Yaswairara Bay

Lars Alfredson
Sun 30 Jun 2013 07:00
Pos 16:42.45S 177:34.52E

20130628 Friday


An early start, with high tide around 8am we need the water level up so we can cross the sand bar to enter the lagoon. Not whisper of wind and the sea is flat until we cross the lagoon to its exposed seaward entrance, which has a long swell running.


I come across a new “Angel” fish but they are very skittish and difficult to film and they disappear in and out of the rocks never standing still. One of the several problems with digital cameras is the time delay between pressing the shutter and exposure. Consequently you end up with some nice pictures of coral but your target fish has long gone.


Another is trying to aim the camera. My “Olympus Tough”, has its lens, a small rectangle, in the top left hand corner so it’s not exactly reflex aiming. This along with not being able to see the screen clearly (I wear reading glasses) makes it all a bit of a challenge often resulting in several shots to get a decent one.


Persevering! Though the water is clear there’s not much reef and what there is consists mainly of isolated outcrops on a flat rocky bottom. So after an hour we clamber back into the dinghy and circumnavigate the island to return via the other sandbar.


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Again little reef, though once over the sand it's back into rock and reef.  We anchor in a sand patch next to reef between the yacht and the shore. There is and incredible amount of dead reef, great blocks seems to have been torn off as if someone had dynamited the whole thing. We assume it to be cyclone damage.


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After lunch we move on to Yasawairara at the very tip of this the most northerly island of the Yasawa Group. This will provide our shortest jump off point for our departure to Yadua Island, before continuing to the other main Fijian island some 50 nmiles west of here, and ultimately our goal of Savusavu. 


Still no wind and were all dripping! Once underway we make our own wind as we motor along at 6 knots. It’s blazing hot as we ride a flat sea with a bouncy swell, seeking shelter under the sun awning that we’ve left up.


Reef spotting becomes a bit a nightmare as we’re heading north and into the sun at this time of day. Both charts are studied and a mean average of both plus analysis of every wave, guides our course.


Finally rounding into the bay we can see a large broken pier, which looks like something has driven through the middle of it. Dropping anchor in clear water, off a very large rock sitting on a long sandy beach by the village, we can now relax.


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As is our want and desperate to cool off, (Though there isn’t much difference between the air and water temperature at this time of day at 29C) it’s on with the gear and into the water. Afterwards, while we board and shower, Lars has another scrub at the waterline in the continuing battle again the grass like growth that carpets the bottom of the hull.


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Returning in time for happy hour we take our leisure. Dinner, were advised will be pancakes stuffed with seasoned mince meat, then covering cheese and grilled.


After wonderful sunset we watch the stars pop out like a shower of diamonds, twinkling in the sky. There is no light pollution, the village doesn’t have electricity and the only lights are ours and another local boat tied to the broken pier.


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