In Tongan it would have been Aho Valo.
I am writing this from our anchorage in Suva harbour, it is not the most picturesque or pristine anchorage that we have enjoyed on our journey through Tonga and Fiji. We are using the time to re-provision, restock and catch up on correspondence.
From Vavua in Tonga we cruised across to Loma Loma on the island of Vanua Balavu in the Lau group. This is not a recognised Port of Entry into Fiji, but we were able to undertake formalities here at the invitation of the Pacific (Yacht) Rally organiser who had flown a team of officials to this remote town. Normally yachts entering Fiji from Tonga have to sail to Savusavu and then if they want to explore the Lau group Islands they have to sail back against the SE trade winds. Being able to do formalities in Loma Lona was a huge bonus.
We were joined by friends as we explored the Lau group and it was here that we experienced the Bogi Walu (literally translated it means 8 nights). It describes a weather event when the isobars within the trade winds are forced closer together forming a trade-wind-squash-zone. Once this zone forms it does not relax until the high pressure responsible moves away. Typically these stronger trade winds (20-25kts sometimes gusting 30kts) last for a week and a day (eight nights)... hence the name. This was our experience, but it didn’t stop us enjoying the beauty and remoteness of the Lau Group of Islands which has only been officially opened for tourism since 2011. The swimming, snorkelling, hiking and hospitality of the villagers have largely been unaffected by the tourism development which is evident in other parts of Fiji. The experience we had there can only be described as very genuine and very very infectious.
We will be back in the Lau group at some stage, but right now we are heading further west with friends coming to the Yasawa group for some diving and then it's onto Vanuatu where we welcome friends onto our Vanuatu Expedition.