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Hurricane Holes In Fiji

By doina — last modified Apr 05, 2006 02:34 PM

Published: 2006-04-05 14:34:26
Countries: Fiji

I am planning to sail to Fiji and stay for at least the allowed six months, and longer if possible. My main concern is how to protect my boat during hurricanes. I have heard of holes in the sand, or moorings up rivers, but I have not been able to find a specific web site that would address this important issue in details. Also, I have not been able to find websites about drydock facilities in Fiji (including hurricane-safe ones, as in Mexico). Any help/suggestions?

On the island of Vanua Levu the two marinas at Savusavu (Waitui and Copra Shed) have laid down a number of strong moorings, all of which performed very well when Cyclone Ami passed through in January 2003. In the capital Suva local boats seek shelter among the creeks and mangroves close to the Tradewinds anchorage. On the west coast of Viti Levu the marina at Vuda Point offers good protection in a circular basin that can be entirely closed off by an anti-surge barrier. Boats left on the hard at this marina have their keels dropped into a trench for added protection. A cyclone shelter has also been created in a land-locked basin at Musket Cove on the island of Malololailai.

All the above marinas are listed on noonsite.

The best hurricane hole on the western side of Viti Levu is up the river adjacent to Lautoka, where you can tie to the mangroves. Most of the local commercial boats head up the river when a cyclone is threatening, so the trick is to get in there first. The basin at Vuda Point is questionable. I have snapped dock fixtures during a minor surge in calm weather there. During a full storm surge and direct hit, I would not want to be in the marina.

Peter Kinsey, Sailing Adventures Fiji Ltd.

www.fijisail.com

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