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Logbook Entry 6: Robinson Island - Niue - Fiji

Gepostet am 01. August, 00:00 Uhr

"The water around Suwarrow island also referred to Robinson Crusoe Island is clear, I can see down the sea floor down to 17m. White tipp sharks of 1 to 1.5 meter length circle our boat. Manta rays fly through the water in the distance and an abundant amount of sea birds nest in the reef - it's paradise."

The sailor couple has already spent two years on sea with the Mugon Navy Weekender. Two more years of adventures lie ahead of them. In this logbook entry we continue in the Pacific Ocean having come from Galapagos Islands (see the last entry here) heading towards Fiji.

 

SUWARROW, is an atoll in the northern part of the Cook Islands. The Suwarrow atoll has an area of 15,3 × 12,8 km large und has a land surface of only 0,4 km². The two largest islands of the atoll are Anchorage Island and Motu Tou.

"This island is so small, one can cross it in 3 minutes and walk around it in 30."

The atoll had inhabitants when the Russian ship "Suvorov" discovered the white beaches on September 17, 1814. 

Tom Neale from New Zealand lived on Suwarrow from 1952-1954 a.k.a. Robinson Crusoe until a ship picked him up by chance when he had a herniated disk, making it difficult for him to move. He returned to the island in 1960 and stayed until 1963 until he thought at age of 65 that he has become too old to survive alone. Before dying at age of 75 of stomach cancer in 1977 he returned one last time to his beloved island in 1967 to enjoy his last 10 years at the seaside. 

NIUE

 
„End of May we reached Niue, a former atoll, which due to two earth quakes rose up out of the ocean in two levels. Our voyage from Suwarrow to Niue was very rough and we had a lot of water on deck and in the cockpit."


"The highlights are limestone caves with ocean access, as well as impressive reef stone formations rising up towards the sky and a few beautiful lagoons." 
"What is different on Niue is that all funerals take place on personal ground. We saw many graves in front yards at the street side and int he forests."

FIJI 

"Having arrived on Viti Levu the main island of the Republic of Fiji, we set anchor at Suva the nation's capital."

Fiji is independent since 1970 and has become a republic in 1987. Since the military coup in the year of 2006 the country is now ruled by military leadership. The archipelago consists of 332 islands with a total surface area of 18.3 m2 of which 110 islands are inhabited.


"On Viti Levu we explored villages and attended different ceremonies. For example we watched amazing fire dancers walk over hot stones and swinging and hurling their blazing torches."

"On Fiji we experienced our first Sevusevu ceremony. To start the ceremony you had to bring a gift of Kava root to the chief worth 10 Fiji $. The villagers sat together with the visitors in the hut and listened to the chief's word games and sometimes clapped their hands until the chief accepted our gift and we could walk freely around their village grounds. But first we drank the national drink "Kava", which is served in a coconut. To gain the liquid, the kava root is mashed into flour and put into a cloth that gets soaked in water. The cloth is wrung out and the light brown water can be consumed afterwards. The taste is neutral. The first sip makes the tongue numb. It has a calming effect and is drunk every early evening by all Fijis except for women.""We stopped in a small village called Navala. It seemed that time stood still 200 years ago except for the catholic school and the church."

 After Fiji the couple will continue sailing west towards Vanuatu and New Caledonia until they continue to New Zealand in November.