07 November 2016 (+12 on UTC)
Dear Friends and Family,
We checked out of Vuda Point, an hours journey north of Port Denerau, 5 days ago and slowly worked our way through the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands of Fiji. These are the two most Western groups of the chain and along with the Lau (most Eastern group) are the most remote. However, this is the area where most of the tourists who go further a field tend to visit; mostly by ferry. The trip is usually only several hours for the high speed boats and departs from Port Denerau. A few days before we left the main island of Viti Levu, we rented a car and drove 3 hours each way to Suva, the nations Capitol. Photos will indeed follow.
Our first stop after departing Vuda Point, was Musket Cove on Malololailai where we spent the night. Just before we left we caught up with friends Rijnhardt and Lisa Keets of \”Enchanter\” and Johnnie Sernberg of \”Laros\”. His lovely wife Debs is still back in Australia and will join him when he arrives in NZ in a month or so.
After our visit ashore as \”party island\” aka: Musket Cove, we left the next morning for the island of Monuriki which is where the film \”Castaway\” with Tom Hanks was made. We brought our own version of \”Wilson\” and took lots of photos. Yes, we will eventually post the photo blogs!
En route to our next stop, the island of Waya, we were stopped by Fijian Customs and Immigration who were on a small dive boat. They had been following us (apparently) all day! When they came aboard, they asked if we knew a \”Mr. Bushman\”, that would be Scott Bushman and was he aboard? We told them no and that no and that no one had been aboard since we left Vuda Point. They further said, that the someone at Musket Cove had reported that he had come aboard our boat! We told them in no uncertain terms that no one had come aboard our boat. They asked why we had stopped at Mana Island? We told them we hadn\’t and showed them the track off our chart plotter which clearly showed that we had gone past Mana Island en route to Monuriki. We did however speak to some friends there on the radio (s/v Tactical Directions – Tony and Karen). I asked who Mr. Bushman was and was told that it was a matter of \”National Interest\”. Eventually, they seemed to think they were on a wild \”Bushman\” chase and departed, this after they thoroughly looked through the boat, our passports and papers. They went back toward Musket Cove and we continued en route to our next stop at Waya-Sewa where we spent the night. Glad they didn\’t seem interested in where we were going, as technically, we\’d checked out! The problem is, to see the \”outer islands\” and return to Vuda Point would be an extra 125 miles of travel and cost us two days. The Bushman story will just have to remain a mystery!
We next went up to the island of Nanuya-Sewa where I had departed Fiji from 5 years earlier with Anja Cierceski. Here, we met up with recent acquaintances Alan and Patricia off sailing cat, \”Nauti Nauti\” from Wisconsin. The four of us had dinner ashore as it was Nikki\’s birthday! I surprised her with a pearl necklace she loved when we were in Papeete and she was thrilled. I\’d been hearing about how she longed for that necklace for the last several months and successfully looked sheepish and bit my tongue for weeks!…:-)
Our next stop would be the \”Blue Lagoon\”, also famous for the film by the same name starring Brooke Shields. Here, at the island of Sawa-I-Lau is a lovely grotto with a pool inside the mountain. With a short underwater swim, I was able to enter the \”spitting cave\” and the two chambers of the \”Pregnancy Cave\”. More on those in the photo blog. Nikki took a pass on the swim and had a lovely walk about the island.
Our last stop would be Champagne Beach where the film, \”Contact\” with Jody Foster was filmed. If you recall the ethereal \”off world\” scene on the beach where she spoke with the Alien played by David S(?) sorry I can\’t remember his last name – this was that beach.
As Nikki and I were a bit tired, we spent an extra day and departed this morning in a steady rain for the island of Tanna where we will try and do a visit to one of the worlds most active volcanos. You can walk right up to within 100 yards of the boiling lava. Of course, photos will be posted (eventually!). The www.svbeachhouse.com homepage has one shot of this in the splash screen – lava shooting up from September of 2011.
For now, we\’ve just checked in to the Pacific SeaFarers\’ Amateur Radio Net and are motoring along for the expected 3 day trip to Resolution Bay. We hope to be under sail within the next several hours as the wind is expected to fill in from the SE.
We\’ll only be there one or two days before heading off to New Caledonia. The season is getting old and technically, the Cyclone (Hurricane) season here has begun.
The further Southwest we get, the generally less of an issue that should be.
Scott and Nikki
COMMENT: Beach House – En Route – Champagne Beach, Yasawa Island Fiji to Port Resolution, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
TIME: 2016/11/07 03:40
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