My intention was to take this blog in a bit of a different direction this year. As it turns out, I’ve just been too busy. I know, I know, stop laughing, but really I haven’t had much down time since I got to Fiji almost 2 months ago. Instead of trying to write more article like posts, I’m just going to go back to my good old travel blog style and get this thing caught up.
It took a month to fix the cyclone damage and get a new dinghy shipped to Vuda Point. Riki on Guava Jelly had been out in the Yasawas during that time, but came back to join me when I was ready to leave. I’d made lots of good friends with the yard workers at Vuda and had an amazing sendoff with 10 or so of the marina employees singing me “Isa Lei” the traditional Fijian farewell song.
Vuda treated me well, but it was high time to get back out cruising again. Guava Jelly and I set our sights on heading East. We were thinking Savusavu to meet up with another good buddy, Christian, on sv Irie. First Riki wanted to check out Nananu-I-Ra. He’d picked up some kite boarding gear back in Seattle and was eager to try in out. Nananu-I-Ra is on the NE corner of Viti Levu and gets consistent trade winds. It also has a kite boarding/dive lodge there to get some lessons from if needed.
We set off from Vuda and made it all the way to Seweni Bay the first day (about 5 miles). It was a great sail and a good test for some of the repairs made to Bodhran. From there we did the passage up to Nananu-I-Ra in 2 days of mostly motoring in flat calm conditions.
We got into Nananu-I-Ra and dropped the hook in a nice protected spot away from anybody. Riki had emailed Warren from the Safari Lodge for info on Kite boarding. Turns out that he’d spotted us coming in and came on over in a panga not long after we got there. Warren gave us the down low on kiting spots and the prices for lessons. He’s a very nice fella, but I decided that I’d forgo kiting and Riki decided to try and teach himself.
The next morning Riki and I took the skiff out to kite point and got down to business. I won’t describe the events, but needless to say Riki really needed lessons and had a good bump on his head to drive the message home. Warren and the lodge kite boarders showed up and we slunk away in the background while they got set up. Then came a couple of cruisers, Phillip and Teri on Blue Bie. Phillip took pity on Riki and gave him some lessons great improving our condition. By the end of the day Riki was flying his kite nicely and I was getting some great shots of Phillip and Teri jumping and doing flips on their boards.
The next day saw Riki out body dragging through the water learning kite control while I took more pics of Phillip, Teri and all the Safari kiters. We’d moved Guava Jelly, Bodhran and Blue Bie to the lee of kite point so that we’d be closer to the action. After another fine day on the point, the three boat’s crews settled in on the beach for a nice camp fire under an amazing starlit sky.
The third day found Riki up on his board for short spurts and then the ripping of his kite. Oops. So up came the hook and we decided to move anchor again and relocate closer to Safari to see if Warren could sew up Riki’s kite for him. I was able to give a bunch of kite boarding pics to the guests at the lodge. Warren is a busy man, so we set into a couple of days of snorkeling and hiking around the island while we waited for Riki’s kite to be repaired.
This post is going to get too long, so I’ll stop here. We’re in Savusavu now hoping to leave for the Lau Group today or tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on the rest of the story before I leave.