September 12, 2014 Fulunga Harvest

Still at anchor in the beautiful Fulunga lagoon.  We’ve moved over to the “Sandspit” anchorage.  There are a few other sailboats in here with us, and we had bonfire on the beach under the full moon.  Toward the end of the night we were throwing dead palm fronds on the fire and the flames were huge!

We had a good snorkel today, in the crystal clear waters of the outer lagoon.  We found giant clams the size of toilets.  I dove down and stuck my arm in one, but it didn’t trap me like in the movies.  They just close a little bit…  We saw some little yellow fish that looked like the submarine on the cover of the Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album.  And we also saw a few huge meaty sharks, which freaked us out!  They were cruising in and out of caves and checking us out.

Tonight we hunted for the giant coconut crabs on the spit with our friends Michael & Sophie.  It was a serious bushwhack and we managed to find four of the beasts, in the trees and on the rocks.  Once we put them in the bucket they began tearing each other to pieces, so we had to separate them!  We’ve been getting into the wild harvest here in Fiji–sunset dinner tonight was linguine pasta with cockles in a white wine sauce.  We collected the cockles from the sandspit.  All you have to do is rake your hands through the sand like a grizzly bear claw and they come up to the surface by the thousands.  We soaked them in a bucket of seawater for a day and watched as they moved around (really weird) and blew water out of their valves.  They are delicious in garlic and olive oil!

Our host family rowed out to the boat the other day and gifted us the most delicious coconuts a great stalk of bananas, which is now hanging from the arch on the back of the boat.  They’re ripening nicely in the sun!  They also tried to give us a bit of sea turtle meat–the poor fellow was hacked up into pieces and lying in a bloody pile of flippers and tendons, sloshing around in the bottom of their boat.  There is a moratorium on turtle harvesting here in Fiji, but it is ignored for lack of understanding the reasons for it.  It would be hard for the villagers to see the point, because the turtles are everywhere in Fulunga!  We insisted that they keep the meat for themselves…

We’re meeting many great cruisers here.  Several boats have people our age, and several more have families of kids who have crossed oceans since they were born.  The kids do Steiner home school each day and get together to go wake-boarding and exploring in the afternoons, and are having a blast (obviously!)  The parents are pretty inspiring.  Yesterday we visited a sailboat and I saw a picture of a boat on the bulkhead that reminded me of Pine Island.  I told him we had a boat like that on the St Lawrence River.  It turns out that the guy grew up on Wellesley Island in a cottage that looks directly out onto the head of Pine Island!  Hard to believe that we come all the way to Fulunga, and meet a fellow River Rat!

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