We left Viani Bay on Tuesday and moved to the NW end of Taveuni, the "Garden of Fiji". Together with Virginia and Jose from Caps Tres we hired a taxi yesterday and Harry, the driver, gave us a very nice tour of the island. We hiked up to and swam under some waterfalls in tropical rainforest (which did live up to its reputation) and later had great fun zipping down a natural waterslide which Nicky couldn't get enough of. If you ever find yourself on Taveuni and are interested in a full day tour of the island: Harry's phone number is +679-8461 465.
11 - New Zealand to Australia
After a week in Savusavu with reprovisioning and some minor boat repairs, we left our mooring there last Monday and relocated a full 4 nm to anchor off the "Cousteau Ressort" (run by one of the famous diver's off-springs), close to the entrance to Savusavu Bay.
Before we left New Zealand we finally managed to get Nana's latest book, Lesson Plans To Go: Hands-on Learning for Active and Home Schooling Families, onto "the shelf" at Amazon.com in paperback and kindle versions. The book contains ten units with fun educational activities for children ages 4-12 that families can use at home or on the road.
We heard that Russia has a train track running from Moscow to somewhere in Siberia that runs straight over flat country for thousands of kilometers. At one point however, the track makes a curvy detour without any apparent natural obstacle and continues its straight course only after having completed a little "bulge".
We arrived in Savusavu on Fiji's northern island of Vanua Levu yesterday (Monday, 10JUN) morning after yet another very nice sailing night. A very friendly welcome in a beautiful setting. We'll write more in a few days...
While we have still about 120nm to go as of this Sunday morning we are now meandering our way through the southern islands of Fiji. First sight of land this morning was Moala, a little island now about 15nm to starboard. We can also see the top of Viti Levu ahead to port. Plans have changed once again and we will go to Savusavu as originally planned (rather than Levuka - see one of the recent posts). Despite SAVUSAVU being busy, boats who already arrived have reported on the radio that "space will be found".
..why are we doing this. But yesterday we were reminded again: a perfect day under sunny skies with a few tradewind clouds, sailing smoothly under Parasailor, and catching a big mahi mahi as a bonus. Also a good chance for bathing day aboard Namani, where Nicky's old inflatable kiddy pool (fits in our cockpit) serves as our onboard infinity pool. Happy and -for a change- clean faces all around. It looks like we will change our course slightly and head twoards Levuka rather than Savusavu as our port of entry because we received word that the latter is currently full.
It's been almost exactly one week since we sailed out of the Bay of Islands.Since then we have sailed close to 900nm but still have a bit more than 500nm to go, given the circuitous route we're taking (see previous post)... The second of two fronts passed over us about an hour ago (the first one had passed us last night without much a-do) and once the sky clears we hope to have nice sailing all the way to Fiji. With the passing front the wind has also shifted favorably from NW to WSW and we can now sail a more direct course to Fiji more comfortably.
No - the position above is not a typo. We are indeed at almost 173 eastern longitude, roughly on the same meridian as NZ's North Cape. After having started out heading towards Minerva slightly to the east of Fiji we are now well to the west of Fiji (plus about 500nm south of it). Have the Namanis lost all sense of direction (to the extend that they ever had any...)?
We left Opua on Wednesday noon local time and are now (finally) under way towards Fiji. It was quite a scene at customs during check-out with about 30 boats all using this relatively narrow window between two passing fronts...all handled in efficient and pragmnatic Kiwi fashion though. We had 8 hours of nice sailing after leaving the Bay of Islands and then had to resort to the engine as expected last night at 2200 local time. We hope to be through the center of the high we're currently crossing by tomorrow and to pick up sailable wind again then.