Monday, July 29, 2013

Musket Cove

We untied our mooring lines on July 26th at 11:15 to get away for awhile and take a break from Vuda Point Marina in Fiji. We motored south on a mostly calm day and sailed the last bit into Musket Cove at Malolo Lailai Island about 3 hours later (S17°46.315' E177°11.173'). We were excited to see sailors that we had not seen since El Salvador.

Once again, we discovered a swimming pool at a resort here where we met up with SV Momo. We went for a quick swim one day in the coolish water and then decided to check out snorkelling by the little sand islet in the ocean.

In spite of the not-so-good water clarity, (we are getting spoiled), it was a real treat because there was a prodigious array of tropical fish - even more than what we saw when we snorkelled the Fish Factory at Viani Bay on July 1st. The water was exceptionally warm which I loved.

We saw very long needlefish (45 cm/18 inches) that were not afraid of us and we had to swim right through their masses. And for the first time ever, we saw cuttlefish! Cuttlefish are closely related to octopus and squid, have 3 hearts, greenish blue blood, can rapidly change their colour to match their environment, and have the most developed eyes (with W-shaped pupils) of the entire animal kingdom. They are generally 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 inches).

The following diagram and picture of cuttlefish were copied from the internet:

Check out the cool W-shaped pupil:

What a treat to see these amazing creatures swimming by us in the water! Wow!

We went to 2 barbecues and it seems that there are barbies every night at Musket Cove. There are many built-in barbies for use by anyone; just bring your own food, and dishes and cutlery are provided by the marina resort - drinks are for sale at the open-air bar.

But on Sunday evenings, a 'salad' barbie is provided. For a minimal charge, a buffet of salads is provided along with untoasted garlic bread, uncooked potatoes, and uncooked sausages, which you cook yourself on the barbies. The meal was delicious (we cooked fish) and enjoyed even more as there was no cleanup afterwards!

Something unusual, at least for us, was to see a chicken being cooked on a beer can. What you do is open a can of beer, put it in a wire holder standing up, take a whole chicken and slide it over the can of beer so that most of the can is inside the cavity of the chicken. Then after one's favourite spice rub, it's placed on the barbie and a metal bucket is placed over top. The beer soon boils, steam cooking the interior of the bird and the barbie and bucket does the rest. In just over an hour, it comes out moist yet crispy on the outside.

Just checkin...looks almost done!

Apparently this is quite a common thing to do in the south belt of USA but it is the first time we have ever heard of it. You can also drink one half of the beer (before you put it on the barbie though) then fill the can with barbecue sauce before topping with a chicken.

I wouldn't do this too often as beer cans are aluminum which is a very unhealthy cooking item. Maybe make a holder for the beer liquid out of stainless steel or something...oh yeah, we're vegetarian so we won't be cooking chicken anyway!

We left Musket Cove on July 29th but stopped at a small island that we were motoring past. The beach looked sandy and there was a boat wreck on shore, probably from last season's cyclone. After anchoring Sea Turtle, we put on our snorkelling gear and plopped into the ocean. We swam towards the beach, disappointed at the lack of nice coral and fish though. We only saw 1 small beautifully decorated fish that we had never seen before and very few other fish.

We reached the shore and walked around the entire island collecting a few shells, seeing nothing but a few picnic tables and the uncompleted construction of a building. The wreck was completely stripped and slowly deteriorating.

Not much left

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