After a sail where we had anything from up to 35 knots of wind down to 5 knots of wind, we arrived on Vanua Levu the second largest island of Fiji, in the town of Savusavu on October 20th, 1245 pm. On the way over I read in my tourist guide for the South Pacific about Fiji that over 200 yrs ago the Brits brought Indians to Fiji for work. Now in many places there are more Indians than Fijians (people from Melanesia). Thank god I was prepared, otherwise I would think we had the wrong map, the pacific is in a different place and we ended up in India. Lots of them here. And right now, this whole week, they are celebrating a big Indian holiday, a day when a king came back home, with the “Festival of Lights”. They celebrate that more here than the Independence Day. The holiday actually is on Thursday, but the celebrations, mostly in form of fireworks, is going on already. We had a party at the Cobra Shed Marina, where we’re at the dock, today. It was open for everyone in the public, but “only” us cruisers came. They set up tables and a buffet in the garden, had their girls and the staff do some indian dances and had a firework at the end. It was a nice evening that we spent with other “boaties”. Lots of Germans are here.
We finished the official procedures of coming into the country by paying a good amount of money to health and biosecurity for their clearance. Also we already got the crusing permit for the outer islands. With this paper, we can go to all the places, show the paper to the chief of the village and ask for permission to stay in “their backyard”, namely their anchorage. The permission will usually be given during a formal ceremony, the Kava ceremony. To be dressed properly for that, I bought fabric today to make traditional skirts for all Alita crew – men and girls. We will wear these when we go to these places. That’s going to be fun.
My guidebook says Savusavu is the most beautiful town of Fiji. If that’s the truth. I don’t want to see the rest. Savusvavu is nice and has a little charm, but it’s all simple, no nice building, dirty etc. Just look at the pictures. But Savusavu is surrounded by green, beautiful looking hills with trees and palm trees.
There are boaties here that we know from last year already, so it was great to catch up with them. We went out for dinner with them yesterday and today. Marcus sailed with them from NZ to Vava’u / Tonga. They came to Fiji already a long time ago. So, socializing is no problem here. That’s great.
Busa (welcome) to Fiji. And vinaka(thank you) to god, all is going well.
Here are the first impressions.