Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back at Vuda Point

August 8, 2009—After checking into the Badeera Beach Inn, we relaxed for awhile before we walked over to the Outrigger Resort to see the Hoppers. We all went out to the palapa bar to eat some dinner and catch up on things. The next morning Bob and Barbara joined us for breakfast, and we agreed to meet at the Outrigger pool after lunch. We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon by the pool, which was good since Steve was still not fully recovered.

On Monday we hired a tour guide for a day of sightseeing. First we drove up to the Tuvani Village, which is actually the remains of a fort that was used by the Fijians. It sits up on the top of a hill, which created a great defensive position. The rock outlines of buildings were still in place, and we were shown the “killing stone” where enemies were executed if they were not already dead. I believe that cannibalism was practiced in Fiji until the mid 1800s, but I cannot find anything definitive about it.

After the fort, we drove to a village in which the women make pottery. Kitty met our van and gave us a tour of the Methodist church, and then she took us to the community hall where the women displayed their jewelry and pottery that was for sale. They also sang to us and even got us up to dance with them.

Our next stop was at a waterfall. We pulled into small village to park, and we were again urged into the community hall to look at souvenirs that were for sale. We were then introduced to a guide who would take us up to the waterfall. It was a good 30-minute walk, and we had to cross the shallow river nine times before we arrived at the waterfall. It was an overcast day, which was good because it was not too hot for the walk. We rested by the falls with our feet in the cool water for awhile, but then a large group of tourists appeared, so we decided to head back. When we arrived back at the van, we thanked our guide and then piled back into the van.

By now it was almost two o’clock, and we were all hungry so our driver stopped at an Indian restaurant overlooking the water where we enjoyed sweet and sour fish. After lunch we dropped Bob and Barbara at their resort, and we returned to our hotel to wait for our taxi back to the landing for Robinson Cursoe. We arrived back at the landing, caught the shuttle boat back to our boat, and then headed in to shore for dinner.

Tuesday morning we got underway early and headed out the pass on an ebb tide. We had just cleared the pass when we heard what sounded like a plane engine, but we discovered that the noise was from our transmission. Steve immediately took the engine out of gear and we hoisted our sails. Unfortunately, we had only five knots of wind so we were sailing at barely two knots. Luckily, we had enough speed to keep us moving away from the reef to our right. Steve put the transmission into reverse and forward several times, but there was still an odd sound. We decided to head back to Vuda Point Marina in case we needed to have work done. About two hours later we were approaching Navula Pass so Steve decided to try the engine one more time. We started it, then put it in gear, and everything sounded good. We motored through the pass and all the way back to the marina as well because the wind was right on our nose—again! We pull in, tied up, and were greeted by several cruising friends who were also at Vuda.

We planned to leave Vuda on Friday; however, a low was supposed to pass over the area that night and the next day so we decided to stay put for the weekend. I was able to catch up on my laundry, and Steve filled the diesel and propane tanks. On Saturday night we were invited to sv Dorothy Marie along with about ten other cruisers. Anita from sv Kind of Blue played the accordion, Glen from Dorothy Marie joined in on his saxophone, and the rest of us sang along. We had a great time, and we kept the marina entertained for the evening.

We hope to leave Vuda Point in the morning and head over to Vanua Levu Island for a couple of weeks. That island is supposed to be more remote. Unfortunately, it receives more rain than Viti Levu so we may be in for a wet trip. In closing, all is well here on sv Linda. We are thoroughly enjoying our time here in Fiji.

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