The Great Southern Route : 2013 - 2014
96|GSR CAPTAIN’S LOG FIJI shallows that are the domain of the large pelagic species. These are for experienced divers, a local guide is recommended. The Lomaiviti Group includes the islands of Makogai, an ex-leper colony and now home to a turtle hatchery. Gau is well known for its shark dives and the remote Namena is a marine sanctuary. SavUSavU aND TaveUNi Savusavu is a quaint little town with volcanic activity producing hot springs that steam along the foreshore. Home of the Fijian pearl industry, the town has shops and a market for fresh provisions. From here, head east to the island of Taveuni, known as the garden island for its lush rainforest. You will find little evidence of tourism and an opportunity to experience traditional Fijian life. Taveuni is famous for its waterfalls and world-class dive sites like the White Wall on rainbow reef in Somo Somo Strait. again, a local dive guide is highly recommended as getting the tide right is critical. visit the rabi island dancers in Nuku for great entertainment and the island of Kioa for traditional handicrafts. Further north near Nanuya Balavu and Naviti islands you will often find manta rays feeding in the passes between the islands on the high tide. in the southern Yasawas you can snorkel above a Second World War wreck, explore the limestone caves at Sawa i Lau, and visit the fine sandy beaches of Yasawa island. at any time (except Sunday) it is possible to organise a village to throw a Meke (traditional entertainment) and Lovo, where food is woven into coconut palm baskets and cooked in fire pits over hot stones. KaDavU aND Beqa Kadavu lies about 80 nautical miles south of Port Denarau. i like to anchor off Nagigia island at the South Western extremity to take advantage of several surf breaks, superb snorkeling, a spectacular wall dive that drops off the seaward side of the island and an offshore pinnacle that is always good for some large pelagics. extending to the east of the main island lies astrolabe reef with some great reef passes and excellent diving. Beqa, which lies to the north, close to viti Levu is known for its Shark Dive (www.fijisharkdive.com), fire walkers and some fantastic fishing. expect to hook Wahoo, Walu and Yellow Fin Tuna. vaTU i ra aND LoMaiviTi GroUP The vatu-i -ra channel contains some of Fiji’s best diving. The constant flow of water through the channel produces some of world’s most colourful soft coral gardens, and in the deeper water there are pinnacles rising up to the PiLoTaGe This remains the principal challenge in cruising throughout the Fiji islands. Charts are extremely unreliable and cruising must be approached in a very disciplined manner; a good look out and polarised sunglasses are essential. Cruising in reef/shoal waters is best done in the hours between 1000 and 1500 when the sun is high in the sky. if it is overcast or there is bright sunlight on the surface you should not move unless quite sure of your route through past experience. although the prospect can be daunting, stick to these basic principles of good seamanship and you will be fine. i use Transas, Navionics, jeppesen and Google earth to record my tracks and produce composite charts. There is no one system that gives good coverage everywhere. MaMaNUCa aND YaSaWa iSLaNDS The location of these islands on the leeward side of Fiji means they enjoy dry sunny weather. The Mamanucas lie within the reef, providing smooth sailing. There are a wide variety of islands, some home to boutique resorts while others are more secluded. as you sail north you arrive at Waya island in the Yasawa Group, anchoring off Natawa village (South Waya). after presenting Sevu Sevu, a guide may take your guests on a walk, with spectacular views from the island’s peak making it worth the short hike to the top. Stop and refresh in the natural spring on the way up; continue to walk right over the island and meet the yacht on the other side.
2010 - 2011