Saturday, June 28, 2014

Checking out Navadra and Vanua Levu Islands

We finally got out of Musket Cove (having too much fun) and headed to the Yasawa Islands for a vacation - hah. 
Sand spit disappearing...
Life is a beach!

Fellow cruisers had told us about the uninhibited islands of Navadra and Vanua Levu.  

Uninhabited except for the goats and the big fruit bats!

The islands are connected by a sand spit at low tide - pretty cool with waves crashing on both sides.

It was all beautiful and we had it to ourselves – most of the time.

We anchored in a great sandy spot and there was beautiful snorkeling right off the boat – we could see our anchor at 45 feet!   
Touring the bay

Plus, the sand on the beach was so soft.  You just have to find the pass thru the reef and watch the waves.  Piece of cake – once you figure it all out!
Squid checking out our Flopper Stopper

So far, it seems that the Yasawa islands are subject to rolly anchorages.

That was true of this bay also, so Doug deployed our Flopper Stopper for the 1st time.  As much as I complained about it – it works!
Fish delivery
We had a very special experience.  Local fisherman stopping by to ask for matches – of course we do.

They stopped by later delivering fish – for the matches – Vinaka!  Totally unexpected and so very nice.  We hope to meet them again.
Sunset on the Tiki

We only spent 3 nights, but it was wonderfully relaxing and we look forward to coming back soon.
Beautiful day at sea

Plus, we scored our first Walu on the way back to Musket Cove – big enough to share with our neighbors.

Doug was so excited and the Walu was very tasty.

Hope to catch more.

Yahoo - Walu!
Now, we are back at Port Denarau Marina working on boat projects - vacation is over.

We have company coming next week . Yeah!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Working on projects in exotic places!

Even if the beautiful clear water and the breezes are calling you, cruisers still have projects to work on.  Of course, we can't complain too much....
Wayasewa - beautiful
But, we have been busy.  We spent a few days in Port Denarau working on projects and provisioning and checking out the place.

Even though it is touristy, we do like this place - very social.
Bombey Lodge - great curry!

New favorites:  Bombey Lodge for excellent curry and the Farmers Club for a cold beer. 

Musket Cove Island Bar - a favorite
Then they kicked us out - hah!

We stayed longer than expected and someone wanted our mooring ball.
Lots of bougainvillaea

Oh well - back to Musket Cove. Good thing we like this place and it is close by.

But, it is busy too.  Lots of cruisers and racers coming up from New Zealand.

We counted 31 boats in the anchorage - that is a lot!

Time to chill
We are having a little fun too - playing bocci ball and Farkle with cruising buddies.

Can't work all the time!

We hope to wrap up our projects in the next couple of days and then get back to exploring the islands.

There is a big list of wonderful places to check out.

We have been quizzing everyone and getting so much information on wonderful spots.

Can't wait!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Meke Mondays at Nalauwaki Village - Waya

We were so excited to find out that a Meke was going to be held at the Village while we were on the island of Waya.  We had to check it out! 
Fijian Death Dance
Meke is a dance performance that enacts ancient lore.

Most of the dancing is done by the men of the village and it was fun to watch – even the Cibi (death dance). 
Entertaining us!

 I am sure it was scarier back in the old days!

The females sing, chant, and play some of the instruments.
Getting the Kava party started!

The ceremony started with Sevesevu – our acceptance into the Village.

Doug looking sharp in his Sulu!
Then the Kava (made from an intoxicating pepper root) is mixed and everyone takes turns drinking a bilo (bowl).

One clap, Bula!, drink the whole bowl, three claps and we start over.

Then we all introduced ourselves.  A very interesting ceremony and I am sure the Kava party continued long after we left!

We were led thru the village so that we could see how the locals live.

Then we visited the Kindergarten where we learned about their school programs, plus the kids entertained us with lively songs.
Kids - very entertaining

And, to wrap up the festivities, the ladies of the village brought out all of their crafts to sell.

Craft Market - lots of pretties
Lots of pretty things, so be sure to bring your money.

It was a fun day and a wonderful opportunity to meet the villagers and learn some of their customs.

We will definitely go back.

PS: Our Fijian Caretaker explained the difference between drinking Kava and drinking alcohol. Alcohol makes you wound up and louder; Kava makes you very mellow.  Maybe I need to drink more Kava!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Beautiful Waya Island

We didn’t go very far – only 6 miles from Naviti to Waya.  Waya is the tallest island of the Yasawa chain at 1850 feet .  It is very spectacular and can be seen for a long way!
Beautiful Waya
We anchored in the north bay – just off the village of Nalauwaki.  It is a big bay and we had it all to ourselves.  It was a bit rolly – maybe that’s why. 
Our Tour Guide

We went to shore and met the village chief (we think) and delivered our gift of kava (yaqona) and received permission to stay. It was kind of a strange experience…

Doug happy at the Coconut Bar
We were given a tour guide to show us the way to the Octopus Resort – it was a good hike and a little tricky the first time!

We stayed one night and moved over to Likuliku Bay – right in front of the Octopus Resort.

We like that place even thought the bay is exposed to a southern swell and turns rolly quick.  The staff are very nice and the beers cold – perfect.
Big Coral Head

The snorkeling right off the boat was great – check out that big coral head.  Lots of fish and very clear water.  We had squid fluttering around us!

School Bus
We spent a couple of days exploring and visiting with the staff and tourists and promised to return.

Sunset at Octopus Resort
But, it is time to start heading back to Port Denarau.

We have some chores to wrap up and then we will be back at the islands again.

To break up the trip, we decided to check out the anchorage between Waya and Wayasewa - attached by a sand spit at low tide.
Waya and Wayasewa Islands - attached at low tide

It is wonderfully peaceful and calm - our favorite anchorage so far.

So much to see at the islands - can't wait to come back in a few days!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Looking for the Manta Rays–Naviti Island

We finally got out of Port Denarau and headed to the Yasawa Islands.  First stop – Naviti to see the Manta Rays.
Dinner is served!
Cuvu Bay
It is only 40 miles, but so different. 

Lots of reefs, crystal clear waters, and anchorages with just our friends – Interlude IX and Enchantment.

We motored with 3 navigation systems running and a track to follow, but still had to keep a sharp eye.  There are reefs everywhere!

Doug was happy – caught 3 fish along the way.  2 Skipjacks (returned to the sea), plus a really tasty mackerel (cooked and shared with friends).
Interlude IX leading the way

We anchored in Cuvu Bay, which is right next to the pass where the Manta Rays feed every morning.  A quest!
Manta Hunter

We hopped in the dinghy’s the next morning and went searching for these amazing creatures – us and several small tour boats from the nearby resorts – of course.
Big Manta Ray
But, it was great.  Everyone so excited to see the Manta’s sail up and down the pass – feeding on the plankton.  They are definitely not afraid of us – just hungry.  Swam right underneath our dinghy!

Doug wasn’t 100% yet and I was chicken, so we haven’t actually swam with them yet, but promise to next time. 
Interlude IX sailing away

We had two nights in Cuvu Bay with our friends.  Enchantment hosted us all on their boat for pizza night and then headed north. 

Interlude IX invited us over the next night for games and all kinds of wonderful food and then left for Savusavu.  Going to miss them, but know we will meet up soon.

So, a wonderful time was had by all, but then it was just Moondance and we decided to hoist anchor.  Cuvu Bay is unprotected from the tradewinds and it was pretty windy, so time to move to Waya – just a short hop south.

Lots of pictures of Waya to follow!