29 April, Thunder all through the night (Leonie)
Since we got to Fiji, we've had thunderstorms every night in every direction, but mostly far off. Last night and the night before we had some squalls with up to 38 knots of wind. The anchor alarm went off once (thankfully false alarm) and Adam and I got out of bed several times to check that our anchor wasn't dragging.
Since we got to Fiji, we've had thunderstorms every night in every direction, but mostly far off. Last night and the night before we had some squalls with up to 38 knots of wind. The anchor alarm went off once (thankfully false alarm) and Adam and I got out of bed several times to check that our anchor wasn't dragging. Last night it started raining and it didn't stop until this afternoon. The weather is now changing and should become more settled.
On our way from Navini to Yanuya,with Jon halfway up the mast to spot uncharted coral heads, we went past a small fishing boat. Adam and Pieter went over in our dinghy and asked for some fish. In exchange for 10 Fijian dollars (approximately 5 euro) and a pack of cigarettes (which we carry on board for barter/bribes) the fisherman gutted and cleaned a huge snapper for us. It fed 8 people for 2 days. The Black team made it into a yummy ovendish with rice and the Red team won the snapper competition by street lengths with a lime/chili/coconut sauce over pasta (for which I take no credit…).
On the island of Yanuya there is a village of about 750 people. When we landed with our dinghy a lady showed us the way to the school grounds, where there had been a sports competition that day. We witnessed the prizegiving. There were 3 teams and the children were having a great time. After that the chief of the village welcomed us and we presented him with 500 grams of Cava roots (from which they make a drink that makes them feel, uhm, spirited), which is custom. Our gift was accepted and then the headman (the spokesman of the chief), Tjompe, showed us around the village. We talked to some kids and they gave us some beautiful polished shells. We paid our landing fees and received permission to visit the island of Monuriki the next day.
Monuriki is the island where the movie Cast Away (Tom Hanks) was filmed. It is a beautiful island with pristine beaches, which we enjoyed in spite of the rain. Then we went back to Yanuya (only a couple of miles away) and visited the village again. When we landed this time, we were each presented with shell necklaces and bracelets and flowers were carefully placed behind our ears (on the right for women, left for men). Walking through the village, between the houses with toddlers with runny noses, chickens, goats, washing lines, etcetera, we saw some men pounding Cava roots. They take turns pounding 200 times to make the powder from which they make the drink. In the school grounds the men were practicing their rugby skills in preparation for the big match tomorrow against another island, Mana.
Our boys somehow got hold of a rugby ball and had a lot of fun chasing each other around 'playing rugby'. When we went back to the boat, Tjompe wanted to join us. He had a coke, some chips and a tour of the boat and Jon and Adam finally persuaded him to let them participate in a Cava ceremony. We gave Tjompe (in his fifties) some baby clothes for his 1 year old son and some more Cava roots and brought him back to the island. Jon and Adam have just left (8 pm) for their Cava ceremony. I'm sure they'll write all about it tomorrow.