Pos 16:50.816S 177:28.06E
Last night the “Blue Lagoon Tours” cruise liner entered the bay anchored of their beach. This morning it’s backed up to the beach and moored the large “Keep Out” buoy, slowly disgorging its passengers.
Blue Lagoon Cruises. We welcome all.
After breakfast we depart for Sawa-I-Lau which consists of limestone rock formed at around 300 metres beneath the sea and though to have been raised over time. It is honeycombed with caves some linked to the sea.
As we approach the great stump that is the island rises some 300metres from sea level, just poking into the clouds that roll down its face.
Sava-I-Lau in the background. Sandbar link.
Arriving in the bay at low tide, the three islands that form it are linked by sandbars and fringing reefs run along their coastlines. A cruise ship and a single yacht are already in, but the beach access to the caves looks clear.
Captain Cook beat us to it. Lots of Caves
French family on Mizar from Noumea.
Once anchored we pop over to the yacht which turned our to be a French family for a chat and to glean what information we can about the caves, reefs and the village.
On the beach with goods for sale. Stairways to?
After lunch snorkel gear is put into the dinghy and we set out towards the Cave, beach. The “sales” bench is up and colourful sarongs are hanging on a line ready to part the unsuspecting tripper and his cash. Up a flight of steps, through a door way and ducking under a coupe of large rocks, we then access the steps down and into the cave and its pool which is lit by the sun shining through holes in the roof.
An entrance to? Rooflights.
Donning our masks we enter the water which is relatively clear. Lars snorkels around the walls with a torch looking for the submerged entrance to the linking cave. He finds a small one but continuing around eventually finds the large one described in the guide as having mysterious inscriptions and indecipherable carving, neither of which he noticed when he dived down and in.
In the Cave and under.
Leaving the dinghy on the beach we follow the reef down the shoreline. There are some interesting sights. I spot a Moray eel just showing its teeth at the entrance to its hole in the reef, but I’m having battery trouble and my camera is dead. We come across a large round head of coral standing alone and cover in tube worm type polyps their feathery arms waving in the current trying to catch any food that drifts by.
They are multitude of colours, some red some blue and some yellow etc., and as you approach them; they all rapidly disappear in their tubes.
Multi coloured tubes.
Returning to the dinghy the trippers have arrived along with the owner who rushes to greet us with a “Bula” and that’ll be $10 each. How they all managed to get them all into the must have a wonder of organisation as it was crowded with the three of us.
Dinner tonight will be bar-b-qued duck breasts. All does not go quite to plan as the fat on them is extremely volatile and mixed with a red hot grill makes for an illuminating experience as it turns into a fireball! Plan B, fat is now removed and grilling resumes.
Ducks breasts Breasts flambe’
They have been marinated in Balsamic vinegar, ginger, honey, and red wine (or at least the Chef was). Served along with sweet potato chips, another masterpiece from Tonton in the galley.
Later we have surprise visitors from the Village, who invite us to visit tomorrow.
Visitors from the Village.
Bob the Blog