Monday, June 20, 2016

Beqa Lagoon to Denarau

After our visit to Beqa Lagoon, we motored and sailed west along the south coast of Fiji’s large island, Viti Levu.  We stopped for a night in Somosomo Bay. Once we made it past the large waves crashing onto the reef on both sides of the entrance to the bay, the anchorage was good-holding and calm.

The next day we sailed to Likuri Island, also known as Robinson Crusoe Island, where there is a small resort. The wind started out light, but by the time we needed to manoeuvre between the reefs to enter the bay, it had picked up considerably.

The resort was nice and, one evening, we were able to see the famous Fijian Fire Dancers. The owners have changed and the new owner is not as yacht-friendly as the previous owner.  However, the staff was very nice and the guests were keen to talk with us. One couple, from Germany, even kayaked out to visit us on board the boat!
Drinks at Robinson Crusoe Resort

After a few days of resort drinks, we hoisted anchor and sailed toward the World Surfing Championships off Tavarua Island. There was no surfing the day we arrived at Tavarua, but we motored right up to where the competition is held! The famous wave, Cloudbreak, was gorgeous, even though it was too small that day for the professionals.

Judges platform and media centre at Cloudbreak

We continued on to nearby Musket Cove, the one place in Fiji we have been before. It was almost 5 years ago we were here for Jodene and Clint’s wedding. The place has not changed too much, except the cool water playground wasn’t here last time!

Water play thing at Plantation Island Resort (Musket Cove)

The swell did not cooperate and the World Surf Competition was on hold for most of the days we were waiting in Musket Cove. We motored across the big lagoon to Vuda Point Marina on the big island to see our friends, Chuck and Lauri on Free Spirit. They had just arrived after spending the South Pacific cyclone season sailing north of the Equator in the Marshall Islands. It was great to see them after so many months.

After a few days visiting Free Spirit, we returned to Musket Cove and the nearby surf competition. It had resumed and Malcolm jumped on a resort boat to go right out to the wave and watch the finals.

Out of the pipe

Defending World Champion (Semi Finals)

Final Day at the Fiji Pro 2016

The next day we motored back to the big island and tied up on a dock at Denerau Marina. We went to the warehouse of the aid agency, Sea Mercy, and took on boxes of books and school supplies for five communities in the outer islands that were devastated by cyclone Winston. We provisioned the boat and enjoyed a very nice steak dinner on the dock at Cardo’s before heading east around the north side of Viti Levu.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Leaving Suva

We left Suva and motored about 20 miles south to Beqa Lagoon (pronounced "Benga"). We went ashore, met the village chief and performed sevusevu (gift giving ceremony) and were then welcomed to stay in the anchorage and visit the village.

We went for a long snorkel and saw some of the coral and sea life that Beqa Lagoon is famous for.



In the afternoon, we saw the "school boats" returning with lots of children so we headed into the village to meet them. They were excited to have visitors.

While we were there we found out that Ropate Kauvesi, the manager of the World Champion Fiji 7s Rugby Team, was visiting his in-laws in the village. The team just returned from England where they won a major championship and are soon headed to Brazil for the Olympics. We were able to meet him and congratulate him on the team's success.

The next day we took advantage of the calm anchorage and Dina went up the mast. In between some unexpected gusts of wind that rocked the boat around, she fixed the lazy jack line, attached the flag halyards, and took the requisite photo from the mast head.



Sunset in Beqa Lagoon