Buala and on

Lars Alfredson
Sun 2 Aug 2015 16:51

pos 8:24.33S 159:48.98E

Tanabuli Island


2015-07-30 Staggering up to greet another day we see that the supply ship has left and resolve to move to the dock to take on water from a tap that they had been filling from yesterday.

Fenders out and mooring lines readied, we approach, I managed to lasso the one bollard that presents itself, with the stern line and then Shan climbs ashore onto the dock which is now half a metres above us due to low tide, to fix the bowline.

The hose that was attached to the tap has now gone, presumably it was theirs, so we run ours out and manage find a suitable connector and Bob’s your uncle? No, one could pee with more enthusiasm as the flow through our hose is about a litre a minute. Anyhow something is better than nothing.

While were connecting we are approach by a man of the white persuasion, Len, who turns out to be an NZ accountant doing voluntary work for the some education aid scheme with his wife Kay, a retired teacher, who now joins us. These teachers get everywhere. Her job is to go around the island schools to give help and guidance as Santa Isabella apparently has the worse literacy record of the Solomon’s.

They’re coming to end of a two year stint and give us lots of local info. She in fact is going to visit Bolitei village and is familiar with mud trek only to advise us that it’s also the main sewage outlet as well. Did we really want to know that?  She then gives us and insight into matters lavatorial in these parts for visiting genteel foreign ladies.

We also get a Croc warning (Not the footwear, unless you are Italian) that since the recent troubles and the confiscation of the tribes firearms, there has been and upsurge in numbers, don’t be on the reef at dawn or dusk, feeding times.

Shan is taken off to the Market by Kay, but there is little there and comes back with a few bananas and some peppers and that’s it. Les advises there is a bakery but it doesn’t have any bread, that figures. After tea, coffee and biscuits they depart and Lars and I head for the Telecoms building, leaving Shan on guard should another ship appear wanting the dock.

After a successful hour each, I delete all 650 spam message and reply to our neighbour Anne, who is keeping us up to date on local happenings and for Shan the tennis, while Lars does the same and updates our Blog page, only to find out on Facebook that he has missed his wedding anniversary, doghouse or what! We also research the “Blue Moon” which we are told is due tonight apparently it’s a rare occurrence when there are two full Moons in the same month, in this case on the 2nd and 31st of July.

Returning we have managed to cause quite a stir and the dock is crowded with sightseers, we half expect to see Shan fending them off with a boathook, but all is well and they’re a friendly crowd. Rolling up the hose, we probably have taken on 150 litres if we’re lucky, we cast off and depart the shelter of the bay.

It’s the same old story, wind on the nose and with wind over tide. There is good news and bad news the good news the tide is giving us a 2 knot push, keeping our speed over 5 knots, the bad is it’s pilling up the waves and it’s “agricultural” sailing as we plough our way through steep seas, the other plus point I suppose is as we bury our nose sending greenies rolling along the deck, it’s washing off all the sand and grit picked up from ashore.

We finally turn to starboard at the end of the island moving the wind across the bow, so it’s genoa out and standby the water-skis as we crank up to 7+ knots and the ship steadies. Moving into the lea of the reefs and islands the swell dissipates and the wind with it, as we cruise through the reefs to find an anchorage.

We have some difficulty because of the proximity of the reef which prevents us getting close enough in to reach shallower water as depth rises abruptly from 40 metres to 0. Another try around the back of a large reef and after two attempt the anchor which had been bouncing over the rocky bottom finally grips in 18 metres.

Watching the proceeding has been the inevitable canoeist, who looks on approvingly and advises us there are plenty of crocodiles around here. He has come over from the big village on a neighbouring island to tend his vegetable garden. We enquire about sweet potatoes in the vein hope he may have some but he points us to the market on his island that starts at 7 in the morning.

We jump in regardless, as we haven’t had a swim for a day or so, ‘luverly’, and dry off with a nice cold beer to follow for happy hour, these are trying times in the liquor department.

As we quietly read our books, Shan’s on Nora Roberts, I’m on a Michael Connelly and Lars a James Paterson, it starts to rain, not heavy but annoying enough with the breeze blowing it into the cockpit to force the portside occupants to seek shelter until it passes.

The Chef demands cooking music and our resident DJ, Lars calls up every tune with “Blue Moon” in its title to celebrate the event, what a clever boy.

We’re back to our old carnivorous habits as we failed to catch a fish today, with Spag Bol for dinner and a glass or two of red wine, the Bar still has a fall-back position!

Bob the Blog