Last Thursday, we sailed south from Munia to Fulaga, a remote island in the southeastern corner of Fiji. It was one of my favorite sails yet: 16 knots of wind on our beam, the Milky Way hanging low and swollen in the sky, so many shooting stars they were practically falling on the deck until the moon rose blindingly bright around 0300. The seas were mild, and the movement of the boat felt like the gentle rocking of a cradle as we navigated between dozens of islands and reefs that compose the Lau group of Fiji.
Around 0400, we turned eastward toward Fulaga’s pass (Fijian pronunciation is a little counterintuitive: there is an assumed ’n’ sound before many consonants, so Fulaga is pronounced Fulanga, Nadi is Nandi, and so on). This change in course turned us directly into the wind, so we motored the last 40 nautical miles and ventured through a narrow yet calm pass with waves breaking on either side around 1000, dropping the hook in 10 feet of white sand at 1100.
Remember that beautiful anchorage we hung out when we first arrived in the Lau called the Bay of Islands? We’ve heard the beauty of Fulaga described as the Bay of Islands on steroids, but even such a description doesn't to do this place justice. Dominic has wondered aloud, a few times, if we’ve actually found the most beautiful place on Earth. We’re surrounded by intricate limestone rock formations, caves, expansive swaths of white sand, and fluffy palm trees far enough south to have avoided the wrath of Cyclone Winston.
Our first adventures were in the village—presenting our sevusevu, going to church where they asked me to play videographer and Dominic to give an impromptu speech, and feasting with our host family. These have been the most sincere, thoughtful, caring Fijians we’ve met yet. They’re honest, too. While meeting a few guys in their early 30’s, they told Dominic he looked just like a movie star; they told me I look just like Ronaldo, the (male) Brazilian soccer player. We all had a good laugh, and they assured me the likeness was "just in the face."
More details to come when we have data coverage and can share more photos; meanwhile, we’re going to linger and pretend like we never have to leave.