Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tikopia photos

A few photos(thumbnails below) that hopefully convey how attractive I found the island. Thanks to James Baldwin for introducing me to this place in his journey log I read some years ago. Also, I later heard of Tikopia as James Wharram has brought much attention with his donation project.

Tikopia video clips

Some random clips of Tikopia with the following explanations;

First two clips are of walking to Chief #3's house with Mitchell.
Third is trading three fishing hooks for half a cabbage with John.
Fourth is Kuna rolling in our "anchorage" with gusts over thirty knots. They eventually left. You can see my dinghy behind their boat as I had lunch with them earlier but the wind got so strong I had to swim back (with flippers and snorkel of course).
Fifth is fixing the Monitor windvane on the floor of the cockpit. One of the delrin washers on the actuator shaft wasn't installed with washers on either side so it got mashed pretty thin allowing enough play that eventually the main gears no longer meshed.
Sixth is of huts by Chief #4's house.
Seventh is of a woman doing some weaving.
And the last is of myself with the ever present entourage.

Tikopia landing crew

The clip is of two separate landings on the island. The first is my very first landing. I attracted a good crowd of kids. The adults hung back a little but were curious as well. The second one is about the fourth day or so, the kids are now used to me and just want to play around.

There was one other cruising boat, Kuna, already anchored when I arrived. It turned out that they had come the day before and were the first cruising boat to arrive on the island this year. The skipper was an Australian woman who had managed to land a contract to ferry two BBC journalists to Anuta. A decision was made to wait for the BBC to complete their work with Kuna at Tikopia as Anuta doesn't have an anchorage at all. Tikopia's was pretty marginal as we were to soon find out.

I signed the island's guestbook which confirmed what I had been told, that only three to four boats a year make it to the island. The last time anyone recalled a singlehandler was about 2001. With these figures, every visitor is a big event and as you walk around the island, you receive a lot of attention.

Tikopia welcome statement

This is Jeffrey, Tikopia's representative that receives all guests. He wanted me to capture a short introduction statement on video and post it on the web.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Short Location Update

I'm currently on a mooring in the Trade wind anchorage in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Arrived here this morning after a six day sail from Tikopia in the Santa Cruz Islands, Eastern Solomons.

I visited a total of five islands in Vanuatu - Tanna, Efate, Ambrym, Santo and Vanua Lava. As soon as I get normal internet I'll upload a clip or two or at least a few pics of some of these places. The truth is that after visiting the island of Tikopia, most everywhere else pales in comparison. In fact a lot of the trip now just seems like work to have gotten to a place like Tikopia. Not many places have really done it... Arriving in the bay of virgins, Marquesas gave me a little. So did the view of Tafahi from Niuatoputapu. Also, hanging out with Edward in Palmerston, Cook Islands gave me at least for a moment the feeling of truly being in the South Pacific. Tikopia was right up there with them. With only three or four cruising boats a year it is still off the map. They have received much attention recently with all sorts of TV production crews coming in to broadcast what remains of an authentic Polynesian culture. There is still enough left that I did suffer from a bout of culture shock and during the first two days of my stay, I could not find my cynicism. It came back but slow enough that I could still marvel at all that was interesting on the island. I'll work on getting a few clips up or at least a few photos but the internet is really slow here in Honiara...