Our Yearly Dose of Nirvana

As our Journey goes on, certain things appear to set on patterns. One of them is our yearly dose of Nirvana.

For each of the seasons we have cruised, there was this place where we found an unprecedented feeling of piece and joy, where time stood still, when everything around us had an augmented effect of awe, where everything felt “right”.

The first event happened in Catalina Island, at the very end of 2014, our first cruising season. In 2015 we felt that again in Isla Coronados, in the Sea of Cortez. Last year it was Makemo, in the Tuamotus. And I had been wondering if it wouldn’t “happen” again this year.

Indeed a friend of mine, long-time cruiser, told me that he himself used to feel that kind of exhilaration in the beginning, but that it tended to fade away as the years of cruising accumulated. I was anxious.

And here we were, well into the later part of 2017’s season … and we have been to some pretty great places: Rarotonga, Niue, Tonga, most of the Mamanucas and Yasawas here in Fiji. But we hadn’t yet had that special exhilaration, that feeling of Nirvana.

Had we reached the cruising time threshold after which these feelings tend to get more tamed?

Well … nope !

It was there all the time, waiting for us, at the northern tip of the Yasawa island. Some gut feeling had been telling us to go there since the beginning. I’m glad we obliged. And it did take some persistence indeed. The time window we had for the visit didn’t coincide with the weather one. The day we left Sawa-i-Lau it was grey, densely overcast, and rainy, very rainy. Our target was the bay in front of the northernmost village, Yasawairara. But as we approached the rain developed into a deluge. Moreover, a sticky swell from the southwest further encouraged us to take the anchorage immediately to the south of Yasawairara, just past Nalolo Point. And as soon as our anchor bit the perfect sandy bottom, and despite all the rain that was engulfing everything, I knew we had arrived.

The next day, still grey but at least dry, confirmed it: we had found 2017’s Nirvana. To the east, protecting us from the wind and swell, a long, white sandy beach, rimmed by roly hills covered with a lovely velvety greenery. The bottom lay a mere 15 feet under us, white and pristine. Reefs surrounding us, at a distance that they were only beautiful, not threatening at all.

For four days and nights we stayed there, having the place just to ourselves, visiting the beach and feeling the pristine white sand under our feet during the day, and watching the surroundings under a bright silvery sky during the moonlit nights. It was windy, but the hills ahead of us tamed it just enough to simply add to the magic.

I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

Pesto lying by herself at our little piece of paradise
It’s always a special feeling to have a place like this just to ourselves …
… lay our footprints on pristine sand (knowing they will be washed away soon thereafter)…
… our home right there, just a short swim (or dinghy ride) away.
When something like THIS happens, you know that you are at the right place, at the right time.
There was a path, and we followed it …
… stunning vistas everywhere …
… like this one (I wish the camera – and most importantly its user, me – could capture the entire beauty of it) …
… moments of whole joy, in a place where we feel right, and the privilege of togetherness
It’s good to be out here !

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