25 September 2014 | 13 43.530'S:167 29.348'E
Our cruising guide has no information for Tivitwut but since Lytlewut is the next village over and we had some coordinates we headed there. We stood off for a bit assessing the entry and what we could see of the anchorage and as soon as we made the decision to head in, we spotted a fellow seated on a paddleboard heading our direction. He said we’d be much better anchored at Tivitwut and to follow him so we did. Cliff (our new friend) paddled across the 1/2 mile or so like a rocket with us in plodding pursuit.
No sooner were we anchored close to shore in more beautiful black sand, when he came to the boat and wanted to know how soon we’d be ashore. The village was anxiously waiting to perform their welcome ceremony. Within the hour we’d launched the inflatable kayak, were on the beach with garlands around our necks, enjoying their singing and watching the young boys wrapped in vines doing a dance for us. They swept us up so fast that I didn’t even have time to get the camera out!
Tivitwut is a village of about 12 people, that sees very few yachts. The letter we’d come to deliver was for a family member who we discovered was currently living on Moto Lava which is a several sailing hours away. After safely tucking it away for her return later in July, we were invited to return for a meal that evening. That meal turned into many meals, weaving lessons, sewing machine repairs (Brad’s specialty), walks to the other villages, lots of laughter, having my very short hair braided again and again until my scalp screamed and charging more cell phones on board than you can imagine.
They kept us well stocked with passion fruit, papayas, island cabbage which are large leaves that grow off a stalk, yams and snake beans. We reciprocated with, pencils, paper, clothes, fishing line, hooks, batteries, etc. and shared music from our Ipod. Most everyone has a cell phone that they use for texting and listening to music. We still laugh when we’re walking out in the bush and come across someone with a bag of coconuts over their shoulder talking on the phone.
We stayed for at least a week and every day I expected to see King Kong emerge from the clouds hovering over the lush green mountain behind the village. He never materialized but the clouds did disappear at one point and the view was spectacular.
Having gotten permission to visit the Reef Islands just to the NE and with the weather forecast predicting almost dead calm we said our goodbyes and prepared to move on. It’s hard to explain how difficult it is for both sides to say goodbye even after such a short time.