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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Savusavu to Viti Levu, Fiji Wednesday 10/24 9:00AM (Ginger)

We left Savusavu and motored 50 miles to the giant clam reserve on Makogai Island as there wasn't a breath of wind that day. We spent 4 nights at Makogai enjoying the clear water and snorkeling. Unfortunately I enjoyed the clear water a bit too much the first day there and was thoroughly sun burned after just an hour of snorkeling. Our first dip in the water we saw a lion fish hovering in a giant clam shell. Unfortunately no camera that trip but what a site to see aquarium fish in the wild.
Further snorkeling adventures took us to several coral pinnacles with gorgeous soft and hard coral and fish we were impressed to see. We were told the water was so clear because of the filtering done by the clams. It was fantastic to see huge schools of barracuda, turtles, clown like fish in anemone and giant clams that have been re introduced to their natural environment. This snorkeling was how I imagined all of the snorkeling in the South Pacific. We decided that we've probably seen several
tropical diving movies all filmed in this bay. In fact when we arrived there were a couple of people filming for a BBC/Discovery series that will air in 2009 covering the South Pacific and Hawaii.
As the weather changed to windy and stormy and the fresh veggies were getting depleted we started thinking about our next stop. We decided to haul anchor and head across the channel to a small island just off the coast of the main southwest island Viti Levu. We crossed the channel in steep seas and 20-25 knots of wind. Apparently there was a high wind warning for Fiji but we hadn't received that message as we listened to the radio net that morning. On our way across we had a bit of excitement
as the bolt at the forward end of the jib track broke and the end of the track broke off sending the car with the jib sheet skyward. There is a lot of force on those lines and it's better to fix that here than to have it break on the way to NZ. We anchored without further event and enjoyed the night in a windy and wild anchorage protected by a reef and the corner of the island. The following morning we were up early and ready to continue toward Labasa where we'll check in with customs. The wind
was at our back as we sailed off our anchor. We sailed in perfectly calm water with 15-20 knots of wind inside the reef along the east coast of Viti Levu. This passage was made easier by way points in our chart plotter which we had gotten from a local fixture named "Curly" while in Savusavu. We were able to sail at 7.5 to 8 knots most of the way and his way points took us breathtakingly close to the reef patches. We decided they are not just passage way points but fishing and passage way points.
Some of the points brought us within 60 feet of the reef while we were still in 100 feet of water. We couldn't resist putting a lure in the water and as we were using a dark lure the first squall cloud to darken the sky over Marcy resulted in a fine Wahoo fish. Peter was appropriately cautious this time and the only blood spilled was that of the fish. As he put the line in the water to rinse it and straighten it out he had another fish immediately. We had to jibe as we were going through a pass
and in the 2 minutes it took to jibe a shark had eaten the tail of the fish before we had time to let it go. Peter pulled in what was left of the second fish and expertly filleted both. He's getting very good at the South Seas life. We anchored in a windy but flat anchorage having sailed 45 miles toward our destination. The island of Viti Levu is beautiful, reminding us of Eastern Washington with a few volcanic peaks thrown in. This morning the wind has mostly died and we're sailing on course
again but only at 3 knots. The day is heating up already, it's 9AM and 85F in the cabin, 90+ on deck. We're looking forward to the big city just 40 miles ahead and then off to another quiet anchorage.

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