Location: Naviti Island, Fiji
Today we got a small taste of passage again we brought up the anchor right as the sun was rising and started making our way over to Naviti, an island in the Yasawa Group known for its manta rays (!!!) The sunrise was absolutely beautiful, and as we started motoring over, we began to pass island after island, each one more green than the next. We marveled the whole time at how beautiful Fiji is I never knew I could see so many shades of green on one tiny island. We were heading pretty much straight towards the waves, so we got lots of sea spray today everyone from bow watch came back to the cockpit drenched, but with a huge smile on their face; looking out over the bowsprit as Argo dipped down into the waves was definitely another “Seamester moment” to add to our list. We had broken into two-hour watch rotations, so each watch team got a two-hour encore for our last week in Fiji, which was greatly appreciated.
Lunch was a delicious Mac n Cheese made by Elle, after which I hung out on the chart house with Lewis, Sam, Elie, Riley, and Mac, along with watch team 3 in the cockpit. We spent the last few hours of the mini-passage, passing around binoculars and gawking at the beauty of different islands that we passed; there were a few really cool cliffs on one, and another opened up into a gorgeous bay. As we neared the anchorage, we sent Gabe up onto the spreader and Felipe onto the bowsprit to look out for shallow spots and uncharted coral reefs while the rest of us waited in anticipation on deck. As we made our way through two islands and around the tip of another, Mac, Elie, and I got to climb up onto the gallows and get an amazing view of Argo’s approach towards Naviti; we also had a very important Nalgene discussion, this time measuring distances to the beach and across the island. As we dropped the anchor and people who had been down below started emerging from the companionway, everyone was absolutely floored by the pristine beauty and seclusion that surrounded us.
No more than ten minutes after we anchored, everyone had on their bathing suits and were ready to go for our first snorkel here. I was in the first group in Megatron, and we got dropped off right as the sun slowly began to set. I’m not exaggerating when I say the snorkel was pretty much life-changing for us; we’d been told that the visibility was low, so we came in with low expectations, but as soon as we looked underwater, we laid eyes on the most massive brain coral and beautiful branching coral I had ever seen. Izzy and I ended up together for most of the time, and we spent the whole time moving from one coral to the next, coming up for a brief ten seconds to try and ID the fish we saw when we managed to get our heads out of the water. We saw Picasso triggerfish (thanks to Amanda for including those on our fish IDs!) and really big black sea cucumbers. We were only in about 6 or 7 feet of water, so I couldn’t even imagine what we might see tomorrow when we dive at an even deeper site. By the time we had gotten back onto the dinghy, the sunset was absolutely gorgeous, and the ten of us could barely get ten words out before needing to stop for air from how excited we were. Back on Argo, we pestered Tim with the same excited chatter as we showered and got ready for dinner, which was Elle’s super tasty roast for dinner, paired perfectly with Ezra’s spice cake for dessert. We did a quick debrief of our surprise rescue scenario from yesterday before rolling into cleanup.
Today was definitely a day to remember it’s crazy to think that we crossed an entire ocean to get here and that we still have another week in this paradise; I definitely can’t imagine that if everything had gone according to plan, we would’ve been home for a week already. Sadly this is my last day as skipper this semester to all my friends and family: I miss you so much and can’t wait to see you!! To future Argonauts: you’re about to have the time of your life jump in for early morning swims, do a backflip off the martingale (even if it really hurts the first few times) and bring a journal to write down all the crazy memories you’re about to make.
Lewis keeping a watchful eye at the martingale
Amanda hanging out at midships
Izzy in her element baking banana bread
Hanging out with Mac and Elie on the gallows
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