Anchored at Malake Island
26 October 2008 | Fiji
We got up with the sun today to make our second day sail on the way to Vuda Point Marina, which is near Latoka on Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji. It was a great day for sailing. We had the wind everywhere but ahead of the beam. The wind was light but workable and we managed anywhere from 6 to 9 knots along the track. The speed always seemed to max out right when we were threading through an intricate reef section with a jibe involved.
We used Curly's waypoints for this leg. They were very good with the exception of one pair that take you too close (perhaps over) a surface level reef. The route from Makogai to Malake required 33 way points to cover 50 miles. Today we performed more sail operations than I can recall in a similar stretch of time. We saw a turtle and a large grouper as we peered into the water looking for coral en route. The islands along the way are a little more arid than I expected with large areas of rock and grass mixed in with the stands of coconut trees, mangroves and others
Curly's waypoints take you to an anchorage about 5 miles before the one we stopped at. His looked much better than this spot. We picked this place because it was marked on the chart as an anchorage and it was closer to our ultimate goal. I would not recommend this spot. The bottom is poor and the island does not provide much protection, you get a little chop wrapping around from both sides. It is not bad in a catamaran but it is certainly not flat. The nice part is you get a good breeze and few bugs. We anchored off of a little beach on the west side. The water is too mucky to see the bottom type but I'm guessing it is rock and mud (with plenty of rock). If you do try this spot (and I say again there is not much to recommend it) don't try to anchor in less than 30 feet of water as the reefy bit closer to shore goes from 30 to 7 feet or less straight away.
I would hesitate to sail anywhere around Fiji without good sunlight unless I had made the trip before. This place is reef central. The water is also not the clearest in all of the places I have seen so far.
Tomorrow we will tie up at Vuda Point Marina and get checked in to Latoka. Fiji requires crazy amounts of check ins and outs. Our friend Margaret arrives the day after and we will check out and leave the day after that.