Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Waya Island

After two nights in the beautiful anchorage at Navadra, we headed north just ten miles or so to neighbouring Waya, the southern-most island in the Yasawas. It's impressively rocky but, less impressively, the underwater rocks and reefs on its western coast were not marked at all on our electronic chart plotter. Luckily we saw the change in colour of the water that indicates shallows so made an emergency detour.

Waya's mountainous coastline

Nalauwaki Village
We anchored in a wide bay to the north of the island, sheltered from the gentle south-easterly breeze and in just 6m of crystal clear water over a sandy bottom . A gentle swell running into the bay threatened to make it a rolly anchorage so we set a stern anchor as well to keep Maunie's bow pointing into the swell and it's been a comfortable spot for two nights.

Yesterday we joined the crews of Pacific Highway and Chakti to present our Sevusevu to the village chief and were then taken on a tour of the village by one of the women, Anna. It's quite a big place, with around 400 inhabitants, and, compared to Fulaga, it's pretty well developed: most of the houses are built from breeze blocks and there's a central generator, water standpipes and showers outside most houses and a good fleet of 'fibres' (GRP fishing boats) on the beach.

Anna took us to the kindergarten where the children were delighted to recite songs and nursery rhymes in both English and Fijian (they learn two Fijian dialects as well as English) with huge enthusiasm and plenty of volume.

A spirited rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
The kindergarten was very smart building with a white picket fence just off the beach and it transpired that that a wealthy Australian who had visited the village in 2009 from the nearby Octopus tourist resort had returned the following year with a chartered transport boat, materials purchased in Lautoka and five tradesmen to build it. Indeed the children's confidence in performing in front of us foreigners is also a by-product of the proximity of the resort as we were told by Anna that every Monday afternoon a group of resort guests come over the hill for a 'cultural tour' that includes a visit to the kindergarten and then a Meke (a dance and singing display). Since we'd arrived on a Monday morning we were invited to return for a cup of tea in Anna's house and then to watch the Meke, which was hugely entertaining.

Great singing

... and spirited dancing

Followed by the obligatory craft fair
The relationship between the village and the resort seems to be pretty positive - the resort offers employment and purchases fish and lobster from the village fishermen and the weekly visits brings welcome income. The arrival of 40 or so (mostly Australian) tourists seems to be a source of entertainment for the villagers - lots of good-natured teasing - so the Meke fell just on the right side of the dividing line between the genuine and the pastiche.

Today we head north again to Naviti where we hope to find a pass where there are Manta Rays to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds nice, guys! Much better than we had feared for the western side. Good to catch up this morning. Cheers, Adam and Cindi