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Cyclone season in Fiji!

November 1, 2014

Like most cruisers, our plans change weekly. We had planned to spend cyclone season in New Zealand again, but decided instead to head to the northern hemisphere and explore the Marshall Islands. Then a cyclone mooring became available in Savusavu, Fiji, on the island of Vanua Levu and we opted to stay right here. We cruised Fiji during cyclone season back in the 80’s and know how hot, humid, rainy, and buggy it can be. But the life style is laid back and we don’t have to do any ocean passages.

Our last post was from Suva which we left on Oct 1 on our way to the west side of Viti Levu with stops at Yanuca Island (lat 18 22.5S long 177 59E) and Robinson Caruso Resort on Likuri Island (lat18 03S long 177 17E). The mooring field and anchorage were filled when we arrived at Musket Cove Marina on Malolo Lailai Island and we had to anchor in an overflow area. There was a mixture of cruising boats preparing to leave Fiji and mega-yachts there to watch surfers from around the world try their hands on the huge break at famed Tavarua Island.

Musket Cove Resort was a fun place to meet other cruisers and renew friendships. We became life members of their yacht club that allowed us full use of their facilities and sponsored activities. We hiked around the island looking at expensive houses that are mostly owned by foreigners.

We motored across flat seas in the lee of Viti Levu to Port Denarau where we enjoyed a full range of services including a sail loft that did some minor repairs to our mainsail. This is a tourist area and it was a bit busy for our tastes so we left after a week and continued clockwise around the north side of the island stopping at several anchorages. The channel snakes its way through countless reefs and we had to be alert. Fortunately, unlike most of Fiji, the channel markers were well maintained and our Navionics electronic charts were accurate and we had no problems.

We eventually made it to Makogai Island that we had visited back in September. We spent two days waiting for the wind to abate while renewing some acquaintances from our previous visit. Then we sailed, actually sailed!, to Namena Island for some more incredible diving. We met Mike and Liliane on the yacht Meikyo who convinced us to forgo the local dive boat and dive with them from our dinghies. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as out last visit, but still incredible.

We are now safely on our mooring at the Copra Shed in Savusavu as we prepare to leave the boat for a couple of months and return to the States. Making a boat “cyclone ready” means clearing the decks of anything that can blow including sails, halyards, sheets, etc. We have a new concern as there has been a rash of boat break-ins over the last two months and several dinghies have been stolen. This is an obvious concern for a fleet of yachties that plan to leave their boats unattended for at least part of the cyclone season. We have been holding meetings to discuss solutions and have had several presentations to the town council asking for greater police support. We are all installing burglar alarms on our boats and have initiated a neighborhood watch. Even paradise has its problems.

Drinking sundowners at sunset at Robinson Caruso Resort

Drinking sundowners at sunset at Robinson Caruso Resort

Sunset at Musket Cove

Sunset at Musket Cove

Overlooking the anchorage and mooring field at Musket Cove

Overlooking the anchorage and mooring field at Musket Cove

Poolside pina colada at Musket Cove Resort

Poolside pina colada at Musket Cove Resort

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Many deep canyons; Diving Namena

Many deep canyons; Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Cave entrance; Diving Namena

Cave entrance; Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Grouper knows that he's in a reserve; Diving Namena

Grouper knows that he’s in a reserve; Diving Namena

Sandie, Mike, & Liliane at the entrance to a canyon at Namena

Sandie, Mike, & Liliane at the entrance to a canyon at Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Diving Namena

Bailing rain water out of the dinghy

Bailing rain water out of the dinghy

Yachties congregate outside the Town Council do discuss increasing crime in Savusavu

Yachties congregate outside the Town Council do discuss increasing crime in Savusavu

From → Travel

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