Home Improvements

Kate is not just our boat it is she is our home, and over the years we’ve made her a space we enjoy living in. We want our boat to reflect our lives; colourful, vibrant, exciting. We’ve achieved this the traditional way, using paint and fabrics; a sunshine yellow transom & matching headsail UV cover and in the head pacific sky blue walls and cheery lime green cupboards. But we’ve recently started doing some rather non-traditional upgrades.

Which is I recently agreed to let an almost perfect stranger in the Solomon Islands take a knife and chisel to the teak trim in the galley.

The western province in the Solomon Islands is famous for their bowls and decorations hand-carved from local hardwoods and inlayed with intricate mother-of-pearl. We heard all about it from friends we met in Vanuatu who had spent just sailed from the Solomons. We knew we have no space for such frivolous souvenirs but Steve suggested that we find a tradesman whose work we liked and him to pretty up the cabin a little. The teak trim in the galley seemed like a good place to start.

We looked at a LOT of carvings and talked to a LOT of carvers before we ran into Erol on the island of Rendova. We had been invited to the village to look at the work of all the local carvers. This suited us fine as it meant we’d be able to see everyone’s work in one hit instead of having a steady stream of canoes visit the boat- a tiresome parade we’d already had our fill of at other anchorages. Continue reading

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Sickness and Seashells

Last week was my birthday and with Steve away I was totally expecting to spend it by myself. I thought if the weather was nice I would go to town in the afternoon, find a nice little café, order a very decadent dessert and a glass of red wine and people watch for a bit. I had planned to stop at the butcher to pick out a nice steak (Vanuatu is renowned for its high-quality, farm-raised beef) so that I could cook myself a nice dinner, watch the sun set and read the stack of emails and well wishes I was sure everyone would send to me. Maybe if I was lucky the internet connection would actually be fast enough to have a brief chat to Steve. I might be all alone but that’s no reason to call off the celebrations.

Wasn’t I wasn’t expecting was to wake up on the morning of my birthday to an ear ache that progressed to stuffy sinuses, and then a few days later a sore throat and a few more days after that a hacking cough. Needless to say there was no cake, no steak and no wine.

So in lieu of Bday excitement, a little something that happened recently.

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