Sunday, 4 November 2012

Anchored in paradise

We have been in many paradise places on our trip so far, but now for the first time we have it all to ourselves. In Tonga we were often sharing anchorages with other boats, and in Vanuatu and Solomon so far we have usually anchored by villages. Naturally good anchorages and bays are where people live, so we have never really had an anchorage in total privacy until now. We're in Marovo lagoon in the Western Province. It's supposedly one of the biggest lagoons in the world and it has been proposed for a world heritage listing (but put on hold until the plundering of the land is done!!!). Actually it's made up of several lagoons in succession of each other.

Back to Honiara: we spent two nights there, my parents in a air-con hotel and my dad got well again. The doctor told him the best thing to drink is green coconuts, which I had already tried to tell him. He's not super keen on the taste, but he did drink some. He has now worked out it tastes a lot better with a bit of rum and a splash of lime in it. We plunged my parents into the deep end and did a 26 hour passage directly up to the Western Province, skipping Russel Islands on the way. Luckily it was a most pleasant trip, hardly any roll and only light winds and no wind overnight so we had to motor.

We stayed a few nights at Mbili where we were approached by about six different dugout canoes, some with several people in them, all wanting to show us their carvings. Marovo lagoon is knows to have a lot of skilled carvers and to be a good place to acquire carvings. It's often one of the only ways for the locals to make money. Anyway, we already got a few in Roderick Bay, and we don't have much room for carvings, so it was a bit limited what we could buy, yet we still ended up with a several more, but unfortunately we had to turn down a bunch. We were still happy to be shown all the beautiful carvings and admire their great work. It was also a beautiful bay, but unfortunately there are crocodiles in the area, so we couldn't snorkel, but we did hang off the ladder on Sophia once in a while to cool down a bit.

Now we're anchored by Kokoana Passage a little further north at place called Sarumara anchorage. It's on the outer edge of the lagoon, so there is only a thin strip of land and therefore no village and therefore no dugout canoes visiting. It's nice to meet the locals and trade veggies and fruit etc, but sometimes it's also nice not to have a constant stream of visitors. We haven't seen any other yachts since Honiara, so we have it all to ourselves. Yesterday we even had a bit of a breeze (but still protected from chop) to help cool us down, make it even more perfect. We also spend A LOT of the time in the water cooling off.

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