Friday, 16 August 2013


Our adventure at Mavo is nearly up and it is time to move southward to Charapoana Island, just across the small channel from the more famous diving resort on Uepi island.  We opt for the true experience and go the budget village stay on the small island next door.   On our last night at Mavo Lodge, they throw a huge party for us and it is really hard to say goodbye to the people and the magical place we have called our home for 10 days. 

 I’m not sure whether it’s the location, the lifestyle or the experiences shared, but we have all become close and truly feel like part of the ‘family’, even the three of us boys have tightened an already very strong bond.

The going away party for us is huge, with an even bigger spread than usual of god knows how many different sorts of food, and it appears everyone from far and wide has turned up for it.  As I said, they really have made us feel like part of their family, their village and it is a great but sad night all in one.  They sing us songs and we party into the night making sure to soak up and savour all the emotions and memories of this wonderful place.  

 Some of the older ones start to wander off back to their homes and by the end of the evening there is just us boys and the fishing crew left to go and have a few nightcaps at the bar one last time.  The guys try our sambucca and tequila with bemused looks as they taste the, weird to them, drinks.  We stand on the deck under a clear sky, bright moon and what seems like the most stars we have ever seen, wishing we could stay forever.   Man I’m gonna miss this place.

The next morning arrives with a slight hangover and the job of packing all our gear begins again.  We leave many gifts with the boys, Raymond and Zutu score new rods and reels and are stoked.  Of course that wouldn’t be complete without an assortment of lures to go with them, the rest of the crew divvy up a heap of other tackle and lures and we wish we could leave more, but we have a lot of fishing left to do.  

We leave some supplies for the schools and some first aid equipment that we had taken for this purpose, if you ever go to the Solomon’s please do the same as it is much needed and much appreciated.  We talk of our possible return and the boys put requests in – action movies!  One of the guys has a portable dvd player that takes usb also. 

 We ask if there is anything else they would like, they think about it some more and have another idea -  action movies!  Haha!  We promise that if we return there will be a hard drive full of action movies for everyone and some dirty ones for Troy, the youngest of the group and self- proclaimed ‘bad boy’ of Ramata!

Our gear is packed and loaded into the boat, and everyone comes down to the beach for hugs or handshakes, it is touching that we have all made such an impact on each other.  Raymond and Troy are to take us on the journey to our next destination, Charapoana Island. 

The journey is as usual, visually wondrous, as we make our way along the outside of the island chain on open-ocean, before cutting inside to the lagoon.  I can’t recommend enough to go and check the Marovo Lagoon out for yourself, it is truly one of the most scenically stunning places I have ever visited, and I’ve had dinner on the Great Wall of China! 

From memory it takes a couple of hours and we finally arrive at an equally and perhaps more impressive and amazing looking island that just screams ‘tropical paradise’, the water is crystal clear and there is an awesome sandy bottom bay to swim in just out the front of camp.  We pull up onshore to what appears to be a ghost island, there is nobody around and the place looks deserted, except for a few chickens.  

Hmmm, things were going too smoothly for a while, I was warned about travel plans regularly going astray and that you just have to go with it, things run on Solomon time here.  But our dilemma is worse than normal because Raymond has taken us with their best boat, the only one with a 40 horse power outboard and they need to be home ASAP as the fortnightly cargo ship is arriving today and they need this boat to unload supplies….