Posted by: procamnz | June 4, 2008

Life at Savusavu

Copra Shed Moorings – Savusavu, Fiji

The moorings in Savusavu are very sheltered and the people at the Copra shed, most helpful and organised. There is a laundry service at a reasonable price, two restaurants and a yacht club and also several shops. Two minutes walk away is the town with many shops and restaurants.

On 27 May, we took the local bus from Savusavu to Labasa, a three hour bumpy and drafty ride in a bus which was probably almost 50 years old and had open sides which was great when it was hot but as the bus travelled over the mountains, became very cold.

Inside the bus – note luggage of weed-eater

Labasa, population about 24,000 is the largest town on Vanua Levu and third largest in Fiji. It is on the north-western side of the mountain range and is about 5 km inland on the Labasa River. The sugar mill was opened in 1894 and has a predominately Indo-Fijian population. It was flooded to a depth of 1.2 m in 2003 Ami but there is no sign of it now. We had an interesting day shopping in the industrial area for steering parts and then wandered through some of the clothing stores and the local market. We bought some Yagona (Kava) which we will need to present as Sevusevu when we wish to visit some of the Fijian villages. About 350g seems to be the going rate for this and in return the villagers must offer full hospitality and take responsibility for the safety of their guests.

Yagona for Sevusevu

We look forward to that experience with a little trepidation. We finally arrived back at the boat at 7.30PM, tired, dusty, hungry and thirsty but pleased to have had the experience.

One morning we heard the sound of much squealing and laughter. When we looked out, this is the sight that we saw. The locals make rafts out of bamboo but this one either had a floatation problem or was overloaded. However, everyone made it to shore, albeit, rather damp.

The temperature at the moment ranges from about 22-30°C and is extremely humid. Sleeping is a real problem but we are adjusting to it. Because the mooring area is up the Nakama creek it would not be sensible to swim due to the pollution caused by no sewerage and general rubbish dumping. So we have not been able to cool off that way. Therefore it was a real treat yesterday to pop the 15HP motor on the dinghy and go for a spin out in to Savusavu Bay and have a swim. The only difficulty with that was the problem of boarding the dinghy from the water. We haven’t done that for a long while and Mary, especially had trouble. Good job no one was near with a camera. It was a whale of a tale but we managed. Next time we will remember to wear fins as they give a good lift.

Our spares have now arrived from NZ which will, hopefully fix the steering, once and for all. Tony has also ordered some more bits and pieces from Labasa. The last order he made was delivered on the local bus. The cost of delivery was $3.00. That is certainly good service. We have also received and installed a new rope clutch for the main halyard which cracked on the way up from NZ.

Tony is now working hard to finish the work so that we can get back to cruising.

The water catcher which Mary and Wendy designed and made in Auckland out of a tarpaulin is working well and we have not needed to attain water from other sources. It is easy to put up at the first sign of rain. However Murphy’s Law prevails though and as soon as the catcher is in place, the rain stops. The forecast for the next couple of days is for 6-8mm over a six hour period and so our tanks should be full if that happens. Hopefully the rain will also cool the temperature a little.

The new look. Tony cooking breakfast

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