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Ocean Safety 2023 - New Identity - LEADERBOARD

World ARC arrives in Fiji

by World Cruising Club 16 Jun 20:53 UTC

This year, 22 boats in the World ARC Rally fleet staggered their departures from Tonga and arrived in Fiji over the course of three days. This was partly due to the landfall anchorage at Lomaloma in the Lau Group not being large enough to accommodate the whole fleet at once, but also to allow the boats a quicker check-in.

Lomaloma is a small, delightful village at the south of the island of Vanua Balavu with three small shops, a post office and a mobile phone outlet. While it's not an official check-in port, World Cruising Club flew officials in from Suva and Nadi and applied for sufferance, so the boats could explore the incredibly beautiful and remote island of Vanua Balavu almost immediately.

Of the many reasons for joining World ARC, this privilege is certainly one of the highlights for the fleet, as is the ability to visit the stunning Bay of Islands.

In Lomaloma, the officials use a long boat so they can whip around the bay and visit each boat while anchor, which speeds up the check-in process. First up, is the Health Department to check everyone on board and to issue pratique. This is followed by Customs, Immigration and Bio Security.

While the process is a serious one, the officials couldn't have been more friendly and were delighted to meet people who are so keen to explore their islands. With friendly shouts of 'Bula' and 'Vinaka' echoing across the bay, the fleet was processed seamlessly.

To enable the boats to visit Lomaloma, Daliconi and the Bay of Islands, a traditional sevusevu ceremony must be completed, which World Cruising Club arranges via the yacht agent. This is done by presenting kava roots which are used to make a drink known locally as 'grog', and asking formal permission from the chief and village elders for the boats and crews to anchor, explore and swim in their waters.

Boats are encouraged to visit Daliconi to experience their own sevusevu, but for those on a tight timeframe to meet visiting friends and family or needing to get work done, it takes the pressure off and allows them to also enjoy the island's anchorages.

Beautiful Bay of Islands

Just 22 miles from Lomaloma is the beautiful Bay of Islands and the popular anchorage of Ship's Sound, which is an almost land-locked cove.

This incredible setting is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, limestone caves, mesmerising labyrinth of mushroom-shaped rock formations and snorkelling. It's a very special and tranquil place to visit - and the only way to experience it is by boat.

Nearby, Bavatu Harbour also offers a great anchorage, especially for those who wish to explore by land as there's a great hike to the top of the hills, with panoramic views across the islands.

With three weeks of free cruising, the World ARC fleet are now on their way, exploring just a few of the stunning 330 islands of Fiji.

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