Monday, August 24, 2009

Yandua Island to Vanua Levu Island

August 23, 2009-Our time on Yadua Island was very relaxing; however, the wind continued to blow hard on Monday and Tuesday. Luckily, the bottom was pure mud so the anchor held with no problems.

On Monday, we went ashore to find the trail over to the village on the other side of the island, but we never did locate it. On Tuesday we decided to try one more time, and this time we did find it close to where a fish camp was located.

We left a little past noon and began the walk through the jungle. Soon we were climbing a moderate hill that took us up to a ridge that ran the length of the island. Once we were on the ridge, the trail leveled off, but it was still a bit difficult because in some spots the trail was very narrow, and there was a steep drop down a slope. The good thing was that the views were spectacular in all directions.

Our only incident was when I was walking along watching the path and never saw the huge spider web across the path. I did have my sun hat on so I just picked up some of the web and not the huge spider that was on the web. While I cleaned off my hat, Steve took a picture of "Charlotte" in her web.

After about two hours we arrived at Denimanu Village on the east side of Yadua Island. The village was lovely, and the people were all very friendly. A man named William greeted us and then took us to meet Peter. Peter informed us that the chief had left the island and would not return until Friday, so we asked Peter if we could leave our "sevusevu" or kava with him to give to the chief. He took the kava and then checked our cruising permit. He offered us some tea, but we told him that we needed to head back before it got too late. He did ask us to sign the guest book that was kept at the village.

Peter is the caretaker of Yaduatabu Island where in 1979 the crested iguana was discovered. Yaduatabu Island is separated from Yadua Island by just 200 meters. The island was turned into a sanctuary for the iguana by the National Trust for Fiji, and people are not allowed on the island, at least not yet. Peter told us that there were about 11,000 iguanas on the island.

We made a quick stop by the school so that we could drop off some supplies for it and then said goodbye. We made our way back up to the ridge and headed back to the other side. This time, I kept a sharp eye out for Charlotte or any other relatives of hers. We did pass her again, but this time we didn't disturb her web. We continued on, and it was about 5 o'clock when we got back to the boat. We were pretty tired so we showered and then relaxed for the rest of the evening.

The next morning the weather report was good so we pulled our anchor and headed toward Bua Bay on Vanua Levu Island. We motored over the north side of Yadua Island and crossed the waters between the islands with light winds right on our nose. We arrived at Bua Bay around 2 o'clock and dropped our anchor. This bay is very large, but it is shallow and well protected.

On Thursday morning, we left around 7:30 in the morning so that we could get to our next anchorage before the next piece of bad weather set in. Steve could hardly get the anchor loose because it was buried so deeply in the mud. We were lucky enough to catch an ebb tide out of the bay, which pushed our speed to 7 knots. We rounded the southwestern point of Vanua Levu and continued on along the southern shore.

Naisonisoni Passage allowed us to cut through the very large reef that was on our way to Savusavu. We arrived just past low tide and were able to clearly see the reef edges, which was good because the sky was so overcast that we could see nothing unless the tide was down. We went through the pass in calm water and light winds and then were lucky enough to pick up the flood tide all the way into Savusavu. We decided to continue all the way to Savusavu because the weather did not look good for the next few days. We arrived at 4:45 and Bill from the Copra Shed Marina led us to our mooring ball. Just as we were tying up to the ball, the rain started to fall, and it hasn't stopped since.

Savusavu is a small town, but the Copra Shed facilities are very nice, the people are very friendly, and the restaurants have good food at very reasonable prices. We plan to lrent a car and drive around the island for a couple of days.

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