Posted by: procamnz | October 12, 2008

Blue Lagoon to Sawa-I-Lau

The Northern Pass of Blue Lagoon

Our ideas of buzzing around Blue Lagoon in the dinghy were thwarted after an aborted, wet, dangerous and wild trip because it was so windy and the seas were rough. We were definitely safer and more comfortable on the yacht.

On hearing Tuesday’s weather forecast we decided that we could be stuck for days if we didn’t made a move. So we sailed north of Blue Lagoon, through the winding pass and out to the Western shores of the Yasawa’s. We had a fast, but pleasant sail to Malakati on Nacula island. The anchorage has good holding albeit very gust as the wind whips over the top of the steep hills and slikes down to the bay, gathering momentum as it does. We dropped anchor in beautiful clear water and then went to shore to the village where we needed to present Sevusevu (gifts, including kava) to the chief and his entourage. We are getting used tothis custom now and are not as embarrassed as we used to be. Once Sevusevu is accepted, we have free run of the village and may take photos. The next two photos were taken while the people of the village were building a new house with flax and wood.

Thatching the house

The completed house

While wandering around the village we managed to get some snaps of other houses including the Chief’s house which apart from a small bedding area was completely empty.

Some of the village homes

The chiefs house

It was while walking that we met Setimile who is the village kindergarten teacher. We traded a few bits and pieces and she asked us to return the following morning to meet her children. After yet another sleepless night we returned to the village and visited the kindergarten. The children performed a Meke for us (singing and dancing). These 3-5 year olds were delightful. But there is so little money in the villages for any toys etc and so much empasis is placed on rote learning and visual recall. We had a lot of fun as the children delighted in having their photo taken and then rushing round to see themselves on the screen. We promised to print the photos and send them to the kindergarten.
As the forecast was for lighter winds and our next stop was known to be uncomfortable in strong winds, we headed to the northern most island of Yasawa. Our destination was Sawa-I-Lau which is famous for the huge limestone caves.

Nabukeru Village Sawa-I-Lau

We visited the village of Nabukeru to present Sevusevu and after this met a very pleasant lady, Vaseti who welcomed us in to her home. She was making a huge flax mat for the house. These need replacing every year and are made in the lady’s spare time. Vaseti was being helped by her mother-in-law, Louisa.

Vaseti, Mary & Louisa

Making the mat

With great amusement they showed me how the weaving is done and the process for dying the colours in to the fibre. The preparation of the flax is very involved and time consuming. Once again we were asked to take photos and print them on our computer. It seems well known that all (ha ha) yachts have these gadgets. We said we would do them that night and bring them back in the morning before visiting the caves. We were told that 8AM would be a good time to return only to find that breakfast had been prepared for us to have with the family. The village paster was there too. Our breakfast consisted of tea and boiled taro and we felt very privileged to be part of it.

Sunset at Sawa-I-Lau

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