One of the items on my bucket list for this year’s cruising season was to catch a fish, big enough to feed the next village I sailed too, a “VILLAGE FEEDER”.

Before I could cross it off my bucket list, Karl did it in increments.

When we arrived in Oyster Bay, the striped mackerel were very evident, filter feeding in big schools, breaking the surface. It was a moonless night, ideal for hanging a waterproof light over the back of the boat to attract them into fishing range . As I went to bed, Karl was in fishing autopilot mode. I woke to multiple boxes of striped mackerel in the fridge.

all up he had caught 53 stripped mackerel , which now needed de-gutting and scaling
at this time we did not have a village to give then too, and some mahi mahi in the fridge in need of eating (mahi does not freeze well), so we invited the crew of youths on the other boat anchored in the anchorage, over for dinner, and to catch some more fishwhile they were over we tried live-baiting with the striped mackerel, and go some very big strikes that ultimately resulted in break-off. It took a lot of effort to finally get one close enough to identify them as Giant Trevally (GTs). Then I got serious, and got out the fishing rod belt, and started landing them,(after a good work out).

We kept the small one, to add to the VILLAGE FEEDER stash
Karl’s brother lives in Port Olry, which was our next anchorage, so his new extended family got our first VILLAGE FEEDER.

on our way out of Port Olry heading for The Banks Islands to the north.a big fish hit one of the lures we had out, a seriously big fish!!!a 22kg wahoo, my first VILLAGE FEEDERwhich then needed to be processed and put in the fridge
the 50 mile sail north was an enjoyable challenge of multiple rain squalls, with torrential rain at times, but with the temperature in the high 20s Celsius (low 8Os Fahrenheit), still T shirt weather.before the anchor had hit the water, at Lakona Bay, the dugouts were on their way out to us, wanting to know if we had caught a fish.our VILLAGE FEEDER was off with Chief John, on it’s way to feed the village the Custom Chief Christopher, who I had developed a repour with on my visit here last year, came out to renew our friendship  and to announce that we were having kava, that night to celebrate our arrivalthere is an hour of work needed to prepare kava, from cleaning the bark off the root, before cutting it into small pieces with a machete, then a couple of washed, before it goes through a meat minces, then the active ingredient is washed out of the pulp in a permeable bag, before a couple of filtering through a fine woven cloth. All of which was done this time, in continuous torrential rainIt was great to be back in Lakona Bay, after the enjoyable week I sent at their cultural festival last year, with the kids coming by to say hello in their dugout
it had rained that much overnight, that the children could not get across the river, between the village and school, so despite the fact it was a Tuesday, we had some of them to accompany us in Albert as we motored along the beach to the swimming river as I wondered into the water they followed me in I had an audience as I took the drone up

for some photos of this picturesque placenormally the water is crystal clear, but the heavy overnight rain, had turned it a chocolate colour

this photo is a good summation on what it is like to visit Lakona Bay3 children checking out all that is novel to them about Albert, my two SUPs getting used by the older boys, the children on the beach kicking around a soccer ball I had given them and Karl, Christopher and Derek, planning a fishing trip in Albert.

from which they returned with an 8.5kg Big Eye Tuna

it is great to be back in idyllic anchorages, which are typical of The Banks Islands, with the super friendly local villagers, who manage to live a life full of laugher and enjoyment, with no electricity, TV, mobile phone or internet coverage.

 

after over 2weeks of no internet coverage, I am back in Esperito Santo, with the photos and story for 3 more blog post, which should follow in the next few days