Goodbye friendly fat feudal theocracy (Tonga), and 'bula' to friendly racist military dictatorship (Fiji)!
Our final day in Vava'u included a treat; a guided tour of the Ene’io Botanical Garden, owned by Haniteli Fa’anunu, once the Tongan Minister of Agriculture, who has developed his own plot of land as a botanical reserve. He was fascinating.
World ARC yacht rally sponsored avenue
And then we were off! The GRIB files looked good, and Metbob the weather guru endorsed our passage plans. 15-20 knots of wind predicted from the South-east, pretty much exactly behind us. We sent our advance arrival information to the various authorities in Fiji, predicting our arrival at 7am on Monday. Extra fees apply over the weekend.
It went pretty well. We averaged 7 knots, not the 6 knots we usually average over time. So we took 60 hours, not 70. We crept into Savusavu at 9 pm on the Sunday night and dropped anchor.
Lots of western boats hang out in Savusavu
This modern/classic boat is French, from the Caribbean
The 'check-in chicks' from Biosecurity, Immigration and Customs.
We are obliged to become drug-smugglers if we want to visit many islands and villages. The waters and anchorages belong to the local community, and one must seek permission to anchor or land by following a certain ritual called 'sevusevu'. This involves presenting the local chief with a bundle of kava roots, and then participating in various welcoming rituals. Above are some bundles of kava available in the market in Savusavu. More on sevusevu here.
Sunrise in Savusavu
Sunrise in Savusavu after drinking kava. :)