Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fiji: The Yasawa Island Group

Fiji:  The Yasawa Islands:  Octapus Resort, Manta Ray Bay and the Blue Lagoon.

The Yasawa Islands are postcard perfect.  We have not seen rain for over a week which is quite different to the rest of the islands where we saw rain everyday.  It is full of anchorages with white sandy beaches, palm trees, and beautiful sunsets.  

We visited many places, played Volleyball, spoke with many different sailors on the way around, and relaxed for a week.  Hanne and Joe did some nice swimming and snorkeling.  For Vickie, it has been 2 weeks out of the water with antibiotics as she developed cellulitis from a mosquito bite.  No fun, but the water is so clear you can see down from the dingy.  :-)

And yes, the Blue Lagoon is where the movie was filmed.  The movie Castaway with Tom Hanks was also filmed in this area.  

Volleyball match with the crew of Fathom. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fiji: Vuda Point Marina

Fiji:  Vuda Point Marina

Yes, it was time to get to a marina again, to provision some food, clean, and do some repairs.  Vuda Point Marina was a small marina where everyone was very welcoming.  We even met the Oyster 56, Raya as they sail around the world.  The music that accompanied the sunsets at night was a nice end to the day.  

While there, we rented a car and drove to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.  This serene park was created by Raymond Burr (you may remember him from the RV series Perry Mason or Ironsides as well as many films) in order to take care of his orchid collection.  Today it is a quiet stroll through gardens with views and a fresh made fruit juice at the end.  It reminded me how much my mother and grandmother loved flowers.  

We also visited the largest Hindu temple on the island.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fiji: Volivoli

Fiji:  Volivoli

Once again we sailed across through reefs and unchartered terrain to yet another Fijian anchorage.  We have been constantly on the lookout for unchartered reefs and bommies as they are not kind to the hull or keel.  We are reminded time and time again.  Luckily, the sun shining has made it easier to see this hazards, but it still sends my heart racing every time we enter yet another of these minds fields.  

Volivoli is an area on the northern most coast of the island of Viti Levu.  The closest town is Rakiraki and yes, as its name implies, it is mainly run by the Indian Population from India many centuries ago.  It is also on an area that is called the Bligh Waters and we had some amazing snorkeling and diving on a couple of reefs.  The favorite was called Mellow Yellow and yes, that aptly describes its color.   The soft coral fell down these pinnacles like blankets and was beautiful to see.  

We visited the local village on the island across from the resort.  It was destroyed by Cyclone Winston in 2016 and they are still rebuilding.  All the men of the town could be seen building the new houses out of cement as well as the new school.  The school today is supported by UNICEF and the tents used are UNICEF donated.  

The kids were great to see and I was able to visit a Y7 classroom.  They are taught in Fijian and English.
Kindergarten.  No uniforms yet.

In uniform walking in lines and are told to keep their hands locked behind their backs.

A hike.  The area here is much drier than the rest of Fiji.

Tamarind anyone?  Delicious.  :-)

The pool at the resort. 

Boysterous at bay.

Getting ready to dive with Ra Divers.

Polynesian Dancing.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fiji: Ovalau

Fiji: Ovalau Island

We left Namena for Ovalau Island.  The first capital of Fiji was located in Levuka on this island.  It is a UNESCO site and looks just like a wild west town from the late 1800's.

When we arrived near the island, the winds were strong from the SE so we decided not to anchor in the anchorage in front of the town, but to go around the island to seek shelter.  We anchored in front of a small village called Viro.  They do not see many visitors there.  Yes, we did have the required Kava roots to give to the locals in order to be able to arrive.  The warmth of their reception, smiles, and hospitality is one of the memories we will keep with us for a long time.

The tides made dingy landing and arriving difficult, but the local children had a good time being the dingy valets.  

We rode the local truck (not to be confused as a bus...hehehe) into the capital, Levuka.  We visited the local school, handed out school supplies and went to a little known hike to the village waterfall which only took 30 Fiji minutes (more like 90 minutes) through rough terrain and due to mud getting there, opted for bouldering down the river bed on the way back.  

Bus stop

Dingy is out there somewhere.

The passenger truck.

Riding on the truck with Oyster Reach and looking for the 3 Fijian to pay.


Joe found the Marist Brothers School.  Just like the one he attended in Lebanon.  ;-)

Passing out school supplies.

Village children getting the dingy for us. 

The hikers.

Joe jumping in the falls.

He lived!!

The local school in Viro sponsored by the Red Cross.