Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 2010

Wishing everyone that might read this blog, a very Happy New Years Eve.

This morning was one of the better mornings we have had for a while, so hope this will be a good sign for 2011.

The town of Savusavu has been fairly quiet this week, as it was a holiday until Wednesday, most people are still on leave until next week, enjoying the break with the family.

We were thinking of going fishing yesterday, but had fuel being delivered, so decided to leave fishing for another morning. There has been 2 price increases over the last month, so it is nearly $2 a litre for diesel, making it fairly expensive to do a run out to the sea mount.

As we haven't been out recently, so haven't any new photos, I'll just show some from earlier this year.

A Happy New Year everyone.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all.

After weeks of rain, yesterday was one of the best days we day in a long time.
This morning is even better, after a beautiful moonlight night with clear skies, today is lovely sunshine, blue skies with a light breeze.

We went out earlier in the week but didn't have a good catch, just a few small Yellowfin, not sure if it was because of the full moon or eclipse, but the fish just weren't there.

Was glade it wasn't just us, as the other charter boat was out with us & had the same problem, they didn't catch anything.

Guess that is why they call it Fishing & not Catching, it is just luck on the day.

There is a lot of very small fish out there, but it is too small for our lines, Fijians call the fish Salala, they catch these fish with hand lines using bread mixed with a little amount of sardines (for the smell)on very small hooks.

At night one can see lights from local boat all round the harbour, fishing for these fish, they are small but give you a good fight, & are a lot of fun catching.

A friend was trolling around the reefs hear his place yesterday & caught a very nice GT, so that went on the barbie last night.

Well that's me until the next time, just in case it is in the new year, A Happy New Years to everyone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cyclone Season

Well, it is that time again, when we have to be prepared for Cyclones in the area.

Already we have had the first warning, but luckily, the tropical depression didn't develop into a cyclone like they thought it might, & slipped down to the south weat of us.

We got so much rain the week the depression was moving towards us, that Savusavu experienced a few land slips.

The road to Cousteau Resort was closed off for a day, so all the guests had to be transported to the resort, from the Copra Shed Marina, by their dive boat.
This also makes a lovely approach to the Resort, as it was a lovely calm sunny day, & a boat trip is always nicer.

There were also minor slips on the way to the Airport from town, these were quickly cleared by the PWD department, so wasn't a major problem.

With all the rain & thunderstorms around, we haven't managed to venture out to see if the Yellowfin are still around, maybe next week?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yellowfin in Savusavu

We have been very fortunate on our last few fishing trips. the weather has been good for fishing, & the fish have been there.

Out at our usual spot, we have come across Yellowfin Tuna feeding, sometimes really good work ups.

On one of the trips out, we got a 19kg, 2 11kg, & a few smaller Yellowfin, that was one of the best days we have had in a long time. A few families got to eat fish that day.

A lot of the time we had double & triple strikes, a couple of times, just as we put the line back in the water, it was hit again, that's what we call a good days fishing

The trip yesterday wasn't as good, the fish were harder to find, & didn't stay up for very long.

They managed to get 12 Yellowfin into the boat, loosing a few on the way in. While in a school of Yellowfin we had a double strike, but this time the sharks got to them before they could bring them in.

Tom played a bronze whaler for about 15 mins, got it to the boat a few times, but Terry saw it had the lure in part of his mouth, so cut the line.

This was the lure that had been catching most of the fish, so it was a disappointment, apart from the expense of loosing a good lure.

The guest took all the fish back to the Resort, to give to the village near the Resort.
There was a death in the village, & this would help feed them.
Fish is never wasted here, there is always someone to give the catch too.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Outrigger Canoes in Savusavu

People of Savusavu & surrounding villagers in the North, were treated to a special occasion this Diwali weekend.

Two Outrigger canoes, one from Suva called Uto Ni Yalo, & the Hine Moana from Tonga, were in Savusavu to take part in the 1st Outrigger racing weekend planed for Savusavu.

These two canoes were part of a group.
7 Pacific Islands got together, to preserve & develop their traditions of ocean voyaging in double hulled canoes.

Earlier this year, all the canoes set out from New Zealand, to travel onto Tahiti, Cook Island, Samoa & Tonga, on their first voyage.

Uto Ni Yalo arrived back in Fiji in July, having taken 4 months do do the voyage.

She was in Levuka & Makogai before travelling to Savusavu, doing a survey, helping with recording whale songs & transportation.
To record the whale songs, the crew were using a hydrophone.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yellowfin Tuna

Yesterday morning was one of the best mornings, we have had in a long time.

After all the rain we have had, we needed to take Sea Rov out to run the engines, & charge the batteries.

One out on the water the seas just got calmer & calmer, until there was hardly a ripple on the water.

At the usual fishing spot, there didn't seem to be a lot of activity, so we just trolled around for a while.

Soon we were getting double hook ups, the fish weren't big but they were putting on a good fight.

After a couple of hours, we headed home, this had been one of the better days we have had out, for a long time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Savusavu Weather.

It has been months since we have had any decent rainfall in Fiji, water has had to be carted to Islands off the mainland, as they had run out of drinking water.
A lot of us in Savusavu are on tank water, so without decent rainfall for so long, our tanks were starting to run dry.

Well, over the last 2 weeks we have had enough rain to fill our water tanks, 10 times over.
This is good news for most of the Fiji Islands, as we were all in a similar situation.

The farmers are happy again, the ground, was so dry before this rain, that it was beginning to crack, crops & the vegetation were turning brown.
Now everywhere is again, that lovely lush green colour, trouble now is, the lawn is growing twice as fast.

We haven't managed to do any fishing lately as the weather has been too rough, we had a charter but had to cancel, as a strong wind warning was declared for our area, & the people left before it calmed down again.

Our bananas, breadfruit & pawpaw's are finally starting to ripen, we lost most of our crop during the cyclone & it has taken this long to come right.

Over the last 6 months or so, fresh fruit & vegetables have had to be brought in from Suva to be sold in our local market, as all the local crops, hadn't fully recovered.

The cyclone season is just upon us again, so hopefully we will be able to enjoy some of the fruit before the destructive winds come & destroy it again.

These are photos of the full moon, taken at dawn from our property.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tara's Record Mahimahi

Things have been fairly slow for us lately, but we did manage to get out a week or so ago.
This charter was for 2 couples from the States.

We had, had to cancel a day earlier because of the windy conditions, but the morning looked fine when we left the wharf.
They arrived later than planned as they had a eventful night.

A hour or so into the charter, we had 2 Yellowfin on board, when the outer most rod went off with a bang.

It was Tara's turn in the chair, this was a nice fish, it jumped a few times & everyone saw it was a Mahimahi.

It took Tara 20 minutes, to get the fish close enough to the boat for Terry to gaff.
It just kept reeling out line, as soon as she brought it in.
Once on board we could all relax as Mahimahi can be tricky to bring in, as they just keep jumping & don't seem to tire out.

This fish weighed in at 50lbs & would have been a record if caught within IGFA rules, but unfortunately, Tara had help bringing the fish in.

It was her 50th birthday, so this was something to remember it & Fiji by.
Terry cleaned & filleted the fish so they could freeze, & take it back with them to the States.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Repairing Seawall

After the last couple of cyclones, the seawall out in front of Morris Hedstrom's main store in Savusavu was badly damaged.

Fortunately, money has now been found for the repairs of this.

The repairs also extended down as far as the Daku Resort.

Here the road runs along the edge of the sea wall, so gets a lot of damaged, from the surge of the sea, breaking right across, during storms & at peak tides.

This, with the repairs, & tar sealing of the road is a big plus for the town of Savusavu.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upgrading Road to Cousteau

The residents along the road that goes from town & ends at the Cousteau Resort, have been waiting years for the road to be tar sealed.

Well, finally, their wishes will soon be granted.
Work has started, all the big machinery is here, & at the moment I don't think they have to worry about the weather, as we are in a drought, so the work should progress well.

I drove a short distance along it yesterday, & they seem to be coming along fairly well.

Some Savusavu drivers aren't helping though, they drive at quite a speed on the newly graded part, throwing up all the loose stones, they just don't know how to slow down.

Once this is done, the residents won't have to put up will all the dust every time a car drives by, & it will be a nice drive along the seaside as Savusavu Bay is such a beautiful sight.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Trolling Namena Reef

A week or so ago when the winds weren't blowing 20knts we managed to do a fishing charter.

Not far from the lighthouse we got into a school of bait fish, there must have been bigger fish around, but only the smaller Yellowfin were interested, so after a little while catching these we moved on.

Out in the distance a big splash was noticed so we headed to it, I saw what I thought was a stick in the water.
That was no stick it was a nice Sailfish, it took 3 attempts for it to finally hook on.

Line started to reel out & the fish jumped, all lines were brought in & the fight began.
Unfortunately it had taken one of the lighter lines, so this made it harder for the angler.

After a tiring 20 mins of bringing the fish it, the line snapped.
There was a sudden quiet on the boat as we all looked at one another in despair, as we had seen it jump 3 times, so knew it was a really nice fish.

That's fishing the fish isn't caught until it is in the boat, so all lines were put out again & we headed towards Namana.

On the way home we were treated to a display of 2 whales broaching, what a sight to see these huge creatures throwing themselves out of the water, & doing back flips, we sat & watched them for at least half a hour.

The batteries on my camera died so I was very unfortunate not to have been able to take any photos

Monday, August 30, 2010

Delivery To Super Yacht

We had just come in from a charter, when I got a call, asking if we could do a delivery to a Super Yacht, anchored off Namena Island, the next day.

Yes we could, so all the arrangements were made, the freight would be arriving into Savusavu on the first plane in the morning, having arrived from New Zealand the night before.

As usual, when we expect the plane to arrive on time, it is always delayed, & this is exactly what happened this time.

Anyway, the cargo finally arrived at the Copra Shed Marina & we started loading the cartons onto Searov, there was over 100kg of fresh vegetables & fruit, so it took a little while to store away safely.

With the cargo was a Customs Agent & a man from the Agriculture department, to check the cargo & make sure it was delivered to the Yacht.

The wind got up about 15 mins out of the entrance from Savusavu, so it wasn't going to be the calm trip we were hoping for.

A hour & a half later we were along side the Yacht, & began the unloading, this didn't take long as we got a chain working.

Once everything was aboard, they started unpacking the goods & gave us back the empty cartons & their rubbish to take back to Savusavu.

Soon, we were heading back to Savusavu, wind was still strong so it was a rough ride back, didn't see all the whales we had sighted the day before, while out fishing though.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trolling Along The Reef

Over the last week or so we have been experiencing a spell of strong winds, & very rough conditions.

A couple of men on holiday from Sth Africa, decided they wanted to give fishing a try anyway.

As we headed out, we were getting good size waves, one of the comments was, "This reminds me of the Perfect Storm".

Thinking it was too rough for them, we started to head back inside, no, they wanted to carry on out.

Slowly we worked our way to the Seamount, nothing much happening, no birds working either, after a while we caught a few small Yellowfin but nothing big about.

Finally a nice Mahimahi, was in the boat, Andrew was happy as he hadn't caught a Mahimahi before, & that was the biggest fish he had caught.

On the was home, the waves had receded a little so we worked our way along the reefs. This is always a nice way to go back in, as it is lovely seeing the waves breaking along the edges of the reef.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Super Yacht in Savusavu.

After nearly 2 weeks of very strong winds, yesterday we were able to take Searov out to give the engines a good run.

A little ways passed the Lighthouse, we caught a nice Walu, & as it was such a beautiful morning, we decided to carry on a little further.

On the way back into Savusavu, there was a Super Yacht anchored off Cousteau Resort, what a lovely picture it made & where better to spend the day, the waters were so calm & clear, just right for snorkeling.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fun in Savusavu

Last week the Town Council had a promotion running for 3 days in Savusavu, called Savusavu On Sale.

Most of the shop owners had tables out in front of their shops selling merchandise on sale. Others had stalls behind the Market place where out of town merchants set up stalls.

There was even a Ferris Wheel from Suva, especially brought in for the occasion. I took the photo just after it was set up.

In the evenings there was entertainment put on by groups of people, Fijian Mekes & Fire Walking was some of the items.

From all accounts I hear it was a success.
It brought more trade into the town, & gave everyone something different to do on those 3 days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kids Sailing in Savusavu

Kids sailing in Savusavu has a very good following.
Every Saturday morning Geoff is seen at the Copra Shed Marina, with a lot of the local children, teaching them the finer points of sailing.

He spends all his Saturdays, on the water around the Marina training & sailing with the children.

Over the years many children have passed through Geoff's training program, & a few going on to represent Fiji, in sailing overseas.

The last few weeks have also been busy for Ron, who has had the task of repairing all the damaged boats.

The club provides all these facilities, free to the children, so as to get them interested in the sport.

Businesses & cruising yachts make donations to the club to keep it in operation.
Geoff & the children also do fund raising, so are grateful for any donations.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Copra Shed Marina

The Copra Shed Marina has been a hive of activity all week, with the arrival of the group of yachts from the Blue Water Rally.

Apart from a tropical downpour on Sunday, the weather has been great, so tours were arranged for the crew & visitors, to enjoy some of the sights of Savusavu.

This morning a few of the boats started departing, & by tomorrow they should all be on their way to their next port.

We wish them all a safe journey, the Marina is starting to look a little bare now that they are on the way.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yachts In Savusavu

Over the last 3 weeks there have been a great number of Yachts, sailing into the Port of Savusavu.

Copra Shed Marina has been really busy providing moorings, clearance & other facility's for all these cruising yachts.

First there was about 18 boats sailing around the world under the Ark banner, some of these boats were beautiful sailing machines.

No sooner had these yacht cleared the Port, when the group from New Zealand ICA sailed in from Tonga with 22 boats.

This group set off from New Zealand to cruise the Pacific Islands, after a week in Savusavu they made their way to Viti Levu.

From Wednesday the Blue Water Rally, another world cruising group, started arriving, by tomorrow the total number to arrive should be 26.
They also will stay a week, before continuing their world cruise.

Entertainment & tours have been organised while the boats are in port, to show them something of our town.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weather In Savusavu

After weeks of beautiful sunshine, we had a low form above us.
This brought us a lot of rain, & a few hours of strong winds, but nothing really to complain about.

For us people that depend on rain to fill our water tanks, for our water supply, it was something we were waiting on, as the tanks were getting low.
The gardens also needed a good watering, so now we are all happy.
Today we have the sunshine back, & everything looks so much greener.

Fishing hasn't been too good, think it is still too hot for this time of the year, we had 32 degrees last week, that is more our summer temperature.

The local fisherman that spend all night out, are catching some good fish, so maybe we will have to do that.
They sit out there in their little boats before sunset, & fish all night, coming back in with their catch after sunrise. Last night was a beautiful night so maybe there will be a lot of fresh fish in the market.

We caught a nice 16kg Wahoo a couple of weeks ago, the couple who charted us gave us most of the fish as they were leaving the next day, it made some lovely meals!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New FIRCA Office Openes in Savusavu

Yesterday, Commodore Bainimarama opened a new FIRCA office in Savusavu, this one is more central for the Yacht's to get clearance, & more space to carry out the increase in business for them in Savusavu.

From next January, tourist will be able to get the Vat refund in Savusavu before leaving Fiji. Nadi & Suva are the only ports at the moment, were these refunds are payed out, so this is a good thing for the Port of Savusavu.

There was also a cocktail party held at the Hot Springs Hotel, so that Commodore Bainimarama could meet the business people of Savusavu.

Snapped a photo of a rainbow over the airport, hope this is a good sign for us!