May June would bring some long periods of stable
and enjoyable weather with light and constant winds,
clear skies, etc...
So far it has been the opposite. Beating to Anuta,
nights were starry and clear of squalls but this soon
changed after we dropped the crew off on Anuta and since
the weather has been atrocious with bucketing rains
and lightning storms, similar to the weather on Taumako.
Being further south, the windspeeds are higher but it
does not prevent the 180deg shifts with squalls, which
make a night at anchor spent awake, minding my mooring buoy
bashing on the hull! The horrific description of Peter
Whitelaw, skipper of Vanuatu charter boat Margarita two
years ago came true: peach darkness to the point one can't
even see the island so close. Margarita ended up on the
reef while attempting escape in a similar squall. So far,
the mooring-anchor system has held together.
This morning, after a 4 hours morning sleep in to the
sounds of a dance festival on the island, managed to
assemble kayak together to go and introduce myself,
and pay my respects to chief Edward with Patrick
staying onboard KUNA to mind the boat.The island HF
email system having broken down, they were unaware
of my arrival. I was welcome by about 30 pikininis
on the beach, all grabbing my hand to take me to
the chief's hut.
Crawling on all fours into a dark coconut hut with
a tiny door, I prosterned in sign of respect and
lifted my head for a nose-kiss!!! Then here I was
chatting away half in pidgin half in english with
two chiefs, eating some taro pudding prepared for
the festival. The chief gave me neckless and
banana fiber hat that they had prepared, expecting
my visit! I apologized for missing the event, being
too tired from anchor watch to come across in time.
Chatting away took 3 hours and it took me even more
to go back to KUNA as all on the beach questioned
my story too!
Hoping for the winds to drop to have more relaxed time
on the island