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Fiu in Adriatic

 

 

Fiji - 2 June to 8 July 2005

Crossing from Tonga from Fiji was in a way uneventful - good wind, good sailing, fishing, all the 'usual stuff!

However, there was a 'catch' - back in our minds there was a serious concern - according to some un-official reports that are circulating between cruisers, there are over 30 reported but NOT CHARTERED REEFS in the waters between Tonga & Fiji!! Susan marked carefully position of all these un-chartered 'reefs' on our charts (see the copy below) with the idea that we'll do our best to steer away from those suspicious areas - but .. this is not all ... This area is notorious in Pacific and known as Bermuda Triangle of South Pacific - this is the area with the most active volcanic activity within the (in)famous Ring of Fire. Islands are appearing and disappearing every year! As they say, seeing is believing, while in Tonga, Allen, the owner of a small and lovely resort on Mounu Island, showed us a photo that he took two years ago of a small island. Island was created on the Metis Shoal, some 50 miles SW of Vava'U Group. He was there and had a chance to take a photo of the 'new-no-name' island while it was still 'hot' and all in steam and smoke and practically created in front of his camera. Few days latter the island disappeared into the depth of the deep blue ocean! We would certainly like not to have the opportunity to take similar photos during our crossing from Tonga to Fiji - and decided to keep on a safe distance from the Metis shoal and all other 30+ un-chartered reefs marked on our charts - chartering new islands is definitely not our favorite pass time! 

Three days latter arrived safely to Fiji - luckily did not 'charter' any new reefs and sailing was a smooth as it can get. However, an interesting encounter should be mentioned here - although we have no proof but you should take our word for it. We were some 50 miles E of Suva, Fiji's capital, sailing slowly when suddenly noticed on the horizon many birds - usually indication of a tuna or dorado feeding frenzy - ideal opportunity for us to catch a fish on our trolling lines. So Ivo steered in that direction and soon we realised that this time we are not heading towards tuna feeding ground but towards something else. Ahead of us there was a big humpback whale! But why so many birds around the whale - they usually don't attract birds?! The mystery was soon revealed - the whale was giving birth and it was surrounded with a big-dark cloud from the broken placenta on which birds were feeding! Unfortunately we did not see the calf as Susan was afraid the whale might be irritable and attack us if we hang around for too long or too close - so we sailed off  .. and missed one in a life time opportunity!! 

In Fiji, Jagoda and Paul's partner Jan were due to join us for ten day holidays. We spent three days to clear the mess and tidy up all the cabins, heads, saloon - and after a lot of 'sweat, tears & beers' Fiu was as new - see attached photos. Conclusion - it is certainly beneficial to have VIP guests!!

Fiu refueling in Vuda Point Marina

Fiu was as claean as ever!

look at this head - better than 5* hotel!

and saloon - nearly perfect!

Galley, so inviting to work in it!

Jagoda, finally on holidays, enjoying her first drinks in Fiji and on Fiu

and trying to catch up on reading while carefully sunbathing

Galley was so clean that no one dared to mess it up - so we opted for easier solution - dinner in the Castaway Resort

Yam-Yam pizza ..

and afterwards, joined the entertainment for hotel guests - frog race!

every one was involved in the game - except us! Yachties do not subscribe for this cheap entertainment - we are beyond that!

kids loved the race - and some did make money on it!

and at the end, all staff singing old Fijian songs to their beloved guests - good night and come again - we love your $$$!

Jan & Paul were reading Ivo's mind and presented him with this 'dram book': Unforgettable - coconut cookbook - 101 ways to prepare coconut

another unforgettable sunset in Musket cove

Next day off we went to explore this little island ...

Jagoda, JAn & Paul in the shadow of a Big tree

Rain forest

Reef from the bird's eye perspective

Jagoda taking a break on the way to the top

lovely pool

and beautiful bungalows

covered by a traditional Fijian straw

poisonous sea snakes can be found even in such picture perfect 'paradise'

Next day sailed north to the famous Yasawa group of islands. Yasawa group is a semi-remote area not frequented by tourists. When visiting such areas it is a common practice to pay respect to a village chief, give him a present (usually kava, a mild and very common drug that is greatly enjoyed by mainly male population of the South Pacific Islands - we bought loads of this drug in Fiji - mind you, in this part of the world this is all legal stuff ) and his family/villagers (things like pencils, notebooks, batteries, T-shirts, etc. are highly appreciated). Once the permission was granted by a village chief we were allowed to roam around and talk/trade/barter with villagers. It was a very pleasant and unique experience to all of us - especially to our girls, Jagoda & Jan.

Village chief (in the background) was happy with our presents and granted us a 'visa' to visit his village .. every one is happy

especially kids who got most presents

Exchanging addresses

Village ladies were doing their best to get some money from our pockets (legally!)

cute little girl - will she one day end up in Hollywood?

group photo

another group photo - Fijians love photos and especially appreciate if we send them prints - Paul, please remember your Fijian friends!

lonely boy posing for Ivo's camera

Jagoda with our 'tour guide' and his mother

Jagoda with her new necklace

What else does a girl need?

Jan & Paul

Jagoda & Ivo

Jan, shall we adopt this cutie?!

Like father like son

Two brothers

and their grandchildren

our hosts

Before departure received freshly cut steam of bananas - Ivo is finally smiling!

and this boy too ..

Few more photos from the famous Yasawa Group - curtsey of Colin, our cruising friend from Manu Tara who had more luck with the weather while cruising in this Island group.

Crystal clear sea

and beautiful beaches

mellow hills,

and scattered islands

instead of tourists, pigs are roaming the beach ..

nice shoot

and back to Vuda Point marina

 

 

Fiu in Vuda Point Marina

fiu on the 50 t travel lift

scrapping off the white paint

Working hard

new undercoat

Fiu with new antifouling and logo - ready to to sail again!

 

After a week we sailed back to the Vuda Point marina, booked the haul out and the following few weeks spent on the dry dock in Vuda Point Marina. It was a good opportunity to put a new antifouling on Fiu which was already due and at the same time to change the oil, check rigging, polish the hull and fix dozens of small-little problems that were on To Do list for a while but never enough time to fix them.

During our stay in the marina made many new friends and spent many evenings in nearby resorts and yacht club chatting over a beer or dinner.

Sunrise in Vuda Point marina

size does not matter when crossing the ocean??

entrance to the marina

sunset

our neigbors working hard

cruisers kids playing for hours in the mud & sand on the parking site

there are no limits to kid's imagination

our good friends - Carlo & Lizi, Roque, Tina

and Geoff joined us on Fiu for our fare-well drink!

One weekend went sailing with Roquie on his Lagon 55 catamaran to the neighboring Beachcomber resort - it was a welcomed break for us. We spent a lovely day in a company of nearly 20 people whom Roquie invited for sailing. 

Going out of marina was a tricky job as Lagoon 55 is almost as wide as the entrance canal

Susan at the wheel

Running downwind was fun

big crowd

boys working the winches

the skipper

Ivo at the wheel

Roque and Ivo

it is nice to be a crew for change!

Beachcomber resort

playing chess

and after lunch - siesta!

going back - motor-sailing against the wind

it has been a long day ..

thank you Roque - it was a lovely day!

Next - Vanuatu - sailing west to Tanna, Vanuatu

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next - Vanuatu - Sailing from Fiji to Vanuatu

 

 

 

 

 

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