Saturday, August 10, 2013

Viani Bay

We had come to Viani Bay two weeks ago, but a southwesterly wind had caused us to leave before we had experienced any of its charms. We knew we would come back when the weather was better. This anchorage is very popular, for several reasons.
Not only is it a particularly lovely bay, but it is inhabited by some very friendly people. The first person to greet most new arrivals is Jack Fisher, who has done a lot of sailing in his day. Jack enjoys making new friends, helping them explore Viani's delights by both land and sea, and regaling them with his many interesting stories. He also generously provided us with fresh fruits and vegetables while we were in Viani.

We were anchored close to Yanuyanuwiri Island,

inhabited by Jack' cousins Frank and Edward and their families. Frank and his wife Luji rowed past our boat on their way to get fresh water from a nearby spring, and Vicki asked if we could come and visit their island.

We brought a couple of books to read to Frank's younger brother Andrew.

Afterward, we took Andrew out to see our boat. He enjoyed operating the outboard on the dinghy, and was very interested to see the boat's main engine.

Viani Bay has its own primary school, serving about 60 students, manof whom who are ferried to class by boat.

Along with Bob and Ann from Charisma, we visited the fifth and sixth grade class for an impromptu geography lesson. Wish we would have had a map with the Pacific Ocean in the middle, instead of being split in two as on most maps. I'm not sure the students understood exactly how we had gotten from the left-hand edge of the world to the right-hand edge. (ha!)

It was sports day, and we enjoyed seeing the close teamwork among students.

From here, Jack led us on a long hike into the surrounding bush. Once again, I was struck with the size of Fiji's forest trees, like this raintree, and the epiphytes that grow on them.

Jack told us about the beneficial uses of many of the plants we saw. Here's one plant whose stems can be used as a straw (wish we had had a drinking nut on the other end of the straw).

Jack will also guide boaters out to snorkel or dive on the nearby Rainbow Reef. Bob needed to rent gear, so he, Vicki, and I were instead picked up at our boats by a local commercial dive operation.
This is a well-known dive destination, and though we weren't here at the right part of the lunar cycle, we still managed to see some beautiful soft corals.

This blood-red anemone was inhabited by a couple of Fiji anemonefish.

These were the first redtooth triggerfish we had seen since Raiatea.

This spotted unicornfish was less shy than most.

Vicki got to see her first clown triggerfish. What a delightful costume!

The fish were more profuse and varied here than anywhere else. We really hope to return here next season, but this season is winding down and we have to start moving west soon.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Great post. Love the shot of the volley ball game!! Just arrived Niue last night from Suwarrow...cheers!