On the Move - but not far! 16 48.570S 179 17.281E

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 28 May 2012 09:26
With my leg still covered in a big dressing, but looking like it's starting to heal okay, we've decided to start heading east, but stay within a day's sail of Savusavu, just in case. But today it was a gentle sail after lunch down to anchor off the Cousteau resort, only  about 4 miles down the coast. Savusavu is good, but it's nice to get out to an anchorage again with only a few other boats around - 4 to be precise. This is a good jumping off spot from Savusavu as the advice when cruising in Fiji is to get in to anchor before 15.00 as after that the sun is too low in the sky to be able to see the reefs and find the passes. So from here it's possible to make an early start tomorrow and sail the 37 miles or so to an anchorage to the east called Fawn Harbour - it's just a dog-leg pass through the reef which leads to a sort of lagoon surrounded by mangroves. There's no settlement there and it's definitely not a harbour! Virtually all the islands of Fiji have a fringing reef around them with the odd gap here and there. Some of the islands have barrier reefs further out and according to the books it's possible to sail between the reef and the land - but you need good visibility and someone on the bow. The rule here seems to be if it's cloudy when you get up in the morning go back to bed and stay where you are. If it's sunny you can move. We're anchored in about 55ft of water - they say the anchorages can be deep here, so glad we've got lots of chain (300ft) as we normally aim to put out a scope of 4 to 1 and we've currently got just over 200ft down.  By the sound of it, it's coral on the bottom - not good for the coral (although it's almost certainly dead coral as this has been an anchorage for years), not good for the anchor and not good for the chain - the coral scrapes all the galvanisation off so it all ends up going rusty. It's also very easy, as the boat moves around the anchor over night, to get the chain caught around the coral, so hope it comes up okay in the morning, otherwise it might not be such an early start! 
The anchorage is well protected from the prevailing winds so a flat sea as the sun goes down.
Something else going down! I can get in the anchor locker so it's a long way down when you drop something in it.
Ah, that's better!