We've spent two nights in a slightly rolly anchorage at the uninhabited island of Navadra (17 degrees, 27.2 mins south, 177 degrees 3 minutes east). The rolling has been more than compensated for by the beautiful beaches and wonderful reef snorkelling. This was Amy's first snorkelling in tropical waters (apparently Scottish waters are a bit chillier) so she loved the variety of corals and the many species of fish.
The line-of-sight to a mobile phone tower on a neighbouring island is blocked by the rocky hillside of Navadra so we aren't able to post photos but we're heading north today, leaving the Mamanuca Islands and heading into the Yasawas. Next stop will be Waya where we hope we'll have internet access to be able to add some photos.
As ever, the extended family of cruising yachts that we know through the SSB radio net means that we are never far away from a friendly face; last night we were invited aboard 'Pacific Highway' for drinks by Bruce and Laura (originally from the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean) whom we first met in Vava'u last September. They spent time in Faluga this year, before we got there, so we shared stories about the place and chatted about plans for the coming season. Bruce has kindly lent us some additional paper charts for the Yasawa Islands so we've taken photos on the iPad of some of the key anchorages that we hope to visit in the next few days – this kind of boat-to-boat help makes cruising unknown waters so much less stressful.
Speaking of boat-to-boat help, late in the afternoon another yacht we've spoken to on the SSB came into the bay and headed in towards the shore looking for a shallow anchorage (we're anchored in a nice sansy patch but it's quite deep at 20m). Amy and Graham realised that they were heading right for the place they'd been snorkelling earlier, where coral pinnacles suddenly rise up out of the depths and the water was only a metre deep. Graham gave them an urgent call and we saw a big puff of exhaust smoke as reverse gear was hurriedly selected. We think they missed the reef by only a few seconds.