|Winston destroys, nature grows back|
|Calliope in Bay of islands, VanuaBalavu|
For three days, we acquired new crew: Stu, a photographer based in Fiji, and Brittany, who works for an Australian yacht magazine. It was great fun to share our experiences and show them what life on board is like.
One day we and three other yachts sailed up to the Bay of Islands (Fiji version, not NZ), where Stu took some amazing photographs of the extraordinary mushroom-shaped rock formations and convoluted bays. On the return trip, Lisanne and Calliope flew their asymmetric sails and Stu's drone flew between them, capturing some incredible footage. It's the property of Ocean magazine, but we hope to be able to post some of Stu's pictures soon. The following day, we returned to the Bay of Islands with most of the fleet and had a great barbecue on a sandy beach. We transferred 300 litres of water onto Boysterous, whose watermaker isn't working, and were invited to supper on board. We had to bite our tongues at times as one of the other guests is a strong Trump supporter!
Time to head for the village of Somosomo, described by our Sail Fiji app as 'delightful'. We were looking forward to charming restaurants, perhaps a shop or two, possibly even a spa... Somosomo was a disappointment from the rocky, litter-strewn beach, where feral dogs chewed used nappies, to the dingy roadside stalls and the awful 'Wine and Dine' (BYOB if you want wine) restaurant. Oh dear.
Rainbow Reef and I indulged in a massage and much-needed pedicure.
From Taveuni we had a long day's sail in great conditions to Savusavu on Vanua Levu, Fiji's second-largest island . It's a busy little town, with a yacht club (The Copra Shed) and pontoons to tie up to. We prefer being out away from the noise, so we picked up a mooring and then took the dinghy ashore to explore. Fiji-Indians make up 38% of the country's population and that was immediately evident, with masses of small shops, curry restaurants and retailers displaying saris in their windows. Fresh fruit is still hard
to come by but the bustling market had salad, cucumbers and tomatoes as well as mounds of ginger, turmeric root and spices.
|Charles at Palmlea|
equal rights, which makes politics quite contentious. Outside Labasa, the
After a terrific, close-hauled sail yesterday, we are now anchored off reef-surrounded Namena Island,
|This was your luxury bedroom on Namena|