We are now on a tight schedule to make it to Australia by the first week of December. On the way we want to see the active volcano on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, and probably need to stop in Noumea, New Caledonia, to wait for a good weather window for the last leg down to Australia. In total about 14 days of sailing still to go. We decided to cut our stay short here in Suva and leave already today, Saturday 19th of November. This means we didn’t have time to update the blogg properly, but here is a quick update on what we have been up to during the last couple of weeks.
Going straight from Niue, without stopping in Tonga, Kenobi arrived in Fiji in the morning of 2st of November. We had to go to the town of Savusavu, in the island of Vanua Levu, to do the clearing in process before we could head down to the remote Lau group in the south east part of Fiji. Many cruisers miss out on this part of Fiji because it means going back against the prevailing south easterly trade winds to get there. Fortunately for us we timed a good weather window and could go as soon as we got or cruising permit sorted a few days later.
We are really happy we got to see these islands were the scenery is beautiful and the people are living a traditional lifestyle. We were welcomed to the villages we visited as one of their own as soon as we presented the traditional Sevu sevu (Kava drink ceremony) to the chief. The villagers might not have too much cash in their pockets but the island and the water surrounding them supply basically everything they need. We were taken out fishing, diving (spear gun fishing), hiking and were invited to lunch and dinner almost every day at the house of our host families. The friendliness and hospitality of the people living here is something we will never forget.
After spending 5 days in Vulaga and 5 days in Matuku, we set sails for the capital Suva on the island of Vitu Levu. We had a passenger onboard from Matuku. James needed to sort out a visa application for New Zeeland and we were happy to have him onboard. James was a really funny guy our age so we had a nice day at sea together. Here in Suva we had new cushion covers for the sofa and blinds sewn up for us, the result was very good and now Kenobi looks as good on the inside as on the outside! We have now completed the final preparations for the leg over to Tanna. The winds look very good, about 15-20 kn all the way, so we can probably make it there in 4 days. We are really looking forward to some days with nice sailing conditions again.
See you soon with more text and pictures from our stay in Fiji.