Waterfall Bay became a no-anchor zone when we woke up and were sloshing around like we were stuck in a top loader washing machine. Goodbyeeeee, goodbyeeee… We sailed for Lolteng, further up the coast – evil Pandion overtook us with all their sails up. They looked pretty terrific.
Loltong was vastly more sheltered than our previous anchorage – we were getting very strong winds shooting down from the surrounding hills, but the water was pretty flat. A relief.
Ashore we met Matthew and Marie who are in charge of the yacht club – or the resuscitation of the yacht club, because it was mostly a pile of bamboo, wood and woven walls. While we were there Matthew burnt all the crud that remained and by the time we left there were neat piles of all the stuff that could be re-purposed/re-used and the concrete slab was swept.
Almost all the villages we have been to are beautiful in some way, but this one was a bit heartstopping – the ground undulated and walking tracks curved – little huts were standing on top of small rocky outcrops. The nakamal was huge – and full of bags of rice.
Walking into someone else’s village used to feel quite intimidating – but (and it’s obviously perfectly obvious) if you are happy to say hello and meet everyone, they are equally happy to meet you. Everyone at Loltong made us feel welcome…
I’m always interested in how villages access the most important necessity – water. The majority we’ve been to recently are lucky enough to have freshwater springs up in the hills that can be piped down to a few taps for everyone to use. This is the case at Lolton – and we were able to use a tap just behind the yacht club site to fill up our jerry cans – a lot of laundry was done – in amongst the rain-showers. The weather is grey and erratic.
A highlight was watching a kastom dance done by most of the women in the village; they sang, while three or four men drummed and did a kind of call and response song. This was in preparation for a big occasion that was happening three or four days later involving many villages.
Both ourselves and our adventuring companions spent time snorkelling – looking for things that had blown off our boats in the strong gusts – buckets, wetsuit… I spent an hour or two scraping the bottom of our boat where there is no antifoul – and in doing so increased our boat speed by about a knot.
M has not been swimming for about a month because he wants his sea-ulcer to completely heal – although this doesn’t seem to stop him from scouting out good surf spots… Although it doesn’t look like it in the photo, Small DB’s ulcer is now healing very well.