Namena Island

Lars Alfredson
Thu 22 Aug 2013 08:03



20130820 Tuesday


Its peeing down and a dismal grey day. Lars and I don our lightweight waterproof jackets (The swimming shorts will dry by themselves) and ready the yacht for departure. The ferry has come in early in the morning and there is no sign of our elusive new crew member, so were off.



                              Wet wet wet


The water runs off my jacket and down my shorts as I release us from our mooring and I can feel the hot mist water heated by volcanic activity flows from the culverts flowing into the channel as we pass.


Once past the headland and through the reef the wind and seas pick up and with the Genny out we’re soon making 7+ knots. As the day progresses so things hot up and we’re soon bouncing about though making good progress. Shân’s retreated to her bunk for the duration!


As we approach our destination, Namena Island which is surrounded by an humungous reef. To gain access we through North Save-a-Tack passage which looks and is quite narrow at a couple of boat lengths width. Of course the marker post so promisingly displayed on all the charts is missing, as usual as we search for the lighter coloured waters that are the reef and ease our way in.


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The island and its reefs are a marine Protected Area and famed for its diving sites as well as being one of the last breeding grounds for Hawksbill and Green Turtles. It’s also major bird breeding grounds as we witness on approach. The trees were full of large sea birds and their young dotting the green foliage with their white plumage looking like flowers on the branches.


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Anchoring of a small enclosed harbour we have lunch before setting off to explore the island. The resort looks pretty deserted and appears to consist of few Bure unusually built up on the hill top, though lack of a nice sandy beach could be part of the answer.


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As we land we can see the long flight of steps that takes us to the top of the hill and the main resort. The smell of bird poo as we climb the step through the trees is pretty overpowering and reminds me of Antarctica and the penguin colonies.


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Climbing upwards, we are now level with the birds and their nests and take advantage for some photography. The place looks even more run down close up and at the top we meet a young lady who says we shouldn’t land here but usefully informs us there is mooring on the headland. Also if we wish to explore the islands trails we can but its $50 per head. We retreat, up anchor and head for the mooring!


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                Birds? Anne Ellin help please!


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Investigation in our south pacific guide, the entry for the resort quotes; Moody’s has six bamboo bure on a forested ridge. A five night all-inclusive package including transfers from Savusavu costs from $2,900 per person sharing. There is a five day minimum stay and no children under 16, not all bad news then. Oh dear! Did I forget to mention there isn’t any booze on this island and you should bring your own?


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It’s a good mooring and well shelter located off a small sandy beach with big sign proclaiming it’s a private island. After a swim around the boat (In National waters) we shower and settle down for the evening. Once again the rain strikes, hatches shut and we retreat to our cabins for a steamy night.


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