We stopped at Minerva Reef (north) for shelter as a tropical low depression passed north of us on our passage from Whangarei NZ to SavuSavu Fiji. We loved the environment and stayed 5 days, giving us time to explore
Even in the shelter of the north side of Taveuni (In Paradise Resort’s bay) we are feeling guest to 34,knots from these SE winds. We were going to sail back to Vanua Balavu but the seas were building and uncomfortable so we are waiting for calmer conditions. Paradise served up a delicious Fijian meal tonight while pretty young ladies performed local dances on the lawn. We also saw humpbacks in SomoSomo Strait. very nice consolation for this weather.
We stayed at this anchorage in Ship Sound Bay of Islands Vanua Balavu in the Lau Group for over 2 weeks. It is sheltered, gorgeous, has beautiful coral within swimming distance, has caves to dive into, fruit bats to see in the trees a bay or two away during the day, excellent coves and bays to paddleboard and kayak around in, and even some digicel and Vodafone connection.
Duff Reef or Cakagalu is a marvelous picturesque small sandy island with one palm tree, many turtles (including skeletons and nests) and birds. The sand is crystalline white and feels lovely under foot. Swimming over to the island from the anchorage, you see only white underwater as you get close to shore due to the sandy bottom, making me put out my arm to make sure I didn’t bump the bottom. The rectangular reef offers some protection from waves up to 3-4 feet, but if they are higher than that, it’s best to shelter behind the sandy island strip. There are smaller fish but we didn’t see pelagic fish or sharks in the lagoon, we spent three days here in fairly settled weather. The atoll is a nice, 4 hour sail north of Vanua Balavu
We spent two rolly nights but glorious days anchored on a wall patch of sand out at the Great Sea Reef, the world’s 3rd longest continuous sea reef. The water was crustal clear, yunlike the water closer to the north shore of Vanua Lavu, the sea life was incredible, and the conditions in fairly calm conditions were okay. We had amazing snorkeling and diving right off the boat. I took this picture from in the water at the reef. That’s Golden GLow in the background (looking very small)
All good on Golden Glow in this Pleasant anchorage just west of Tivi Island. In strongest cell reception area (primarily why we chose it to be able to have video chat with kids on Mother’s Day)
leaving this anchorage in the SE corner of Cakao Vucovuco after an extremely rolly night. Water here is very clear. The pass is deep, wide and open with little current or waves. All sea cucumbers are gone from inside the lagoonand the reef shows signs of bleaching. Some sharks, mostly smaller fish. The lagoon has a steady 90? deep bottom until you get to the edge where it is easy to anchor in 35? sand. Many bommies but they are deep and it?s easy to anchor and still avoid them. Winds were steady at about 15 knots through the night so we did not swing or catch the anchor on anything. All is well aboard.
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Calm winds gave us an opportunity to anchor along the north coast of Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gul and go ashore to hike up to Casita Miro for a delicious Mediterranean style lunch at this winery & bistro.
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