July 23 – midnight sail to Vanua Balavua

Up at midnight and the anchor came up easily so we were out the pass by 1am.  After a couple hours of motoring into the wind we turned off the engine and had a pleasant sail close hauled to close reach until we got to the channel for Vanua Balavu at 10am.  It was an easy but long motor through Adavaci Pass and over to Dalicone village.  We were the sixth boat to come in today and had to rush to do sevusevu at noon with everyone.   This was the most elaborate sevusevu we’ve had.  Eleven of us cruisers gathered under a thatched roof to meet the Chief and various village officials.  Most of us were dressed in sulus, minus hats and sunglasses, on the ground making sure our feet didn’t point out toward the Chief.   After the blessing of the kava we were served coconut water, lemon leaf tea (real leaves freshly picked from the tree), and rolled pancakes.  We spent a couple hours shifting our sore bums on the hard ground, conversing with the locals and deciding how we wanted our $F30 mandatory donation applied in the village.  Then we took a walk through the village, including the school where enthusiastic students sang for us.  I was given a big shell (after admiring it), lemon leaves, kumkuats (they call them lemons) and papaya.

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