About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lomoviti Rambles

The BRAVO crew has spent the past few weeks exploring the Lomoviti group of islands....a terrific area for adventures on the east side of the main Fijian island of Viti Levu.

Makongai Island:

Map of island, showing where patients were segregated by nationality

This island, a former leper colony abandoned in 1969, is now owned by the Fijian Fisheries Dept, and is now used primarily for aquaculture; breeding sea turtles and giant clams for release into waters around the country.  Much of its sad history eerily remains, though the tropical bush is  gradually taking over.  After delivering our gift of kava to one of the caretakers in a rather "casual" sevusevu (we were told it would be given to the chief of the village on the island later......hmmmmm) he gave us a good tour of the ruins of the old colony.

Remains of old patient wharf

One of several remaining "cell blocks" for jailed patients...not a nice way to spend your last days...

Movie theater, Makongai style, we were told the first movie theater in Fiji...screen was concrete wall on left, projection booth on right...movie goers would sit on mats in the middle!  Alfred Hitchcock must've been the favorite!

The cemetery was particularly moving...we were told that approximately 5,000 people are buried here, and folks still come every year from around the world, including Europe, to visit graves of deceased relatives.

Since around 1980 the island has been used by the Dept of Fisheries for happier purposes, replenishing the reefs of Fiji with sea turtles and giant clams.  We saw many of each in the tanks near the main wharf.

Do ya think these guys are used to being fed???

These little guys hatched about 2 months ago

Clam, about 3 feet across, was planted on the reef 18 years ago, now completely embedded in coral

Leleuvia Island:

After several days at Makongai, we had a great sail over to the tiny island of Leleuvia, just south of Ovalau Island.  Leleuvia is home to a small, very casual resort, which has installed a couple of moorings for visiting yachts to protect their coral reef from anchors.  We grabbed one and stayed there for about a week, enjoying the hospitality of the resort and the sheltered waters of their reef.

Bright corals growing in little concrete "pots" to be planted on the reef at Leleuvia.
They've been protecting and rebuilding their reef for years, and it shows, with excellent snorkeling right around the island.


We did a dive one day with Seru, the local divemaster, who showed us a good wall dive a couple of miles away.  The dive, though not as spectacular as the Rainbow Reef, was interesting nonetheless, with fun caves and chimneys to visit.

But the highlight of the dive was near the end, when we spotted a hawksbill turtle swim by on the wall.

 Seru jetted ahead to grab it, and we carried the rascal up to the boat waiting above.  The resort participates in a tagging research program, and has tagged about 50 turtles so far.  The turtles have been spotted as far as Hawaii and New Caledonia, so they do migrate long distances.

We brought the rather pissed off turtle to the dive shed, where all of the kids on the island came running to see.

After he was measured and the tag was crimped onto his front flipper, he was carried back to the beach, where he happily crawled back to the water and swam off, seemingly none the worse for the experience, (do turtles get PTSD???)  and sporting a flashy new bit of jewelry.

We left Leluevia and headed south to Suva, Fiji's capital.......time for BIG CITY adventures!

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