Fulfilling a childhood dream to visit Fiji, Fred Davis and his girlfriend Dan Nortje fished, surfed and lost themselves in the island life.

 

“Shoulders slumped, I stared down the spaghetti line that, moments ago, was connected to a GT. I was done now. A little frustrated, but not nearly enough to shout and curse, I slowly turned away from the ledge and picked my way along the rock bottom of the coral flat. Far away I saw a trigger tail silhouetted in the glare of the late afternoon sun. The emerald green islands in the distance framed the oil slick water that washed around our little sand cay; just like a cliched postcard.  But it was easy to console myself that my girlfriend Dan and I were, in fact. living the postcard dream. The only footprints on that spot of sand were ours, and they’d be gone with the tide.

As a youngster, I had a Fijian surf poster on my bedroom wall. I would stare at it endlessly; the white lines of waves separating the shallow reef blues from the cobalt of the deep open ocean. In the foreground was Tavarua; home to the famous left-hand surf break known as Restaurants. I had dreamed of getting there, but Fiji and the rest of the Pacific had always been an ocean too far away. Until now.

After a year in the planning, we had arrived in a country filled with friendly folk who treat everybody like family and live by the simple rhythms of island time. “Fiji time” and a smile was often the only explanation for any time-related mishap, inquiry or suggestion. If you’re happy to roll with the flow of the laid-back tropical attitude, you’re going to be just fine in Fiji. I arrived heavy with fly rods, surfboards, diving gear, home-tied flies and an extremely excited girlfriend.  Little did she know that I had some big things planned.”

 

Read the rest of Fred’s Fiji trip in issue 18 of The Mission below.