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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fiji Village “Adoption,” Ono, Nabuwalu, Kadavu Isles

Took, explaining the best Fijian ways to
extract ccocnut water.  Ono,
Fiji, Kadavu isles
After sevesevu* at our second village, Nabuwalu, in the Kadavus of Astrolabe Reef, we were ready for a wander over Ono islands’ hills and dales.  Before long, we encountered a friendly local, “Took,” who offered to show us the island’s boiling pools, a few minutes away.  We took him up on his offer to guide us there.  The boiling pools were where the local tucked their cassava roots until the banks, where the hotter water there steamed it until cooked.

*Click here for more info about sevusevu at ourfirst Fiji village stop and more on that and kava in a future post.  Also - this post with be updated in a few days with eight more images and some other goodies, when wifi is better.



Ono’s boiling pool, near a former village, but not far from the current village of Nabuwalu.
Transplanted from a Suva village to experience the village of his mother’s childhood, Took seemed hungry for both doing his best for us to enjoy our Fiji experience and to learn more about life beyond Fiji.  “My mother told me many stories about her village,” Took told us.  He claimed his great-great grandparents settled on Ono to escape the fighting and cannibalism on Viti Levu and create a new life for themselves, living off the land.  Took lives at his uncle’s home, helping out as needed, including at the town church’s Methodist services, as his uncle is the pastor.

Nabuwalu Bay overlook on Ono island, accented by beautiful but invasive morning glories.
The next day, Took led us and another cruiser, Lizanne from Bidule, on a vista hike.  Took explained the villagers – mostly elderly -- laughed at him as he struggled as we did ascending the sometimes rough trail over the ridge to their plantings of taro, kava and other crops.  “Too hard; they get up at 5:15 in the morning to start their farming day, climb this hill, and carry their crops all back.  The village I come from, it’s much easier,” we were informed.

These tall orchid plants were prolific
on Ono, Kadavu isles, Fiji.
Took’s ambitions were far from provincial, however.  “I want to marry a European [Caucasian],” he declared.  “And I’d like to visit Australia.  I have family there.”  At twenty-four, at least the latter is certainly still in the realm of possibility for him, though thus far, every Fijian villager we talked to about their travels had yet to leave the country.  Australia seemed to be the top choice of where to visit, just as New Zealand was for Tongans.

Waist high ferns flank this Ono, Fiji trail, as seen surrounding Lizanne and Took. 
Envious of other villager’s stories of their experience on visiting yachts, Took asked us if he could come aboard to see what a cruising yacht is like.  We invited him over for an early supper.  We also gave him a taste of Wayne’s moonshine, when he expressed interest in giving it a try.  We sent him off with that and some wine we had and didn’t like for church communion, though given his interest in mixing it with the moonshine, we’d be surprised if the wine made it to communion.

Panoramic view of Kadavu island’s shore, gazing North off Ono, also part of the Kadavu isles of Astrolabe Reef.
We hope Took’s memories of us did not become clouded with a hangover, as yes, we assured Took, truthfully and emphatically when we asked, we are very much enjoying Fiji.

Northern Bay off Ono, viewed from our hike originated
out of Nabuwalu village on Ono’s opposite side. 
Location Location
We’re now in Fiji’s Kadavu isles of Astrolabe Reef, 60 miles across, it’s the fourth largest barrier reef in the world.  We stopped at Ono from June 7-12, 2016, anchoring at S18.58.913 E178.25.164.  This post was written from our third Kadavu isles anchorage, Kadavu island (S18.58.913 E178.25.164).  Likely later today we’ll stop another Kadavu anchorage, closer to Astrolabe Reef, then Levuka, Vitu Levi, then on to Savusavu.

Big papayas!  Took, happy to ham it up
for the camera, offers perspective.
Cruising by the Numbers

December 2014 to November 2015 we sailed over 10,000 miles from Florida to New Zealand.  We spent cyclone season in New Zealand, where we did lots of boat work and traveled by car from New Zealand’s Northernmost to Southernmost points.   We left New Zealand in May, traveling over 1,000 miles to Fiji.  We’ll spend a few months here, then go to Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia, racking up at least 4,500 miles this year.  We expect to arrive in Australia around November, where we’ll sell our boat, travel a bit, then go back to work somewhere.
There’s a long, shallow stretch in front of Nabuwalu village, enough so the moderate tide leaves a muddy, moonscape for stranded dinghies to cross to return to an anchored boat.