The Island of Doom

Trip Start Sep 23, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, October 5, 2006

The weather got gradually gloomier as we left Nacula behind. We travelled the length of the Yasawas to reach the island of Kuata. Things started to look dubious when a dozen of us were bundled into a rickey launch, which sat very low in the water and had a definate lean to one side. We wobbled our way to shore, only loosing one person (through his own stupidity). As people were shown to their rooms, it became apparent that the website we had booked through had not passed on our details and the resort had no idea that Jill and I were coming. Luckily they had some spaces. Unfortunately this meant a night in the dorm.

After another thrilling bout of crab racing, we felt worn out enough to get some sleep. Things went well until 2am when the traditional dorm idiots came in hollering to each other, one of whom had apparently lost his underpants. Presumably he eventually recovered them or borrowed somebody else's, as he quietened down and we all returned to peaceful slumber. The rest of us got our revenge early in the morning when we awoke to have breakfast and go snorkelling with the local reef sharks. We wandered down to the activity shop and paid, only to be informed that the captain of the boat said it was too windy to snorkel where the sharks lived, and we would go somewhere else. It was a rather chilly and dreary morning, and without the promise of sharks the experienced snorkellers amongst us decided we would rather remain dry. Our hosts didn't seem too happy with this decision and returned a couple of minutes later, saying that they had found another captain who would take us. Most of us decided that we would rather spend the day on the beach, four hardy souls chose to risk the weather, and some others signed up for a kayaking trip over the calm clear water to a neighbouring island.

Jill and i booked a massage, took a walk and lazed about in hammocks. At lunch time we caught up with our fellow would-be snorkellers. The four who had braved the shark trip reported big waves which had threatened to capsize the boat (not hard) and tossed them about so much that the bench on the boat had broke. Rather unsuprisingly, they decided that maybe they shoudl leave the sharks after all and retreated to calmer waters. The kayakers all sported badly grazed limbs; their guide had tried to take them over the reef at low tide, their kayaks got stuck and overturned, spilling them onto the coral. One kayak got a whole in it, stranding its user on the reef and requiring the guide to paddle back to the island on a rescue mission to get another kayak. We decided that doing nothing was by far the safest option; our massages were amazing; we laid back and were pampered in a cave by the sea, as the local men had a kava ceremony and sang.

All the good of the massage was soon undone when we were bundled back into the little motor boat to meet te big yellow flyer. We lurched across the channel, and in choppy seas needed to take a huge step to get up to the catamaran. As people moved too fast the boaked rocked about and became increasingly unstable; one particularly rude man shoved his way through and we though we were about to be thrown into the sea. Fortunately most of us made it safely aboard, though one girl sported a slightly squashed leg. The island gave a whole new meaning to the concept 'Survivor', and I am wondering if a US tv company would give me a finder's fee if I suggest Kuata for their next series.

The catamaran trip home reinforced the fact that it was time to go home. With no space inside we were stuck on the freezing deck with the seasick kids. We were delighted to reach the mainland and a hot shower. But the next day dawned calm and clear and we were quite ready to make for another hammock on a secluded beach. Unfortunately the only travelling we had left to do was the journey home.
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