Sunday 27 September 2015

Namena Marine Reserve - Red Footed Boobies

We spent a few days anchored in the Namena Marine Reserve.  More posts to follow with pictures of the marine life but one of the first things we noticed when we arrived was a density of the bird life. This is the only place so far where there was lots of bird life.  The birds, mostly Red Footed Boobies, showed very little fear of humans and it was a lot like Isla Isabella in Mexico.  And there is no lack of fish for the birds to feed on.

Here are a few pictures from our hike ashore:

Tough day at the office

Benjamin checking out the birds

Bird checking out Benjamin

The blue blur behind the bird is ...

even the bugs are colourful in Fiji
Not always sunny in the tropics ...

On the beach

Saturday 26 September 2015

More Fishing - Trolling and Filleting

We are always dragging lines behind us when we are on passage.  Last year we arrived in New Zealand with the freezer full.  This year we had a slower start but things are looking up recently.

Time to upgrade !  The rapala get prepared !

and on the next passage ... a yellow fin tuna ... my favourite.

Biology time: we found shrimp in his stomach.

Hmm ... appears that a shark wanted some of this walu.  It was interesting as the conditions were rough and I was just returning the line into the water when we caught the walu and then briefly the shark.

So cool that the kids - the bigger two anyway - can fillet fish now.  Benjamin supervises the processing in Bua Bay.

One  nicely processed walu.

Biology part 2 - "Eye" see you.

Friday 25 September 2015

Spearfishing School

I have been pretty lucky this year to spend some time spearfishing with some experienced and keen spearos especially Tim from Exodus and Gary from Nirvana.  I still have lots to learn but making some progress.  Liz has written a bit about fishing but here are some photos:

The big dogtooth tuna that Tim shot but five sharks took most of it.  The head and flesh back to the pectoral fins weighed 35 lbs.  The walu I am holding I shot but the head of my spear came off after hitting it so Tim had to chase it and shoot it again. (Exodus photo)

The next day Brendan, aged 12, got a walu and I got the large one I am holding.  I was very glad to have Tim there to help haul it in !

We decided that we would share the smaller walu between our two boats and give the bigger one to the village.  They said it was the biggest one they had ever seen.

The village headman, Mele, holding the walu

The Fijians are rather faster at processing fish than we are: Mele using a cane knife to chop the fish.

Very much enjoying the challenge of spearfishing and still lots to learn.  Even on the days I do not get a fish, which have been plenty, it is still an amazing experience.  It is also a chance to go snorkeling in places and times you would likely not go for "just" snorkeling: long, rough dingy rides, five hour swims, crazy currents etc.  We also get to go to reefs that seem untouched and see lots of marine wildlife,  Lots of sharks of course - normally white tip reef and grey - but also two hammerheads and one oceanic black tip (I think).  Lots of sea turtles and rays too which seem not too concerned by our presence.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Yadua in Photos plus repairing the waterlift muffler.

Catching up with some photos following Liz's earlier post on Yadua.

Hiking across the island for sevusevu (Exodus photo)

Hiking across the island for sevusevu (Exodus photo)

Boys' triple headlock. (Exodus photo)

The  village at the end of the hike (Exodus photo)

Filling bottle for beche de mer fishing.

A faster ride home ... We were offered a ride back in one of the villages boats to save us the three hour hike back.

Benjamin entertaining our guests after the boat ride. 
Hmm ... the epoxy container said for use in a well ventilated space ...  Repairing the cracked waterlift muffler.

Repaired waterlift muffler.  Not great access.

Girls' Camp

Their camp even has a posh outhouse.

The crowded anchorage.

I can read too just like the big kids.

More diapers in paradise.

Kids playing on the beach.

Benjamin wandering around after he figured 90 min of church was enough.

Doggy !

Benjamin being smothered with hugs and kisses after church

Trying out the baby carrier

Boy games.

The Fathers' Day Feast

The Fathers' Day Feast

The Fathers' Day Feast

The Fathers' Day Feast - the Ladies

Deanne helping with the dishes.

Kava night.

Meanwhile, Benjamin keeps busy.