After Michael and JanBart fixed the swings near Komo School (the afternoon entertainment for the local villagers) and left some books and newspapers for the villagers who had asked, we left lovely Komo Island for the 172 mile passage to Kadavu (pronounced Kahn-dah-voo). We left at 1600 on Thursday and expected to arrive on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the wind died and we barely were making 3 knots much of the passage. But we did sail most of it, putting the pole out to keep the headsail full and just sailed along. The seas were relatively calm though heading downwind, the boat tends to corkscrew around a bit and make the ride more uncomfortable than it should be based on the moderate seas.
In order to avoid staying out an additional night, we turned on the motor (or as we like to say now, "the steel drum band started"), at 0600 on Saturday morning so we could make it through the reef pass in good daylight. We had also hoped to snag a fish finally as we had gone too slow the entire previous day (though we did drag the lines all day). We grabbed a small tuna-type fish as we motored and kept hoping for a big mahi. The tuna fed us that night and was quite tasty. "SuperTed" got a nice 20 pound mahi as they came near the pass...we didn't have the same luck!
We arrived through the pass at 1130 and it was one of those scary passes. There were big breaking waves on each side of the narrow pass, about 200 meters wide. Just as you get into the pass (lining up some hills according to the chart), and if you look to the side, you get the most frightening sight! The breaking waves and white wash is something you don't want anywhere close to a boat – and there it is! We made it through and then wound our way inside the reef enjoying the flat calm of the inside!
We found our way into the anchorage near the village of Kadavu which has about 200 residents (100 of which are children). There is not much room in the anchorage and our friends "SuperTed" and "Victory" were already anchored. We nestled our way near them (not as much room as anyone would like), but the holding is good so we didn't need to put out as much rode as we normally would.
After we were settled at anchor, we got a lift into the village with "SuperTed" and "Victory" to do our "sevusevu." Getting to shore was a challenge as it is exceptionally shallow and, because the bottom is muddy, visibility is non-existant. Finding the path to the town required getting out of the dinghy and dragging it a bit. We put the dinghies near the school which was packed with young lads eager to help and be entertained by us getting out the dinghies and gathering up our stuff. They were friendly, talkative and literally lead us to town. We did feel a bit like the "Pied Piper" with our gang of boys around. They chatted about their school, the village, but mostly about their rugby team. They won a big match the day before and were still enjoying the halo effect of the victory with new folks to tell. The school headmasters son, Moses, led us to the Turaga ni Koro's home. We waited awhile in the home as the headman was out farming. When he arrived, we visited awhile. JanBart handed over the "kava" gift, but was met with an unusual look as this didn't seem to be expected. We made some errors we believe as we never used the words "sevusevu" with the Turaga ni Koro. He is not the "chief," as was explained to us by Moses on the walk back through the village. But it seems the village chief is a "Seventh Day Adventist" that doesn't see guests on Saturdays. We are presuming that the Turaga ni Koro will pass on our gift and all will be okay. The headman did give us permission to anchor here as well as snorkel and fish and go to the next anchorage. It was certainly a different "sevusevu" than we were used to and we guessed that we had done it a bit incorrectly.
We will hope to stay on Kadavu for at least a week and explore a few anchorages in the area. Unfortunately, there is still no phone or internet here so we can't post pictures.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com