Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Maskelyne Islands, Malekula

Maskelyne Islands, Malekula (9/8 - 9/12)

We really enjoyed the SW corner anchorage in the Maskelyne Islands.  The anchorage was calm and the scenery that surrounded us was beautiful; with green hills stretching down to white sandy beaches, patches of mangroves reaching out to the blue-green sea and coral poking up from beneath the waters.  The anchorage was crowded, so it was tough finding a good spot, but it also meant new faces and new friends.

Locals rowed and sailed their outrigger canoes across the bay to their gardens.  Usually their trip would include a round threw the fleet, checking out the boats, and trying to sale (or trade) various goods, such as fresh vegetables and large shells.  Most were friendly and wanted to talk, but few spoke good English, so the conversations were short.  At first the locals and canoes added to the ambience of the anchorage, but after a few days, the non-ending visits and attempts to make a buck got a bit tiring.

On Saturday (the 9th), we walked the south west beach collecting 'magic rocks' and shells, saying hello to the few locals that we came across.  (The magic rock story was posted in our 9/11 Blog, for the excerpt on magic rocks click here).  We also came across a few 'real' sand drawings.  We ventured inland on our return, enjoying the density and intense greens that surrounded us, and nearly getting lost!

Sunday was MJ's birthday, which we celebrated with pizza and cake for lunch, and fish, drinks, cards, and cake for dinner.

Monday marked 1,000 days of cruising for Chris and I.  Something we only know because I've never bothered to re-program my watch.  It is kind of fun to be able to see exactly how many days we've been out!  Chris and John did a bit of dinghy fish, with no luck, while I kayaked around one of the small islands.  When I returned from kayaking, a few kids were rowing in their canoes, and stopped to visit.  I sat on the swim step, while one of the young girls tried out the kayak ... she and her brother couldn't stop laughing.  Later Chris and I went ashore to say hello to one of the men that had stopped by Billabong a couple of days earlier.  That evening Island Sonata had EVERYONE over for a 1000 day out party (any excuse for a party around here!).  There were 18 of us aboard Island Sonata, but it never felt overly crowded (the good thing about a catamaran!).

We spent most of Tuesday just relaxing, with Chris making holding one of his fishing lure 'seminars' with Wandering Star in the morning.

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