I live on the north side of Viti Levu island in Fiji, where excellent sea kayaking and fishing is at my doorstep. The photos on this page are from a four-day kayaking trip I shared with U.S. Peace Corps volunteers John "Choney" Leonard, Leslie "Lisila" Curry and Natalie "Nuper" Parker.
Our trip started at Namuaimada village in Ra, with our first overnight stop at Veidrala village.
Our kayaks were all between 5.2 and 5.5 meters (17-18') long and 570mm (22.5:) wide. Two were stitch and glue boats, one named 'Stars' and the other 'Stripes'.
The other two boats were wood strip built from Dakua. It is similar to Basswood. We mostly used Greenland paddles, with Euro paddles as backup. Choney has his trolling rig on deck in thsi shot.
This section of coast has no roads. Villages are accessible by sea and footpaths.
We met many curious people along the way. We took a shore break roughly every two hours.
A typical beach. Plenty of camping locations, but we chose to stay with friends in the villages.
This view is on our second morning as we leave Veidrala. The semi-circle of rocks in the water form a fish trap.
We started at dawn to minimize our time paddling upwind. The winds tended to pick up near 9 am.
A black sand beach, created by erosion of old lava flows.
Tow happy but exhausted paddlers.
After a 25 km paddle, we stayed our second night at Dawasamu village, in Tailevu. A Peace Corps volunteer friend allowed us to stay at her house.
We mostly stayed close to shore, but cut across bays that would put us no more than 2 km from shore .
Although it was cloudy some days, we were sure to protect our skin with sunscreen, and always wore hats.
Typical coastal view.
White sand beach.
No beach at this rest stop. We tethered our kayaks to the mangroves and sat on some rocks.
We had wind a few days, and caught some good surfing waves.
Natalie catches a wave.
Back at Veidrala for our 3rd night.
Unpacking our kayaks.
We usually had some spectators.
Launching our kayaks on day 4.
The unloaded kayaks weighed approximately 18 kg (40 pounds).
A tranquil cove, out of the wind.
One of my fish catches.
Visiting Lydia for coffee on the way back at Nayavuira village.
Our kayaks at Namuiamada. On day 4, we paddled from Veidrala to Volivoli point, approximtely 25 km.
Back to my Paddling Home Page.
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John Caldeira firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 224, Volivoli Road, Rakiraki, Ra, Fiji Islands
18 February 2014