Showing posts from July, 2017

Upriver Adventure

Mark became known as Mr. Fix-it during our time in the Morovo Lagoon. He and Matt from SV Perry were busy almost every day as word spread that there were yacht guys who could repair boats. Somehow word even spread deep into the bush where someone had an aluminum boat that needed some patching up. So we all joined Mark for an upriver adventure. “Milton” came along with us to ensure we took the right estuary and arrived safely.

The river was edged with a wall of greenery. It was as if we had just hopped aboard the Disneyland Jungle Cruise without the corny twenty-something commentator using annoying puns. But this was the real deal. They say there’d been over 18 crocs killed near the villages that line this river. All of us were on high alert, searching the maze of mangrove roots for beady eyes barely above the water’s surface. Any bubble that came up or a wake that didn’t match the current was suspect. Surely we were surrounded by crocs.

After a thirty minute upriver commute, we hadn’…

Lisa and "Katy" - Solomon Dive Adventures

We met Lisa only weeks after she’d moved her dive operation to John Lee’s Guesthouse.   At 73, she is a spunky, fun-loving lady who has been in the dive industry for over 40 years.  Even Matt and Jen on SV Perry had done a dive with her years ago in Hawaii when she helped run a dive operation there!!  Small world, huh?

Anyway, she was delightful and quickly became a friend after a few games of Rumikub and a bowl of popcorn.  The kids loved hearing her tales of the creatures she’s spotted in the area - a turquoise-speckled lizard hanging around the water catchment barrel, a little boa constrictor coiled on the top of a railing (who we’d later get a glimpse of in the crook of a tree!).  She sent the kids off in search of more fantastic critters, and they scurried away, inspired and energized by her enthusiasm!

Her story was a tough one.  She’d owned dive operations in the Solomons for years, and twice had been run out of villages when jealousy of her success reared its ugly head.  It…

Our Playful Pet Dolphins!

These pets didn’t come to a whistle, but rather the high-pitched whir of an outboard motor! Once they heard our engine, the entire pod of at least 30 dolphins would come zooming over to play. The army of the dorsal fins would break the surface of the water with each breath in a beeline for us, then they’d make a quick turn and swim right at the bow of our boat as we zoomed along, splashing, leaping, almost frolicking (if frolicking is possible to do underwater!). I couldn’t help but squeal in delight at the scene! Elizabeth and I leaned over the bow and giggled as we watched them jockey for best position and keep perfect time with our speed. It was magical!

But then, as soon as we slowed down and put the engine in neutral, they’d disappear as quickly as they’d come. The fun was over momentarily until we revved up the engine again and did a few donuts to summon our new pets. And sure enough, there they came - zooming in perfect unison with our every turn, enjoying the challenge and th…

Solomon Island Diving - A Colorful Display

Matt from sv/Perry and Mark went out to explore a reef nearby and were blown away by the array of colors and creatures they encountered. I really don’t have words that would do these photos any justice.  I’ll just let them speak for themselves in this photo journal… Romans 1:19-20

Red, White, & Blue by Elizabeth

Red, White, and Blue  By Elizabeth
Yesterday was supposed to be an ordinary day. I got up early, did chores, finished school, ate lunch, it rained (a lot), etc. Then Dad said, “It's the 4th of July!” Those five words changed that ordinary day into a whole new, extraordinary one. I suddenly found myself holding a small bottle of red food coloring while Dad stood behind me, telling me how many drops to put in the white, gooey cake mix. Mom was carefully dying her batter blue while another bowl sat, white and un-dyed, on the counter.  “These are going to be the best cupcakes in the world!” I said out loud to the now-red batter. “Matt is going to be so surprised that we made these soon-to-be works of art!”  Even though I wasn't talking to him, Dad answered my undirected exclamation with a chuckle, “We should put a little sign that reads 'Go TRUMP!' on his cupcake! He'll get a kick out of that!”  Soon we were carefully putting a tablespoon of each color of batter into the cup…

Battle on the Poop Deck

Battles on the Poop Deck By Michael
     I’ve concluded that the birds in Solomons are descendants of the prehistoric Terror Birds.Which means that they are pests.I do not want to stereotype, because some birds are nice, but the ones we had on our boat were NOT NICE!
     I sighed as another three crow-like birds grappled onto the main tamer.Mom was cawing, clapping, and yelling for them to get off, but, unfortunately, they didn't go.

     It was the third day in Munda, and we had already about, like, one hundred piles of bird doodoo on the deck.Our squirt guns came into use for a second time after squirting mischievous cats in Honiara.They were now BIRD REPELLERS!

We had tried many attempts to rid the little suckers from the boat, but none worked.

Avocado Adventure

We set off after school on a mission - hike to BekaBeka village for the Thursday afternoon produce market. It was rumored that they would have avocados. Avocados. How far was it to the village? Who cares! Avocados! How do we get there? Who cares! Avocados!

On shore, Samantha gives us a quick set of directions. Get to the logging area, go through the carvers village, cross three rivers, turn left at the war canoe, and then follow the bigger path. I felt like we were on an episode of Dora the Explorer as I walked along repeating the vague instructions over and over in my head.

“Through the logging site, past the carver’s village, across three rivers, left at the war canoe, along the wide path, and up to the land of avocados. Logging site, carver’s village, three rivers, war canoe, wide path, avocado land...”

Along the way, folks working in their yards came out to greet us, but Matt pressed on, unsure of how long this hike actually was. The distance we’d been told by numerous people alon…