Taveuni - 16 40.435S 179 48.836W
Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 24 Jun 2012 09:05
Stayed at the anchorage in Qamea for 5 days, initially to check out the snorkeling and then to wait for better weather to move on. The fringing reef on the north west corner is amongst the best we have seen any where in the world. It really is like a coral garden, going on and on, with all varieties of coral packed tightly together, not the gaps that you see in most reefs. There'll be a photo or two when we next get Internet access.
We had the bay to ourselves for a couple of days before another yacht arrived. There are quite a number of yachts cruising this area, but even more lovely bays to anchor in, so it's quite possible to have a beautiful bay all to yourself. For the first time in Fiji the anchor was in sand - glorious sand! (The chain ended up going through a small patch of coral, but you can't have everything!) And the wind came from where it was supposed to come from, the southeast, giving us a lovely offshore wind that kept us a nice distance off the shore and kept the anchor chain straight. We did use a stern anchor the first night, but we didn't need it. Even more, we were anchored in only 40ft of water and the chain was visible on the bottom. So all in all, it was a good place to be. The weather here, as always, wasn't as good though. It's been mixed - a couple of good sunny days (when the forecast said it was going to rain) and then cloud with rain at times. It's also been windy, gusting up to 27kts. So we waited for a day when the wind went down a bit and the visibility was good before moving on.
Even so, we didn't get it quite right. It looked a good day to go with clear sunny skies, but once outside the reef and the protection of the island, the wind was up and the seas were much bigger than expected. Not something you want when trying negotiate your way around reefs. However, it was coming from the east and we were heading west, so all behind us - much better. It was only a short trip round the northern tip of Taveuni to anchor on the west side in a protected roadstead. Again we are the only boat in the anchorage. On shore there's a lovely looking beach and an expensive looking resort above it. They have resorts in Fiji for every pocket, but the upmarket ones and very upmarket - charging over a thousand US dollars per night! This anchorage is only a stop-over as the aim is to get to the island of Rabi (pronounced Rambi), off the eastern corner of Vanua Levu. Albert Cove on Rabi is reputed to be one of the best bays in Fiji - a beautiful soft golden sand beach lined with coconut palms, crystal-clear water and a secure anchorage. Sounds to good to be true. We hope to find out tomorrow.