Monday, July 16, 2007

Yandua Island, Fiji

Yadua island (pronounced Yan-do-ah) offers an idyllic anchorage in Cukuvou Harbor on the west side of the island. The coral fringed island offers spectacularly clear waters for excellent snorkeling, picturesque white sand beaches and isolation from villages with their barking dogs and crowing roosters.

When we first arrived eight days ago we were lucky enough to share the bay with only sailing vessel "Miami". "Miami" is a beautiful Swiss flagged fifty four foot custom aluminum sloop. Sailing west from Thailand about eight years ago they have nearly circled the globe. George and Ute always seem to be on the move pursuing some activity from dawn to dusk. Beach bonfires are a frequent occurrence with much good conversation late into the night.

Both the snorkeling and fishing are excellent in the bay. The reefs to the south west of the bay boast vertical walls plunging into the depths, underwater canyons and overhangs adorned with bright purple and pink soft corals, crimson sea fans to name a few of the innumerable colors and varieties. Diving to view the corals one is surrounded by thousands of tiny fishes a few inches long in florescent blue and greens. Deeper down huge Napoleon fish or Wrasse swim curiously around at a tilt to better eye the new visitors. Parrot, Angel, Surgeon and Snapper fish of all sizes and colors are prolific.

Trolling a lure behind the dinghy around the bay has yielded a nice Giant Trevaly and several other fishes of indeterminate variety. Generally, a half an hour prior to sunset we head out to troll for dinner as fresh supplies are running low and we're dependant on fresh fish. The next opportunity to reprovision will take us back to the main island of Viti Levu and we are in no hurry to leave this paradise.

The cruising community is incredibly generous and a mere mention of need, offers of support pour forth. For example we mentioned to another yacht that we would need to leave as we were running out of essentials such as butter, eggs and gasoline for our outboard dinghy engine. Immediately, offers to borrow fuel and provisions came from all directions. Mark & Judy on Windbird supplied three plus gallons of fuel and Joe and Cindy on Maggies Drum stopped by with a jug of gas, tin of butter and half a dozen eggs. What a great community.

I'm the self proclaimed computer expert in the fleet and offer my services freely to all in need. I also advocate the use of electronic navigation as an additional tool to bolster traditional methods. I really enjoy teaching and spend many hours a week tutoring those hoping to improve their skills. It's tempting to start a consulting business, but that's not in keeping with the endless generosity of the cruising community.

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