Slice of Heaven – Sau Bay Fiji Retreat

Sau Bay Fiji Retreat

Sau Bay Fiji Retreat

We’d had a great few days in Viani Bay enjoying the diving on Rainbow Reef, but then the wind picked up from the south, making the anchorage rolly and uncomfortable. Time to move our home somewhere quieter. We were keen to catch up with our friends from Bruce’s SSI days, Nigel and Carol Douglas, who own and run Sau Bay Fiji Retreat, and as luck would have it they were just around the corner, in Nasau Bay.

By now “Escape Velocity” had joined us, so together we upped anchor and motored the short distance round the corner, keeping a careful watch on all those reefs and bommies trying to lure us into the “Reefer’s Club”. Even so, we nearly came a cropper trusting our charts – the visibility was poor and we almost ran over the top of a coral bommie that should have been 200 metres away according to our chart. Lesson learnt!

Unfortunately the southerly was funneling through Nasau Bay when we arrived, so we found a quieter anchorage for the night in a neighbouring mangrove creek – it reminded us of Escape River in Far North Queensland, and the sunrise the next morning was gorgeous.

Dawn in Naqaiqai Creek

Dawn in Naqaiqai Creek

After breakfast we motored back round to Nasau Bay and dropped anchor in front of the retreat, nestled discreetly amongst the trees. What a truly heavenly place it is! Luckily, the resort was spared major damage from cyclone Winston although Carol and Nigel have been very busy clearing up debris, rebuilding the staff quarters and replanting the gardens.

Nasau Bay - the retreat is so well hidden it's hard to spot

Nasau Bay – the retreat is so well hidden it’s hard to spot

The magnificent rain tree was spared by Winston, not so lucky the neighbouring mango tree

The magnificent rain tree was spared by Winston, not so lucky the neighbouring mango tree

Timmy giving us the guided tour of the gardens

Timmy and friends giving us the guided tour of the gardens

Carol has worked so hard to create the beautiful tropical gardens of the retreat

Carol has worked so hard to create the beautiful tropical gardens of the retreat

Carol & Nigel's rescue dogs are as welcoming as their hosts!

Carol & Nigel’s rescue dogs are as welcoming as their hosts!

Tranquility plus

Tranquility plus

With capacity for a maximum of 12 guests, it’s truly a retreat of the best possible kind. Beautifully appointed guest bungalows, even a genuine African safari tent for the ultimate ‘Glamping’ experience. And the food was delicious!

Glamping doesn't get much better than this

Glamping doesn’t get much better than this

Inside the safari tent

Inside the safari tent

complete with luxurious bathroom

complete with luxurious bathroom

Alfresco meals on the balcony

Alfresco meals on the balcony

It was wonderful to catch up with Carol and Nigel, who are truly the most hospitable and welcoming hosts – we can’t thank them enough for going above and beyond in the generosity stakes, even to the point of giving us their spare Honda generator to use as parts to repair our recalcitrant one which hasn’t worked since the Caribbean. It’s the laziest, most useless bit of equipment on the boat, so you can imagine our excitement at the thought of finally getting it working again. Sadly, although we can now get it to run, it still isn’t putting any charge into the batteries so it looks like we’ll have to find an expert to diagnose the problem. Failing that, I’m sure it would make a good anchor mooring for a small boat! And talking of  moorings, Nigel has plans to put in several heavy duty moorings for visiting yachts which will certainly make it an attractive stop-over for cruisers.

It was also the perfect setting for Bruce to get back into dive instructor mode. Marce on Escape Velocity was keen to learn, so after completing her theory it was time to get in the water. Unfortunately she had some difficulties with equalising her ears, so it was a short first lesson, but I have no doubt with her tenacity she’ll be keen to have another go before too long!

He's at it again - you can't keep a good instructor down!

He’s at it again – always willing to share his love of diving

Marce and Bruce on scuba

Marce and Bruce on scuba

It would have been so easy to soak up the tranquility and friendliness of Sau Bay for many more days, but our friends on Rehua were enroute from New Zealand and we were keen to welcome them into Savusavu and celebrate Bruce’s birthday with them. But we’re hoping to get back East again later in the season, and you can be sure that Sau Bay will be on our list for a re-visit. Bula Vinaka Carol and Nigel – thank you for sharing your most perfect slice of heaven with us.

The lounge/dining room

The lounge/dining room

The spa hut overlooking the water - oerfect for a massage or facial

The spa hut overlooking the water – oerfect for a massage or facial

Escape Velocity through the rain tree

Escape Velocity through the rain tree

Toucan at dawn, Sau Bay

Toucan at dawn, Sau Bay

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2 Responses to Slice of Heaven – Sau Bay Fiji Retreat

  1. Sue Kent says:

    David and I are really enjoying your blog and the stunning pictures. We are at our house in France at the moment but are planning a trip to Australia this September: flying to Vancouver to see my brother Peter and his wife Linda; then taking a repositioning cruise to Sydney, spending time on several islands including Fiji. After a two day stop in Sydney we are driving up to Inverell for Sam and Robyn’s wedding, then spending about four weeks exploring the east coast of Australia, then flying back to Vancouver (non-stop) for five days with Peter, thence back to London on the 5th December. After that we will be back down in France for Christmas and New Year. Will you two be back in Australia by then?

    Meanwhile, enjoy your fantastic voyage and thank you for sharing is with us!

    Love,

    Sue and David

    • svtadmin says:

      Thanks Sue & David, glad you’re enjoying following our travels. Wow, what a great trip you’ve got ahead. I doubt we’ll be back in Australia in time to catch up with you there, but we’ll be spending most of the season here in Fiji so let us know where and when you’ll be in Fiji and hopefully we’ll be able to rendezvous with you. We’re flying to Cairns next week for Nick & Sally’s wedding – so exciting! Will b great to see the family again!!

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