30 August 2017
Edward and the grave of William Masters.
This is a rather unique island and the rule is whoever greets you first is your host for your entire stay. Edward, the local policeman was our host and we would be his for our stay. With the weather that was headed our way, it would be at least a week. Edwards bought out the island Administrator, Arthur, who managed Health, Immigration, and Customs. Given that the weather can change and make this anchorage untenable at times, he started our clearance procedure so we could pick up the paper tomorrow to leave immediately if we needed to. The next day we had recovered with some good sleep and got ready to go ashore. We cannot take our dinghies in but, after going though the reef in Edwards’s tinnie, we had no wish to take our dinghy anywhere. Edward was available to pick us up and drop us off at the boat whenever we wanted. But, being mindful of the limited resources of this island, we arranged with the other cruisers when we went ashore. Edward took us on the grand island tour and his family fed us lunch. In fact, we were fed lunch everyday we went ashore. The island people are incredibly generous with what little they have. 51 people live on this island and all but the nurse and teachers are descendants of the original settler of the island, William Marsters and one of his 3 wives. The 3 families appoint members to an island council to run this island for the benefit of all. The crown ceded ownership of the island to the Marsters in 1954 and they continue to live here, earning some money from exporting fish and some foreign aid. It was good to see that all the money we paid in fees actually stayed on the island.