Lots of stops with "Ns" along this coast and we are certainly getting them confused! We were anchored in Nakalou Bay near the village of Navidamu for several days. We finally went into the village on Sunday afternoon to do our sevusevu with the "taronga ni koru" who's name was Thomas. He was the youngest son of the village elder and had been "headman" for several years. He gave us a great tour of the village which was a very pretty village. They had a village project to plant 50 sandlewood trees for each home in the village (and there were 40 or 50 homes!). We could see the small trees planted near the homes. Like most of these villages that we go to, we are the "attraction." We always are like the pied piper with a lot of children following us around. When we sit in a home visiting someone who was kind enough to invite us in, there are lots of little faces staring at us through the doorways and windows. We were given some lovely lemon tea and fried "pancakes" at Thomas' home before leaving.
On Monday, it was still quite windy but we attempted to make the trip up the Draketi River in the dinghy. Correction: the Draketi, according to Thomas' sister-in-law, is NOT the longest river in Fiji but rather the DEEPEST river. With political season in full swing, we want to keep OUR facts correct (unlike the politicians!) We were close to shore looking for the river entrance and hit the mud banks. A fishing boat with Benny and Namena came by and gave us directions (and offered us some of the fish they caught). The river was a lot further than we thought, but we made it. The river was very wide and with the wind, it was a very wet trip. So we didn't make it too far up the river – as it was not the pretty narrow, protected river we had hoped.
We went back to the village that afternoon, to bring a few photos Michael had taken and deliver a thank you gift for their hospitality. The next morning, we took off for another 25 mile trip west to make some more progress around. This time we were heading for Naurore Bay with the village of Naviqiri. It is a very protected bay in pretty much all conditions which was a good stop as there is some weather systems around for the rest of the week.
Upon arrival here, we were greeted by yelling children on shore who were all swimming and playing in the water near the village. We waited until after lunch to go into the village to make our sevusevu. Here we were met by all the kids who helped us with dragging the dinghy towards shore. Then one of them led us to the "taronga ni koro" who is Freddy. Freddy was up on the hill trying to get a cell phone signal, but his wife Sara was in the home and greeted us. We had woken her from a nap!
We chatted awhile and presented our sevusevu and then left back to the boat. Another boat, the French boat we met in Rabi, was coming into the bay. It is amazing, these villages maybe get one or two boats a year and in one day they have two! The French boat had caught some fish, a shark and a walu plus some others. They were generous and gave a local fishing boat half of each of the fish. The fishing boat came by our boat and we gave them some hooks and weights – no fish to share!
Today, we are going to explore a small island with a pretty beach and a large cave. Then we'll head to the village as Freddy and Sara invited themselves aboard Astarte and we'll bring them out here for some tea and cake.
It has been a great trip so far – though the weather right now is rainy and cloudy.
Latitude: 16 39.37s
Longitude: 178 35.74e
At 8/16/2016 7:02 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 16°39.37'S 178°35.73'E
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