Friday 8th November 2013 - Ono, It Is!

Jon & Carol Dutton
Sat 23 Nov 2013 22:50

18:53.26S 178:77.76E


Friday 8th November 2013 – Ono, It Is!


On the morning of Wednesday 6th November, having spent a few days in Dravuni, we motored 10 NM south to a larger island called Ono.  Nabauwalu Bay is almost perfectly U shaped and very well protected unless the wind is in the west- not that frequent an occurrence.  The advice we had had was to go ashore around high tide –  at anywhere near low tide it would be very tricky with a field of coral to carry one’s dinghy across.  Probably anything the right side of half tide will do and there is a stake implanted on the reef to seaward of where the local boats are hauled up.  That indicates the extent of the reef awash at low water.  So, it is possible to tie up to that at low water and walk ashore if necessary.  At any other time, simply head for it and then for the beached local boats.  Our visit to the chief of Naturu village was much more like those to which we have become used; a simple request on our part to anchor in the bay, snorkel and walk around the village and its associated land (effectively the whole island) whilst passing the kava roots across – all done whilst sitting cross legged on the floor for only ten minutes or so.


The first villager we had met on coming ashore had been Joe and he very kindly showed us around the very pretty village which and the neighbouring one across the river.




                                                    Naturu village - beautiful gardens on the edge of Nabouwalu Bay


The church is quite stark, being built out of concrete with a large undercroft for communal meetings.




                                                                                                Naturu Church


The water supply to the village had been causing problems for a while and a new reservoir and tank were being installed up above the village.  Joe took us up to see the work in progress; most of the men from the village were up there taking it in turns to dig, break up rocks, fell a few trees and lay the pipes.  Absolutely no heavy machinery is being used - just spades, shovels and picks.  Indeed getting any machinery up the steep, narrow, muddy path would have been quite a challenge as will be getting a large water tank up there.  We went on further up the hill to where we were told the reservoir was, expecting to see a small lake and we were a bit surprised to find something more like a garden pond.  However it is fed by a small stream and hopefully the combination will be sufficient to make a big difference to the life of the village.




                                                                        Preparing the base for the water tank




                                                                                                Laying the pipes




                                        The reservoir – no doubt the cement was carried up by hand and mixed in situ


The reef at the entrance to the bay provided us with some well worthwhile snorkelling - beautiful coral and plenty of fish.  However, that done and conscious that we didn’t have long before we would need to head back to Vuda to await a suitable weather window for the return to New Zealand, we needed to move on.  We reluctantly left on Friday 8th November, after only a couple of days in Ono, to see something of Kadavu island – the next island to the SW and by far the largest in the group.