Meet the Chief


Wind is blowing plenty. 20 plus knots. We depart our protected anchorage and make for musket cove. We are making good time on jib only. Anchoring in all that wind was kinda interesting but we got it done. Whew! Time for a nap. And when I awoke about 4pm the wind was down to very little. That makes the trip to shore more pleasant. 🙂

Dinner ashore and Katharina joins STW again.


A good day to relax. We are anchored maybe closer to a reef than I like. We pick up a mooring ball and sleep better.


Our next will be to travel North to the Yasewas. Time to lay in some supplies for traveling North. There is a bit of a store in Musket Cove and we get what we can. Avoid starvation we will!


Huub joins us thus morning. He came out on the ferry. We leave the anchorage about 1pm and make it up to Navadra island in time for dinner.


I get up at sunrise and after breakfast it’s time for a hike up the hill that makes this island. This is a landmark day. I’m putting on shoes and socks so my feet will survive the hike. It has been a long time. I’d tell you how long but I’m not sure what day it is. Do maybe I’m not too reliable…

No wind. Very still. And hot. Lots of small goats on the island. They probably think I am stalking them. Not really. I am using their paths. Which is to say there could be a bit more headroom on the path! The goats are unmoved by my discomfort. Nice view at the top. Spill The Wine is bobing comfortably at anchor. Dinghy can be seen still on the beach. That’s always handy. The trip down is pretty easy. I take a different path and it proves to be the recommended route. A rope is set up to help with a steep patch. There are even some tape markers on the trees to mark the path. I definitely missed those on my way up the hill! I should have asked a goat for directions. No one else lives here.

After a hot walk snorkeling is in order. Nancy and I tour the reef. It’s a good one! Kat goes for a snorkel too and Huub decides to get up on the same hill I did. But it’s hotter now… 🙂

We pack up and leave about 11am. No wind as advertised. Good time to make water. But wait! The wind fills in on the last third. Nice.

My Navionics chart database is worth mentioning. Seems a bit light on navigation details. Today we passed by a rocky shoal. Big waves crashing on it. Looked like a few Krakens were having a rumble. Really violent wave action confined to a small area. Would have been nice to have that charted. Plenty of rocks and reefs to do your boat in can be found in Fiji. Heck the rest of the South Pacific Islands as well. Fortunately I have been able to employ Google Earth to fill in the blanks.

We find Thom and his buddy Tim on their boat Fathom in the anchorage. Time to roast a chicken on the Egg!


There is a pass near the anchorage that is known for manta rays. But they like to feed there shortly after sunrise. So we got moving early. Kat and Thom and Tim and I dinghyed over and did some drift snorkeling. There is current in the pass at the change of tides. So you dinghy up current then get in the water. You and the dinghy will float along with the current. After a bit you do it again. We did get to swim with a manta ray in the pass. They are filter feeders and dine on krill. Odd graceful animal. Remora fish tagging along with it. And us I suppose. Though I’m sure we don’t look much like remora we act like them.

Too much fun. I returned to Spill The Wine to collect Nancy and Huub. They were a bit slow to get moving this morning but I don’t think they should miss this! And they get a chance to see this denizen of the deep too.

Katharina catches the 230pm ferry back to the main island to meet her next boat. They depart for New Zealand soon. She’ll be back in Fiji November 1 to cross with Spill The Wine to New Zealand again. That will make 3 crossings this season. Kid’s putting down some sea miles!

We had dinner at the nearby MantaRay Island Resort. Just another awesome Fiji place to visit! We spoke to some of the staff about where we might do another eye clinic. They suggest Somo Somo village on the North end of the next island. Some of the staff lives there.


We relax in the morning and weigh anchor in the afternoon. Off to Somo Somo. It’s about 10 miles. We make some water on the way. We pass quite a few reefs. Not all of them charted. You really have to watch your keel in the South Pacific. We arrive late Sunday afternoon and anchor off the village.

We roast a chicken with Thomasi and Ani of Robusta. We crossed them in Moorea and it’s good to see them again.


Spill The Wine and Robusta crew go ashore at 10am. Some boys on the beach immediately welcome us to Somo Somo. Turns out they are tourists too. Rugby players from another island here for a game and some R&R. Another fellow comes along to take us to visit the Chief of this village.

It is traditional in many of the South Pacific islands to seek out the chief and ask permission to anchor, snorkel, etc. And to honor the chief with a gift of Kava root. Kava is a traditional beverage these people enjoy.

Chief here is a woman who might be 90. She gives us a warm welcome and we are told that we are now members of their village and can come and go as we please. It’s one thing to tell you about this, but to hear this spoken to you, it moves your heart in a way that might surprise you.

I ask her if we might do some eye examinations for her village. She likes this idea and it is arranged for 2pm today. We take a photo with the chief and she wants to see it. She approves. 🙂

We did exams for about 40 women and 2 men. The men seem to just want sunglasses. We ran out of those pretty quick! The women actually want to read so reading glasses for them. My money is on these tricky men to be borrowing those readers down the road…. 🙂

After we clean up its time for a Fiji dance show. The Polynesian dances have all impressed me with a common element. These people are having a blast! A maybe 7 year old boy comes along and wants to dance with Nancy. Irresistable. We all end up dancing. There are some students in town for a cultural exchange project. Good energy there too.

Robusta joined us for dinner on Spill The Wine. Grilled Spanish Mackerel. A gift from a friend of Kat’s. Thanks Josh!


8 thoughts on “Meet the Chief

  1. Yagewas, Navadra, oh I want to take ya,
    Vanua, Nanuya, come on pretty mama
    Lautoka, Nacula, baby why don’t we go,
    We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take slow,
    That’s where I want to go, way down in Yasewas…

    In the Fiji Isles, There’s a place called Yasewas
    That’s where you go to get away from it all
    Swimming in the Lagoon, chicken cooking on the green BBQ
    You’ll be loving life to the rhythm of the gentle waves,
    That’s where I want to go..
    Down in Yasewas, Oh Down in Yasewas, Oh Down in Yasewas….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s