October 4, 2011

Pay it Forward

In my dream goats are surrounding our boat. The bleating made me wonder if they would disturb our neighbours so, coming awake only gradually, I popped my head out our hatch to see what they wanted.

Awake now, and squinting into the rising sun, I discover we’re in a tranquil bay—looking across reef strewn shallows toward an uninhabited island. But then the goats went off again and I realized it was inhabited—that the offspring of goats first brought by the explorers were running wild on the island, munching their way through the native plants and waking their sleepy visitors early in the morning.

A visitor with a headache.

Not long after dropping our anchor off of Nanuya Balavu and Drawqu islands we decided to swim ashore and check out Manta Ray Bay—a small eco-resort on Nanuya. After visiting, and deciding it would be the perfect place to have dinner (and get a break from cooking) we headed down the beach across the frothy sand and onto slick volcanic stone—where I slipped and cracked my head.

The rest is a blur of feeling sleepy, and not being permitted to sleep, and the annoyance that comes when someone roughly pokes you awake to shine a light in your eyes and take your blood pressure every time you drift into a peaceful dream. Happily Steve on Connect 4 has had medical training and between him and Evan they decided we didn’t need to test our medical evacuation insurance. And within a couple of days I was feeling like myself.
helping Karinya recover their anchor
So often we’re reminded that while we are on our own out here—it really is the network of other cruisers, friends and family at home, and supportive locals that makes this lifestyle work. Cruising is an endless game of Pay it Forward. A game that means when our inverter died in the midst of shaping our new dagger board (it has since resurrected itself) we had offers of help and a generator on our deck within hours. When Karinya lost their anchor overboard (a link broke in the chain!) within minutes Evan was there with scuba gear. And when Connect 4’s dinghy engine threatens to die—we’re there alongside to be sure they get in.

It also works in the fun stuff. Having a compressor means the whole Connect 4 family has been diving with us—the kids having their first ever chance to try and Cheryl getting down for her second and third times. It also means we share our skills—I’ve paid my wonderful sushi making lesson (courtesy of Meri on Hotspur) forward a couple of times. While my new jewellery making skills and several recipes in my recipe box that came from our buddy boating group are making their own appearances.

The goats, it seems, are satisfied with having woken me and are moving on. My headache is easing with the thought of the day ahead: snorkelling, finally having that meal at Manta Ray resort, and spending time with friends.
This is a good way to live. Goats, head bangs and all.
*we continue to have slow internet but will try for pictures soon

No comments: