A Bientot Savusavu
Bonjour Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort
We did a big market and supermarket shop and had supper with Jane and Greg our Australian friends from Orion that evening with the promise we would take them up on their kind offer to stay with them in Newcastle (Australia) when we fly in to Sydney at the end of the year.
After three fine weeks staying in that gem of a place we were ready to move on and dropped the hook near the resort started by Jacques Cousteau’s son many years ago. They are very laid back at the resort about yachts anchoring and snorkelling around the rocks. We took Alison across to the split rock again so she could feel the nipping Scissortail Sergeants along with countless other species she identified (over 60 species in fact) that had been just beautiful fish to us.
The anchor chain ground into the locker in darkness the next morning. Our route out was on the chartplotter from when we arrived so no worries there. Although the Baliwalu (eight night wind) of our arrival was now a distant memory, there was still a generous supply of wind for the day, 17 – 22 knots so we sailed well offshore, on Curly’s advice, until we could do a decent tack along the coast which turned out to be on a bearing of 56 degrees.
As we neared the coast on an ever decreasing angle we then tacked out to sea again until the BTW, Bearing To Waypoint, became 51 degrees when we were assured we would make the entrance to our destination Fawn Harbour on the next tack.
Approaching the channel between reefs around mid-afternoon with the sun ahead we could make out the darker water where we needed to be and very slowly followed the waypoints we bought from John Martin of the Island Cruising Association and found there were some posts that confirmed our route.
“Yacht entering Fawn Harbour if you bear to the right at the next post you will have the anchorage facing you, don’t go too far in as there is a reef, just by the catamaran (his) you’ll find deep water.” The mystery voice came from a man standing on the veranda of his very nice shore-side home between the mangroves, binoculars in one hand and handheld VHF in the other. How helpful I thought.
John came out in his dinghy once we were anchored and told us the cat is his and he plans crossing a few oceans in it soon. He has homes he needs to check on in Whangarei, others apart from this one in Fiji and more in Hawaii. He waved expansively across the land saying that it was all freehold and privately owned. The native Fijians do not have a chief in their village and their sevusevu is nothing more than a ploy to extort from the cruisers. Just how ingenuous were his comments we were not to know, but he was disparaging about the locals.
Were met John and his Danish wife again the next day.
Photos will follow as soon as I can.