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Date: 05 Sep 2015 23:57:00
Title: On the mend

Saturday 5th September 2015

 

Well, another week has flashed by here.  Rod and Brenda on State of Mind left early last week as they had visitors coming out to join them, and Rod and Mary on Sheer Tenacity left early this week for Musket Cove to do some washing, shopping etc.  Pepe and Bear have been hunkered down below on Beez Neez ever since we arrived, both suffering from the same bug that Steve has had, and only coming up for the occasional breath of fresh air, not even making it to Happy Hour.  The anchorage has only half the boats that it did last week.  So it’s been a quiet, relaxing week.

 

On Friday we went to the lovo and meke at the resort here on Nanuya Island, and it was quite a different affair from Coral View.  The whole set-up is somewhat more upmarket, and the food was definitely better and was a help-yourself buffet, with dishes being replenished when low.  The meke was very different too, with a group of twenty or so of all ages from the village across the lagoon playing instruments, singing and dancing.  They made a lovely sound, which had a much more traditional feel, and they alternated between energetic dancing by some of the men, much more gentle but very expressive dancing by some of the ladies, and singing and playing by the whole group.  At the end of the performance, the ladies brought out handicrafts to sell. 

 

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The whole group sang and played.                                                                          Some of the men dancing.

 

Now that Steve was beginning to feel better, he was up for the walk across the island, so I made a return visit to Lo’s Teahouse.  Still no banana cake, and we had both tried the chocolate, so we went for pancakes with our lemon tea.  Very nice.  Lo was back from her travels, and it was nice to meet her.

 

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Steve enjoying his second cup of lemon tea...                                                     and posing with Lo outside her teahouse.

 

I knew he was definitely on the mend when he suggested we go for a snorkel over by the reef near the beach.  Until now he had been so full of cold that a snorkel and mask just wouldn’t work.   We found the water teeming with fish:

 

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Our supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables were by now running out, so we were pleased to see some locals in their little sailing boat laden with local produce.  We were able to get some eggs, papaya, bananas and tomatoes at very reasonable prices.

 

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Villagers in their little sailboat selling local produce.

 

One day we were quite concerned to see more smoke than is usual on one of the hillsides.  There are often small fires burning, but this looked much more widespread.  As the day wore on it became obvious that this was a bush fire, and out of control.  It burned on into the evening and overnight, and the next morning we could see large areas of burnt ground.  We asked a local guy about it, and he confirmed it had spread uncontrollably and had taken out the Vodafone communications mast on that hillside. Fortunately it had not come down the hillside to the village below.  It burned for another day, and eventually died out, hopefully causing no further damage.

 

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Smoke and a scorched area of ground at the beginning.                               Flames continued to burn throughout the night.

 

There were daily visits by fast-cat ferries that brought people to the resorts.  With nowhere to land or tie up, the ferries simply stopped and waited for longboats to come alongside to collect patrons for their resorts or deliver them on their way to their next stop, or maybe home.  On one occasion we counted sixteen longboats around a ferry, though sometimes it was just one or two.  The seaplane arrived most days, picking a spot to land close enough to the anchored boats to make it quite exciting!  We enjoyed watching the comings and goings.

 

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The seaplane waiting to collect passengers from the resort.

 

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What is this?...a yacht with wings?                                                                          No, it’s the seaplane landing as a yacht comes in to the anchorage.

 

It was time to start thinking about boat jobs. The waterline in particular was in need of cleaning, and so we set about scraping and rubbing off the growth, which had never been so bad. 

 

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The growth on the waterline was worse than it has ever been – Steve usually removes it well before it reaches this stage!

 

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After cleaning - this is how the waterline should look!

 

With Steve now feeling much better, it is time to move on.  There are a couple of places we want to stop at on the way back down the island chain, and then we will go to the main island and start to get the boat ready to leave Fiji and head for Vanuatu.  Our stay in the Blue Lagoon has been longer than planned, but if you have to be feeling crook, it might as well be in a lovely spot such as this.


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