Day 85, Year 2: To the Top of Waya Island
Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Weather: Another Sunny, Hazy Day
Location: Likuliku Bay, Waya Island, Yasawa Group, Fiji

I missed my radio sched with Ranger this morning as we were already on our way to the top of Waya Island. We really missed talking with them, but hopefully we will catch them tomorrow morning and find out where they are headed. We took the dinghy into the resort at 7:45 AM and met the other ten people who were going to hike with us. Waya is a high island with a few different towering peaks. We were going to climb to the two highest peaks, and go all the way to the very top of one of them. Our
guide was Artu from the village of Naulawaki. He led us up the hill out of the resort and over to visit the village. We walked through and then walked along the beach until we reached the path that goes straight up, and I mean straight up the mountain. We climbed over 1500 feet in an hour and a half, and it was most challenging. It was more rock climbing than hiking, and often the only thing we had to hold on to was a little notch that we could use as a finger hold in the rock. I was definitely
the slowest in the group, and after many stops to catch my breath, I found myself at the base of the peak. The climb to the very top had to be achieved by wedging yourself between two rock walls with nothing to hold on to. Steve went up and even though the top was only about 50 feet above us, Mark and I decided to sit at the base. The walk down the mountain was almost as challenging as the walk up since we were walking on a vertical plane, but all of us made it down with no injuries. I was very
grateful for that. Artu, our guide, gave me the nickname of “grandma.” I asked him how to say that in Fijian, and it is “tai”–I liked that name. This is the second challenging walk we have been on in the past week, so I’m hoping for walks on nice flat, long white beaches for the rest of this week.

We were all totally exhausted when we returned to the boat. We had some lunch and the people from a sailboat that had come in yesterday came by to say hello. The boat is Jenelle out of Whangarei, New Zealand. Warwack and Lucy are a young couple with two little girls–one about 18 months and the other four years. They were actually in Riverside Drive Marina just after we left New Zealand and know many of our friends who were still there. They will be heading back to New Zealand at the end of
the season. After their visit, we actually took a nap. This is not something that we ever do, but an hour of rest felt really good. We then got ready to go snorkeling, but before we left we saw that yet another sailboat had entered the harbor. This was Christina from Sweden with Jans and Christina aboard. We got our snorkeling gear together and got in the dinghy to go over and say hello. On the way, another couple Mark had met last night came rowing over in a kayak. Bill and Julia, a couple
from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand came paddling over to say hello. They are here with their two teenaged children on holiday. Bill would really like to sail around the world, but Julia is not sure she knows enough about sailing to do this. We told them to come back after we returned from snorkeling to have a tour of Windbird. That didn’t happen today, but they are hoping to come out to visit early in the AM. We visited with Jan and Christina, and then went snorkeling. Just as we dropped our anchor,
Warwack and his two little girls came by our dinghy to give us pieces of Warwick’s birthday cake. They had three pieces for us and two pieces for Christina. What a nice gesture from a couple we had just met.

At 6:30 PM we went in to the Octopus Resort. We reconnected with Helen and Susie from last night, and I met Bill and Julia and talked to Julia about being a reluctant woman sailor. I assured her that those feelings change once you get out here. Tomorrow morning they are coming out to see the boat before we leave. Helen is also coming out, so tomorrow morning will be a busy time aboard Windbird. Still, we plan to leave and head either just north of here to swim with the manta rays or go all the
way to the Blue Lagoon. Or maybe we will do both in the same day.

070718 Day 85 Yasawa Group, Fiji–Waya Mt. Climb and Dinner at Octopus Resort