Apologies for the radio silence, but once we left Mana island and headed north, we have not had access to the internet. After a week of spending many hours at sea in frustratingly light winds (aftermath of the Cyclone Thomas), we finally got back to Nadi in time for our flight back to Melbourne on Friday evening. The trade winds did not blow at all until our final day.
Anxious days were spent at our most northerly point, Monuriki, as we were marooned due to lack of wind. We were eventually forced to set sail at sunrise each day, where we could catch a few knots of wind before the sea would turn to glass by 0930 hrs.
This meant taking our chances of a night at sea, should we be caught inbetween destinations if the wind were not to return that day.
However, the time spent stuck on islands waiting for the slightest breath of wind allowed us to explore and snorkel. Matt caught a Walu fish (looks a bit like a tuna) which we shared with a family in a village, after the chief had given them instructions to look after us for the night. We also spent our time exploring the reefs, and on one occasion searching with the waterproof video camera for a shark (much larger than the reef sharks we had seen) that Matt had previously spotted whilst snorkeling in the early hours.
We got used to the constant onslaught of crabs trying to get into our sleeping arrangements, until we modified the mosquito net into a 'crab net'. However, despite it's clear improvements in keeping them out, it also stopped them getting out once they had got in!
The final night was spent on Bounty Island, where we spent the evening and folowing morning doing a pre-arranged photoshoot with Meg, a commercial photographer from New Zealand. We then enjoyed for the first time a consistant 8 to 14 knot tradewind that blew us back to Nadi Bay and our flights.
Watch this spot for a few shots of the trip once I've got them downloaded.......