Tuesday, October 1, 2013

makogai and beyond

We did get up the next morning and head out to Makogai (Makongai). Had a quick snorkel first though. Tried to get some pictures of the reef and fish. Some of the pictures turned out okay, but the ones of the big brown spotted sweetlips didn't turn out very well. Note to self - the waterproof camera really is leaking/condensing don't use it in the water... sigh..... Oh well, at least it still works. The sail over to Makongai was uneventful, getting out of the south pass from Namena was okay, felt pretty narrow but the visibility was good and really there was plenty of room. We anchored off the Ag (Agricultural research) Station on Makongai - and did our first sevusevu (not). Actually just asked for the "boss", handed him our yongona - he said thank you and asked if we wanted a tour.

The Ag Station is on the site of the old Leper colony. Our guide (whose name is just too hard for any english speaking person to remember after only one repetition) told us people from all over the pacific used to come here. First though, he showed us the tanks with green turtles and where they grow the giant clams. There were several tanks of very small giant clams and the last had bigger ones and one ginormous one - picutes to follow. After that we toured the remains of the leper colony. They had a movie theater and finally the graveyard. Pretty interesting.

I think Makongai has been my favorite stop so far - even if there is no bakery or internet. We did a bunch of snorkeling and yesterday Josh, Dennis and I did a tank dive on one of the coral heads - very nice. I had forgotten how much I enjoy being able to go down and look at things and not have to hold my breath. This particular coral head had like a zillion little fish at the top, it was as if we were in a giant aquarium. We pretty much took out all of the toys. Dennis and Paul got the paddle board and paddle in working order (Crystal I will post a picture!) and we all tried that out as well as the kayak. Dennis and Josh tried spear fishing with no luck one day, and the next they made a target to practice on. The anchorage was pretty active and our neighbors on Gyspy Lee filled out tanks after our dive yesterday.

We left Makongai today. Thankfully only a short 16 miles to Naigani (Na ing ani) because it took all of two hours to put all the toys away!!! So we are here now. Internet still not useable, so not sure how long we will stay. Josh had hoped Far and Away would come thru Makongai, but they screamed past and are now around Musket Cove (SW side of the big Island of Viti Levu), while we are still here on the NE side. bummer!

Not much else to report.

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