To leave Nasasabo Bay and go into Viani Bay, we needed calm conditions and good visibility to see the coral heads in the passes as well as to anchor.
At first light, the skies were overcast. We were not sure this was going to be the day to exit Nasasabo.
A bit later in the morning, it started to clear. It was not really calm, but it was definitely not as windy as previous days. We decided to make a break for Viani Bay! We deliberated about whether to remove the engine from the dinghy, and deflate and stow the paddle boards before sailing over. If it stayed calm, it should be fine to leave them as they were.
Monty went to the bow of the boat and raised our anchor. It came up easily from the muddy bottom.
We planned to fish once outside the pass. We hoped to catch one of those yellow fin tuna that we saw the other day!
If it was too rough, we could navigate to Viani inside the reef. We were out of the pass in about half an hour which gave us a chance to empty our holding tanks and make some water. It was not very rough at all. We put the fishing lines out and slowly moved up as we watched a lot of birds flying around the pass. Hey, fish, please bite!
We saw Spirare follow us out of the bay, but they turned and went inside the reef. They easily beat us to Viani, but we were happy to take our time as we did not have far to travel and we could fish.
We decided it was time to navigate through Viani Reef. We brought in the fishing lines and went through one of the three passes into the bay.
Once inside the lovely Viani Bay, we surveyed at our anchoring options. We had previously researched them on the chart and guides we had on board. We first motored over where Spirare had just anchored, just inside by the island near the entrance to the bay. We saw lots of coral and not much sand. It was difficult to see the bottom when it got over 15 metres. We explored further up to the head of the bay and circled around the only two moorings, both in use, and Tiger who was anchored close to the moorings in fairly deep water. We kept seeing either coral or depths around 30 metres.
We doubled back to drop our anchor near Spirare in the area behind the island. It was also designated anchoring area on a chart and guide we had, so it must be okay. We were in about 12 metres when we started to drop it, but as the boat pulled back on the anchor, we ended up in 18 metres. We could hear the anchor dragging in coral and then, when we tried to raise the anchor, it was caught! The windlass would not pull it any further. Serge came over and suggested we dive the anchor. Monty put on his snorkeling gear and dove in, but could not get low enough to see much. He then tried with the Free-diver but it would not allow him to get much deeper. Serge jumped in and dove down a bit deeper. He has had lots of practice free-diving. He came up and said, “well, you are a bit unlucky!”. Our anchor chain was caught between two coral heads and we could not free it. We tried going forward and back, left and right, using the engines, a little at a time, but it would not move.
I decided to call Dolphin Bay Divers, the dive operator in the area. Maybe they could help us out. Roland, the owner, got on the phone and said he would come over the next morning. What a relief!
We heard Spirare had caught a Spanish Mackerel on their way into the bay! Joanne and he offered us some of their beautiful fresh filleted mackerel for dinner which greatly helped our mood! The beauty of the bay was also a boost to our morale.
More on Viani Bay soon!