I see the blueness of the lagoon reflected in the clouds as we depart from Fanning island. The weather has been very nice while we were working cargo here. Every part of the operation went so smoothly, it’s hard to remember better times. After the arduous work in Washington we actually could do with a break like this.
It started off when we came into the lagoon yesterday at the peak of dead tide so mooring only took us three minutes (I counted). With all hands on deck we had the cargo gear set up in ten more minutes (I might be exaggerating now). Within the hour all the passengers and their luggage were put on shore and the crew and local stevedores started to work copra, filling the space that was still available in the hold after we loaded copra in Washington. By nightfall we called it a day and closed the hold. The captain asked me to bring out some beers to reward the men for their never ending dedication to the work.
At night I decided to go ashore and share a bowl of kava in Tyrone’s Bar. I have visited quite some kava bars before but i never experienced something like this. The dusky bar was comfortably lit (without the obligatory flashing Christmas decorations) and the only sound you’d hear was the sound of pool balls clashing into each other. As kava has a numbing effect on the human spirit there were no lively conversations going on. So what was so shocking? The music. It was missing. You could hear a pin drop. “The stereo broke down”, the owner explained. Typical example of island logic. But the problem was solved in the same matter-of-fact-like fashion: one of the guests brought out a ukulele and a choir raised its voices. Tyrone told me later that this was the last evening with kava available on the island. With no more kava or even beer I wonder what he is gonna sell in the bar. I’m sure our friend will come up with something. The matter of the broken stereo was solved because I sold him the stereo from our galley.
The next morning we set up the boom tent for the passengers and before noon the mooring line was slipped. Our destination is Christmas Island where we hope to arrive just after noon tomorrow.