Three weeks ago we left Susui in Vanua Balavu and sailed overnight to Fulaga in the Southern Lau.
Fulaga is known as the ‘jewel of the Lau’ and certainly lives up to its reputation. It is one of the most idyllic places in Fiji that we have visited so far.
Getting into the lagoon is done by negotiating a narrow pass in the reef that must be timed carefully with the tides. Get it wrong and it will be a pretty wild and dangerous ride. Good light and a lookout on the bow is a must, even when following a set of waypoints. Fortunately we arrived in very calm conditions and held station outside the reef for a few hours until the tide was inflowing.
We picked our way across the crystal blue lagoon and into Mosquito Bay , which is the anchorage for access to the main village.
We went ashore in order to offer our sevusevu and were met by the village headman . He accompanied us on the 20 minutes stroll to the village. Fulaga is only accessible by boat, so visiting yachts are the only tourists. We presented our sevusevu to the Chief who gave his permission for us to move freely around the island and waterways.
Each yacht is then assigned a ‘host’ from the village. This is essentially your ‘go to’ person if you require anything whilst visiting.
Our host was a gentlemen called Tai, who proved to be great fun. We spent time a fair bit of time with him during our stay ,chatting over fresh drinking coconuts which he cut fresh from the tress , along with a straw made from the stem of a papaya tree – super eco friendly 🙂.
The next three weeks flew by. We were hopping from one anchorage to another inside the protection of the lagoon. It is dotted with small mushroom islets and larger islands which provide great shelter from any wind angle.
The Sandspit anchorage was one of our favourites. We walked around to the to the windward side on the low tide. Waves crashed over the outer reef ,whilst the inner reef was a myriad of blue and turquoise gin clear water and white powdery sand . Just stunning. Darren the drone was kept very busy indeed .
It is very humbling to see how these remote villages get by and how little they have, but how happy they are to welcome visitors and to welcome us into their homes .
The locals rely on what they grow and what they can catch in the lagoon. There is a ferry that provides the basic food supplies for the village ‘shop’ once a month, but some items are often not delivered. This month, they were out of flour, so we were happy to donate Tai a bag so that he could make some bread .
Tai has a garden and was happy to sell us some fruit and veggies. We got bananas, breadfruit, pawpaw, Fijian cabbage (which is like spinach), sweet potato, pumpkin, and cassava .
We really enjoyed the slower pace of life and topped the visit off by celebrating Jo’s birthday on the aptly named gods island in the middle of the lagoon.
We then had a cracking 36 hour downwind sail to Suva. We are now anchored off Lami bay and plan to explore Suva for about a week as we get resupplied and do a couple of chores.