Monday, February 06, 2006

And... how the other half live!

I found this from a Google search of 'Kia' about yachties sailing around the north of Vanua Levu and they visited Kia Island. So around Kia there are small local boats, yachts by Americans and Canadians and also deep-sea fishing boats call in to get bait!
The cruising life has been very kind to us… While we were in Labasa we tried to take some 20 lbs. of our freshly caught yellowfin tuna to Canadian friends on yachts Peregrinata and Incognita which we heard were anchored across the island at Savusavu…

We sailed on to beautiful Kia Island and met some very nice Fijians in a small village on the leeward side, snorkelled around one of the passes with friends, Barb and Bjarne, on Freya, who were visiting the same village and hiked to the top of the island the day they left. An exhausting climb but a wonderful view and the unexpected bonus was to get very close to the fruit bats’ tree where there were at least 200 of these rather large ‘flying foxes’ hanging upside down or flying around nearby. After we had taken lots of pictures, we climbed down closer and got to see the whole flock take to the air when they became alarmed by our proximity. We gave our Fijian friends some kava and some clothes we had brought for that purpose and shared a few bowls of kava with Joseph, the chief, and his entourage while taking lots of pictures and promising to send prints once we arrived at a town with a photo processing store and a post office.

We continued cruising along the north coast of Vanua Levu, stopping again with Barb and Bjarne at the island resort of Nukubati, where Bob and Laurie on ‘Shearwater’ caught up to us. After receiving a huge chunk of frozen walu and some water from the very generous manager at the resort, we sailed west admiring the beautiful coast and islands while carefully navigating towards a safe anchorage for the night. We tucked ourselves between the reef and the shore on the north side of Yagaga (Yanganga) Island with Shearwater & Freya and watched the setting sun light up the beaches, cliffs and volcanic outcroppings behind us – a wild, spectacular anchorage. Next day Cookie Cutter and Freya were off to our dream diving location – a beautiful bay on the west (leeward) side of Yadua (Yandua) Island in Bligh Waters. This area turned out to be a world class diving area – we spent 6 days there and went scuba diving on 4 of them – the hard & soft corals, the colourful fish and reef creatures and the incredible clarity of the water made it so wonderful we wanted to stay rather than continue to the Yasawas.

We were delighted when Bob and Laurie arrived, especially since they have a compressor and Bob was kind enough to fill all our tanks, the nearest dive shop being a day sail away on Vanua Levu! We dove, wined and dined with them and Barb and Bjarne and were all very sad when we left to go our separate ways – this cruising lifestyle is an odd one: always saying “hello” …

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