Buca Bay, Diesel, Breadfruit and Bananas
Pronounced Mbutha, Buca bay is on Vanua Levu and is the starting place for the ferry to Taveuni. There is a bus service to here from Savusavu and it has a Mission Hospital. We understood that there was a shop, water available on the pier and diesel fuel available. Hmm.
Anchoring was good toward the head of the bay with good holding on a muddy bottom and the only reefs were easily avoided. Having got the hook down we went ashore and found that we had landed at the Seventh Day Adventists School. Here there was a small shop that sold sweets and biscuits and maybe a few other bits but the nice lady was able to tell us that we could get diesel fuel just up the road. ‘The house on the right after the culvert, with a sign outside offering tailoring and school uniforms’. Sure enough, this was the ‘filling station’ he sold diesel, kerosene and premix, decanted from a 50 gal drum into 1 and 4 litre cooking oil bottles to measure out the 40 litres we wanted, then put into our cans. We got chatting to the lovely couple and members of the extended family. Kaierua, from Rabi, and his wife Wanateiti from Kioa moved here so that their daughter could go to the school, she does the tailoring and he sells fuel. She also makes baskets from the stalks of palm leaves and when we arrived they were patiently stripping the leaves to get thin canes for weaving.
We asked about anywhere to buy fruit and next thing we are being given more breadfruit than we can manage, we eventually took three, and told of the possibility of buying bananas at the end of the bay. They wanted nothing for the breadfruit but on admiring the canoe and talking about how it was made and propelled we did learn that he needed to go to Savusavu and buy a tarpaulin for a sail. Next morning we gave him one that we had on board.
Diesel is sold from the white shed, the breadfruit are off their tree. The canoe is a Gilbert Islands design made from planks and all stitch and glue construction. Other islands use dugout hulls.
Two different types of banana bought from a stall at the head of the bay.
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