The small ship cruising experience of Captain Cook Cruises on-board the Reef Endeavour was a first for me.I have cruised on the bigger ships before, but was not sure what to expect with a smaller ship. Intimacy. It only took one day and a few cocktails on the back deck and suddenly everyone on board were the best of friends. It was much easier to remember the other cruiser’s names that’s for sure.
Being an older ship, the Reef Endeavour surely holds her secrets. Her decks whisper tales of mysterious journeys cruising amongst hidden island gems of this Pacific paradise and I am excited to embark on my own island discovery.
My imagination was snapped back to reality with the announcement of the ever leering cyclone Lusi. Hot on our tails, we set off into the afternoon from Port Denarau to the nearby island of Nananu-i-Ra. First appearances of the island were promising. The rain had stopped and clouds cleared long enough to allow a tender boat visit to Nananu-i-Ra. With snorkel, mask and flippers in hand, I looked forward to a refreshing escape from the heat.
The pocket-sized paradise of Nananu-i-Ra Island is in Fiji’s Western Division. Just 3.5 square kilometres in size, the island is surrounded by scalloped bays, white-sand beaches and mangroves.
The island has no roads and no village. Most of the residents are of European descent, so there’s not much contact with traditional culture here.
After a quick game of beach volleyball with a couple of the ships’ crew, which my team won mind you, it was back to the Reef Endeavour for some afternoon tea.
The afternoon played out to a balance of activities organised through the ship and pure relaxation time. There may have been full capacity on the ship, but it felt like I was the only person laid on my deck chair and the rest of the world was miles away. Well my world back in Australia was exactly 1,751 miles away, so that was far enough. Better still, there was just enough distance between us and Cyclone Lusi, although we could see her closing in on us on the horizon. It will be interesting to see if we can continue to elude her. Cyclone Lusi 0 – Kate 2.