Monday, November 3, 2014

Marau Sound, Solomon Islands 2014

After leaving Honiara for the second time, we attempted to bash our way to Marau Sound at the bottom of Guadalcanal.    We encountered heavier winds in the morning so pulled in to Vulalea which offered only some protection.    Vulalea had a reputation for theft but the winds were so strong that we really didn't see anyone.     We wanted to leave but had to stay for two nights before getting a slight break in the strength of the winds to continue the next 20 or so miles.   The last night, I was sleeping in the cockpit and heard a sound and woke up to two men with machetes helping themselves to our dinghy gas tank, oars, chain, and slashing away at spare ropes hanging off the mast pulpit.   If I hadn't woke up they would have continued on to the aft and got a lot more stuff.    They jumped back in their kanu but as I walked around the deck, I could hear, but not see, them laughing in the dark.   It was too creepy so I woke Jim up and we upped anchor to get out of there.    

Our reward was arriving in Marau Sound which is a beautiful place.    We anchored off Tavinapupu Resort for a couple of days and once again were visited by the locals selling wood and shell carvings and some shell jewelry.   

Joseph lives on the Island next to the resort.     Besides selling us his carvings he invited us for a visit to his village.

We had met Brian in Honiara.   He's a gifted diver and has crewed on several yachts helping single handers get their boats back to Australia and New Zealand.  He also spent a lot of time helping one man find and map out where many of the ships that were lost in the fierce battles in WWII and can act as a guide/guard/dive buddy.  Wish we had realized this while still in Honiara.   As luck would have it he had an old dinghy fuel can with hook up that fit ours so we bought it from him.

Since the SE winds were building this time of year (June) and would only get stronger as time went on, weather called the shots.  Jim checked the grib files and we had a break with less intense winds so we took advantage of it and made for San Cristobal where we stopped briefly for fuel.    After lugging several very expensive jerry jugs of diesel aboard, we again checked the grib files and saw that we had about a 3 day window to get to the Santa Cruz group in the far eastern portion of the Solomons.     We had to take it so left that minute and made our way to Graciosa Bay in Nddende.

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