Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blue Lagoon Anchorage – July 14 – 21 2016 S 16.56 – E 177.22

Blue Lagoon -

This picturesque anchorage is as good as it sounds and is the location of the Movie of the same name.  The anchorage itself is actually located in front of the Nanuya Resort.  This property was purchased 2 yrs. ago from the original owners who developed a laid back getaway.  Under new management, this has become a world class resort.  

Aside from upgrading the entire facilities they have completely modernized everything from power, installing 125 Kilowatt of Solar panels to water supply utilizing a large desalination facility for unlimited fresh water.  They are very concerned with keeping Fiji Green and it is evident not only in words but with their pocketbooks.  Congratulations on a job well done. 

We met the head gardener Mesu who was warm and friendly (as are most Fijians) and delighted when Kaija presented him with planting seeds for regular beans, long beans, tomatoes, lettuce and chard.  Under his supervision the resort has many acres of pineapple, casaba, pumpkin, banana, okra and tomatoes, mango and papa (papaya).
They are very cruiser friendly and offer a wide variety of amenities including laundry service, garbage removal, internet, and convenience store.  The bar/restaurant provides a varied menu with excellent Cheeseburgers, fish & chips etc.  For more formal dining make a reservation in the main dining facilities for a white table cloth, champagne and caviar experience.  

The resort is very accessible by a variety of transportation including the daily South Seas Cruise Catamaran from the big island, Blue Lagoon Cruise lines weekly, The Fiji Sea Bus daily and daily flights from to and from a variety of locations in Yasawas and the main island of Viti Levu

The island is surrounded by a plethora of reefs for excellent snorkeling.   

The fish are plentiful and widely varied. 

Kaija was in her element getting up close and personal face time with as many as she could.  

One small reef head no more than 8 ft square, we counted 34 different species, all in wonderful abundance.

It is wonderful to see the reefs alive and doing so well. 

We enjoyed a leisurely hike across the island to Lo’s Tea House.   

Lo is the wife of the Chief of Nambukeru Village which is the closest village to the Caves which we visited last week.  Lo offers a variety of teas, soft drinks, and sweet treats.  We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea and wonderful Chocolate cake.  Lo was being ably assisted by her very charming and sweet granddaughter Millie.

En-route we met Grandma who has lived on this island since birth and now spends her days handcrafting shells she finds on her daily walks.  She is so affable that you could not resist buying something…you had the sense you were in the presence of a very old soul and one of God’s angels.

We depart tomorrow to swim with the Giant Manta Rays who are presently feeding at the south end of Naviti Island.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will get some good photos.

Life continues to bless us daily with amazing scenery, warm and friendly people and experiences that fill our cups to overflowing.

We Love This Life and all that it is.  We are reminded of our friends Tory and Barb who named their boat LITBE (LIFE IS TO BE ENJOYED).

We encourage you to find your dream and LIVE IT!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Caves – Sawa-i-Lau, Yawawas, Fiji, July 11 – 14 2016 S 16.50 E 177.28

The Caves - 

On the southern end of Yasawa Island are the famous Sawa-i-Lau Caves.  We dove into a calm pool from atop incredible limestone formations into the cool clear azure water below.  The caves are one of the most mysterious tourist attractions on the island.  The native islanders believe that the caves are home to deity Ulutini.  Before going to the caves visitors are asked to participate in a traditional ceremony in the village, asking the guardians of the caves to allow them permission to enter.

The anchorage provided for daily entertainment whether it be the visiting cruise ships, private megayaghts parked beside us,

 or the many seaplanes landing either side of us.  It was fun to be moored in the middle of the runway.

The lagoon offered a quiet serene location for Kaija to gunk hole and ideal snorkeling of the many reefs.  

This is a great stop many reasons including the unique natural rock formations, the snorkeling, the caves, the seaplanes, the locals and the megayaghts. From some of the poorest to some of the richest…people are just people.   

Ain’t Life Grand!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Yadua to Yasawa Islands – July 9 – 11 2016, S 16.42 E 177.34

Continuing on the Road less traveled!

Despite our longing to stay and enjoy this wonderful anchorage, we had been waiting for a weather window to make our passage to the Yasawa Island chain.  Typically this is done by transiting the Bligh Waters. 
As the name suggests…there is something less than desirable about this passage.  It is an area of very deep water rising rapidly to reefs in a bottle neck on the western end that with any wind at all becomes a stretch of very uncomfortable seas.  There is however, the path less traveled…Uncharted waters no less.  This route from Yadua Island to the north end of the Yasawas was only 53 miles…but just long enough to make a full days sail at 6 knots of 9 hrs.  This doesn’t sound to bad…however, leaving and arriving thru reef infested waters demands good light on both ends to see the hazards…that can be difficult to find over a 9 hr. period.
Despite the chosen route being thru uncharted waters…we were quite certain from what information we had that our prevailing depth was 100 ft. and with good light we would see any ‘hot-spots’…shoals, rocks, reefs, disturbed water etc. that we needed to avoid.
The day was lovely, the sun was shining, and winds were light and the passage pleasant.  We finally hit the Bligh waters about noon…perfect to see any shoals on either side of the Yalema Kalou Passage (Round Island Passage).  This route ensured the least amount of time transiting the Bligh…only 6 miles from side to side.  We were thru and no sooner had we turned south when we hooked a small Sierra (Mackerel) reward enough for dragging the line. 
We continue on to our intended anchorage appropriately name Champagne Beach.  It lived up to its name…sandy bottom, good holding, and a white sand beach that stretched for miles.
Unfortunately for us, the weather changed and brought brisk south winds into this open road-stead.  This made for a rather rolly uncomfortable anchorage and we decided to head for ‘The Caves’.