Northern Fiji with Zophia

 A few days after Anna left, we welcomed our daughter Zophia on board. We started by exploring a bit of Taveuni, which is known as the Garden Island. Instead of paying the tourist price for a tour, we took the local bus to a conservation area known for its three lovely waterfalls. Due to the bus schedule, we only had time to hike to the first two. Of course, the scenery was great and the swimming was very refreshing after the hiking.

The next day we took local transportation again, but this time in the opposite direction to the “Natural Water Slide”. When we arrived, there was a large Fijian family there. They were having a great time and happily showed us how it works best (you block the water with a few people and then let a small torrent go when you’re ready to slide).

After grabbing some provisions in Lomolomo, we sailed north-east to Budd Reef a few hours away. As usual, we had to sail upwind a bit but it was a nice sail to the anchorage at Yavu island. The next morning we all snorkelled in the amazing reef between Yavu and Yanuca islands.

After lunch we motored a bit more NE to Cobia Island, an extinct volcano. We enjoyed bonfires on the beach and a scenic hike almost to the top of the island. The caldera is flooded with sea water, and provides a beautiful scene.

After a few relaxing days, we headed to Viani Bay on the SE tip of Vanua Levu. The bay was quiet and relaxing. Cheryl and Karen, on SV Interlude V, told us about Dolphin Bay Dive Resort and we quickly made plans to spend the day there. We were picked up at 7 AM and taken a few bays over to the resort. We had coffee, tea and cinnamon rolls. The while Malcolm dove the Rainbow Reef with Roland, 

Malcolm returned to the resort between dives for coffee, tea and homemade cookies. Zophia and I went out with him for his second dive, but while he dove, we snorkelled all around the Cabbage Patch.

We returned to the resort for an excellent lunch, time in the hammock, massages followed by happy hour and a candlelit dinner on the beach.

Zophia’s return flight was from Savusavu on Sunday, so we reluctantly left Viani Bay on Friday. The weather was grey and rainy and, although the wind was cooperating by coming from behind, the seas were sloppy and very uncomfortable. After about 7 hours, we picked up a mooring in a grey, drizzling Savusavu and made plans for a chocolate milkshake and Chinese food for dinner. We were late to the celebration of Fiji’s Olympic gold medal win in rugby! The locals were jubilant and the following Monday was proclaimed a national holiday!