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Monday, May 16, 2016

Make Savusavu Your First Stop in Fiji

We love Savusavu - it's why we've been here for almost a year.

We love the small town feel. We love the small businesses. We love how easy it is to provision. We love our new friends.

Our back yard where we're house sitting - photo by Carolyne

Tropical Cyclone Winston made a mess out of things, but Savusavu bounced back quickly. To date, twenty of the twenty-three boats have been re-floated. The vegetation is growing back rapidly. Some of the villagers are still living in tents or with family members because their homes were destroyed, but there's food and water. Fresh produce is harder to come by and is more expensive because crops were destroyed in the storm, but as I indicated above, things grow quick here.

Coconuts fresh from the back yard - photo by Carolyne

So... why make Savusavu your first stop in Fiji?
We've been told by long time cruisers it's easier to check into Fiji through Savusavu. The government agencies are within waking distance, so there's a faster turn around time finalizing the paperwork.

There are four "marinas" to choose from. All of them offer check-in services and will arrange officials to come out to your boat. Here is what you can expect from each one:

 Jim's photo is in the 2016 Fiji Shores and Marinas

Waitui Marina:
Waitui Marina is the first marina you pass coming into Nakama Creek from Savusavu Bay. They have helix moorings and are located conveniently next door to Fiji Meats and across the street from the gas station, M&H grocers, Immigration, Customs and Sally's Deli. Tropical Cyclone Winston destroyed their wharf, but they are rebuilding it as we speak. They have a yummy restaurant and beer/wine bar attached. You can buy a 3-piece fish and chips for $5... or $2.50US. And, it's good! Laundry service is also available at reasonable rates. Waitui also handles DHL shipping. The charge is $300F for a mooring per month.

The #1 feature of Waitui marina is their manager, Jolene Sami. She knows what customer service is all about. She is the best. Period. She goes over and above to assist her clients.

(Jim's photo of Waitui was printed on page 130)

Contact Jolene:
CH 16
16* 46.44 South / 179* 19.51 East

Village children collecting shells at low tide - photo by Carolyne

Copra Shed Marina:
This is the next marina in the line of succession. They charge the most about $360F per month for a mooring. They have 15 or so slips at the dock as well as moorings. They have a beautiful courtyard, nice bathrooms and a tiny marine shop. They have two restaurants. Laundry services are available here. Prices tend to run on the high side.

Contact Dolly:
CH 16
16* 46.7 South / 179* 2.0 East

He's the port captain of Savusavu and runs the daily VHF net providing weather service for the fleet. His customers can use the Surf and Turf dinghy dock, which is at the end of town. There are no shower facilities.

Rates: Curly says he's got the "best rates in town", so contact him at curly carswell @, OR cell (679) 868 0878

Brightly colored hermit crabs - photo by Carolyne

Savusavu Marina:
Savusavu Marina is located on the outskirts of "downtown" proper. However, the cruiser camaraderie at Savusavu is thick. There are showers, a dock for a couple of boats in addition to moorings and they are the only facility with a do-it-yourself full-size washer.

Contact : Meli or Laila
CH 16

Hermit crabs devouring a fallen coconut on the beach - photo by Carolyne