More Fijian islands

Sat 21 Jun 2014 23:14
21st June 2014


Oh boy its been windy…after leaving Castaway Island in flat calm we motored farther north to Waya Island .
Learning from our previous faux pas i.e. not properly offering gifts on arrival, the Hebe men put on their best Hebe T shirts and clutching the kava dinghied off to meet the chief. He wasn't there and his daughter stood in and gladly accepted the proffered narcotics and gave Hebe the freedom of the village and offered the chief's grandson, Tom, to guide us up the mountain in the morning. 

An unexpected storm then blew up and we had a sleepless night  rockin' and a rollin'  yanking on the anchor alarmingly.


Tom fairly skipped straight up the lava floe on the sheer front of the mountain in his wellies with us crawling precariously behind, meanwhile Harry and Imo fled on Hebe to a calmer anchorage.  


 Afterwards the chief's daughter gave us a massive loaf - weighed a ton.


'Its a cereal bar…'

No one could ferry us over to Hebe so she had to return to this really rough anchorage and come and fetch us. Well that was fun, Harry came surfing towards the beach and we had the maddest ride back crashing through the waves the little dinghy almost swamped. Katherine had a few squeals and Jonny clutched onto the huge loaf of bread like a buoyancy aid. 
We then had a fast sail around the island to the north where it was a lot more sheltered…..this meant another visit to the village chief with more kava. 

Jonny and Andrew again set off, Andrew muttering about spending all his time doing drug deals with chiefs.
The old chief was delighted and Jonny and Andrew were given a traditional welcome ceremony with chanting and clapping, I presume the pre pubescent boys would then be set to work chewing the roots.  Some very bright  well educated children proudly showed them around the village speaking excellent English. 

Harry and Imo became local heroes for fixing Esama's engine….it took them hours as Esama had bought all the wrong parts.   Harry had to take a hammer and saw to it.
Meanwhile the children visited us on their leaky canoes, all laughter and chatter (Saturday no school) and we swapped gifts, Hebe T shirts for papayas.



New crew on Hebe.

In the evening another friendly fisherman, Russ, took us ashore to show us the way over the island to the Flashpacker resort the other side (up market Backpackers - Ed)….wading ashore Harry managed to get a sea snake stuck in his thong (flip-flop - Ed) - it didn't stand a chance….luckily its jaws are tiny as its the most venomous snake. Eeeeks!
We followed Russ through pigs and hundreds of piglets (so cute) goats and cows, under the stars. 

The Flashpackers is a bit like Butlins, Fiji style, time tables and activities. The Fiji singing and dancing was wonderful. They can SING, no wonder the Methodists were so successful here.  Later I sneaked in on a kava session, it tasted a lot better…and the singing, scrumptious harmonies all so effortless,  more melancholic than shnapps songs but the same idea.
Hebe left with promises to return and lots of waving and thank you's all round, very special.