Friday, 19 October 2012

Antoher passage and something about crocodiles

We stayed 3 nights in Graciosa Bay on Santa Cruz. It was just so nice to be at an comfortable (ie, non-rolly) anchorage and just chill out. We had a fun day in Lata checking in and getting a few things. So far our experiences with officials and bureaucrats in Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon have only been very pleasant and we even enjoy the experience and chat with the nice people and it hasn't taken us longer than half a day at the most at times.

At Shaw Point where we were anchored is a rural agricultural college where young kids are taught agriculture, mechanics and carpentry. It's run by a church and about 30 students are enrolled all from around the Santa Cruz region. We were shown around by Michael, one of the priests (not sure if he used that exact word) after spending half an afternoon with him and his family, including a 2 1/2 month old super cute chubby baby girl. So far Solomon people are just as friendly as the super friendly Vanuatu people. Back to the school, unfortunately when one of the teachers left last year, he took with him all the carpentry tools. There are no funds to buy new tools, it will take several years to raise the money. This means the carpentry class is all theory, which understandable is quite frustrating for both the teacher and the students. If any cruisers come by here, any wood working tools would be much appreciated.

The last night a big cat from New Caledonia came into the anchorage. It's the first other yacht we have seen since Peterson Bay, so we were excited to see them. It was a big group of Germans that had chartered the cat from Port Vila and up to Santa Cruz to visit some of the very remote and very seldom visited islands around there. It was actually because of them that the two customs and immigration officials were in town. They kindly invited us to stay for their dinner, a lovely mahi mahi, yummy.

We have now done the 200 miles passage from Santa Cruz to Santa Ana, which is at the bottom SE corner of the main Solomon Island group. It is actually even a little bit south of Santa Cruz! It's another lovely anchorage, big bay sheltered by two fringing reefs, charming village with lots of happy kids, a big freshwater lake in the middle of the island where we had a nice swim, and best of all: no crocodiles (yay). Yes, since northern Vanuatu, we're now in crocodile territory, the dangerous saltwater kinds. Luckily they are not everywhere, but mainly where there are rivers and mangroves.
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