Saturday, August 3, 2013

No Rugby...But Good Snorkeling

We left the comfort and resort-style living of Musket Cove on Malolo Lailai in the Mamanucas and headed north to the Yasawa Group of Fiji Islands. We had heard that there was some local rugby that was played weekly on Waya Island in the village of Yalobi. The wind was stronger than expected and more northerly so we had to motorsail the entire way (some 32 miles). We anchored near the school in 52 feet of water – but the holding seemed good. The next morning, we went into the village to check on the rugby match. Unfortunately, we were a week late – they played last week and now were on a different island to play. We could stay and watch some of the kids play some athletics – but decided to head instead to Kuata – just outside the bay of Yalobi. We really wanted some good snorkeling time and this sounded like the place that offered some.

We anchored, again in very deep water, but it was very clear and we could actually see the anchor and chain on the bottom in 55 feet of water! Our friends Matt and Jean were already at anchor here for a few days so they had scoped out the various reefs for snorkeling. They sent us to one area that had very good visibility and great topography. Deep cuts, like roads int the corals, with a nice variety of both coral and fish. The water was also warmer here than we had yet had in Fiji – so we could spend a bit longer in the water without freezing. We enjoyed the spot and Barbara only left the water when a big shark cruised by!

The rocks on the island of Kuata are quite ominous looking – great for a Halloween sight! A few look like they have a carved face because of growth in them or lighter stone against darker rock. When the sun hits them at sunset – they are particularly eerie. The night was a bit rolly at anchorage as the wind had totally died leaving us to deal with the tides and currents and sea swell. But it was not unbearable, especially if you looked up at the night sky and saw more stars and planets than we'd seen for some time. Between the lack of artificial light and the clear skies – it was a dramatic night sky filled with clear constellations and several bright planets.

This is a pretty place and we'll probably spend a few days here before moving up the Yasawa chain a bit. It is in this chain that the movies, "Castaway" and "Blue Lagoon" were filmed. Hope we don't adopt a coconut as our best friend!

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