Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From the Mamanucas to the Yasawas

We have had a great adventure through the Mamanucas with Moonshine and Scream and the Yasawas, with new Kiwi friends on Adamite, and now we are on our way back to Vuda Point for maintenance and re-provisioning before our visas expire. After leaving the  pristine beach at Navadra Anchorage,  Sidewinder took us past Waya to Mantaray Bay, where we were hoping to find the mantas, but it is pretty late in the season and they didn't show. We did see a huge morey eel swimming as we snorkeled and that was a first; he quickly hid in his hole when he saw us coming and that was just fine with us! The next morning we took off north along Naviti Island, heading for the Blue Lagoon of the next island up. Unfortunately the clouds came and it was a bit tense weaving through the reefs along the island; good thing we had lots of waypoints which had been given to us by our friends Roz and Russ on Whirlwind,  now in New Caledonia, and we made it to the Nanuya Resort in the Blue Lagoon on Matacawalevu Island without much problem. We played Vball with the locals several afternoons and that was very fun, we enjoyed a great meal at the resort with some great people we met there, we snorkeled, went diving, hiked, and re-connected with Graham and Lynn on Adamite, whom we had met at Musket Cove.  From the Blue Lagoon, we headed north with them to Sawa-i-Lau Bay, Yasawa Island, and first anchored near a little village. There we presented kava to the chief, the ceremony of sevusevu, and that afternoon we explored the reef nearby, snorkeling while drifting with the dinghies. The next morning we anchored in the aqua blue green clear water next to an amazing huge volcanic and limestone rock formation housing underwater caves. We took dinghies around the corner into a lovely shallow bay and explored along the incredibly interesting rocks and little white-sand beaches lined with a few palmtrees, and I regret that we did not take a camera. Sorry!  We snorkeled that afternoon, enjoyed cocktails on board Sidewinder, and had a chance to get to know Grahame and Lynne even more. They have been cruising forever it seems; they've been around the world twice, raised their two boys on board, and are continually having fun sailing Adamite from New Zealand, where they live on her in Gulf Harbor, to Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia, and wherever else they decide they want to explore. They are around our age and have been sailing forever; their spirit is very much alive.  We were invited to go to church and have lunch in the local village on Sunday and that certainly was a treat. Luckily on Monday, when we went to the caves, we were the first ones there, and we were able to be in the caves by ourselves with a guide. When we dove out of the second cave into the first, though, lo and behold there must have been 25 or more young tourists swimming around, waiting for their turn to go in. Grahame and Lynne had found the caves in the 80's when there was nobody; today the owner of the island charges $10 a person and is certainly making his share of money! The villagers do benefit by selling goods on the beach nearby and of course, the modern world of tourism is very active in the Yasawas; that is a key difference from the northeastern islands of Fiji. But still, this area seems to be really remote and quiet after 11 AM each day and we felt like it was very special.  We followed Adamite over to the west coast bay of Nadala yesterday and left this morning to begin our journey back   Unfortunately we have an auto-pilot that is not working and we hope to fix it before heading to New Zealand at the end of this month. We are back in Blue Lagoon and David played volleyball this afternoon; tomorrow we go back to Naviti Island and then make our way to Lautoka and Vuda Point.  It has been lots of fun and I can't believe it is already October. WOW !    Happy fall to everyone.  We love you    Suzi and David


KJ Manix said...

you guys are having so many adventures, i just love reading your blog.

David and Suzi said...

It's fun knowing friends are riding along with us Kevin. Thanks for making all this time at the computer worth it.