|Western Fiji is the sunny side of the island group and it is also the tourist side. Here is where most of the resorts are located. |
For the cruiser, one resort stand out. Musket Cove Resort was founded by Dick Smith after he arrived in his own sailboat. We don't have much of the story but the bottom line is that he has created premier resort and he welcomes yachties to come and enjoy it all. For $1 for the captain and $5 for each crew member you receive a lifetime membership in the Musket Cove Yacht Club. When you arrive you check in with Ala at the Yacht Club office and she acts as your concierge during your stay. They have inexpensive moorings and marina berths. There is a good store and the Island Bar charges just $2.50 for beer or mixed drinks. They even have Barbecues at the bar with wood and cooking utensils and they provide plates and flatware so you don't even need to do the dishes. It is Cruiser Heaven.
Next door is the Plantation Resort is no longer affiliated with Musket Cove but still welcomes cruisers at their pools and beach front. They have a great pool and a tremendous lunch buffet. Both of these resorts are good for meeting up with landlubber family members and friends.
Musket Cove is a gathering spot for cruisers that have been spread out all over Fiji. Here we met the crew of the 70 foot custom aluminum ketch Sam's Toy Box. From right to left you have Alex Jr., Alex Sr., Uncle Joe and David the galley slave. They all look so relaxed because it isn't their boat. The owner is Alex Jr's brother and he was home slaving away to keep these bloodsucking family members in beer. They got their picture in here because Alex Sr. has recently discovered the Internet and he wanted to see his picture on his computer. We agreed as long as he didn't wear a shirt because we wanted a little cheesecake to spice up our site.
From Musket cove we headed east toward Denarau to anchor off of the Sheraton Resort. We caught a nice Spanish Mackerel along the way. Within a few hours of our arrival we found a note hanging on our boat informing us that we were not welcome at the pools and beach front of the resort. Back to reality. We took advantage of our proximity to visit Nadi. Nadi is the home of the largest Hindu temple in Fiji. It is ornate and colorful. Pictures are not allowed on the grounds but it is possible to tour and well worth it. Don't eat any meat for breakfast as you may not enter unless you have been meat free that day.
As we were leaving Denarau we hit a reef. I won't repeat the story here but it was ugly. It is in Hot News. I was very respectful to the Gods at the temple so I think it was just bad luck.
We ended our stay in Fiji in Vuda Point Marina. This is designed to be a hurricane proof marina and I think it is in most respect. The only weakness I saw was that the outer seawall only appeared to be about 8 feet above high tide so a significant storm surge coupled with a high tide and wind from the west to south would possibly lead to good sized waves rolling though the marina. It is a pretty unlikely set of circumstances and they seem to have all the other bases covered. I would summer my boat here as long as my insurance company approved