We went ashore the next day to make a few arrangements with the ever helpful Warren at Safari Lodge. He was organising to pick Ania’s friend up from the airport on Thursday and could also have another crack at filling my LPG tank on their way back. He could also give us some diving pointers.
We also met some guests staying by the beach, who told us about a BBQ that evening being organised for a large group of new arrivals. We found out the details and agreed that we’d join them that evening (meat for me F$30, veggie for the crew F$18).
We decided to dive the northern reef on Nananu-i-Ra itself, as a simple first dive in the area. The visibility wasn’t great, but there was plenty to see as we drifted along. The dinghy was a bit of a handful with only one reel - it kept trying to drag me off the reef at times.
The evening ashore was very pleasant. The food was nice, the beer was cold and the company was very enjoyable. We ended up staying way past our usual bedtimes chatting about the trip, life on small islands (New Zealand, Jersey and Nananu-i-Ra!) etc.
Next day, we tried to decide what to do. The crew wanted an adventurous trip ashore where we’d “get lost”. I didn’t really like the idea of leaving the dinghy on a lee shore with unknown reefs that would uncover towards low tide and possibly strand us. I found a resort with a nice floating dock that accepts yachties, but that was ‘too organised’ for the crew. Dilemma! The resolution was to move around to Volivoli point, and use the beach resort there. We got ashore and the crew could swim, we had a nice coffee and went for a walk along the road. Not particularly inspiring but nice to get some exercise. We enquired about a dive, but the prices were quite steep considering we had our own kit (F$290 for a 2 tank dive, yacht special). I guess I am turning into a proper raggie!
We spent a night anchored there, then moved out to the reef. We found a spot in 10m of water over sand, which would put us within an easy 1nm dinghy ride of the wall. We headed over for a snorkel and it does look good! We planned a dive the next day, as the wind was supposed to drop.
Alas, that night the wind picked up - not enough to make the anchorage difficult but enough that I know the dinghy would not work for a drift dive. So this morning, we will have to come up with a plan b...
Watch this space...