Aug. 1 – nav notes for Fiji in 2013

June 21, 2013 – Cousteau Resort

Anchor waypoints:  16-48.870S, 179-16.874E

Wind/wave protection:  protected from the SE, E, NE, N

Depth:  38ft

Obstacles:  none

Bugs:  none

June 22, 2013 – Namena

Anchor waypoints:  17-06.672S, 179-05.628E

Wind/wave protection:  good trade wind protection exposed to everything else

Depth:  66ft

Anchorage:  large (6 boats maybe) with 1 mooring ball

Bottom condition:  coral rubble

Obstacles:  1 obvious reef from shore

Entry/exit:  easy wide passage

Shore access:  small beach but it’s a private island with big no entry sign posted

Bugs:  none

Weather:  blue sky no wind

Water visibility:  not great, 20 ft maybe.  snorkeling was great, lots of reef fish, great for standup paddling too.

Where we anchored we had less rolling and we heard the nesting birds all day long.  When we moved to the buoy we couldn’t hear the birds and when the wind changed to NE it was unpleasantly rolly.  Called Moody’s Resort on ch. 14 to advise we were anchored and a guy came out to collect $30F per person – it’s a Fiji reserve – no sevusevu.

June 27, 2013 – Makogai

Anchor waypoints:  17-26.521S, 178-57.188E

Wind/wave protection:  good for everything except NW

Depth:  35 ft

Anchorage:  huge, can fit lots of boats

Bottom condition:  coral sand

Obstacles:  1 bommie marked with white buoy

Entry/exit:  easy – 36ft deep in the pass

Shore access:  easy, at low tide a visible path through the coral to shore

Bugs:  mosquitoes on land not on the boat

Weather:  great

Water visibility:  okay.  great snorkeling especially around giant clam beds

The research center is funded by the govt for repopulating turtles and giant clams throughout Fiji.  Did sevusevu with Chief Kameli.  Watched the children taken to school by boat each day to the other side of the island.  Giant clam beds are marked with buoys.  Incredible sunsets from the west-facing anchorage.  Good for standup paddling.  Interesting remains from the leper colony 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.   No wifi.

June 30, 2013 – Naingai

Anchor waypoints:  17-34.283S, 178-40.638E

Wind/wave protection:  great E to S

Depth:  36 ft

Bottom condition:  sand with some low lying coral easy to spot, closer to shore slippery rocks

Obstacles:  none, come straight in stay away from the edges – 2 bommies close to our anchor spot about 30ft down

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  slippery rocks before small sand beach

Bugs:  none

Weather:  windy

Water visibility:  to 35ft

Snorkeling was average along shore and eastern point – hard and soft coral not in good shape, lots of reef fish but cloudy water at the point.  Water was cold.  No village in this anchor spot so didn’t do sevusevu.  No wifi.

July 1, 2013 – Navuniivi-Village-Ra in Viti Levu Bay, Viti Levu

Anchor waypoints:  17-27.379S, 178-15.339E

Wind/wave protection:  good if you anchor on SE side deep in the bay

Depth:  ~73ft at entrance slowly goes to 24 ft

Anchorage:  huge anchorage with a couple villages scattered around

Bottom condition:  black mud – great holding – but hard to clean off

Obstacles:  Viti Levu Bay is wide open and easy, but to get to the entrance of this bay you really need Curly’s waypoints

Entry/exit:  charted pinnacle in middle of the bay, details unknown

Shore access:  easy but beware of low tide which can leave your dinghy in mud 100 yds from water

Bugs:  mosquitos in the village not on the boat

Weather:  windy

Water visibility:  poor

We did sevusevu with the Chief up the cement walk.  No wifi.

July 2, 2013 – bay between Melake & Viti Levu

Anchor waypoints:  17-19.450S, 178-10.576E

Wind/wave protection:  good for E (SE-N) but excessive winds 2 of the 3 days we were here

Depth:  31ft

Anchorage:  huge

Bottom condition:  mud, great holding

Obstacles:  stay to the middle of the bay coming in, charted hazard around edges

Entry/exit:  easy where charted.

Shore access:  20 min. dinghy ride to Malake Pt. at decaying wharf and cement ramp

Bugs:  none

Weather:  windy but day 3 finally calmed down

Water visibility:  poor

This is a huge anchorage after you pass Volivoli Point midway between Malake Island and Viti Levu.  ~68ft at entrance to anchor area, then shallows to 1ft near cement ramp.  This is a good place to access Rakiraki for provisions.  Bring dinghy gas can and valuables up the ramp to the house on the right for safe keeping (we gave them $5F) then get cab for $8F into town or wait for the bus.

July 5, 2013 – Tuinereke

Anchor waypoints:  17-22.702S, 178-00.643E

Wind/wave protection:  good but open to the W

Depth:  56ft – low tide at 9:30pm anchored in 13ft

Bottom condition:  mud and coral rubble, not flat but high and low areas – marginal holding

Obstacles:  fringing reefs

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  none

Bugs:  none

Weather:  windy

Water visibility:  15-20ft

This is a large wide open anchorage good for day hopping to or from Denarau.

July 6, 2013 – Saweni Bay

Anchor waypoints:  17-38.566S, 177-23.617E

Wind/wave protection:  great protection but open to the North

Depth:  25 ft

Bottom condition:  great holding in mud

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  didn’t go

Bugs:  none

Weather:  blue skies, no wind, calm

Water visibility:  poor – close to shore

July 7, 2013 – Denarau

Anchor waypoints:  17-45.422S, 177-23.306E

Wind/wave protection:  good protection from SE to NE, open to the West

Depth:  17 ft

Bottom condition:  great holding in mud

Obstacles:  just mudflats

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  ~15 minute dinghy ride into the marina to the dinghy dock

Bugs:  none

Weather:  variable

Water visibility:  poor

This is a good place to wait for a mooring ball at Denarau Marina.  It’s close to the channel going into the marina and can get rolly from big boat traffic.

July 13, 2013 – Nalauwaki, Waya Island

Anchor waypoints:  17-16.396S, 177-07.025E

Wind/wave protection:  great for Easterlies through S, SW, SE but still windy coming over the mountain ~15k

Depth:  30ft

Anchorage:    big

Bottom condition:  sand and grass with great holding, cleaned our muddy chain and sand dribbled off – good for an anchor that penetrates grass

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy but thread your way through the reef  – kids helped guide us

Bugs:  none

Weather:  too windy to get in the water, wind made the boat rock some

Water visibility:  ~20ft

Dolphins swam at the bow of the boat before we got to the anchorage.  We did sevusevu with the chief – he said there are about 300 people living there from 100 families.  We left the boat to go to a small beach but found nothing of interest, mostly too windy to do anything.

July 16, 2013 – Vunayawa Bay and Somosomo, Naviti

Anchor waypoints:  17-04.950S, 177-16.615E

Wind/wave protection:  almost none but great SE swell protection – wind blows over low land of palm trees

Depth:  109ft into the bay, then went to 90, then 70, anchored in 35ft

Anchorage can hold 6-8 boats

Bottom condition:  sand, great holding

Obstacles:  fringing reef easy to see

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy through the reef beds

Bugs:  none

Weather:  windy – by 2pm winds picked up to 25-28k all night, wind calmed about 5-6am then picked up to 33k and we all moved closer to Somosomo

Water visibility:  ~20ft

We walked on the jungle path to the other side (Manuka) to snorkel the Spitfire plane in 10ft water in cloudy visibility and choppy water.  A very friendly elderly couple live here, Clara and her husband, aged 76 and 82.  They had a fabulous bure built for them.  Not much to see snorkeling around Vunayawa Bay.

We moved the boat around the corner to Somosomo near the village and behind a big hill.

Anchor waypoints:  17-05.959S 177-15.820E

Wind/wave protection:  good wind/wave protection for trade winds

Depth:  30ft

Bottom condition:  sand

Anchorage:  6-8 boats

Obstacles:  scattered reefs well marked with sticks

Weather:  wind gusts to 28k, rain in the evening, some rolling, then wind shifted from SE to E, eventually to the N NE as a front and trough passed through.  No wifi.

July 21, 2013 – Blue Lagoon, Nanuya-sewa Island

Anchor waypoints:  16-56.567S, 177-22.021E

Wind/wave protection:  not good in S, maybe okay SE to E

Depth:  57ft at anchorage but 28ft at the pass coming in

Bottom condition:  muddy sand, good holding

Obstacles:  solid reefs on both sides of Kubo Pass.  Use Google Earth for lat/long to enter the pass.  We didn’t have GE and missed the pass and almost got stuck in the reef.  Fortunately we could back out and follow another boat in.  Once through the pass it’s well marked coming in between the islands.

Anchorage:  there were 11 boats here when we arrived plus the cruise ship

Entry/exit:  straight forward if you use Google Earth, see above

Shore access:  easy but it’s a resort with limited access

Bugs:  none

Weather:  wind blew from S the whole time

Water visibility:  ~20ft

Great wifi.  It felt like Disneyland with the big cruise ship, pangas zipping back and forth and the cattle boats taking tourists to various destinations.  Too busy for us.  When we left we noted this WP for entering Kubo Pass: 16-59.560S, 177-22.280E.

July 23, 2013 – Sawa-i-Lau Island

Anchor waypoints:  16-50.821S, 177-28.020E

Wind/wave protection:  SE to NW, open to S/SW

Depth:  49ft and we put out 150ft chain

Bottom condition:  sand – anchor dragged before it caught

Obstacles:  careful through the pass – Google Earth was off.  Instead we used 16-51.881S, 177-28.189E and 16-51.761S, 177-27.977E.  Inside we dropped the anchor near the reef connecting the village to the island.

Anchorage:  large if you can anchor in over 50ft – cruise ship came in on Wednesday

Entry/exit:  eyeball it – had 2k current coming out when we left

Shore access:  easy – anchor the dinghy according to the tide.  The bottom is broken coral so wear shoes

Bugs:  none

Weather:  too windy to paddleboard

Water visibility:  ~20ft

Good wifi.  Did a quick sevusevu at the cave entrance – basically handed over the kava and got a hand clap.  Ladies sell crafts.  Cave is open 9-11:30 and best to go at 9 before the pangas bring the tourists from nearby resorts.  We went at 10 and had to wait to go in, then had to wait inside the cave in water about 40 minutes before entering the next cave.  Wear a wetsuit and fins.  $10F/pp plus $5F for the guides.  This was our favorite anchorage with interesting rock formations, lovely float through the narrow pass between Sawa-i-Lau and Nanuva Island – great for kayaking and paddling.

July 26, 2013 – Yalobi Bay, Waya

Anchor waypoints:  17-18.635S, 177-07.465E

Wind/wave protection:  good protection for SE, E, NE, N

Depth:  50ft with 150ft chain

Anchorage:  10+ boats could fit

Bottom condition:  sand

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy

Bugs:  none

Weather:  almost no wind, calm

Water visibility:  not much

This was just an overnight stop for us.  Wifi intermittent.  Rugby game on shore with lots of music and they have crafts for sale in the early morning.

We are happy to share our nav notes with whomever can use them, but keep in mind these are WPs off our chart plotter so use your eyes when navigating around these islands.

As for charts, we bought charts F105 (sheets 1-7), 2691 and F5 in Savusavu.  We referred to them at several times.  We also found it helpful to download Google Earth images to our iPads.  We also relied on Curly’s WPs as we traveled across northern Viti Levu.  If you would like to use his WPs, his chartlets, or get information from him, please contact him directly.  Here’s the info he gave us:

“a)….. used every day

b)….used only to receive or send Attachments and when in Internet Contact.

c)  Fiji Cell (679)868 0878
d)  generally listen to Rag of the Air on 8173 Alternative 8007 SSB USB at 0700 UTC/GMT.
e)  In the past I have taken Sat-phone calls and provided Waypoints or advise while Yachts had been cruising,in trouble, changed destinations due to weather etc. or have arranged special SSB schedules. I can not guarantee I will be available, however, if I am available I will help is I can.”

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