29 August 2015 | Raviravi Bay, Vanua Balavu
Another gorgeous bay which doesn't have a name in our charts. Some cruisers have been calling it Little Bay but I asked Tomasi, a local Fijian we met and he told me the real name. The entrance to the bay is very narrow, just a few meters to spare in each side of the banks of "boat eating" rocks and coral. And being a very low tide as it is almost full moon, more that we wanted to see was exposed. The wind was blowing with gusto, but the anchorage was good. There is another lagoon further in but only dinghies can navigate there. On the beach we saw 5 perfect cowry shells, alive, some cone shells, lots of crabs, and broken coral and shells. The water is not very clear due the mangrove but rich in nutrients. I have read ithat in the pass between the two lagoons there is a colony of bright red soft coral which is best seen wiith the sun and an incoming tide to get better visibility. Because of the very strong current, Jerry dropped me off at the entrance and I drifted down, speeding over the colorful bottom. Yes, the coral iis stunning and there are lots of it. I did another two drifts but Jerry didn't want to do it because he was cold just looking at the water. The current is way too strong to take a photo of the corals and we decided that we would go again in slack tide. We went but the water had even less visibility. I found very interesting to see so much coral, soft and hard in a mangrove area.
Tomasi, another soft speaking, educated and friendly Fijian from Avea, an Island close by, came with his son in a small canoe to give us green coconuts and spent an hour or so talking story. He told us that his great-grandparents came from Tonga in the 1800s and established themselves in Munia, another Island inside the atoll. They sold it to the British when these came a bit later. He said that the price was of a smoking pipe, and some say it was one shilling. In 1996 the Fijian government bough the Island back and told them, the heirs of the original people, that they could have it back. However, they still live in Avea and Munia is left uninhabited. We gave Tomasi a Mauliola Tshirt and a hat for his son. We didn't want to leave because there is so much to explore around here but with the wind howling, and the forecast is for more, we can't do much exploring in the reef. We decided to sail down 14 miles to Susui. When the wind abates we can go back. Aloha.