Over seven days during spring break, I stayed on three different islands in the Yasawas: Nacula, Drawaqa and Waya Lailai. I also visited two other islands. Jam-packed trip!
After staying the night in Nadi, we got up early the next morning to catch the shuttle to the Denarau marina. Wowee, Denarau is definitely tourist town. Adrienne, Corey and I boarded the white person/sunburn express (the transfer catamaran) and settled in for a long trip. We decided to go to do our trip North to South. The boat ride was very beautiful and it was cool seeing every island as we passed by. Some of the islands we saw in the Mamanucas were incredibly small! You could walk around one in 3 minutes.. I would not want to be stuck there when there is a tsunami. The boat was also incredibly organized and on time. The boat would stop in between a couple of islands and then each resort would pull up in a smaller boat and drop off/pick up people. It was like ants running to food.
The first place we stayed was called Oarsman’s Bay Lodge on Nacula Island. I had heard that the snorkeling was really good there and there was some good hiking.
Much to our happiness, we realized that we had picked the locally owned resort instead of the foreignly owned resort next door. The other resort was booked solid the whole time, but at our resort on the first night there was probably about 12 of us and the next night there were only 6 of us. Nacula Island is right beside where they filmed the movie Blue Lagoon. I hadn’t seen the movie before this trip – it felt like a movie you would watch in middle school health class. We decided to take a trip over to the Blue Lagoon, but it did not look like what it did in the movie (sad). We also decided to go night snorkeling which was really cool! I got to see a lionfish and three sting rays. One sting ray was feeding near the bottom and you could see it pulling a worm out of the sand and chowing down on it. I made sure to make a sting ray face while watching it like I do at the aquarium, haha. The biggest sting ray we saw was about 2 feet wide and 4-5 feet long including his tail.
One morning a few of us hiked up to the peak of the island (Naisau 238m). It was incredibly beautiful here.
The last day we were there we decided to to go to the caves on the Sawa-I-Lau island. To get into the second set of caves you had to swim underwater. The second cave was totally pitch black. Brooke Shields was in this cave in the movie too.
Overall, it was a great first stop. The resort was very home-y and I even got an upgrade and didn’t have to stay in the dorm! That was sweet, it was only about 20 paces to amazing snorkeling.
My marine biology knowledge is definitely increasing, but slowly. I have progressed from “fish” and “not-fish” to “skinny fish”, “big fish”, “colourful fish”, “crab”, and “not fish or crab”. I do want to identify as many as I can before I go back though.