Monday, January 14, 2013

Escape from Savusavu, Act 1

As soon as we got a break in the weather and our busy social schedule, we escaped Savusavu to go out to the reef near the Cousteau Resort (about 5 miles away).

We enjoyed 3 gorgeous days, anchored at "Misty's Spot".

The View of Cousteau from Misty's Spot
(at high tide with no beach showing)

The main purpose for getting out of the harbor (besides our sanity) was to scrub the bottom of the boat. For those non-sailors, when we sit in a 'nutrient rich' harbor for very long, all kinds of marine life attaches itself to the underwater portion of the boat. The boat watcher we had hired scrubbed once while we were gone, but because of Cyclone Evan, never got around to doing the 'pre-arrival scrub'.

So Dave and I spent most of one day gently scrubbing the bottom. We hooked one dive tank up to 2 regulators and did it the easy way. (using a modified "Brownie's Third Lung" arrangement made for kayak diving). The tank stays on the boat, and we've got 2 50-foot hoses down to us. Since we are only diving to 6' deep, one tank is sufficient for the two of us to scrub the whole bottom.

It wasn't bad, actually. In Fiji what's growing is mostly soft corals, easy to scrub or scrape off--not like the honking huge barnacles you get in places like Cartgena, Trinidad, or Panama. We also had some silver-dollar-sized clams, but the only place they were hard to remove were the unpainted surfaces like the prop and lighnting bar.

Our maintenance work done, we spent the next day diving on the reef. The Cousteau Resort that we were anchored off of has about 4 dive buoys within dinghy distance. We went in to the resort to talk with the dive shop and ask permission to use their buoys when they weren't. We talked to a very helpful member of the Water Sports team. He offered to come out and show us where the buoys were on his next trip out (which was in a half an hour). So we got a guided tour of the buoys.

Another cruiser had come out and anchored near us the day before. They were divers also, so the 4 of us did 2 dives on the near Cousteau dive spots. I think we dove the two spots called Golden Nuggets and Black Beacon. They were, in a word, terrible. Though we see the Cousteau boats going back and forth to these dive sites a lot, I suspect they only use them for checkout and training dives. The coral is mostly dead, and visibility was not very good. But it was great to get in the water anyway, and at $3 per person a dive (the cost of the tank fill), it was worth it.

It was also great getting out of Savusavu--there's almost no breeze in the harbor this time of year. But out on the reef, there was a nice breeze.

The South Pacific Convergence Zone "Acting Up" Again

We had planned to stay out 4-5 days, but bad weather coming forced us back into Savusavu early.

Unsettled Weather Makes for Amazing Sunsets

We are looking forward to diving Namena Marine Reserve next week. Our friends on s/v Pandion said that was awesome diving.

Misty's Spot: 16-48.93S / 179-16.85E 12' all sand behind the reef

1 comment:

  1. You have been busy. Glad you got hit the islands for a few days of fun!