still waiting, so, a day at the beach

tony zwig
Sat 20 Oct 2007 19:28




Still waiting, so a day at the beach


It is now Sunday at 6am here. Yesterday the consensus (herd?) and our own interpretation of the maps agreed that we should not leave yesterday, 
So, we bought a day trip excursion to the closest island resort; imaginatively named South Sea Island.  We took a big catamaran ferry for 25 minutes to a tiny island that you could walk around in 10 minutes.  It is very beautiful, but I could have done without the forced ‘atmospheric help’ of the tour company; the little band singing on the beach to welcome us and, the responsive cheering and calling back and forth orientation, between the staff and the 60 or so visitors.  It was beautiful; we snorkeled, had a massage on the beach, a bar b q lunch, and just cooled out.    It was a welcome respite from the intense concentration and a touch of heaviness and gloominess as I was trying to figure out the weather and wondering if we would be able to get a handle on it and create a safe pleasurable trip.,

I started and finished a New Zealand book, the whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera; a Kiwi who may also be Maori.  The story is about the problem a Maori chief has in passing on his powers and knowledge and blessing to be the next leader because there are no male heirs.  It is a very soft and engaging story in which characters encounter racism, loyalty, environmental issues, gender politics, and leave the reader with thoughts about   New Zealand today. Apparently it was made into a film and shown at TO film festival in 2002.

While on books, I think yesterday I did not give enough credit to Penny Green’s, See Naples and Die.  She gives a believable and engaging depiction of Naples and through her experiences, shares her frustration, and that of many who love the city, with the contradiction of people who live life passionately and to the fullest, and yet have an apparent civic breakdown where garbage is not collected, bribes seem to be the norm of commerce, as are murders and purse snatchings in the street. The Neapolitans say they love their city but seem to have given up on it.  The book is probably of interest only to Italofiles.


The day at the beach was good as it allowed me to relax and back away from trying to solve the weather puzzle.  At the end of the day I was feeling more into my own skin or paws (pick your metaphor) and more confident about picking a strategy and, not having to give into thoughts advanced by some, that it doesn’t matter when you go because you will get hit by a storm anyway.  With a clear head, we could see there are strong south winds predicted for yesterday and today.  So, we are not going today. Likely tomorrow, although there is a strong bit of south wind and rain showing for around Fiji tomorrow at 1pm.  These maps of course are not perfectly accurate and our experience is that wind is heavier, especially in gusts, than shown.  We don’t want to delay, if possible, because the weather looks benign all the way down to NZ for the coming week, but starts to deteriorate a week today.  So, it would be nice to get in before then.


One other thing about our South Sea Island.  The ferry can’t dock at it, so one is transferred to a small boat 100 feet offshore and then brought into the beach.  The process is reversed on departure.  We left the island at the appointed time in the transfer boat but the ferry was late. (schedule pickup is 5pm) So, there we were floating in big waves at 5:45pm in a darkening sky (sun sets at 6pm) and I thought; notwithstanding all the concerns about the sailing trip, we may ignominiously disappear in this little transfer boat, 10 miles from shore.   (Obviously the ferry came; just before dark) and we are all here.

More tomorrow, and hopefully different.