Up until a generation ago, by now I would be a grandfather, getting to enjoy grandchildren, but not in the 21st century. Luckily I have been adopted by a Ni-Vanuatu family, so I can get a pickininie fix.
When I left Karl and Nora last year, we had shaken hands on them and their daughters coming out on Logic for a week or two of island cruising in 2019. The girls were now having their school holidays, so the time had excitedly arrived. Unfortunately the forecast was 20kts plus, so we had to dramatically scale back our itinerary, so as not to scare the girls. 3miles down the coast from Port Stanley and Uri Island, were they lived, is Nunbekin Bay, were Karl and Nora had a garden close by, for us to stock up on food.
For the pre-departure feast, they had prepared a laplap made from the yam, I had bought down from Gaua. early the next morning, we were underwayNora was forever busy, initially platting the girls’ hair
and then she became an unstoppable cleaning machine (I can not remember Logic being cleaner, in the 4 plus years I have owned her)it was nice to have a female’s touch onboardKarl jumpted in the water with my spear gun and came back with a few fish and a big octopuswhich made good baitI had bought some alphabet fish cards, which had the girls working on their alphabet
we quickly got in into a routine of playing Mexican Train after dinnerin the morning Jeannie cooked up the first lot of plantains in coconut oil, for breakfast
and Elizabeth the second Dorothy did the washing upKarl and Elizabeth grated up some green plantainswhich Nora, wrapped in Island Cabbage to make Simbaro
our seaside holiday was rapidly evolving to the ones I use to have, 50 years ago,
playing around in boatsspear fishing and fishing the fish needed cleaningand eating, (with Simbaro)I very much enjoyed creating an environment of father-daughter bonding it would not be a seaside holiday, without watermelonthe cleaning kept on happening and Karl kept on spearing fish, for me to bake for lunches and dinnerswith my two assistant chefs after a few days the breeze increased to 20-25kts, which was starting to get uncomfortable, so we up-anchoredand moved around to inside Port Stanley
all the surfaces inside Logic, were now clean, so it was time to start on the outsideKarl had caught a good feed of sardines, with the net my cousin, Neil, had given memy assistants and I wiped up a source, to go with them
then we fried up the sardinesthe girls were getting more confident on the SUP
Karl speared a nice crayfishwhich the galley crew go to work ondressing it, with grated fresh ginger, garlic and lime juiceyou could not find a more starker contract, than between here and The Southport Broadwater
no jet skis, roaring around, with wash and noise, no big power boats again with wash and noise, no cashed up snobs, building crazy big waterside houses.
Just serenely nothing , except for Logic and my adopted family.
Phillip dropped by in a dugout, with enough pawpaw to feed us for a few dayshe had paddled over, from upwind, without a paddle, using this stick instead there was no way he could have paddled back upwind, into 20kts, without a paddle, so I lent him one of SUP paddles and followed him backto were Rosemary and a tribe of pickininies was netting mulletNora insisted on taking my washing ashore, to do it in a riverthere was no fish in this spot, so again we up-anchored to move a mile closer to Uri
I had bought lifejackets for the girl, which of course needed testingKarl and Nora went off on the SUP, with the spear gun, returning with a crayfish and a few fish for lunch
eating pamplemousse on the trampoline We took Albert, up through the channel through the mangroves to the pond (should have left the crab pots onboard)
chewing on sugar cane to extract the sugar (then spitting out the pump)Karl got to tell his family the story of his and my adventures, using the photos in my blog postswe crammed a lot into the last morning of our seaside holiday
and then it was time to go home
Karl’s mum had decorated the huts for their returnthey have none of the things we automatically assume, as part of our western lifestyle.
No 240 Volt electricity (can you imagine living without a washing machine, microwave, dishwasher, fans, lighting etc), no running water, no plumbing and all the cooking is done via burning firewood.
I put the drone up, to entertain the childrenI tried to get a photos of Karl and Nora’s huts, but is was difficult to get a good photos ,with pickininies pulling on my arms to get a view of the action on the screentheir huts are in the upper leftafter the drone battery was flat, I enjoyed watching the children play for half an hour.Nora would not let me leave, before she had washed the linenand given me flowers, to replace the ones onboardone last enjoyable moment, of a life full of pickininies I had been carrying around a solid cast iron camp-0ven for years and never used it, and it was looking like I never ever would, so I gave it to Karl. By the looks of these photos Karl sent me, he is baking very good bread in it
I had bought a couple of game fishing rod and reels for the boat. They were both right handers, while I an left handed, so I added a left hander to the quiver, leaving a spare right hander, which I gave to Karl. Plus a tackle box of the lures that we had found to be the best ones (pink). He will be catching fish like this one, to feed his family, as he motors around Port Stanley.Karl had been catching a heap of fish (and crayfish and octopus) with my spear gun. He was getting a lot use of it, than I had over the last 3 years. So I gave it to him, complete with spare rubbers and spear. When I talked to him on the phone, he had speared 5kg of fish with it, the day before and a few crayfish, which he sold to the passenger ferry that docks in Litslits. He should be able to generate enough income from it, to pay the girls’ school fees.
Needless to say, we have shaken hands on me being back next year, for another SEASIDE HOLIDAY