Fulaga Island FijiThe Fulaga Island Fiji
A small island with a big effect
It is rich in wonderful tropic isles, 332 isles ('106 of which are inhabited) and 522 smaller isles. It is not only the journey or the landscape that makes these isolated archipelagos so unique, it is the unbelievable locals and the empty shores that have no footprints, but our own. A lot of sailors from all over the globe come to Fiji every year and do not come to the Far Eastern and Northern Lau Group.
The Fulaga ("Far East") is made up of jungle-covered mounds and elevated corals around a lake, about 6 by 5 mile. There are innumerable fungal and some bigger isles. When you are looking for distance, this crescent-shaped island provides an exit from the rats' breed, offering a real flavour of the world and a memory of the small things in the world.
It is full of strangely formed little isles, spread all over, it is like a labyrinth of small isles. There were winds between 15-25 kts, with the foresail, two corals mainly through the night, three at night (for more comfort). And Mick and I were looking for flat fields of corals as we were moving around the lake.
There' s a 50 m broad passage into the Laguna, just but provocative and perilous in case of adverse meteorological conditions or heavy sands. Getting through the Fulaga Laguna through the riffs is best in calm, 2 - 2. 5 hrs after low slackwater Suva, slackwater high is about the same as Suva high wasser.
Maps of the area are astonishingly better than in some parts of Fiji. Be careful in the lake, as there is a flat bottom between the small isles. Anchoring in two places in the lake in about 3 metres of sand and sea, although it would not be difficult to find 5 metres.
For the first few days we stayed directly in front of the small cove that has entrance to the capital villages Muanaicake, Muanaira and Naividamu. TAI (one of the locals) informed us about a great anchorage on the other side, where there are a sandbank, fine white sands and many coconut.
Additionally to the usual to kg Kava for Sevusevu, there is an anchorage charge of $50, which is a contribution to help the town. This is a small charge for calling the camp for ten nights at home. View over Muanaicake from behind the mound we climbs with TAI.
We' ve been to various towns around Fiji and in general the Fiji way is to welcome everyone with open gates and arm. Fulaga Village was the next step. During our first trip to the island we were trained with our offer of cavas for sevenusevu and a giant giant trevally, which we had captured the ave before.
Anchored in the Laguna Andrew with the Giant Trevally Michael and himself on the back of the hike. We' ve given the villagers a giant pisces beast. On the slope behind the town, a grotto contained various sized bone and cranium. He was marvelous, very kind and talkative.
We were taken on a trip to the villages and a stroll up a cliff to see a cavern full of cannibalistic traces, gathered some of our own dried coconut and brought to our homes. There is a system of families for guests in the town.
It' a great way to get to know your homestay, get a sense of what it' s like to live in a small town, and get the opportunity to engage with the group. We stayed with Simon (the chief's son) and his bride Senna. Whenever we went to the town, Senna would make a jug of coffee and a tasty meal with her regional products.
Every time we tried to give something to our homestay or the town, flours, paddy sticks, and colouring book for the local schools, we couldn't get anything back, like a banana or leftovers from our break. As Simon said, we found their way of welcoming and treating them as a whole and caring for them while they stayed in their town.
Each Sunday after the worship services, families and boyfriends meet for a party. It is a unique occasion for the town and the girls begin to prepare their meals early in the mornings. Because the whole town grows palm trees, they are used not only for the tasty waters, the meat and dairy products, but also for the production of ropes and looms.
I and Alfreidi were kind enough to show me the techniques for locating mussels in the lake. Alpheridi and Bale also had a journey aboard Roam to Suva, it was a joy to meet them and to get an impression of their way of being. Well, Fulaga's one of them. It has a total of 400 inhabitants and is made up of three small towns, Muanaicake, Muanaira and Naividamu.
There are many marine species including freshwater seafood, shrimps, lobsters, mussels and cucumbers. The island regularly receives a lot of tropic rains, enough to fill containers with clean potable and irrigated plants. On the island cultivated are manioc, potatoes, pumpkins, cabbages, spinach, tomato, banana, papaya and breadfruits.
Free ranging hens, which run free in the well-kept town, lay many cubs. The island also keeps pork and goat and bakes baked meat, although this meat is kept for particular events. It is a pretty, well-kept little town, with kind faces that always look out the door to say hello.
There is a monthly service to Fulaga for dried fodder, paddy ride, pasta, seasoning, sugars, medical equipment and various other things. While we were in Fulaga, the ship was two months too slow and they had run out of grain in the grocer. Though this can be an embarrassment, Simon said with pride that although they get along without these extra things, no one is starving and they are fortunate to be able to make a living from the many products they have on the island.
Coco nuts we gathered from the bottom under the palm trees on a skewer. Simplicity and relaxation in the life of the villages was a fresh memory of the fact that it doesn't take much to be lucky. Although Simon seems to have taken on much of the chieftain's part, I think his inviting and cheerful vibrations still determine the tempo for the other people.
Everybody has his own part and his own day-to-day tasks and although there is still a "Fiji time", it is clear that a lot of work is being done in the town. Woodcarvings, ropes made of cocco and woven matting, handbags and wickerwork, which are brought to the market of the island once a week, are the only sources of revenue for the town.
Nonetheless, the federal administration has provided funds to provide the island with photovoltaic cells for the illumination of households and schools' notebooks. Current training means to travel to the continent to usually Suva. A lot of people eat with their families or circle of acquaintances, return to the island for their break and usually return to the island to make a small career to stay there.
We' ve been told and we' ve been told that Fulaga is a really nice place. On the " picknickstrand " we spend our day with kitesurfing, beachsoccer and Relax. The day is dedicated to discovering the golden sands, looking for coconut, snorkelling on the coral cliffs or floating in the waters.
Also the kitesurfing kites and the big lake were great, especially for me. This is a secure place to take off the kiteboard and pull the kites from one side of the Laguna to the other without fear of a dragon crash. Apart from a few other cruise ships that we had made friends with and the local people that we seldom saw when we didn't go for a walk around the island, we had this island paradise to ourselves.
As we returned to Suva, we were sorry to say goodbye. So we took a few local people with us to Suva, Alfreidi and Bale, who wanted to remain with the whole host families and sold some of their woodcarvings at the market. Alfreidi, who had trained me to catch mussels in the lake, cut us the most attractive cava gut on our way to Suva.
But without going on forever, I think it is right to say that Roam will come back to Fulaga..... sinota valley ("See you again"). This is an air photograph of the UAV from the top of the cliff overlooking the sandbank and lake.