After enjoying three nights in Mana, we pulled up the hook and headed north to the outer Mamanuca islands. We anchored in Navadra, a semi-circular bay enclosed by small, sandy islands. We had the place largely to ourselves. There was one other boat at anchor when we arrived that promptly left, and a curious flurry of small fishing boats, which seemed to be full of locals carrying some sort of gear on and off the island.
We celebrated my dad’s birthday in Navadra, and he reported doing all of the things he would want to on an ideal birthday: cruise, eat, sleep, snorkel, spend time with family; he at one point said that this day triumphed over his usual birthday tradition, attending a Giants game. High praise from this life-long baseball fan!
There was good snorkeling to be had in Navadra, and we spent hours on end gazing at the rhythmic swell of the calm seas and the uninhabited island landscape.
We could have easily stayed longer, but woke on our third morning to a visit from the security guard who had been stationed on the island to monitor whatever gear was being stored there. He had a document from the Fijian government indicating that Navadra, and a handful of other small islands in the Mamanucas, were part of an ‘exclusion zone' reserved for the filming of a TV show for the next six weeks. After breakfast, we upped anchor and continued moving north to the next island chain: the Yasawas.