pos 8:25.34S 159:50.40E
Sunday 1st of August
2015-08-01 After breakfast we jump into the dinghy and set out for the village of Tatamba on the mainland of Isabel Island looking for the market. A large ferry boat was tied up to a substantial new concrete jetty as we approach.
The tides is going out and the jetty too high for us to access so we run onto the rocky coral shore alongside it. Tying up to a handy rock we land and approach a shed type building with a large sign proclaiming the dock is part of a project of rehabilitation of docks and jetties for the Solomon Islands’ fovernment, funded by Australia, New Zealand, and the Asian development bank.
Sitting in front of are a few locals who advise us that there is no market today and that the ferry has broken down. Regardless, we venture on into the village which has well-tended colourful gardens many with lots of small pots growing even more plants.
We pass a couple of buildings of more modern construction, one proclaiming it’s a shop and advertising whisky for sale. But we are told they don’t have any and it’s shut by a gentleman wearing a t-shirt proclaiming support for English Rugby. Passing another one, this appears to be a lodging house and on a line strung from a window to a tree sit three bright red parakeets. There are many strange sights in the Solomon’s.
Returning, we up anchor and head out to an uninhabited island named as Jaghi on our chart, with a large sandy beach on the outer reef. There, by a gap in the reef, we are able to anchor in turquoise water on a sandy bottom surrounded by reefs. We’ve soon got our gear on and are swimming across to it while keeping an eye out for some nasty looking jelly fish we have passed on the way.
Although the water is not the clearest, the reef is teeming with fish life and some beautiful corals, hard brains, fans, and some staghorn as well as lots of soft varieties completing the kaleidoscope of colour.
Back for lunch and a beautiful large dragon fly takes up station in the rigging, hanging on against the 15 knot wind that threatens to dislodge it.
While I’ve been having a little nap (It’s my age you know) Lars has swum ashore and has gone for a walk around the island. When I surface, Shan is somewhat concerned as she hasn’t seen any sign of him since he entered the undergrowth where the beach was blocked by overhanding trees.
Then coming around the corner is Lars or is it Robinson Crusoe looking for his man Friday. He’s soon back aboard reporting on his exploration and has a beer in hand.
The fly menace is now getting out of hand, armed with the spray can I have done my best but am losing the battle. “The old ways are the best” says Lars and arming himself with the fly swap proceeds to wade into the battle. Wellington eat your heart out, as the body count rises we have to call a halt to sweep up the corpses, they’ve met their Waterloo at last.
The general wind pattern seems to calm in the morning with winds increasing throughout the day and declining again in the evening. The incredible plan is to set off to the Malaita Island some 50 nautical miles away taking advantage of the lull. It doesn’t happened as winds remain high through the night. Furthermore there is a powerful tide rush around the island that holds us at 90degrees to it, so the plan is aborted and we spend the night anchored off Jaghi Island.
Bob the Blog