Faisaf Island

Lars Alfredson
Sun 12 Jul 2015 08:05

2015-07-09 Having had lunch on what appeared to be the water equivalent of the M25 with Banana boats loaded to the gunwales with their passengers and copra cargos streaking past at full bore with enough wake to cause an uncomfortable rock and roll aboard we decided it was time to leave for somewhere more amenable.

Anchor up, we took off pushing a fearsome 5 knot tide race, carefully retracing our route on the chart plotter trying to avoid the squiggly bit when we had previously tangled with the reef. Once out of the reefs we headed to what looked to be a pleasant anchorage behind a small island some few miles down the coast.

It was a charming pocket handkerchief size of a place, though well populated with lots of kids and a large church of the Catholic denomination. Going ashore we were welcomed with a feet cleaning ceremony where they wash the sand off us by pouring water from any old plastic container.

We had a chat and Shan was immediately captured by a young child and her mates, dragging her off to see their school, house and village with us bringing up the rear. The village was very tidy despite the pigs running around and the homes very basic. The church was somewhat disproportionate to the population but advised us it served several of the other island and was well attended.

By the time we got back to the yacht we were besieged by a flotilla of dugout canoes paddled by an assortment of children of varying ages to adults. One of the young lads brought us a couple of coconuts, so after a head count we decided to give him the jar of lollipops to dish out to his mates. Unfortunately he had been so generous he had forgotten himself, thank God for the secret stash from which we could rectify the situation.

A bit of Bob Marley does wonders and next thing the sugarscoop was fully loaded with lollipop licking soul brothers. Shan appeared, to peel potatoes which provided much entertainment in the middle of which, mothers had paddled out to pick up their offspring. When we announced the party was over there was a bit of a dilemma as most of the dugouts had left with the mothers! So Lars was pressed into ferry service with the over loaded dinghy which they though was great fun.

2015-07-11 Up anchor and away … well not quite. The windlass had been playing up for several days requiring a tweak of the cabling to get it going, but not today. Today after an initial spurt ‘deado’. The offending wire was treated to a new terminal, others were cleaned but it wasn’t having any of it and dead it remained. Learned books were produced which merely served to confuse, so it was out with the trusty meter, which confirmed the death.  A flying lead to by-pass the suspect wire, once we had located its source and eventually it was coaxed into life. Off we went waving to our newly made friends.

Wind on the nose and under engine off we set. Just before lunch zing on the line, we’d caught a bigger barracuda this time. I assumed my position with the gaff on the sugarscoop to bring in the prize as Lars reeled it in. Fifteen minutes later it reappeared as lunch.

As night was falling we could see a large rainstorm ahead of us, the tail end of which eventually struck us turning the dog house into a sauna and we went into lock down. Then after a brief respite we had a new fully featured version complete with light show as the lightening arced and cracked about us. The radar showed us sitting in the middle of it and worse still it was moving along with us at about the same speed.  

Never mind dinner and a friendly game of Uno while we slowly broil in the airless bowls of the yacht. Shan didn’t do too well, and though I won most games I still came second. That Lars is up to something.

Bob the Blog