Robinson - Musket Cove
Pos 17:46.28S 177:11.34E
“Bula” to all our readers. Everywhere you go everyone greets you with a friendly “Bula” or hello and we’re at it now as well.
In the morning we go ashore to pay our dues and to collect our club membership cards but non are forthcoming. Their computer’s broken and they’ve had get them made up on the mainland is the excuse. Ah well, we have a walk around the island a couple of beers and after picking up a bag of ice we pay our bill.
Returning, we up anchor and point our bow north westward some 20 nmiles towards our next destination, Musket Cove Marina on Malolo Lailai Island.
It was an uninhabited island and sold by a chief Nadroga – Ratu Kini in 1872, to John Thomson who intended to plant cotton. After several owners it was eventually sold to three men, Richard Smith, Reggee Raffe and Sir Ian MacFarlane who renamed it Leeward Island. They decided to manage their portions individually with the newly created airstrip being one of the boundaries.
R (Dick) Smith began building Musket Cove and on the 3rd of October 1976 Musket Cove Resort was opened with 400 acres used for organic farming and the continuation of the coconut plantation to supply the resort.
Pickup a buoy just outside the entrance to the Marina we join a host of other yachts already swinging on their moorings. It’s happy hour as we watch another spectacular Sunset and we relax before heading for the Marina to find a bar and restaurant for our evening meal.
On the mooring Cat with twin aerofoil rigs.
Night has fallen and the wind has picked up somewhat as we make our way to the entrance looking for a likely spot to tie up. As we walk up the pontoon we ask an Aussie couple for directions and we are pointed down the beach past the individual huts that provide the accommodation to a large building with a pool outside.
At the poolside a Trio are entertaining the guest and we're soon clutching our “Fiji” bitters and checking the menu. The food and beverage manager come to chat and were soon seated and getting stuck into a steak with a nice bottle of Australian Shiraz.
Returning to the dinghy we notice that the pontoon runs on, to a little island which seems to have some activity and were soon mixing the yachtie crowd who’ve been having a Bar-B-Q
They had been celebrating the start of the yachting season and several crews off yachts that had completed the Auckland to Musket Cove race were amongst the revellers.
Start of the season race. Joining the Club
As we make our way through the Marina entrance we decide to explore the inner waterways and cyclone holes we have heard about. Entering the inner harbour we follow
the shoreline around and under a lift bridge that connects to a central Island full of Bures, each with their own dock. There are several very large tour Catamarans moored in this cyclone hole, protected on all sides from the wind and the sea.
The inner harbour.
Walking along the pontoon we pass several of the Race yachts, including one looking a little the worse for wear, its broken mast tied down to its deck
Reporting in we are given an Account which is good for everywhere in the resort and for a few dollars more (Sounds familiar) we get a life long membership of the Musket Cove YC and this time a card to prove it.
Hot race boats. Up the mast. Down the mast.
They claim a massive international membership, as to join you must have come from a foreign port, as my membership number is 15745 it looks like they could be right! Their website is www.musketcovefiji.com for those interested.
We go exploring along the length of the island and down to another resort located further down the beach. Pausing only for a beer to refresh us, we then walk back to the airstrip, across the island and heading for the hills, do a long circuit back down to the Marina.
The long walk.
Popping into the office on the way past we are advised that we cannot use the mooring as its only rated at 25 tons and were 30 so could we please anchor. Not a problem especially as it saves us the $15 a day charge we had to pay.
We head for the small island bar along the pontoon from where we had tied the dinghy and took some well earned refreshment, amusing ourselves photographing the birds (Of an ornithological nature)
Yachtie Bar. and birds.
Lunch onboard and since we have to move off the mooring we decide to head out to one of the many reefs not far away and do some snorkelling before we come back to anchor. As before the water is not that clear, but there are plenty of colourful fish to film and it’s great to be in the water especially when it’s at 28+ degrees.
Returning to anchor and settling down to watch the sunset I compose myself before venturing into the galley to produce another masterpiece Todays special, Pork Chops, with a nice creamy sauce and carrots. Much relaxed after our meal we fail to make it ashore but rest contented with our books and a glass or two of the French product.
(A note for TonTon, were saving the Baked Beans and Marmite for your arrival!!)
Bob the Blog