Our First Afternoon in the Bay of Islands (Vanua Balavu, Fiji)

September 18, 2013

Just after we arrived in the Bay of Islands and got our anchor set, I was thinking about how great it would be to do something we never do: jump in and swim right away. You would think we’d do this all the time, but the reality is there’s always stuff that needs to get done first: a meal prepared, the dinghy launched, or a multitude of other small things. Plus when there’s a lot to explore, we generally start with a dinghy ride followed sometime later by a snorkeling trip–the see-and-do stuff. Swimming is a pure indulgence and tends to fall last on our list.

Thus it was a surprise as I was looking at the water to hear a splash behind me: Rich had just stripped down and jumped in! I proceeded to do the same, choosing for once in my life not to worry about sunscreen. What a great way to start our time here! Rich swam over to check the anchor and to make sure a worrisome coral bombie would be deep enough under our keel if we floated over it. I indulged in one of my favorite things: making dives off the boat. The sensation of plunging down into the water headfirst and going as deep as gravity takes me, then letting myself float slowly up to the surface, is one of my favorite things in the world.

Below, a few dinghy’s eye view of the anchorage (taken on different days–I didn’t have the camera with me during our first swim). Click to enlarge/scroll through any photo galleries below.

By the time we’d finished our post-swim showers followed by a very late lunch, it was sundowner time. The evening sun lit up the islands closest to us before disappearing behind the hills. A few bats flew overhead, and we could hear the woff-woffing of barking pigeons from the land around us.

We stayed out as the evening deepened, watching the moon rise behind filmy clouds, making a wonderful purple-blue dusk. Beautiful!

Share this post? Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedIn