Unknown cove

Lars Alfredson
Thu 6 Aug 2015 09:57
pos 8:31.10S 159:52.54E
Monday 2nd of August

2015-08-02 06:30  We are awakened to the thump of the keel bouncing on the bottom. Up on deck investigation shows that the strong current that runs around the island has changed direction with the outgoing tide and is stronger than the wind, even at 15knots. Fortunately it has set us up on the only sandy gap in the reef which we hit in the troughs of the waves.

Engine on and some revs and we’re soon back on site, tide seems to be slackening a bit and we’re held off by the wind now.

After an early breakfast we set off for a new anchorage preferably a bit more protected. This we find in the form of an unnamed island with a big enough gap in the reef for us to moor safely. Being low tide the reef is exposed and we can see what we are doing.

The water looks very clear so in we go cameras to hand and begin our exploration into the deep. The fish life is both abundant in quantity and colour.  After an hour or so we return to Dawnbreaker for lunch.

Later in the afternoon we are visited by three boys with their home made pan pipes. We have a long conversation and try to get them to play but shyness prevails. After coca colas and a packet of biscuits they relax and give us a rendering before departing for the beach.

Another swim, Lars heads for the beach and a bit of land exploration while I stay filming. He comes across the boys sitting on a tree chewing on beetle nuts they had picked in the forest, and were now playing their pipes with some vigour.

A quiet day and after dinner we start out for Auki, the main town on Malaita Island some 60  nautical miles away. Needless to say the wind is on the nose with rough seas that became rougher at midnight when the bottom rose from 700 metres to a mere 50 causing the seas to rise into steep cliff that we pounded through. Sleeping in a cement mixer would have been easier as it was near impossible to do below, as the bunk became a bucking bronco and all you could do was hang on.

We plough on under a brilliant full moon with the white crest shining in the light as they fall off the tops of the waves. Apart from one ship which passes off our stern we’re all alone rising up and then falling off into the troughs then skewing madly as we take a rogue broadside.

It’s going to be a long night.


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