July 1 – giant clams in Makogai

We left Savusavu on June 21 and anchored in front of the Cousteau Resort just so we could get some cooling breezes.  Next day was overcast and blowy and we sailed then motored to Namena.  We called Moody’s on Ch. 14 to let them know we arrived in the reserve and someone came out to collect $30F per person for our stay.  We had a great time listening to the ganets and frigets nesting onshore.  We snorkeled and paddled for several days and enjoyed spending some time with our friends on Eagle’s Wings.  When they left we grabbed the one mooring ball and stayed a couple more days with beautiful blue skies and the full moon descending at 6:30am.  The weather changed and the anchorage got too rolly so we left on the 27th and motored over to Makogai.  We were too busy playing in the water to take any photos.

About 5.5 hours later we dropped the hook in front of the research center.  After doing sevusevu with Chief Kameli, we got a tour of the facilities.  The center is funded by the government for repopulating turtles and giant clams throughout Fiji.  Then we walked through the remains from the leper colony which was active from 1911 to 1969. There were over 4,500 patients here including many from other Pacific Island groups. In 1948, an effective treatment for leprosy was introduced and then the colony was phased out over the next 20 years.

We loved this anchorage.  We watched the children taken to school by boat each day to the other side of the island.  We snorkeled giant clam beds marked with buoys.  I paddled all over the place and we had front row seats to vibrant sunsets from the west-facing anchorage.  This was a hard place to leave.

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