Sunday, August 12, 2012
LOCATION: S 19 degrees 09.26' W 178 32.48' What an incredible sail we had from Susui Bay to Fulanga; we left yesterday afternoon at 1:30, motor sailing out the pass at 3:30, with whales breeching in the far distance, both inside the pass and out. There were a whole group of them outside, diving and playing as we left Vanua Balavu with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. Gentle wind and waves greeted us as we headed down to Fulanga Island in the southern Lau group, about 105 NM from the pass. We killed the engine and began a wonderful beam reach down through the scattered islands averaging 6 kts and as the sun set, it felt like we were gliding to our destination. Billions of stars filled the clear skies and as one of us slept easily, the other seemed to thoroughly enjoy just being in the comfort of the warm evening breezes. Sidewinder smiled all through the night and I was delighted to find a sliver of the moon lighting the way when I woke up for my early morning watch at 3. A beautiful sunrise with the island of Fulanga in the distance was a wonderful way to meet the new day and in the distance, we saw our friends on Chesapeake getting ready to go through the pass. Riada and Guava Jelly greeted us on the VHF and we entered the narrow, somewhat shallow, but clear pass at about 10:30. This is the most incredible island we have ever experienced so far. It was surreal slithering through the aqua-blue turquoise water dotted with many little mushroom shaped islands, heading over to where the other boats were anchored, in front of amazing sand beaches ladened with palm trees. The water color is so unbelieveable because of so much sand; it is like one of those calendar covers showing an exotic Pacific Island. WOW. As we dropped anchor in about 15 feet of water, Dave and Carolyn from Riada and Ricky, from Guava Jelly were leaving to go snorkel the pass and we all quickly grabbed our stuff and went along with them. What an amazing dive through the same pass we had just entered! Such clarity and colors and varieties of coral and fish!.......and big fish!!!!!! Saw 6 large reef sharks, along with HUGE groupers, parrot fish, and Wahoo. On the way in, I drifted and swam back to the boat and was lucky enough to find a big turtle who did not see me for the longest time, so I was able to float above him just observing. What a treat! We are both very tired tonight and it is time to stop. All I can say is.....I am sooo glad we have taken the time to explore the Lau further; this is by far the prettiest, most extraordinary place we have found so far in all of our travels. We are so fortunate.