Saturday, October 22 (Day 52)
Drawaqa & Naviti islands
A juvenile hammer head shark flaps around, blood oozing from its mouth, as it tries to get free from the fishing line. It’s a truly beautiful creature. With each second that passes, its chances of survival are diminishing as the blood continues to flow and it is starved of oxygen.
“Let it go back in the sea. You can’t kill it” is the collective response from half a dozen or so of the Castaways on board the Spirit of the Pacific. With the hook safely removed from its mouth, the hammerhead is released back into the ocean where, after splashing around for a second or two, it confidently swims off into the distance. It’s funny really. I received a couple of well-meaning frowns when I said I wouldn’t join in the fishing because I’m vegetarian. But they’re just fish. Yeah, wait until you pull out some beast of a creature and see how you feel about killing it, I told them. And, sure enough, somebody catches a shark and a couple of the girls are virtually in tears at the cruelty of the spectacle.
As well as fishing and sunbathing on the open seas, we snorkel off a coral reef and visit another village (where the islanders put on a song and dance show for us), before returning to our island for our final evening together as Castaways. And it really does feel like that; particularly when a drum is banged to tell us when dinner and breakfast are ready.
After participating in an ‘international show’ in the main bure we stroll out across the sand in the pitch dark towards the sea. On Sunset Beach a bonfire is lit, the crew sing songs for us to the accompaniment of guitars, and copious amounts of Kava are downed as large spiders abseil down from the coconut trees above, their torsos occasionally lit up by the flames of the fire.
It’s my mum’s birthday today but I didn’t manage to get a Fijian Sim before I headed out to the Yasawas. Thankfully, Annika has come to the rescue and although I can’t get any mobile coverage from this isolated corner of the world, I do at least manage to successfully send her a text to tell her I am thinking of her. Like a postcard you are never really sure when it will be delivered, but hopefully she will get it some time today.
Happy birthday mum x