Once we were settled into navigating Fijian reefs, it was time for visitors and our daughter Kari and son-in-law Bret were the first to come to the South Pacific. The goal was to wear them out and send them home tired after doing all they could in the short period of time they were with us. We succeeded!
Mohammed, our friendly local taxi driver, picked them up at the airport at 5:15 AM and delivered them to the boat, and we were off to our first stop, Waya Island and the Octopus anchorage. This is a beautiful anchorage with great snorkeling, and the water temperature was the same as the air, about 83.
Next stop was Manta Ray cove, named because the currents there provide tons of plankton for the feeding manta rays, huge, harmless rays that can be up to 15’ in width. Not everyone gets to see one as they are only there sometimes, but we were lucky and Kari and Bret were able to swim with one for some time. Cross that off the Bucket List!
There are a few isolated resorts on some of the islands so we anchored off Botaira Beach Resort and went ashore for a cocktail, which was preparation for the hour hike to the village of SoSo.
A “must do” is a Sevu Sevu ceremony, the traditional Fijian ritual where kava, the local dried root is offered to the village chief in hopes that he will invite you to become a member of the village and stay for a visit. Kava is mixed with water and then offered to guests and villagers in a coconut shell, and it does give a bit of a buzz. We all enjoyed the kava, the village tour and conversation which lasted a couple of hours.
Our hike back to the boat was “leisurely”.
After a few more stops to snorkel and explore, we arrived at Limestone Caves, located on a small remote and windy island. These caves are sacred to Fijians, but open to the public to explore. After entering the large first chamber by hiking through the opening, you swim underwater into the second, completely dark second chamber. It was fascinating and scary to explore this underwater site.
Like most vacations this one was too short, but we anchored off six islands and traveled over 250 miles. We are lucky to have such a wonderful daughter and son-in-law who enjoy new adventures, and they learned a lot about boating, knots and seamanship and are now part of the “crew” on Buffalo Nickel.