Saturday, August 4, 2012

Suzi (from the same spot)

We are half-way down the eastern side of Vanuabalvu and are surrounded by cliffs, jungle trees and way up high, some pine trees. Here in Little Bay, the water is greenish, due to the mangroves which also grow along the sides. In order to enter this bay, we had to motor through a fairly small cut, between high cliffs and reefs which extend out, not something one should do in poor light. Further in, there is another, more narrow cut through some high walls and then it opens up and extends quite a ways back. The story is that seaplanes landed back there during WWII, trying to protect the Fijians from being taken over by the Japanese. I will find out more info and let you know. We ventured back there in our dinghies and kayaks, but it was a bit shallow to really go all the way back. As I did some stand-up paddling back, against the current and the wind, I truly felt like I was in a different world. It was like a huge lake, surrounded by mangroves and then, as I got closer to the passage back to the boats, I felt like I was somewhere in the Sierra mountains, going up a river valley, surrounded by huge cliffs with pine trees at the top of the jungle canopy. It was splendid and tough going through the most narrow part, fighting the current and wind; such a great workout! There is a beautiful little beach right off of our starboard side, with palm trees and white sand. The care-taker, Ruben, from the estate around the corner, came to greet us and showed us how to shuck the coconuts properly; he also climbed a coconut tree and brought down some sweet green coconuts for the delicious natural juice. We will go visit him on the estate when the weather gets better tomorrow, we hope; he has a horse I am welcomed to ride. YIPPEE !  

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