Sailing to Mamanuca Islands

Hey Dad,

Early start again. I got picked up my coach and driven to the marina where I caught a sea cat which took me to Mana to board a sailing ship! 

The ship was a little smaller then I had pictured, and different to what was advertised. Apparently I was not the only one with this thought! 

Anyway we set sail over the most clear blue water I have ever seen! It was unbelievable.  Every so often we would sail past another island, each one looking like a deserted paradise! 

Our first stop was the one I was looking forward to, it was the island where Tom Hanks filmed ‘Castaway’. The island was simply incredible. I first went snorkelling straight off the island, the coral was shallow in parts and the shelf just dropped straight off. 

After snorkelling I went to explore. I found the beach where the majority of the film was shot, and the massive rock face. The rocks are now covered in plants and trees, more so then in the film. Sadly I did not find Wilson, that would have made my day. I can not believe no one has put one on the island. However in saying that you would never know a film crew had been there! Before I knew it we were being called back on the boat. I could have spent all day exploring this island, but no luck, onto the next destination. 

Our next stop was a small village. After being dropped off we walked along a beach and through a town. It was a really bizarre experience. This town has no access to drinking water (other then rainwater) yet had solar panels and phone signal! Madness. We were taken to the village leader, who performed a ritual. Part of this ritual in welcoming us to the village was having a ceremonial drink called Kava. Kava is made from a root from what I can understand and mixed with water.  The result is a muddy looking water. The nominated ‘chief’ drank first, followed by the rest of us. Kava was very strange. It tasted somewhere between aniseed and medicine. It made your younger feel numb. Very odd, and not that pleasant at first. I imagine though with a few more tastes you could become quite partial to it. 

Back on the boat then to head back into Mana to get the sea cat back to the marina. 

Sailing on the boat was a great experience too! The crew all had instruments and played songs throughout. Some were hilarious with animal noises thrown in! Drinks were all inclusive too! A fair few people had too many beers, it was way too hot for me to entertain alcohol, I couldn’t drink enough water as it was!

On the way back we eventually plucked up the courage to ask why the boat was different to the one pictured. Turns out the boat on the advertising was the boat we were supposed to be on, however it hit the reef a while back and sank! Guess that explains why they didn’t tell us at the beginning! 

The boat back also included weaving banana leaves. We all made crowns, and apparently I was the only one who knew how to plait properly, because mine was the only neat one. Their words, not mine! One of the crew also made me a beautiful bird from the leaves.

Today has been a great day! I am exhausted and have had far too much sun today! Early night and a tub of after sun for me I think!

Night dad x

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