The Fiji Adventure Begins
Two days ago I left the very busy port of Savusavu to a small quite bay called Nasasobu. Nasasobu Bay is right next to Dakuniba Village where Chief George lives and over see all the land and anchorages. After a 40 nautical mile sail from Savusavu we made our way through a very narrow passage in the reef to get to Nasasobu Bay for the nights anchorage. As we passed through the swell the waves were crashing against the reef only a few boat lengths away but we made it through with no problem. We dropped the anchor in a calm bay with a mud bottom. The high mountains of Fiji surrounded us and a small house tucked up on a hill over looked us. A man in a kayaka approached us and welcomed us to the bay and invited us for Sevusevu drink. We stowed away our gear and dropped the dingy into water and paddle off to meet the local people that live on Nasasobu Bay. We had no idea what to expect or how the customs of Fiji should be handled but went anyway.
The tide was low that evening as we paddle to shore and tied our dingy to a Mangrove tree. The mud stuck to our toes as we waded to shore and then climb up the steep hill to the mans home. A large group of men began saying hello in there native language and had big smiles to see us. We took off our shoes at the door and walked in and sat on the floor of there home. Each person introduced themselves and was informed of the homes owner who was George. George owned all three homes that over looked Nasasobu Bay and the entire family lived there. We sat in a circle as the Sevusevu was prepared in front of us. We were told to relax and wait for the Sevusevu to be prepared and served before we spoke. I was served the first cup from a hand made coconut cup and was asked if it was high tide or low tide, this meant do you want a full glass or half glass. I choose high tide because I like the taste of Sevusevu which is the same thing as cova that I spoke about in my last blog. We had at last 10 cups of Sevusevu and my mouth was very numb and I felt very relaxed. We discussed where we were from and how long it took to get to Fiji sailing. We asked about there schools, work, living, and cultures. It turned into a dozen people talking with us and exchange culture ideas. They wanted to know how many cows I owned and how big my farm was, I told them I had none which confused the young man I was chatting with. After a long evening of drinking Sevusevu I was asked to tell a story, so I told them of the great winters and snow from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I told them about ice fishing and how we drilled wholes in the ice to catch fish. They all laughed and enjoyed the tales of Upper Michigan. As soon as I was done talking the woman said the sevusevu was finished and to have a good night.
We woke this morning and went over to Dakuniba Village and brought a offering of Sevusevu to Chief George. We approached Chief George’s home and a nice lady invited us in to see Chief George. We sat on a large hand made mat and Chief George sat with us, I placed the Sevusevu dried plant on the ground in front of Chief George for him to decided weather or not he wanted to offer his protection and grant us permission to stay on his land. He picked up the Sevusevu and I think gave us a blessing and then tossed the Sevuseve in the corner and welcomed us to his village. We then waited with Chief George and asked questions about his village and how the fishing was. Then one of his grandson came in and took us to the water fall and some accent stone carvings. The grandson told us that no one knows what there meaning is but his great grandfather said that one day when the meaning of the carvings is known there will be great riches for the village and its people. Then he told me about how the Japanese have come this year to there village, took soil samples and thought that there was oil and gold on there land. They think that they will make a lot of money soon and are very excited. I really want to tell him that letting in the Japanese or who ever would destroy all there land and leave them with nothing in the end but I bit my lip and just said ok. It’s a shame how these beautiful places and people are corrupted by the outside world.
We then went back to Dragonsbane for lunch and then went back to Georges house for a hike over the mountain to Viani bay were the worlds famous rainbow reef is. We were told that the hike should take 1 to 2 hours and some of our new friends would take us to Viani bay. We started hiking through the Mangrove swamp and got full of mud and then to high ground were we walked through a coconut farm. Soon after that our new guides were very lost and we found out it was there first time hiking over the mountain to Viani Bay. I really kicked myself for not bring my compass. Anyway we hiked up the ridge of a tall mountain and reached the top in a few hours. We had to bush whack our way through tall grass that was over our heads and then through Jungle forest to get to the top of the next ridge and saw down into Viani Bay. Looking out you could see for miles in all directions and the reefs that surrounded the island. The skies were clear and the air was hot but it was so beautiful up on that mountain. We then bushed whacked our way down the grass covered hillside back into the Jungle and followed a creek to the ocean into Viani village. We went to our guide’s friends home and waited for him to give us a boat ride back to Nasasobu Bay. The hours went by and the woman of the house cooked us supper and gave us fresh lemon tea to drink as we sat on the floor eating cracker jam treats for dessert. Finally at 10pm the boat showed up. Under a very clear star bright night sky we zipped across the reefs and watched the ocean water sparkle with bright flashes of bioluminescent. The bioluminescent would explode all around us at the same time and look like thousands of flashing lights going off. Then we would look back and see stars shooting across the sky. It was a perfect end to a long day and it only cost me a gallon of gas. We are off to bed now so we can go scuba diving on Rainbow reef tomorrow.