Our first stop was Dravuni Island, a fairly small, very pretty island, just about 1.25 miles in length. We dropped anchor in a logical spot off the village, and went in to present our sevusevu to the chief. After accepting our yagona (kava) offering, we were given permission to hike, snorkel, dive, fish, and explore the village and island. "Cool, thanks, chief". "Oh, just one last thing.....you'll have to move your boat.....it's in the way of the cruise ship that's arriving early the next morning!!!!!"
|Nonstop stream of tenders shuttle the masses to and from all day.|
We were then told that Dravuni would have still another cruiseship the following day, that's two in two days!!! They have already had 30 call on the little island this year!!!
|Quite a welcoming party awaited us as we got out of our dinghy!!!|
Well, we decided to stay for a couple of days to see if our biases were warranted. Uh, yep, they were!!! We found the island people to pretty much ignored our presence, focusing instead on the interaction with the big fish (MUCH bigger) that was about to come in. We had read that the folks on Dravuni were "unfriendly". While we wouldn't say it quite so harshly, they clearly had a much different agenda than all of our other village experiences so far in Fiji. The village is very pretty, though, and clearly fairly well off when compared to other villages we've visited in Fiji.
|Bravo at anchor down below. Cruise ship was just to the left.|
We dropped the pick off a little uninhabited island, Namara Island, attracted by the beautiful white sandy beach. The beach didn't disappoint, but the real surprise was the quality of the coral reef around the anchorage. Together with friends on s/y Legacy, we went for a snorkel, and were amazed by the terrific hard corals, some of the healthiest we've seen anywhere.
The weather wasn't great, and though our anchorage provided decent protection from the SE trades which were blowing, we decided to head further south to the large island of Ono, and anchored in a deep bay on the NE corner. Though we anchored in about 70' of water, it was on a nice flat bottom, with no coral bommies to grind the chain throughout the night. Sweet!
|When they learned the name of our boat, they couldn't wait to show us the book!|
|Kids LOVE digital cameras!!!|
OK, back to the coconut oil.....Here's the deal: First they grate the meat of the nuts, and let it dry for 2 days in the sun. Then it's mixed with some leaves to give it a nice lemony smell.
|Fresh coconuts whenever we got thirsty.....sweet as!!!|
Back in the village, Sewa was keen to go, but he had no gear of his own. We finally figured that he could guide from the surface, with mask and snorkel, and we could follow down below. Different, but what the hell, we said sure!!!
|Sewa with his kids|
The diving was truly world class, some of the best we've ever done. Fantastic swim thru's, tunnels, and canyons, with very healthy hard and soft corals and lots of fish. We did two dives at Alacrity, and they were both incredible. Sewa snorkeled on the surface, pointing directions for us with a stick, and we followed down at about 70 feet! Here are a few shots fom Alacrity Rocks.