We are back in Fiji. Specifically, we are back in Savusavu, on the island of Vanua Levu. Savusavu is our favorite “landing spot” in Fiji. Suva, Fiji’s largest city, is on the main island of Viti Levu and is closer for yachts coming from New Zealand. But Savusavu, on the smaller island of Vanua Levu, offers a quieter, small-town vibe: One main street, a great market, several good grocery stores, and – of course – restaurants serving delicious Indo-Fijian-Chinese meals. And, Savusavu is just a pretty place with friendly people.
We are at the Copra Shed Marina again, as last year. Clearing in procedures were completed efficiently within a couple of hours. Next came hot showers and a cold drink on the clubhouse deck. We’re settled in now. The salt crust has been washed off, the sails stowed, and the cabin has had its post-passage cleaning. The sun awning is up, and produce has been replenished. Today we refilled the diesel tank and spare jerry jugs, ready to go. All is good.
We will probably be here in Savusavu until sometime next week, enjoying the local restaurants and hanging out with cruising friends. Plus, Rand hopes to get in some dives while we’re here. Then we’ll leave to take a look at some new-to-us anchorages around Fiji. And probably revisit some favorites from last season, too.
We stopped at South Minerva Reef for two days to wait for a low pressure system to move past, which brought unfavorable winds from the north. Some photos from our stop at South Minerva Reef on the passage from NZ:
One of the small irritants we’ve been experiencing on passages has been the noise the anchor makes in the bow roller. As you can see in the photo, the Bruce Anchor makes a good pendulum, rocking back and forth on the roller, creating quite a thunk at each swing. Ideally the anchor would be off the bow entirely for ocean passages, removing weight forward and reducing pitching motion. And with the anchor chain completely stowed, the chain pipes closed water-tight. We tried removing the anchor for offshore passages, but then getting it back over the pulpit and out on the roller and shackled to its chain quickly as we approach an anchorage – after days or weeks at sea – is problematic. So we’ve ended up just leaving it in place, lashed securely to keep it from jumping out. It stays in place, but rocks back-and-forth, creating an annoying “clunk-clunk” in any kind of swell. For this passage, Rand devised a wedge system that grips the shank snugly. This new system is easily installed, easily removed, cheap, and doesn’t require any permanent alterations to the deck. Simple. Effective. We like it so far.