Off and scooting to Liapari this morning. A quick run, in and out, to sort a spare-part problem with the Alcol.
The weather lately has been quite rough. The pacific convergence zone has been sitting heavy on the Solomon’s shoulders. We just had a few days of decent weather. The roads have dried up. And the seas have come good.
The market today was great. Overstocked and very cheap. For the past week or more the weather has kept the market producers on their home islands of Kolombangara, Vela, Ronongga, or Simbo. So the pickings were slim and high priced.
So, at 10am, I scooted over to Liapari. Kolombangara was cloudless. A rare event and one worth savoring. The seas were deep blue and the reefs were sparkling turquoise. The islands, pieces of jade afloat in the sea of blue.
The clouds were scattered, not gone. All low leveled and hunkering. Gleaming white under the morning sun, but heavy and ponderous.
While at Liapari the winds came up. It’s Nor’Westerly season. The Nor’West wind stirs the sea on the east side of Vela. It funnels down the Vela Gulf. The currents off shore of Liapari turn into a “rip” when they meet the tide and the wind.
I finished my work and hot footed it back to the water. I didnt want to wait too long and end up in big seas. So by 1pm I was back on the water. The mouth of the Laipari passage was running high. The winds and currents and tides almost close the passage but, for old salts like me, you just throttle back and mosey up and over, and down, and around the big waves that are funneling into the passage.
I met a pod of bottle-nose dolphins there, today. I fist saw them as I stood up to throttle back and look around. They were right by my boat. I learned from a Tongan fellow to talk with the mammals of the sea so I said, “gday, whatr you all doing”? Just like that, three of the smaller dolphins teamed up, shot around my boat and in a line from left to right, shot under my bow, came up on a nice wave and the trio surfed a fair distance. All three with big grins on their faces.
And another, obviously showing off, catches a wave. Surfs down alongside my boat. A duo do a couple hops out of the water. More surfing, more smiles. I am talking all the time… “thats nice, good one, great, yippeee, can I play, do it again”…
I saw that most were juveniles. There were a couple large mature, matron looking, dolphins around. They maintained position off to the left, in the mouth of the passage. They didnt appear to be surfing. Just the little ones were having a “whale” of a time, surfing on the big breakers in the mouth of Laipari passage.
All I can say is