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Published: July 26th 2009
After one month in Fiji, we have visited the areas of interest and clear out from customs in Lautoka tomorrow. The three day passage from Savusavu took us through the Bligh Sea and the Northern Passage of the Yasawa's Islands and into the first most idyllic, tropical paradise, which we had to ourselves for nearly a week. Heavy plant equipment was sitting on the hillside poised to develop the area with hotels and 50 waterfront properties, so the local chief advised. We had arrived just in time to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Three boats joined us after a while and on downloading the weather the next morning we saw that the weather coming would be directly out of the north and we wouldn't be protected where we were. We loaded the rowing boat, Snowy Waters, took up the anchor and headed to the Blue Lagoon a half day sail; an area with great protection, which would be needed with the predicted weather. What followed were 30-35 knot winds for a couple of days. When the gorgeous weather conditions returned we launched Snowy Waters and rowed to the village to make sevusevu with the chief. This is a presentation
of kava by visitors and on receiving it the chief or one of the elders performs a short ceremony - on this occasion we were spared the drinking of this powdered root mixed with water and shown around the village. From the Blue Lagoon we headed south towards Manta Ray Bay, for which we had the GPS co-ordinates. We'd been misinformed as to where to anchor/take the dinghy so on arriving, with the sun overhead to navigate the difficult reef we stayed there and enjoyed the water. The following day we continued to Musket Cove in the next group of islands called the Mamanuca's. For much of the time I stood at the highest vantage point for observing our passage through the water, namely the gallows. From here the first signs of depth change and reef breaks are possible.
After a week in Musket Cove and another two day blow 30-35 knots again, we were relieved to get ashore and have a good walk. This area too is being developed with many lots for sale. Prices here seem particularly inflated given the political situation/potential instability but the occupancy of the resort was 60% which didn't seem too bad.
Onto Port Denarau Marina, enroute to Lautoka. A four day stopover with retail opportunities - loads of tat and overpriced, tasteless food. At the first opportunity we took a taxi into Nadi to shop at the fresh food market which was superb - greens at last. This connection is slow and unreliable so while uploading this, I am keeping my fingers crossed and not pushing my luck with photos. They will follow at some point. The next leg takes us from Lautoka to Port Villa in Vanuatu - a three day, 530 mile passage. Weather forecast shows 20 knot wind on the beam for the first two days so with luck it'll be a good trip.
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