04 July 2017 | Musket Cove, Malolo Lailia Island, Fiji
When we left Texas to return to the South Pacific, I knew that we would be faced with a key decision the end of June. That decision would dictate where we cleared into Fiji and where we spent our time before the end of June. When we could get away from NZ and arrive in Fiji also played into things, but only to the extent of how long we had before the end of June. Cindy had made it clear that with me or with out me she would be spending 3 weeks or so in Texas with our new grandson, who was scheduled to make his debut into this world mid-June.
Unfortunately, there are not many Marinas in Fiji where I could feel comfortable leaving the boat at a dock. The logical choice was Port Denarau, but there was no room for us (and it was a bit pricey). As I made inquiries it became clear that I was not going to find a spot where I would be comfortable leaving the boat unattended for this length of time. So the decision then turned to where best for me to spend the time while Cindy was away. With input from other cruisers that had spent time around Fiji, I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that Musket Cove would be the best choice.
Musket Cove is located on Malolo Lailia Island, on the south end of the Mamanuca Island chain in Fiji. It is about 12nm west of Port Denarau, with easy access to Nadi International Airport via a large power cat water taxi. Musket Cove marina includes access to the resort amenities, making it a very relaxing stay. We were fortunate to arrive before the boats from the World ARC arrived and were able to get one of their first-come-first-serve mooring balls. There is also an over-flow anchorage area, which has been pretty full - especially when the larger (80-125’) boats stop by. By virtue of the fact that Cindy and I sailed into Musket Cove from a foreign port, we have become Lifetime Members of the Musket Cove Yacht Club.
Besides the list of boat chores that are always available to eat up time during the day, there are lots of other “fun” ways for me to spend the day, including hiking around the island, paddleboarding, and snorkeling. I have had fun watching the kite boarders ripping it up, and have even thought about heading out to one of the many surf breaks to try surfing on the SUP. I have enjoyed catching up with many of the cruisers we know that are also here, as well as meeting new boats. The only disappointment is that the area is a conservation area and there is no fishing!