If you have a look at http://www.yit.co.nz/yacht/maunieofardwall you'll see that our anchorage over on the east side of the lagoon is surrounded by little rocky islets or motus. Each has been eroded at its base by the water so some now stand, precariously top-heavy, on the narrowest of rocky necks and look as though they might topple over if given a reasonably decent shove. Although their rocky surface seems to bear no kind of soil, each has a little hairdo of greenery and even a few stunted palm trees. We'll try to add a photo if our monthly data allowance permits otherwise we'll put some on the blog when we return to internetland; yesterday the wind calmed to nothing and the setting sun cast a beautiful light across the lagoon so we have a lot of photos to chose from!
On Wednesday we will have been here in Fulaga for 4 weeks and it's been pretty busy with village life so we're now enjoying a few days of downtime. Colin and Ana on Ithaka left on Friday and we were invited to their leaving party – lots of lovely food, some wonderful singing (especially the 'Fulaga Goodbye Song' in harmony) and plenty of kava. There were tears from sailors and locals alike at the end of the evening.
Unfortunately both Colin and Ana reported upset stomachs when we talked to them on the radio a couple of days later and they are not alone in this; Graham's suffering and so are several other yachties. We think that the water used to make the kava, which is just rainwater collected from roofs, might have had something nasty in it; there's been no rain for a couple of weeks and the village tanks are running low so who knows what's breeding in them! It's a tricky one: we don't want to refuse the kava as it's such an important communal event but equally we need to be aware of the risks that come with it. Until now we have had no health problems here so we're putting it down to a bad batch.
The wind is forecast to increase over the next few days so we'll enjoy this calm anchorage while we can and then head back for more village events later in the week. At some stage we'll have to move on as meal planning is becoming ever more challenging.