Where We Be
|Wanna Taki Cruise -- Yasawa Islands, Fiji
The Wanna Taki Cruise Boat was our home for one night.
This distinctively bright yellow catamaran plies the waters
near the midpoint of the Yasawas, in amongst the smaller
islands and beautiful bays at the southern end of Naviti
and around Nanuya Balavu. It gives you the rare chance
to visit uninhabited Fijian islands at a reasonable cost
and offers all-inclusive meals and activities such as
snorkeling and kayaking.
SWIMMING WITH MANTA RAYS
On the transfer boat from the Yasawa Flyer to the Wanna
Taki, our captain pointed out two manta rays swimming
with regal grace close at hand. As soon as we boarded
the Wanna Taki, the crew told everyone to collect
snorkeling gear for a swim with the manta rays. Within
minutes we were in the water following behind one of the
eight-foot rays. It barely moved its “wings” to propel itself
through the water. We followed just above it for a good
ten minutes until it descended to greater and greater
depths and we could no longer follow. “How was that for
a birthday present?” asked a fellow guest who happened
to know it was my birthday. “Fantastic!” I replied.
The Wanna Taki pays a cultural visit to a remote Fijian
village each Tuesday. During our visit, local men in
traditional grass skirts and women in white blouses and
tartan skirts sang for us, strongly and with great joy,
accompanied by strumming guitars and rhythmic clapping.
By the time we reboarded, it was dinnertime. Chunks of
the freshest fish you could imagine were served in a
tomato-based sauce, making for a very tasty meal.
We snorkeled for 45 minutes and saw some of the most
intact and colorful coral we’ve ever seen in our lives. The
only downside was the sea lice, which, if you stopped too
long in shallow water to admire a beautiful section of
coral, would "pinprick" you on your arms and even your
lips. If you kept moving, though, they weren't a bother.
Another highlight was jumping off the boat's top deck into
the ocean. It was just high enough to be daunting.
We paddled to a nearby rocky island, then returned and
took our kayak under the catamaran—that is, through the
two pontoons. Fun!
|Wanna Taki, our floating Fijian hotel for one night
|Taking the big plunge off the top deck of the Wanna Taki
|Robin emerges from the water after her big jump from the top deck
|The singing was beautiful at this Fijian village
|Chillin' on the boat on a gorgeous day
|Swimming with manta rays -- a highlight of our day
|Top deck of the Wannataki
|We presented kava to the chief of the village