Sunday, July 07, 2013

Vuda Point Marina

On July 5th, we pulled anchor from Viani Bay where we had a delightful week of snorkelling, diving, feasting, and adventuring. It was time to leave for Vuda Point Marina which is on the largest Fijian island, Viti Levu. The wind was good to us and we had a great sail that lasted all day and throughout the night as we safely made our way from open waters through a couple of passes, with the aid of GPS and radar.

As the morning sun greeted us the next day, we entered an opening on the ring/barrier reef on the north side of the main island of Viti Levu then began winding through reefs which were well marked on our digital charts of CMap, and many were visible as well. We made our way through the Vatu-Ira Channel and into Bligh Water. This water was named after the famous William Bligh aboard the Bounty who was overtaken by 18 crew members in 1789 (Mutiny on the Bounty).

Under sunny skies, we set anchor (S17°25.046' E177°44.727') on the northwest side of Viti Levu Island. Early the next morning, we were off again when we saw in the distance what looked like sand in the middle of the sea. How could that be? So we sailed closer and sure enough there was a tiny spot of raised reef covered with sand out in the middle of nowhere (S17°19.693046' E177°59.255'). I jumped overboard and snorkelled over to check it out. I swam over some coral with a few bright fish swimming around and then I stepped onto the soft sandy island. What a thrill that was! (Jordan didn't feel he could safely anchor Sea Turtle amongst the coral reefs so he stayed aboard.

Judy all alone on sandy island in the middle of nowhere

Our next stop would be on the westernmost point of Viti Levu at Vuda Point Marina (pronounced Vunda - Fijians always include an 'n' before a 'd' when saying the word). At 15:00 on July 7th, we med moored bow first at the Marina (S17°40.831' E177°23.202') after passing through a narrow dredged channel into their unusual circular mooring space.

Vuda Point Marina

We could hear a band playing so after checking in, we wandered over to the Sunset Bar to have a sundowner and listen to the band. The band played steady without any breaks from 15:00 till 22:00! They were very good and played all styles of music. We watched as the sun went down and were surprised to finally see the green flash! Just before the sun drops below the horizon, on the very rare occasion and if you watch closely, you can see a flash of green colour. I tried to catch it on the camera but wasn't quick enough.

Brilliant orange sun setting at Vuda Point Marina

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