August 10 – oyster picnic in Susui

We took their longboat over to Lomaloma for provisions. It was a wet ride in squally conditions and there were no eggs, fruit or veggies, and the bread oven was broken but we did get more flour and sugar. I’ve been making my own roti and chapati since our bread supply is nil and I didn’t want to use the oven very often to bake bread.  We stopped by the lagoons on the way back and heard the story about Kumidamu and his cave.  Chiefs were meeting in Taveuni and Kumidamu disturbed their meeting by clicking clam shells. They told him to leave so he went to Namalata Island but he saw the clouds over Taveuni and decided to go where he couldn’t see any trace of Taveuni. He went to Susui, bringing his basket of clams along, dropping them in the lagoon along the way.  Supposedly he lived in the cave until he died. Not sure if this is truth or fiction, but Jacob claims that’s how the clams got here. Of course we didn’t see any clams….

Our most memorable time in Susui was when Jacob and Save provided a picnic in the lagoon. We snorkel for oysters among the mangroves, collecting a big mesh bag full.  We looked for clams (none) while Jacob and Save built a fire and started cooking the cassava and oysters and a few bananas . Once the oysters were cooked they pried them open to soak in salt water, fresh lemon juice and super hot chilis. The cassava was burnt to a crisp then scraped clean and eaten with the oysters. I brought papaya chutney I’d made and the guys loved dipping the cassava into the chutney. Save opened coconuts so we could swill down the coconut water and scoop out the jelly stuff inside. We huddled beneath the large trees when the squall came through and watched the water turn many shades of blue and green. After we’d eaten everything they took us out to the reef to snorkel. Although the reef was small there were plenty of reef fish and some beautiful coral.

While we were in Susui catamaran Kalim anchored nearby. Turns out Mark designed and built a boat for Peter Hogg, a friend of Jim’s in the Bay Area. Small world. Mark introduced me to KAP, kite aerial photography, and posted a great image on his blog that I’ve copied here because you can see Chesapeake on the right and the tiny dots on the left are Suzi and me in our kayaks.

Too soon we had to say goodbye as our next weather window opened up for our sail down to Fulanga.

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