Port Denarau, Nadi Bay

Mon 24 Aug 2015 23:24
17:45.402S 177:23.213E

Tourist destination on the way to Denarau.

Jon was flying out from Nadi airport so we headed down to Nadi Bay and anchored outside the marina. The marina is completely made of reclaimed land, the river opening has been dredged and widened to allow access and the mangrove swamps cleared out to make the marina. It’s fake, entirely fake and that’s the feeling we got when we took the dinghy in and stepped on shore. We felt transported to America: super yachts graced the pontoons and right in front of us was a Hard Rock Cafe surrounded by boutiques, surf shops, restaurants, ice cream parlours and bars. 

But the good thing was there, on the dock, just having flown in from America, were the Field Trippers, they’d left their catamaran on a mooring in the marina whilst they flew back to visit family, and there was Outsider with Wendy and Ian who we’d not seen since French Polynesia, then Tehani Li turned up anchored outside, then Rewa, then Breeze… and before we knew it we were back in a social whirl with bring-a-dish suppers and happy hour on land, catching up with old friends and making new ones. It was good to be have caught up with lots of our extended yachting family.

It was lovely to eat out and the stores were fun to look around, ‘Bula!' was still called out everywhere we went, but, as Jon said, inside the stores it came across as more of a contractual agreement than a greeting. Nadi was even worse, tourist trap after tourist trap. Denarau and Nadi felt like tourist staging posts between the airport and the resorts, designed to make them feel at home and to provide ample opportunities to use up that holiday spending money! Even so we met some lovely local people: the taxi driver who took us to drop Jon off at the airport, explaining how he keeps in touch with the people from his home island, all those living on the mainland meet up once a month and combine their resources to help those still back on the island; the young man in the supermarket who was astounded that we’d sailed from the UK and wanted us to come to dinner, be guests in his house, and the waitress who was so warm and interested and wanted to know all about our travels.

Men from the lovely island of Beqa, where we’d stayed, preparing for fire walking in the middle of the shopping mall.

Out on the anchorage the radio was a constant stream of shuttle boats calling resorts. My favourite was the Beachcomber resort, it made me smile every time because, of course, beach-com-ber is pronounced to rhyme with cu-cum-ber. What a tricky language English is!

Super yachts hanging out together. The second one from the left apparently is owned by Google but perhaps that’s just a rumour due to the size of its communication balls!