Thursday, Sept 22
Of the days that we’ve spent here, two of them have been pissing rain – blecccchhh! On one of them we spent the morning snorkelling off the reef one village over. Napoleon and Nick, captain and divemaster, took five of us out in an aluminum runabout and we floated back along with a very strong current (I couldn’t have swum against it) towards Navua.
For the first little bit the coral was only about five feet beneath us, but then we reached a drop off that Nick said was about 15 meters deep, although the water was so clear it didn’t seem anything like that deep. We saw an enormous spotted cowrie shell, a gorgeous lion fish, many blue starfish and a myriad of parrotfish, pufferfish and clown fish (Nemos). Since the day was dark, the colours underwater were not as brilliant as they might have been but it was still really great.
At dinner we were joined by Veronica and a lovely Irish couple Mel and Anthony who are also on a trip around the world for a year.
Yesterday, the day dawned bright with white fluffy cumulous clouds floating across the heavens. As usual, the pack of insanely chattering mynah birds overhead woke us at 6 am; these flying beasts hang around on a line outside our room and climb all over our water heater emitting very loud songs and shrieks. In our bathroom we watched a tiny male spider inch carefully and slowly towards a very large female, hopeful of a quick shag before being eaten alive. After a minimalist breakfast of toast and a banana, and copious cups of strong brewed coffee (yay!), Ty and I headed out down the beach west past the next two villages along. We saw several villagers fishing with hand lines in the very shallow water, five village children fooling around on the beach, and quite a few largish spotted crabs, as well as what looked like a small sea cucumber.
Back at the Beachouse, we spent the afternoon lounging in hammocks, reading, shell collecting, and taking afternoon tea and scones before a four pm volleyball game with a cast of thousands (well, seven people a side anyway). As the sun set, we watched the horseback riders return along the beach from their trek and the resident dogs frolic and attempt to catch fish in the water.