Sunday, August 13, 2017

Queer As A Seven Dollar Bill

I pulled this bill out of my pocket the other day to pay for some eggs in the market. I thought it was a 10 dollar bill. The guy handed it back to show me it was a 7 dollar bill ?????? Turns out that rugby is the sport of Fiji and this bill was minted to celebrate recent great victories. Why 7? Because they actually play Rugby Sevens here, which is:
A variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves
We left Vuda Marina anchorage about a week ago to head up to the main north island of Fiji, Vanua Levu. It was a motoring slog into the wind almost the whole way. We stopped at Yadua Island (pronounced yan-dua). We were told it was a good spot to hunt Nautilus shells. This is a view from hill top looking down on the bay. That’s Georgia, Frandavig and Time Bandit left to right. You can see the large reefs to be threaded on either side of the bays entrance.
Chris needed to do some work, so I headed off with the other boaties to hike to the village to pay our sevusevu respects (more on this in a later blog). It really wasn’t much of a trail and we ended up bushwhacking over the islands hills for near 5 hours. We never actually found the town.
We did some serious high wind beach combing. Here I am bringing my pearl float haul back with me. We use these to float the anchor chain when there are bommies (coral heads) trying to grab it (at least when we remember to).
And here’s Chris pointing at a beautiful but disappointing  beach that gave up no good shells. You really can’t see it here, but the trade winds really blow onshore here, bringing with it lots of flotsam.
We did get in one snorkel when we convinced ourselves that the wind had laid a down a bit – it hadn’t. This is a 10 inch wide oyster of some sort.
This caught Chris’ eye as we swam over it. It looks like some white coral, but it is actually a pulsating bloom of some kind, each little flower is continuously opening and closing. A video would be a lot more interesting.
We spent 3 days sitting out howling winds in Yadua. Then headed out to continue the slog. We anchored behind this ferry in the open roadstead anchorage in Nabouvalu. We thought it was going to be a rough and rolly night as we headed in, but the moored ferry made for a nice wind and sea break and we had a very comfortable night.
We finally made it to Savusavu. This is Georgia on one of the Copra Shed Marina moorings in the quiet of the narrow protected creek that runs in front of the town.
The entire South Pacific is actively volcanic. The steam you see along the waters edge is from a vent.
Not trying to get political (even though I did read about the Charlottesville alt-right convention), but I saw this picture of the White House (what a dump) remodel they are doing while the Trumpsters are on vacation and thought it was interesting. Hope they don’t forget the gold-plated toilets.

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