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!
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.
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,