( not Denny as he was having problems with his ear) swam the pass and saw some pretty amazing large fish and I even saw a pair of grey sharks. I did scramble into the dinghy pretty fast when I saw those two! Fish, fish, fish!! To think when we set out Becky said fish wasn’t her favourite food, didn’t want to touch fish and wasn’t sure she could snorkel as she was afraid of big fish!!
We anchored off a little island on the lagoon and soon realized it was inhabited by a single man with his 3 dogs. We took the dinghy and went on shore with gifts. He was very appreciative and invited us to his home and wanted to chat for a while. His home was more the traditional Fijian Bure and everything was neat and very tidy. He had 2 large Trevally fish hanging on a tree and he was planning on throwing them in the Lovo to cook it. He had caught the fish from the shoreline using hook and bait. He has lived there for 30 years all by himself, never married and no children. Occasionally his brother would drop by and pick him up and bring him to the village to re-supply. I think he appreciated our company for a little while.
There were times when it got quite hot and Becky really wanted to just sit in a float in the water. So with Denny’s help they tied all the fenders together and she had her float. It was great until a large turtle popped his head up close to where she was and that gave her quite the start!
While Becky enjoyed sunning on the deck, beach or on her float Denny and I swam in our private little swimming hole . The little pool was well protected from any wind by the limestone cliffs. A little opening to the outside of the lagoon allowed the fish to swim in and out so there was always a variety of fish swimming with us. Stunning!
We shared a couple of dinners with Elisabeta and Carlos from S/V Barca Pulita. They were professional photographers and short film producers. They were there to do a short film about the slow evaporation of the traditional Fijian way of life. For Denny’s birthday they gave him a copy of their ‘Sailing Around the World’ book, with some stunning pictures which describes their 80 wonders of the world encountered during their 20 years of sailing. They had scribbled ‘Buon 55 Compleanno Dennis’ which we laughed at and told them that it was actually Denny’s 56th birthday (they had made an appearance at the birthday party and saw the banner). They wanted to make the correction on the book but Denny wanted it left as is!! He really did want to be 55 years old for another year!
On the back cover of Elisabeta and Carlos book they wrote “A sailing boat is a wonderful form of transport that allows the crew to reach far places shile sensing the slow and natural rhythm of sea and wind. One leaves, sails for days that become weeks until a new and unknown land finally breaks the horizon – offering the reward of meetings, discoveries, images and emotions never experienced before”. I think that pretty well describes our experience and we feel so lucky to be able to share that with the people that we love. But to us Landfall is not just a form of transport, it is our home. Fulaga was definitely a paradise of images, discoveries, meetings and emotions.