Port Denerau, Fiji

Boundless 1
Richard Clennett
Sat 13 Aug 2011 06:09
We have just left Port Denerau Marina after 4 days there, crossing some boat jobs off the list, and enjoying the use of shore power (first time since we left Grenada, and potable water at the dock -  amazing what simple things give us joy!). A very busy little port with most of the island commuter boats based here and all the big coral coast resorts within 10 minutes walk. Needless to say the place hums from early morning until late and there are many services located here and restaurants from which to chose.
Unfortunately we were unable to get a berth at Vuda Point Marina, our first choice - well we did actually have a berth offered us, but it was bow to in a circular basin, squeezed into a monohull space between other boats and we decided we would not take the risk of trying to get in there, particularly after seeing the bosun in a dinghy with no fenders, get his own outboard tangled up in one of the many mooring boys! We did spend two nights anchored off there though which was ok and enabled us to catch up with others at the restaurant and to taxi in and out of Lautoka to complete our coastal clearance (yes, customs again) and replenish fruit and veg.
We have also been in to Nandi to look for fittings (and couldn't wait to get out again) and have had several interesting journeys with chatty taxi drivers - from whom we always learn much. Some who think the military are doing a great job running Fiji, others who don't. Tourism seems to have picked up and is a focus currently, but clearly there are many who are struggling and reports of home breaking and entering from one driver was a bit alarming. Sugar cane is being harvested now and trucks loaded to overflowing fill the roads on their way to the refinery in Lautoka. We did laugh when we drove over the one bridge leading to Denerau Island to be told that it was built 35 years ago, no maintenance had been done, and a local woman mud crabbing below it had alerted authorities when bits of the bridge started falling down around her as a fuel tanker drove over it! Some sort of re-enforced roadway has been built over one side of the bridge to take the big trucks while they work out what to do. The roads are in a very bad state around all the towns. Everyone is very friendly and helpful and we are always greeted with a cheery "Bula".
Boundless has been scrubbed from bow to stern and treated to the high pressure hose treatment. A boom fitting has been replaced and the curtains have been laundered and rehung. We have started cleaning out lockers and discarding some of the unwanted "stuff" we have accumulated. I'm sure we are now much higher in the water.
Tonight we are anchored not far from the marina as it was late by the time we left there. We will head out to Mololo LeiLei tomorrow and perhaps spend a couple of days pottering in the islands before we head  (after going back to Lautoka to clear out of Fiji) to Aneicauhut , the southern most island in Vanuatu for a day or two and then on to Lifou Island in the Loyalty Islands before Ile des Pins and then Noumea.
The weather has improved considerably over the last two days, although quite cool at night.
We are looking forward to swimming again, as we haven't been in the water since Tonga, although I have enjoyed several early morning walks while at the marina.
S/Y Boundless 1

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