Likuri Island (Robinson Crusoe Resort)
Pos 18:03.105S 177:17.20E
The Sun is shining on the righteous, but it’s too late, we're off to Robinson Crusoe Island resort and Yacht Club. It's located on a small coral island near the passage into Likuri Harbour just offshore the west of Natadola beach on southern Viti Levu.
Viti Levu the main island in Fiji. West coast cruising area
The name is bit of a cheat really as real island of Robinson Crusoe is off the coast of Chile and already visited by “Dawnbreaker”. But you can’t stop a good marketing campaign and Likuri Island was renamed.
According to the brochure, life membership of the Yacht Club is granted on receipt of one Fijian dollar and when one cold Fiji bitter is consumed. Just our sort of place! They know how to lure in the Yachties.
The rain is all around us as we sail towards a beautiful arching rainbow that seems to leap from a nearby island and onto our deck.
Threading our way through the channel we are through to the open sea, though in reality it is a large channel between the fringing reef of the main island and those of the outer ones. We wonder at the skill and now doubt great doses of luck of those early navigators who first sailed these seas. No GPS, or charts. A nightmare!
The winds blowing 16-20 kts and we end up goose winging our way at 8kts. We have to maintain a decent speed to get to our destination before sunset to see our way through the reefs.
I’m Blogging while Lars is trying to down load the massive file of a pilot guide book for Vanuatu and New Caledonian islands. The mainland is shrouded in mist and rain as we sail along the barrier reef. It’s brighter than it has been and blue patches are appearing and as we’re sailing with the wind behind us, the air feels quite warm at a comfortable 26.8C though the water is warmer at 28.4.
Lars makes lunch, cheese and ham sandwiches with tomato and pickle garnish, which we wash down, Tahitian style. As we dine, a large sailing motor yacht passes us under engine and Main, beating his way to windward, evidently not a gentleman!
Keeping a careful watch.
Further consultation of the guide books provided by the Suva yacht club we find a few disturbing inconsistencies especially regards the depths of the passage to Robinson Crusoe Is. One reports maximum depth of 2 metres the other 20. Luckily our charts confirm the later though as we should be arriving at high water we could squeeze in at the former, with the added metre of tide, enough for our 2.3 metre draught.
A flock of Gannet circle the boat as we drive through their fishing spot, the look very pretty with their massive glider like, white with black tipped wings. Ahead of us to landward is what looks like a line of steam rising from the sea, but we know it’s the spray from the surf that’s running onto the reef being turned into a continual mist and hanging in the air above it. We also know that soon we are going to turn towards and pass through that same reef, interesting!
Contacting the island to say we advise them that we should be arriving of the reef entrance at about 5 and would like to dine ashore. The gap is very narrow and the heavy surf is sending clouds of spray in the air. Consequently we can’t see the gap until we’re directly opposite, where a small patch of calm water indicates its presence.
Reef (in green) opening on map. In reality it looks like this.
The other problem, looking at the charts, is that once through the gap there are many more patches of reefs and shallows. Then just as we turn for the entrance a boat arrives from the resort to guide us in and to the anchorage. What service, we like this place already.
Dropping anchor its happy hour and we relax with a nice rum and coke to watch a glorious sunset. Yes the Sun has appeared just in time to go down.
Dinner is between 7 and 8 we’re informed so putting our best shorts on and as there is not dock, our Crocs, for a beach landing, we set off. Wow, the place is heaving with everyone sitting around a large sand arena. Food is a single course pork and veg help yourself affair, then grab a table.
Having signed ourselves in and set up a tab we take our place in the arena. Seated in a group on matting laid on the sand some ten men and women serenade us accompanying themselves with guitars and ukuleles, the harmony are very good.
Cool music and hot dancing.
Next, flaming torches arrive thrown from the beach and over the roof to land on the arena floor, closely followed by a horde of tattooed warriors and a display of dance and torch tossing commences. Shortly they’re joined by a bevy of hip twitching beauties wearing coconut bras (Could be painful) grass skirts and flowers in their hair.
The singing and dancing over, come 10:30 everyone boards boats to take them back to their resorts. We try vainly to see if they have a TV as Ton Ton has advised us that there is Rugby on to no avail so supping up we return for a nightcap. What good day, a fine sail down, and a good show to boot.
The wreck bar. With two wrecks.
Bob the Blog