Sunday, August 26, 2012

Some favorites from Blue Lagoon and Manta Bay

Fiji continues to be visually stunning! Although we've gotten lazy about getting off the boat and getting  "out there," we still manage to find surprises and delightfulness while walking around and going ashore.

The blue lagoon anchorage

Dilligaf, Britannia, and Piko

Walking across the island to the Tea House

Waiting for the girls

Cruiser's Happy Hour

Krister hearts Piko!

Soft and Hard Corals

Amanda in action

Snorkel area in front of Barefoot Resort

Redefining the Healthy Reef

We had an amazing snorkel yesterday, with more fish and more variety of fish than I've ever seen. It was stunning - we've spent quite a lot of time in the water at this point and to see so much that was new was a big surprise.

After getting out of the water, I learned that the area we were in had been declared a marine reserve. Not the whole group. Not the whole island - just that small bay. It was a startling demonstration of the effect that we're having on the oceans. I don't understand how it's possible that such a small area could sustain so much life without broader and more far reaching protections, but there you have it. I can't imagine what it would look like if the whole ocean was protected.

It reminds me of a scene from a BBC documentary (Life? Planet Earth? Something like that...) which showed an aerial pan of a particularly vital part of the Great Rift Valley. I was struck at the time by how healthy the ecosystem seemed to be - it was heartening. I'm realizing now that my focus should have been on the fact that you have to fly to remote parts of Africa to get that shot.

Did the whole world used to look like this?

What are we doing?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mamanucas and Yasawas, Fiji

As promised, the photos to go with the last blog post...

Krister and Lauren walking back after snorkeling the plane

Bill finally got his lobsters

Grandma's house- a traditional burre

Walking across Somosomo, Naviti to the plane crash

On the trail

Sundowners on Dilligaf with Piko and Gigi

WWII mustang crash site

Lionfish and puffer fish under the plane's tail

Backside of Navandra

Selfphoto; a bit blurry, but still beautiful

Relaxing in the shade
The anchorage in Navandra

Beach treasures

Manta Ray near Naviti

Hermit crab

Idyllic Navandra

Toes in the sand- ahhhhh


At sunrise

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rolly Anchorages and Neat Discoveries

Since leaving Musket Cove, we've been moving north up into the Yasawa Group. This is the first time really since Mexico that we've had unprotected anchorages and I realize how spoiled we've been spending a year anchored inside one reef or another. We've had a few pretty uncomfortable places and a few nights of pretty light sleep.

Totally gorgeous though...

The highlight for me has been diving an old WWII plane that crashed just offshore. The wreck itself is only moderately interesting (though I enjoy WWII history enough that it's still pretty neat even though there isn't much to see), but the family that lives on the beach was fascinating to talk with. The woman who lives there with her husband, daughter and grandchildren has been living in the same place for 75 years, and she remembers when the plane crashed and how they helped the pilot who survived. It really brought the whole thing to life for me. It was also wonderful to spend the afternoon chatting with the grandsons (who are all very well educated and well spoken, having gone to school "on the mainland") over green coconuts. It was a special day and will definitely standout.

No internet, so no pictures for awhile, sadly. We'll post when we're back.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Namotu Island

It's difficult to overstate the near mythical status that the island of Tavarua holds in the surfing world.  It's a place I've dreamed about seeing basically since I first started surfing and watched Pat O'Connell and Wingnut charge Cloudbreak in Endless Summer II.

For the last two weeks, we've been within dinghy distance of Tavarua, and I've been getting more consistent and more incredible surf than I've ever had in my life.  There are a number of breaks in addition to Cloudbreak that are surprisingly manageable and picture perfect.

Loading up the boards, getting in the dinghy and seeing the iconic image of Tavarua getting closer gives me a feeling of stoke that hasn't worn off in the slightest in two weeks.  I'm not sure it ever could.

I've got a few pictures, but the Tavarua resort website has better ones.  Check out these amazing photos of the surf that we've got right next door.