position S10 17.200 E161 43.400
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 23 Jun 2019 20:25
Sunday 23nd June|
Our trip ashore was timed with unerring accuracy as everyone was filing into the large church for the sunday service and we couldn't really refuse the invitation to join them. We might have claimed conflict of religons as this is a catholic mission and we have been recently feeling at home with the anglicans. We sat at the back slowly melting in the heat and enjoyed the harmonious singing- ladies on the right and men on the left, but slipped out after the sermon and before the puddles round our chairs grew to conspicuous. The lower the latitude the higher the temperature and we are now sleeping without the light sheet covers we progressed to in New Caledonia and fans are required in the saloon.
We wandered around the village garden and Noel invited us into his 'bush' house. Leaf roof and walls on a very tidy timber structure. The mission had several tin sheet and block walled buildings and has set up a high school in the last couple of years. The french missionaries established the site early last century and it is evident that they have been more proactive in trying to modernise their surroundings than was evident in the anglican villages.
The minister proudly informed the congregation that his thesis in New Caledonia (for which he received a high mark) debated the use of yam and coconut juice instead of bread and wine for the communion. I didn't catch his conclusion but I noticed that there was a very small bottle with a little wine in the bottom on the table. I didn't volunteer to go and fetch my last half bottle from the boat.
The Solomon Islanders are more reticent than their Vanuatu neighbours but you feel that when a smile is offered it is more genuine and they are no less pleased to be of help if you ask.
I showed the children on the beach a little cheap toy I had bought in China- an elastic band powered helicopter and we were soon surrounded by scores of delighted youngsters.
We needed to replenish fluids so returned to the boat and decided to make another anchorage by the close of the day. We are now anchored in a very calm bay in an offlying island (Uki Ni Masi). I had time before dark to give the bottom a quick scrape with my yet to be patented bottom scraper and row ashore for an explore of our section of beach. Some girls latched on and then their older brother showed me the tiny village, introduce me to his gradfather -the chief, and his aunt who lives in a large cabin left by the logging company who have been and gone. We have been seeing logging operations all along the coast- when we ask they seem to be chinese or taiwanese companies who are stripping the mahogany trees. I doubt that they are re-planting so probably not FSE certified. Lets hope they are paying good money to the government but I doubt much gets back to the villages. We don't see denuded hillsides so they are selectively picking out the good stuff.