I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hat Trick

This morning we left Viani Bay somewhat early, heading for Tavauni Island, just across the Somosomo strait. Our sole purpose for the visit to the island was to reprovision, as after one week out in the cuts we are dangerously low on vodka, beer and produce.

Unfortunately there are no good anchorages around the town of Somosomo, where the M & H market is, and it was too rough to launch the tender. Ron did not think replenishing our supplies was worth the potential damage to the tender, which was probably a good call. So we hauled up the anchor for the second time and aimed for Kioa Island, about ten miles away.

Kioa Island is a very interesting place. It is not actually part of Fiji, although it is right in the middle of the Fijian islands. All of the inhabitants of Kioa are from the nation of Tuvalu in Micronesia. Just after World War II, when their atolls were ravaged by the war in the Pacific, the Tuvaluians purchased Kioa and moved there. Although they are Fijian citizens, they have their own government, language and customs. They also have retained their Polynesian features of straight black hair and lighter skin - and as there are only about 500 people on the island, there are hints of inbreeding as well.

We dropped anchor inside the reef and headed ashore, all of us including Trinny (the Beverly Hills poodle). Victoria and I went with a woman and presented a bundle of kava to the chief of the village. When I gave it to him he said, "You should present it the Fijian way!" I asked, "How is that?" And he said, "I don't know! We are not Fijian!" It was a bit confusing but funny in a way.

After we paid our respects to the chief we hung out in the village. Kioa is known for its unique handicrafts, and while I did not think they were too different from the woven baskets and placemats we have seen along the way, we bought a few baskets and little trinkets. Sean and BJ shared beers and cigarettes with the men while I played ball with the little kids. Whenever they wanted my attention they shouted "Palangi! Palangi!" It reminded me of being in Samoa - as did the fact that "Hello" is "Talofa" - the same in Samoan.

The village was small and poor, the kids skinny and the dogs mangy. Nobody seemed to be concerned with dental care, most of the adults were missing teeth and the kids had rotting milk teeth. But they were kind and open, and invited us to come drink "coconut kava" (i.e. coconut alcohol) with them this evening. We said we would try to, and headed back to the boat.

After a lunch of sandwiches and cocktails, Sean noticed that we were dragging anchor in an anchorage where there is not much room to drag, as it is surrounded by reef on 3 sides. So, for the third time today, we pulled up anchor. Ron wanted to head to Rabi Island so Sean set us on course, BJ poured another round, and we headed out to Rabi Island - our fourth island in the day - another ten miles away.

This evening we are anchored in a very calm and protected bay on Rabi Island, and a man just paddled by in a little canoe that looks like it is about to sink. It is hot outside but I am sitting under the airconditioning vent in my cabin, quite comfortably. All in all, a good day.

No comments:

Post a Comment