“Malolo Lailai, Malolo Lailai” – isn’t it fun to say!
NOTE: I’ve posted a map below so you can see the spots I’m writing about.
We left Suva on Sunday morning and had a nice sail to Vananui bay on Viti Levu’s south coast which proved to be an easy and very comfortable overnight anchorage. We recommend it.
Our sail on Monday morning started out wonderfully – beam reach in nice seas. We even made coffee which we hardly ever feel like drinking while we’re sailing. By the early afternoon the winds had picked up to 30 knots and Hydroquest was surfing down waves at 12.5 knots! We were seriously hauling, so we decided to continue through the Navula Pass and to Momi Bay for the night. Way over canvassed (but HQ can handle it), we sailed upwind through the pass at 8 knots and right into the anchorage. It was the second time we’ve had to sail upwind since we left Mexico! Momi bay is fairly non-descript with muddy water and there was a huge fire onshore – a controlled fire, we hope – that burned all night and sent ash flying through the air and all over the decks. Will is very protective over Hydroquest’s decks so some major cleanup was involved.
Yesterday we had an easy 8 nm downwind sail to Malolo Lailai island and the anchorage at Musket Cove Marina/Resort. Upon arrival we noticed that some boats were anchored and others tied to mooring balls. We decided to anchor and found a spot in the shallowest water available which was still about 45 ft deep. Most boats seemed to be anchored in 50 – 60ft.
With Will at the bow, and me at the wheel, we dropped the hook. After pulling back, I felt that we were far too close to a part of the reef that stuck out – as in 40 ft from it. Will estimated 100 ft and guaranteed to me that we’d be fine in the current conditions.
“Nope, we are too close! I won’t sleep a wink!” I pestered.
“Do you want me take the dinghy and measure the distance between us and the coral?” Will offered.
A two hour battle ensued.
The wind did pick up and we did pull back further… close enough to the jagged coral to prove my point, I like to think. Or perhaps it was my constant voice in Will’s ear…
Will, starting to learn about “happy wife, happy life”, finally caved and we picked up a mooring ball away from the reef. Yes, Will, I am going to remember this one and I slept very well last night. Thank you!
We’ll stay here a couple more nights before heading to less resort-y areas.