We have officially crossed back into tropical weather having crossed the 10*S line on the chart on the way up to the Solomon Islands. Things here are sticky and overwhelmingly hot, at least when you are walking around the city in the midday sun with bags full of groceries. But even while sailing we’ve been keeping the middle section of the bimini up so that we have a little shade to cower under while on watch. Not only is the sun hot but it is high overhead, it is all pop bright mornings and quick sunsets at 1800.
I can’t say much about Honiara, we only spent four days here, but thankfully we had the opportunity to stop at a few other places before arriving. If this was my first impression of the Solomon’s it wouldn’t be a great one. The city is very dirty; the streets scattered with trash and every river clogged with plastic. The harbour stinks like a sewer and the water is so murky you can’t see bottom even right at the shoreline. We stopped landing the dinghy on the beach as we didn’t want to have to put our feet in the water and risk a small cut or bug bite get infected.
The Point Cruz Yacht Club, although it says it is welcoming of visiting boats, did little to invite or inform us about even the basics; sights around town, availability of fuel and water, laundry or shower facilities. And yesterday the small stream that runs beside it was so fetid that we could barely sit in the shade and the breeze and enjoy a cold beer on the way home. The only consolation was that the stench around the boat would not have been much better.
However Honiara was a necessary stop, and most of our time here was spent taking care of business; paying Customs fees, checking in with immigration, picking up mail, dealing with banking and passport issues and taking advantage of internet that doesn’t require infinite hours of patience to use. Not to mention schelping groceries and fuel all while trying not to look like a melting, sunburnt tourist.
We are departing this morning on another 2-3 day passage to the Western province where we hope to find more of the Solomons we knew before we arrived at Honiara; beautiful blue clear water, picturesque anchorages, smiling locals and fleets of dugout canoes. Surprisingly we’ve also seen a couple other yachts along the way, and chances are we’ll see them again in the west where good anchorages are a little closer together. Who knows, we might even have neighbours for the holidays.
As always on passage the SPOT is on so you can follow along if you’d like. I am looking forward to escaping the hustle and bustle of civilization again and getting back to our quiet routine while at sea.
Until the next cellphone tower somewhere in the western province!