Approach to pass from NE
We approached island from the west and followed the NE side of surrounding reef to the obvious pass which heads SW into lagoon. We stayed to the port [SE] of the pass due to current drifting us NW to starboard, on a slight incoming tide, [1 hour before high tide in Lakemba, the only tide info we had]. Current was only moderate and wouldn't bother anyone but Lynn!! Depth was 14' to 20' in the pass but might be a bit deeper in very center of the 100'+ wide pass. We passed closer to the big rock just inside the pass, than expected and the coral head we saw might have been the eastern of the 2 shown in the "South Pacific Anchorages" book by Clay, our main guide in these islands.
Our Pass Waypoints:
Line up outside pass WP 19deg 07.310S 178deg 32.404W
Middle of pass WP 19deg 07.554S 178deg 32.542W
Big pointed rock close at port [approx location by sight from boat] WP 19deg 07.667S 178deg 32.539W
Just past rock WP 19deg 07.684S 178deg 32.626W
Coral head on SB [by sight] WP 19deg 07.781S 178deg 32.707W
Beside the coralhead WP 19deg 07.807S 178deg 32.688W
Safe inside WP 19deg 07.850S 178deg 32.750W
I know this is more WP's than anyone needs but if I'd had had them on our Raymarine Plotter I would have felt better just looking at them all lined up. Navionics Gold chart was brief on this island but amazingly accurate, being just a bit off east to west.
Other waypoints we noticed inside:
Coral head on port in mid lagoon[By sight from boat on our route NW thru lagoon]WP 19deg 07.818S 178deg 33.605W
Center Lagoon Rock WP [stands out in mid lagoon] Go straight on to village or turn port to "Cove" anc WP 19deg 07.597S 178deg 33.943W
Village anchorage NW of "Onepalm" Isle [ancorage is between it and big black Rocky patch N of anchorage] WP 19deg 07.306S 178deg 36.628W
Coralhead on way to cove from village [approx by sight] WP 19deg 07.967S 178deg 35.118W
"Protected Cove" [Comfy in 32+ knots]WP 19deg 08.325S 178deg 34.844W
We first anchored at the village in 15-20' for 2 nights for sevusevu, check-in with Chief and permission to fish, swim, explore, etc. There is a big, wide shallow reef [1-3']all along in front of Navindamu village. Take dinghy around to the south towards "Onepalm" Isle [obvious name I gave it!] Go towards a stake at beach. There is a lot of dark grass close in to beach.
Village personality was not as warm as we expected. We'd read that some remote villages just want to know when you are leaving. We wanted carvings and had to pry info out of them. They are just not outgoing but, more private folks. The assistant chief who presented our kava to the chief of this village wouldn't even give his name and was not helpful with info on how to find other villages by track or water. "No way for you to go there!" and we weren't gonna press it.
They did say James Taylor has bought land for an elite hotel here and expects to seaplane in tourists. They asked us to ferry 8-20 church goers back to neighboring island,Ogea Driki [just a few miles away], but we just couldn't do it in 30 knot winds, 15' seas and with no chart of the island. We did give them extra food to feed the folks until 3 days later when they have a break in the weather.
On the way to Cove, as we came from the village anchorage, we crossed 2 slightly more shallow bars at 20' [low tide] depth in what was usually 40-60' depths in main sailing areas. It's really not a cove but feels like one for protection, just off the straight south side of the main island and in a large space between big muffin rocks east and west. There are some little sandy beaches in sight. There are villages on the chartlet and we saw open boats carrying folks but don't know where the village tracks are. In the "South Pacific Anchorages" chartlet, the "cove" was just SE of the "12" meter depth at the anchor. The muffin islets are more spaced out than he shows there and we could get close to shore by 200 meters or so. We didn't see any rocks or heads at all in 16-22' depth anchorage area and we had 150' of scope out for a frontal passage.
Cruisers can help!
They don't have any weather info. We can tell them what we have found from our SSB reports. At the future more remote islands I think we will bring printer copies of weather for a "PR gift". They seemed amazed we knew the weather for several days.
We brought to share:
Teeshirts, reading glasses [bargained for $4 ea in Suva], chisels, sharpening stones, fish hooks and line, hair ornaments, colored pencils [$1 in Suva], drawing [unlined, $.69] stack of notebooks [Lynn hopes to give art and cartooning lessons]
We wish we had brought:
Personals like combs, nail clippers [big and small], fabric wraps [cheap in fabric store in Suva], first aid spray or cream, insect and rash treatment cream, Q-tips, fly strips, pieces of cheap carpet [samples to wipe feet at doorways, cheap in Suva], hair clips and elastic bands for girls, small towels and wash cloths, plastic tubs of all sizes [they made kava is worn out tubs], kava straining cloths [where you get the kava], small gardening tools, cheap cooking tools and containers. They sleep on really worn out foam….any amount, 1-10, of compressed [for space] foam pads would be great, even small ones for kids.
More info coming on other Lau Group islands we visit.
Please comment below if you are a cruiser and this blog helped you. We just want an idea of who stops by!
Lynn and Chuck on CYAN
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: