Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

07 June 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
26 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
24 March 2021 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
27 April 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
22 March 2020 | Town Basin Marina, Whangarei, NZ
16 December 2019 | Opua, New Zealand
25 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
21 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
19 November 2019 | On passage from Fiji to New Zealand
14 October 2019 | Savusavu, Fiji
27 July 2019 | Tavoro Waterfalls, Taveuni Island, Fiji
15 July 2019 | Viani Bay
23 June 2019 | En route to Savusavu, Fiji, from N. Minerva Reef
20 June 2019 | North Minerva Reef

Mana: a resort with an island around it

07 October 2017 | Mana Island, Fiji
Vandy
Mana Island 17 40.13'S, 177 05.98'E

After three days at Castaway, we were ready to explore another island. So we pulled up SCOOTS' anchor - at the end of 240 feet of chain - and headed north to Mana Island. As the seagull flies, Mana lies only about 3.5 miles away; but the seagull doesn't have to worry about reefs, and we do.


As you can see from the picture, we had to wind our way around and between some reefs, so our total distance was more like 5 miles. Still, not very far at all. We're really digging this coastal cruising!

We had a lovely sail to Mana, with SCOOTS' genoa catching the wind. I stood on the bow - my customary station whenever we navigate Fiji's reef-strewn waters - keeping a lookout for any uncharted reefs. We didn't encounter any. All the reefs were quite well-marked on our charts and Google Earth images.

Mana's south side has a large lagoon enclosed by a stunningly beautiful reef. Most of the resorts and concessions are located here, as well as the usual anchorage. But the wind was still blowing quite hard from the south, so we rounded the eastern shore of the island and took refuge from the wind and waves on the north side of the island, dropping SCOOTS' anchor in 65 feet of calm water off a lovely white sand beach, shaded by coconut palm trees. I'll never get tired of white sand beaches with palm trees.



We took our dinghy to the beach one day, and explored the many winding trails of the Mana Island Resort. This large, family-friendly resort sprawls over most of the island, along both north and south shores, as well as across the middle.


Vandy admiring their very large drum




It offers a wide assortment of activities, a large selection of bures, several restaurants, a few swimming pools, and even a sea turtle rookery.


Three or four green turtles were lazing about in the water of their small enclosure when we were there.

We also wandered over to the lagoon side of the island, where the strong winds were keeping most of the water toys on the beach.


It's a long jump to the dock.

If family-friendly Mana Island Resort isn't your style of accommodations, you have two other options: an inexpensive backpacker hostel and Tadrai, a five-star resort catering to couples.

The wind blew quite hard during our time at Mana, even on the back side of the island where we were, so we spent most of our time on SCOOTS. We did meet some other cruisers who dropped the hook near us, and I paddled our kayak around one day when the wind had lulled a bit.



After a few windy days, we set sail for Monuriki Island, a picturesque island featured in the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away.

Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. Since 2016, we've been spending our winters in Fiji and our summers in New Zealand.
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