Despite our quietest ever Christmas and New Year (we didn’t even stay up and toast the New Year with bubbles! A first I think!!), we’ve been having a lovely time exploring the eastern region of Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Rainbow Reef, Fiji.
At this time of year most cruisers head down to New Zealand or Australia, as Fiji is in the cyclone belt. Consequently there are very few yachts around and now we’re into the second week in January, very few tourists either.
Thankfully the weather has been mostly very good lately with plenty of flat calm days and we have enjoyed some wonderful diving at Rainbow Reef. This stunning reef system runs through the channel between Vanua Levu and Taveuni islands and is often referred to as the soft coral capital of the world. We can certainly say that this is some of the best diving we have ever enjoyed. There are so many beautiful reef fish and the colours of the corals are outstanding. Just the other day, as we arrived at a dive spot we spotted manta rays just in front of the dinghy. Lynne jumped in the water with the new underwater camera that Eric brought back from Australia and managed to get some pretty good video of one or two of them.
Of course it’s not all play over here! We have been doing more sail repairs (yes, we’re in dire need of a new mainsail….!) and also careened the boat for a hull scrub. *see update below
Over on Taveuni island, after provisioning and buying outboard fuel, we enjoyed a walk around the old Catholic Mission at Wairiki and some lovely beach time at the small island offshore, Korolevu.
and we had great fun the other day at the waterslide in Waiyevo.
This is a short hike up from the Garden Island resort, past the Correction centre, then you follow the path alongside the river up to the waterfalls, then slide down the smooth rocks from pool to pool! It was so refreshing, although the boys preferred the trail to the pools!
Another fun thing to do on Taveuni is to step back in time by standing astride the 180 degree meridian. Whilst the international date line has been conveniently moved to encompass whole countries, the actual 180 degree line separating the east and west hemispheres runs right through the village of Waiyevo on Taveuni! Well, we’re finally close to Australia and family here in Fiji, but at 180 degrees from Greenwich, we’re just about as far away as we can get!
*UPDATE: Where we careened Amarula is an isolated spot far from all the major tourism. It’s a beautiful mangrove Creek with fabulous kayaking, hiking trails, stunning views, glorious bird calls and the most delightfully friendly people With world class diving just around the corner! I just posted a selection of photos on our Amarula Sail Facebook page here, and a short video of kayaking in the creek with the bird calls as our background ‘music’ here