September 13 – 14, 2014
16 42.143 S 177 34.316 E
Posting by Barb:
We left Blue Lagoon and made it all the way to the Northern Yasawas to Yasawairara. This was a new sailing destinations for us as well. The anchorage was the prettiest we have encountered in Fiji so far with miles of white sand and turquoise, crystal clear blue water. Within minutes of anchoring Pete and Mel were already talking to a local, John that rowed to our boat , and they arranged for some Papayas to be delivered in the morning and with any luck a fish for the evening meal.
This would be Pete and Mel’s first experience with the traditional Fijian Sevu Sevu. I think Pete was a little anxious about it. The Sevu Sevu here was a little more elaborate than the last one as the ageing chief did say quite a few words in Fijian and did some claps in between and then we were welcomed. The kids swarmed us and all wanted to get their pictures taken with us and then help put the dinghy back in the water. They were genuinely beautiful, welcoming, friendly people without the constant requests to buy their ‘dollar store’ trinkets.
Once we were back on the boat, John showed up with a nice size $20 Trevally which we cooked for supper. The first fresh fish meal we have had on this trip despite tour attempt to fish using NZ fancy, colorful lures given to us by Pete and trolled behind our boat during every passage.
We spent a day exploring the island and taking lots of pictures and talking to the locals who were gathering food for the Sunday feast. We arranged to buy some papayas from one local and when we picked it up it was given to us in a basket woven from fresh Pandanu leaves. The basket held 6 Papayas (6 more than I ever wanted, not my favorite fruit) and some Cassava so I could make Cassava fries. We had a social night BBQ on our boat with our new friends on SV Alaeris with Alex and Iris. They had decided to go cruising after they survived the 9/11 attack while they were living in New York. The experience changed their outlook on life and they traded their complicated, busy lives for the simple cruising life. Part of the blue water sailing experience is meeting fascinating, wonderful people; lives that will probably never touch again!
Our second anchorage was in the large bay, a half an hour motor but far enough away so we could play on land or water without disrespecting the quiet Sunday Fijian tradition. At this anchorage we were invited to share a beach fire with a foursome on a Catamaran. Our first beach fire in Fiji! As we were dousing the fires and getting ready to leave we joked about the possibility of losing a dinghy as the tide had gone up. It wasn’t very funny when we looked at the shoreline and a dinghy was missing, OURS! The captain lost our dinghy. Luckily it had only drifted further down the beach but it was a sobering moment.