Chapter 8



Return to Itinerary


        The island group of Fiji lies approximately 440 nm WSW of Tonga.  We left Tonga early on October 13th in light winds.  Our first night out we had numerous squalls with lots of rain.  As the second day set in, the winds picked up out of the South and we were able to sail again.  The fishing remained excellent as we passed through the Lau Group of islands (also called the Eastern Group) via the Oneata Passage on our way to the main island of Viti Levu,  as we first caught a tuna, and then a 4' mahi-mahi. 

       We originally were heading for the west coast of Fiji to check in, as we wanted to spend time in Musket Cove so we were going to bypass Suva.  On the evening of the 16th, we made radio contact with Aglim and Kian of "My Chance" who were already in Suva, as were Noel and Jackie on "Mariah II".  As we were heading to New Zealand from Fiji, and Aglim and Kian and Noel and Jackie were heading to Australia, this would be the last time we would see our friends, so we decided to stop in Suva.  As it was near midnight, Aglim guided us in with some waypoints as it was difficult to see the lighted buoys with all the lights around the busy harbor.  We finally dropped anchor for the night without incident.

      The next morning, we took a cab with Aglim to downtown Suva to check in with Customs and Immigration.  What could take hours and hours, due to the bureaucracy of the Fiji government, only took 2 hours, thanks to Aglim knowing his way around.   After heading back to the anchorage, we caught up with Noel and Jackie and also Spencer and Nana on "Adverse Conditions".   The meeting place was the Royal Suva Yacht Club.   Upon entering, the guys must remove their hats, as if they forget it's free drinks for everyone at the bar! 

      The next couple of days was spent exploring downtown Suva.  It is a crowded bustling city, but very friendly, with the majority of the population being of Indian descent.  There were markets galore, with very inexpensive items, such as wood carvings, clothing and DVDs.  Anything you needed, you could find in Suva! 


       Before we all went our separate ways, we had a "dress-up" night farewell dinner at the Royal Suva Yacht Club.   It was fun to get out of "boat clothes" for an evening. 


   When we left Suva, we day sailed along the southern coast, again catching a large tuna as we went through Beqa Passage.  We then passed through Shark Reef and headed for Veidrala harbor, anchoring just before dark.  Of course, fresh grilled tuna was on the menu for dinner.    Early the next morning we were underway again, motoring due to lack of wind.  Our destination was Cuva Harbor, but upon approaching late in the day, it looked a bit exposed, so we continued on another 6 miles to Natadola Harbor, entering through the reef after dark with radar and Cmap guiding us in. 


    The next day, we entered Navula Pass, where we were sure to keep out of the way of the many freighters going to and from Fiji.  We finally made our way to Malolo Island and the beautiful turquoise waters and white sand beaches of Musket Cove.  We picked up a marina mooring and went ashore.  There is a small island bar near the dinghy dock out on the sand, with numerous BBQ pits for use by the cruisers as well as the resort guests. 

   As we had Elyse's brother, Steve, flying in on November 3rd, we made our way to Denarau Marina which was convenient to Nadi Airport.  We then went back to Musket Cove for a party with our friend Steve and his crew from Australia who were up for a weeks vacation on the catamaran Neriki (who we first met at the Panama Canal).  


   After recovering from our busy social calendar, our weather window to New Zealand had arrived, and we motored to Lautoka to complete our clearance paperwork, leaving for New Zealand on November 7th......

Return to top of page