Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Qamea and Budd Reef - May 19 - 24 2016

On the morning of May 19 we departed for a day sail to Qamea, a small island on the windward side of Taveuni.  We enjoyed a final two days with Constantin and family as they prepared to depart the next day on their lovely Sv Hapa na Sasa for the Lau group.  

Sv Hapa na Sasa

We were heading north to Budd Reef and after a pleasant broad reach sail we arrived and  anchored in an isolated area and enjoyed a day of complete solace.  The shore, the sea, the wind, were all perfect...and all perfectly ours.  The snorkeling was some of the best we had done as the reef was alive with fish and beautiful corals. 

When the winds turned from the south, our anchorage was no longer ideal and taking the dinghy around the island I located a large open bay where the local school was located.  All around me were dolpins and I knew this would be a comfortable place to bring KaijaSong.

The next morning we met Willi, the chiefs son.  He invited us to visit with his father and do Sevu Sevu, a local custom of greeting involving the exchange of Kava for the right to walk their shores and swim their waters.

We enjoyed a terrific day with Willi guiding us to Cobia Island.  We fished along the way, and Willi and Kaija hiked the old Volcano.  During the hike they spied several small grouping of the King's goats...long ago abandoned but still very much alive and 'off limits' to the locals (altho it is not unheard of to find a good goat stew brewing on the neighboring islands).

 The views from the top were spectacular in all directions...here's one of KaijaSong resting at anchor.

We shared some much needed diving gear, food and fishing items to Willi and his family, and wished them well as they enter negotiations to begin development of one of the 7 uninhabited islands.  Their waters are also fished out...they have no source of income and unfortunately they must now turn to tourism as a source of sustainable economy.  We are happy that we saw this remote piece of paradise still in it's original beauty...in our experience there are too few of these little gems.  Unlikely we may ever return, we left with glad hearts to have met Willi and his family.

Next stop Rabi Island...home to Joseph and Maria. 

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