Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Also Island - May 28 - June 7 - Jim and Kyoko Bandi

We sailed north on a perfect day and made passage around the top most point (Utu Point) of Fiji.  We had one good strike on the fish line as we rounded the cape but once again the elusive pescado evaded our invitation for dinner.  We arrived in Lagi Bay, on the north coast of Udu Pennisula.  This is better known to mariners as the home of Also Island...the Home of the Rag of the Air Net and it's controller Jim Bandi. 

 Jim is an Expat from California who along with his wife Kyoko, two dogs and cat arrived on these shores in their boat Also Island 15 years ago and never left.  Unfortunately Also Island broke loose during a storm and was lost.  Fortunately, the people of the island took Jim and Kyoko into their hearts and lives and they have been a part of that community ever since.

Sv Also Island

Jim runs the Rag of the Air Net which is one of the SSB weather nets we listen to at 1900 UTC on 8173 USB.   We first heard Jim on the air in Pago Pago Samoa and looked forward to this visit.  We were not disappointed.  They have created a commercial service centre for locals and boaters.  Jim is a mechanics mechanic and loves to tell stories.  Kyoko is very charming and has created lovely gardens and trails.   

Whether hiking the island or enjoying a cold beverage in the hillside gazebo with a stunning view of Lagi Bay and Bekana Island, this is a wonderful respite for sailors and a fun stop along the way.  But be careful, Jim will put you to work, but he also feeds you and keeps you entertained with his endless reminiscences of his glorious past.

One of Jim and Kyoko’s longest standing employees is Tokasa who is well known thru-out Fiji for her cooking and her gardening…she was a real sweetie.

This is a beautiful stop for cruisers in a good holding anchorage.  Albeit as we write this, it is blowing like stink and would strip the fuzz off your peach as the wind gets funneled by the island.  Jim and Kyoko along with their friendly staff of Helen and Mac offer a Sunday Pancake breakfast after the net and along with hot coffee you will hear the latest in Alternate News. 

A note to fellow cruisers, despite the very shallow depth markings on electronic charts the least water we saw was 20 ft.  If you are in Fiji, plan on making this trip it is well worth the ride!


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