Good Bye Fulaga

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Tue 14 Oct 2014 01:57
As I write this we are sailing westward with a southerly 11-13 knots wind, making 7, 5knots, it is overcast but still about 25-27 degrees and we sail in shorts and a T-skirt.  Before we went through the pass we anchored nearby to have a last dive. We took the dinghy against the current, dropped everybody but one driver and swooooosh we all flew pack with the current. Thousands of fish, turtles and a visibility like a clear glass of water.
In the dinghy, out again! Next turn and next turn till the lips were blue. But we also had a time to keep to get through as long as the current was favorouble to the waves. When it goes against the waves you get a standing wave, meaning water against water and with that comes crazy circle currents etc.
We came through and it was calm as a lake. Now heading for Suva and we count on having two days to get there.
Yesterday was a good bye day, that is the worse part about being involved with a new family.
Before that I had a bit of maintance to do, when we went to the wonderful bay I heard a bird in the machine room and when I opened it up I realised the fan belts needed some love and care. So I replaced one fan belt and adjusted the other 3. Soon I had other things to do as I also opened all filters to check if we caught any sea creatures and yes the fridge pump had a good dinner of small shrimps, squids etc.
So as we came to the village landing we also guided the new arrival of a boat called Land Fall. In the village we met our host family and we took off back to the boat with a wheel barrel loaded with our wood work and that was just magnificent.
We have a big size kava bowl and a very nice fruit bowl that we have designed and Mini made it with some improvements.
Andrea got a traditional drum and Erika got a small bowl for her things. This is a trade for making the journey to Yagasa.
On board we served a farewell dinner and we had a small chat. They wanted to see pictures from Sweden and thank god we had some in Ellinors computer. They were amazed at the snow and ice, but in a wáy I think it is hard to understand if you have not experienced it.
After dark I drove them in to the landing and the ride was exciting, we had a flash light and it made fish jump out of the water like crazy. It was like a boiling fish soup!
It is amazing that there are wonderful people who take the effort and invest emotionally in foreigners and take care of them. I think that every family that moved to Sweden should have a Swedish host family. It makes a huge difference when we approach the village knowing we have somebody that is concerned about us, that can introduce us to others and that can explain how things are done.
Normally we would have walked in to a village, had a look, maybe say hi to somebody, in best case some lonely sole would say a few word but we would look through an emotional window. With this system the window is wide open, they will tell me for instance not to wear a cap when entering the village (that is obviously a Fiji custom, not only in Fulaga), and it is easy for me to respect.The kids get friends and Ellinor learned a lot about different things  like cooking or children etc.
Last night I also packed my kayak and as I did that I thought about all amazing places I have paddled with it, first time I took it out of the backpack since Sweden was in Ria Arosia in Spain, it took  me half a day to assemble it, then Erika jumped into it and made a close encounter with a dolphin. Next place to put it together was in the Caribean, first time paddling among mangrove trees and on a cristal clear water.
After that San Blas, with the Kuna indians and their canoes. Leaving San Blas it stayed in its backpack till we got to the Tuamutos, there I scared a shark for the first time and had some wonderful times and also real hard weather. Then it did not come out again until Raiatea and Bora Bora. In Raiatea I paddled up a river and that was like being in the Amazonas.
Had no reason to bring it up again until we got to Tonga, and that was amazing paddling with ring snakes and around a perfect reef.
After Tonga it came down again and was not mounted til we got into Whitianga. There I used it for 6 months almost every day in the Whitianga river or out in Mercury Bay. If anywhere that's where I learned paddling in strong currents.
And now in Fiji, Savusavu and Fulaga. What more can you ask for?
If you are curious what kayak it is look for Feathercraft on the web. If you are really interested check out a video when it is being assembled.
I have the model that really looks like an eskimo kayak and goes into a backpack.
If you are thinking about starting to paddle, get yourself a wing paddle, it will make your back stronger and it is a great paddle to learn how to handle. Do not forget the safey issues that goes with paddling, if the water is cold you will not make it for long without a protection.Make sure you know how to get back into the kayak if you are away from land.If you are new it might be good to take a lesson or two.
Unless your intention is to travel with your kayak do not buy a foldable, you pay for something you wont use and it is a more sensitive system than a glass fibre or plastic. If you intend on paddling in Sweden all year around get yourselfe a "VKV ocean"with safety arms that can be hoisted if you make a turn. That system is probably the safest you can find. Theories about using your paddle as an extention arm and put a floatable device at the end do not work when you really need it. It works fine in flat water but in bad weather it really needs a lot of practise.
Enjoy a sport that combines the pleasure of speed, tranquility, musclework and solitude!