August 14, 2014 Viani Bay

August 14, 2014
16 45′ S
179 54′ E
At Anchor: Viani Bay

BULA!  Friendly Fiji has rolled out the red carpet for s/y “Privateer”!  We are having an awesome time and realize that you need several years here to do this place any justice.  After stocking up on Kava root in Savusavu we set out for Fawn Harbor, where we were quickly taken in by the local family there.  We spent days there with young Wayne (13) and his family, Indian dinner at Nana’s house, fish fry at his parent’s house, “pici-niki” on the island (totally sweet), fishing from the dinghy, harvesting sea grapes on the outer reef, and of course the daily trips to the HOT SPRING!!!  The springs rank in our top 10 file, entered via a walk through dense bamboo forest and several stream crossings.  Each morning Wayne paddled his sinking kayak out to the boat for breakfast, and we just let each day flow from there.

Wayne’s cousin CC was visiting from the Big City of Suva, and you could tell the difference between the city slickers and the “bush people” as Wayne referred to himself as.  While Wayne was teaching us how to knock fruit bats from the trees with a bamboo pole (I can eat 2 bats, but Nana can eat 4…) CC was busy washing the dog’s mouth after the pici-niki 🙂 and asking me if a marshmallow grew from a tree or a shrub!  We had a wonderful time with these generous folks, and they showered us with fruit and when we left.  “Come back to Fawn Harbor soon and come home!” they said.  It was with heavy hearts that we sailed from Fawn Harbor.  It made me decide that when we have a home and a foreigner visits the place, we will extend the same level of hospitality that Wayne and his wonderful family bestowed upon us!

Now, we are swinging at anchor in big wide Viani Bay, with it’s world famous barrier reef (one of the top dive destinations in the world!  We took the dinghy out to find the dive resort for a guided dive on the reef, and landed on a palm-clad beach with a resort which we thought might be the place.  Turned out we were wrong, and Carl came down and welcomed us on his private resort.  “Next bay down is the place you’re looking for!”  Carl turned out to be a super nice millionaire from California who took keen interest in our sailing voyage, and invited us for dinner that night!  I won’t go into details, but it was very cool.  We zoomed home under the full moon after a first-class evening.

Today, I went on two dives with the Dolphin Bay outfit.  First place was called “fish factory” and vast swarms of every kind of fish swirled around like debris in a tornado.  Next place was the “coral garden” which was loaded with huge fans and trees of coral, each the size of the boat.  Soft corals waved and pulsed while clown fish and nuzzled through the noodly stalks.  It was a “National Geographic” moment for sure!  I’m going again tomorrow!  Unfortunately, Kelsey had to sit the day out on the beach while getting a free continental breakfast and a massage… for those of you who don’t know, we’ve got a stowaway on board!  He or she (it will be a surprise) has been exercising it’s sea legs and the we can feel the thumping on Kelsey’s growing belly at odd hours of the day and night.  It’s the greatest thing!

That’s about all for now…trading flour for mangoes, snorkeling, exploring, reading good books, making friends with locals & Kiwis, and taking each day as it comes!  Bula Vinaka Fiji!!!

-P

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