Time flies when you are having fun and we are loving Vanua Balavu .
The weather has been a mixed bag, with more rain that we would like and a huge high pressure sitting over NZ has given us some very strong SE winds this last 5 days, so we have once again been moving according to the shelter that each different anchorage had to offer.
Last week we left the beautiful Bay of islands on the north west side and headed over to Bavatu Harbour on the northern end of the island. This is a well protected anchorage surrounded by amazing forest and very high limestone cliffs.
We tucked DT into a shallow lagoon at the southern end and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Top of the agenda was a hike to the lookout. The walk starts at the bottom of a huge staircase (271 steps!) leading up from the nearby boat jetty. It crosses farm land, copra plantations and paddocks to finally reach the lookout, and gave us a stunning view back towards the Bay of Islands.
The next day we took advantage of light winds and motored around to Lomolomo on the SE side of the island. We needed to get a few provisions, and knew from our road trip two weeks ago that there was a store here.
We dropped anchor in front of the village and took Dave to shore. We managed to get most of the items we needed and then along with the crews from 3 other yachts, we popped to the local gas station for some fuel – island style. 😎
The next day we travelled the short 5 miles across to Susui village at the southern end of the island, which is where we will be until the end of this week. We have been made very welcome here and the villagers are incredibly friendly.
Soon after arrival, we presented our kava as part of the traditional Sevusevu ceremony and were welcomed to the village by the chief. We were then given a tour of the village and the school . The afternoon ended with us being given fresh drinking coconuts and sitting chatting to the ladies, who were drying and rolling pandanus leaves to weave into mats.
On Sunday , all five yachts were invited by Jacob, (the chiefs right -hand man) to have lunch with his family after they got back from church.
The local village is well known for its fishing, so there was a lot of seafood, but also plenty of local veggies including baked breadfruit, Taro, seaweed and cassava leaf. It was absolutely delicious and we had a really relaxed afternoon.
Today was ‘shopping’ day. This meant that we went into the village to buy local fruit and veggies that we had ‘ordered’ with the ladies a few days before.
(Basically, we had said we would buy any fruit and veg they could offer us 😀)
We managed to get baked breadfruit, fresh breadfruit, 2 types of bananas (cooking and fresh), paw paw, limes, pumpkin and a huge pile of aubergines. We also got some bread, fresh from the oven.
Considering we were warned that supplies would be limited here, we seem to be doing ok so far. 😊