Yadua island Yandua

CHARTS: BA 379M, 386M, US 83597.

Yadua Island is a magical place ten miles west of Vanua Levu and a 25 mile broad reach north across Bligh Water from Nananu Passage.

Cukuvou (Thukuvou) Harbour is on the western side of the island and provides shelter from all but westerly sector winds with good holding in 12 to 15 metres, sand bottom. Reefs extend from both points of the bay towards the centre. Approach should be made just north of the centre line of the bay on a heading of 110 deg. True taken on the small red lighthouse on the ridge east of the bay. Anchor in the southern half of the bay in 14 metres.

A trail leads from the centre of the south beach over the ridge south of the lighthouse and across the island to the village. The hike takes 90 to 120 minutes each way. The village has many traditional bures and is well worth a visit. After presenting our sevusevu we received a friendly welcome but were subsequently left in peace by the islanders.

There is excellent snorkelling along the outer reefs of the bay and Nautilus shells may be found on the beach of Talai Bay. Landing is prohibited on Yadua Taba as it is a wild life sanctuary.

Alternative anchorages may be found at Vakasa Bay on the north side of the island and Navi Laca Bay on the east side.

Vakasa Bay may be entered by proceeding along the north coast of Yadua to the most easterly deep bay. Anchor at the head of the bay in 15 metres, sand bottom. From the centre of a small sand beach on the eastern arm of the bay a path leads over the headland to the village, about a 20 minute walk.

Nävi Laca Bay on the eastern side of the island provides the most easy access to the village. Enter the narrow passage about mid-way between Ruarua Islets and Motobua Islet. The pass is about 20 metres deep and has two coral heads inside which may be passed either side. Turn to port around the long finger of reef that extends north-west from Motobua Islet and anchor in the lee of the islet in 11 metres, sand bottom.

BUA BAY (Mbua Bay)

We entered this bay between Bavu Reef and Lekubi Point. Beacons shown on the chart were in place. We continued east parallel to Lekubi Peninsula and anchored in the south-east corner of the bay in 7 metres, mud bottom. The wind blew hard out of the valley but the holding was excellent. We did not go ashore here.

NABOUWALU BAY (Nambouwalu)

Approaching on a heading of 070 deg. True taken on the outer end of the wharf, we anchored in 7 metres, about 200 metres off the wharf. Do not obstruct the end of the wharf as the daily ferry to Viti Levu docks here.

South of the bay the end of the reef is marked by two beacons (northern missing in '96) and a beacon marks the inside of the off-lying reef. The channel between these two reefs is narrow but straight and deep.

Ashore there is a small store. A bus service runs to Labasa, journey time 5 hours.

SAVUSAVU

CHART: BA 378M

Entry to Nakama Creek presents no problems. Once past the main wharf stay in the middle of the channel. Beacons without top marks were in place along the north side.

Space to anchor is restricted by moorings. The channel is narrow and steep-to. Anchor in the middle in 15 metres mud bottom. To the east of the Copra Shed there are a number of moorings which may be rented.

In 1996 Savusavu was scheduled to become a port of entry. Customs were established in an office a few hundred metres west of the Copra Shed. The other officials had not set up shop at the time of our visit. I recommend that you confirm the status of this "Port of Entry" before attempting to enter the country here.

The Copra Shed contains marina office, yacht club, cafe, dive shop, bookshop and travel agency. The marina charges were F$10 per day for an alongside berth, and F$5 per day for yachts at anchor, for showers, water and dinghy dock. There is also a separate fuel dock. For more information: Tel.-679 850 457 or Fax. 679 850 344.

A new marina complex is under development further up the creek here, but construction appears to be on hold.

In this one-street town there are Post Office, banks, a Morris Hedstrom store, bakery, various Chinese and Indian stores, market and filling stations. The Police Station and Hospital are half a mile east of town. The rather untidy hot springs are to the rear of MH store.

A tour of the Copra Mill a few miles out of town (Labasa bus) is interesting. We asked at the main office and after a short wait were shown around by a technician. Walking back we stopped for a look at the Catholic Mission Church built in 1887.

NOTES

A three hour bus ride to the hot and dusty sugar town of Labasa (Lambasa) is an interesting way to see the interior of Vanua Levu. The road winds from the lush vegetation and copra plantations of Savusavu Bay over the mountains to the dry sugar-cane growing region of the north. There are four buses a day but the last one leaves Labasa at 1615. Be at the bus stand at least 30 minutes before departure as the bus fills up quickly.

An alternative excursion is to take the bus to Buca (Butha) Bay, a two and a half hour ride along the south coast to where the feriy departs for Taveuni. Nothing to do when you get there, but a chance to see some of the island. Take a picnic and wait for the returning bus or stay on the bus to the mission station.

GALOGALO PASSAGE (Ngalu Ngalu)

This anchorage is a narrow inlet at the mouth of the Galogalo River about 16 miles east of Point Passage. Approach on a heading of 295 deg. True with the north end of Bakabaka Island just open on the south end ofNavatudamu Island. Once close to the reef we found the channel easy to follow and anchored between the two islands in 6 metres. On the ebb tide the water is murky. Swinging room is limited by reefs on each side.

A dinghy trip up the river takes you to the salt lake, a distance of about 1.5 miles. Half-way there is a short narrows under a bridge where the current defeated our 2HP outboard even though we went on a rising tide. I think just before high water would be the best time.

+1 0

Post a comment