The World ARC Fleet 2023-24 have now successfully checked into Fiji, the majority via the Lau group. The optional check-in via the Lau group is an enormous privilege and is made possible by advance special arrangements. Last week, representatives from Customs, Immigrations, Health and Biosecurity were all flown out to the region for the purpose of checking in the World ARC Fleet. The venture was, as in previous years, an enormous success; allowing the fleet to almost immediately begin their exploration of the archipelago.
By no surprise, the fleet were very eager to arrive in Fiji and arrived to port in very close proximity to each other. Although Sevusevu ceremonies were arranged in advance of the fleets arrival to the anchorage villages of Lomaloma and Sawana, the condensed group of arrivals meant the rally was also able to organise a group Sevusevu ceremony at Daliconi village. This is significant and a protocol that must be observed to visit the esteemed Bay of Islands (an area of Vanuabalavu owned by the Dalicani village).
With a traditional welcome ashore, the fleet were walked through the village to deliver their Kava root and begin the Sevusevu ceremony. The benefit of such numbers meant the fleet were also treated to a traditional Meke performance by the local community. The ceremony on this scale involved almost all of the village and was a very special moment for the fleet to be a part of.
With all formalities complete the fleet went on to explore the Bay of Islands. They are now scattered around wider Fijian waters exploring independently before the official rally rendezvous in Musket Cove at the start of next month. The feeling of being surrounded by the remote beauty of Vanuabalavu is a sensation that few of those that visited will forget. With so much of Fiji to explore - the adventure continues West!