July 3, 2005

We left Robinson’s Bay and went a very long way of 8 miles to Kivikivi Lagoon off the island of Pana Kuba in the Louisades. It is a like a mini-atoll within the bigger atoll of the Clavados Chain. No village and blue blue water. A catamaran from Australia pulled in and Jonah was thrilled to see two kids on board. The boat “Ball Bearing” is skippered by Peter Hooke. His lovely wife is Riza and the kids are Lanial and Jo, two adorable girls. They played together pretty well although Jonah could not resist pulling their hair which I guess makes him a completely normal 8 year old boy. Jo is only 5 years old and it pleased me to have to see Jonah deal with someone who cries when they lose a game. We took them to the beach together a couple of times and they had fun. I found a lovely Nautilus shell on the beach in perfect condition! We had them all over for a potluck and it was a lot of fun. Riza made delicious spring rolls and ceviche. Jordan made curry pumpkin soup and fish (Barracuda that Jonah and Jordan caught fishing in the morning) served with his sourdough bread. All was washed down with rum. We hope to run into the lovely crew of “Ball Bearing” in Australia as they are headed back home. They are headed east in the Louisades to get a better angle for Mackay. We are heading southwest to the Duchateu Islands and will leave for Cairns from there.

We snorkeled the outside reef and it was lovely. We saw a group of 19 huge (3 feet long) humpheaded Parrot fish. I have never seen so many and so big. The coral was lovely. The wind picked up and since it is a rolly anchorage we decided to leave. We did another brutal (ha!ha!) long passage of 4 miles to Bagaman Bay. On lifting the anchor, we broke the chain pipe off the windlass – actually the bolts sheared off. Minor problem as the chain started freewheeling instantly. We managed to get it up and dropped it with a bit of diffiuculty. I think we are just going to wait to fix it as we only have two more anchorages before leaving. Fixing it would meaning unbolting the entire windlass – a big hassle.

The people here at Bagaman are very demanding in trading as they have been spoiled by Australians boats who come up here packed full of stuff and provisioned to the gills. We are low on everything and have already given all our old stuff away at various places over the last 6 months. At KiviKivi, a canoe came and we chatted till they finally came around to asking if I wanted bananas or drinking nuts. The bananas looked terrible so I said I would take the drinking nuts. I got two fish hooks and gave it to them. She gave me only one drinking nut! The “chief” of the village here (15 people) came and brought us 2 drinking nuts and a papaya and asked us for pretty much everything under the sun – flour, sugar, fish hooks. We told we have nothing left to trade but he seemed not to believe us. Anyway for two nuts and a papaya, I gave a newspaper I bought it in Misima. They hand roll cigarettes in them and maybe read them.

Tomorrow we leave to go to the bay next door which is apparently prettier. The only down side is a village right in front of the anchorage and I am getting a bit tired of the village scene. I guess I am ready for Australia and civilization. Of course I am dreading it a bit because it means the end of the way of life we have been living for 2.5 years but it is time.