Thursday, July 21, 2005

Rabi and Also Islands

Location: Dalice Bay, Also Island
Position: 16°13.22' S 179°50.15' E
Next Dest: Heading West on the North side of Vanua Levu

Also Island

Albert's Cove Rabi Island

We moved on to Albert's Cove on Rabi (pronounced Rambi) Island the next
morning. Shadowfax scored by hooking up a large Mahi Mahi, which they
were generous enough to share with us. Chris and Karl went to shore to
say hello to the locals who piled them up with Papayas. It still amazes
me how generous islanders are - they give so much (especially for people
who have so little). That evening it was another feast aboard Billabong
as we enjoyed some spicy fish curry and continued in our Chinese
Checkers tournament (which had begun the previous night).
The following day (14th) we all went ashore to visit with the local
family and present a few gifts as thank-you's for the Papayas. In
return they prepared a fermented Coconut juice drink for us (called
Toddy). After one bowl, Julie and I left the rest for the boys to
finish up! We followed the Toddy with a walk along Albert's perfect
white sand beach.

On the 15th we walked the supposedly "easy" trail (easy per the locals
standards) over to Smiley bay. It was a dense trail, and there wasn't
much to Smiley Bay, but the adventure was fun none-the-less.
We didn't do too much the next two days, just enjoyed the sun, water,
and beaches and of course played a lot of Chinese checkers. Chris did a
bit of fishing from the dinghy and snagged a pretty good size Barracuda.
We shared half with the local family and then split the other half with
Shadowfax. Surprisingly Barracuda is good eatin'!
On Monday (the 18th) we moved on to Dalice Bay off of "Also Island" (on
the north side of Vanua Levu). We are truly enjoying the unique
experiences of this Island and Cawara Village.


We spent about 10 days at "Also Island" and Cawaro (pronounced Thawaro)
village, where we were treated like family. "Also Island" is named
after two cruisers who now live on the island. About three years ago
Jim & Kyoko (boat name Also II) came to Cawaro village and fell in love
with the people. They have since started a boat building business and
are working on starting up a copra & coconut product business in order
to bring work (and therefore money) to the local village (Cawaro).
We especially enjoyed the children of Cawaro, spending a full day at
their school, visiting each (and every) class; talking about our
adventures as cruisers, the American people & schools, and getting to
know the (mostly quite shy) children. The children loved hearing about
America, sailing, and of course having their pictures taken!

We also spent quite a bit of time hanging around (and helping where we
could) Also Island. We enjoyed a number of lunches (w/ the workers) and
tea-times (4pm tea and snack before the locals returned to the village).
Between all the visiting (and of course Church on Sunday) we did also
manage to get in a bit of "site seeing", hiking with Lepsy (a local) and
two children … which we desperately needed since it seemed that every
time we turned around someone was offering us food!

It wasn't all fun and games, as a bad weather system came through bringing
with it high winds, lots of rain, and a few sleepless nights.
Finally on Tuesday (July 26th) we went into the village to say our
goodbyes … everyone wanted our addresses and quite a few tears were shed
(it's amazing that we can feel so close to people we just barely met) as
we shook hands and dished out hugs. It was nearly impossible to tear
our hands away from the small children that clinged so tightly!

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