Sailing in Fiji can be absolutely fantastic. You'll enjoy the warm weather, clear waters and the hospitality of the local people - especially in the outlying areas. May through to October, the climate is cooler and the predominating east to south-east trade winds usually prevail. Around the south-west coast of Viti Levu, Beqa channel, the north-east tip of Viti Levu and out in the eastern Lau group you can expect winds of 20-25 knots in the afternoons. If you sail from Suva to Lautoka expect to fly down the coast in a day, but it might take you four days to get back!
The western side of Viti Levu and the islands of the Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups make up Fiji's Western Region.
The West is Fiji's most popular cruising area. There are miles of beaches and countless harbours.
The fishing here is unforgettable. The day's catch could include tuna, mahimahi (dolphin fish), marlin, or even sailfish. If diving or snorkelling is more your style, you'll discover a multitude of amazing coral reefs. Parasailing, windsurfing, hobie cat sailing, surfing, and jet skiing are also available for those "young at heart."
This area is the hub of tourism in Fiji and has wonderful daylight cruising in relatively protected waters, with many anchorages available in short hops. A big plus is the weather which is usually fine with hardly any overcast rainy days. Most of the resorts in the Mamanucas welcome yachtsmen, especially Musket Cove, which has a well stocked shop for those who forgot the suntan cream, corned beef, lettuce and tomatoes.
After full tourist saturation in Plantation Resort, Musket Cove Resort, and Castaway Island Resort hop up to Vanua Levu Island in the North Mamanucas for a spell of peace and quiet. Both sides of the "neck" between Waya and Wayasewa are good anchorages depending on the wind direction, but a cruise boat might call in at least twice a week.
Sailing north to Naviti, in between Narara Island and Nanuya Balavu Island or east about Naviti into Somosomo Bay, are many bays in which to escape all. The anchorages are excellent in Somosomo or Vunayawa or Gunu Bay.The village at Somosomo is lovely.
Another good anchorage is just south of Koro Kulu Point on the western side and Soso Bay on the southern side.
If the winds perk up all vessels usually head for Nanuya Lailai just off Matacawa Levu and Tavewa, but you can get away from them all as there is plenty of space. Lots of lovely snorkelling around the area.
Moving north again past Nacula is Sawa-i-Lau, the home of the famous caves. Sailing out Kubo Pass and steaming east about is easy and clear but rough in boisterous southeast trades. Passing east of Tavewa, you will see a beacon. On Mataniwai Reef and once clear of Cokonibau Reef it's safe to proceed to Yasawa Island and then in Egusuikuro Pass to Sawa-i-Lau. A visit to the caves is worthwhile and necessitates a guide. Do make a sevusevu to Nabukeru village first. They may charge you $3 a head but you really need to hire a guide to find the inside caves.
Yasawa Island, the most northern island in the group, is renowned for its beautiful white beaches. Choose any one on the western side and nudge yourself in around the coral. The waters are turquoise and you will fry in the sun!
If you feel adventurous and the weather is good, round Yawini Island and anchor near Vatuliwa Reef or Namulo Bay. It is only a short spit to the islets north, for a day trip of fishing and diving. Make your sevusevu to the village at Yasawairara first.
If you want to keep your gin and tonic on the table, sail west about in southeast trades. This track has more navigation worries, but these are no problem in good light. East about is easier, not so many reefs but of course more boisterous sailing generally and few good anchorages.
Further a field? Away from the tourist track. If you have a good engine, consider motoring inside all the reefs from Lautoka around the north of Viti Levu. Although the head winds funnel around the island, the scenery is beautiful and the seas can only pick up to a short chop. There are lots of places to stop with only fisherman as neighbours. Maybe take a trip out of Yavena Pass to Yadua Island to the home of the famous lizard.
This page was last updated:
Saturday, 13 October 2012 18:21
This page was last updated: Saturday, 13 October 2012 18:21