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Peava Swinging Tree and Thumb Woes

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Cowabunga! Michael leaps off the branch, holding tightly to the stiff rope and suddenly lets go, landing with a splash!

This place has the most awesome tree we’ve ever seen. Its sturdy branches reach out over the water and offer some great spots for rope swinging and cannonballs! It is the perfect playground - and it even has shade! Over and over Michael climbs along the trunk and thick branches to dare himself to leap again. Eventually, he even tries a front flip off one of the outer jumping spots! Belly flops and face plants can’t deter him - he’s a boy with adrenaline streaming through his veins!

The tree is alive with action. Kids climb to the tallest branches, calling out from way above my head and I squint in the sunlight to spot them among the highest leaves. Then, in an instant, they’re falling through the air and SPLASH! they disappear underwater. When they emerge, we cheer, and up they go again for their next daring feat. Some of the kids are real showmen, waiting patiently…

Carving Meccaa

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Our time in the Western Province began in the nice little harbor of Peava, just southeast of Morovo. It was an overnight passage from Tulaghi, with a morning arrival into the narrow pass and the sun slightly behind us. The village greeter came paddling out in his canoe to ensure we anchored in an acceptable spot, and after a little chat, we politely let him know that we needed some time to rest.

Later in the afternoon, we all went ashore to introduce ourselves and meet others in the village. Barry stood up from his carving work to say hello. Ronnie told us about the area and about his family, and we continued a long conversation about the Solomon Islands’ history, the effects of logging on the reefs, and somehow Trump even got some air time! It seems his tweets even get here.

This particular island’s masterful carvings are known worldwide as well.  In fact, the “Barry” that I met that first day is actually a carver who is written about in numerous cruising and tourism guides. Even Ro…

Tulaghi Harbor Foxholes

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There is a rich history here in Tulaghi Harbor in the Florida Islands of the Solomons. This was the site of the first battles of WWII in the Pacific. The Japanese had stationed themselves here until the US Navy came and took over, searching out every last Japanese soldier. The first day we’re anchored here, we hike past a crocodile trap and up through a deep cut that was hacked out of a mountain by prisoners using pickaxes. The steep walls tower above us on either side, with a rickety bridge running across the top. Our goal today is to find a foxhole where Japanese soldiers hid when the US forces invaded. It is so hot as we walk along that I can feel the steam rising from the moist, fern-covered ground that skirts the narrow footpath. We pause in the shady spots before venturing back out into the tropical sauna, thankful for a break from the sun.


A local family pass us carrying bags of fruits and veg from their gardens, and we ask for confirmation that we’re headed the right way. It s…

Honiara Hell

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Another overnight sail (well, motor) brought us to Honiara, the country’s capitol.  I’d been looking forward to some civilization after being out in remote places since the beginning of October - three months ago.  The other ladies and I were fantasizing about the grocery stores we might encounter and the idea of a dinner out.  But Honiara didn’t just promise the positives of civilization, but also the negatives - busyness, noise, petty theft, and trash… lots and lots of trash.

Alongside the Point Cruz Yacht Club, brightly colored water taxis were pulled up on what could possibly have been a sandy beach.  No sand could be seen however, beneath the piles of plastic bags, bottles, chip wrappers, styrofoam containers, and absolute nastiness.  It was like the sea was ridding itself of the gunk that didn’t belong in it, purging mounds of pollution with every crashing wave.  Yes, we had reached civilization, alright, and I was already to get the heck out again.

We tied to the mooring ball…

Marau Sound, Guadalcanal

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We found a great spot where no other yachts had anchored before.  Mark went ashore to check with the chief that is was OK, and he was thrilled to have us near his village.  These friendships that are formed in smaller, more personal settings, have become dear to us.  Instant and deep connections are formed with just some one-on-one toktok and a few hours each day playing ball with the kids.

Much of the area is a marine sanctuary, but we were thankful to find a small cut in the reef (thanks to those amazing satellite images!), big enough to allow sufficient swing room for us.  Turns out, we were the first yacht to ever anchor here, which made our experience even more special.  Francis and his wife Margaret moved to this small island during The Tension in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  Many of the Malaitans who had immigrated to Honiara were kicked out at that time, because their huge influx into the city was causing issues.  Turns out, Francis’ family (one side) was Malaitan and h…