Another leisurely start to the day, and oh what a beautiful day it has been - on many different levels. The hop over to Matei from matengi was a short one. Today was one of those days that reaffirms the decision to cruise. Bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds, enough wind to sail - what more is there? The sun on the reef on the way in to this anchorage was just beautiful - the colors just popped right out at us. Curly's lure came up empty today, but that's okay there is a store here. There is internet, so Josh is smiling again, catching up with his friends. We made a crew position change today - Josh drove the boat on to the anchorage and Paul (with me supervising) put out the anchor. Couldn't have asked for a better place to do this. Josh owes me 20 bucks as there was absolutely no yelling. Sun overhead helped with the normal anxiety involved with new coral filled anchorages and moderate wind made driving a little easier. All told, stellar jobs by all in their new positions. Josh hurt his back putting out the anchor in Viani - it was all piled up funny after the crossing, so was really hard to get out. So, we are spreading the wealth. It is also good to make sure everyone can do everything - even if it is not their comfort zone.
Can't say we would recommend going to Matengi on the resort side - horseshoe bay may be better. We did get a tour of the resort - It is stunning. The attention to detail really made it stand out. We thought about going in for a meal, but a little on the pricey side - and we probably would have had to dress up. (95 fijian per person for a 3 course meal. not outrageous, but more expensive than chez Evergreen).
After lunch, Dennis, Paul and I piled into the dinghy to do some 'splorin'. They had seen this bright blue roof at the end of a dock on the way over. It was on an island just off the coast of Taveuni (the island)/Matei (the town). As we approached the island, we saw people working on a building - they waved and shouted "bula". As we got closer to the dock, we saw a man working, so stopped to say "hi". Turns out Greg and his wife Debbie own the island, and the building being worked on is their house. Greg graciously invited us to have a look around. What a beautiful place! Debbie grows orchids and she showed us some of her prized babies. They also had a lattice covered kitchen garden with veggies and native plants. We were invited in to the guest house (where they are living until the big house is finished) for water and conversation. How fortunate were we to meet such a lovely couple - willing to share their beautiful home and island with us - truly a great experience. Finally we had to say our good byes - and the Evergreen crew headed to town. Greg and Debbie gave us permission to use their dock on shore, conveniently right next to the grocery store and the fresh veggie market. NICE! We were able to pick up fresh bread, lamb for dinner, potatos, veggies, cookies (we were out), plus a variety of other things, AND set up a taxi driver for the morning to take us to the Bouma gardens and the waterfalls on the east side of the Island.
Made it back to the boat in plenty of time for a swim and sunset watching. Dennis made salsa and we finished the last of our only slightly stale tortilla chips (from Hawaii). So far, this anchorage has my nomination for the best so far. I am pretty sure the sunny day has a lot to do with it, but there is a lot going for it. I am looking forward to our sightseeing tomorrow.
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