Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Winding Through the Reef

We had planned to leave Dakanubu on Sunday morning, but one of the local fishermen came out to the boats to ask for help repairing one of his "tin" fishing boats. It had a rather large crack in a seam. So Matt from Superted, Mike from Option One, Mike from Chapter 2 and Michael from Astarte all went ashore with various bits and tools to figure out what they could do. That's an awful lot of supervisors! The repair was made and we felt it was then too late to leave as it started to get cloudy.
We left Dakanuba on Monday and decided the weather was clear enough to take the inside passage towards Viani Bay. This was a bit tricky with lots of deep water mixed with shallow coral patches. But the sun was relatively high and with Barbara on the bow and Michael at the wheel we wound our way through the patches safely. One area was a bit narrow and we had to do a couple of quick turns looking like a "crazy Ivan." Once past the "scary" part, we had a smooth motor into Viani Bay. Here we anchored near our already anchored friends on Superted, Victory and Option One. Chapter 2 was just ahead of us through the inside passage.
We all found a home amongst coral bommies in relatively deep water. After a quick lunch, we headed to shore to get permission from the people on the island to anchor here. Everything in Fiji is owned by someone – and anchoring in a bay is like setting up a tent in someone's front yard – so you must ask permission. In some cases this is a more formal process (we'll explain when we go through that!) and in other cases like this one, its simply going ashore and requesting permission. We were invited inside the home and met the entire family including the visiting grandmother "Francis." We took our shoes off before entering the home and were all invited to sit and have a lovely get to know you conversation. We left some tea bags and "breakfast biscuits" (a type of cracker) as a thank you gift.
We have explored the reef near the boat and near the island on a few snorkel expeditions. Today , we'll do another area. The fish here are very colorful and quite plentiful and on every snorkel we see something new and interesting. The last reef unfortunately had quite a few "crown of thorns" - a very dangerous star fish that if touched is very painful. JanBart who tried to bury one is still nursing a badly hurt hand.
There are more pictures posted on web page (new photos) and lots of underwater critters for those that like them. Michael is enjoying shooting fish (if he can't do it with spear gun!) He would prefer not to post as many photos, not being up to his standards, but Barbara makes him post almost everything.
Tomorrow we're going on a big adventure! We'll report later.

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