We are stuck in Namena waiting out the strong East winds that would make our trip back to Savusavu a rough one. Our local guest (David) who came with us thought it would clear by today but it hasn't so we may stay here another day and see what tomorrow morning brings. Or we may just put a couple of reefs in the main and only pull out a small part of the headsail (love that rolling furling!!) and dive out into it hoping for the best. It will be rough but we really shouldn't be that concerned with 30 knts. as in some places that is considered a good day to go sailing. Us So. Cal. sailors are a spoiled bunch since 30 knts. would be a small craft warning day and everyone would be huddled around the bars in the yacht clubs. We did get in one dive at Grand Central Station which was spectacular to say the least with more big fish (including sharks) than we have seen anywhere else. But the trip out to the dive site in our dingy was a hairy one with big wind waves and gallons of water coming aboard with every wave. Bailing was a constant process that couldn't keep up with the amount coming in so every so often we would have to stop and turn with the wind to empty Worm out before we started out again. We finally made it to the dive spot only to discover that the "dry" bag had leaked and guess what happened to our old underwater camera .... That's right. it had gotten wet and is no longer alive!!! We were so bummed: not only could we not take any shots of this dive, but we now don't have a camera that will go down past 30 ft. The good news is that I put the shots I took with the new camera on the computer last night and it is so bitchen. The colors are alive, the screen makes framing the shot so much easier and it seems to have a faster shutter speed since very few shots were blurry from movement. As soon as we get back to internet land I'm gong to research a housing for it so we can take it down to scuba depths. It's always something around here. I better go so we can get the weather report and make the decision as to heading out of staying put. Talk more later- See ya, David
Yesterday we made it back from Namena Island and Reef averaging 6.5 kts with gusting winds from 25-28kts on our beam and 4-6 ft swells also on our beam, and Sidewinder did really well. I chose to be on the helm the whole time and got a bit wet during this wild ride, but it was an exciting sail, and we are glad we are back in Savusavu with all the other yachties waiting out the weather. Since it is supposed to be this way for a while, we figured it was best to get ourselves back here where we can get some more projects done, explore more of the land, get more supplies, and have more fun with friends, although I really did hate to leave. After checking in this morning and shopping a bit, David and I both got haircuts, and I hiked this very pretty little island here with Aleen (sv Migration) this afternoon; this evening was a fun Fijian night at Waitui Yachtclub. Although this little town is quite nice, and, as you can see, it takes no time at all to get into the swing of it, it is not the quiet, pristine little island paradise we just visited. We are both so glad that we did have the chance to get to Namena Reef, finally, and stay there in the protection of the little island; it was beautiful. The crystal clear water snorkeling was great and, as David described in his last email, the one dive we did do was amazing. It was also wonderful having our very own local dive instructor with us, David, who ended up staying with his cousin near the resort the first two nights, and on our boat the last night we were there; he is a very cool young Fijian who loves the ocean and shared his passion with us. Namena is a very special place and we will hopefully stop one more time there when we get a weather window to finally move southwest. We did take some pictures while we were there, using the new camera, and I will put them on the blog tomorrow if I get a chance. -S.