We are waiting for the winds to drop, but the forecast is not very hopeful for a few days yet. We have to have clear weather so that we have visibility for navigating the reefs too. We still have lots of meat and fish in the freezer but are gradually working through the fresh veggies and fruit. We still have a few servings of my fruit salad and cabbage and root vegetables. We are told that there is no where to buy or trade for any produce on this island.
We have had some beautiful sunsets here.
We have been debating our next move with Serge and Joanne. They will likely go north, where they have gone in the two previous years. They like the peace and solitude of the north shore of Vanua Levu and have a friend they like to visit on an island up there. Labasa is the only place to provision and you have to take a bus to get to it from the nearest anchorage. Serge told us navigating and anchoring on the north shore of Vanua Levu is tricky, so it is not that appealing. We have enough challenges as newbies. We are inclined to go back the way we came and then decide where from there. We would like to do a bit of scuba diving on our way. We need to provision soon and Savusavu is the best for that. With the cool unsettled weather, we have considered going to the west coast of Viti levu, which typically is sunny and more protected from the SE winds. Nadi International Airport is on that side, convenient if someone would like to visit us. The Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca Islands are closeby cruising grounds. Some cruisers find them too touristy with numerous resorts, some of which do not welcome boats and discourage anchoring in their bays. One well known anchorage is Blue Lagoon, location of the movie of the same name. It has a certain draw. Monty and I concluded we would head back toward Savusavu when conditions permitted.
Internet was not available in Albert Cove. It turned out that we had bought a SIM card from a provider, Digicel, who did not have as many towers as Vodaphone. We will switch to Vodaphone when we get to Savusavu. Fortunately, we had the Iridium Go, but service was sporadic, and almost non-existent some days. We could get weather forecasts and messages to family now and then.
Samoa, the French boat, had arrived from Katherine Bay. Some French chatter was heard on the VHF between Spirare and Samoa. Joanne and Serge then called us, in English, and suggested a walk together to the other side of the island. The three boats dinghied ashore and set off on a track for the south eastern corner of island.
The start of the trail looked inviting.
It took about an hour up the hill and back down but the path was not difficult though not that evident at times. Monty brought the machete along but it was not needed.
When we reached the shore, we came across a rough shelter with a few mats and some other signs that the locals sometimes lived there. Some posts for hanging nets or fish had been driven into the beach and the ground was littered with coconut husks and sea shells. I picked up a large conch shell and showed it to Monty who blew a tune with it, like he was playing his trombone!
We wandered the windward shore and noticed plastic garbage and blue bottle jellyfish (Man of War) that had washed up. The surf crashed on the outer reef and we could feel the stronger wind on our face on this exposed shoreline. Serge commented it was still too rough out there to be comfortably sailing.