July 25, 2014 – July 27, 2014
17 40.620 S 177 06.431 E
Posting by Barb
It was going to be great to get out of the marina and go somewhere where the water is clean and we can see the fish swimming alongside the boat. We planned to go to a little island nearby called Mana. We were trying not to go to the anchorages that we will be going to with my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Mike.
As soon as we hoisted the main sail, a little tear in the sail started to get bigger. We triple reefed the main but we realized we would have to return to Vuda Marina a little earlier than planned to repair it. In NZ we will have to look into getting a new sail. At this rate, we will soon have an old boat with all new parts!!
To get inside the reef on Mana Island we had to navigate through a very narrow channel. We went in at low tide and at one point we had barely a foot below the keel and no room to turn the boat and go back out. But we made it through safely. The reef protected us somewhat from the swell but it was very windy and not good for snorkeling. The island had one small village, 3 backpackers, an exclusive resort and one large resort. Most of the people arrived on the island on a large Catamaran ferry, the ‘Tiger IV’, which made 3 daily stops at a large dock nearby our boat.
On our first hike around the island, we visited the resort facilities. It ranged from a 2 star backpackers resort to a 4 star large resort. We ate at the Backpackers as we thought it would offer some local food rather than the tourist fanfare. It was a disappointment but the entertainment was great. My second hike took me to a nice lookout. Once at the top I was entertained by a little Woodswallow bird that seemed keen on landing on my head. From there, the trail took me to a very exclusive resort where I was allowed to take a few pictures but then I was ushered on and out of the resort. As I walked along the shoreline on a low tide I spotted a couple of Banded Sea Krait snakes trying to slither up the rock ledge looking for a place to hide. They are deadly venomous but are not killers. Their mouths are so small they would have a difficult time taking a bite unless I stuck my pinky finger in their mouth and that won’t happen. I also spotted a gray heron and he allowed me to get fairly close for a picture. Mana Island was great for walking and a great place to pretend we were tourists but it was not a good place to go snorkeling because of the wind so we decided it was time to move to the next anchorage, wherever that may be.