It Takes A Village – Naqara, Ono Island, Fiji

img_1868Given the current electoral shenanigans in the USA, it seems fitting to use a book written by Hillary Rodham Clinton, possibly about to become the first female President of the United States, as the title for this blog. In her 1996 book she argued that it takes an extended community of relatives, friends and mentors to raise healthy, happy children. She must have been thinking of Fiji because these youngsters from the village of Naqara (pronounced Nangara) seem to be the living embodiment of her theory. Continue reading “It Takes A Village – Naqara, Ono Island, Fiji”

The Reef – Great Astrolabe Reef, Fiji

north-astrolabeAbout 80NM south of the main island of Viti Levu is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – the Great Astrolabe Reef, named after the French explorer’s ship that nearly came a cropper there in 1827. North Astrolabe is uninhabited, whereas South Astrolabe encircles numerous small islands and the much larger Kadavu Island. The whole area is relatively unspoilt and a renowned diving location, so of course it was on our ‘must do’ list while in Fiji. Continue reading “The Reef – Great Astrolabe Reef, Fiji”

Jaws – Pacific Harbour, Fiji

shark-diveAre we crazy? Maybe. Certifiably crazy? Possibly. Why else would we willingly and knowingly jump in the water with dozens of bull sharks renowned for their voracious appetites and ‘bite first, ask questions later’ attitude? Because it’s the world famous Shark Dive run by Beqa Adventure Divers. And as you’ve probably guessed by now, we’re not averse to a little adventure here and there. Continue reading “Jaws – Pacific Harbour, Fiji”

Cruising The Coral Coast – Viti Levu, Fiji

img_1785_3No, we’re not back in Queensland folks – this is the OTHER famous Coral Coast, on the southern side of the main island, Viti Levu. Like the rest of the island, the south coast is ringed by fringing reef so getting to any of the anchorages here involves reef entries through the passes. The other challenge of getting south-east is the wind, which usually blows consistently and strongly from, you guessed it, the south-east. So the only option to get where we want to go is pick a time when the wind is light so we’re not bashing into short, sharp seas. The downside is that means….dah, dah – motoring….the skipper’s dirty word. But the lure of being able to do the famous shark dive at Beqa was enough to keep the grumbles to an occasional murmur (well, that’s all I heard with my headphones on anyway). Continue reading “Cruising The Coral Coast – Viti Levu, Fiji”

Surfin’ Safari – ‘Cloudbreak’ Fiji

img_1686They call it the Nirvana of surfing – the world-famous ‘Cloudbreak’, apparently one of the 10 most challenging left-hand surf breaks in the world, and which on its’ biggest days can undo the best of the best. We’d heard about it (it’s impossible not to, there’s even a ‘Cloudbreak’ store in Denarau selling all manner of souvenirs and the inevitable T-shirts bragging of survival), we’d got within coo-ee of it when we went out to Namotu Island, but being well past any chance of mixing it with the surfer dudes we weren’t expecting to get up close and personal with the mighty break itself. Continue reading “Surfin’ Safari – ‘Cloudbreak’ Fiji”

The Others – Denarau, Fiji

Big Boys in Denarau. It's obviously all about the size of your balls...
Big Boys in Denarau. It’s obviously all about the size of your balls…

Denarau is a world apart from the rest of Fiji – a gated community of big hotel complexes, big boats, and big business. It’s a giant beehive of tourism, with charter boats buzzing backwards and forwards ferrying guests from their swish hotels to the outer islands for a day of snorkeling and sunbathing. Every boat welcomes their guests aboard with traditional Fijian singing, accompanied by guitars and ukeleles, so the harbour resounds with the sound of music and the ubiquitous “BULA” shouted ever louder until the hosts are satisfied their guests are truly enthusiastic about their trip. It seems that not only does money talk here, it also sings and shouts. Continue reading “The Others – Denarau, Fiji”