Saturday, 31 October 2015

Fiji. One Last Post Before We Leave!

Saturday October 31st 2015


Mark diving Namena Reef, Fiji

Since our last post we have spent a little more than a week and a half back in Savu Savu while we waited for our steering part from Amel (delivered from France). It came relatively quickly and was less expensive than we originally thought it would be !  This combined with the fact that Mark was able to do most of the rebuilding on his own, made this one of those rare 'positive boat project' experiences !  While Amelie was  on a mooring ball with her steering wheel dismantled, we enjoyed a lovely Sunday onboard SV Perry who was anchored just outside Savu Savu at the Jean Michel Cousteau Resort. We enjoyed discovering the good reef with them. 


While at Savu Savu Meg got to hang out with a few fellow cruising teen aged girls in the afternoons after school. Together they explored the little shops in town, swam and generally had some good old fashion fun together !


Meanwhile her parents were grateful to have good internet as we spend nearly a whole day “watching” the Canadian National Election. It was surreal to see the results as they unfolded, almost in real-time for us, from the Globe and Mail website. As Canadians we certainly have entered a New Era! Later that same day we went on land and had a beer to toast Steven Harper’s departure and his 10 years of service (as PM for our country) and raised a glass to Justin Trudeau: “The King is Dead , Long Live the King!”  wishing this newest (and younger) Prime Minister all the best, we will be watching him with interest !  


Mark pointing out some of the good diving spots on Namena Reef


Namena Reef and Natural Reserve: A Diving Heaven ! 

We left Savu Savu for the last time on October 29th and sailed to the Namena Natural Reserve. We got to find out what happens when you actually actively protect the reefs and fish (no fishing allowed); You get a snorkelers' (or divers') paradise called Namena Reef ! 


As you swim along marveling at the sights you become aware of someone saying: “wow!”  WOW!’ over and over, and then you realize that it’s YOU , the words just bursting out of your mouth into your snorkel above your head!  


At one point it felt like I has swum OUT of the ocean and INTO a screensaver, the perfect mix of colourful hard and soft coral, large schools of neon blue fish and another school of yellow and blue swimming in the opposite direction, they pass each other like traffic at a busy intersection. Add to this the occasional appearance of ridiculously colourful parrot fish, some unique-never seen before by yours truly- orange, white and black butterfly fish (that are reminiscent of Creamsickles) and the large groupers opening their mouths revealing the small neon blue cleaner fish inside, Oh, and look, right there amidst this visual smorgasbord, a clown fish in his anemone, completing this perfect picture ! 


One of the Kiwi cruisers we met recently told us that when he hears people talk about “Natural colours”, well ‘he reckons’ that (judging by what we saw here), NATUR-al colours include, hot pink, deep purple, fluorescent green and yellow, and every other shade you wore in the 80’s, well, okay that I wore in the 80s (me and Don Johnson)!  


Now, I know that I am gushing here folks, but it’s just THAT beautiful here and, sadly, there really aren’t that many place left in the world where you can see reefs like this anymore! The soft coral, intermingled with the largest quantities of different of fish fish species we’ve seen in a long time, ranks this place right up there with Fakarava (Tuomotus), Ningaloo (Western Australia) and Sulawesi (Indonesia) as far as best diving we’ve ever experienced . When Meg came back from her early morning dive on Halloween I had to smile when she pronounced it: “The Best dive she’d ever had!” I guess my point is: If you are looking to find an incredible diving or snorkelling experience, head to Fiji and look up Namena Reef (or Rainbow Reef) !



We don't have the proper camera gear to help you see the actual colours !

                      

Conrad from SV Perry, swimming with the fish 











Meg gives Namena two thumbs up! 


Boobies Everywhere! Another bonus for us at Namena reserve was the abundance of boobies and other sea birds to watch from the cockpit. Boobies are such funny birds, so goofy and seeming to lack the good sense that other sea birds have. 


They are as interested by us as we are by them..they fly by at very close range to spy on us, at one point when I was resting in the dinghy with Matthew (while Mark and Meg were in the water), one of these daffy birds even landed on my back ! I was leaning over to reach a mask at the bottom of the dinghy, when I saw Matthew, sitting across from me, look up in alarm and saw the shadow of fluttering wings from the corner of my eye, then I felt this weight on my back and his feet as he made himself comfortable as he gingerly perched on me, not perturbed at all by my loud expression of surprise (What the $%*@!)


He just sat there for about 30 seconds until I got tired of being horizontal under his weight, he flew away as I pulled myself up laughing a few more tried to land on us after that, they looked so funny as they hover in place just a foot or two above our heads with their big clumsy looking feet in front of them.


The entire island seems to be one large colony of Red Footed, Nazca and Brown Boobies. We also saw the elegant tropic birds, with their long slender white tails, and these share the space not only with the boobies but also with those ruthless pirates of the sea: The Magificent Frigate Birds, well known for frequently stealing food (and young!) from other birds. 


We took a few walks along the shore to get closer a closer look at the nesting boobies, their fluffy white young and their wonderful red shoes. They are a lot of fun to watch and listen to as they cackle away to each other and fly by totally unperturbed by our visit.As I got back to the dinghy I enthusiastically told Mark: “I could spend the entire day watching Boobies !” He smiled a sly smile: ”So could I !”  he said!


A baby Booby in its nest

Magnificent Frigate Bird

Red Footed Booby

Red Footed Booby

A tropic Bird tucked in his nest ( in a hole in a tree)

Red footed Booby
Trick-or-treating 


Our Second Halloween On Board Amelie ! Halloween on board was fun! The kids weren’t going to dress up this year but then our only neighbours (Mark and Conrad from Perry) were so happy to go Trick or Treating (just between the two boats as we were the only ones in the Namena anchorage) that Meg and Matthew decided to join them. Putting together some sort of “South Pacific Pirate-Nerd Type” of costume at the last minute. They turned out great !  We set out our Calabash Jack-O-Latern, gathered the candies, made some spooky themed lunch and dinner and watched the obligatory scary movies ! 


Our calabash Halloween Pumpkin


Trick or treating cruiser style !


South Pacific Pirate Nerds


A tree full of Boobys

Coming up ! As I type this, we are on our way to Coconut Point on Vanua Levu, from there we will be crossing to the Main Island: Viti Levu, just in time to celebrate Matthew’s 16th Birthday ! We will also be doing some last minute boat preps (a few repairs on the mizzen sail are needed) and get ready to welcome 4 new crew members as Amelie is getting ready for an all boys trip down to New Zealand soon!



Meghan On Amelie (written in November 2015) 

Namena

After spending a couple of weeks back in Savu Savu to work on the boat (steering disfunction which we got the spare part for), as well as meeting a couple of boats with teenagers on them, we left with SV Perry for Namena Reef which we had really been hoping we'd be able to go to since not all of us had had a chance to see the Rainbow Reef. 


Right off our boat, on the island, there was a huge booby bird colony.  We were especially surprised to see red footed boobies since when we had seen them in Galapagos, we had been told that they only existed on two islands in the world (both of which were in Galapagos).  Yet, here they were and it says in the Fiji guidebook that they are common throughout Fiji.  Anyways, again as I said in my Galapagos blog, red footed boobies are my favourite types of boobies because they really have a character.  They stare at you and squawk really loudly if you do something funny and when you're in the dinghy, they fly right over your head (just half a metre) and one even landed on mom's back when she was bent over!


We went snorkelling and diving as well on the reef.  The Rainbow Reef is famous because it has amazing soft coral but Namena should be just as famous because I actually liked it a bit better than Rainbow Reef because it had LOTS of fish as well as nice coral (not as much soft coral though). 


We are now at Vuda Point, near the Nadi airport, on the main island of Fiji.  On the 12th, Matthew, my mom, and I are going to fly to Auckland.  My uncle and three of my dad's friends are coming here and will help him sail the boat down to New Zealand where we will meet him in Opua. 


The reason we are flying down is because this trip is known to be rougher with more sailing into the wind and it's just not practical to do school in those conditions.


At first when my mom mentioned the idea, I said, "No way! I'm not going to back down or shy away from sailing even if it's a little harder sail. I am not going to be a wuss!"  Then, I thought about it and I realized that I crossed the Pacific ocean, it wouldn't be so unreasonable if I said I said I didn't want to do school in 35 knot winds.  Plus, flights to New Zealand from Fiji are quite cheap and this way, we get to explore Auckland a bit early so we know what to do when we sail there. 


For those of you who don't know, we have been talking about spending cyclone season (November-April)  in New Zealand for almost a year so it feels very surreal to be so close to it now.  As I write about all these little islands though, it makes me a bit sad that I don't know when I will see remote islands like them again. "When one door closes, another opens" they always say though so stay tuned for November's blog: all about a new place, New Zealand: Adventure Capital of the World!


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Friday, 16 October 2015

Fiji- Beauty in All Kinds of Weather


Paddle boarding in Qamea

Friday October 16th 2015 


In every life a little rain must fallAs I write this we find ourselves at the end of 4 ( or is it 5 now?)  days of full-on- non stop rain and grey skies, oh, and howling winds too! Not to worry, we are safely anchored at Rabi (pronounced Rambi) island, still in the east side of Fiji. Every morning we wake up expecting to see the return of blue skies, and every morning we are greeting by the same grey dampness, not that I am complaining, I am a ‘rainy day  kind of person” after all, it’s just that the laundry and wet clothes have been accumulating at rather an alarming rate and, we have not been able to do ANY outdoor activities after school. I mean: it is really blowing and raining out there !!!  So we just putter around, trying to keep everyone from going stir crazy in the dark, damp cave which the usually bright and dry Amelie has transformed herself into.


5 days of rain in Rabi


Nevertheless, we are all okay, healthy, generally happy and with still enough food stores to keep us going for some time yet, and we have lots of movies and board games to choose from! 


Meanwhile, here’s what we’ve been up to since we last wrote: For the last two weeks we have been island hoping here in Eastern Fiji, as I said the weather has been on and off, so we are much more appreciative of the sun when it does come out and we get out and explore as much as we can ! 


Qamea Island: A Muddy start. After the last update when we were in Taveuni, we headed to the small nearby Qamea (pronounced Gimea) island where, for a moment, we almost got ourselves hopelessly stuck as we were trying to get to the village- to present our Yangona to the Toragane koro- as visitors have to do at every new village when they first arrive.This is what happened: Once we we had Amelie safely anchored in the bay we (10 of us from three different boats) took our dinghies in as close to shore as we could, and then, when it became obvious that we could go no further, while still 150 feet from shore, we started to walk, Mark pulling the dinghy behind us as we went. We really must have given the locals quite a show as we all trudged , knee deep in the mud flats of the mangroves for what was an awfully long 15 or 20 minute struggle. Each step an effort: pulling our bare feet out from the thick brown muck, each time relieved to hear the loud sucking sound that announced that our feet had emerged into air once more, unstuck this time, each new step, unsure of what you were going to be stepping down onto! On and on we went, dinghy following behind us like a faithful pup , we slowly made our way to the shore. 


Like I said, we were quite the spectacle as we tried to keep our dignity (and our clothe clean!) Finally reaching dry land we were greeted by a very nice young man who had been watching us for some time and who informed us, with a bit of a half-smile, that there actually was an easier way to get there: via the beach, and a short walk on dry land !  (So much for our reliable reference material- 4 years old document) which had informed us that since the most recent cyclone- the muddy entry way, was the ONLY way to get to the village!) Oh well ! It was good for a laugh, as we stood there in our newly acquired knee high sticky brown socks !  Our gracious host then took us  (all 10 of us!) to his home where he let us use his water to wash our legs and feet  before we were ushered to the Sevu Sevu ceremony!


After that muddy start Qamea turned out to be a great anchorage! so peaceful with its many song birds singing in the morning and evening, and the surrounding  deep mangroves provided us with a really magical place to explore by paddle board (or kayak). At night we could hear the hauntingly beautiful voices of the villagers singing , I wish that I’d had a way to record those voices properly to share with everyone. It was pretty terrific to witness such a concert every night, in the peacefulness of the cockpit under a wondrous starry sky. It was also a nice setting to celebrate Mark’s 47th birthday with friends from SV Perry, and there was CAKE and even homemade doughnuts thanks to Matt and Jen !


Matthew starts to get the hang of paddling on his own in Rabi





Rain soaked Rabi

Taveuni (again);  Natural Water Slides and Falls.After a few days we sailed back to Taveuni to stock up on a few things at the small town’s grocery store in the North end, we were only meant to go there for one day, but as the weather turned nasty (big winds, lots of rain) we ended up staying three nights, three rocky- roll-y nights!  We did take the opportunity to find our way to some really FUN natural WATER SLIDES one day though. When we first arrived, as we were the only ones there (The four of us and the four from SV Perry), we weren’t quite sure how safe these “water slides” were. I mean, we are talking: natural water falls that have carved out a smooth path on the rock bottom but as we assessed the various potential “entry points” (read: the least steep and the most smooth bedrock)and once Mark had done a safety “Test Run”, we set the kids loose to have themselves a bit ‘o wet and wild fun, and I think it is safe to say that ALL the kids, the young and the less young, had a blast zipping down the cool fresh water !  By lunch time there were a few teeth chattering, but lots of smiles !  On another day Matthew and Mark joined Perry’s crew to go and see the Tavolo waterfalls which Meg and MC (and Nat) had seen a few weeks before, on another rainy day. They had a good hike, climbing up to the three different levels of the falls. 


The natural waterslides in Taveuni

Matthew getting ready to slide down


Mark and Matthew have a go !


Meg's turn

Conrad, Mark (Perry) and Meg at the top of the slide


Budd Reef. Once the wind and rain abated enough to venture out again, we were off to Budd Reef, and Island we were excited to go and visit. We arrived on Friday and made our way to do the Sevu Sevu. This time it was easy coming to shore ( no muddy mangroves to tackle) and from our landing it was a beautiful 20 minute hike to get to the village.A sandy path, winding its way along the coast, through small plantations of coconut trees, through a small, but lovingly decorated, cemetery, and at every turn we were delighted by  beautiful scenery of sandy beaches, blue water and greenery all around.


When we arrived at the village ( a small village of perhaps 15-20 houses) we were warmly welcomed by the chief’s wife, the chief and his family and after the short Sevu Sevu  (we are getting used to these now) we had a chance to meet many of the villagers and the children (who were out of school for the weekend!) I can’t tell you how lovely and charming they all were to us !  They told us that the next day was FIJI DAY (Their national day) and that there would be plenty of activities and games for us to join in !  

The cemetery in Bed Reef
The kids greet us near the village on Bud Reef
Mark drinking the Kava from the Billo

Stunning Bud Reef

Bud Reef

Walking around Bud Reef




FIJI DAY!  (Saturday, October 10th 2015). We arrived back at the village the next morning to find everyone in an even more festive mood than the day before !  Everyone was well dressed (in the Fiji National Colours) and many of the children had painted their faces. After the official raising of the flag (which we missed by a few minutes because we were late getting in) we took part in their morning Kava drinking ceremony. I am glad that we had had a chance to practice drinking kava at Paradise a few weeks before, because that way we all knew what to expect and, actually, we didn’t mind the taste at all !  Some people say that it tastes like muddy water and I guess it sort of does, it certainly has the look of muddy water, but it is a light texture, and leave the tongue a bit numb, but no other effects were felt by us, and we were honoured to be invited to join them in their celebration in this traditional way. 


Afterwards the kids took part in all sorts of fun games. One such game was a relay race where bread (buns) were hung up by strings and the first team to get the bread down (and eaten)-without using their hands- would win (we have played a similar game with apples in Canada) !  Meghan, and SV Perry’s Conrad and Mark (ie : “Little Mark” not “Big Mark”)  formed one team and they did pretty well, although I think they were surprised at how difficult it actually was !  The entire crowd roared with appreciative laughter at watching the children attempt this challenge.


The next challenge was another race...spoon and egg type of race, except they used a small bead instead of an egg. Then a large rope was produced and it was time for the tug o’ war !  The kids went off and played ball games (Meg had fun playing volleyball) with each other while the grown ups pulled out a few guitars and played festive music while we were served tea and sweets !  A really delightful day with a great group of people ! As a gesture of appreciation we presented to chief with clothe and other reusable gifts from our boats as well as candies (and toothbrushes!) 


Later that afternoon we came back to partake in their afternoon Kava (Lots of Kava drinking on that day!) and traditional dancing. After the first dance, we were all invited to join in. Thankfully  (for me who rarely dances in public) the dance steps were very easy to learn, at one point we were all joined together by the hips just like back home at weddings, when you get pulled in to the “Locomotion” train dance !  Yeah ! It was fun !  




Village on Bud Reef

Kids on Fiji Day, Bud Reef !

Fiji Day celebrations and games. Meg has a go !

The Kava man 

The strong women of Fiji are its strength

Meghan presenting the chief with a gift of toothbrushes.

Fiji Day participant 


Willie, Our friend and guide, doing the dance on Fiji Day
Meg plays volleyball wit the kids on Fiji Day

Another Thanksgiving on board Amelie and a Scenic Crater Hike !

It’s hard to believe that last year at Thanksgiving we were “locked in” at X-Marine in Grenada, hoping that the work on the deck was not going to take “too long” and wondering how all this delay and expense would affect our future travel plans, and now, 365 days later, here we are half way across the world ! We celebrated our (Canadian) Thanksgiving on Sunday with a small chicken, some homemade stuffing, cranberries , mashed potatoes, gravy , buns (canned) corn and my first ever home made pumpkin pie ! I had hoarded most of the ingredients needed for this feast early on the months before in anticipation !  We watched an episode or two of Peanuts-Snoopy (to make it all feel a little bit more ‘authentic’) and thought of our loved ones back home. We had plenty to feel grateful for that night! 


On Thanksgiving Monday, we went with Wonderful Willie (the chief’s son and our host and guide) to hike the nearby island: an extinct volcano crater. Even if the day was dreary grey and it was threatening to rain it was a fantastic and scenic walk! All along the crater edge we went. We were surprised to see how large the trees grew along there, and the view of the water filled crater below us (with its colourful reef below the surface) was beautiful from every view point. On our way back to the dinghy we spotted a sea snake, trying to warm up on the rocks out of the water! These reptiles are pretty cool, but you have to be quite respectful of them, as they are 20 times more venemous than the most venemous snakes on land!!! But since they have very small mouthes, it is  rare that a person actually gets bitten by one. It was a thrill to see one out of the water ! (We had seen plenty in the water, in  Niue, Tonga and in Fiji) 


The only regret that day was that we were all too cold and wet after the hike to go snorkeling in the crater reef, so instead Willie took us back home where we enjoyed our picnic lunch under shelter on board SV Perry. Later that day we invited Willie on board Amelie. He really loved Mark’s travel electric guitar and he borrowed it to show all the boys back at the village (they RAVED about it!) and then that evening Willie did us the great honour of joining us again this time for dinner on Amelie. He is a wonderful guy whom we all enjoyed getting to know. We hope to meet him again one day, and next time maybe we will bring him an electric guitar for him to keep ! (They have a gazoline generator at the village and Willie already has an AMP, just no guitar, yet...)


Another Thanksgiving on board Amelie. 


Rain, rain, go away ! The Rain and the wind still kept on coming but we left the next morning for Rabi, were, as I said at the beginning of this update: we have been bunkering down for the last 4 days, we hope that the rain stops enough for us to safely make it out of the reef (we need adequate sunlight) to get back to Savu Savu in the next day or so, there are a few parts that Mark had to order from Amel to get the steering fixed on Amelie to get her ready for the big crossing to New Zealand next month and these parts will be delivered to Savu Savu.

Mark examines a large termite mound

A highly poisonous sea snake comes to shore

Coming up: We should be back in “Civilization” (Savu Savu has good internet, great grocery stores and restaurants ! Yay!)  in the next few days, and from there we will try to get ourselves on a day trip to the Rainbow Reef which we have not been able to sail to since the weather has not been good enough yet, but its international reputation for being one of the great dives/snorkel areas is too good for us to miss, so we will try to get there, somehow, before we have to leave this part of Fiji after this we will head West, towards the main island and perhaps (?) a stop at the Astrolab Reef if time permits ! 


Our hike on the extinct volcano crater near Bud Reef
 View from the crater- looking out into the ocean

The crater


Another view of the beautiful crater

A very scenic hike on an extinct volcano crater

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Meghan On Amelie (written in November 2015)


Qamea (ka-may-ah) 

Another one of those paddle boarder's paradise destinations.  Inside the mangroves is another world.  The path of still water lined with trees and the sound of all types of birds (including the giant pigeon who sounds just like a howler monkey back in Panama!).  The mangroves are also the best parking lot for your boat in case of a cyclone because of their mighty strong roots that dig deep into the mud.  Boats have been known to survive cyclones in this bay! There is a village as well where we got to do Sevu Sevu and meet some very nice people!  The only problem was, our guidebook was too old and told us that there was only one way into the village and that way involved us walking for 15 minutes in almost knee deep, wet mud as the villagers just watched us, probably shaking their heads saying something cheesy like, "Pff, tourists!".  We get to the village dripping with mud and the man, who later led us around, told us that we actually could have just gone around to the beach and walk from there.  We had made it so far that we weren't going to trudge back into the mud to get back to the dinghy to get to the beach.  The man was kind enough to let us use the water spigot to rinse our feet off and then gave us a tour of the three lovely villages. 


Budd Reef

Anchored in waters almost as clear as Bora Bora (and that is saying a lot) and Budd Reef is now one of my favourite spots in Fiji.  But, the water was just a minor addition in the beauty of this place, the island and the people of Yanuca village were the most special parts.  Our friends SV Seabbatical told us that this was the island we had to come to and I am glad we did.


 First of all, it's a lovely walk into the town.  I almost felt like "Dora The Explorer" with the "First, we cross the rocks and coral. Then, we cross the long, pretty beach. Lastly, we climb up the hill and then we get to the village".  The people informed us that on the weekend, it was going to be Fiji Day and that we could come and join them for the activities. 


They told us that the flag raising was at 8:00 am and having been to the Caribbean where events always happen at least 15 minutes later than they say, we arrived at around 8:20.  It turns out that these people were very prompt because we got there and they had already raised the flag and were almost ready for the kava ceremony.  Everyone was beautifully dressed as you would on Canada Day in red or white but of course, they were dressed in blue like the Fijian flag.  Everyone was sitting down on a tapa mat under a tarp listening to the chief who said some prayers in Fijian.  The chief was all dressed in black and had some festive ribbons hanging off his shoulders. Later, I went up to him and offered him some toothbrushes to give away to the children of the village.  I was thinking about Canada Day when I did this: thousands of people on the hill dressed in red and white, stands all over the city selling light up maple leafs and hats, beaver mascots walking by taking pictures with everyone, the prime minister coming out of his car to make a speech on the big stage, and police officers on every street corner making sure everyone is safe.  And then, there's Fiji Day on a little island where: some thirty people, who all know each other's names, are cherishing their country all together while the kids are running and playing in the field right outside (there aren't even any cars on this island).  It's just so, simple.



They had a few activities planned for the kids later which turned out to be hysterically fun!  The first one was that classical "Apple on a string" game where you can't use your hands but you have to eat the apple hanging from a string (except it was a bread bun instead of an apple).  I couldn't believe how much fun I had!  All the kids and adults were laughing so hard and I could even hear some Fijians cheering, "Go Chicago!," , apparently our team's name, since Mark and Conrad (from SV Perry) had told the Fijians they were from Chicago!  There was also an egg and spoon race and a tug of war after this.  


We came back later that afternoon for the dance show.  It was nothing spectacular compared to what we saw in French Polynesia but it was a nice mellow dance (which they invited us to join into) and it was fun.  After the dancing, some of the kids were playing volleyball and so I joined them.  They spoke very little English (about as much as I spoke Fijian) but every time the ball would accidentally hit someone in the head (not hard), we would all laugh so I felt a connection to these kids when we shared that moment.  Laughter is the universal language. 


The day after Thanksgiving, Willie, the island health director who offered us a tour, took us to the volcanic island (the small island way in the distance in the picture).  The island forms a "U" around the middle which used to be a caldera (just like the Sierra Negra we went to see in Galapagos).  Anyways, it was a pleasant walk around the island.  At the end, we saw a sea snake actually on shore!  Sea snakes are just what they sound like: snakes that swim.  If they bite you though, they are 20 times more venomous than any land snake but their mouths are so small, they wouldn't even be able to bite your pinky finger probably.  They are very swift in water but thankfully, quite sluggish on land.

Later, because of the rain, Willie ended up staying at our boat for dinner.  He was very interested in my dad's mini electric guitar and played very well too.  He told us many stories about his life and pointed out some places on our world map which he wishes to go to.


Rabi (rambi)

Rabi is supposedly a very beautiful snorkelling stop but sadly, from the day we arrived there until four days later when we left, it rained and rained and..... rained again.  I think over that course of four days, the longest gap between showers was two hours maybe.  Anyways, when we got back to Savu Savu four days later, we found out that that had actually been the edge of a tropical depression (sometimes the start of a cyclone but not in this case) and everyone all over Fiji had been really worried about it for days. Maybe ignorance did help us in this case... oh well!  Other than rain and a bit more wind than usual, we didn't notice anything very surprising. 



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