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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Savu Savu, Fiji (FINALLY!) Sept 17, Monday, Ginger

We arrived in Savu Savu and picked up a mooring at 10:30 this morning. We saw our friends from Paddy West's anchored 5 miles from the harbour but may be too late to catch them here as they're on their way west. It is great to be here after an incredibly rough passage. Even Peter had to lay off solid food for about 24 hours as it was so rough. We experienced large confused seas and only moderate winds punctuated by a few accidental jibes caused by the difficult wave/wind vane combination. It was
great to get inside the reef for the last 150 miles of our trip. We have cleared in, gone to the bank to get money, had lunch and a pitcher of beer (we've been out for a couple of weeks) and back to the boat for a much needed nap.
To recap our time in Niuatoputapu it was very social and rewarding. What a surprise to go ashore and see more pigs and horses than people! The photographer (Ginger) couldn't take enough pictures of them, Peter couldn't stop visualizing the little piggies with an apple in their mouth. We hiked the ridge with 10 members of the local yachtie host family Sia and Niko. It was a great opportunity to get to know some of the kids and Niko's sisters who came too. We baked 4 chocolate cakes and 1 banana
cake and left cocoa powder, flour, sugar and recipes ashore as the supply ship isn't expected for another couple of weeks. We enjoyed a pig roast put on for the yachts by Sia's family specifically at Peter's request. After the pig roast we attended the weekly "Kava night" at the local Weslyian church hall rented by the catholic church as a fundraiser. Though local women don't drink kava here, they serve it, all of the yachties were invited to sit in kava circles and taste the drink as guests.
It looks like dirty dish water and we thought it had a chalky texture and a light peppermint flavor. It made our mouths tingle and gave Ginger a headache. Fortunately the virgins don't masticate and spit to make kava here, that's further west in Vanuatu. Here they just wring out the root and the unmarried but out of high school women serve the men. It seems that it could be a way to meet a husband but the men were older and the women were bored. There are reportedly 14 churches on the island.
That's one church for every 100 people. We thoroughly enjoyed a Sunday service at the Catholic church with Sia and her family. We've heard people talk about the singing in church but had not experienced the entire congregation singing as if they were a trained choir. It was a fantastic experience thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. We walked a white sand beach on the windward side of the island where an old ship wreck was partially buried in the sand. We even found time to read some books and
rest. The anchorage was protected and calm and though the visibility wasn't good in the water the swimming was pleasant. We took school art supplies to a primary school in the main village and were rewarded by two students riding their bicycles part way back to the anchorage with us. The following week we met their father, the local policeman and a farmer, who asked if we had flour. His family was out and he wanted to cook breakfast and school lunches for their children. As the baker had been
out of flour for our entire visit there was no bread available on the island. We gave the policeman the rest of our flour and in return he gave us some coconuts and papayas. We were able to leave photos of the kids from the prior week. Upon departure we were given a traditional belt by Niko's sisters and a woven mat commemorating our stay from Sia.
The change from quiet Niuatoputapu to the bustling town of Savu Savu is striking. Our lunch today included "Thai curry"! That's something we haven't seen for quite a while. There are many cars ashore and people bustling everywhere. The services offered here in the bay include several grocery stores, restaurants, resorts, gas stations, vegetable market and most importantly showers! We can report that the local beer on tap is very good so it should be a great 6 weeks here in Fiji!

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