Gail and I hop a small plane to Musket Cove ,a sea side resort, part of the Northwest island group. These islands including the Yasawa group are the most developed for tourists . They are very different from the more remote islands in the east that we talked about in the last blog. Here we join many of the other Oysters for a farewell to Fiji party. Many of the boats will leave for New Caladonia or Vanuatu before going on to Australia. We have decided to stay and enjoy Fiji longer then sail straight to McCay, Australia about a 10-12 day sail. This also gives us a better weather window, avoiding a low weather system moving up from the south.
In Musket Cove we are off Infinity and enjoy a few days relaxing around the pool with friends. We will rejoin Infinity in a week after Fabian has a chance to recover from COVID.
Petra and Godfried on YOLO were gracious to bring us to Denerau where we meet Infinity and get ready to send Gail back home. Denerau is a busy marina and ferry/tourist hub with lots of good restaurants and retail shops. We send Gail off with a dinner at Indigo , a quality Indian restaurant . Indian influence is felt through out Fiji both culturally and economically with many businesses owned and run by Indians.
I then settle into marina life of laundry, boat cleaning and minor repairs getting ready for our 10 day crossing to Australia. Marina life has its good and bad points. On the plus side is meeting with friends we haven’t seen in weeks or months, good access to services for Infinity for a thorough cleaning , grocery shopping, commercial laundry machines ,good restaurants and internet. Negatives include the murky water, lack of wind and soon the itch to get back out on the water.
In Nadi we are able to find an authentic Italian shop ,Flavio’s, as if we were along the Amalfi coast. We load up on 3 year old Mancheta, enough salami to get us to Australia and a host of Italian specialty foods usually unavailable outside a major metropolis. Learning to shop for a weeks worth of food in foreign lands where they almost never have everything you need requires versatility and mastering the art of substitutions. While Daniela is in charge of the cooking and shopping I usually help with menu selection and the shopping. Definitely makes me appreciate Whole Foods.
A deep low weather system between Australia and New Zealand is moving north toward New Caledonia so we are going to have to cut our stay in Fiji a few days short head to Australia and possibly duck into Vanuatu depending on weather. I will definitely return to Fiji but before leaving we spend 2 days anchored in the channel between Drawaqa and Nanuya islands where manta rays gather to feed on plankton. I have long wanted to swim with these majestic giants.
Hope you enjoy this video where I get to swim with mantas in their natural environment.
Farewell to Fiji……. we have a 10-12 day sail to MacKay, Australia where we meet the rest of the fleet on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays for our mid-way circumnavigation party……
Thanks for following and stay well.