Logbook: Viani Bay (Vanua Levu, Fiji)
We anchored in the far eastern corner of Viani Bay, carefully dropping in sand and buoying the chain over the coral heads. The winds were blowing like stink and the fetch travels right into Viani Bay in southerly wind. We escaped the fetch in the Eastern corner and watched the rest of the fleet bobbing restlessly.
As the wind switched farther east, the island of Taveuni mostly blocked the wind from entering Viani Bay and things flattened out considerably.
We arrived at midday and the next day were visited by Jack who apologized for not coming earlier to greet us. We apologized for not having come to him because we were too lazy to reflate our dinghy post-passage. For years Jack has offered a service to visiting yachts where he will go out on one yacht, direct the yacht to a safe anchorage or mooring and guide snorkeling or diving trips off the famous Rainbow Reef in Somosomo Strait. He charges only $10FJD pp for this service and that is an absolute steal for his years of experience with this particular reef. We did 5 dives – more on that in a separate post.
Jack also will organize a long boat to Taveuni and then a taxi into Somosomo for provisioning trips. Reportedly, you can anchor off the town as well in your own boat but many people (including us) take him up on this offer. We schlepped over a jerry can and came back with cash from the ATM, groceries, produce and gasoline.
The produce market is small and the MH grocery less stocked than some of its other Fijian counterparts but after so much time in places like the Tuamotus and Tonga, it was still big enough for us.
Viani Bay is so open and exposed that we felt a little comfortable when we first poked in. Add into that the fact that the bottom has coral and after the first night we weren’t sure we would be happy staying there long enough to see what we wanted to see on the reef. After careful buoying and with the ESE winds blocked by Tavueni it was quite comfortable in the end. Still, if the winds were going to do any clocking around or stay too southerly we would probably have ducked out and come back.
That’s just us though and many boats were happy on Jack’s two moorings, or anchored in the more exposed part of the bay.