Friday, July 15, 2016


That's how New Englanders say "lobsters" or as New Zealanders would call "crays."
Michael scored a lobster. Not with his hunting skills – but with his newly found computer skills! He helped another boat in the anchorage here in Albert Cove with his pactor modem and winlink set-up. He got it back working (even though the computer language was in French!) As a thank you, the boater gave Michael a freshly caught lobster. So the dinner menu aboard Astarte had a quick last minute change to green salad and a lobster. It was a very tasty treat as we hadn't had one for quite awhile. The boater did not give up where he caught the critters.

We had a fun adventure yesterday (pre-lobster). We needed to check into Rambi at the main city of Nuku. But because we are in a remote area, there are no roads nor buses from here. So we dinghied 2.6 miles to the next big bay, Eritabeta (or Elizabeth) Bay. Continuing our theme of this year's cruising – we had to "boomerang" on the dinghy. We got just passed one point and the dinghy motor died. Michael saw a small leak in the fuel line, so he got it restarted and we came back to the boat. After a repair (we had a spare fuel hose) we were off again. We made it to what we thought was Eritabeta – though we weren't 100% sure. This bay had some of the most amazing clear water and beautiful corals we have yet seen. But because of all the coral in this bay it took some effort to find a place to put the dinghy. We rolled it up on some mud flats – tide was quite low. We put the anchor out and hoped we wouldn't have to swim out too far to get to it when we returned.

We met a nice lady on the beach who was digging for clams. Her name sounded just like the name of the bay – Eritabeta...though she said it was different but our ears couldn't hear the difference. She made us laugh as she told us she almost hid behind a rock because she was afraid we were going to shoot her(We were pretty sure she was joking)! Now we don't know if this is because she knew we were from the United States...or just that we were white people. We told her we were friendly and she told us she was friendly too! It was a very funny conversation.

She pointed out the way to Nuku and told us there was a truck that goes there at 10 and again at noon It was just about 10, but she also said that the walk was about a half hour. We followed the road to Nuku on our walk meeting some friendly folks along the way. Again, this is a country where people speak Banaban – or Gilbertese and not Fijian. So no "bulas" but rather "mauori" as their hello. It is a challenging language for our tongues to wrap around their pronunciation.

We got to the main part of town about 50 minutes later and it was a nice walk – lots of kids, pigs and drying kava along the way. We stopped at the Council of Leaders building to pay our respects but nobody was there. We went on to the small police station to check in. There was a police officer there and he took our check-in and was very friendly. He did seem a bit surprised we came to do the check in.

After we did the formalities, we roamed around the town. We stopped in lots of the little shops that were stocked very minimally. When we asked about bread or a baker – we were told by one woman, "there is no bread in Rambi." It seems that most people must bake their own and none is for sale. No fresh fruit or veg either – just the few tins of corned beef, tuna or mackeral and lots of 2-minute noodles!

We stopped by the primary school and talked to the principal for a bit. The school has more than 300 children and English is the primary language. She was a lovely woman who seemed quite committed to the school.

We never saw the 10 am truck and so we decided that the schedule was "Fiji Time" versus GMT. We decided that we weren't loaded down with bread, veggies or fruit, so we could make the walk back as well.

We made it back to the dinghy which looked a way out there, now that tide was in. One man waiting for the truck yelled for a kid to go and retrieve it for us – but we thanked it but told him we could get it with no problem. It was just about thigh high water. We made it back to Albert Cove a bit damp. Another boat was in the anchorage – so now here were three!
At 7/14/2016 6:57 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 16°26.63'S 179°56.24'W

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