Navadra* was one of those anchorages – you know, the one where it is incredibly beautiful and it is becomes your new favorite place and then the weather turns and it quickly devolves into ‘when can we get out of here?!’. We had 5 fantastic days in Navadra and then 2 extremely uncomfortable ones.
Let’s start with the good. It’s uninhabited. This is good for us not because we hate people but because for us, cavorting around uninhabited incredibly beautiful islands is a big part of the South Pacific dream. There is a gorgeous sand spit connecting two lush green islands with rocky cliffs. There are goats to chase – that’s just good clean fun right there. And there is nice snorkeling in the bay. We saw some big stuff (spotted rays, turtles, wrasses) and various coral and fish. There is a lot of damage as well, but enough fun stuff to keep you interested. We had good water clarity when the swell wasn’t too big in the anchorage. Also, you can kite there. So, basically, a fun playground for us.
The bad: SW swell is very common here and when that rolls in, it breaks on the reefs in the anchorage and on the beaches. Sporty dinghy landings to say the least, crappy nights of sleep. The anchorages are mostly deep although there are some moderate depths you can sneak into. The wind in the Mamanucas and Yasawas has a bad habit of turning North when nothing of the sort has been predicted. When that happens, the island north of Navadra seems to funnel it, you guessed it, straight into the anchorage.
Why did we stay those last two nights? We were waiting for the wind to turn back SE so we could head north to Blue Lagoon, which it did, and we did. But by the second day things were uncomfortable enough that we decided we were leaving the next morning and if the winds were still North we were heading back the way we came instead of continuing up the chain.
*In Fiji, if you see a “d” after a vowel you add an “n” in front when pronouncing it. Thus Nadi sounds like Nandi when spoken and Navadra sounds like Navandra.