The 150 NM passage from Tulagi to Marovo Lagoon was rather uneventful, which, of course, is a good thing. It took roughly 30 hours and we managed to sail most of the day but by nightfall the wind died and we turned the engines on and ‘SV Rehua’ became ‘MV Rehua’. Never mind: the engines never sounded so good. They were purring away like two little cats, thanks to all the work Seathan did in Tulagi.
We spotted a pod of pilot whales just after sunrise and as we went through the pass into Marovo Lagoon, a pod of dolphins turned up to lead us in. It’s not the first time this happens and it seems dolphins like to guide yachts. These were spinner dolphins and as soon as we passed through the entrance they turned back into sea and started doing some extremely impressive vertical barrel rolls. One dolphin performed a quadruple backwards flip. And he wasn’t the only show-off. We couldn’t believe our eyes and scrambled for the camera but unfortunately we weren’t fast enough to capture these acrobatic moves. We wanted to see more tricks (and get some photos) so did a 180 and headed back out to sea. Sure enough, the dolphins returned and guided us in once more. But this time there were no more tricks. Despite all our clapping and encouragement.
We navigated through the lagoon and soon spotted our buddy boats Fieldtrip and Perry who were stocking up on some produce in a nearby village. We chatted over the radio and agreed to meet up at Telina village, 5 miles further north. Other friends on S/V Rampetamper recommended this anchoring spot and we were keen to check it out. The carvings were supposed to be amazing. As soon as the anchor was set, the first canoe turned up and the carvings were pulled out of a bag. Other canoes turned up with pamplemousses, pineapples, avocadoes and green beans.
We preferred to go ashore to see all the carvings, and the village itself, and agreed to do so later in the afternoon. The village was cute with lush green vegetation and neat over-the-water huts. Nearly every other hut had displayed their carvings on a rug or a table and every time we had to stop and look and chat. We didn’t buy anything but pointed out what we liked best and invited those carvers to come out to the boat the next day.
So the next morning was trading time! We traded part money part books and other items for a couple of stunning carvings. This area is famous for its gorgeous ebony carvings, with the shiny inside of the nautilus shells used for detailed accents. More canoes paddled over to bring yet more fruit and veg and after we were loaded up we decided to follow Fieldtrip and Perry out to quiet uninhabited anchorage nearby for the weekend. No village meant no more canoes (yay!) and the thought of turquoise water, perfect for swimming and snorkelling, was like music to our ears.