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 Oinafa - Profile

Location

Rotuma is a volcanic island of approximately 43 sq. kilometers, located at 12 deg. S, 177 deg. E, approximately 465 kilometers north of Fiji. Although the island has been politically part of Fiji since 1881, Rotuman culture more closely resembles that of the Polynesian islands to the east, most noticeably Tonga, Samoa, Futuna and Uvea. Because of their Polynesian appearance and distinctive language, Rotumans now constitute a recognizable minority group within the Republic of Fiji.

Rotuma is a garden island growing their own food with enough extra to export. Perhaps this is why Rotuma has now been made a clearance port. There are no resorts here and the locals are very friendly.

Oinafa, a Fiji Port of Entry, is at the NE end of the Island where safe berthing is available. Although officials are based at the other end of the island by the airport, they will travel to Oinafa for clearance. This is a useful clearance port for yachts cruising to or from the Marshall Islands.

Flies can be a problem here and there is no public transport.

A useful link is www.rotuma.net

For useful cruising notes from cruisers who have visited these islands see this noonsite report.

Position: 12° 29.25'S, 177° 07.23'E (Oinafa anchorage)

Clearance

This is an official Port of Entry.

Refer to the main Fiji Formalities page for detailed clearance information.

Anchor at 12°29.49'S, 177°02.69'E by the wharf.

Contact Eramasi Tumaitavuki (bio security) via email [email protected] He will contact Customs and Health for you. VHF ch 16 coverage, except in front of the Customs office in town, is not good.

You will be met at the dock by Customs, Immigration and Health officers and you will need to transport them out to your vessel. The officials are reported to be very friendly and helpful and prompt. You will need FI$ to pay the fees as there is no ATM or bank.

Clearing out
Outgoing clearance is somewhat more difficult, unless you have a Vodaphone or Digicell cell phone with which you can schedule an appointment for clearing out. There is good Vodaphone coverage at the dock.

The official offices are all at the Government Station, some 12 Kilometers from the anchorage. There is an Immigration office, Customs, and Biosecurity.

When clearing out, you will be requested not to take any fruit with you as the island has a fruit pest not found elsewhere.

Last updated August 2016.

Docking

For useful information on anchorages, see the Noonsite report for useful maps.

Eramasi Tumaitavuki will contact the Chief Counsel for you to meet with the Island Chieftons (7 total chiefs) for permission to come ashore.

There is a new dock near the village of Oinafa.  The most sheltered anchor is to be found as close to the wharf as possible. Safe in most conditions except for any NW swell, in which case it is best to put to sea.  There is no all weather anchorage on the island.

Near the Government Station is the post office, a small store, a market, the police station, the hospital, and a school.

The supply ship only calls about once per month and even then, provisions are limited. There is a fresh produce market across the road from the store that was open in the mornings.

Cruisers recommend a helpful local man called Philippe (just ask any villager in  Oinafa and they can direct you). He can organise island tours etc.

Last updated August 2016.

SeaNote
SeaNote says:
Aug 08, 2016 08:47 PM

2016/7 You may contact bio security via email at [email protected] and he will get hold of Customs and health for you. They prefer you to be anchored by the wharf LATITUDE: 12-29.49S LONGITUDE: 177-02.69E
and you will need to transport them to your vessel. They have no ATM or banking services so you have to bring Fiji money with you. Eramasi Tumaitavuki will contact the Chief Counsel for you to meet with the Island Chieftons (7 total chiefs) for permission to come ashore. The VHF channel 16 only works to contact customs if you are in front of the Customs Office in Town, but anchoring is very poor there but possible, going ashore has to be done at high tide other wise the reef is too shallow to go ashore. This Island is a paradise and we enjoyed it very much, All the customs, immigration, health and bio security paper work is the same as other check ports, customs & Immigration cost 100 Fiji, Health cost 230 Fiji, bio security 85 Fiji dollars. This would be a great check in or out for those cruising to or from the Marshall Islands.

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