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Ladies Fishing Team Trip - Fiji

10 July 2011

Travellers

McIntosh Travel are proud sponsors of the Whakatane Sportfishing Club.  The 2011 Ladies Fishing Tournament first prize was won by a group of ladies on board Mazarine - their prize being a trip to Fiji, and Ann McIntosh put the trip together for them.  This is their account of the great time they had in Fiji.

Our first prize of a trip for two to Rarotonga, which was won with our 209.4 Blue Marlin, we were able to change to Fiji thanks to the Whakatane Sportfishing Club and the sponsors approval. We divided the prize between the five of us ladies as well as our skipper and deckie.  We were also joined by husbands, bringing our travelling group to nine. 

We met in Auckland on Sunday, 10 July 2011, to fly to Nadi, arriving about 3pm into 30-plus degrees.  We were taken by shuttle to  the Denarau Island wharf then onto an RIB inflatable Naiad to transfer to the Mana Island Resort & Spa.  The boat trip took about an hour in calm, deep blue waters.  It was 6pm and dark on our arrival at Mana Island.  The welcome was in typical island style and we were soon dropping our bags into our garden Bures and regrouping for cocktails and our first buffet dinner and entertainment.

We had five glouriously sunny, hot days on Mana Island enjoying the casual, friendly, tranquil, relaxing environment.  Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, swimming, sunbathing, reading, exploring, along with facials and massages filled our days along with tasty buffet meals, sampling the many cocktails and local beers at the pool bar.  We hired a couple  of locals and their open boat for a day visiting Plantation Island, lunch at Castaway Resort and then snorkelling at Honeymoon Island.  We almost got tipped out on our return through the turbulent coral reef channel as they hit a wave wrong.  No life jackets or in fact any safety gear on board!!

Our 5am Naiad transfer back to the Mainland on our last morning taught us about "Fiji Time". The boat was tied to the wharf (brought across the night before), but no crew in sight!  Security and resort staff were searching and making cellphone calls for 45 minutes before they appeared out of the darkness to load us up.  Nothing was said but a very quick, rough ride back to Denarau Wharf in the pitch dark, even speeding through the five knot zones.  We were then shuttled back to Nadi Airport for our flight back to Auckland on 16 July 2011.  Five perfect, sun-filled days in an idyllic "paradise" location with a great group of people.

Thank you to the Whakatane Sportfishing Club and the sponsors of the tournament and especially Ann McIntosh who put the trip together for us.  We all had a wonderful time.

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