Yesterday I was honored to be invited to go out fishing with a few of the locals from a village that is near where we are anchored. I had done a little work there getting a generator running for them that powers the lights in the houses as well as re-wiring a plug for the other generator that they use to power the lights in the church. They had been the dark for a few weeks but are back to seeing at night again. It took me the better part of a day to do the work but it was no big deal, my schedule is pretty open these days. The worst part of it was the one generator that needed the new plug was in a tin shed that was like a sweat box and I spend more time cleaning the sweat off my glasses so I could see what I was doing than fixing the damn plug. But back to the fishing trip - I didn't know what we were going for but brought all my toys including my dive stuff and spear gun as well as my fishing pole and a few lures. I never used the pole but spent most the day ( about 4 hours ) in the water looking for lobsters and shooting fish. The lobsters had moved out or were on vacation because even with local knowledge we only found one of those suckers but we shot about 20 fish that were needed for the weekly Sunday feast. They have to collect and prepare all the food the day before because the Methodist religion they practice doesn't allow for any work or play on Sunday. Sort of a day of rest and time spent with the families and friends. But they sure worked hard on Saturday!!! I had a full wetsuit on but neither of the other divers had anything but shorts and t-shorts and they spent more time in the water than I did. They are animals in the water and it's real obvious that they do this on a regular basis. Their spear guns are home made and everything is pretty crude to our standards but it all works for them. As they shoot the fish which range in size from 8 - 24 inches in length and are mostly reef fish, they attach them to a line they tow behind them. I saw a couple of 6 - 8 ft. sharks cruising the area and just knew one of those guys in the grey suits was going to have me for lunch. But they ended up just slowly swimming away into the darker and deeper water as if they didn't like "White" meat and were afraid of my Fijian dive buddies. I also got to experience how they set their fish nets as we came onto a school of mullet while heading home in the swallows. How they let the net out slowly circling far around the school using push poles to move the boat as the motor would spook the mullet. Then when the net is in place they start the motor and close the net off scaring the fish into the other end. But sometimes, like this time, the fish spook early and find their way out of the trap and all the work is for nothing. But no worry, there will be another day when the mullet will be the losers, besides, we were on Fiji time. They gave me a few of the fish and the one lobster we got and that was dinner for Suzi and I last night.
Today we were invited to the village for church and lunch afterwards. It was great, there were 10 of us cruisers that came and they split all of us so that each local family had a few cruisers and they fed us in separate homes. I went to the home of one of the guys I had dove with yesterday and Suzi ended up at the home of one of the teachers she had met while visiting the school. For Suzi it was only George and his wife and young son but for me it was about 10 of Soki's in-laws. The food was great, prepared in the local fashion and I was treated like a king. A very special meal for sure. After we all had ate we met in the meeting house where I was presented with a handmade Kava bowl as a show of appreciation for the work I had done for the village. It was quite humbling getting such a special gift of such fine workmanship and I will treasure that Kava bowl till the day I die!!!! It has definitely been a couple of special days and leaving this beautiful paradise will be hard for a lot of reasons. But I think we will come back here and I'll look forward to seeing our new found friends again with Sidewinder loaded up with much needed goodies the villagers need but can't get on these outer islands. Like carburetor rebuild kits for the Yamaha outboards they use and maybe a new prop. and books for the school. Or flour, rice and sugar & ect. ect. ect......the list is endless and we will do our best.
Glad to hear Marc is back in the water, nothing like a good surf session to give a guy a new look on life. Not sure if we are leaving tomorrow or the next day. Depends on how the wind and swells treat us. It wasn't pretty out there today and I was glad I did my fishing trip yesterday. It is suppose to lay down a bit tomorrow but we'll see ..... See ya, David