Destination Rakiraki Area
With the generator and water maker in fine shape now, we
decided to venture from Vuda Point Marina across the top of Vita Levu toward
Rakiraki. We had read about the wonderful snorkeling and diving in this area.
Of course, the wind would be on the nose so the Iron Jenny would be our momentum.
Besides, we soon learned that it is nearly impossible to sail windward through
the reefs to cover this area.
While the distance is not that great, it is a slow
methodical trip. First of all, as everyone has indicated, the electronic charts
are almost worthless! There are many unmarked reefs all over Fiji. In fact, the
World ARC participants could probably create a book of all we have found and
noted the latitudes and longitudes! Maybe it could be sold to support dental
health in the outer islands – or some other good cause for the native Fijians.
Making this trip should not be done without Curly’s
Waypoints! At times it looks like he has a waypoint on a reef, but in reality,
his waypoint is fine – the electronic charts are off! Don’t head out into this
area without them. And do make sure that Curly is reimbursed even if you get
the waypoints from someone who has attended the seminar. He deserves to be paid
for the effort!
We had placed 30 of Curly’s waypoints on the chart plotter
just to get from Vuda Point to Nananu-i-Cake near Nananu-i-Ra on the inside
route! Rather than try to push our luck with the light, we decided to anchor
overnight halfway between Vitia Wharf and Vitia Sewa. There is a little inlet
there where we were out of the main channel and protected from the wind. We
continued on to Nananu-i-Cake on the second day arriving mid-afternoon.
We had 15-20 knots winds on the nose at times and there is a
heavy current pushing the boat toward land. We assume this is why Curly’s
waypoints are so close to the reefs on the sea side. Even motoring, it was hard
to steer on the route lines due to the heavy current. Our chart track looks
like a drunken sailor was at the helm!
The weather hasn’t been the greatest. Day one was sunny and
beautiful, but the winds were high and gusting. Day two started out sunny and
beautiful and soon turned ugly! The winds picked up, gusting over 25 knots. It
rained on and off and at one point the visibility was near zero. Not fun when
picking your way through the reefs. Fortunately, a large pleasure yacht came
along and we followed it until it was out of sight. We met up again with it in
our final anchorage. We were much wetter and more exhausted, though.
On day three, the winds were steady at 20-22, with gusting
to the high 20’s so we decided to stay at anchor and ride it out. It looks like
we may have one more day of this before we make a move toward Suvasuva on Vanau
Levi. We still have a month before we head to Vanuatu and want to do some more
exploring. We plan to go to New Zealand and then pack to Tonga in the spring to
rejoin the World ARC there. We missed a lot in Tonga and would like a second
shot at it.
There are more details and photos at http://sv-trillium.blogspot.com
Skipperette (Sherry) and Dennis Day