The weather was promising to turn a little nasty up on Astrolabe Reef, so we headed south to the main island of Kadavu and holed up in a very protected harbor at Kavala Bay. There are three (or maybe four) villages around the edges of the bay, Donald went and performed sevusevu at the nearest. As it turns out, the chief and his wife are Seventh Day Adventists and therefore don’t partake of kava, but they graciously accepted our offering. This ceremony was a little more formal than the last, but we did all get to sit in chairs as the chief doesn’t really like sitting on the floor anymore.
It rained for several days while we were here, but that didn’t stop us from getting out in the kayaks and exploring the mangroves and the rain forest. What a difference from the white sandy beaches/clear water/waving coconut palms just 15 miles away. There was also a store, but other than bread we didn’t pick up anything (as they didn’t seem to have much – rice, sugar, flour, and a bunch of odds and ends that looked like they’d been on the shelves for decades). We did grab lunch from the ladies on the wharf, they had set up a little booth as they waited for the supply ship to come in. A very nice curry plate and some roti, total cost USD$6 for the three of us.
We waited a few days for the sun to come out and then coasted west toward the isthmus at Namalata Bay. We had hoped to stop and snorkel at the reefs a little further out, and we did stop there for lunch, but it was a bit boisterous, so after our snack we upped anchor and continued into the bay proper. If there is an industrial part of Kadavu this is it. There’s roads, an airport (grass), a post office, and couple of ‘stores’. It was a pleasant enough place, but nothing to really recommend it other than the ability to get some fresh veggies and fruit at the little market.
Unfortunately Joan’s time with us was starting to run out, so we stayed at Namalata just one day and then made an overnight trip back toward Viti Levu and civilization.