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At Sea

This is our seventh day at sea - well over half way. Apart from the heat, the most striking thing about this passage has been the sheer solitude. We have seen only one ship and three birds in an entire
week. The radio has never even crackled. Yesterday our depth sounder suddenly and consistently showed us with a depth of 7 meters for about half an hour when we should have had kilometres under our keel, so I guess we had company of a sort - something large swimming along underneath us for a

I spent much of yesterday deciding and setting out how we would cross the Tongan ridge , which lies between us and our destination. The charts are different here, full of foreboding about volcanos exploding, , tsunami warning buoys and the like. They show sites where the ocean had sudden earth burps, throwing up pumice rock to the surface . No shipping to get in our way , just end-of-days natural disasters kind of stuff. We don't dwell on that of course, and get on with our daily chores of cleaning loos and making bread - very mundane really.

Most of the fleet is behind us - we will be the second boat to get Savu Savu. We learned that one boat in Bora Bora had their dingy stolen while another, their dingy engine. Even in paradise, humanity will out. The history of Fiji is really interesting - run tribally until one of their chiefs brought in the British Crown so as to consolidate his own power - sound familiar ? Queen Victoria became Chief among Chiefs. Interestingly, until Fiji became part of the Commonwealth, cannibalism was extensively practiced ( until the late 1800s) , and not just for the prosecution of war. People were a recognized and tasty source of meat. I would have been greatly desired for being rather more succulent than most, and enough for a good communion or wedding in Rathkeale. Ruth would have been a mere amuse bouche , over in a jiffy.

I am attaching a picture of James, who even in the searing heat, manages to cheerfully get on with the never ending jobs list. It is one of the less publicised facts of a trip like this. James is going back to Europe for a month's well deserved holiday once we get to Fiji - we will miss him !