Savusavu to Yadua
26 June 2009 | Yadua Island, Fiji
We are currently anchored in Cukuvou Harbor, the westernmost anchorage on the little island of Yadua, 10 miles west of Vanua Levu. The weather finally broke last Tuesday, with forecasts for consistent SE trades for the next 4 or more days. On the downside they were "reinforced" trade winds, meaning 20-25 knots rather than the 15 walk in the park that we prefer. But the wind- and presumably the seas- were going to be behind us so we decided to get while the getting was good. We also knew that we only had a couple hours of "open water" before we were back inside the reef where the swell can't get us.
Fiji is famous (and notorious) for its extensive reefs. Unlike the Society Islands where the reefs form a big circle around the islands (once you get inside the reef you are generally free to move about the island) the reef system in Fiji is arranged in a much more haphazard fashion- hazard being the key term here. There are reef and coral bommies scattered all over the place. You really need to have good navigation charts and make constant use of the best navigational tool of all: your peepers!
So after heading out of Savusavu Bay we had a slightly rough first couple of hours (we had the wind and seas on our beam) but once we turned into the Nasonisoni pass we put the wind on a better angle and had a fairly comfortable ride. The wind was up in the 20's and the water was fairly flat so we were making great speed (in fact going through the pass we had an incoming current that bumped our boat speed up by 3 knots!). Although we'd expected to anchor just inside the pass it was still early afternoon when we arrived so we decided to push further to the Nabouwalu anchorage at Coconut Point. This anchorage is nothing more than an open roadstead. not much to do there and really no wind protection but it served our purpose: giving us a place to stop for the night on our way west.
After a GUSTY night a Coconut Point we upped anchor and headed for Mbua Bay with the intention of stopping there for the night. Once again big winds coupled with flat water enabled us to make much better speed than we normally do and we arrived at Mbua before noon. The wind was in the mid 20's and Mbua didn't look like it had as much shelter as we were looking for, so we decided to press on and make for Yadua Island. We figured with the winds coming out of the ESE and the anchorage being on the western side we should have a calm quite anchorage where we could snorkel and swim. Not! Even with a whole island between us the wind was still gusting into the anchorage making dinghy rides a rather wet affair.
Tomorrow Tin Soldier arrives and we'll hike over to the village on the other side of the island for the "sevesevu". More on that later.