position S19 31.600 E169 29.700
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Thu 6 Jun 2019 20:22
Sunday 2nd June
I had a look at Werry's toilet after breakfast- he was off to town to pick up some pipe and fittings for his new water tank. The water was off and the loo rather dark so I put the task off till later when I could return with torch and get Werry to turn the water on.
We had a dinghy explore of the caves on the north shore of the bay and found several hot springs bubbling and squirting hot water out of the rocks. A canoist on the rocks appeared and turned out to be Noel who was one of our guides at the volcano. He had offered us a tour of his village with promise of lemons from their trees when we were up the volcano and we weren't sure where to look for him so bumping in to him was fortunate. He was working the bay spear fishing and said he would meet us back at the beach.
Noel's wife and children were on the beach and she was doing the washing in a hot pool, with a baby taking a bath. Another hotter pool in the next door rock pool is used for cooking. You have to be careful where you step- the black sand is hot and riverlets in the sand are scalding. Put the child in the wrong pool and you get boiled baby athough I understand that canibalism is no longer practiced.
Some older children were fishing off the beach with bamboo rods and worm baited hooks. I had some fly hooks in my sack and offered them to Mrs Noel. They are a bit big for the beach fishers but they should be good for trolling behind the canoe.
Noel returned in his dug out canoe with a little ray had had speared and told his wife to take us into the fruit farm to pick fruit. The farm seems to be a communal operation with a few bullocks and some pigs wandering around between lemon, guava, pamplemoose, mandarin, mango and breadfruit trees. She picked us some lemons and guava using a long stick to knock them off the tree and then as the pamplemoose were too high she skillfuly knocked a few of those off the tree by throwing sticks. Returning to the beach she had some more apple type fruit stored under a tree that we haven't seen before and imediately forgot the name of. She also gave us a couple of chocos -I had asked Lea the previous evening how to cook them.
Noel then took us up the hill to see his house- he is building a new concrete block bungalow down in the farm but the traditional woven huts are still in use on a bluff overlooking the bay with a banyan tree. He gave us some mandarins and some nuts so we are now loaded up with fresh fruit and veg. Noel makes a $100 a week at the volcano and works one week on one week off. His wife complained about the pay but he has a spear gun (I met an old fisherman setting out with bow and arrows for fishing) and is slowly buying materials for the new house. The banyan tree has a massive overhanging branch with an elaborate rope swing and rickity platform to launch from. I didn't ask to try it and no-one else voluteered to demonstrate. Noel thought that the traditions were slowly dying out and the influence of money and phones would change their way of life.
Noels older brother passed by and mentioned that they prefer the yachties to take their tour of the hot springs rather than help themselves. They ask for a contribution to the childrens school fees. (School is only free up to age 11). We said we would come back for a tour in the morning. I don't think Noel would have mentioned about the tour fee but his brother is probably the village chief.