Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Back in the Yasawa's again... so beautiful!

Hello Everyone,

We are back up at the Blue Lagoon again.  We have had a great week so far with Kava.  We picked him and Arielle up at the airport on Thursday the 8th and stayed for a night and then headed out.  We still had some to do items to complete on the boat especially since Kava had brought down with him a bunch of boat parts.  Christmas twice in one month.... best ever!

Kids Overnight..

We headed out of Port Denarau with our friends/family on Shine in blue skies and a soft breeze pushing us down the Yasawa Island Chain.  We had about 26 miles to go for our first night out of the marina.  We decided to stay at Waya LaiLai.  This was the little village that we loved so much with all the kids.   As we dropped anchor we were again welcomed with warm greetings.  Jim the acting mayor of the village waved us in from the beach and then we headed into the village.  We saw all of the familiar faces and were greeted with warm hugs from School Master Ben, his wife Eliza and of course all the kids.  We were asked many times where Oma was.  All the kids remembered us of course from the last time we were there and were looking around for Oma.  After we went to Jim’s house and we gave him the Kava and he blessed it and officially welcomed us to his village we wandered around a bit.  As we were hanging around playing with the kids a guy came down the path carrying rugby shoes.  Chris naturally gravitated to him to find out what he was doing and where he was going.  We found out that they were having a practice at the school grounds so of course we headed back to the school with him.  

 As we got to the playground the team started throwing the ball to Kava and Chris.  A little rugby tossing and then we were waved over for some backyard volleyball.  I had been playing a little volleyball with the ladies of the village and thought I was doing pretty good for an old girl.. I love volleyball but haven’t played in a long time... when Chris and Kava were done playing rugby they came over and jumped in on the game... Now I realized that the ladies were just being gentle with me... I was playing but they were just warming up... The balls were bouncing off the houses with extreme force... I was glad I was not in there... I thought someone was going to get knocked out... Dang they were good.

We also got to do another sevu sevu ceremony that evening with Ben and Eliza and the volleyball group... They invited us back to their house for dinner and sevu sevu after... Xesca from Shine stayed with the little girls on the boat and the rest of us went in for dinner.  Some guitar, some sevu sevu and a little drinking Kava for Kava and Arielle and a whole lot of fun hanging with these guys... at the end of the night one of the ladies who we had played volleyball with taught us how to make bracelets out of the material they make pandanus matts with.  

The anchorage was really rolly so we had to make our way north.  We headed to the manta pass to do a little snorkeling and hopes to see the Manta.  You can only see the Mantas around high tide so we had to wait until the next morning to go to the pass.  It was an early wake up call with Shine yelling at us through our windows to hurry up and get our suits on to go on a manta hunt.  It was a bit cold and windy when we got out there.  There was one other cruiser dinghy out already looking for the mantas.. unfortunately they had said they looked the day before with no luck and also the hotel tour guide said they hadn’t seen the mantas in a little while either.  We dove in to snorkel the pass and check it out ourselves anyway... it is a really fun drift dive with a few pelagic fish.  Right when Arielle, Kava and Chris jumped in they saw a 6 foot white tip reef shark... and then just a little later a nice size waloo swam by.  The snorkeling bit didn’t let us down, unfortunately we didn’t see the mantas... such a let down.  We realize how lucky we have been in our past locations to see these beautiful creatures.  

The anchorage again became a little rolly so we decided to again head north up to Soma Soma Bay that is well protected from swell and wind.  As we pulled up our friends on Winterlude were there and told us about the really great snorkeling just off our anchors.  Soma Soma Bay has a huge white sandy beach, probably the longest we have seen in Fiji so far... after a little play time we went to discover what was underwater.  We weren’t let down... the coral garden was completely amazing.  So many colors, varieties and sizes... just beautiful.  There was also a lot of fish life.  

This bay is also known for a World War II plane wreck in the bay... We think it was a spit fire or a hell cat.. We jumped on Shine's boat to go check it out and we all were surprised at how small the plane was... cute little fish though.

Now it is October 13th.. My Birthday :@) and I was woken up with a happy birthday song and cards from the kids... I love it.  Chris promptly spoiled me with coffee in bed and then breakfast (bacon and eggs) my favorite.. I think it was our last bacon that we had stalked up on in Tonga... :@(..  

After Breakfast we headed up to Blue Lagoon for my birthday.  Our friends on Javalot were going to be there and of course Shine and us... Once we got here, even though the winds are quite strong it is a very calm anchorage so we were able to raft up with Shine and tie our boats together.  The wind direction never changes and it is nice for the kids and grownups to be able to walk back and forth to the boats.  With our boats tied together we can handle quite a few people so we invited our friends from Javalot over for sunset drinks, curry dinner night and some birthday cake that Lexi made for me.  It was a lot of fun to have everyone on the boat, hanging out and telling stories.

This morning we went to the my favorite little farm on Shine’s dinghy.  This is the little farm that you have to go through the mangroves at high tide to get to.  The tide was already going out by the time we got there so we had to hurry along in order not to be stuck there for 6 hours... They weren’t down in the river this time so we walked up into the valley where the farm is to find them out working in their fields.  We all got the tour, and filled our bags with carrots, onions, eggplant, bok choy, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce and then went up to the house for farm fresh eggs.  I had forgotten coconuts so they offered to deliver them to the boat tonight when they come into the village.  Fantastic!  We barely made it out in time before the tide came in... we had to walk the dinghy out in the mud for quite a ways and then once we got out to the reef there were two local guys directing us to help us get out... at times the water was ankle deep and it wouldn’t be so bad except for Shine’s mercedes weighs 700 pounds and we can’t carry it.  

Hugs and love to everyone,


1 comment:

  1. Hi Heath!
    So glad Kava and Arielle are there! That must have been nice on your birthday, though I'm sure you missed Mykaela even more. Hey, does Kava's tattoo have any meaning (and if so, any meaning to the people where you are)? What did he think of the drink he is named after?! Funny that you guys are now the tour guides, after having been there for what, 10 days? Old pros when it comes to island life!

    The coral looks beautiful. Wondering if you have seen any evidence of coral bleaching, which has been in the news a LOT lately. Apparently there is devastating coral bleaching happening due to warmer ocean temps, thanks to climate change and El Nino. It might not be as far out as where you are. Mostly Solomon Islands and Hawaii in the Pacific and the Maldives. As much as 5% of the ocean's coral could be lost. Maybe a good research topic for school science class? Is there such a thing as a Science Fair for home schoolers? With all the kids you see cruising, I think you could pull it off. I know they are getting an excellent education in ecology...and social studies, too. :)

    I have two book recommendations for you. I'm only about 200 of 500+ pages in, but I am LOVING "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson, our current book club pick. I couldn't put it down last night and only got 5 hours of sleep. (Well, the rats in our attic also kept me up. UGH!!! Jorge thinks he sealed off their access point and put a bunch of traps up there, but so far they are alive and kickin' and really going to town above our bedroom. Miss the "semi-rural" atmosphere of Lafayette? Yeah, no. If they get into my house, so help me I'll move and never come back...) Anyway, the other one that I really liked is called "Station Eleven". "Ordinary Grace" is on my list, so glad to see you liked it. One that I do not recommend is called "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler. It's on the best seller list but what a snooze.

    That's my update for now. Keep finding those nice, protected anchorages! Miss you and hope everyone's well.