20130505 Sunday or Saturday – Part ii
Nice view from the Bar.
We decide to move on to pastures new and head out for Asua Harbour about 35 nm to the west. Having studied the charts various
and what pilotage information is available it is obvious that the charts are up to ½ a nm out with various anchorages appearing to be firmly on land!!
As we approach the reef it seems to form a continuous barrier to our entry into the Bay. Eventually we spot the two small white poles
that are supposed to mark the dredged channel that was made when the Japanese timber mill was in operation. Then a few buoys their colour or shape hard to tell a result of lack of maintenance.
Looking for an opening in the reef.
Gingerly approaching the reef we spot a gap and try to line up the buoys, which seem to indicate a direct approach into the reef with a sharp
90 degree turn to follow the channel. The depth gauge rises suddenly from 70 to 11 then 10, 9, 7, metres then just as were about to give up
holding our breath its starts to drop back 12, 13, 14 metres as we slide in between the reefs.
We motor across the bay to what looks like a resort on the far side and drop our anchor in 7metres. Disappointingly the green water
is not that clear and the reason becomes apparent once we jump in. The top layer is fresh water and gives an oily shimmer through the mask.
Diving down the water is several degrees warmer and clearer as we check the anchor on the sandy bottom.
On the resort jetty a couple of girls appear waving and inviting us ashore. Well the natives look friendly, so Fred and Grete head for shore
to investigate, returning with the good news that there is an open bar and what looks like a decent restaurant.
Later one of the staff of the “Va-i-moana” resort paddles out in his canoe to invite us to partake of their facilities and advises
us that a group of sport fishing guests will be arriving back around 6pm.
As its happy hour we decided to have dinner before we head for the shore and partake of the facilities. Driving the dinghy
onto the beach it’s a barefoot walk into the open sided bar restaurant where we are welcomed by the staff.
They are very impressed with our arrival and tell us were the biggest yacht they have ever seen here.
Furthermore they have taken a picture of us and are posting it on their website www.vaimoana.ws
We join the Australian fishing party and exchange pleasantries whilst they are busy trying to drink the bar dry.
They have caught and tagged and a couple of huge marlin and are celebrating the days successes. To be sociable
we join them in their task and to be honest it became a bit of a blur and Fred still doesn’t know how he has a cut on his knee and lump out his skull.
20130506 Monday – at anchor
Dawn breaks and though we intended to be ashore by 07:30 to get the bus that would take us the 20 miles to the car hire place we fail
to rise to the challenge. Breakfast around 0830, then Fred and Grete are deposited ashore to go exploring in search of wi-fi and we
arrange to meet them on the other side of the bay for lunch.
Lars and I take the dinghy to an island on the reef for a little exploration of our own. The island consisted of dead coral with volcanic pumice
rocks forming the reef around it. Creepers and coconut trees have already taken hold and along with other vegetation have started the processes of consolidating the island.
New Island only coral and lava.
We swim out to the reef towing the dinghy. There isn’t much in the way of coral as its mainly volcanic rock and the few fish are the drab black
and brown colour of the rock. We come across the wreck of the fishing boat we failed to spot as a mark on our way in as it has now been
pulverised by the wave action and apart from a single post is underwater even at low tide.
Boarding the dinghy, we go looking for our intrepid explorers and arrive at what looks more like a prison camp than a hotel,
but they are not to be seen. So we decided to return to the scene of yesterdays action where we find them having already had lunch.
After a very nice fish and chip lunch its back to the boat in the dinghy and a little light reading. Having swum back,
Grete is on the stern to take our line as we return when it all goes a little pear shaped. As the dinghy jerks back on a swell she is launched
in a delicate arc into the sea. “But I’ve only just washed my hair” was the plaintive cry!!
Before we know it, it’s happy hour then time for dinner and then time to go ashore and compare notes with our fishing friends.
Friendly staff. The library
They have caught a Marlin which they tagged and released and a 66 kilo Yellow Fin Tuna which they have given to the hotel and are
working their way through the bars extensive top shelf of liquors to celebrate They invite us to try the raw tuna and its excellent despite being a little dubious and much to my surprise does not recycle.
We depart sensibly as we have booked a car for tomorrow which means catching the 07:30 bus we missed yesterday so it’s nightcaps and so to bed.
Bob the Blog
Some pics from yesterdays blog:
Big cruisliner. The lava coastline