Fiji - Vanua Levu - Revisited

[holidays 2010 & southern summer 2011]


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Rainy Season

We returned to Savusavu in early December 2010 after a five day passage from Lautoka via Bligh Water. The season had definitely changed.

Lushness Enhanced

As you approach Nakama Creek in Savusavu Bay, you pass this type of scene...of lush hillsides dotted with homes of locals and even mansions of foreigners. This scene is just inside the bay, just past the Jean Michel Cousteau Resort.


Bligh Water Shipping run two ferry and supply boats in Fiji. This is the Suilven framed by Christmas dinner decorations at Waitui Marina. The Suilven had been out of service in the period leading up to Christmas, creating shortages of such critical supplies as potatoes. Repairs were effected in time to bring Christmas visitors and supplies to Vanua Levu.


Joe of Jubilee donated the pig, who spent the week before Christmas enjoying this beach, and Pate and Ma of the Waitui Club constructed the lovo to feed our group of Christmas celebrants.


This type of earth oven is used all over the Pacific. Pate (shown here) explained that a hole is dug and lined with stones and a large fire is built on top of the stones. The fire super-heats the stones and when it burns down the contents of the lovo are stacked inside and the entire thing is insulated by palm leaves and then topped with banana leaves.


The insulating cover of the lovo was still hot when Joe and Pate began dismantling it.

Palm Bakeware

After the pig was slaughtered, pieces were woven into these palm fronds creating (earth-friendly) bakeware.

Lovo Feast

After the lovo was disassembled, taro and cassava were sliced and ...


were split down the stem to reveal...


pork that was roasted to juicy smoky perfection.

No One Went Hungry

even with a crowd descending on the lovo.

Kids Too

Got in on the fun, the girls dressed holiday finery.

Cruiser Crowd

Joe, who provided the lovo (and got to slaughter the pig), and Philip rest after enjoying the feast.


We got the same view and snorkeled the same reef....for thousands less $ per week.

Sunday Leisure

After days of on and off rain, cabin fever led us to walk along Savusavu's shore with a stop at the commercial dock.

Gotta Get Back

Our walk was interrupted by spectacular evidence of an approaching of many that brushed us from a persistent low hanging between Fiji and Vanuatu.


Cyclone Vania, the first of the season, gave us only a bit of unsettled weather. It was a monster storm that eventually visited New Zealand. We thought this enhanced IR satellite image from NOAA was gorgeous.

Nawi Island

Our cyclone mooring was in "Nakama Creek" whose mouth was protected by uninhabited Nawi Island. Vanua Levu's mountains form the backdrop.


Cyclone Wilma's beginnings brought us RAIN and we took advantage of the wonderful soft water to wash some clothes.


Remember this boat? It had been salvaged by Brian of Kyogle after being run up on a reef (and looted). We were in Fawn Harbor as they tried to keep it afloat in five months later she's resting on a custom made cradle (Tuki's edifice) that was dragged up the "beach" at high tide on logs. Slowly she's being patched up...

Dorcas Sue

Maintenance neglected and sitting on this mooring for at least five years, Dorcas Sue will never sail again. The harsh sun and humidity of Savusavu has taken its toll.

Italian Night

A much anticipated and planned night of Italian food awaited the return of our own local Italian chef (and cruiser) Davide (left). Here he, Elisa and Alice and Jim discuss the finer points of finer food.


She's a smart little devilish beauty with a smile that lights up the dingy old copra shed that serves as the home of Harisen's restaurant, run by her parents.

Ma and Pate..

Run the ever-raucaus Waitui Club serving only beer and kava. Pate is often in the middle of scraps even though he's the bouncer.

Gigi's Parents

Harisen and his wife. We are embarassed to admit we do not (yet) know her name though we see her every day.


Representing the owners of Waitui marina, he is a frequent guest at cruiser gatherings, sampling our "exotic" foods offered to him.

As the setting sun began to glow..

a bamboo raft with husband and wife return to Savusavu from Nawi Island and whose craft offers a stark contrast to the modern yachts at anchor.