We keep watching the weather hoping for an opportunity to get east to the Lau group and especially southeast to Fulaga. But the wind is relentlessly southeast and too strong to be able to punch through by motor. Besides, we’re running out of fresh food and need to resupply, something not easily done in the outer islands. We knew we’d have to return to Savusavu for food and fuel, and at least it’s a comfy place to wait for the right weather. It’s not far, but with few anchorages along the way and contrary winds, the trip would take three days. Our first overnight was a return to the bosom of comfort, Sau Bay Fiji Retreat. The place was quiet with few guests but we enjoyed a beer on the welcoming deck and Jack bought a cap, a fitting souvenir from a favorite destination.
A cheerful welcome, good conversation, a warm send-off and we were on our way, once more past rainbow reef to Paradise Resort on Taveuni Island where we hoped for an easy overnight before the final stretch back to Savusavu.
You can tell by the damaged trees that this place suffered from the forces of Cyclone Winston but they are up and running, and judging by the many children running around and filling the pool, enjoying a good season. The resort provides a couple of moorings free to yachts who want to visit, but there’s a hidden cost. Instead of being able to pop in and indulge in a quiet drink and dinner, we had to endure a services hustle not unlike a time-share pitch, and during dinner our waitress wondered if we wouldn’t rather have one of their signature cocktails ($18) instead of the beer we ordered ($5.) Between that, mediocre food and the many noisy babies and unsupervised children in the dining area, we soon retreated back to Escape Velocity and made it an early night.
The next day made up for the disappointing resort dinner as we enjoyed a near-perfect downwind sail to Savusavu and an enthusiastic welcome from Jolene at Waitui Marina. We picked up a mooring, tidied up and went ashore in time for a violin and ukulele concert by Nancy and Art from Second Wind. The audience filled the tiny Waitui bar and spilled out onto the balcony.
We spent the next few days watching the weather again for an opportunity to get to the Lau Group. Jack finally got to try out the paddleboard and I think with a little practice he might even come to enjoy it.
We provisioned, fueled up, ate pizza with friends and generally stayed poised and ready for action. In all our cruise planning, we often fail to factor in how much time we spend waiting for the right wind to take us where we want to go. It’s a lesson we learn time and time again. Be Here Now.