Nananu-i-Ra – the island idyll

20 Nov

Well, I decided that I had been in Volivoli for long enough and I fancied going somewhere nice for my birthday… so after getting my dive log signed and all the paperwork done, I called the island taxi service and hopped on a little boat to the island of Nananu-i-Ra, just a few miles north east of Volivoli beach.  I felt like an explorer finding a new land as we cruised across the strait to the island.


There are a few little resorts here – the Front Beach is separated from the Back Beach by a narrow isthmus, so if the wind’s in the wrong direction, change beaches…

I’m in quite charming accommodation in nicely tended gardens just off the beach.. Will be nice to take a walk tomorrow morning and maybe do some snorkelling.  Took a walk round the bottom half of the island today, throwing coconuts into the sea, surprising the little mud skippers that seem to be able to walk (well, run) on water, and marvelling at the leaping mackerel.. Water here is from rainwater, and there’s no power from 10am to 6pm, and then again from 10pm to 6am because the generator gets turned off.

Another nice little apartment – although I have burnt a hole in the bottom of the kettle…. Oops!





Well, today is my I celebrated with a walk to the end of the jetty and a chance to just think and dream about the future.  I simply felt as if everything was going to be OK – more than OK in fact, and I had a real sense of being one with the universe

In the afternoon in a complete change of fortune, the sun came out. I hopped off the end of the same jetty with a mask and snorkel.. So much to see – the jetty is the end of the coral reef that surrounds the island – the coral is magnificent – branch and fern corals alongside the brain corals, largely because the bay is so well sheltered.


The coral is all shades of pink and yellows from bright lemon through to vanilla.  Bright blue coral lurks in the deep (if coral can ‘lurk’). And, curiously enough, ‘coral’ colour (whoever named that colour hadn’t seen the real thing).  In and around the coral are deep purple starfish, tiny zebrafish in black and white stripes (what else), minute electric blue fish that glow from within.  Giant parrotfish in iridescent colours with luminescent green fins, fish that are so artfully camouflaged they blend in with the ripples they make as they flee from danger, only becoming visible a they slow down There are little ‘Findin Nemo’ clownfish and clams on the side of the reef.  There are rainbow coloured wrasses, angel fish in various hues from yellow to zebra to half black half white.  There’s what looks like a distant relative of Hawaii’s ‘humu’ (please don’t make me spell it in full again). There are transparent fish that hide in the shallows until disturbed, fish that leap into the air but never when I am looking in that direction, so all I see is a splash, and a stripey black and white fish that I followed around for ten minutes because he looked as if he knew where he was going.

The evening was magical, somehow – lightning lit up the sky, and I stood on the same jetty and watched the island light up – until the power went off at 10pm.  Everybody goes to bed early here….



So, what to do today.  Both my Japanese friend who’s sharing the dorm and I are bored… so why not borrow a kayak and see how far we can get.  It’s quite interesting as the waves got decidedly more choppy on the way back… but at least my arms have had a good workout.

Me & Masi


Then, feed the fish off the jetty, some more snorkelling and an attempt to catch a few fish on camera.. And then back in the boat to Volivoli Resort again.




Last day of diving today… so we rocket out to ‘The Passage’ for some of the most bonkers diving.. My head is still reeling from all thefish and coral.  Fields of soft coral waving in the surge, hiding little clownfish inside.  Huge spotted fish, giant shoals of electric blues, yellow tang, a moray eel hiding in the shadows, a turtle off in the distance.  Even the bubbles of air are a delight to watch as they drift upwards.


I’ve still not quite got breathing right – I’ve been trained for so long to keep deep breaths that shallow breathing is still not easy – so I get around 10 minutes less than anyone else out of a cylinder… but it’s all good. Now I just have to worry how to repair the budget after all this diving (well, it was my birthday)!!

Made a couple of cool diving friends too – Graeme, who’s an ex-pat Irishman travelling round Australia and NZ with his girlfriend Beatrice – and Michelle, who came up with a wicked subtitle for my book….she’s just come back from working at the South Pole of all places.. sounds so cool (!) – perhaps my next trip?!


Had a minor panic attack on the boat though… wondering if I can face the time away from home, missing my friends, missing my family… but it had passed by the time I got off the boat!

And then a final bus to Lautoka and a minibus to Nadi airport.  Overnight on a very uncomfy chair in the airport… and then time to go – time to find another adventure.



One Response to “Nananu-i-Ra – the island idyll”

  1. Linda November 20, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    Happy Birthday!!! You are a Scorpio [scorpio horoscope ] and you are so lucky to have an amazing and wonderful people around you making it extra more special! Love the pictures!

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