Duplicat's Diary

by Rick at 05:02:46, 2022-08-13 (day 3023)
We had Bia bay to ourselves for our last night. As we get closer to spring tides the low tides are spectacular in the bay. My favourite drone photo of them all from there is this one.We left early this morning, picked our way carefully out of the bay (though it was high tide which made it easier), rolled out some screecher and sailed up to Namuka-i-lau. Its a stunning anchorage (though not quite as good as Bia), and I got the drone out to get a picture but alas, the drone is no longer working! N
Back in Bia Marina!
by Rick at 23:46:20, 2022-08-10 (day 3020)
Best laid plans… I’d spotted a bay on the north end of Ogea Driki, the island south of Ogea, and reckoned we could get in there (from the water colour). Alas, others thought the same. When we stopped at the village to say our goodbyes etc, the French headed directly for my chosen spot!After a very calm night at our anchorage, we left early this morning (high tide), and followed our track back out. We thought about going into the same bay, but the Chief’s son had told us it was small and wo
Village anchorage
by Rick at 04:50:04, 2022-08-10 (day 3020)
We moved around to the village anchorage as the north winds are pushing a chop into the Bia one, and they’re due to go west overnight. The reef on the western side is quite low, so quite a bit of swell gets into that side of the island in those conditions.Whilst here, we went to the village to say our goodbyes, drop of the fixed DVD player etc. Its high tide now, so here’s a low tide and high tide shot of the middle of the village.They’re trying to hold the water back, but it looks like it
Back to the Pass
by Rick at 03:39:21, 2022-08-08 (day 3018)
This morning it was cooking and mending stuff. I got the DVD player working properly, but the amplifier defeats me. Its quite a complex beast that does not power on. Even getting to the main power supply required lots of disconnecting of transistors from heat sinks. A basic test shows nothing obvious which is a shame.This afternoon we headed back to the pass with the incoming tide. There were some locals spearfishing there, but I still saw no sharks. We did have crystal clear water though.We’r
Still in Ogea
by Rick at 03:02:17, 2022-08-07 (day 3017)
Ogea is a real gem. We’re loving the anchorage - great to paddleboard around, and at high tide we can zoom through the narrow channels in the dinghy to get to the village, rather than the hot, 40 minute walk each way.At the village, we’re continuing to fix various electronic items. Mostly cables, DVD players and amplifiers. Word is getting out as we’ve had someone turn up in one of the ubiquitous fibreglass boats to ask if we can fix something. The guy with the LCD screen with big black ba
Back to the village
by Rick at 06:18:29, 2022-08-03 (day 3013)
Yesterday, the 4 boats that are in the nothern anchorage met on a beach for afternoon drinks and to burn some rubbish. It was good to chat to some of the other boats. At least one of them is heading to NZ at the end of the season, so we’ll probably see them again.As we were getting ready to haul up the dinghy once back onboard, Nina spotted the manta ray that is known to frequent the anchorage. I got the drone up quickly and we got some great photos and video.It cruised around for quite a whil
by Rick at 01:25:36, 2022-08-02 (day 3012)
Its a 45minute hike through the forest to the village on Ogea. The path is well made and easy to follow. As you get closer to the village, there is more cultivation of crops such as papaya, salads, bananas.The village itself is nicely kept, but we found it almost deserted on arrival. After a while, we found someone to take us to the chief and do the introductions. The chief had been busy carving, but soon we’d done our sevusevu and were told we were free to enjoy the village. The chief’s son
Welcome to Ogea
by Rick at 22:59:55, 2022-07-31 (day 3010)
Our arrival brings the number of boats here to 5. 1 mono, 3 cats and a trimaran!Nice spot, though shallow. We knew that would be the case, given Fenice couldn’t get in here with their 3m keel. Early lunch then off to the village for sevusevu….
Time to go
by Rick at 03:45:58, 2022-07-31 (day 3010)
We’ve had a lovely time in Fulaga. Its quite spectacularly beautiful however its time to move on and leave the mozzies behind.Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave just before high tide, punching the incoming tide in the pass but without the standing waves that the outgoing tide would kick up. We’ll turn SE and head to Ogea (pronounced Ongea). You can just see it and the surrounding reef in the distance in this picture. Its only a few miles away and about a 11nm trip from anchorage to anchorage
Problems in Paradise
by Rick at 19:05:01, 2022-07-29 (day 3008)
I read on a blog somewhere that every paradise needs a little grit, and we’ve found the grit in Fulaga. On our first few trips to the village, we had been warned about the mosquitos but they were non-existant. However our last trip was insane. They were everywhere, and continue to be! Anchorages which were safe, now get mobbed. Even down at our anchorage we get the odd one that makes it out to the boat. The beach is a war zone! I went ashore to get a few coconuts and got nailed many times thro
The French are coming!
by Rick at 02:55:49, 2022-07-27 (day 3006)
The other thing the NE winds bring is more boats! Just as the place was emptying out, a flurry of yachts arrived today. First up was a Belgian boat, then 4 french yachts. Bringing up the rear was an American boat. Quite why 4 of them decided to anchor next to us is unclear - boats do tend to attract boats, but the anchorage that was popular a week ago was now empty, so we moved :) However, before all that happened, we took the opportunity to dinghy out through a pass in the islands to the outer
by Rick at 04:08:49, 2022-07-26 (day 3005)
The wind calmed down a lot today, and as predicted swung NE. Usually I’d expect some rain and cloud, but we’ve escaped that. So Operation Dive the Pass went ahead. Just before low tide, we zipped over in the dinghy. Chris and Lynda from Fenice were already in the pass, so we had a quick chat. They were just snorkelling and checking current ahead of their departure tomorrow.We aced the tide prediction and had a slight outgoing tide when we arrived, with some standing waves at the very entranc
Dinghy exploration
by Rick at 03:23:09, 2022-07-25 (day 3004)
We moved back to our first anchorage as we want to be nearer the pass. There’s some calmer weather coming so we want to be ready to go diving and snorkelling…This morning, at low tide, we went for an explore.We explored the area up near the pass, and may go through some of the gaps in the islands into the outer reef area at high tide in the next couple of days. We also headed down to some of the other cuts in the island chain that we’re anchored behind. There’s a bit of a gap between the
About that supply ship
by Rick at 23:30:54, 2022-07-22 (day 3001)
Today we went for a dinghy ride, grabbed some drinking nuts and decided we’d visit the small island to the north of us. The one the ship is anchored at (seen below, with a couple of fibreglass boats).As we approached the beach, a fibreglass boat was leaving full of people, but we could see more on the beach itself. Everyone in the fibre (as they get called here) waved to us as they left. We were a little surprised as the guide suggested that the island had either 1 person or was unoccupied.Wha
Latest anchorage
by Rick at 18:27:48, 2022-07-22 (day 3001)
This is the alternative anchorage for the village. There is apparently a path over the hill to the village on the other side, but it’s pretty overgrown.Its another stunning spot. We were joined a bit later in the day by the 37 metres superyacht Dardanella. A bit further north is the supply ship which is typically fijian (not one you’d want to travel on!).
by Rick at 19:20:20, 2022-07-21 (day 3000)
We moved from the anchorage we used when we arrived, to be nearer the village as Soki and Ba were coming for lunch. The village anchorage is quite nice, certainly very protected in almost all winds. In the past, this was where most boats came at least for their first nights so they could do their sevusevu at the village before heading out to enjoy the atoll. With bigger outboards though, more boats like to anchor at the sandspit for the nice breeze and then dinghy over to the landing.You can see
by Rick at 00:27:13, 2022-07-20 (day 2999)
We’re experiencing enhanced tradewinds at the moment. This means that despite being tucked up close to the shore, as you move further into the atoll, the waves make it a wet ride anywhere. We’ve been back to the village and met our host family, Soki and Ba. In fact, this couple were the hosts when Nina was last here on Pirlouit too and Soki recognised Nina straight away.The village has a beautiful lagoon of its own, though without the useful cut through the reef for ships. So everything arri
by Rick at 05:20:00, 2022-07-16 (day 2995)
For the new readers, sevusevu is the ceremony whereby you request acceptance into the village. It is really the essence of Fijian culture and of course we try to do the right thing. So this morning, we headed over to the main village of the atoll (there are 3, so important to go to the right one!). We met another boat on the beach, so went together to the village to pay our respects to the chief.I’m not sure how interested the village chiefs really are, but Simon accepted our kava (a root f
by Rick at 02:05:23, 2022-07-15 (day 2994)
Last night, the wind lightened quite a bit, and we ended up motor-sailing until my watch. Then we could sail nicely for a while, and on into the day. After that, it went ahead of us and we had a bit of a fight to make some of our waypoints. We sailed between Kabara and Vuaqava and though the gap is just 1.5nm, we never saw either island due to the rain.The rain lasted quite a while, and brought with it a quite horrible sea state with a nasty cross sea. The wind was very variable too, from on the
by Rick at 03:34:02, 2022-07-14 (day 2993)
The anchorage at Naigani was pretty nice, but at 6am this morning we were lifting the anchor and heading out. It wasn’t the anchorage I had originally planned (there were 2 boats in that one), so we chose to retrace our steps to be sure of clearing any hazards and then turn onto the course past the north of the island.We had a few jobs to do with the last of the data (calls, emails etc), so I chose to go down to the reef at Ovalau and pass inside that, and around the NE corner. There’s plent
Long day
by Rick at 05:44:23, 2022-07-13 (day 2992)
Long day, mostly motoring, but we covered a lot of ground. We managed to motorsail some of it, but mostly it was just to-weather motoring to cut down the distance to Fulaga.We were pretty lucky with the weather, 2 squalls (one of which barely got the boat damp, the other had more rain but finished in a minute), and the wind eased as we turned south east down the coast. We managed to fill the water tanks, do some laundry and prepare some food for the trip - so it was reasonably productive desp
Long day
by Rick at 05:41:25, 2022-07-13 (day 2992)
Long day, mostly motoring, but we covered a lot of ground. We managed to motorsail some of it, but mostly it was just to-weather motoring to cut down the distance to Fulaga.We were pretty lucky with the weather, 2 squalls (one of which barely got the boat damp, the other had more rain but finished in a minute), and the wind eased as we turned south east down the coast. We managed to fill the water tanks, do some laundry and prepare some food for the trip - so it was reasonably productive despite
Heading East
by Rick at 05:57:35, 2022-07-12 (day 2991)
We headed over to Denarau and by a stroke of luck, the fuel bay was empty. Straight on, and some diesel and petrol later we were already to go! We anchored out in our usual spot, and a bit later, Fenice came and anchored near by. They were headed to the Lau, like us. When we’d seen them at Blue Lagoon, they thought they’d missed their chance to get out there as they have friends coming later in the season. However, they see the same weather window we do, and are also jumping on it…We had a
Musket Cove again
by Rick at 05:31:42, 2022-07-10 (day 2989)
We had a few boat jobs to do this morning, re-commission the dive compressor, check the kit etc. The dive compressor put up a bit of a fight but all sorted, as is the dive kit (slight leak on the inflator of the newest BCD, sorted with a new o-ring).We filled the tanks, then headed for the Pinnacles dive site - one we know well. A good test dive. All worked fine.Tomorrow we’ll head to Denarau to refuel. Probably we’ll reprovision from Vuda for a change but that can wait until Tuesday morning
Waiting on Weather - pays off!
by Rick at 06:12:30, 2022-07-09 (day 2988)
Yesterday we didn’t do much other than boat jobs. Cooking, cleaning etc. However, the weather is starting to look interesting. By that, I mean interesting enough that we should think about moving to the NE corner of Viti Levu (the main island) ready to jump to the Lau group. Thursday to Saturday are good days to sail SE, and its about 30hrs across to Fulaga (pronounced Fulanga).So this morning, we raised sail and headed south. We had a cracking sail in 15-20knots of E wind, giving us good boat
by Rick at 01:48:32, 2022-07-07 (day 2986)
Forgot to mention that as we got close to the Blue Lagoon, we had dolphins under the bows. Been a while since we’ve seen them - they were small ones and stayed for a little while. We got some nice video, but again, can’t yet put that here. So here is a still…
The Blue Lagoon
by Rick at 01:39:47, 2022-07-07 (day 2986)
We decided we’d move up to the Blue Lagoon as the anchorage there is very pleasant (if a bit windy) and we’d finally be able to catch up with Chris and Lynda on Fenice.It was a somewhat interesting sail, with the wind going from nothing to 30knots behind the island, and a solid 25-30 in the gap between the two. We caught a few fish - all small tunny so they went back.As we turned into the passage to the anchorage, we passed Geniet Lewe going the other way. This is a boat we know well, albeit
Manta Island resort
by Rick at 06:32:00, 2022-07-05 (day 2984)
This morning, we got on with boat jobs until we saw the boats from the resorts heading around the corner. At which point, we hustled and jumped into the dinghy to go and see if we could find some manta rays (along with a hundred other people from the resorts, and some from The Beast too - such is life!).It wasn’t long before we were rewarded…Nina got some nice video of them doing their loop-the-loop thing, but alas I have not yet got video uploads working, so this is a still from the vide
Continuing north
by Rick at 03:36:37, 2022-07-04 (day 2983)
We spent a night at a nice little bay I’ve stopped in before (this is going to be a theme along this part of the coast!). The Beast - a large aluminium catamaran built in NZ got there ahead of us as was another power cat. However, by the end of the day, we were back to sail outnumbering power - 3 sailing cats to two power cats (though if you go by volume, The Beast won it for the power mob).It was a very pleasant night, with just enough breeze to keep things cool. A gentle roll wicked around t
On the move, Castaway Reef
by Rick at 02:44:56, 2022-07-02 (day 2981)
This morning (after baking bread), we moved further up from Musket Cove to Castaway Reef, a spot that I’ve anchored at before. In fact, I anchored here with Pirlouit in 2019 and got some good photos as we had total glass-out conditions then.Today has a little more breeze, but it eased off over lunch. Not quite glass-out, but very nice anyway.This reef is one of the inner ones, rather than the barrier reef which is much further out, so the depths off the shelf are not huge. We’re anchored in