Well, we’re here. And we caught two fish on the way up. Problem was they were both Mahi and a bit small so we let them go thinking what we really wanted was a nice big TUNA. Alas, no joy on the tuna.
But, we’re tucked into a gorgeous spot in the NE corner of the bay, just next to a little island that provides some shelter from all but direct south wind. Right now, there’s absolutely zero wind. We could be on a mountain lake.
Last night we caught up with Rich and Jan on Slip Away (which was great) and also got to meet Andrew and Kerri on Mariposa, a Westsail 42. We had a pot luck and really enjoyed the evening. New friends and old. Great combo.
Today, we had a wonderful first full day in the bay thanks to Puddy Tat, a Brit/South Africa duo (David and Silvie) who were kind enough to offer their boat as “taxi” for the day. They contracted with Jack, the local fixture and character, to guide them to a couple of snorkeling spots on the barrier reef. Would we like to come? “You Betcha!”
The deal with Jack is you pay him $10 Fijian per person and make lunch, and he’ll guide all day. And as a bonus, we got to hear his stories of guiding boats in and around Fiji for the past 40 years. Definitely a character and a lot of fun.
We also had some tremendous snorkeling. The first spot we stopped at in the morning was the “White Wall”. This is an internationally known dive spot, but how would snorkeling be? Just OK is the answer. We battled a bit of a current and ended up snorkeling a couple hundred yards up current and then sliding back to the boat. The coral was just OK-the better experience is deeper-but there was a highlight. I got to see a shark pursuing an octopus. I didn’t see the final outcome, but it was a thrill to watch the chase.
Then we relocated to the Cabbage Patch”. I thought, “well, what a stupid name” until I dove it. Wow! That’s exactly what it was. I’ll try to get some pics up soon. It also had some of the most beautiful coral we’ve ever seen. Ann and I felt really fortunate to have had the opportunity to see this spot. Many thanks to David and Silvie for playing “taxi” and taking us all out to the reef.
So, we’re here for a while. In the plan is: diving (with tanks-there are several operators who will pick us up at Charisma), going ashore to meet some of the locals and do some hiking, and hopefully paddle boarding. There’s also some bad weather due in the islands this weekend, so we’ll likely hunker down in this nice bay until that blows over.
We’ll see what comes.