Year 5 Day 131 A Work Day
11 June 2012 | Marlin Marina, Cairns, AU
Today it was time to start in earnest attacking the various small boat projects that I have on my list. So far this year we have been fortunate as our boat list has been slow in growing and what is on the list is fairly minor. Two days ago I spent the better part of the day washing and scrubbing the decks. Of all the things that I am responsible for, that is my least favorite. This is because it really does not take much time after being washed before the decks start getting dirty again. Sigh!
The “big” dirty job that highlighted today was taking the dinghy down, removing its floor boards, and scrubbing out the oil and dirt that has accumulated over the last few months. There was a lot of gunky stuff adhering to the floor because the hose fitting to our fuel tank was not securely fitted at one time and fuel had slowly seeped out and spilled onto the floor. The gasoline had evaporated but the oil additive stayed and accumulated a lot of dirt. It was a messy, yucky, thankless job but now it is done and that it one more thing scratched off the boat project list.
After working the better part of the day on boat projects, I decided to put up the shade tarp and hang up the hammock. Ahhhh, now that is what the cruising life is all about. As I gently swung in the hammock, I watched the cute young ladies with their macho men slowly walking up and down the outer quay that is facing our boat. Today was another sunny, beautiful day and that made the viewing that much more enjoyable.
The highlight of our day was, once again, dinner. This time we were joined with the folks from Sea Mist, Kilkea, and Imagine. The eight of us had a grand old time as we returned to the restaurant Sauces. After looking at the menus and prices at a number of other places, we have determined that this is the best place for us cruisers to eat and drink. They have a 1.5 liter jug of cocktails for just $17.50! Once again, Marian brought a couple for 50% off of food and drinks coupons and the 8 of us ended up paying only $141 AU for the meal and drinks. What a deal!!!
During dinner Steward and Dale of Imagine told us their story about attending the Land Diving ceremony on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. Each April the tribe on the island builds a 30 meter high tower out of branches and vines and in May, they perform the Naghol ceremony. This is where they tie vines to their ankles and dive off to smack into the ground in hopes that the vines will break their fall right as they hit the earth. It is a ceremony that began generations ago as a semi-religious ceremony to have the gods bless their yam crops. It is also the origin of the current craze called bungee jumping. However, unlike bungee jumping, the purpose of Land Diving is to actually smack the earth at the base of the tower with your chest or head.
Needless to say, death or permanent injury to the diver is not uncommon. In fact, one of the divers did suffer a significant injury when Steward and Dale were there. They also shared with us that the ceremony is now rather commercialized as the fellow who is in charge of the exhibition will wait until a cruise boat comes in and charges the cruise line company $90,000 for the exhibition. Thus, Steward and Dale watched the ceremony with the small, select group of 2,000+ cruise ship passengers…
All I can say is that I hope some of the money goes to poor divers who get hurt each year.