Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Drizzle slows play

Yesterday morning we had breakfast whilst listening to the Fiji vs England game on Fiji One FM. We didn't feel quite brave enough to go ashore to see if the game was playing on a TV in the village, though it would have probably been an entertaining event! Anyway, that was the highlight of a day which was otherwise wet and cloudy. We have an almost stationary weather front over us which has delivered a couple of days of leaden skies and on-off rain; certainly not good conditions to move Maunie to another anchorage, what with all the coral reefs around these parts.

The anchorage, on the west side of Ono island, is pleasant enough and reminds us of a Scottish sea loch, particularly because there has been a forestry project here so the hills are covered in pine trees and, as previously mentioned, the weather isn't great. We made a tactical error when we arrived, however, and anchored too close to the southern side of the bay where we could see, dimly, the bottom in about 9m depth; unfortunately there were some coral outcrops and our anchor chain became snagged on one when the wind swung. 

Graham free-dived it but couldn't free the chain and we tried unsuccessfully to motor Maunie around the snag but luckily a German catamaran called Belena came to our aid. Ben and Marlene have diving gear on board so kindly agreed to come over at the end of a dive; with Dianne on the wheel and engine controls and Graham in the dinghy tied alongside Maunie's bow, where he could look into the water with his mask and then reach up to the anchor windlass controls, we were able to move the boat whilst Ben deftly unhooked the chain from the coral. We've moved across to the other side of the bay where the water is deeper but the bottom is soft mud.

Here are a few photos from a walk the other day when the weather was rather better:

The rickety bridge between the two villages at the head of the bay 
Manuku village

Looking towards the head of the bay with rain clouds beginning to gather
The forecast is for a few more days of unsettled weather but we hope we'll be able to move south to Kadavu tomorrow as we could do with a shop to get some fresh vegetables.

To end this blog entry on a positive note, we've just spotted a break in the clouds and done a wonderful snorkel at the nearby reef. We were greeted by schools of beautiful almost translucent fish and then  on the coral itself we found some colourful Clown fish, aka Nemos.  

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