Posted by: asolare | 27/06/2008

Savu Savu

1700 (Fiji time) turns out to be a perfect hour to arrive in Savu Savu. We have been chatting to fellow World ARC yacht Cleone on VHF during our approach so we know what to expect, we have safely rounded Point Reef Light and can see the cruise liner Pacific Dawn marking the Nakama Creek entrance. With 4 miles to run and 10 knots of breeze on our starboard beam for the first time today, the evening sunshine picks out the deep greens of the forest, the blues and reds of houses on stilts and just to finish off the picture, a flower patterned green and white bus is trundling along the coast road. Someone comments; we haven’t seen a bus for a while!

Our pilot notes from Cleone are perfect. We enter the river, avoiding the big steel mark in the centre, passing the ferry dock on the right, ahead of us we see the Copra shed where we will meet our friends later. The river is a busy place with maybe eight World ARC yachts here already. All the moorings are taken, but we knew this, nosing our way in carefully we try to find a shallow spot in the river. Sadly this is not to be, so we return closer to the entrance and anchor in 20m giving ourselves plenty of room to swing.

The Copra Shed is clearly the place to be tonight. We thank James from Cleone for his advice earlier. Jus do it and Cleone crew are in fine form arriving dressed in sari costumes. Tallulah Ruby laugh loudest, we suspect the dresses may be a continuation of earlier frivolity! Windflower, Graptolite and Andante are all at the Copra Shed. Maamalni we see in the river, but not yet on shore. Peter is particularly pleased to see Quasar V with who some great times were had earlier in the rally before they fell behind with technical problems.

Savu Savu is a curious place with 40% of the population being Indo-Fijian and 20% Chinese-Fijian although most of these people are 4th or even 5th generation settlers there are strong Indian and Chinese influences here. Only indigenous Fijians are permitted to own land, so others must rent or make their money through trade. Indian and Chinese shops and restaurants line the street of Savu Savu.

Hot springs are very much in evidence, where the hot water meets the river it steams. Just 35 minutes will cook a chicken buried in the river-bank apparently!

Clare

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