position S13 32.400 E167 20.3000
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 15 Jun 2019 21:39
Saturday 15th June
Another rolly night in Sola bay. After stowing the dinghy we made an early start intending to make a short lunch stop at an island on route with a horseshoe shape round a deep bay. The malaria officer had reccomended it to us.
As the wind was pushing 20 knots dead astern I kept the main on the boom and we rolled along under genoa. We had to make a sharp course adjustment to avoid a shoal- it was marked on the chart but I hadn't watched the course carefuly enough and we had drifted too close for comfort.
The island of Ureparapara looks like an extinct volcano with water filled centre and a channel blown out of the of the east side to connect the lagoon to the sea. The deep bay gives a nice calm anchorage (so far) and before we could decide where to drop the hook a canoe raced out and showed us the best spot off the white sand beach. Once anchored we had 4 or 5 canoes around us and Edward and his son came aboard for a drink and biscuit. Edward is a vice chief- one of 10 for a village of 300. He asked what we lacked and ordered a canoe to fetch lemons and coconuts. We hinted that we had jobs to do and needed some rest as they were looking set to make themselves at home and I promised to bring some gifts ashore once we were sorted. Another canoe came with bananas and egg plants.
Another man passed with a canoe laden with timber poles for house building- also a vice chief although he was disolusioned with the post, suggesting that disagreements about money and gifts from yachts was making the task unpleasant.
I set about my sail repair- a split in the genoa- using up the last of my stick on repair tape. I think we will revert twin jibs as the wind looks set to stay on the stern for the next few days.
I rowed ashore with a few offerings- some notepads and pens, a pair of reading glasses and a couple of fishing hooks. I began to understand the problem that the village has with gifts though- I met one of the two head chiefs who obviously had an important role and attended meetings on other islands for the region. He complained that some of his vice chiefs like having the kudos but don't put in the work. Then I found Edward who had given me stuff and gave him my gifts but the head chief snaffled the
hooks and glasses and then later a lad who had given me the egg plants looked forlorn because he hadn't had a gift. I hadn't paid enough attention to who gave what and have added to the friction. Edward needed some help with his solar light and the head chief wanted some wire for his new building. A pretty girl asked if I had some fins. This is the first island that the gift issue has become so intense- they get a cruise boat from time to time and I suspect that may have been the apple in eden.