Posted by: procamnz | August 16, 2008

Tripping around with NZ Visitors

The time with Naomi and Al flew because we were all having such a wonderful time. The weather was perfect all the time they were with us. They left last Saturday but before they left we had three days at Vuda Point so that they could spend some time visiting sites on land.

On Wednesday Naomi, Al and Mary took the bus in to Lautoka to see the market, shops etc. This very dirty city did not impress Naomi and Al and after a look about and a little bit of shopping we caught a bus back to the main road near Vuda and then hitched a ride in a ute, there being no bus for quite some time.

(Above) Naomi on the bus to Lautoka

(Below) Kava for sale at the Market

Spices for Sale at the market

The next day they were back at the bus stop at 7.30 for a trip in to Nadi. Mary felt that the town was even seedier than it had been four years ago on our last trip. But we did have a pleasant day, buying a few bits and pieces and vegetables from the market and visiting the Hindi temple, (which was extremely interesting), before returning to the boat and for a well-earned swim at the pool at 1st Landing resort.

The Hindi Temple

On Friday we all decided to visit The Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a glorious, mainly orchard garden near Lautoka, originally created by Raymond Burr, of “Ironside” fame, for those old enough to remember. We had to go by taxi but of course used our tame taxi driver, Abdul. We had taken plenty of water to drink and a packed lunch and were glad of the preparations because we would not have wanted to rush. Naomi and Mary took a huge number of photos because all the flowers were tremendous.

Garden of the Sleeping Giant

We were so thrilled that we had taken the time to go because we had nearly decided not because of the transport difficulties. The gardens were really well set out in a huge valley with beautiful walkways, pools and vistas. They are very well maintained too, which is quite unusual for this country. We returned to the boat tired but happy for the compulsory swim and a drink and that night for half price pizza at the resort.

On Saturday, after Naomi and Al left, we sailed out to Musket Cove for one night and the next morning, as soon as the light was right to see the coral, we headed through the narrow channel, past several small islands and resorts, one of which was Castaway. Then once past Mana Island we headed for Navandra Island just to the south of the Yasawas’.

Navandra Island

This uninhabited island is a favourite for the boaties’. Is is a rolly anchorage but very beautiful, although trying to land the dinghy was a wet and exciting experience. The dinghy was swamped and the beach so steep that we had trouble pulling it up on the shore to drain all the water out. We then had a pleasant walk on the sand over to the other side of the island. The next morning after not a lot of sleep, Tony decided to do a bit of snorkelling while Mary stayed in the dinghy. Although the coral was quite pretty there were not a lot of fish. We then up anchored and had a pleasant sail back to Musket Cove. We trailed a line behind the boat on the way. The sound of the line screaming out was a great sound until we saw the size of the fish jumping and thrashing in the water. We were both quite relieved when it managed to jump free of the hook because we really would not have been able to bring it aboard. It was not a happy fish. Later, we did manage to catch a very nice mackerel which made very good eating for tea that night.

On Tuesday, we had a make and mend day on the boat. Then later in the afternoon we went ashore for a well-earned swim in the pool at the Musket Cove Resort. The water in the lagoon is often not very pleasant to swim in due to the huge amount of floating weed. This is worse on the outgoing tide.

Sandy Cay off Musket Cove

On Wednesday morning we wanted to catch the low tide and visit a sandy cay, which is only visible then. We left the yacht on the mooring and zoomed out to the cay with our snorkelling gear. We anchored the dinghy to the cay and walked out in the shallow water until it was just deep enough to swim. We were amazed at the amount of beautiful coral and the number of multi-coloured tropical fish in the shallow water. It would have been great to have an underwater camera to record the experience. But we don’t.

On Thursday we headed back to Vuda Point, where we left the yacht for a week because we needed to go back to NZ to see the family, enjoy Ethan’s Christening, and for Tony to do his usual stint of monthly meetings. Someone has to earn the cash so that we can do this.

Rochelle, Stephen, Caleb, Ethan and Father Bernie

It was wonderful to see the grandchildren again. Caleb and Ethan have changed so much in the two months since Mary had seen them. The christening went very well and not one baby out of the six baptized, cried. Then we went back to the house for a family and friends’ gathering. Unfortunately the plane that the Wellington gang were supposed to arrive on was cancelled at the last moment and so none of them were there. Rowena and Isabella finally did arrive at about 3PM after managing to get on another flight. They were both exhausted when they arrived but quickly picked up after some food and drink. Isabella has also grown a lot and is now walking well and chatting all the time. Some words are recognisable but others are not. It was a tiring but very successful day.

Rowena, Isabella, & Ethan

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