Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bruce has arrived safely. He got in first thing in the morning after flying most of the night. The taxi driver that drives around all the cruisers picked him up at the airport and brought him straight to the boat, it was great. We left shortly after and actually sailed all the way back to Musket Cove. The wind picked up on the way over and Bruce really enjoyed the sail. When he was at the wheel he would get to talking and then veer ever so slightly off course. His younger brother could not let him be commenting error, error, whenever he was not exactly on course.
Bruce was in Fiji 40 years ago as a student and stayed with a family at a nearby village. He wanted to see if he could find the family and renew his friendship. We set off at high tide today to check out the village. There were 2 villages which are really close to the resort, so the villagers set up a handicraft fair and the resort customers pay to go and view the village and get to buy some handicrafts. After Bruce figured out which of the 2 villages he was at we landed and went to talk to some guys that were watching the tourists get off the resort boats. We told them we wanted to do sevu sevu and after the ceremony was over we were taken on a tour of the village. We discovered that the fellow that Bruce stayed with passed away a few years ago but we managed to see the house he used to live in. Bruce was appalled at the lack of trees on the islands slopes. He said 40 years ago he had to climb to the top of the hill to see out of the jungle now the hills are pretty much bare. Back then all the homes were grass huts, now they are either made out of tin or cement blocks.
This village was the most prosperous one we have been too. I think the resort contributes quite a bit to the village as well as employing a lot of the people. There was evidence of the hurricane damage to the village, very large trees had been uprooted and were lying about the village have chopped down. We were given a tour of the school which looked very well stocked and nicely kept, the classrooms had drawings everywhere, on the blackboard in one class there was a lesson on pollution which I thought was very relevant. We were invited to stay and watch a rugby match that was about to take place. It was the local team against a resort team, it was a big deal with loud music and an announcer. We had to leave because the tide waits for no man and we had snuck through a shallow channel at almost high tide to get there and did not want to try and motor through when the tide was any lower.
We have accomplished one goal that Bruce had in coming now we have to figure out how to catch him a fish. I think we got make his visit to Fiji a raging success if some rather large fish would oblige us and bite on our line. The winds have picked up though and we may find out just how good of a sailor Bruce is if we take him outside the reef to the land of the LARGE fish.

Bruce and Barry on the raft from the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks. The movie was filmed around here and the raft sits on the beach in front of one of the resorts.