'Twas the night before Yacht Festival
15 July 2012 | Rodrick Bay
Today, Sunday, has been a real downpour for most of the day. It looked like we would have some nice weather when we went to church this morning. Then we went ashore this afternoon and sat with our friends in their new "round house" seating area which was built from scratch by everyone's hands for the first ever Roderick Bay Yacht Festival. They spent last night decorating it with palm frond arches, long palm strand fringes, and tomorrow they'll add flowers. The cool part is that on Sundays everyone is just content to sit around and visit all day if you want. They simply stop everything and just hang out with you. We sang songs, played fetch with Dulce, played with Coco the puppy, and weaved simple headbands and a collar for Coco for fun. I handed out a half dozen toy helicopters and airplanes when the crowd thinned out, and the kids were so happy to have a fancy toy! It was cute to see them playing.
Hopefully the weather is changing as the wind shifted and that caused a lot of consternation in the anchoring situation tonight. There are 8 boats here, 5 of them American flagged, which is very unusual, and 5 of us are stern tied to shore with our anchors are out in the deep off the reef drop off. When the wind changed it blew the boat behind us over onto our stern line, so Allen had to get in the skiff and take out another anchor to pull us towards the reef off of our port side, which sounds rather strange to want to be closer to a reef! But it was taking the pressure off of the stern line tied to a giant tree ashore. So a bunch of the local guys came out to check on us as they were getting ready to go out spear fishing in the night. They usually borrow a bunch of snorkel gear and fins, so I told them when they were done to come by for some hot tea. Little did I know that would be 11pm, so they just left and we were joking that I'd had the ladies out for an 11AM tea party last month and the men finally came for their tea party at 11PM. They also gave us a nice squid, a pile of fish, and a slipper lobster! YUM. They gobbled down a loaf of banana bread and some tea, then had to paddle back to the ladies who are waiting ashore to cook all the fish! These people never seem to rest, or sleep for that matter! I joke to the chief's wife that she spends so much time at her garden because she must be sleeping there! It's amazing.
They have been practicing every night for the "custom dancing and music" show for the festival and they start at 10 or 11pm and go until 3 or 4am! Needless to say we must wear earplugs, but how can anyone possibly complain when they are practicing for us?! It's going to be one memorable event! The chief and his wife had to rebuild their house this spring after a cyclone and tsunami, and now they have moved out so that they can host the travel and tourism board. They actually modified the house into two bedrooms even! Their generosity and hospitality is so refreshing.
So, there will be more to report in the coming days, hopefully sunny ones! The rain actually makes me homesick for Seattle!